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Today in training – the new day 1

Today I went over all my notes from the seminar and transcribed them to my laptop. I should have just brought my laptop to the seminar– after all I had it with me in Davis but I left it at the hotel. I wrote everything on paper. So tonight I went through my notes and put them into a word doc. It was very helpful re-writing all the great information I got, and I feel like information overload all over again.

I also watched the Say Please By Sitting DVD Dr. Yin gave me at our consultation. More great info and great demos on all the mechanics I learned. It is very helpful to see it all in motion for me to do it myself.

Gypsy and I have worked on our rapid sits and stay please by sitting in the house and yard. It is going pretty well. She’s learning the new rules of the door pretty quickly. We also worked on her mat with the Manners Minder with no distractions. She did great with long stays without getting fidgety or getting up. She laid a lot closer to it so she could still lie down and eat the treats.

We’re also doing our tricks and treats with Apollo. In our consultation, one of Gypsy’s behaviors is for us to do really fun stuff with Apollo in the room so she makes the positive association. Fun happens when Apollo appears. Fun stops when Apollo goes away. So we had a few sessions of that today and she seemed to have taken well to it. She only cares about Apollo because he doesn’t always eat his treats and she is waiting for him to drop them. We get to work on leave it simultaneously.

Gypsy seems a little more reactive tonight to noises upstairs and outside but the good news is instead of bolting to the door, she’s looking back at me!

So really, I consider today to be day one of our new program just because today was the first day I’ve had the chance to review everything and think-plan-do.

Onward…

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2012 in November 2012

 

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Another Great Blog From Dr. Yin and updates this week

It’s Saturday morning at 7am and I just got done with my behavior changes– my workout! haha. It’s a lifestyle change for all of us around here.

Dr. Yin posted another amazing blog this week, with mechanics I learned during the seminar and what we practice every day. It’s great to see though because sometimes I need a reminder on my mechanics, and sometimes when I think I’m doing it right, I’m not.  So read this blog about reinforcement and speed of delivery.

This week had some ups and downs. At home the barking and reactiveness in the backyard continues. Melatonin helps. A leash helps. But it’s just not getting better at all, especially when my upstairs neighbors are super noisy (which they have been recently).  I can’t give up but I want to. I feel helpless and that I’m losing this battle. I need to think more creatively.

In agility class this week, Gypsy went a step backwards but it ended up good. There was a spot in the very first day of class where a dog was crated and she went to it. That spot in class is in her memory of some location fear I guess. This week a dog was crated in the same spot — the first time a dog was crated in that same spot in many many weeks. Gypsy was running her course and took off to that spot. The dog was covered and she didn’t even know there was a dog in there, but she knew something was up.  I grabbed her leash tab and we finished the course with some treats.

On our next run, I had the owner make sure the dog was all the way covered. Gypsy ran her course and she still looked that direction. After the weave poles, she looked in that direction, I called her name and gave her the cue for the next obstacle and she made the best decision and took the jump. She got a huge huge jackpot for that!  It was a very big breakthrough. Had the dog not been covered I’m not sure it would have been as successful, but at the same time it was a good choice. Had the dog not been covered and had been somewhere else in the room, it wouldn’t have been an issue either. It’s that spot. We got a chance to work through it and it was great.

After class a few of us were talking with our dogs out on leashes, and Gypsy couldn’t have cared less about any of them — even the one who was in that scary location earlier. She was totally calm. But when she’s running and gets freaked out, it’s very difficult to get her threshold lower again. Still, this week was a good test.

We continue to work on our sit for please and shadow handling. Today we’re going to a Rally trial — going for our first leg of Rally Novice B.  Wish us luck.

Today I am thankful for the Adidas pants I ordered and came in the mail yesterday that are super comfortable and great to run in agility and for dog training! Yeah, silly but true!

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2012 in week 11

 

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Wow, it’s June!

How did it get to be June already? It’s almost been 3 months since our life-changing seminar.

This week I started my new exercise program. It is hard getting up early but the workouts are great and I am determined to make this work.

Gypsy is doing ok this week. She had some reactivity tonight but otherwise she’s been really good this week.

On Wednesday we did another agility private lesson with Daisy and she was so much better this time than last. She wasn’t sniffing or bolting off or doing crazy like before. She was focused and did fantastic.  Daisy set up some good sequences for us and Gypsy did really well. I wanted to work on jumping and turns to get ready for the corgi specialty in Portland in September. So I was really happy how that went — no fear or anxiety displayed at all.

We got some teeter homework to work on to build that better to have her drive to the end instead of finding the pivot point.  We started with the tippy board this morning.

So yeah, overall this week has been pretty good.  We’ve had some good training, we got our Mutt Mat to work CU games, and also a little melatonin is helping us too when needed.

Today I am thankful for all the coaches in my life– Dr. Yin, Daisy Peel and my life coaches that are helping me get my head on straight so my dog takes me seriously (or maybe not so much!)!

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2012 in Week 10

 

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I hit rock bottom. I’m on my way back up again

The other night, I hit rock bottom. It was my fault. I failed. I caused it. I f-ed up. I am still really upset about it.

Basically I had Gypsy behind the x-pen in the living room and Apollo had the rest of the house. He had his food bowl on the floor. I forgot the bowl was there. I let Gypsy out so I could take her out to potty. She didn’t have a leash on. She ran toward the bedroom. I recalled her and she came half way but then turned around. I’m not sure where Apollo exactly was but she ran into the bedroom and jumped on the bed to where Apollo was when I walked in and she proceeded to attack him. Lucky I jumped in right away. She actually barely touched him. His fur wasn’t went and there weren’t any wounds or anything but she did go after him. As soon as I broke it up, I punished her. It was so fast I didn’t even think about it. I basically bopped her on the nose. I knew it was wrong but at the time I wasn’t even thinking. As soon as I did it, I just broke down crying. I couldn’t stop crying. I took the dogs outside for potty and Gypsy stayed on leash all night long on the bed. She didn’t seem to have any leftover aggression toward Apollo. I was still crying. I cried until I got a migraine.  I hit rock bottom. Hard.

The next morning I was still really upset with myself, for setting up the situation for a major failure and for the punishment.  Apollo seemed fine. Gypsy was completely over it. I was really afraid of fallout from the nose bop. I’ve worked so hard to have her trust me and follow me  — and I ruined it. I really f-ed up, so I thought. Gypsy was a little distant that night but by morning I’m happy to say she was over it. No fallout. I still am upset though.

So we immediately started some relationship building games again. And they’re going well. We’re playing fetch with a toy she likes and treats when she brings the toy back and I’m starting a little perch work too.   It’s going great and a lot of fun. She’s never really liked toys and she is having a blast with this little turtle or frog toy that we found on sale at the pet store. She plays fetch with enthusiasm and speed and brings the toy back to me and I give her a treat. She’s trusting me.

Tonight we had agility class and she was a rock star. She wore her thundershirt and I had her on a short ribbon — about 3 feet long. She rocked it. I even messed up a handling move and she didn’t bolt off. She looked at me, looked around like she was thinking of what to do, then looked back at me. She did fantastic and I’m so happy considering the last 2 days we’ve had.  I’m smiling again.

So that’s why I missed posting the last 2 days. I’ve been too upset and didn’t really know what to write. I admit I messed up big time. I want this documented on my blog when I come back and read this in a few months. I also needed to clear my head.

On another note, Dr. Yin posted on her Facebook page that she saw a student of hers using what they’ve learned in class in other places in the park. I posted that I too use her methods whenever we go, and that I always am ready to reward at all times so I can capture behaviors I like. Dr. Yin wrote back that she was really happy to see that and that my dog is happier because of it. That made me smile.

Tonight I am thankful that the corgi laying next to me on the couch right now still loves me, and that Apollo still loves Gypsy.

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2012 in 7th week

 

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Rockstar corgi

Gypsy rocked it at agility class tonight. She showed absolutely no sign of stress whatsoever. Other dogs running, teeter banging, people yelling and cheering and she didn’t flinch. I’m so proud of her. Tonight, her emotional state was in a good place!!!!   I hope next week is just as good so I know it’s not just tonight. Still, I’m really proud of her.

On top of that I tried some handling with her from what I learned from my lesson with Daisy. I went against the status quo, but made a good case on why to handle her the way I did. My instructor was really cool about it and saw my case and was ok with it. It worked really well and Gypsy wasn’t confused at all and didn’t lose her focus and nailed the jump sequence like a pro. I stood up for what I believed would work for her and it did. Gold star for Beauty and the Biscuit!

Before class we did some classical conditioning work with neighbors outside in windows.  Things are going well.

Short blog again…it’s 10:30 and I have a busy day at work tomorrow.

Today I am thankful for everything that has lead up to tonight’s emotional state.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2012 in 6th week

 

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More milestones!

One month ago today we officially started Learn to Earn after the seminar. A month ago today was a Monday right after our weekend with Dr. Yin’s workshop. We’ve made a lot of progress and have learned so much. Gypsy I think is feeling a little more confident and comfortable. She’s looking at me for guidance too. We’re not near our goals yet and she’s still reactive, but we’re definitely making progress! I can see it. I don’t always see it everyday but I know it’s there.

Tonight in agility class, I finally felt like an active member of the class instead of the remedial reactive student in the corner. Gypsy actually did all 10 obstacles tonight. The first try we did 5 and 5 and split it up. She did really well so we tried the whole course and she did great. It was a nice curvy course without any funky handling so it was a good one for her to do. She wore her Thundershirt which I think helps a little. At minimum, it slows her down a tad. So overall today was a really good day!!!

Allergies are wreaking havoc so I’m glad the weekend is almost here.

Today I am thankful for keeping on track for a full month and for all the progress we’ve made.

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in 5th week

 

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Day 4 notes: more focus and agility class

First of all, I’m going to lose track of the day count very soon so I’m just going to stop now. The date of the post is right there so I’m sure you’ll be able to follow along just fine. 🙂

This morning’s breakfast consisted of more rapid sits and say please sits. She’s starting to pick it up. We have some problems at the door a little, but I just closed it like in crate games and she offered me a sit.  It took a few tries for me to walk through the door with her still waiting but we got it and she got a large reward. Since I have 2 doors to the outside it was a little long of a process, but hey, we’re only on day 4.

We did some great rapid fire sits outside in the yard and she had really good focus. Again she watched my legs and feet before looking up but her eyes were still not on the ground nor looking around. I didn’t treat her unless she was looking at me with focus. Overall today’s sessions are improvements!

We also had agility class tonight. Sophia said in the seminar that for L2E it is best not to expose the dog into high-arousal situations. Her class does bring her arousal up a little but it’s definitely below threshold. It’s a small class, indoors, all the other dogs (3 tonight) are in crates and with some room to work. Our first turn on the little course we worked pretty much on Sophia’s rapid sits in all directions, backwards, sideways and forward on left. When I moved fast, she was really with me and focusing and paying attention. She wanted to smell the floor if I moved slow and stopped to talk to our trainer. Overall though, it was MUCH better than the first session we had on the stage in the hall where the seminar took place.  Our second turn we did some very short sequences with lots of rewards. Her focus was great. She did glance at the other dogs a few times but then focused back on me. High rewards and very proud! Baby steps….

So I talked to my trainer a little about what we’re doing. She also teaches Control Unleashed which we start tomorrow for the next 6 weeks.  I explained as much as I could without taking too much class time. I’ll email her the rest. The great thing about her is she is completely supportive of what we’re doing and will help in any way. I just need to explain clearly what our criteria is and that the key to success IS the clear and consistent criteria.

We also practiced a little “go to place” game today which is like crate games but on a bed. I’m working on having her hold a stay. We’ll need this for Control Unleashed class.

Off to bed. Good training day…

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in first week

 

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