Wednesday, September 14, 2016

PeeMail to Rodeo from Kathy

Hi Mark,  

We are looking forward to having Yogi train with you again!

Yogi is now 20 months old, and still acts very much like a puppy.  He has earned his AKC Star Puppy certification, and we are preparing for his Canine Good Citizen certification.  Walking through a crowd is the hardest components of that test for him. He’s doing great with his nose noose lead, but we will not be allowed to use that for the test. Sometimes he’s just our goofy, floppy eared moppet. He is a petite Rottweiler.  He runs every day, and is very agile, muscular.  He loves fetching balls, galumphing through the ivy, putting his snout in shrubbery, and alas, sometimes digging. We now have a fenced in yard, so he can run freely both in the yard and at the dog park. He does not understand that roads are dangerous, so we keep him on lead at all times near roads. Yogi resumes dog training this Saturday in Sumner, and trains with someone who studied under Caesar Milan while in Kauai.  We’ve been through her “Bootcamp”, and will continue with her upon our return to Kauai.  She describes Yogi as being a middle of the pack dog.

We would like to have Yogi gain more experience with a stable pack of dogs. He does not mind if I put my hand in his mouth, food dish or water bowl, but he resource guards if another dog tries to drink out of the same water bowl with him.

Our number one training goal is to lessen his reactivity. He barks and growls when anyone comes to the door, barks and growls at all delivery people, sometimes motorcycles, anything with small wheels,  including some baby strollers, bicycles, even a basketball being dribbled. We’ve worked on desensitizing him to skateboards. We don’t know if he was trying to herd them, or what.  When his bark echoes across our little lake, Yogi barks back at his own echo.  He no longer barks at his own reflection in a glass door, and has no reaction to looking at himself in a mirror, and is no longer afraid of our Roomba vacuuming robots.  We think it’s fine if he gives one bark to alert us, but not a full on production. 

Yogi barks at gloves.  If any of us put on gardening gloves, Yogi is up in arms and wants to nip or bark at the gloves.  We have no idea what the association is there. He does not chew shoes, our belongings, never has, but that could be because he has so many toys.  We control his access to them, (a toy box out of of his reach).

He taps on the door with his paw when he needs to go out, or wants back in. 
Yogi knows the command:  “Go to your mat”, and has mats in strategic spots throughout the house. He is allowed to snuggle in our easy chair when invited, but is not allowed on any other furniture in the house.  When we sit outside in the evening, he has his own plastic chaise lounge that he sits on  He likes being with his pack, and essentially follows us around everywhere. When he comes in a dog friendly store with us, we bring a small mat and he knows that’s his spot. We’ll leave a mat with you if you like.

We make Yogi wait at the bottom of the stairs when we go up or at the top when we go down. He knows he must wait, (so he doesn’t bowl us over rocketing up and down stairs).  He still wants to be the line leader wherever we go, so we have to remind him that we go in and of doors first.  He knows that’s the protocol, but being an adolescent Rottweiler, he’ll test that in a heartbeat.

We crate him after a training exercise to let him absorb it.  Yogi likes his large wire “condo”. 

We took him to Leavenworth, WA last weekend for lots of exposure to people, strollers, new sights, sounds, and horse drawn carriages. Stephen was able to desensitize Yogi to horse drawn carriages.  He simply sniffed the air as they went by after getting used to them.  We’ve taken him out in a canoe twice this summer, and he’s getting better at that with each trip.  He’s sitting down in the boat, (most of the time), and watching ducks and geese, but not barking at them. He even jumped off the dock voluntarily. He has his own dog life jacket that doubles as a rain jacket when the flotation is removed. We’ll bring that with us.

Of course Yogi loves food:  2 cups of dry kibbles two times a day.  He has to sit and wait while his meals are prepared and cannot move until he’s released.  He will sit patiently and drool until released. He has a supplement he gets once a day; I’ll leave those with you. He thinks they are treats. We eat before he does while he watches. 

His favorite treats?  Playing ball, and crunching on ice cubes (huge treat for him).  We give him a minty “bone" at bedtime to help clean his teeth.  I stopped brushing his teeth early on, but could probably get away with doing it again if I went and found some more liver flavored dog toothpaste.

I hope this helps!


Stephen, Kathy and Yogi