A Special Gift for You!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lots of great lessons were discovered during my recent time out west. There is one lesson though, that I find myself repeating over and over again when I teach, and yet still I don’t see the change in people’s behaviour.  You know the old saying “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten.”  Just like in dog training, if you don’t get the results you hope for, you need to look at your approach to your problem. I have changed my approach to this deliemma ALOT over the years while teaching people. My efforts have produced only moderate success at getting people to alter their behaviour. In my opinion this could be the single biggest reason why dogs stress in agility. It could be responsible for the dogs that stress low exhibiting their stress with sniffing, wandering off, shutting down and also why dogs stress high–running off to do “zoomies” or just grabbing obstacles without their handlers. I have no science to back up my theory, but if this isn’t the biggest reasons dogs slow down or lose focus on their handlers in agility, it sure is r-e-a-l-l-y close to the top. 

So what is the reason? To find out you have to sign up to my newsletter. I just completed a podcast for everyone and for now it is free for all to download. Remember I said if you don’t see the change you are looking for in your training you need to change your approach, so this is my change of approach. You get to have me yakking in your ear for ten minutes to try and drive my point home to you.

If you receive my newsletter you will have already been given the link to the podcast download. If you don’t get the newsletter go to  my website now and a new pop up subsription form will be waiting to greet you there.

Please everyone after you listen to the podcast be sure to come back and leave a comment here to let me know what you think of it.

Today I am grateful that the internet dude is coming to fix my connection today, love Starbucks, but love convenience more!



  1. Love the blog, love the newsletter (MISS the daily tips!!), love the new podcast! Must admit that I had an involuntary visceral response to hearing “reward the dog!” Eeek! I’m 2 of 20! Promise. Hopping to it right now 🙂

  2. I think that should have read 2 of 30, not of 20…perhaps I should stick to reading the blog rather than posting 🙂

  3. That was really cool. I am sure your voice will echo through my head for the next week when I am dog training. Just like touching base, even when we have such a long time span between opportunities to see you face to face.

  4. Congrats to you and Encore for making the World Team!!!!! You guys rock!!!

  5. This is so true. It really was driven home to me when I audited a seminar. I never audit, I always wanted a working spot becuase I feel I learn more. But auditing this seminar really drove home the point of people not rewarding in the right place. You would see someone struggle with a small part of the sequence and after 4 or 5 tries the dog gets it. And I was amazed that they just went on and didnt reward. It was so frustrating to me watching that. But it helped me to be more of aware of what Im doing with my own dog. Hopefully this podcast with hit home with lots of people. Thanks, Diana

  6. I burst out laughing at the all-too-familiar sound of “REWARD THE DOG!” and at “Embrace your holes!” Sadly, all too often I am in the 2 of 30 group, but only because old habits die hard. In fact, I have a laminated page which I bring to camp reminding me to REWARD THE DOG. It’s reinforcing to the handlers to go on. But I swear I’m working on it; I’m always impressed by your own instinct to reward at just the right moment (I have to hone my own instincts).

    On the techno side, it didn’t download automatically, and apparently it can’t play on my iPod and so didn’t load onto the iPod (it’s a new one), but I did get to hear it through iTunes, and I swear I’m trying to be one of the 2. I really am. Sigh. Thanks, Susan!

  7. I loved the podcast – a great message and one that can’t be over emphasized. Having the podcast to listen to again is great – I am going to set a reminder on the computer to listen at the start of each month. I clicker train for tricks, and manners type behaviours and know the value of timely rewards but I needed the nudge to think of agility training with the same mind set. As a beginner in the sport it is easy to be overwhelmed by advice, your podcast has given me confidence to apply the principles I know work, to agility too.

    I have also been training my daxie/JRT with your 2×2 method. He is very toy and food focused and it was difficult at first to get his attention off me (really the toy in my pocket) but with patience we have got there and he is now doing 8 poles, and I’m about to add 2 more. He loves it so much that when we finish he doesn’t want to come back inside even for FOOD and sits beside his poles hopefully.

  8. Love the podcast! More please?!?

  9. Thanks so much for the podcast! It was so worthwhile – something that we’ve been told so often but so often forget! I’m hoping to listen to it daily for a while to get it imbedded in my thick head. Thanks again and for all your great blogs. Today I’m thankful for trainers like you who are so willing to share all their wonderful knowledge and attitudes.

  10. Great podcast…a message that is always echoing in my head…working to be a permanent member of the “2 of 30” club. Thanks for sharing in another medium.

  11. Wondering if there’s anyone out there who can help me view this podcast. I clicked on the link in Susan’s email and something did download, but all I ever saw was a blank page on that website. I opened my itunes (which I’ve used maybe a grand total of twice) and clicked podcasts under the library heading, hoping to find it there, but all I am met with is a black screen. I sort of expected to see the podcast listed there. What am I doing wrong?

    Help please!

  12. Ahhhh…the BEST things in life are free!! Thanks for the reminder to be a Pez dispenser!!

  13. Definitely enjoyed the podcast and would love to hear more. I’m learning so much from your blog, daily tips, and DVDs.
    My new mantra: Reinforcement Builds Behavior

  14. What I love most about this advice is how useful it is in everday life, not just in agility.

    I’ve been working on stopping my Aussie from alarm barking everytime someone walks past the house (which happens a lot).

    I started using time-outs. He figured this out to the point that he would just let go with a big ole bark, then put himself in a time-out. Funny, but not what I was going for.

    Now I am quick to reward him with a “good-dog, good-quiet” and a cuddle every time I hear footsteps before the barking starts – and there’s been a huge improvement in only a few days.

    There have been many great tidbits of advice here that have made our lives easier and more fun, and improved us as a team. But for me, this is the gem.

    Thanks for the podcast.


  15. Laura, check to see if iTunes put it in movies rather than podcasts; that’s what it did for me. Maybe because of the logo screen? I had to right click the link and save it to iTunes that way.

  16. I must be one of a very very few that doesn’t have an IPOD or have ever used iTunes. Can I still partake? I feel like I”m missing out on crucial info!

    • Hi Linda
      Yes you can still partake. All you need is Quicktime. I believe it is a free download on the internet if you don’t have it but most computers come with it. For all of you having technical difficulties you must have either Itunes or Quicktime to get the podcast.

  17. Podcast is a great idea! Thanks for driving that message home just hours before Puppy Camp. I do make an effort to reward the tricky bits, but also know I’m guilty of not, sooo I’m going to kick it up a notch and try harder. I’m sure you’ll remind me though … 🙂

  18. Hi Susan,

    Boy, that podcast was a real wake-up call for me. How in heck is my dog supposed to know he did something right, if my focus is always on correcting his and my mistakes. When away from the equipment I reward his correct choices, so where has my brain been when working with obstacles. Today is a fresh start for Debit and I, and I’m sure our training will progress faster once he knows he is doing things right (as well as not right). Very timely, as we prepare for our very first trial this Saturday.

    Thank you!


  19. PS. Just dragged out the small notebook from underneath a pile of dog books on my nightstand, made my first “I am grateful” entry, and tossed it on the pile for packing. (You can guess what the entry is.) You’re inspiring, Susan. Looking fwd to another camp with you and your awesome instructors.

  20. I got it!! Hey, I learned two things! Thanks Susan – great info – I’ll strive to be 2 of 30 now.

  21. Thanks Kelly! It wasn’t in movied unfortunately. But thanks to your advice about right-clicking and saving, I was able to save it to my desktop and it showed up as a Quicktime file (and was just audio, no video besides the Say Yes logo, correct?). Couldn’t figure out what folder to save it in to get it into my itunes, but as long as I can hear it, I’m happy. 🙂 And I’m grateful for your help – thanks!

    Linda, if you don’t want to download the itunes program, just right-click on the link in the email and save it somewhere on your computer. As long as you’ve got a compatible media player, you should be able to listen to this.

  22. More more more………….podcasts!

  23. What a fabulous way to get the message across, love the podcast – just had a bit of a hard time hearing you over the music in the beginning.
    Susan, I just want to make sure you know how incredibly giving you are. I love my dog, I love playing agility with her, but I am finding the sport increasingly expensive and may have to start giving up some parts of it. I simply don’t know how I could ever afford to attend a seminar, or purchase all the fabulous DVDs out there, but does that mean I can’t learn fabulous dog training tips? Does that mean I can’t grow as a trainer? Nope. And it is thanks to you. I’m still getting better with every blog post, every tip, and now with the podcast. Thank you. Hope someday I’ll make it out to Say Yes, but in the mean time, thank you for being willing to reach out and give so much knowledge so freely to so many, regardless of where they live or their financial situation. I’ll try to pay it forward and get everyone I know to read your blog and sign up for your newsletter.
    All the best,

  24. Great podcast Susan! Your informative newsletters are also deeply appreciated as I am constantly filling in the missing puzzle pieces of my dog Max’s agility foundation. Your 2×2 weave training dvd has been invaluable in re-training Max’s weaves/entries too! I’m committed to being 2 of 30! THANKS!!!

  25. Thanks Susan! Love the podcast! It’s good timing, we were just talking about this last night in agility class. We had to reward a tight wrap out of the tunnel before we were allowed to finish the sequence. Great info!

    I was able to open the link and listen online just fine, but it did not download to i-tunes. Don’t know why. I also tried to right click on the link, but it wouldn’t let me save it.
    Thanks for doing this!!

  26. Wonderful. In the next class the people that were at your seminar kept yelling out “2 in 30!!” so it immediately took affect in my group! I explained it and people were great for that day. Now let’s see if it sticks.
    I think I may be one of those 2 in 30 but not 100% of the time… I am getting there though and much more aware than I was.
    LOVE the podcasts!! LOVE that you had such a good time in the West!!
    Kathy Smith

  27. I just listened to my very first podcast, SG, and I got goosebumps as I was listening. How incredible is it that you have taken the time to do this, and I can listen over and over and let something sink in as I get ready for work, or just sit and meditate on the subject.
    You are a brilliant light in the world of dogs , Susan, and a definite foundation in the paradigm shift of inter species interaction.
    thank you from the bottom of my heart and STella and Harley’s too.
    Excellent reminder today !!
    i am eternally grateful for you , and for HK turning me on to you !

  28. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Thank you

  29. just listened to the podcast and loved it. tonight i teach week #4 of family dog obedience and every week i drag my whiteboard with me that says the same thing..its your quote from “shaping success” about reinforcement being the key to building behavior….with your name, of course. in huge letters at the top it says”REWARD DRIVES BEHAVIOR” . tonight we start loose leash walking, and what i yell out all night (instead of reward the dog, like you do) is DON’T BE STINGY! i’ve also pointed out to them that when their dogs are being good in class, everyone is chatting, ignoring them. when they do something inappropriate, they pay attention. they are beginning to turn things around, which makes me happy. and yes, i am very very happy to say that i am 2 of 30.

  30. I am not sure if this is happening to anyone else, but the podcast downloaded into my “music” file rather than podcast file in itunes. I tried to drag it into the podcast file but it wanted to stay in the music file, (appropriate considering Susan’s love for music). SO, instead of fighting it, I made a playlist called Susan Garrett’s Podcasts and drug it into that. So now I have a home for all of Susan’s upcoming podcasts that is easily found and will upload to my iphone/ipod. Just a suggestion….

  31. Thank you, Susan! This podcast is wonderful and so generous. I am extremely grateful for your passion and your desire to share it. I can’t wait until the day I can work with you in person!

  32. Hi Susan I loved the podcast ! Keep up the great work and I looked forward to hearing more podcasts .
    Also congrats on making the CAT team .

    Pat Burroughs

  33. It’s just been 1 1/2wk post SG seminars and I was just thinking the other day that we’ve already come so far with the foundation work already, because of this one jewel (there were many in the seminars!!!). My dogs are crazed about interacting with me, I feel like a superstar 🙂

    Even on walks as we practice our nose touches, back end work, jumps over, around anything and everything, shadow handling, crate games…ie.on trails, open fields, around neighborhood and the last place was Wallmart parking lot on the car barriers (plank work) to cash in on the H part of DASH. Who knew running errands could be fun! Their enthusiasm I think is 100% because of this one tip, which makes the training part and baby steps that much faster and easier.

    We’ve got a long way to get close to a ring, but it’s already so much fun. Each time my pups take a babystep and we celebrate it, it tooootally rev’s them up! Almost as if they’re saying”okay! that was fun……. what’s next!!!!” and I’m on a high (AND abs are toning up from the laughing, celebrating and exercise).

    Thank you Susan for not giving up on us (or going crazy repeating yourself) and being creative in trying different ways to remind us of this jewel!

    cheerios for now,

    2 of 30 too 🙂

  34. Great podcast, Susan. Thanks, and congratulations on being selected with Encore for the World Team. We will be cheering for you and Canada. I was in the 2 of 30 club today as I stopped in a sequence after great weave poles, and rewarded Dakota as he had trouble with the entrance at first. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and training tips(I miss them), which help us to be the best we can be. I am very grateful that I can attend workshops at SayYes to learn from “The Master”.

  35. Great advice! But for those of us who don’t have ipods, it would be helpful to have a download place so I can save it on my computer and replay later. I couldn’t find any way to save this to play other than from the link on the e-mail I received from you today, and I’m sure that will go away some day…

  36. Thank you very much for the podcast. It´s so true what you are saying, sometimes we don´t realize that it´s more important to stop and rewar dour dog tan to continue. I love your post.

  37. Thank you Lynne! In my iTunes I found “Susan Garrett 1 song”. Thank you Susan not only for the reminder and all the other wonderful training tips but for forcing me to learn about blogs and podcasts!

    Am anxiously waiting to hear about your Seattle plans!

  38. Techno stuff. The link opened right away and played, but my computer, a MacBook Pro, does not recognize this as a podcast (seems to think it is a movie) so I can’t get it into ITunes. Seems to be a common theme. I just wanted to mention it, because I would have thought my Mac would recognize it and automatically put it in ITunes.

  39. I have a new mac desk top, and the same thing. Opens immed. from the link, but there is no download anywhere that I can find, and I have right clicked everything too.
    Hey, how about a Susan Garrett discussion forum on yahoo or something ?
    A huge congratulations to Susan and Encore !!!

  40. I am bumming because I have right clicked, saved and attempted to open (click) the podcast….no luck : -(

    I know Susan said not to ask for tech support, but if anyone else has thoughts about what isn’t working for me I would be grateful….I would love to watch this podcast and it sounds as if others have found it very informational.

    Thanks all, for any help!!!

  41. On my Macbook I went into I tunes, advanced tab then Open audio stream (control L) and have it downloading now. Hope this helps. 🙂

  42. oops Control U

  43. Thanks Wendy that worked for me to download it :). Great podcast :). I have been so guilty of falling into the trap however I have had my butt kicked (metaphorically speaking) by a few of my trusted trainers on that very topic and I am now hoping I finally have it right :).

  44. Today I’m grateful that I figured out how to save the podcast to my iPod!

  45. Kelly, how did you do it? I can open the audio stream in iTunes and play it, but I can’t figure how to download to iTunes. Thanks.

  46. Oh, there it is, under music, hmmm.

  47. Hey Susan, I see a line of t-shirts in your future- “Are you 2 of 30?”

    Wendy in Oz- you’re a genius!

  48. Wendy, you need to download Quicktime movie player, or iTunes, both of which are available for free from the Apple website.

  49. Love the podcast! I pledge to be a lifetime member of the 2 of 30 club. I promise to plan to reward each of the elements in the skills that I am teaching my dogs within a cluster of short training sessions and not to take any skill my dog exhibits well for granted.

  50. Love, love, love the podcast!! Hope to hear another one soon. And I miss my daily tips!

  51. Really love the podcast, as a musician I prefer to listen than to read 🙂 I also used your suggestions when teaching my violin student, lots of praise/reward works on human students too!!

  52. Ok, can’t get the podscast to do anything on my PC, so I gotta know- what is the “2 of 30”?

  53. Never mind- got it to play. FYI, I opened up QT, then copied the link to where it said open URL in new player (under file).

    I, too, will aspire to be one of the few, the proud, the reinforcers!

  54. Hello Susan,

    I think the Podcast idea as well as the YouTube message is an excellent idea!:) The message in the podcast was also very poignant-something we should all strive to do, but seems so easily forgotten or ignored when we get caught up in our training.

    I do have a few questions for you that I was hoping you may address at some point, especially with the recent posting of the agility injury survey. What is your typical routine for warming up and cooling down your dogs before and after running? Do you seek massage, chiropractic or acpuncture therapy to keep your dogs injury free? Do you do additional physical activities (swimming, hiking, etc.) to keep your dogs fit?

    Thanks so much for this blog and all the work you put into it, I am always learning something new or being reminded of the things I know but need to continue in order to be the best trainer and partner for my dog!:) And huge congratulations on your selection for World Team!:)

  55. Awsome podcast!Your newsletter and tips not only help us better our dogs in the sport of agility but you have a way of bringing out the best in people. Truely words to live by.

  56. How do us humans (speaking for myself) get out of “thinking” mode when training and into reward the dog/have fun mode? Sometimes we can get so focused on figuring out how to do it right that we forget…. So Susan…. I vote for REWARD THE DOG t-shirts and/or those rubber wristbands on the SayYes store!

  57. I joined the newsletter list after the pod cast A special gift for you” could I get the link sent to me?

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