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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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Onward to more adventures

Our Saturday Growly Dog 2 class at Ahimsa Dog Training in Seattle has come to an end. Gypsy did really well and on the final class greeted one of the other reactive dogs in class. I have to admit that the other dog wasn’t over the top by any means. For the most part throughout class, the two of them couldn’t care less about each other. But still, they greeted and that was great.

The class wasn’t really what I had hoped. There were only 3 students of 6 spots. The one lower-reactive dog was the one we worked with the most.  The other dog was reactive in a different way and barked a lot and kept his distance — a distance that was way below Gypsy’s threshold.  When we started the class I told the instructor Gypsy is noise and motion reactive and we really didn’t work any of that. It was pretty much 6 weeks of BAT setups, which I modified to fit more into Dr. Yin’s protocol.  We still went every week but I don’t think we got much out of it. As Dr. Yin told me, Gypsy is not the type of dog that turning and walking away is going to reduce her anxiety. Yes, it may help some other dogs but not Gypsy.  So the class is ended. I think it did help lower her threshold in some arenas, like when the dog in class barked when he got over threshold, she didn’t seem to care. Perhaps a few months ago she would have. I think we’re going to spend some time over the next month working on CU games at home, at the park and even agility practice.

At home it’s a different story. She’s still reactive to my landlords upstairs and through windows. My Growly Dog instructor recommended a Calming Cap.  I looked it up online –I am not sure that’s right for us. I don’t know. Perhaps it could work but it doesn’t solve the underlying problem and doesn’t really form a situation to work through — it’s just what I see as positive punishment — adding something to change a behavior.  I tried to think of it like a Thundershirt, but I think it’s a little more intrusive than that. At least the Thundershirt gives a calming feeling with the wrap. The Calming Cap just makes it so they can’t see as much because it’s like looking through mesh.  If any of you have tried it, please let me know what your experience is with it.

For my birthday I got a little money from my Grandma. I went on Amazon.com and bought Gypsy a cheap, but full size skateboard!! I don’t see her skating down the street or anything but I do think it will be fun to train to at least have her stand on it and me pull her. I think it could build her confidence and trust in me. We’ll see — we’re so far just clicking and treating for putting one or two paws on it!

Today I am thankful for my background check going through at work for an awesome promotion that will allow me more financial resources to spend on my dogs!

 

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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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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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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Agility trial, hello week 9 and kidney stone update

Wow, hello week 9! How has this happened??

So I signed up for this CPE trial months ago. I only signed Gypsy up for 2 standard runs because I really wanted it to be a test. The trial was 2 ring, which is more noisy and active. It was our first 2-ring trial too. I wanted to focus on her runs and behavior in the crating area.

She did fantastic! She was very calm in her crate. I gave her some melatonin and calming spray in her crate. I think it really did help. Last weekend at the TDAA trial she was really nervous. She wouldn’t even eat her bully stick. Yesterday she was very happy munching on it in her crate. It was also very hot yesterday (I know! Hot is 75 in Seattle!!). It really was warm though in the arena. I know dogs get a little cranky when it’s warm. There is also not a lot of crating space.  The dogs were very close to each other. Going in and out of her crate was awesome! She didn’t make a peep, didn’t really look at any of the other dogs, and was just awesome!!!  The only reactivity she had was with one particular dog in a pretty pink crate who made a large commotion when any dog walked by. Because it was a small dog in a pink crate I think it startled Gypsy more than anything. So she barked at it while we walked by BUT only if it barked first.  When the owner got fed up with its reactivity, they turned the crate around and it was more quiet. When that dog was quiet, we walked by a few times and Gypsy had no reaction!!!

At the ring gates, I didn’t hold her like I had in the past. I had my treats and we played hand touch games and ran in little circles. Inside the ring waiting to run (we were first dog in both runs) we did more hand touches and circles. She was very disconnected from me in the first run, ran over a few obstacles, ran around the back and then we finished the course. It was 11 seconds!! I still gave her treats afterwards but not high value ones.

On her second standard run, again we played more games at the start line. I asked for a sit and she did. I tried to get a lead out but she didn’t let me. Still, we were more connected. She made it almost to the end until my handling got in the way and she went to the gate, then came back, then thought about what to do, then came back, then back jumped a jump where I got her moving again and we finished and Q’d!! It wasn’t a pretty run but it was very successful. She came back and didn’t react or get too stressed out. She looked stressed but then found me for leadership and we finished. She got HUGE praise at the end of the run!!

A friend of mine sells treats and toys during trials. She’s also the only one I know who gets raw freeze-dried tripe treats. It’s magic treats. I had already gotten a few bags of tripe before that last run so she got a few pieces of tripe after that.

I was so proud of her. She did so good and looked relatively relaxed. We won’t do another trial for about 2 months to work more on L2E and everything else. As Dr. Yin said, you want to keep them under threshold while you do L2E. Trials are the closest to threshold you can do and the most arousal you can do so it’s not optimal for L2E training.

So improvements: 2 months ago, she couldn’t wait outside the ring gates ready to get in the ring. I had to hold her or run to the gate when they called is. Yesterday she was happy doing our warm up exercises.  2 months ago she was more reactive walking by all the crates in small, close proximity. Yesterday, she was focused on me as we walked by.  2 months ago, she ran out of the ring (well into the chute at least) totally stressed out and not knowing what to do.  Yesterday, she didn’t do that. She did her own course out of stress, but then the 2nd run she looked to me to guide her and didn’t react to her stress and we finished with good success!!! I’m so proud of all our hard work. Baby, corgi steps!!!

And today I found out the CT scan is definitely negative for a kidney stone. The doc goes off that more than the x-ray. So no stone. So what’s causing my pain? Not sure yet but doc said everything else on my CT was normal so that’s good news. I’ll find an internist this week and get checked out and have them review the CT film just to make sure they don’t see anything someone else missed. In the meantime the pain isn’t as bad. It hurt a little yesterday but overall was manageable.

Today I am thankful I can play agility with my reactive dog because we’re working so hard on our teamwork!

Gyspy’s ribbons CPE Level 1. 5/13/12 – One 2nd place for the run she made up on her own (because there were only 2 dogs in her category!!). And then there’s a Q ribbon, a 2nd place ribbon and a new title ribbon for her 2nd standard run and finishing her Level 1 Standard title. 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in 9th week

 

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Busy week, kidney stones and a neurotic dog

Wow, what an interesting week and it’s now Saturday evening. I have neglected this blog the last few days.

Let’s see–Tuesday nothing interesting. We worked on some backyard agility for our online class.

Wednesday – I don’t remember but nothing stands out

Thursday-Gypsy rocked agility class without a Thundershirt. She was really focused, didn’t take off and understood my handling.

Friday — wow what a day. I had been feeling some pain in my back the last few days and decided to call the doctor yesterday (the urologist). About a year and a half ago I had a kidney stone. It passed in a week. The pain I feel now is similar to that pain. Well, the radiologist saw a stone on the x-ray but not on the CT scan. So I don’t even know if I have a stone or not or if this pain is something else. That is what bothers me the most. So yesterday I was at the doctors all afternoon. In the evening the pain was pretty mild and we went to Four Paw to practice our agility handling homework. It was an eye opener, doing a sequence without arms and really mapping out cues.  It was like what Dr. Yin says when the dog feels a sigh or breath of relief because you’re finally speaking her language. That’s the way I feel like the handling session went. Gypsy made more eye contact with me than she has ever done before!  We were both tired after that.

Today: Today she did great in her Growly Dog 2 class. There was only 1 other dog besides Gypsy and he’s pretty low-key. She didn’t cross threshold at all.  Afterwards we went to the beach and chilled in the sand and sun because it was a beautiful day today.  When we got home, the neighbors were kind of noisy and she went a little balistic. CC wasn’t doing any good. It was like I described last week or the week before where she was pacing, whining, being hypervigilant, and barking.  When we got home from the beach I gave her some rescue remedy but her reactivity got worse. So she got about 1mg of melatonin. It took about an hour to help relax her (on top of closing blinds and putting her on leash), but now I think she’s relaxed. I can’t really work the CC now because it’s dark and the noises are gone.

Earlier in the week I talked to the vet about meds and we decided to try melatonin for a few weeks. I think it’s helping. We have an agility trial tomorrow and I’ll be giving her melatonin there to see if it helps take the edge off.  I hope so.

Today I am thankful for good doctors, loving dogs, and Aleve. Ouch.

Gypsy at the beach today. It was a beautiful day.

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2012 in 8th week

 

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