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Day 2 of a new day: we took it to the front yard

It’s amazing how night and day the house/backyard is from the front yard. Our quick sits in the house and backyard are very focused and fun. I take it to the driveway and front yard and she’s completely unfocused. She’s super hypervigilant and I have to pull her on her leash and she’s not responding at all. I need to video tape and I need to use my new work lamp so there is better light for the video since it’s dark.

We had a few good sessions with Apollo today and making it fun with treats. She looked a little nervous when he stood by the x-pen gate.

So next steps: front yard, video tape, snoot loop.

“Simple isn’t always easy.” – Bob Bailey

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2012 in November 2012

 

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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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Crazy week, not a lot of training and oh boy I want to go to Davis, CA

It’s been a pretty crazy week with work this week. I haven’t gotten a lot of training time in. We didn’t have agility this week and I’m also dogsitting.  So it’s been a little hectic.

But we’re going to get back on track soon. Not much has changed since my last blog so this update is pretty boring.

However, Dr. Yin posted this on her facebook page today and I am going to make this happen! I really want to be at this seminar! Dr. Yin and Bob Bailey together— it’s a reactive dog trainer’s dream come true, even if I’m not a professional. I still think it will be invaluable.

From Problem Dogs to High Performance Dogs: How Operant Technology Can Take Your Training to The Next Level

Yep, I’m going to try my darndest to be there. I’m kind of excited!!  Registration isn’t open yet so I have some time to think about how to get to Davis — plane, train or automobile!

Today I am thankful for Dr. Yin posting this seminar information today!

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2012 in Week 13

 

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Reactivity and Lifestyle changes

Who should we discuss first — Gypsy or me? Gypsy!

So this is what has happened today:  I gave her about 1mg of melatonin and she was very calm all day. My neighbors weren’t home a lot. Gypsy was very sleepy and slept most of the day. That’s not really the result I wanted but I was able to reward her quite a bit when there was a sound because she was slower to respond.  Tomorrow I go back to work so no melatonin before I leave. We have our corgi walk tomorrow after work too.

This afternoon I went over to agility friend’s house to buy a used dremel.  She has a young papillon who is quite friendly and who Gypsy kind of knows but they’d never been face to face. I took Gypsy in their yard on leash. Sunny was off leash and was very friendly. Gypsy and he smelled and sniffed and were great together. I didn’t let her off leash but did reward her quite a bit for her interaction with him. It was great. She greeted him and then pretty much ignored him. It was her all-or-nothing response–either she doesn’t care at all or cares a lot. In this case she didn’t care. It was good though.

This evening we went to a nearby state park where we used to go until now they require a pass. For my birthday I bought the pass because it gets me into other state parks and it’s not too expensive. There are places I want to go this summer, and the park we went to tonight is really nice for after-work walks and training because it’s very close and not too crowded. There were two smaller dogs walking around the park that had some leash reactivity.One was barking and lunging and the other was just pulling. They weren’t aggressive but they were reactive on leash. I’m proud to say we walked by them at a safe distance and Gypsy completely ignored them. She didn’t care one bit that these dog were reacting to her. We kept about 20 feet away since it was obvious we were in the other dogs’ reactive zones. I was really proud of her for not even acknowledging they existed!

So onto me– Not that I don’t have enough going on with work and training and behavior modification — I am starting a new fitness program because I really have to change some of my own health.  I am very much out of shape and at a weight and look I do not like one bit. I started this morning and it’s 6x a week. Thankfully I work out at home. Yet the thought of waking up extra early is already making me sick. However I must do it before work.  My dogs need me to be healthy and have more energy. I know they think I’m a lazy slug sometimes. So I’m making some changes.  Gypsy and I are both going through a transformation.

Today I am thankful for all the service men, women and canine who fought for our freedom.

 

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in week 11

 

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Reactive barking, good progress and my birthday

First, I’ll start out with this week– we’ve done a lot of the Look at That game with objects, not dogs. I know Dr. Yin said to be careful with this game because if the dog is looking at it, they are thinking about it. But using toys or leashes or something completely neutral, I am able to start using this game to teach her she can take a quick glance but the reward comes from me. So that’s what we have been working on this week and it’s going great so far.

Yesterday was my birthday. We went to one of the local islands to a beach and there were 4 dogs total, my 2, one Gypsy knows well and another she just met. Dasher is a 2 year old lab and very active. Gypsy did great with her for just meeting her.  I was really impressed and happy.  We did a lot of walking and playing on the beach.  There were other dogs who walked by on the beach that she had no reaction to either. The distance was way below her threshold but it was great to see. I think a lot of the training we’ve been doing has allowed her to work under threshold a lot longer. This is awesome.

So back to what I don’t like — she’s still noise reactive at home. Every single sound makes her bark. I am having a hard time counter conditioning it because I literally have to click and treat all day long. It is just not possible. The melatonin helps a little — it really just depends on how noisy my neighbors are and what’s going on outside. I am not having a lot of success in fixing it. It’s all noise-related so at least I’ve been able to narrow that down.  Now I have to see how I can work on it with success.

Today I am thankful for another trip around the sun.

Family photo on my 35th birthday.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2012 in Week 10

 

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Week 10 underway and doing ok

Gypsy and I are plugging along as we’re in week 10. I need to work more on our heeling and leash exercises as we haven’t done much of that lately.  I also need to be more vigilant about her sitting to say please.

Overall though we’ve had ups and downs as usual. She’s still barking at home when even no one is upstairs and all the blinds are closed, as it has become a habit, but we’ve also done some CC in the yard and really working on the Look at That game with windows and lights and non-dog objects. We are also working mat work more and I ordered her a special Mutt Mat which we’ll get in a few days so we can work our mat work outside, at parks, at class, etc.  She doesn’t really have a designated mat in the house so it will be nice to have one she knows is her ‘safe place’ or ‘home base’ as you will.

Nothing really better or worse today.  I guess that’s not too bad.

Today I am thankful for a pending promotion at work so I can afford to play more and train more with my dogs.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Week 10

 

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A good week and a great blog

The last few days have been pretty good. Agility class on Thursday went really well. No Thundershirt! Very short ribbon and a tab and she was nailing the course of jumps! I was really proud of her.

Today we went to our Growly Dog 2 class and she did really well with Winston, a little terrier who also isn’t super reactive. Gypsy and him have been working together because they are similar and today Gypsy smelled his butt. She got a click and lots of treats.

Then today we went to Green Lake for a walk. For the most part she was really good. There were two circumstances where we had a leash lunge and both time we weren’t walking. Green Lake is super busy on a Saturday afternoon and also very stimulating. There are LOTS of dogs, people, bikes, skateboards, and smells. Overall she’s doing so much better than she was just a month or two ago. The last time we were there was kind of a disaster with her completely disconnected from me. Today was much better.

Today I am watching the 4 DVD set of Leslie McDevitt’s Control Unleashed seminar. Since we finished our first CU class and didn’t sign up for the next class, I wanted to watch this seminar, see Leslie demo the games and see how Leslie talks about reactive dogs and the example dogs in the seminar. There’s some great things in this video. Some things I’ve heard before in a different setting–not related to stressed or reactive dogs. What I’m getting from the first part of this series is that I really need to work on my mat work and I need to change the mat at home. I need a special mat that can go anywhere I go, whether to trials, trips, hotels, other peoples’ homes, the park, etc. That’s not what I have so we’re going to get a special mat and really dig into the mat work.  I will probably use a lot of the CU method but also maybe work Dr. Yin’s method with the Manners Minder. I’m not sure I want to use the MM though so I’ll see what is best for Gypsy.

She’s still reactive at home this week. Last night my upstairs neighbors were being very loud packing for a trip. Gypsy was super hypervigilant. I need to video the next time it happens so I can show Dr. Yin if I ever email her or request additional help. I want to have it to show her. I’m pretty sure it will happen again, as it does  every weekend when their home and I’m home. Today and tomorrow they are out of town and it’s pretty quiet and Gypsy has been better.  She still likes the bark at the neighbor across the fence when the light is on in their bathroom.  I had to have Gypsy chill in her crate with the door closed for about an hour last night so she could cool down. That helped.

Also, she’s still doing some melatonin. I have found it helpful. It’s not as good as I had hoped on weekends, but it’s better than nothing. The Comfort Zone spray is also doing ok too I think. It’s hard to tell because of other environmental factors but it does seem to help.

Finally, Dr. Yin posted a blog today about running exercise with dogs, which I have no interest in but I did click on the link and one of her related links was a great blog from 2011 that I never saw before! It’s called Dog Training Tip: Why Cigarettes are More Addicting than Heroin and How It Applies to Dog Training.

I LOVE this blog. I love the science. I love that there’s research behind the training methods. That really helps me understand my own dogs’ needs rather than just a trainer saying “do this” without offering support. This is why I really trust Dr. Yin. She does much of the research herself and if she doesn’t, she looks into to findings and states her own opinion on the results. Every dog owner should read this blog so they can have more success in their training. Read it!!

Today I am thankful for Control Unleashed, Leslie McDevitt and all the tools I have learned in my dog training progress.

Gypsy at the park today

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2012 in 9th week

 

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