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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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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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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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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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