Stuff About Susan

For a complete bio you can visit my webpage at Susan’s bio, for a more personal glimpse you can check out my post from Monday January 23 2009 here is the the readers digest version. I am a dog trainer that specializes in a co-operative approach to dog training. I apply scientific principles to my training with the dog’s well being at the centre of it all. Together with my partner John Blenkey, we own Say Yes Dog Training.  Our business is located in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada but our students are pretty anywhere from the USA to Europe to Australia.



  1. Dear Susan,
    I know that you’ve met many, many “agility people” and students over the years. I just found out that my 12 week old puppy is blind on the left eye. Have you ever heard or met an agility dog with such disability? Any advice?
    I’m keeping her no matter what and will work to see what we can accompish.

    • Hi Natalia. In case you didn’t see my reply posted to this blog in Dec, I will give you the “digest” version here. There is more than one great agility dog with a physical limitation. Alicia Nicholas’s amazing agility dog “Pickle” only has vision in one eye and he has placed at the top of many classes in the USA. The key is to your mindset and having a plan of action to helps your dog maximize what he has got, rather than focusing on what he is not.

      • Thank you! I didn’t see the Dec. reply.
        The dog is almost 8 mo old and doing great with everything so far. One could never guess her condition. We’ll keep on working!

  2. Thank you for writing this blog. I’m really get a lot out of it. I’d like to share what I did with my 8 year old lab and the 2×2’s. I used a kong with a tiny amount of cream cheese spread inside it. Not so much that it would splatter when the kong hit the ground. She liked that so much better than thrown food pouches as she could immediately lick her reward. Eventually she would just chase the kong without food in it. Then we took the weave poles to the beach and she had to weave before I would throw her retrieving bumper in the water. (throwing it on dry land was not as exciting for her, so I couldn’t use it to reward the weaves. )

    The transfer of value – from weaving at the beach was amazing. When she sees weave poles now you can see her light up and zoom through them.

    When I first tried this at the beach she was so excited she just ran through a couple poles into the water, looked back hey! I smiled and held her toy… she ran back and I looked a the weave poles and said okay – she tried again, ran through 4 poles I threw the bumper in the water.

    The next time she ran through 6 splash! and swam out to get her bumper.

    One happy, trembling, barking, weaving, swimming lab.


    • I love it. I did the same thing with DeCaff and the weave poles going into our pond. I would caution the extensive use of the kong though as it is unlikely the toy will land on the reward line (way too bouncy:)). Glad it all worked for you though!

  3. How do I sign up for your newsletter. I can’t find the link

    • The newsletter sign up link is either in the bottom left hand corner or the top right hand corner (it is going to move) of my webpage.

  4. Hi Susan,
    I just purchased a few of your books and dvds – they are great! I am going to implement the Ruff Love program in a few days – boy are my dogs in for a culture shock! I have 2 dogs – one recently turned 1 year in April and the other is 7 months. How do I implement the isolation/crate with 2 dogs? I do think that my 7 month old is more attached to my 1 year old dog than to me.

    Will tethering my dogs on a leash inside instead of putting them in crates achieve the same goal?

    • Sorry Jane no I am not a fan of tethering dogs at all! Once you have played Crate Games the Crate becomes your dog’s on private condo which he learns to love. In my opinion tethering is far more restrictive and potentially very dangerous should the dog become tangled in the leash. Please never tie your dog up for any reason.

  5. Hi Susan!

    I’ve found very many videos of you and Encore at agility WM. I think both you and your dogs are amazing, its so fun and cool to watch, what a happiness, speed, control… i’m so fascinated !

    I live in sweden with my dog Wilma. Hope you might checking in our site!

    Good luck in the future! 🙂

    Best regards / Ullis, Sweden

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