Back in the Saddle

Posted on 12/21/09 14 Comments

After the week with Tony Robbins I taught a small group of handlers for three days in the Phoenix area. It

Course walking
Course walking

was not an advertised seminar, since I am supposed to be on hiatus from teaching seminars right now. So it was a relatively small group, but very enthusiastic one!

It was great to be back at it since I hadn’t taught a seminar away from home since June.

Thanks to everyone who participated and to Shella who took and sent the pictures!

It was a gorgeous venue with a great artificial turf surf for the dogs to work plus the added benefit of a dozen or so built in dog runs to house your dog while waiting your turn and indoor plumbed toilet facilities right at ringside!

Any of you in the Pheonix area thinking of hosing trials or workshops I give a double paws up to Jubie and Kama’s place (

Look at the beautiful scenery I got to look at each day while I taught in AZ!
Check out the scenery I got to enjoy while teaching in Arizona.

just check out the tour on their website.

The day after arriving home from Arizona I had a three day puppy camp here. It was a blast (as I expected).

Lynda Orton-Hill was in camp with her 11 week old Border Collie puppy “Cool Moss” . Helen King flew in from the west coast with her new Standard Poodle puppy “Upgrayyedd”. Plus I had many regular students that were attending with new puppies.

All that made for a great group of puppy campers.

"Bouncing" while teaching, more on that later!
"Bouncing" while teaching, more on that later!

People may wonder why, if you already “know” the Say Yes program so well, anyone would choose to attend another puppy or skills camp?  Especially someone that is an instructor here?

We had one student at camp with her new Whippet puppy that represented the third generation of puppy camp attendees for her. The puppy’s sire and grand sire had all attended puppy camps. How cool is that!

I think the reason we get so many repeat campers at this camp is not just the opportunity to work 3 days focusing on your new puppy but it is the opportunity to lay foundation for the baby to work in a distraction filled environment. Also the dog training lectures that I give are slightly different each time I give a camp, let alone the new material that gets added. It is a unique experience you can not re-create anywhere else, and that is why puppy camp is a must for many people.

Perhaps it is also the fact that I love to teach the dog training skills that are such an integral part of our program. Anything you love to teach that much must make for an enjoyable experience for the participants.

Today I am grateful for some time at home to get caught up. It was awesome being away (and being so busy) but now it is time to get ready for Christmas!


  1. Charlene Shelton says:
    Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 7:55pm

    Aloha Susan! My sister lives in Phoenix, I sure wish I knew you were doing a seminar! Please let me know next time you are there! I miss you so much! Hugs to John for me. Mele Kalikimaka E’ Hauoli Maka Hiki Hou!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (in Hawaiian).


  2. Kelly says:
    Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 9:45am

    Here’s to planning a Tweener Camp for spring . . . hint, hint . . . . 😉


  3. Helen KIng says:
    Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 11:26pm

    The handling seminar in Phoenix and the puppy camp at Say Yes were such amazing experiences Susan! No matter how many Say Yes seminars and camps I attend, I ALWAYS learn more each time! Having an extraordinary partner like Lynda at puppy camp was incredible!
    Thanks so much for everything! The past two weeks were fantastic and inspiring!!!


  4. Theresa says:
    Monday, December 21, 2009 at 10:53pm

    JE-ELLLLLLL-US !!!!!!!
    I want a puppy to go to SG’s puppy camp with !!!
    YOu look GREAT on that rebounder Susan !
    My jaw dropped as I scrolled down and then I just had to throw my head back, laugh and then SAY YESSSSSS !!!!


  5. Jan V says:
    Monday, December 21, 2009 at 7:33pm

    I’m certainly looking forward to a Puppy Camp (hopefully next August or September if all goes according to plan). Didn’t have that opportunity with Brio, but have gained so much from the other program courses both at Say Yes and in Wisconsin with you, Lynda, and the Derretts. The facility in Arizona looks spectacular.

    FYI – Katie O has a swim session scheduled tonight with a baby tiger – COOL!!


  6. Jodi Altman says:
    Monday, December 21, 2009 at 4:34pm

    I don’t see the “bouncing” part in that picture. You just look like you are trying to be taller. Just kidding, I know how much you love to bounce.


  7. Barb Deg says:
    Monday, December 21, 2009 at 3:12pm

    Ok, my brother lives in Phoenix (I am in snowy NS)- maybe its time for me and the dogs to head south.


  8. Lynda says:
    Monday, December 21, 2009 at 1:30pm

    From my perspective…our puppy camp experience was “fantastic” for many reasons…

    a) Lots of great help from Susan and instructors!
    b) To be a student again – and practice MECHANICS! Including transitions to and from activities with a new dog…learning what they need!
    c) Allowed me to work in a new environment that proved challenging for us – exposing training opportunities I had not seen in my very structured environment!
    d) The opportunity to – RECORD KEEP for someone else and pay attention to those details!
    e) To build a PLAN OF ACTION from my activities from the weekend.
    (already implemented – NO Facebook this am… 20 recalls and 1 body awareness training session before going to work!)

    Susan’s program is about “INSPIRING” students… I just happened to be on that side of the fence this weekend… and always LOVE it! Keeps me “inspired” as a student and as a instructor!


    “You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives” ~Clay P. Bedford


  9. Jen says:
    Monday, December 21, 2009 at 1:23pm

    I haven’t been to any of your camps (yet), but perhaps one day when I have some money to do those sorts of things. I do take my dogs to the same classes at the same place though. I’m doing a recall class that I did with another dog with my new boy. I usually know what is taught in the classes, and I often pre-teach skills before we get there. I do have a video camera now (that I use for taping my work with children) and I could tape work with the dog. But still, for both the kids and the dog, I am still developing my skill in doing in the moment troubleshooting. Even when we can do that ourselves, sometimes another observer comes up with a different idea.


  10. Andrea says:
    Monday, December 21, 2009 at 12:49pm

    That’s some beautiful scenery! I’m excited to hear about the bouncing…wonder if I can bounce while working on website designs….hmmm


  11. Susan says:
    Monday, December 21, 2009 at 12:35pm

    Okay, thanks for the heads up Amy, I fixed the links.


  12. Amy says:
    Monday, December 21, 2009 at 11:58am

    All the links in this post are broken.


  13. Jerry says:
    Monday, December 21, 2009 at 11:42am

    Hey Susan,

    I stumbled across your site while doing research for my own. In addition to being a big fan of well-behaved dogs I’m also a big fan of Tony Robbins; is there a post on your site that will clue me in to your interest in Tony’s teachings? Thanks!


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  1. […] you notice when I wrote about teaching in Pheonix teaching last month, there was a picture of me bouncing on a cellerciser there. It was the […]

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