Yoshi Training Diary - June 2006
By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)
Feedback is welcome:
Sometime around here I finally started up with iMovie and iDVD
and I regret taking so long to do it as I just love the results.
Made one from the tapes we made at Jill's in Patterson. iDVD
makes them look far more professional than they really are.
Fri Jun 30
Took him for a walk at lunch - this time took him through
Lincoln Park and down Central and back via Gibbons. a bit further
and has stretches where he doesn't stop except for people wanting to
pet him which is fine and good for him too.
Haven't heard back from Sharon yet as she's out of town. Next
Tues is the 4th so we don't have agility class then so next week I'll
take him to obedience class just to give him something to do though on
the long stays the little reactive brat is going to be on a (loose) tie
Thu Jun 29
No herding for a little while as there's a herding trial coming up and
only attendees can go in the weeks leading up to it.
Wed Jun 28
Had agility class last night. While he did ok agility wise
he decided to go after Jake - a larger dog mostly white, and it took a
while to break them up. While he does tend to obsess on the dogs
that more closely resemble sheep I think we've long overused that
excuse. Sharon got on his case big time. Took his leash had
another dog who had been barking at Yoshi walk by and when Yoshi would
start to lunge Sharon would haul him back and yell at him (she did not
Much as I don't trust my timing of corrections and other +P I'm
beginning to thing that the little brat could really use it as after
this he was fine.
From a post to Clicker Expo:
In the category of nothing is ever simple is it?
My corgi Yoshi is this weird combination of being fearful and having a
ton of herding instinct.
I've been working on building his confidence and he's doing fairly well
in his agility classes
and after going through a period of being afraid of sheep is now doing
well with a patient herding instructor. Now I'm facing the odd
consequences of building a corgi's confidence. (As one might expect
from the littlest of the herding dogs, they can have quite the Napoleon
complex) He can be quite the bully (if there's a weaker dog that he
doesn't know or like, he will try to lunge), and while things started
out being fear based, it doesn't appear to necessarily be so anymore and
I'm wondering how to approach it before I get vet bills or before I
allow him anywhere near competing in an agility trial as I don't want to
put other dogs or his agility career at risk.
Last night at agility class we were doing a lot of "Look there's a dog"
<treat> classical conditioning and we've been doing this for a while
now. If we're above his threshhold distance to a dog I can ask for
behaviors incompatible with lunging.
But during a run in the smaller field where the dogs are closer, he
chased after a larger dog who was ignoring him (well who knows if there
were any subtle rude gestures between the two that I didn't catch). The
instructor, who owns terriers, took his leash and spent some time (with
my blessing as I knew she wasn't going to hurt him - and it wasn't me
doing it) gave him quite the verbal dressing down and some well timed
leash corrections (buckle collar) every time he lunged. Unlike Emma
Parson's Ben who was severely emotionally damaged by a trainer's very
severe and poorly timed +P, Yoshi was fine with this and responded
respectfully to this asserting of the rules.
So now I'm trying to figure out how to proceed? He clearly needs
someone to tell him in no uncertain terms to "knock it off," but (a) how
do I tell when he's being fearful vs. just being a sh--head, and (b) I
don't fully trust my timing with +P (even mild +P). I'm fine with +R
and -P and mild -R and I use a Gentle Leader so he gives himself mild +P.
He was well socialized by his breeder though half of his litter have
reactivity issues. As a puppy, he was a classic middle of the pack dog
which means that he learned all of that annoying jockeying for position
in the pack behavior. He is now an only dog though spends a lot of time
with other doggy friends.
What I think about is that dogs use well timed +P on each other from
time to time. Is there a humane way to do this? I have considered
getting a female corgi to be the house manager and boss (we lost our
about a year ago), but sometimes that makes his behavior worse as he is
then defending his queen.
Puzzled and still pondering this.
and Yoshi the talented but high maintenance corgi
One poster has already asked how
I could be sure it's not still fear based. I honestly don't know
for sure, but he seems to do better when someone sets clear boundaries
down, and the +P doesn't seem to phase him much and I know when he's
acting afraid and this wasn't one of them.
As you might guess that list isn't very interested in +P, so I have no
idea how this will work.
The other option is to not work him in the small field which is above
his distance tolerance and I've sent email to Sharon asking what she
thought of that.
Also before that I have Ziji the doggy chiropractor, take a look at him
for an evaluation. She says he in good shape though for a dog as
solid as he is she would have expected more buns of steel. She's
suggesting that he have more continuous exercise incorporated into his
regime. I think it's because I haven't been walking him as much
because he gets exercise in other ways. Guess we'll start doing
it more now. She also noticed that his right side seemed a little
tight, so I should stretch him to the left.
Sun Jun 25
Got a nice note from Hazel, his obedience instructor, that they
missed him in class so I've sent her email saying that he's doing
agility and herding and that 3 things was a little much for me.
However, that said, it would probably be useful to take him back to
so that his last experience of class is not of chasing after Miranda
(one of Hazel's St. Bernards). So we may be busy Tues-Thur this
week. though this time on the long stay I'm going to tether
him. I need to bring a light carabiner to attach the leash to one
of the eyebolts that they have screwed into the wall. I only have
real climbing carabiners which is way overkill so I'll need to see if I
can find some grocery or drug store ones.
I've been having too much fun catching up on email and diary updates I
really need to take him on a walk just to get us outside.
Sat Jun 24
We're back. I've missed him!
Thu Jun 22
The lucky tyke got taken to herding class where he and his buddy
Cooper did a super job and much video was taken. I've seen the
video and it's great to see him having such a good time even if it
doesn't involve me. In fact, in a way, it's a relief that it
doesn't involve me. Now I just need to make copies.
Tues Jun 20
Skipping Agility class
Jun 19-Jun 24
Ellen and Terri on vacation in the Mtns. Yoshi is
vacationing at Camp Cooper.
Fri Jun 16
More fun with herding last night, he's just nuts about it now that he's
figured out that the sheep will move. The issue will be more when
they decide not to move, but I think that will be later.
Debbie is handling him while he gets used to things. I must say
that he's been so much work that it's been kind of a relief to have
someone do the work though I will need to learn the skills
eventually. Though maybe during the nationals I'll have her run
him, as it would be a shame to have him NQ for something I did wrong.
Tue Jun 13
Agility class. He did ok but still funny about the small
yard and the proximity to the other dogs.
He got away from me as I was putting him on leash after a run and he
jumped a visiting small dog who was clearly uncomfortable being
there. That's no excuse and, mortified, I threw him in the crate
in the truck. While I had also forced him to the ground, going
opinion was that he got off relatively easy.
When we sprung him he then did ok, though not brilliantly.
Fri Jun 9
Had his first herding lesson with Debbie Pollard last
night. Wow! What a difference time and a good instructor
makes. Not that his other testers were at all bad, just that
Debbie's ways with him seemed to really bring him out (and she had the
experience of others to go by).
Post to frapfest and coltsrunkids:
He did it! The sheep light bulb went on and on full power.
What a difference a patient instructor (Debbie Pollard) makes.
Debbie had been fully briefed on his bugaboos and fears. She took him
in there on a long line (I stayed on the outside of the ring and didn't
say anything) and they chased/herded the sheep together until he started
to do it himself.
It was amazing to watch and reviewing the tape I can see some subtle
things she did to help him succeed. Most consistently was that she
would make the sheep move and then give him credit for it ("good boy -
see what you did!"). Also these are very well dog broke and responsive
sheep, though even one of them was starting to give him the sheep
version of the hairy eyeball ("you noisy pipsqueak, I'll show you."),
but Debbie immediately intervened and nudged the sheep into moving and
not facing off.
Local folks really must come over and see the video tape. And Yoshi
specifically requests that his buddy Cooper join him for Thur night
lessons at Debbie's in Vacaville where corgis have a special invite
since the herding portion of the pembroke corgi national is being held
Ellen and Yoshi who may one day herd something less risky than big dogs,
and something more constructive than red dots and shadows.
[Insert success with continued agility training and doing well
with weave poles.]
Yoshi Training Diary - May 2006
Yoshi Training Diary - Apr 2006
Yoshi Training Diary - Mar
Yoshi Training Diary - Feb
Yoshi Training Diary - Jan
Training Diary - Dec 2005
Training Diary - Nov 2005
Training Diary - Oct 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Sept
Yoshi Training Diary - Aug
Training Diary - Jul 2005
Training Diary - Jun 2005
Training Diary - May 2005
Training Diary - Apr 2005
Training Diary - Mar 2005
Training Diary - Feb 2005
Training Diary - Jan 2005
Training Diary - Dec 2004
Training Diary - Nov 2004
Training Diary - Oct 2004
Training Diary - Sep 2004
Training Diary - Aug 2004
Training Diary - July 2004
Training Diary - Jun 2004
Training Diary - May 2004
Training Diary - Apr 2004
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