Yoshi Training Diary - March 2006

By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)

Feedback is welcome:

Fri Mar 31
He's spending a lot of time in his crate yesterday and today.  I'm getting a little concerned about him.  I wonder if he's not feeling well.  Last night he went to his crate before 8pm though this morning he was out and bouncing.  Maybe the constant rain is getting on his nerves also.

Dr Manchester got the report back from Dr. Dodds.  i haven't seen it yet but the gist is that his thyroid is perfect, though his liver ALT is elevated slightly.  Dr. Dodds says that elevated ALT can cause reactivity but Dr. Manchester and I are a little dubious of this.  (I've had elevated ALT before, but that doesn't make me think that a person innocently walking by is going to jump me.)  She's recommended a couple of herbal supplements.  Milk Thistle (50mg 2x/day), and SAM-e.  When Dr. Manchester said that i said "An antidepressant!  I've been considering slipping him some of mine."  She said "Well there are other benefits to it too and that's what she's thinking" (She said what they were but I've forgotten.)  They're sending me a copy of the report so I can refer to it and they're also going to get a dosage recommendation for the SAM-e too.  [She called back 1-90mg tablet 2x/day or 1-225mg tablet 1x/day.]

I found a reference on SAM-e: http://www.biopsychiatry.com/sameart.html
It's actually a Newsweek article.  It says that SAM-e is not an herb but a molecule present in our bodies and that it's been used as an anti-depressant, and joint treatment, and to restore liver function (which is probably why Dr. Dodds is suggesting it.)  In humans, starting dose is around 400mg and can go up to 1600mg.  Reliable manufacturers are Nature Made and GNC.  The article makes reference to somone who had a severely injured knee that benefitted from a combination of SAM-e and hyaluronic acid (sound familiar? - it's one thing that makes Move Free work so well.)

Thu Mar 30
After some thought, I've decided that I should wait on the catch behavior until "take" is more solid which means that "fetch" should be more reliable.

At lunch I got the medium size tennis ball and went outside.  Got some half hearted retrieves with him dropping the ball before he got back to me and then he'd check out the trees for squirrels.  I realized that I needed higher value treats (I just had the Kong dry treats) and also that things would likely be better inside with less distraction.  (The 4 D's: duration, distance, distraction, diversity or difficulty - I would add drive as well.)

Since the issue that we're working on now is bring it back and put it in my hand (Accuracy - the A of Susan Garrett's DASH: Drive Accuracy, Speed, Habitat) we moved inside to the kitchen and switched the treats to some bread (which he loves).  Suddenly he was happily working and would only stop when the ball went somewhere that he considered inaccessible (even near the door which is strange).  He still doesn't hold the ball for very long and is tenative about it but seems to be improving and doesn't seem to be as shut down if he misses my hand and doesn't  get a click.  He does very much want to be told what to do ("get it") and seems at a loss if I toss the ball and don't say anything.  I suppose I could stick with not saying anything (in order to add the cue after he mostly gets it right), but if this is what he needs then fine no problem.  Worked for about 5 minutes and stopped.

Lori Drouin thinks that I can start to make my hand harder to find which will encourage him to hold the ball or dumbell, and I can build on it from there and that will get him holding the ball or dumbell.

I just posted about trying to teach Cali colors to ClickerExpo list.  While it's not really relevant to Yoshi's training I think I'll put it here rather than hassle making another page (for now).  (Wonder if I should make Behavioral Science a second career.)


Until my other corgi passed away, occasionally I would experiment to see
if she could/would make decisions based on an object's color.
Everything was inconclusive and I was wondering if anyone else had done
any other work like this.

It appeared that even though we're pretty sure dogs can see the
difference between yellow and blue (the color of the targets I was
using), it seems like they don't have the concept of making decisions
based on color. Although Barbara Nibling (who may or may not be on this
list) did have some success with it.

What I had was two or three mouse pads (or pieces of wood) that we used
as foot targets. One was spray painted yellow, the other two blue.
(The dog has already been trained to stand on a foot target and get a
C/T.) The 3 targets are placed at various positions on the floor and
the dog is brought in. When she stands on a yellow she gets a C/T, blue
gets no response. Soon she was consistently getting the yellow, but
then I would switch the positions of the targets. She would then go
back to the same position where the yellow once was. Upon not hearing a
click she immediately went to another square (this was a highly food
motivated dog, not easily dissuaded or frustrated by much of anything -
if she got frustrated it would be your fault and she'd yell at you - yes
I miss her a lot :). If that didn't work she then went to the third one
until she found out which one earned the click, then she seemed to
memorize the position and did that until I changed the position again.

She never seemed to get the idea that the color was what made a target
clickable. When I started changing the position of the targets a lot
then she seemed to just try all of them. I think she had concluded that
I'd lost my mind. ;)

If you haven't guessed, the inspiration for this is agility contact
zones which are often yellow or a similar color in the US. My idea is
that you get the dog on the piece of equipment and say "Go Yellow" which
would end a lot of heartache and headache for a lot of agility
handlers. This is less relevant to me now for agility as I do running
contacts and will just mark the dog's passage through the contact area
with a C/T or "Yes!" but I'm still curious about it.

This may be harder than Kathy Sdao teaching dogs object names in her
Advanced Clicker Training Workshop and given that dogs don't normally do
nouns, names of colors be asking a little much.

Playing with dog minds for fun and absolutely no profit,
Ellen Clary

Wed Mar 29
So at lunch I cut up about 1/2 a slice of bread into small pieces and played some more catch with him.  The net result is that I got pretty good at bouncing bread cubes off his nose.  Now obviously I could just give up on this misadventure, but it's starting to make me curious.  How does a dog (or anyone for that matter) learn to match up the sight of a moving object with catching that object with either one's mouth or hand?  And why are some dogs and people just naturally good at it and others aren't?  The first thing would be to check physical attributes and in a way he appears to be slightly cross-eyed which would go a long way to explaining why he is having trouble with catching but he's so hyperaware of motion.  Of course you can be cross-eyed and the rods in your eyes will still see motion very well.  He just had a vet exam, and she didn't notice anything unusual, but she wasn't looking for that either.

Though then again if he was having vision problems he wouldn't be so comfortable climbing cat-like along the back and arms of the sofa, and after a long time of not seeing him falter at all, I stopped worrying about it so much though I keep an eye on him.  Also he never misses jumping on the table, falls off the dogwalk or teeter, and almost never knocks bars any of which could be a warning sign.

So it's more likely a mental/conceptual thing or a lack of practice.  Though he seems to desire to grab things with his mouth, though he's not very good at it (which is likely a good thing), and when he grabs something it's rare that he hangs on to it unless we're playing a game of tug on the bed.

During the bread tossing session I had him "reach" for some and he seems solid on that, but if I let the bread drop to him it bounces off.  Now in theory I should grab the treat before he gets it but he'd likely freak out about my grabbing it and then quit so I've been letting him have it.  Though it is tempting to have it fall someplace inaccessible like a screened box or so.

When I took a couple of steps back so he could see the treat longer he appeared to be trying to track it.  So I have to find something with even more hang time than bread.  Likely popcorn if I can be sure it doesn't stick in his teeth.  Or switch over to a medium sized tennis ball.  Could even take away the third dimension by rolling it on the floor.  Or suspend it from a rope like my other full sized tennis ball toy.

Tue Mar 28
More rain.  Agility class canceled.  Bummer.  This is the wettest March on record.
But later on the rain let up enough so I got brave and took him to the dog park as he's been getting out of shape since I haven't been taking him.  I had him wearing the spray collar but it was slipping off as I hadn't quite put it back together correctly and the dogs that were there seemed fine with him racing up and down the fence so I took it off.  He got winded pretty quickly which is a little alarming, but I guess should be expected since he hasn't been getting enough exercise.

One thing I notice is that while he will accept offered cheese, he immediately breaks off to continue to run the fence, and he will even, after some hesitation, race through puddles along the fence as well.  Clearly running after dogs and other moving animals is his #1 favorite things to do.  As long as the animals aren't scary or confrontational (like those scary butting sheep or hissing ducks).

Earlier at lunch I tried to see if I could help him learn to catch things with his mouth (one of those silly things I'll probably regret teaching him later).  Not much luck with kibble or bread (more hang time with bread), he just doesn't seem to have the concept, though I did teach him "reach" which means to stand up on your back legs for an offered treat above his head.  My thinking is that I can start dropping treats while he is reaching and he may be able to learn to catch that way.

Mon Mar 27
Took him to the vet for his blood draw for Jean Dodds to have a look at.  Poor guy didn't like it one bit especially since they had to come back for more blood.  However while we were waiting for it to get spun (since I was going to be mailing it from work I was going to be taking it with me.)  He got a chance to chill out some and also have a couple of kids say hi to him.  I was quite surprised and happy to see that a small kid could come stomping right up to him and he would tolerate them petting him on the head without flinching.

Sun Mar 26
I was at the Bayteam CPE trial and also hiking.  Later in the evening I kidnapped Cooper and brought him over for a playdate.  They played for maybe about 20 minutes then collapsed part of the time in separate rooms as Yoshi went with Terri in the front bedroom to watch Westwing while Cooper hung out with me in the front.

Sat Mar 25
Spent day with Terri while I was at the Bayteam CPE trial.  Wound up talking about Behavior Chains to folks who had read about it here - that was fun.

Fri Mar 24
Class with Lori Drouin.  We worked a fair bit with dumbells, and though he did pretty well he shutdown part of the way through.  I asked Lori what to do and she said to: Reward a Sheltie (meaning her dogs that were right next to us in an ex-pen.)  Well suddenly after giving treats to Griffon and Phoenix, I had a dog willing to work again.  This is probably the best argument for getting another dog as I used to do this when Cali was around:  Yoshi sit (nothing), Cali sit (she plops right down).  Good girl - here's a treat.  "Hey!" (Yoshi seems to say).  Yoshi sit (he sits).  Good boy - have a treat.

Thur Mar 23
Dogwalk at lunch of the Pavlov type.  The idea is that he gets goodies everytime something potentially scary happens.  Met some folks that said hello to Yoshi, and also had one near dog encounter (if you will).  What happened is that a man got out of a small truck that we were walking passed.  I gave Yoshi treats for not barking at him and took our time about passing him.  then he said to Yoshi "My dogs would love to play with you."  I looked into the passenger window of the truck and there were two noses looking right back at me.  I explained that he was a bit afraid of other dogs and we went on.  I got to the next corner about half a block and looked behind me and saw that he had the dogs out.  They were medium size and didn't appear to be threatening or about to charge up so I had Yoshi turn around to look at them.  As soon as he saw them (and I did wait till he saw them), I gave him goodies and he quickly became more interested in the treats that any silly dogs.  Phew, there's hope for this yet.  The dogs were about 100 feet away.

Ok so I've been thinking about running contacts.  Yoshi is so springy that it's probably only a matter of time before he goes jumping over a contact and I've been wondering how to avoid that..  One possible way is one that I haven't heard anything about which is odd as it's so obvious.  Click when the dog hits the contact.  Or better yet, use a marker word ("yes") that you can take into the ring with you.

Karen Pryor would probably suggest turning it into a behavior chain and when the dog starts to run into the yellow, give the command for the next obstacle, but I'm still not convinced it will work or just make them hurry to the next obstacle (and possibly jumping over the contact in their hurry.)

Wed Mar 22
Obedience class.  He was still pretty wiped from last weekend so we only did part of the class.  What's funny is that during a pause when Barbara (filling in for Hazel) was talking about figure 8's and I was sitting on the floor, he laid down behind me, which was a big clue that he'd had enough.  So for the rest of the evening we did "Look there's a dog" [feed face].  Though we did the stays and he was fine even though there was a big German Shepherd next to him that he didn't know.  (I stuck pretty close just in case).

Mon Mar 20
We made it!  Yoshi not only survived a 3 day workshop, but he learned something today and was able to demonstrate it!
Though it's in the evening and he's passed out in his crate although he was able to demonstrate (seemed to want to do something) what he learned for Terri and I wasn't expecting to do that till tomorrow.

Today's big topic was behavior chains, and how cues can be reinforcers all by themselves.  In the past when Karen Pryor wrote about it for Cleanrun magazine in the Contacts Special issue (November 2004), I was completely baffled, but now it's starting to make more sense.  Though from what Kathy says I wasn't the only one as, in the past, when Kathy mentioned using the concept in agility it was met with enough resistance that they decided that it probably wasn't worth using agility examples in the seminars.  But I digress.

The concept (roughly) is to take 2 behaviors that the dog knows well and has been very reinforced for and has good associations with, and pair them together putting the stronger of the 2 behaviors at the end.  In Yoshi's case, I used "poke" (touch a handheld CD with your nose, something we'd been working on during the weekend and had just put on cue that morning - term stolen from Patricia Minger) and then "down."  At first, I tried poke and then "right," but he still needs a cue for that and while spinning the leash was bothering him so we switched.  The idea is that "down" is a reinforcement for "poke" since he knows that he will very likely be rewarded for it.

Karen Pryor describes how you can use the cue for the next obstacle while the dog is on the current one.  She considers this as a way to reinforce the dog being on the obstacle (in the case of a contact obstacle) (and thus more likely to hit the contact) as opposed to rushing to be on the ground (and possibly missing the contact).  I (and a lot of others apparently) worry about telling a dog to go jump when they're on a contact obstacle but it could work and goes a long way to explaining why dogs are so happy to keep doing obstacles without any obvious reinforcement.  The obstacles and the cueing of them have become reinforcers also.  ("Tertiary" reinforcers).

This can be worked into what is called a "Behavior Chain."  Back to Yoshi.  We were doing "poke" and "down" and now we needed to come up with a new cue for the combined behavior (which in theory keeps "poke" from getting messed up.)  After some deliberation, I just randomly came up with "garfield" (since it can be anything I wanted to choose something that I would not use in other contexts or something that sounded like anything else he knew.)

If you remember the agility in motion DVDs where Mo talks about this, to introduce a new cue you use the new word first (N-O is her mnemonic: New-Old).  So the routine became: "garfield" "poke" (he touches the CD with his nose) "down" (he lays down) C/T (and I of course can't resist adding "yes" or "good" after the click which is harmless).  Then after a few times of that it became "garfield" <pause> "poke" "down" (only did this once or twice), then "garfield" <pause> Yoshi looks puzzled, but you can see the mental gears turning (which I just love), and then after another moment touches the CD, joyously I say "down" and Click-jackpot.  We take a short break.  When we start up again we warm up on the basics of poke and down and then put them together and then "garfield" "poke" "down" (very few reps here) and then "garfield" <pause>.  Now at this point I start getting all sorts of experimental behavior like biting the CD or staring at me or laying down or sniffing the floor or Diane who was holding the CD (Cali would have been barking at me, but he's not as brazen or as equiped with as much chutzpah), I let the moment pass and say "garfield" and then he touches the CD, "down" C/T.  Now we're on a roll.  We do a few more reps mostly successfully, and then I say "garfield" and after he touches the CD I don't say anything.  Slightly uncertainly  he lays down.  Click-jackpot and we have a party and stop.  I think we were then able to repeat it a couple of times.

What was cool is that we were able to demo part of it ("garfield" CD touch "down" for everyone else)  He also threw in all sorts of other creative behavior (similar to above) for Kathy to talk about which I thought was considerate of him.  It was really cool to see him willing to work in front of others though the other dogs weren't around so it was actually fairly reasonable circumstances as far as he was concerned.  This was caught on tape so when it's ready, I think we'll get one.  I was wearing my Bayteam shirt so they got some free advertising too.

Sun Mar 19
Classical conditioning which was only part of the day but very important for me.  Now I've heard about Classical Conditioning (Pavlov) a lot and thought I was familiar with it, but mostly I feel I'm working against it (well except for counter conditioning),  It turns out that when Kathy is working with a reactive dog she mostly uses classical conditioning at first before ever going into operant conditioning.

This involves creating good associations when your dog sees other dogs pretty much (within reason) regardless of your dog's behavior.  (She's often not using a clicker here).

One thing that's different from what I've been doing is that the sight of the dog  - below the dogs reactive threshold (aka the  "conditioned" stimulus) has to come first and then the food ("unconditioned" stimulus).  I was doing the reverse by clicking before he'd ever seen the dog which is technically not effective from a classical conditioning point of view though there's nothing wrong with it.  So the order of operations is to see a dog far away and rain cookies upon his head (Sort of a version of "Look there's a dog")  From a classical conditioning point of view it doesn't even matter if your dog reacts.  Though from a practical consideration and to keep you out of jail, it's probably best  if you're not rewarding your German Shepherd for growling at that baby stroller.

Also spent some time learning to touch a CD with his nose.

Sat Mar 18
First day of Know Way, Know How.
My brain is full and it's only day 1 of 3.  Fortunately since I have attended ClickerExpo and read Click to Calm and Don't Shoot the Dog, I'm not completely overwhelmed and things are starting to (er) click and I got some questions answered.

Before I forget ...,
We're learning shaping and the behavior is pushing a water bottle across the floor with their nose.  I can get Yoshi to readily touch it with his nose, but am not quite sure how to proceed from there.  How do I elevate the criteria without him giving up?  (This is obviously tomorrow's question.)

Learned more about Classical Conditioning.  You really want the Conditional Stimulus (e.g. other dogs) to proceed the Unconditional Stimulus (e.g. food) for the association to work (counter conditioning - though she didn't use this term).  I asked about starting to click/treat before the dog notices the presence of another dog and she says that while there's nothing wrong with that the association probably isn't happening.  So with the "Look, there's a Dog" game, I will probably have to wait till he sees the dog (better be fast before he has a chance to react.)  She also emphasized that with Classical Conditioning you're trying to get the association regardless of the dog's behavior in hopes that the association will eventually change their reaction (hope I've paraphrased that properly.)

Went over lots of science background and would then break for training sessions.  Took many notes and Diane was very helpful as a "lab assistant."

Yoshi did surprisingly well.  A little snarky at a break with dogs roaming around outside, but otherwise was fine exept for those doggies walking rapidly by his crate.

Amusing incidents.
"Is he a rescue?" "Er, not yet."
"Is he up for adoption?" [it was held at the SF-SPCA] "Not yet."

[something happened here, not sure what]

Tues Mar 14
What a fun day.  First at noon Spark came by and they had a marvelous time playing indoors while it rained.  I'm very intereted to see that Yoshi modulates his play for Spark who is not a rough as Cooper.  And I noticed that every so often Spark would lick Yoshi's lips which is usually a subserviant thing to do and Yoshi very gracefully accepted it.  So at least in mellower moments Yoshi appears to be able to accept another dogs submission.  While they played Bill, Diane and I had a lovely lunch.

Then later that day after hosting a book club meeting.  (Which he did very well at).  He then when to agility class as the rain had mellowed out by then and it was just occasionally sprinkling.  First time back in over a month and he did really really well.  I'm so thrilled and he honestly seemed to enjoy himself.

It was raining part of the time so for a good portion of the time there were no other dogs in the class - just Sharon's BC Thyme (whom he like) so Yoshi really enjoyed that part.  Just before class I had him out on the course and he charged through a tunnel on his own.  Thrilled, I called to him to send him over a jump and then back in the tunnel, but as soon as I called him he took a pointed interest in sniffing the ground which indicates to me that he was stressing.  But once I got his attention he went over the jump and then back in the tunnel (he's already starting to really like tunnels) pausing briefly at the same place but let me call him over again to do another circle.  He started to appear to be having a good time again.

We spent some time working on start line stays in which we discover that he's not thrilled about sitting on wet ground, but acquiesed when treated properly. :)  And his weaves look great.  He's really getting it.  I'm clicking him once in the poles and then we continue.  A-Frame looks good.  On the teeter he stops about 2" in front of the yellow but I'm fine with that as the board goes right down and then he exits and hits the yellow.  I'm still having him jump 8" since we hadn't done much agility in a month or more, but it's clear that he would have little trouble with 12".  Maybe next week I'll have him do one of the first runs at 12" and then the rest at 8".

All in all, very encouraging and it's nice to see him having a good time.

Mon Mar 13
[noon] Went looking for dogs and other scary things.  Didn't have to go far.  1/2 a block there appeared a dog across the street so we stopped and did much C/T.  When the other dog retreated some we crossed to the same side and were just about to continue down the street when a second dog appeared.  So we had dogs on either side of us.  This could have made him completely ballistic, but we immediately did more C/T and while uncomfortable he decided that treats were much better than freaking out.  The second dog went inside and we moved on, stopping and doing C/T for a scooter and an small handheld (meaning it wasn't throwing up a lot of dirt or rocks) edge trimmer and various other scary things.  Also continuing C/T when he would look at me.  As a side benefit his loose lead walking was great.

Sun Mar 12
Cooper came over for an indoor playdate (it's pouring out.)

Fri Mar 10
A post of mine to the clickerexpo list - someone was asking about their Collie who was snarky around some dogs but focused on her well.  She was wondering how to go further with it.  My opinion is to keep doing what she's doing:
I agree, I think Katie is on the right track.  Counter Conditioning just 
seems to take a lot of time.
The point is to change what is associated with the presence of other
dogs or in the case of herding dogs, other dogs in motion. With my
fear reactive (we think) corgi we play "Look, there's a dog!" (C/T),
and I discovered that I had to start doing C/T when I first saw the
other dog (and I'm looking for them so I usually see them before he
does.) What you want (and what we don't have yet) is for Fydeau to see
a dog and then immediately look to you for guidance and hopefully a
treat/reward. Eventually the hope is that this will relax them and
their attitude towards other dogs will change.

My dog can now tolerate a dog walking on leash across the street and he
used to bark and try to lunge at dogs a block away. And (month's later)
he's miles better in his competitive obedience class.

Along the lines of what Patricia is saying, I find that Click to Calm
and Counter Conditioning really helps with my attitude as well. When we
go out, I deliberately seek out dogs on walks and other "scary"
situations (dogs barking at him, blowers, garbage cans being rolled,
sirens, car alarms, jack hammers, ...) as a way to C/T him, instead of
worrying about the possibility of them happening.

My only concern is that he might start associating the click with being
afraid (even though he really likes the clicker.)

Thank you to Emma Parsons for putting this all together into a book.

Ellen Clary
and Yoshi the nervous corgi who's in love with string cheese

Patricia (the one on clickerexpo) posted back that starting the C/T very early when the dog wasn't showing signs of stress may be one way to not have the clicker associated with scary circumstances.  Another person suggested smiling and using calming signs like lip licking when clicking.

Thur Mar 9
Spent any free time I had reviving my computer so that I could re-eFile my taxes.  At least I was able to log in as single user and do a backup (a "tar") of everything.  I already had a backup of my working files but not of the most recent files (like the tax return) or of the system files.  Note to self - have another uncompressed version of the system on a different disk for when one craps out.

Though Yoshi and I did some fetch work at lunch.  He's getting better about getting it into my hand and he's also able to take it.  Now we need to still find a way to do hold.  Probably have him take and then delay the click for an instant and then somehow get through the dry spell when he gives up when I try to raise criteria.  (This makes me miss Cali the smart, resiliant, pest all the more.  "Do you want it like this?  How about that?  And this?  What you want to stop?  Oh, come on!")

Wed Mar 8
Class.  Cooper joining us again.  From an obedience perspective Yoshi only did so so.  From a behavior perspective he did fantastic.  One of the Basenji's was heeling around him in a figure 8 exercise and ran into him.  Yoshi jumped up to get out of the way, but didn't react aggressively at all.  (Good boy.)  He also had an almost enthusiastic recall even with the open dogs seated in a line nearby (although there was obedience ring gates inbetween them.

There were a couple of time where Cooper was barking at another dog which got the German Shepherd (whose name I'm forgetting) growly, but Yoshi was pretty much ok  (he was getting rewarded a lot for interacting with me).  It would have been perfect, but he did lunge at one of the Open poodles for which i pinned him down for for a bit and then let up and played "look, there's a dog."

Tue Mar 7
Dog walk (as in go for a walk - not the agility obstacle) work with a clicker.  Success!  I saw a woman walking two dogs about 1/2 a block down so we crossed the street and stopped to set up.  I kneeled down.  Clicker and leash in one hand, treats in the other.  Well before he ever saw the dogs, I was saying [excitedly] "Look, there's a dog" C/T [and repeat].  He saw the dogs and growled a little, bit but decided that "Look there's a dog." is a much better game to play.  To the point that he'd jump up on me to get the treats while the other dogs were walking by.  The woman walking the dogs was much amused.  I said; "He's not barking at you.  I'm SO happy!"

The rest of the walk (wanted to stop right then but we'd only just started) went well too though he really doesn't like my rain jacket which rustles so giving him treats with it rustling was so-so and a skateboard really scared him (he would have run into the street if he wasn't on leash) so we walked along beside them on the other side of the street clicking and treating.

Mon Mar 6
I spent the weekend up at Redding and Shasta watching/videoing Patricia do a mountaineering class.
On Sunday, Cooper came over and Yoshi and he spent a glorious time racing around and hurling each other to the ground.  Cooper has figured out that he is twice the size of Yoshi so if he can get a hold of his neck scruff, he can flip him to the ground.  Hard to watch some times but Mark learned that if it's too much then Yoshi let's Cooper know and then runs to Mark as a sort of self imposed timeout.  So far no holes in either of them.  I don't know if i've written it down yet or not, but we've noticed that the growling intensity of their greetings is dramatically reduced if we make sure we're not standing right beside them.  Apparently we're a resource to be protected.

A major storm moved into Northern California and we're getting the southern tip of it.  I'm hoping to take Yosh on a walk today after work but it may be a little soggy.  Cathy is coming by tonight at 7 and will likely bring Jessie.

Wed Mar 1
Cooper is coming to class at ODTC with us.  Hooray!  It should be very silly and may prove to be instructional also.  During sits and downs we'll probably put Rosie in between the boys to keep them in line. :)

Post to frapfest:
Well the corgi's (Rosie, Cooper and Yoshi) turned out in force at
Oakland Dog Training Club and we all had a very nice time. I was a
little concerned that Mark was going to be turned off by the minutia
that we were working on (getting speed coming out of the first turn of
the figure 8) but I was wrong and it turns out that he was thrilled that
the dogs seemed to be having fun, and we all weren't using the
traditional jerk and coerce methods that they were still using at Mt.
Diablo DTC when he went there. Plus we then moved on to jumping where
the boys got to be the stars.

Then the recalls. Cooper is so enthusiastic on his recalls he nearly
runs Mark over. Mark was a little concerned that Cooper was going to
get halfway to him and then do a hard right to go wrestle with Yoshi,
but that happily didn't happen. (And Yoshi didn't do the same or go
chase after any other dog.) In fact later on, Yoshi quite calmly
greeted open level dogs Hank the bulldog and Oliver the cavalier
(pictured on http://www.oaklanddogtraining.org).

Then Miss Rosie appeared with her servant Patricia bearing the yummy
celebratory cupcakes for her earning her CD, and we all feasted during
the sits and downs. The hoodlums did well on their stays except for
Cooper thinking that my walking anywhere near him was a release to come
say hello (friendly fellow), and Rosie perfected her I'm so aboosed look.

One reason they did well is we did not put them in stays next to each
other. We'll save that entertainment for later.

Mark observed that for about 45 seconds during the long down, all of the corgis had their heads down doing the "<heavy sigh> I'm so abused." look.

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