Just to clarify, do you it's ok to just let her munch on wood chips and the like?
No it is not okay to eat woodchips. But if she does eat just one (depending on the size) I wouldn't feel compelled to take her to the Vet. In the beginnng, we would keep a baggy of fresh treats (cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, tomato, pear, apple, hard boiled egg, etc.) cut into small pieces in the frig. When Ricky went outside, on his leash, we would keep him away from areas that could cause him harm (wood chips, noxious plants, etc.) and would redirect him to a safe area with treats from the bag. Worked every time! You are lucky that you have a dog that is food motivated because it makes training easier.
I'd like to be able to relax a bit.
In the beginning, with a puppy, it will require more attention but it will get better. When outside try to redirect to a paved surface or lawn where you can see any temptations for Yoshi before she starts grazing.
I totally expect and am ok with the zoomies, I guess I am looking for clarification that the ex pen is the appropriate place for her to be when she's lost control. I wondered if I'm missing an important opportunity to teach, or if she's incapable of learning when she can't control herself (aside from the lesson that beast mode and inappropriate nipping=ex pen).
There has to be a balance between letting her blow off some energy and times when you need a break. Put her favorite toys in the ex-pen so she thinks of as a reward rather than a penalty. So yes, you can use the ex-pen for "time out" but there are appropriate times when she needs to let loose in the house.
Yoshi always seems to be hungry. I feed her the upper end of the guideline on the bag, plus some treats when training. She's gaining weight, we've been to the vet three times in the last two weeks and she's gained about 300g (0.6 lb) since bringing her home. I'm thinking about moving away from kibble but need to do a lot of reading to figure out what the best alternative is for us.
Sounds like you are doing everything right. But I know what it's like to have a dog that is always
hungry........which means lots of healthy treats like fresh fruits and veggies.
I like spunky little girls like Yoshi!