Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2011

By Ellen Clary (Copyright 2004-2011)
(reverse date order)
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Sat Dec 31
Took both dogs to Black Diamond Mines

Things started out a little rocky as Yoshi started barking at a passing dog.  I picked Yoshi up and moved off the trail a ways and then Trek out of excitment charged barking at the other dog.  She came back but repeated it all again while Yoshi was dramatically growling and barking.  The dogs passed and I decided it was time to head in another direction so we headed up Stewartville Trail which goes up the ridge.  That trail has excellent sight lines and we could see for a very long distance and it wasn't a popular trail. 

Then we went up the Ridge Trail which was fine until a group of 3 dogs came charging down the hill.  I had time to pick up Yoshi but Trek ran and they charged after her.  Knowing the owners had to be nearby I started to yell HELP! a few times.  Yoshi was screaming bloody murder and I debated runing down the hill after them and the owners came running charging down the hill and raced right to catch their dogs.  During this whole time no dog made any sound.  No growling no crying.  No yelping in pain.  If I had heard of that then Yoshi and I would have gone down and made everything much worse.  The owners got a hold of their dogs and Trek looked up and she looked ok.  I asked if she was ok and she came up the hill to me.  I put Yoshi down and checked her over.  She was dirty and had burrs, but no blood and wasn't even wet.

One of the owners hung back and watched me check over Trek.  He said that the dogs aren't out to hurt anyone but they run dogs over.  Given that they came running and ran right at their dogs so it seems like this has been an issue before.  I decided that Trek was ok and we parted ways with the other folks releived.

We continued up the Ridge Trail and say a lovely view overlooking the part and in the distance we could see the Rose Hill Cemetry.  The the trail descended down Chaparral which was a fairly steep trail and I'm glad we went the other way first.  We came up to the mine entrance and before we got there I saw the same dogs and they were leashed and I heard the word "Corgi" though I don't think they had seen us yet and they left before we got down to where they were standing (I leashed Trek too just to be careful.)

We got back to the car without too much drama.

The experience of Trek getting run over is making me rethink hiking with both dogs.  Yoshi requires enough maintenance that it compromises my ability to protect Trek though in this case I'm not sure how much I could have done though I could have grabbed her which would have helped or I could have charged down the hill too (which might not have helped.  In either case I would have had a lot more options so I don't know if I'm going to hike with both dogs by myself anymore.  Having Terri along makes a big difference.


Fri Dec 30
Yoshi Herding
So working on stopping away from me skills.  His tendency is to come to me since all his life that's what he's been taught to do.
Put the stock in an expen.  Nothing in the expen, then ducks, then goats, then sheep.  Then we let him work goats for real.
He was very unsure at first.  Better if I didn't use the stick, but Linda wanted him to learn off the stick so worked with that too.
Technique was to get him going around and I follow him at a distance, then I would either change direction or tell him to stop (changing direction involves a stop anyway.)  the hard part was that I had to keep him from approaching me which was confusing to him (and tough on me though I did reward him by throwing treats.)

I will work on this more in the backyard.

Trek got to demo her teeth brushing skills to an impressed crowd.

Thu Dec 29
Yoshi morning walk.  Saw Molly the little Papillon walk out of her house but they crossed the street.  Yoshi at least got to watch her walk away.  He made a small growl but didn't react otherwise.  What was great was right when we got back to the house a Border Terrier was approaching on the other side.  We hung out on the lawn till they got up to us and then I had Yoshi work on some figure 8s on the lawn.  He kept looking at the dog but came right back to heeling.  Since this is exactly what would happen if I took him in the Rally ring we then followed them down the street with him heeling the whole way.  Once he understood what was expected he did fabulously.  So what I need to do is get him to practice places like matches where he can practice ignoring what's going on outside the ring.  The ODTC matches will be a good start.

Trek Noon walk.

Wed Dec 28
Yoshi morning walk.  Saw a golden across Central and he was able to heel past the dog.  Looked occasionally but when I told him to leave it he went right back to looking at me while heeling.  Nice work.

Trek noon walk.  Went over to the school playground since school is not in session.  Did some nice heeling on the striped courts (so I could see we were going in a straight line.  Did great on figure 8 and weaving around and circular patterns.

Then went out onto the wide side walk and worked on backing up.  Tried using a pole (actually my target stick to touch her rear.  It was a complete disaster.  I finally gave up and we just went over to the fence and that was perfect.  It seemed to help with me having an open palm right above her head and if she understands that signal then it will help when we get away from the fence.

Also took Lori's advice on the sit command and flexed my wrist more so that my palm was more visible.  What a huge difference.  Suddenly i had a dog who would respond to the signal instantly instead of giving me this puzzled look.

Tue Dec 27
Yoshi morning walk
Of which I remember essentially nothing about - no dogs.  Did some rally work.

Trek agility class.
This was the course on the lower field.  It was divided into 1-9 and 10-20.  The first part she didn't send out to the back of the tunnel.  I seemed to pull her off of it each time, though the reverse of it in the second part was no problem and in fact 10-20 was a very fun course.  Her weaves were really nice even when I crossed behind at 13.

The upper field had some issues with me being out of position and not choosing the most efficient path though nothing horrible.

Mon Dec 26
Day off of work
Terri and I and Trek and Yoshi all went on a hike in the Diablo Foothills.  We started at the old Borges Ranch and went in the direction of Castle Rock.  We had a nice time though Yoshi lost it a few times about other dogs.  One was completely justified as the dog came way out of his way to intrude.  I picked Yoshi up but even Trek was out of hand and Terri had to catch her as well.

We all got good exercise and they're really good about stopping and waiting for bikes and horses to pass.  Went about 3 miles which is Trek's current distance.

Photos are here:

Sun Dec 25
We all went to Terri's brother's for Xmas.  He and his wife had just moved to an apartment and there wasn't room for 10 people so they moved the party to the church where she is the head priest.  It's a semi-large facility and they have a nice gathering area where we had dinner.  The best part was that they have this 1/2 basketball court in a carpeted room.  The dogs though it was fabulous and it was equally fabulous for dog training and play.

Spent time working on Front and Heeling and then spent some concentrated time on signals.  Down she has completely (er) down.  It's my left arm raised (elbow 90 degrees like I'm waving hi).  I used to reach for the sky but it's not that effective and I remembered that Lori Drouin said that her dogs seems to see things better closer to her face, so I changed it to the bent elbow and things got a lot better.  Sit is not as good.  She knows it verbally but doesn't quite get the rising hand signal (perhaps it too is too far from my face?   So we worked on alternating sit and down sit me standing right there.  Then one step away, then two.  Things get iffy at thee steps so unlike the Down the Sit looks different further away.  Have to think about how to make that more clear.

Going over the Utility Signal exercise you do a heeling pattern then you stop the dog in a stand, leave them, go to the other end of the ring and signal Down, then Sit, then Recall, then Finish.

For his part Yoshi was a real jerk when in a crate and someone would walk but was just fine out of his crate.  I didn't want to deal with him all the time so I just covered the crate up some.  We did this great demo of him being barking and growling at Chris and then I let Yoshi out and he bounded right up to Chris saying a friendly hello.  I did get tired of Yoshi's behavior and really started correcting him when he was out and leashed to me which at least suppressed the behavior.

Sat Dec 24
Yoshi bike-run at Washington Park
This was a lot of fun.  Actually wound up doing some off roading (if you will) so we could smoothly steer around other dogs.  For example one was on a bench sitting there calmly and I didn't want to upset the dog and I didn't know what that dog would do if we road by.  The bike did fine.

I was/am hoping that he would love running so much that it wouldn't occur to him to want to change dogs but so far that hasn't been the case but the pressure of the line on the harness helped him focus and really didn't allow him to even try charging many dogs that were a distance aways, but closer dogs do get a reaction.

His behavior is essentally the same though I did notice that the reactive distance seemed to be less after we had run 2 up and back lengths of the park and I took him for a walk.  25' away from a calm dog was ok.  20' from a grochy one way not.

Trek Downtown Walk on Park St.
We walked down 2 blocks of Park St to Dog Bone Alley to buy an ice cream (ok a designer dog treat) as a brave doggy reward.  They this time we were able to walk the same two blocks back down Park Street (Santa Clara to Alameda St. which involves crossing Central.)  There was less traffic today but there was still activity.  Just enough to challenge her but not overwhelm her.  I was happily surprised.  Good doggy.

Fri Dec 23
Yoshi morning walk.  We did a lot of Rally practice and then got to practice sit stays as a medium size brown dog walked down the other side of Central  He did great!  He did worse with humans carrying strange things but it was just a bark.  I can't think of anything else in Rally to teach him.  He can even back up in a straight line unlike his sister.

Noon Trek walk.  Went over to the school since it's out of session and did some heel work because we can walk along the lines of the courts.  Went well once i got her there as she didn't want to go near the scary intersection where a whistle bearing crossing guard hangs out.  She got a lot of treats for standing on that corner.  Heeling is good - backing up not so much but improving (sometimes).

Today is Trek's 7th birthday.  She got a much coveted 1/2 a slice of bread.

Thu Dec 22
(Up too late from yesterday's class so no morning walk.)

Noon.  Walked both dogs again.  Trek seems to think this is all about:"Great, you hold him and I'll chomp on him."  We saw Max the puppy at a distance but Mary Ellen noticed I had both dogs so stayed a block away.  She said she likes the biking video.  Nice. Yoshi gave a warning growl but that was it.  Max is a Corgi so if I had just Yoshi I'd let them meet.  Someday.

Wed Dec 21
Happy Solstice.
Noon.  Walked Yoshi.  Again no dogs.  We worked on Rally exercises and he is fabulous.  He is so not getting through this life without a Rally Novice title or at least trying for one.  We've only worked on it a few times and he has a right hand finish.  And his heeling is beautiful and unlike Trek he likes doing it.  And he mostly already has a Backup which is ironic as he'll never be in Excellent Rally as it's off leash.
270 in either direction works well.  3-2-1 steps at heel is great.  Walking up to a Down he can do, and I can walk around him. 

I need to find a match for him to go to or just start bringing him.  Trek will likely not be ready for the Feb Santa Clara Rally trial so I could just throw him in that, though he would be better with more exposure to the environment.  I had him at the Watsonville trial but it was Trek's first trial, so I didn't want to push things so kept him away from the other dogs.  Even so he still found a dog to bark at.

Trek Agility.
I really like that class.  Wish it didn't conflict with Oakland DTC Wed class and I with that either of the wasn't quite so late as I always stay up too late (I don't get back till 9:30pm and it's 10:45pm right now).

Worked on some pretty aggressive front crosses and being lateral from the weavepoles which Trek is an expert at.  Sharon showed me this great way to do a shallow front cross where you are looking back at the dog and you don't do the FC until you see the jump standard out of the corner of your eye.  Did it a few times and it works great.  Example is that your are approaching a jump from the side and you're looking down your right arm at poochums and you don't complete the FC until you can see it out the right corner of your eye.  This needs a diagram though I don't know if that will help

<-    H    D

 /      D

Also did some cool serpentines and some tight turn practice (no back jumping which I had been afraid of.)

Tue Dec 20
No walk this morning since last night we were up at a Corgi friend's (sans dogs) helping him with setting up his bed lower because of a health problem.

Noon: Walked both dogs.  Went remarkably smoothly as we didn't see any other dogs.

Mon Dec 19
Our neighbor was having the trees trimmed so the dogs went with us to work.  It worked mostly.  Yoshi was with Terri since she claims that all Trek does is just pine away for me.  Yoshi was a real head case and barked at anyone who looked in her office Window including me.  That was strange but I don't know what he could see.  The second that someone would walk up to him he was like "Oh hello!"  Weird doggy.  He even had a walk this morning.

Trek hung out with me and did fine but at every opportunity wanted to go look for Terri.  At the end of the day I had her race up and down the halls which she loves to do because it has long hallways with CARPET!  Zoom.

Sun Dec 18
Intensive dog day.  I am tired.
First took Yoshi and the bike to Washington Park.  It went very well and i made some videos (because why not temp fate by making a video while biking with a reactive dog attached?)


Description of the bike and the hookup.

Then I took Trek on a hike in Chabot Regional Park.  Went nearly 3 miles and she again demonstrated her uncanny sense of direction.  i did not have to go out and back she just knew when we were headed in the direction of the car.

Photos are here:

Sat Dec 17
Trek ODTC Match at Hayward.
ODTC has a monthly match at Hayward.  I got to pick the course which was a long Excellent level one (I was being optimistic), and of course we discover the things we have to work on.

(Click for a larger version.)
We can backup but diagonally right now unless we're against a wall.
We still use the Novice Ob. stand were I touch her tummy.  That will work through Advanced.
We have a great pivot right, but left is much harder as it requires doggy to backup some.  Uh oh I see that this can show up in Advanced so this will be first to work on.

First run was a disaster as she wasn't focused at all and doing avoidance behaviors which include a whole lot of forging and being everywhere but heel position.
Then she seemed to hit a groove and I was able to work with her off leash which I found very encouraging.
Things that worked were sending to the jump, the figure 8 with the bowls, pivot right.  Serpentine varied.  Heeling is fine when she's paying attention.  It got better when I started rewarding her more (big surprise.)

I put some cheese in the bowl closest to her and she didn't even look at it.
Figure 8 sign.
Did well on the jump and return to heel position.

Then we did sits and downs and twice she laid down on the sit (I did it a second time with her).  she's very much:  "I'll stay here, but just let me get more comfortable."  Down, of course, was just fine.  Each time when I repositioned her she stayed in position.  I don't remember this being a huge issue before but I need to work on it before the Mission Bell show. in January.

Then did some more Rally work and we took down the ring.  I separately worked on recalls with her.  She still tends to target my hands, but understood after some repetitions that I wanted her to target my face.

Yoshi has the day off today.

Fri Dec 16
Trek Eye appt with Dr. Friedman
Her eye looks great!  Schimer test is at 14 which is nearly normal tears (other eye at 21).
Check again in six months.
5 pugs came in all with ongoing eye problems.  Yikes, sound ultra expensive.

Yoshi herding
Sheep first then goats.  While he's great about keeping the goats together he gets distracted easily with dogs near the fence and I was often calling him back or chasing after him and this didn't happen with the sheep.  I was pleased with how well he did with the sheep though he needs more work on his outrun as he'll cut in and lose one.  If I get in front of him while he's sitting and then I release him I can push him out wider, but I won't get to do this as much at the started level.  We did a lot of stay work on the sheep which is good as we haven't worked it as intensively for a while (We did a fair bit at Pescadero.)

Thu Dec 15
Yoshi walk
He was strange unhappy about a shopping bag until I walked him closer so he could assure him self it wasn't some weird floating dog.

Worked on Rally pivot turns as I don't think he's familiar with them.  He caught on.  I stand there with him sitting in heel position and I swivel my right foot 90 degrees to the right and then I say "By Me" and bring my left foot to be beside the right foot.  Also did a right hand Finish and he is getting it.

We nearly walked into a small dog on Gibbons but I saw them in time and we were able to retreat down Johnson 1/2 a house width and let them pass.  What was cool was I didn't have to get that far away and he didn't react.

Trek noon walk.  The crossing guard wasn't there at noon so we went over to the school
Had her over at the Elementary School during recess 10 kids shouting various versions of "Puppy!" who all wanted to touch her. She actually did cope ok though I had to hold her in my arms. What was remarkable was all the metal clanging sounds of the playground didn't completely freak her out so progress is being made.

Wed Dec 14
Trek walk.  We actually managed to approach the crossing guard eating lots of cheese and rounding the corner before he blew the whistle (we had waited at a corner 1/2 a block away for an opening).  Once I got her attention again I fed her a lot for looking back to me.  It was hard for her but she coped.  I think she might adjust - I may have to pay her in bread.  Before that we actually got there we worked on heeling position and 1-2-3 steps which she still forges, but then gets it.  Some fronts and left hand finishes ("by me") and about turns in both directions.

Noon Yoshi walk.  got the bike out again and we went over to Lincoln Park.  The time it was an off leash Shiba Inu who wouldn't come to his owner, but kept (nicely) buzzing around us.  Yoshi was worried at first, but seemed to settle down but I still didn't let them meet since he was only on a harness and not a collar and the Shiba was off leash and I couldn't control that dog.  The Shiba lost interest and ran back to his Mom and we did 5 lengths of the bike path.  It went pretty well and he's getting it.  Even got up to 5th gear but he's still not running full out.  I don't think he's quite used to running while attached to me, but it tired him out nicely and he was mellow for the rest of the day.

I may need to drive him over to the park as the 10 minute walk there and then back and the work at the park is longer than my lunch time if I take a moment to eat.  Twice now we had to exit out the back of the park as a dog was blocking the front which adds more minutes.  If I do that I could probably drive him down to nearby Krusi park too.

Tue Dec 13
No more rain.
Trek walk.  We actually followed a recycling truck about half a block.  We crossed the street and followed it at a couple of house distances but then when it paused we actually passed it.  Much cheese was eaten in the process.

Noon.  It's bike time!    Walked Yoshi and the bike over to Lincoln Park.  In the front was a dog off leash that we first tried to steer around but the dog (a small Am Staf) was right at a pinch point and we had to go through there to get to the part of the park.  I asked the dog's people to catch him after the usual "He's friendly" and I responding that "He (Yoshi) isn't friendly" with Yoshi adding his barking to make the point.  Then we got past that and to the back of the park with the bike path that I was hoping to ride the bike up and down.  It worked.  It was perfect with him on my left which is what he's used to and not as well on the right.  He actually wound back up on my left jumping through some odd spots as the grass is only on one side of the path, but for the most part it worked fine. 

I was all set to just put a dog collar around my arm, but then I noticed that a rock climbing sling/webbing loop fit around my waist and I tied a loop into it and could clip the lead I'd made with a clip on each end to it.  It worked better than on my arm as it made switching sides easier.  the rope I'm using is a little thin but works well.

Trek Agility Class.
Worked on lateral weave poles which she's really good at though if she sees me about to throw a toy she gets distracted and doesn't do the last pole.  I'm been working on tightening her turns with front crosses and they seem to be helping and could easily take seconds off her runs.  We also worked on some really cool serpentines.  I need to get Clean Run Course Designer so I can post the courses here as I remember them right after class.

Also did a really interesting back of the tunnel handling bit.  the key was to front cross just before the tunnel so doggy sees me running to the back of the tunnel and then calling her just as she came out.  She actually turned the correct way if I saw it right.

And at the end did a lateral dog walk to get into position for a serpentine over the last two jumps.  It was totally fun.

Her stays were ok on the lower field, but she kept breaking hers in the upper field as she's not as comfortable with the commotion behind her.

I sent off her obedience entry for Jan 14-15 in San Jose.  Doing both Ob. Novice A and Rally Novice A.  If she gets her Rally title on Sat I'll move her up to Advanced.  Need to start going to Ob class now on Wed, but I'll probably have to give her 1/2 a Xanax to help her not be freaky about the noise in the training hall.

AKC Nationals is coming up in Feb in Reno and I'm feeling so whistful

Mon Dec 12
Raining, so no biking.
Walks went fine.

In Seattle where I contented myself with my brother's Berner.

Thu Dec 8
Walked both dogs in the morning in the fog.

Yoshi walk.  The only dogs we saw were the Golden and the Chihuahua crossing the street in front of us.  If we had been 1/2 a block further they would have run us over but they passed without incident.

Trek walk. Right out the door listened to the Crossing Guard whistle and ate treats then walked in the other direction.  When we got back around to Gibbons she didn't want to cross Central to be closer to the whistle but i insisted and we went the 1/2 block to Johnson.  There we again listened to the whistlle for a bit and ate cheese and then headed in the other direction eventually retracing our steps home.  She did drag me down Johnson and didn't really stop till we were at the Thompson Corgis' house which is about the same distance away from the whistle as our house.

Noon.  Trek was harassing me big time for a bit of the bread roll i was eating so i got out a metal article and she immediately put her nose on it,  I asked her to "take it" and she didn't want to, but actually did open her mouth enough to let me put it in her mouth immediately take it out and reward her.  i also put it on the ground and asked her to pick it up but she really really didn't want to - pawing at it instead.  When she at least looked like she was going to try I immediately rewarded her and stopped.

Apparently bread rates higher than cheese right now.

I'm going to be out of town for the weekend, but i should probably tape the article's bit area when i get back - I actually think I have one somewhere.

Yoshi's bike came in!  Yahoo.  I put it together but probably won't have much of a chance to ride it with him today (maybe for a few minutes.)

That's exactly what I got.  I dashed home got him and lowered the seat so my feel were on the ground and we went up and down the drive way and then down the side walk for a little ways.  He was puzzled, but went along.  He'll be ok with it.

Wed Dec 7
Yoshi walk
One small dog appeared suddenly (to him) across the street.  It surprised him and he started to bark.  I knelt down and put my hand on his side and my other hand on his collar and he started to settleg down some.  Later we saw a lab approaching but as we backed off they went a different direction.

Trek walk
Wanted to go over to the school, but couldn't figure out a way to get around the crossing guard without going way out of our way and the kids would be gone by then so we just went on a walk in the other direction and when we got back to the crossing guard corner there weren't any kids.  Some gardening hubub and we worked on heeling and 180s and 360s.

Trek evening.
Worked on stand using my right hand.  Trek sitting beside me and I touch her tummy like I usually do but raise my right hand too.  She tends to leap up now so i back off and sit back down and slow it down so she learned to just stand up in place.

Got the articles out  Put out 3 metal and 2 leather and scented one.  She doesn't know the exercise yet so I'm just seeing if I can teach her the idea that the scented one is the important one.  If Denise Fenzi can do it with her puppy I figure I can do it also though I'm not using food on the articles (yet).  If it's the leather one that is easiest to get then she gets the right one.  For a while she was grabbing the wrong one and I let her struggle to see if she'd make progress.  She doesn't understand it yet, but she liked the struggle mostly.

Then put out one metal one and gave her treats for just putting her nose on it.  Tried to get her to voluntarily open her mouth, but she didn't want to.  I opened her mouth just to give her the idea that's what I wanted but while she would let me momentarily put the metal article in her mouth and remove it and reward her, she didn't want to take it into her mouth by herself even though she knew that she would be rewarded.  Rewarded her again for putting her nose on it and quit after doing a retrieve with a leather article.

Tue Dec 6
Yoshi noon walk
We were out right at 12:30pm and the school was just letting out so we went over there to get a high dose of managed chaos.  While not perfect it went very well. 

 - 2 small dogs across the street as we were walking there - did great
 - 1 yellow lab, 1 small dog.  Tied to the fence at school small dog barked at Yoshi.  Yoshi barked back (not seriously), but I gave a gentle leash pop and with effort he refocused on me.  He was able to heel past them and they were only 10-15 feet away which was pretty remarkable.
 - 1 boston terrier coming right at us.  put a parked car between us
 - 1 small medium size dog amongst a lot of hubub.  It was too overwhelming and Yoshi started to bark and I picked him up and he settled down.
 - navigated through a lot of children and adults and he, in general, did very well, certainly much better than Trek would have though she needs to do this as well.

Trek Agility Class
Worked on some difficult weave pole entrances which went well.  I was over shooting my position (I tend to go past the first stantion of the jump) so I messed her up on one sequence where she was sending out on a 180 and I would front cross to take her to the poles.  As a result I got a wider turn and she was out of position.

Poor doggy I was setting up a table right near her and she was in her crate but I didn't have the door zipped closed.  Agility tables are very noisy when you're changing the legs out and I didn't think about the effect it was having on Trek as she fears metal clanging sounds. She left the field and went to the car and it took a lot of convincing for me to catch her and bring her back.  I held her in my lap and it took minutes for her to calm down and stop shaking. 

Upper field.  I had her with me on the walk through.  She's still pretty shook, but I've decided to just let her work through it, and the walk through seems to help her settle.  She was slower but did ok.  No real disasters and the one obstacle discrimination that we messed up was that I started to turn too soon.  The very last run she drove ahead of me and I was able to use the left/right and go commands to guide her which I love.

Filling out Mission Bell Ob/Rally entry forms (Jan 14-15 in San Jose).  Doing both Rally and Novice Ob. ($116 - yikes).  While there are actually 3 trials, only the Sunday trial allows move ups so we're going to do the Sat. Morning one and the Sunday one because she only needs one more leg in Rally Novice and on Sunday I hope to move her up to Rally Advanced just to see what a disaster it will be.  If by some miracle she Qs in both Nov Ob classes then I have to decide whether to go for the 3rd Nov Q as then we won't be able to do A level in Rally anymore which means goodbye to nice placements.  Which is totally silly but still...

Mon Dec 5
Yoshi morning walk.  Lots of kids, no dogs.

Trek noon walk.  Went down Johnson as a way to get closer to the crossing guard but at a 1/2 block distance.  He was in his chair so we just walked past, and then past our house and out and about for a bit.

Tried the recorded whistle with her on my lap.  Little to no reaction now.  Only some with it turned all the way up.

Recorded sounds are missing something from the experience of the real thing. I now no longer get a reaction from the recorded whistle (really doesn't have the impact of a real whistle). But holding a whistle makes her shake, so that's next. What's interesting is that belly rubs are so reinforcing (more than food) she will just lay in my lap shaking while getting her belly rubbed. It took 5 minutes with me holding the whistle down low and rubbing her belly for her to stop shaking, so we'll be at this level for a bit.

Sun Dec 4
Trek hike in Chabot.
Started at Grass Valley trailhead and when down the Jackson Grade and up Brandon Trail until we hit Deer Park Trail and turned around and went back.  1.65 miles out (3.3 total).  She met a horse (liked the rider, did NOT like the horse's head near her) and was fine about bikes going past.  I've stopped nagging her about stopping.  If she pauses, we just hang out eat and drink something then continue on.  When we turn around she's thrilled to race back to the car so, of course, she'll be able to go further when she gets some confidence.  For now she's a Barbie hiker and I've stopped worrying about it, though we only do out and back hikes for now.  This was not a flat hike but some downs and ups which don't bother her really.

Photos are here:

Email to Performance Corgis and CU_Dogs_SF

Thank you to many folks for the great ideas that you shared with me on how to approach Corgi Trek's noise sensitivity.

I have started to just work on her whistle sensitivity since it is the easiest to recreate in a recording.
Other sounds don't seem to have the same impact when recorded (metal clanging or booming teeters) even when using a sub-woofer.

The ASPCA Behavior article emphasized finding a way to make the sound sub-threshold so doggy doesn't react to it.

I recorded my herding whistle on a digital recorder (one 3 second continuous whistle tone).
I first tried just playing it back on the recorder but the recorder by default makes an electronic beeping sound that at the time I didn't know how to turn off.  (I have since figured out how to turn the beep off and could now use it for playback if I wanted to.)

I wound up importing the whistle sounds into iTunes and put it in a playlist all by itself.  I can now play it quietly enough that she doesn't panic, but I can tell she still doesn't like it.  If I turn it way down (like around 1 or 2) I can play it and let her eat bits of O'Paws dried turkey hearts which she loves. 

So this may be a way through this.  And with the handheld recorder means I can vary the location when I think she's ready.

Of course this may not work if the whistle actually hurts her ears, but if that's the case there's nothing I can do besides stuffing her ears with cotton.

Thanks again.  Now if I can figure out the teeter booming sensitivity issue.  Problem is that I can't easily recreate it and if I go to a place where a teeter is in use it's difficult to get far enough away for it to be sub-threshold.  The covered horse arenas in use over the winter in California might work as the sound is concentrated underneath the cover so we can be far enough away to work on it though I must admit to not being gung ho about driving over an hour just to stand around in a field while my agility friends are having fun in a trial.

Yoshi had a mellow day with Terri and we all had a good time sitting around watching The Amazing Race.

Sat Dec 3
Very busy day getting ready for Terri's birthday party.
Only time for a quick walk for Yoshi
The cool thing is that he was mellow for the rest of the evening, and Trek wasn't freaky about noise.

Fri Dec 2
Last night I tried putting cotton balls in Trek's ears.  The moment she shook her head they went flying -twice.

So this morning out of desperation I wrapped an ace bandage around her head.  Then we went on a walk.  Maybe helped a little, but she still needed convincing to even walk a couple of houses closer.  She got a lot of treats but the best reward was to be allowed to walk away.  The went on an average walk and when we got back around to that evil crossing guard corner we stopped at Johnson ate some treats and then went down Johnson instead.  Then when we got back to our lawn I made her stay on her lawn and eat treats (we can hear the whistle from there.)

Yoshi Herding with Trek along
The first run with goats was awful.  I was putting pressure on him about getting out and he would just hurtle out to the fence barking at dogs.  I ran right after him too with little effect.  Even whacked him a could of times with the flag.  Still, little effect.  When he was paying attention he did ok.  The good thing is that it tired him out.  So the next time he did a run (with sheep) he actually did very well.  He would stop mostly and even had decent stays and aways and flanks.  Worked on an obstacle I set up with only some success.  I'm going to have to do more with obstacles and work more on the fence.

When we were done we let Trek work the ducks briefly and she did great.  Her distance is better than Yoshi's and her control is way better.  I made sure I didn't yell at her this time and eventually was able to pick up a stock stick to encourage her not to dive in on the ducks.  It was fun for herding to not be a constant argument.

Linda is going to show me how to make the herding flag more subtle with some duct tape.  (Have to remember to bring it next time.)

Someone on the Performance Corgis list found this great article: http://aspcabehavior.org/articles/9/Fear-of-Noises.aspx

It makes the point that for desensitization to work that doggy can not be afraid of the sound you're making.

Made a couple of recordings of my herding whistle on my digital audio recorder.  I can play it back much quieter than I can whistle.  I did the recordings outside with the doors shut but when I came back in Trek was cowering under Terri's desk.  Poor kid.  Because she didn't know it was me making the whistle sound she let me reassure her by holding her and massaging her.  She was shaking and then stopped though she's now resting in her crate.  Now I can play the whistle sound back much quieter that I could if I were whistling. 

Sigh, just can't win.  The recorder controls make a beeping sound that she doesn't like.

Thu Dec 1
Trek morning walk
High to Central to Gibbons.  Some traffic and a bus.  Lots of twigs on the sidewalk from the high winds last night so we stopped a lot and I would toss the twigs to the side (walk-stop-walk-stop).  On Gibbons she said hello to a construction worker.

Heard the crossing guard whistle on the way home.  Of course she's dragging me to get away.  Stopped to feed her.  She goes right back to dragging me.  I finally carry her home which calmed her down

Yoshi noon walk
The school kids were at recess, so walked around the outside of the school to let me check it all out.  Did great.  Lots of people, occasional stroller and no dogs.

Later - worked intensively on Trek's sound sensitivity and we're not speaking to each other now which is something I'm not used to from a dog at all.  She's really unhappy with me and I'm less that thrilled as well.

No food at all will change her mind.  Time to let an evening pass.

2 hours later she appears to have forgiven me, but I don't think I should do more of the whistle exposure without giving her 1/2 a Xanax.

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