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Summer Afternoon In Canada

Posted on 07/24/09 30 Comments

It is a lazy Friday afternoon (if there is such a thing around here). I just did some training after taking a bunch of phone calls from all of you. Yes, I was manning the phones the last 2 days. Fun . . . for a change. Anyway I am working on a video for all of you, will have it up later today. Showing you what we do on a rare relaxing Friday afternoon in Canada. Any guesses?

It’s swimming!  Buzzy’s most special thing in the entire world! Enjoy!

Today I am grateful for some “quiet” time at home:)


  1. Tricia Dunlop says:
    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 at 10:36pm

    Speaking of Buzzy. I would like some clarification of a game mentioned in your book “Shaping Success”. The game is called “Body Language Game #2” – Spinning Away from Me on page 156.

    Before I start playing this game with my puppy I need to know if you consider this game to be teaching the dog to do a flick away, I am working at being a reformed mother flicker and am consious of anything that may be interpreted as “a flick”. Do you still recommend this exercise or have you changed your thinking on this one? If you still recommend it then can you explain why it is not teaching the dog to ‘flick away’.


    • Susan says:
      Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at 7:00am

      No Tricia, I do not play this game with my dogs anymore. If I was to teach it I would wait until the dog was older and has a strong understanding of handling body cues first. Also I would make sure it was turned without the use of any arm cues. But as I say, I have not taught it recently (I think DeCaff was the last).


  2. pogonip says:
    Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 8:54pm

    Your pups are having soooo much fun in your pond. Good thing the retriever folks don’t have your BC during Dock Dog competitions!

    My dogs love the water but their “towel” of choice is dirt.

    I love all your webinairs but Table Games and Reinforcement Zone sound the best too me.


  3. Sally says:
    Monday, July 27, 2009 at 7:01pm

    Looks like a wonderful place for the dogs. I was watching this video and your other free time videos enjoying themselves and it got me thinking about what happens when I let my two off-lead for a play. I can let mine off but they then both look to me for entertainment – one is nearly 9 years old and one is now nearly 16 months.

    For example our typical morning walk to the local park when I am time poor is that we head to the park with both of them and play ball – well not always. I let them both off when we arrive at the park. My older one sits with me and doesn’t go anywhere and my younger one also stays at my feet waiting for the ball to be produced. I realize its been reinforced now as I do get the ball out and throw it for her but its been the same since she was tiny.

    In situations where there is no ball and has never been any opportunity for a ball, like when we go for a hike they are still underneath my feet even though they are free to run. It isn’t until the return trip that they decide they might be able to go for a run.

    So my question is – have I inadvertently trained this into both dogs or are some dogs not really interested in running for the hell of it. My older girl does not play with my younger girl other than maybe two or three times in the 14 months she has been here.

    While its great from a training perspective I can’t help wondering if I have interfered in some way. That’s not to say my younger one doesn’t play with her friends when we catch up for play dates but just that given an option she would play with me.


  4. Gail says:
    Monday, July 27, 2009 at 5:36pm

    LOVE IT!!! Especially da roll after the swim! Buzz & Decaff have SOO much fun while your two red-heads look to be needing some “de-frizz” from the salon! LOL

    Thanks for the smile today! 😉


  5. Naomi den Hartog says:
    Monday, July 27, 2009 at 9:53am

    Lovely video- so much fun! They really are waterdogs!

    For the webminar I vote for:
    * shadowhandling
    * a look over your shoulder on a silly shaping trick! (criteria, rewarding, upping the ante)


  6. Kim Collins says:
    Sunday, July 26, 2009 at 9:07pm

    Ok love how Feature just keeps getting out so she can dive back in! And Buzz and Encore are happy to just swim around! LOVE the fountain thingy!! It is 33 degrees here in PG believe it or not and I would kill for a pond and an air conditioner! Who knew we would need an airc onditioner in Northern BC!!!

    So now we want a video of the house! How about a virtual tour since many of us won’t be able to see it in real lief for awhile!

    John looks great enjoying his beer!

    Good luck at Nationals next weekiend!

    Kim and Rob ( who would LOVE to join John for a beer but has to mow the lawns in 33 degrees!) ……and the crew


  7. Cindy Briggs says:
    Sunday, July 26, 2009 at 7:28pm

    Happy Birthday!!! your new website, blog, newsletter are inspiring!


  8. Stacy Frigon says:
    Sunday, July 26, 2009 at 12:28pm

    My vote for webinar:
    1. Shadow handling / reinforcement zone
    2. recalls (with various distracions)

    Having so much fun with my 12 week pup – talk about good timing for all this valuable information. Thanks for all you do to get this information to us.
    During the heat wave yesterday we filled a kiddy pool and the pup struggled hard to scale the sides and flop in – she’s well on her way to being a water dog.


  9. Ann says:
    Sunday, July 26, 2009 at 11:53am

    My webinar vote:
    1) Easter biscuits, progressing to a highly charged environment (’cause it’s a common one)
    2) Recall (’cause it’s so important)
    3) Sardine sneak attack (’cause it’s a fun one)


  10. Mary says:
    Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 9:30pm

    I would like to see demonstrations of:

    1. Rear crosses
    2. Table games

    The first thing I though was that those are four of the luckiest dogs in the world. What a beautiful sight seeing four beautiful dogs having the most fun in the world!! I also thought that Buzzy was a Brown Bear amongst three dogs!!!


  11. Andrea says:
    Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 6:29pm

    Ok I’m inspired! Now THAT looks like a ton of fun!

    Here’s a link of our girls swimming and some of my favorite shots of the baby doing her own version of Buzzy’s stop, drop and roll in the grass! 🙂



  12. Claire Duder says:
    Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 1:28pm

    Anotehr vote for creating a tug-happy dog. I struggle with this, and at best, I have dogs who will tug in many places, and find tug inherently rewarding, but don’t really want to tug under ALL circumstances. I KNOW I am doing something dumb, but I’m not sure what!


  13. Linda says:
    Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 11:44am

    No wonder yur dogs are so content. They live in dog heaven!


  14. Sydney says:
    Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 11:07am

    Funny how the dogs swimming in the big pond looked similar to their play in the small pool in the winter!

    #1. I vote for calling to reinforcement zone. Is the dog’s butt facing ahead of you, behind or to the side or does it matter.
    #2. It would be fun to watch the sardine mechanics on the contacts. I can visualize the first reward but have a hard time thinking about running the next set with an open can of sardines!


  15. Andrea says:
    Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 8:43am

    I wish I was sitting beside John sipping a pina colada watching the dog’s swim and play – looks soooooo relaxing for the humans and like so much fun for the dogs!!!!!!

    For the webinar my votes would be;

    1) Ways to get dogs to really tug, you talk about tug alot in the puppy chapters and I think it would be neat to see some of the tricks you use to get a puppy who might only be giving half-hearted tug really into the game.

    2) Table Games


  16. Trudie says:
    Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 6:12am

    Ve are voting? I vote for handling off course situations, (without, as you noted in your latest videos, having to resort to “primal scream” )

    I’d also appreciate just to take a peek at sample pages of 2 different person’s way of record keeping. The visualising would be motivating. I would also love to have the opportunity to observe someone training AND keeping a record, as was advised in 2×2. Once I learn how to do it ……

    Just love to watch your dogs jumping into the water! And, “OK guys, time to come out” how they all come out….!


  17. Allyson Kaiser says:
    Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 5:08am

    I know this is ultra basic but how about this for your webinar:
    Training the dog to spit out the toy when you say “out.” (or “oooooot” if you’re from Canada.) I am one of those awful trainers who has trained the dog to tug like a maniac when I am trying to get her to let go of the toy!!


  18. Candace says:
    Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 1:04am

    Glad you get to enjoy lazy days!!

    I just wanted to let you know that I rejoiced today in a run that did not give us a Q! With your seminars and your information, I finally have a dog that was so drivey and so fast, I couldn’t run fast enough!! With your encouragement of restrained recalls to rev up a dog I have managed to get my 9 year old velcro dog to drive on a course! It did lead to an off course almost 20 feet away, but it was DISTANCE!! I was so thrilled!!! Thank you!! Now I must work really hard to continue that drive and learn to handle it!!

    For your webinar, the mustard game would be great to see . . . or PB and Jam!

    Thanks again!


  19. denise says:
    Friday, July 24, 2009 at 11:54pm

    Feature and DeCaff are hilarious! It’s funny also how Encore and Buzz just keep swimming round and round in circles. Do they ever get out (other when you tell them to)?

    I vote for a reinforcement zone webinar 🙂


  20. Emma says:
    Friday, July 24, 2009 at 11:30pm

    I vote for shadow handling/circle work/flat work (whatever the kids are calling it these days)
    I’ve never really gotten a firm grasp on how to do this and with my now 12 week old puppy, I’d like to learn! It was touched on in one of the Vancouver seminars I attended but a visual demo would be da bomb!


  21. Donna G says:
    Friday, July 24, 2009 at 10:31pm

    I also like the idea of the reinforcement zone and the shadow handling!!! Perhaps covering both would be possible. They seem to go together.


  22. AJ Carrington says:
    Friday, July 24, 2009 at 10:17pm

    Here’s a vote for:
    – Stopping the stopping
    – Rear cross into weaves
    – Teaching your dog handling for off course situations
    (- and if you must — I have a puppy who would be happy to do the 2:00 a.m. potty demo!)


  23. Helen Verte says:
    Friday, July 24, 2009 at 10:16pm

    What fun! Buzzy looks like a big ol’ bear swimming out there. I love watching your dogs in the water. They have such a good time. Here’s what mine look like when faced with water: http://fortdoberdale.com/WordPress/?p=455

    My vote for your tip video was for either

    Making Progress By Building Value
    Making the Best Use of a Warm-up Jump

    Though I’m sure I’ll learn something practical whichever tip you tape.


    • Susan says:
      Friday, July 24, 2009 at 10:21pm

      Ok Helen, that pic is a CRACK UP!


  24. Judy Hemping says:
    Friday, July 24, 2009 at 10:13pm

    Would like to see a demo of table games from you quick tips


  25. Judy says:
    Friday, July 24, 2009 at 9:33pm

    I vote for rear cross to the weave poles


  26. Cat says:
    Friday, July 24, 2009 at 8:54pm

    I second “table games” — tables are not as “sexy” as other obstacles, and are rarely addressed by other instructors at seminars or lessons. Though I’m happy with my young dog’s tables so far, I’d love some ideas on to how to make them even better! 🙂


  27. Jan V says:
    Friday, July 24, 2009 at 8:36pm

    Mini-Webinar Ideas??

    1. Circle Work/Shadowing Demo with focus on RZ (Reinforcement Zone). Please include a periodic send to jump (or other obstacle) with the dog driving back to RZ and then continuing on path. Also some demo with and without distractions. I often get dizzy and disoriented when running these drills (hoping I’m not the only one :))

    2. Table Games – puppy and adult dog.

    Thanks for soliciting our input.


  28. Lynnda L says:
    Friday, July 24, 2009 at 7:13pm

    Some suggestions for videos to go with the Tips e-Book::
    = demonstrating building value at your side [reinforcement zone] — nothing like seeing flatowrk in action
    = Mustard Game
    = Stopping the Stopping, particularily for dog backing up away from handler


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