Lessons from Oz

Posted on 11/16/10 13 Comments

Many years ago during my first trip to New Zealand I cracked up when I heard the handlers refer to a set of weave poles as the “weavers”. The concept stuck with me and both Encore and Feature’s weave cue for the weave poles is “w-e-a-v-e-r-s!”.

So now a “square” will forever more be know to me as a “slice”. When someone at home would offer you a “square” with your tea here in the land down under they are offering me a slice. Really sounds far more sexy than a square doesn’t it?

I think I will keep it.

In addition these Aussies insist on getting in their “smokos” twice a day. Smoko=coffee break. Strange since none of them smoke that I can see, but they won’t be missing their smoko.

I hate when I get my own lectures thrown back at me. When I teach I am  constantly reminding students in order to maintain focus from their dogs they need to step away from the work and give the dogs a “balance break.”

I am sure you can see where this is heading.

Smoko = balance breaks for the humans.

Crap, persecuted with my own logic.

Great group of people here, nice as always. They tell me I am not nearly as “scary” as I used to be . . . maybe they are just warming up to my daily thrashings.

Treating me well and this time I am not quite as homesick as usual. Must be the cellerciser. What?  You didn’t think I would leave home without one did you?

Today I am grateful that the tropical rain storms are so far hitting  us on lunch breaks, in the evening and during the odd smoko.


  1. Tori Self says:
    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 11:59pm

    Oooh I’ve never heard the term ‘square’ used here in Florida. We always use slice! I think I might take up square…


  2. denise says:
    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 6:58am

    Sorry to post this here but not sure where else to put it…. I’m reviewing the coaching calls from the Recallers E course and I can’t find the link for the last of the “Brilliant’s” coaching call. Is it possible to get the link emailed to me ? I really would love to watch the call again. Thanks



  3. MRB in Oz says:
    Sunday, November 21, 2010 at 2:31am

    Thank you Susan for a great learning experience, I think my head is going to explode.

    I too, have to completely re think how I train my dog. And now I have to figure out how to shape my dog club management into a new way of training. The SG way.

    I am grateful there were few blowflies and no Murrumbidgee mozzies at dog camp. Unlike on the way over and the way back. I am also grateful for mozzie repellant clothes. And I pray for the patience to do the foundation work properly before jumping to the sexy ninja stuff.


    • MRB in Oz says:
      Sunday, November 21, 2010 at 2:39am

      PS I will send slice recipe to Cathy S, and my pool exercise program to burn up the calories it will cost. My philosophy is use every opportunity to get a bit of exercise so I can eat what I want.


  4. Christine says:
    Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 9:12pm

    ‘Scary’? Never – years of training under some pretty intense Dressage coaches has left me ‘prepared’ for a good butt whoopin if it’s needed. Besides, people aren’t paying $ to be told how well they’re doing are they? I know I never walk away happy unless I’m told over and over what I need to focus on that way I remember it and actually do something about it!


  5. veronica says:
    Friday, November 19, 2010 at 4:44am

    Susan, thank you for tolarating me for 5 days here in Australia.It is not easy for me to learn.But dispite this I do,i.e. given time to digest what is put infront of me.
    I will continue and am planning some formal study that I am passionate about.
    The biggest lesson ( beside what you gave us in that week) that I took away was this.
    Learning always comes at at cost but “understanding” the lesson is priceless.
    Look forward to another encounter with you again….and another lesson one day.
    Thankyou Susan
    Veronica……or was it Victoria?


  6. Billie O'Connor says:
    Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 11:30pm

    I’m glad you learned something from us as we sure learnt a lot from you. It was ‘freakin’ awesome!’ (not sure if that is a Canadian thing or a Garrett thing!) I was lucky enough to do all five days. I’d been looking forward to the seminar for some time but I can honestly say that it exceeded all my expectations. This was my first seminar with you but won’t be my last – everything was a revelation and I know I won’t retain it all. I had thought we would do 2 x 2s with our dogs after the seminar, but we headed straight back to crate games and tugging and already I can see more drive and joy in my dogs. Thank you!


  7. Joanne Rainger says:
    Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 7:39pm

    Today my dogs and I are very grateful that Susan came to Australia. We are grateful that she made the sacrafice of leaving her dogs and John and sat on a Quantas plane for 2 days (and that it kept its engines).
    I look forward to when she is going to be zillionaire and fly us all to Canada where we can introduce you all to slice, and smoko.
    I hope you find tofu in NZ, that the weather is kind and have a safe trip home. Dont listen to anything the kiwis say about us. Its not true they are just sore about losing the last Ruby game.



  8. Alison says:
    Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 6:13pm

    Haha – I remember when I was on holidays in Canada and asked for a lemonade, only to be disappointed when they came out with lemon cordial. I soon learned that you needed to ask for a ‘7 Up’ instead!

    @Cassy, a slice is a like a small version of a cake that would fit in the palm of your hand (roughly, some are a bit bigger). Like a lamington.. oh, wait, that’s aussie too! LOL


  9. suzie says:
    Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 5:38pm

    After spending three days with Susan in oz I have returned home to really evaluate my dogs environment and where they are getting reinforcement which I am not in control of, changes of behaviour have already started ) ….

    I am a fan of its your choice thou I realized I did’nt understand it fully, as in using it 23 1/2 hours a day. I was not making enough use of it on every level.

    Thanks Susan I throughly enjoyed my time with you, I will keep you posted as I’m positive my dogs training will certainly go forward to a new high, this will help us reach our training goals.


  10. LINDA BLACK says:
    Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 11:09am

    Just for the record, I don’t think you are as “scary” as you used to be either…I don’t think it is them =D


  11. Cassy says:
    Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 8:25am

    What’s a square or a slice? I went to North Carolina and had a woman ask me for a four square nab (apparently a square cracker with peanut butter in it) We don’t have Nabs in Vermont 🙂


    • Caroline McKinney says:
      Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 10:37am

      Cassy–nabs = nabisco crackers?


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