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Featuring Feature!

Posted on 08/11/10 35 Comments

Today is all about the baby dog! I have some video highlights of her weekend at the AAC Nationals. For all of you on the recallers side, we still don’t have a lesson up for you today so I am going to give you the assignment of finding the times when value for RZ played a role in our success.

Fun exercise, anyone can play along!

I think this is a good time to point out to the few of you that have asked me, yes, (as you can see), “all of this work building value for you” does not mean your dog will not work away from you in agility (I have not lost a Gamblers class at a national in two years).

Clearly my dogs have no issue working away from me in agility. It is all about balance and in my books the first and most important part in this balance equation is creating value for being near you. Value for driving to you is more than just an asset on the agility field, it can save your dog’s life and I think we can all agree that it must be a far bigger priority to any of us than going clean on the agility field.

Recallers, just to answer two of the most popular questions right now; yes everyone will be given an extension on the upgrade period and no it isn’t okay to email myself or my staff directly with specific questions about course content while the sight is down, please just hold off until we are live again and post your questions to the membership area. Thanks for your patiences enjoy your “spring break”– lesson 10 should be up tomorrow!

Today I am grateful for the great courses the judges put up at the Canadian Nationals on the weekend, I enjoyed each and every one of them.


  1. terrilovellrn says:
    Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 4:31pm

    So inspiring!


  2. Christine says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 10:17pm

    Love watching the red girls go! I find the acceleration / deceleration so fascinating to watch in dogs and in your Standard 2 run where you peel away diagonally from the weaves she comes out blasting over the jump, reads your decel and collects to put in the extra stride to turn tighter….then off in full extension again. Little red girl is definately an elastic stretched to full extension then snap in for collection and right back out again she goes!


  3. Sarah Mairs says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 8:54pm

    Wow again – Just love watching you two. Remember when you posted her first run and people commented on how slow she was and if I am not mistaken what a poor jumper she was – OMG I hope they can see her now. Feature is a eye catcher….both on and off the field – Super congrats with all your runs with both girls!


  4. Pat Burroughs says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 5:10pm

    I am so glad I made the decision to go to the Nationals this year to play in Steeplechase (missed Q’ing in my Region by just a little 11 for 1 dog 22 for the other) and volunteer so I got the chance to see your runs and to me they were all amazing ! It was so great to see the system we are using at it’s finest.


  5. Helen King says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 3:44pm

    AMAZING runs Susan! What a fantastic job!
    Her understanding is FAR more than brilliant!!!


  6. Channan says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 11:06am

    Beautiful runs! That bar in jumpers is a heartbreaker :(.


  7. AJ Carrington says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 9:05am

    Congratulations! You, Feature, and Encore are simply inspiring. You are a true sportswoman and the depth of your teamwork with your dogs is something I aspire to.


  8. denise crook says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 4:49am

    Am also enjoying the “spring break” to go back and review all the ideas that this course has planted in my head and just play, play, play with the puppy. Maybe breaks should be planned into future course to allow thinking and digestion time. Maybe they could be a couple of days of open discussion about the games, lessons covered so far and the problems, successes people have had.

    Just loving this course. Can’t wait to do the advances in dog training workshop with Susan when she comes out to Oz in Nov.


  9. Jack Price says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 1:54am



  10. Nancy Kemna says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 10:18pm

    Ahhhh! I love the Featchey! Your choice of music expresses how I feel about her so well. Love love love her! Such a character, such an athlete!


  11. Helen Verte says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 10:14pm

    You had a lot of success with the RZ in your Gamblers course. The first jump was amazing. Wow! I watched that alone several times. The teeter, and a couple of jumps after that, too, were RZ rich. I’m in awe of how important what we’re working on in the Recaller’s course is in “real life.” Congratulations on your successful weekend with your girls!


  12. Alison says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 9:31pm

    Wow, what a great connection you have with your baby dog. Truly shows how fast a dog can go when they understand their job. Thanks for sharing – this has been so inspiring!


  13. seamstjr says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 8:02pm

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful runs with Feature. I am just beginning in this sport and to watch your teamwork is so inspirational. I am now just being introduce to this style of handling. Watching you run really helps me see what my instructor has been patiently trying to show us in our handling classes. You run with such precision and grace. Wow


  14. Pat D says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 4:41pm

    Wow! Fantastic runs! I only wish I could put it in slow-mo, it is just over to fast πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for sharing, quite motivational!!


  15. myirish2 says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 3:34pm

    Great runs – what a joy to watch!! I am kinda glad for the two day down time as our family (dogs included) were out of town last week. Sunday was spent going over all the material and watching the videos and working the bonus games. Monday we started the RZ exercise. Boy, I had no idea my dogs were so patterened to work on my left side or to come to the front. They are really having a rough time with sitting or even standing close on my right, they keep wanting to move around to the left. If I stand close by them when they are on the right they move away or swing their butts out but they sit or stand very close and straight on the left and in front. Thanks for the groups’ suggestions to use a wall or fence etc to get them to sit straight and close. RZ is a work in progress. The material and videos with this course have been absolutely phenomenal. I am definitely a visual learner.


  16. Jodi Altman says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 3:31pm

    Ummm, hello-o-o??? Can you spell


  17. Karey says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 3:10pm

    Amazing runs!!!! Congrats to both you and Feature!


  18. angela says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 2:56pm



  19. Jan DeMello says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 1:56pm

    LOVED your gamble run with Feature. Your plan on course highlighted not only your handling skills, but more importantly the training that ultimately resulted in this wonderful display of teamwork! Feature sure has kicked it up a few notches and is looking so seasoned on course. I got a huge smile seeing that awesome weave entry off the teeter:>) your 2×2 method rocks as I am on my 5th dog learning it. Well done with the red girls at the AAC nationals

    Have to say that watching Feature reminds me quite a lot of my Juice daughter Chisel in both her body type and her charisma that comes through in her runs.


    • Susan says:
      Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 2:22pm

      Thanks Jan, I know how special Chisel was to you, I take it as quite a compliment.


  20. Catherine Thomas says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 1:30pm

    Wrong question πŸ™‚
    The question should be when was the RZ out of play – only when Feature (or Encore for that matter) was engaged in obstacle performance – or when an out stretched arm supported lateral performance!
    I loved watching you this weekend because your dogs are so utterly clear of their “job” and were so well supported! Marvellous – what a gift to give any partner we have in ANY of the relationships we have in our lives.
    I didn’t even see the bar down in the jumper’s run and thought you had won πŸ™‚


  21. Mary M says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 1:27pm

    I always enjoy watching your runs and assessing what the dog sees via your positioning to get to the next obstacle. I was aware of the RZ effect however had not truly watched the dogs slight adjustments to this foundational understanding.

    The dog is ever so slightly curving her body (from head to tail) into RZ it is the equivalent of a lead change in horses, as the dog also changes lead when arm changes occur.

    I would LOVE to see more runs in slow motion to continue to analyze this and your positioning with the dog to communicate the next line…I wish I had a video editing program on my computer so I could take my runs with my dogs and view them in slow motion.

    Thanks for sharing, and VERY NICE runs….so how long does Feature get to be the β€œbaby dog” πŸ˜‰



    • kathi says:
      Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 4:59pm

      Hi, Mary –

      Windows Movie Maker came installed along with Windows Me, XP, and Vista, and Windows Live Movie Maker is a free download for Windows 7 (look for Windows Live Essentials in Downloads on Microsoft’s site).

      On the Mac side, iMovie has been bundled with Macs since 2003.

      Available for Windows, Mac, and several Linux flavors is Avidemux (http://avidemux.sourceforget.net).

      All of the above are free and any of them would let you view videos frame-by-frame.


      • kathi says:
        Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 5:00pm

        Oops, typo in that link! It should be:


      • Mary M says:
        Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 7:32pm

        Thanks Kathi!!!!

  22. Lee Waterhouse says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 11:51am

    Jeeez… I hope that I didn’t bring the site down! I had just said to my friend also taking the course that I needed to take a break for a couple of days and keep playing the games we already had but were not yet great at. And look what happened – now everyone has to follow my plan:0

    Big break through the night before last. My older dogs have always brought me toys when they want to play. Not Inca – she always instigates play with one of the older dogs. Well, she brought me a toy to play with!! I guess all this work has made me more rewarding than one of the big dogs!


  23. Bobbie Bhambree says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 11:44am

    Holy smokes!!! Talk about giving a good spankin’!!! Absolutely a fantastic representation about RZ and value building for the handler.


  24. shelley says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 11:09am

    Wow! Now she’s fast! Her movement is fantastic. I can’t take my eyes of her! Just fab!


  25. Kindra Singer says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 11:03am

    Wow! Thanks for pulling together this montage from the weekend.

    I see a good example of RZ usage in the Gamblers course (2:11). Feature is exiting the weaves and drives to your side, turns with you and then goes onto the teeter. (Although at 1:51 it seems she gets on just fine without you there to set up a good entrance onto the contact.)

    The Recallers e-course has been so much fun with both my dogs! I’m enjoying our “Spring Break” to help digest what we’ve done so far.


  26. David Thatcher says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 10:50am

    It is so amazing to me how it appears that both of you know exactly where the other is at all times. Just simply impressive


  27. Lee-Ann Carr says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 10:46am

    I was also at the National Championships this past weekend and had the best run with Spree in our career! It was the Sunday Standard, and our success was all thanks to the games I’ve learned in the Say Yes program. RZ helped us out in that run but not as much as the 1-2-3 game did off the start line πŸ™‚


  28. Tori Self says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 10:42am

    Beautiful! Just beautiful. You two are such a fantastic team.


  29. Susan Horak says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 10:34am

    I do see where RZ played a role in your great runs.She continually checks in even when working at distance from you and the RZ made for awesome tight turns and swith backs. Wonderful runs to watch!


    • Susan says:
      Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 10:47am

      Actually Susan watch again as she only checks in with me if she is on a contact and has not been released. Notice how her head moves when I arm change as she orients to a new (opposite hip) RZ.


  30. Lisa Kaddatz says:
    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 10:06am

    Awesome runs!!! Go the baby dog!!! You 2 make it look so effortless, especially given how young Feature is. Been diligently working on our recallers homework esp. RZ with my young BC’s plus game 10, which I somehow managed to get. Must be a perk of our time zone being hours ahead of you guys.
    Love the soundtrack too, by a great Aussie band πŸ˜‰
    Cheers Lisa K, Australia.


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