Yoshi Training Diary - July 2006
By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)
Feedback is welcome:
Fri Jul 28
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE PROZAC KIDS! (The nickname name for
Yoshi's litter). 3 years old. And still not settling down
though I see small improvements.
His buddy Cooper's house is being reroofed and I wanted to give Cooper
break from the pounding so at lunch I went and rescued him. So
Yoshi and Cooper got to spend the day together.
Poor Yoshi had to go back to the vet to get his teeth rechecked as it
seemed like there was still plaque on them. It wasn't plague just
that his front molars are really good at catching food and the
discoloration is the enamel wearing some (his bottom molar wears
against the top one. Dr Wydner said that since dogs really don't
get cavities (no sugar) that the main concern is the gumline and while
I should try to keep the tooth clean that I shouldn't obsess on it, and
concentrate on where the tooth meets the gum. Got him some new
treats that they had at Park Centre.
So for his birthday I took him to Dog Bone Alley and got him various
goodies. 2 small kongs, 2 small tennis balls, a bully stick, a
"crossaint" treat, and some more Natural Balance that we use as
treats, I showed him lots of toys but he didn't seem real
I was concerned taking him to a place were dogs often go.
Fortunately there weren't any dogs in the store, but right as I got him
out of the truck there was a little white dog walking towards us so we
immediately headed in the other direction. Then once I was
comfortable that I had his attention, we turned and hung out near the
truck while they walked past. I held his collar and had him
sitting with his back to them as t hey passed. No problem.
Also when we exited the store there were two Rat Terriers coming
right at us so we immediately turned right and walked away - right, as
it turned out, past a Standard Poodle. No reaction from Yoshi to
either party. Apparently it does make a difference [sometimes] if
he's the one in motion.
Thur Jul 27
Herding, After his lesson Debbie says that he will be
ready for HT (Herding Tested) in two more sessions, but that we
shouldn't start him earlier than the National as you want to do well in
your nationals and it's best to enter in the lowest level you
can. Then if I wanted to learn how to handle then I could spent
late winter / early spring (after the rings have dried out from the
rains) learning at the PT (Pre-Trial) level which is still a Q/NQ level
though it's longer and the sheep are "lighter" (more reactive, more
likely to want to run away).
They had some rented cows in the adjacent pens for an upcoming trial
and all for of the HT training corgis there were distracted by the
cows, Yoshi included though twice Debbie was able to call him back and
get him to keep working the sheep. Cooper and Corbu were
distracted by the cows and also wanted to quit early.
There was a BC puppy there that he started to play with but he
mysteriously got too rough with and Debbie picked up the puppy and
Yoshi was still trying to get at the puppy even after she had picked
her up. Disturbing and I'll have to figure this out.
Wed July 26
I'm noticing that his down is great in some contexts but doesn't
seem to get the cue in other ones. Once he figures out that it's
a new context then he's great about it. I'd ultimately like to be
able to down him when a strange dog appears and then I would stand in
front on him. That's going to take quite a bit of work as it's
something he definitely doesn't want to do as he doesn't think taking
up a submissive position in the presence of a moving unknown dog is in
his best interest (outside of the obedience club) but I think it's a
worthy goal and will be quite useful in herding and agility too.
So I need to start asking for the Down in all sorts of contexts and
heavily rewarding it.
I experimented briefly with clicking him to hide behind me but I
decided that would mess up Rally and Obedience Finishes so I
stopped. I want to also go back to teaching him Give me Five as
last time I only got up to him holding up a foot. Will need to
figure out how to go further with that.
Tues Jul 25
Agility. He continues to do well as I continue to not run
him in the smaller area but instead work on him paying attention to me
and not worrying about the other dogs. Neither dog that he
usually reacts to was there so that helped.
In the upper fields he did great. Sharon wants me to stop
rewarding every contact with a treat and just rely on YES. I was
able to do a rear cross after him once he went on the dogwalk which I'm
very encouraged by. His weave poles are still excellent, and he
will charge right ahead to the table and do a down from a
distance. He still isn't so good about sitting down on my
right side and I usually have to hand position him which Sharon doesn't
like but works ok.
Mon Jul 24
It's starting to cool off here. Hooray.
Sun Jul 23
Still hot, but not as bad. I rigged up as low tech swamp
cooler of a fan and a bunch of ice cubes. Sort of works but what
was funny was Yoshi growling at it as the ice melted. I took some
photos and will try to get time to put them here.
Sat Jul 22
It's roasting here (got up to 97 degrees which is absurdly hot
for our area) and even worse (100?) in San Jose where the Bayteam trial
is being held. I worked as a volunteer and decided not to bring
Yoshi, but Terri and he and Mark and Cooper came down for a little
while in the afternoon which is of course unfortunately the hotest part
of the day.
Yoshi was being reactive to other dogs so I took his leash and kept
just enough slack out of it so he would give him self a correction if
he tried to lunge. This combined with rewarding him for looking
at a dog and then looking at me or responding to "leave it" or "watch"
helped but if I took my eyes off him he would still find something to
set him off so I encouraged them to take him elsewhere. It's
interesting that it's usually dogs in motion when he's standing still
(though at Sharon's there have been a couple of exceptions where the
dog is just in his space in his mind and neither is moving.
Clearly I'm going to have to routinely take him to agility trials and
just work with him at them. As far as competing I think it's
going to be just fun matches for him for a while possibly a long while.
Fortunately herding is in fenced pens because of the sheep so he can do
that. Rally Novice is all on leash so he could do that as well.
Thur Jul 20
Well it was short but Yoshi and Cooper had a good time despite
the heat. They had a substitute handler named Melinda.
Cooper did great, Yoshi was swinging wide because she handles the stick
a little differently.
Yoshi has a dental cleaning tomorrow and I'm a little worried...
[ coltsrunkid pust]
So Yoshi is scheduled to have his teeth cleaned and I just got off the
Wed Jul 19
phone with one of his vets (for the local folks: Dr Applegate) and she
gave me a lot of reassurance and info.
Apparently there's a big note in his file not to use Telazol or Ace as a
sedative and while they often will use it in cats, they only rarely use
it on dogs such as a case of a big burly dog that may likely bite.
(Taking advantage of Telazol's fast reacting nature.)
While bad reactions to Telazol in dogs are rare, it does happen, (it's
even noted in the drug info as an "idiosyncratic" reaction), it's
heartbreaking if the 1 in 1000 or 1 in 10,000 dog is your dog and they
So he's getting the tried and true Ketamine/Vallium mix as a sedative.
I asked about the masking down technique and she said that they'd been
getting away from that as the gas takes a few minutes to take effect and
it can be pretty traumatic for the dog (and given that Yoshi freaks if
you even just try to take his temperature rectally, I can certainly see
that happening). There's also a risk of the mask coming partially off
and some gas escaping. Apparently there's a long term risk of exposure
to the escaped gas to the humans in the room, including risk of
miscarriage. Given that most of their employees are young women I could
see where that would definitely be a concern.
She doesn't anticipate any problems but they are certainly ready to deal
with them if they happen (and gave me a run down of their cardiac arrest
So I'm somewhat reassured.
I love my vets, they are so patient with me. ;)
Herding starts up again tomorrow. Can't wait.
Someone on the clickerexpo list was asking about way to teach loose
lead walking. One person suggested the Crazy Person Game where
you change directions without waning while you are walking the dog on
leash. Couldn't resist telling Coe's experience when she tried it
> Subject: Re: [clickerexpo] loose lead walking
> > >
> > > Try the Crazy Person game. Dog forges ahead, you turn
around and head
> > > the other direction. No warning, no leash tug just turn
> > Funny story.
> > We tried that with our very [first] corgi who was very bright
> > After about 3 or 4 direction changes she decided "Well
> > don't know where you're going" and grabbed the leash and
> > back in the direction of the sidewalk.
> > For pulling, I've alway had the best luck with head collars
> > Gentle Leader, Halti, or the Gen Con leash (available through
> > http://www.cleanrun.com
It's a mild -R,
> but effective as they figure
> > out quickly that they can control the pressure.
> > You can do LLW games with them wearing the head collar for
> > Ellen Clary
> > and Yoshi the corgi
> > Alameda, CA
Someone then responded:
> That's hysterical about your Corgi--smart! I'm forwarding this to
> daughter since she's been "trained" using prong collars! Ugh!
[and I responded with]
Feel free - though I do see a small typo: should be "very first corgi"
I hate prong collars - I know they are not as nasty as they look, but I
was pretty quickly turned off of them when the same dog tried to roll
the grass with one on (my fault for letting her have the opportunity)
and poked herself and then looked at me pointedly (thus making me want
to beg for forgiveness - Do I miss that dog running my life? Oh yes.).
Fortunately the Halti came out very soon after that.
You know the corgi that Karen Pryor was describing in Don't Shoot the
Dog doing this impressive demo in Europe? I though I was reading about
Cali (especially when it came to the being harassed (my wording) to
and Yoshi still learning
and the much missed Cali
Tues Jul 18
Agility class. My. My. My. What a good dog and what a
difference. Spent the time on the small field having him give me
attention and eat lots of treats. I put his Gentle Leader on and
that seemed to make quite a difference. Sharon put Thyme right
next to him and we let them say hello and just share space and treat
them both. Yoshi is way respectful of Thyme as she's a classic
'everything is mine' Border Collie bitch. He didn't react to any
of the dogs except to Jake and I could see it coming and had him on a
short slack leash so when he tried to turn suddenly he came up against
the Gentle Leader that I had him wear during this time.
Interesting enough he responds better to "Leave It" rather than "Watch"
though that works too.
Agility wise he's doing well. Still needs more confidence about
being steered and that he didn't do anything wrong. His weave
poles look great! Running contacts are super. And he's
starting to become quite the tunnel hound as given a choice between
that or the dogwalk he takes the tunnel which is interesting given his
love of high places.
I was a little puzzled later in the evening when he didn't want to hold
a stay when I was on one side of him but ok when I was on the
other. It was only after the run that we discovered that there
had been a small King snake in the grass nearby (No wonder he didn't
want to stay - and he only stayed when I was standing between him and
the snake). Otherwise his stays were excellent.
Thur Jul 13 - Sun Jul 16
Trip to Treva's in Redding. Yoshi went with us and was
generally ok unless he saw a dog walking by on the street when he was
inside. Interestingly enough on a walk in the morning, a small
dog escaped from his house and came racing up. Fortunately I
could see him coming and was able to step inbetween Yoshi and him and
then easily caught him. The dog was clearly friendly, small and
not white so Yoshi wasn't freaking out though a bit cautious. It
was nice that it all worked out as then Yoshi gets to see that I'm
watching out for him.
Tues Jul 11
Agility class. Trying something new. He has never
been comfortable on the smaller field and it's really getting counter
productive so instead of running him during that time we're just going
to do socializing work. He's still growly if some dogs come near
but he's definitely more comfortable doing this that running by scary
Thur Jul 6
After work, did some sitting with him in the living room waiting
for passers by. He likes to sit cat like up on the top of the
sofa. Since he likes this so much I use taking it away as a
negative punishment for having a barking fit, and I must admit to being
quite firm when I yank him off the top of the sofa so I think I'm
working in some positive punishment in there as well. When he
settles down (we're sitting on the regular part of the sofa at that
point) I then let him back up (a little positive reinforcement also).
Spent the evening putting together another herding DVD. This one
is of the June sessions (8th, 15th, 22nd) at Debbie Pollard's.
Even put in chapter headings and the titles I did as subtitles so they
blended in smoothly. Oh and I edited the most bolloxed up parts
though I had to leave in the one where Cooper is yanking Mark around
while Mark was trying to tape Rosie and Patricia. I credited him
too: Cinematography by Cooper. About the only thing I should have
put in is some rolling credits at the end.
Wed Jul 5
Took him to obedience class since there was no agility yesterday
(it was the 4th) and no herding tomorrow. Class was small (Rosie,
Yoshi and a young GSD named Hope). He was initially growly at
Hope and at Hazel's Saints, but his outbursts were short and he was
able to do figure 8 heeling with Hope as a post without incident.
When we were lining up for sits and downs Pam came in with her big
black PWD Jet and he started to lunge but I gave him a very short
collar correction (which cut off his bark in an amusing way I must
admit) and he chilled out immediately. Though on the sits and
downs I still attached his leash to a tether for my piece of
mind. He was great. Perfect on the down and on the sit laid
down once, but no springing up or other types of breaking or barking.
Yoshi Training Diary - June 2006
Yoshi Training Diary - May 2006
Yoshi Training Diary - Apr 2006
Yoshi Training Diary - Mar
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