Yoshi Training Diary - June 2004

By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)

Feedback is welcome, but due to spam there is no mail link on this page.  Emails addressed to yoshi or ellen at this domain (frap dot org) will reach me.
(I'll get a graphic on here with it displayed eventually.)

Wed Jun 30
We're going off to Mt. Whitney early this day.  Doggies are getting Leslie in to house sit.  Should be fun.  Patricia and Rosie will come by during the weekend to tire them out.

Tues  June 29
Cali barked for me to let Yoshi out of his crate to play.  Wow.  I thought she was just wanting to check out his crate to see if there was any food in it, but when he came out she didn't even look in the crate, just immediately started playing with him.

He's back to ignoring his food.  Skipped breakfast this morning.

Mon June 28
I'm switching his recall command to "come" instead of "here," as I don't think I'll do competitve obedience with him and he responds better to it.  (Probably because that's what he originally learned.

Yoshi has a new behavior that's pretty funny.  I've been encouraging him to be interested in tennis balls.  Put his nose on it and C/T.  Not getting very far with it.  Today I was using the hose to wash off a lot of balls and he kept coming and grabbing them one by one (while they were being sprayed with water) and placed them in the yard.  Quite amusing and I would love to learn more about this behavior.

Sat/Sun June 26-27
Agility trial - Yoshi went both days and seemed to have a good time.  Was content being in a soft crate put inside the expen.  He played some with Jet the min. Poodle.  (They've played before).

He did sits and downs with Jet for Debbie A.

Yoshi found a great tug toy that he likes at Moe's.  It's a rope with fake sheep skin on it and a loop at both ends (I like it too.)  He will tug on it with me for a long time.

Thur June 24
Worked with both dogs on flat work (sit down left right).  They were find with treats being given to each of them.
Got the weaves back out and started to work on them some.    He's not as toy driven right now (have to work on that) so I have him on leash doing it.  He's starting to get it (sort of).

Wed June 23
I had to work late so he didn't get to go to power paws with us.  Cali got to show off her knowledge of left and right.

Tues June 22
He decided to obsess on a squirrel and I mostly let him as I was too tired to think of alternatives.  Just when I think he's starting to grow up he returns to how he was.  I'm sure he's improving though.

I'm letting him eat outside his crate but with the room doors shut.  After some encouragement by hand feeding him the first couple of kibble, he will usually eat.

Gave both dogs Heartworm and Advantage today.

After some more flat work, I think we'll go back to working on weave poles.

Mon June 21
Worked on left as well as right.  Also table, tire, plank, here, through, close, side, down, stayand sit.  He is now sitting with out giving me that blank look.  I'm sure this won't last. 

Also did some touch with the nose and click with the tennis ball.  He'll do it but doesn't seem that driven by it, yet.

The teenager recalls continue to be haphazard though I'm working on it.

Did both dog's nails.  They were needing it.

Sun June 20
Cali skipped a weave pole in jumpers so no double Q but her time was nice and we Q'd in std.  Had Yoshi with me again today and he seemed to enjoy him self.  Was a little leary about being under other people's canopies, but soon adjusted..

Had him off leash (well dragging the leash) and he didn't alway come when called which is highly annoying, but very teenager.

After the trial, we had several of the corgi's run around in the field.  Yoshi came back this time without a problem.  Best thing was that he was tired.

Sat June 19
Agility Weekend.  Cali got a double Q - yay.  Yoshi seems pretty ok about spending time in the home stretch soft crate.  Seems less barky and freaky.

They ran around some with a mellow border collie named Heath.

Fri June 18
<groan> The little charmer got me up twice last night to go out.  Too much water and food at night I think.  He's going through an ambivalent stage about his food.  Fortunately I've been through this before and know not to worry about it or give in.

Thur June 17
I'm finally getting less blank looks about "sit" especially on walks.  At lunch worked on sit, down, close (iffy), side (iffy), right (getting better), and here (improving).  He kept wanting to go in the back area of the yard.  At first I thought it was because that's where the squirrels hang out and that's definitely part of it, but I put my hand on the ground and it was hot and the back is shady.  Eek, I really need to get turf out there, though that would mean calling a halt to digging the buried trash pile out.

Tried to use a toy as a clicker reward, but as soon as he hears a click he starts looking for a treat.  Oh well this is good in a way at least he knows the clicker means Good!

I started to click him touching his nose to a tennis ball.  He's sort of getting it.

In the living room this evening he went and stood at the door asking to go out - good boy.

Wed Jun 16
Agility class.  Took Yoshi and before class took him over some 4" jumps and over the dog walk.  Jim wants me to bring him early so he can see how he's progressing.  He's less barky at class but gets uncomfortable when it gets dark so I put him in the truck when it got really dark.  This time I didn't crate him in the truck and he seemed fine.

Cali did great in class.  I'm experimenting with more distance handling as she's faster when not trying to match my speed.  This means that I'm not baby sitting the contacts and I'm doing more blind crosses after tunnels.  We'll get better times this way and we'll have to see how many missed contacts we get.  I figure that on Sat I'll take more risks and if I get a missed contact then on Sunday I'll go back to crowding the contacts.

Tues June 15
Long line work.  Added in the tire and the teeter just to see if he still remembered them - he's fine about those.

Mon June 14
Long line work

Sun June 13
Spent most of the day working on garage doors, but still put in some good training time.
Stare at the squirrel.  This was a compromise that I came up with that might work towards getting some control over his attention.  A squirrel appeared on the fence, Yoshi was pacing and whining.  I got a hold of him and walked him a short distance away and we both watched the squirrel.  If he tried to bark I would say shhhh, just watch.  We did this for a while then I would release him.  When he started pacing and obsessing again, I was able to get him to come to me with "here" (a good sign - treat!) and then we sat together and watched the squirrel quietly.
Long line work out side.  Sit, down, front, close, side, here, through, right.
Tennis ball in the hallway.  This is something that just happened and seemed to work well.  Terri and I were in the hallway with him and closed all of the doors.  We both sat down on the floor about 10 feet away from each other with him in the middle.  We then started to roll a tennis ball back and forth between each other encouraging him to get it.  If he grabbed, it we would encourage him to bring it to one of us (preferably the person who rolled it, but we were taking anything at this point.  If he brought it we would tell him he was a good boy and encourage him to "give" the ball.  The reward was to roll the ball and let him have it for a little while (not long) and then start encouraging him to bring it again.
Off leash work inside (same as outside).  Introduced left.
He still gives blank looks about sit.  And then later will volunteer it or do it perfectly on cue.  Silly boy.

Sat June 12
Yoshi started avoiding the back door entirely so I decided that the chimes were counter productive enough that I've given up on them for now and will just try a simple bell.

Today I let him be out in the yard while Terri and I worked on the garage doors that we're restoring.  Then at 2pm we went to Cathy's house for an afternoon party and he played and played with Jessie.  He does this great drop and roll when they're racing around and she catches up to him.  It really puts him at an advantage.  [Much] later on I took him aside with some chicken and we did some training and his concentration was great even with live music and people and dogs and food.  Worked on sit, down, stay, close, side, front, and through - just realized that I forgot to work on right so we'll do that later tonight.  Right now (6:30pm) he's completely sacked out in his crate as he didn't have an afternoon nap.  I should probably offer him some dinner to see if he'll eat it.

It's just occured to me that this may have been the first time that he's seen a live band up close and personal (besides us playing an instrument).  He was completely fine about it probably because we were there first.  Maybe it was different than when we've played mandolin, guitar or piano around him (when he's been a little freaky) or maybe he's getting used to it all (or maybe we should be outside), or maybe he's a music critic and he liked their playing better. :)

One amusing moment was when Jessie went carreening into Cali and she made it clear that she was not amused.  It was very much a "oops, wrong corgi" moment.

Praticed "here" and "right" some in the evening.  It was brief, but he did very well.  He's not giving me the clueless look quite so much these days.  Also, when he's out of his crate, I often have him leashed to me which seems to be helping build our relationship.

Fri June 11
So I told Terri about the suggestion of putting a bell at the back door for the dogs to ring if they needed to go out and she thought it was a great idea.  Then she thought of my little used small windchimes.  At first I was resistant as they are nice Windmere chimes, but once I looked at them I saw that they are quite sturdy and would work well for the purpose.

So I got out the clicker and set about teaching Cali how to do it.  Got a little ways with her (she'll nose at the chimes, but hasn't yet learned why), but Yoshi was at first scared of the chimes and then he got bored.  Clearly we're going to have to keep at this a while.  This seems sacrilegious, but I discovered that you can spread peanut butter on the bottom of the pipes.  Since the pipes are sturdy, it doesn't hurt  having a somewhat puzzled corgi licking them. ;)

If I could just get him to bark (and not bark) on command like Cali does this would be a lot easier, but oh well.  Right now he's interpreting every thing I say to him when he barks as "shut up," even when I'm having Cali bark.  Some people want these problems, so I'm not really complaining.  ;)

Thur June 10

No much today as I had to work through lunch though Terri came home at noon to let them out to pee.  Took them on a walk in the evening.  He's getting better about sitting at corners and is still pretty good about doing a down at the door before going out.  And still no squirrels.

One odd problem is that he occasionally pees on our bed even though he's not left unsupervised much.  (But still obviously somehow manages.)  I've taken to keeping him on leash which helps a lot, but still it happens from time to time.  I'm hoping he'll just out grow it.

Wed June 9
Still no squirrels either in the morning or at lunch.

Worked on: here, sit, down, right, close, and side.  Did a little bit of: roll.  Introduced: through (go between my legs).  This is all with luring with Great Bait.  Luring may be a crutch, but he loves this and he's working well.  Also down and sit on the table.  Building that table is probably one of the best time investments I've made in my agility "career."  There are lots of dogs with table issues.  Hopefully he won't be one of them.

Power Paws tonight.  He is a lot less freaky and seems to enjoy being there.  Instead of setting up the expen, I just had them both on leashes and put them on the same tether.  Worked fine.  He only got a little weird when we switched rings to the smaller one which he had never seen before.  I walked around some with him and then put him in his crate as it was startng to get dark and he's a lot more spooky at night.

Tues June 8
How odd.  This evening there were no squirrels.  Perhaps they're off looking for mates, or have found mates.  Wonder how long this is going to last.  They're pretty fearless so I doubt that Yoshi has driven them away.  I've started taking him out on a leash for the most part and his attention is still great.  Mostly worked indoors.  He was still distracted during our walk but he seem to be improving.

Mon June 7
Did some more "catch and release" with him with the squirrels as a reward.  I'm not sure it's working that well, so I put a lead on him and took him to the front yard with some "Great Bait" which is liver.

That helped a lot.  He was much more attentive even with more general activity (people walking by, cars, one dog and person walking) going on.  The absence of squirrels makes the Great Bait taste really good to him.  Worked on here, sit, down, stay and right.  Also did some work on the table (mostly down and stay).

Sun June 6
Went to the agility trial and Terri was nice enough to come along as well.  Cali had a nice Q in Standard and we provided some comedy in Jumpers.  This time I put Yoshi in the HomeStretch soft crate inside the expen and that seemed to help him to feel more secure.  He did bark and lunge at one Border Collie racing by which proved to be more comedic than anything as he upended the crate and then righted it before I could stop laughing and fix it.  He didn't do it again which is encouraging.

Gail also asked if Yoshi could play with Pic and they had a marvelous time once Pic figured out that Yoshi wasn't going to beat him up like Flint (the male corgi he lives with) does.  Debbie's miniature poodle Jet got involved too and there was a great game of chase going on.  In the meantime, Cali sucked up to everyone for treats.

When we got home, Yosh was obsessing on the squirrels, so I would catch him every so often, pet him and love him and try to get him to look at me, and then release him to "get that squirrel."

Then after he did that a while I got the frog out, and we played tug with it.  When his attention would wander over to the squirrels I'd wack him in the butt with one of the frog legs while squeaking one of the other legs - that usually got his attention.  If it didn't then the frog would jump on his back while grunting.  That did it (good to have a trump card in the waiting.)

He really doesn't want to sit at the door when he wants to go out.  I've been insisting (for weeks now), but I notice that he volunteers down first so I've decided to go with that for now as that can be just as hard to achieve.  (It may be that sit is hard when he needs to pee.)

Sat June 5
Cali and I went to agility and Yoshi and Terri spent the day together.  They went on a long walk and he ate something disgusting.  Guess he's growing up.

Fri June 6
more flat work.

Thur June 3
So it's time for flat work.  Put most of the equipment away, put him on a long line and worked on "here," "right," "sit," "down," "close" (walk on my left side), and "side" (walk on my right side).  This sounds like a lot, but he kept wanting to do more (I had roll-over as treats).

Jim's way of teaching "right" is to lure them into turning around (to the right) and say right at the end of the motion.  Then start saying the word earlier and earlier in the sequence.  Get right down before doing left.

Worked with Cali going over a jump and then turning left, right or going straight (for another jump).  She's getting it!  Hooray.  Maybe I will put her back in Master's Gambler's.

Wed June 2
Yoshi's first lesson with Jim.  Main thing is that he wants to see more obedience related, relationship building work.  A better recall, coming to heel position on either side (not sitting), left, right, through.  Maybe a behind (come around behind you).  This is perfect timing as I am done with his initial introduction to all the equipment.  Jim says this is bass-ackwards, but I needed to do it as a confidence building thing for both Yoshi and for me, to see if I could teach him it by myself.

We worked on "right" just with treat luring (chicken) which is always a big hit with Yosh.  Recalls with Jim holding his leash.  I showed Jim how much he love toys (but that he's not yet doing fetch much.)

In class Cali and I worked on Gamblers and left, right and out.  She's really starting to click into it.

Tues June 1
Some recall work, other stuff that I can't remember.

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