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What a Difference A Week Makes!

Posted on 04/27/11 32 Comments

It has been a very busy time for us here at Say Yes over the past 7 days! It started with Adrian Rooyakkers coming to give an awesome three day handling workshop. The focus was on running European style courses aimed at helping Β those of us heading over to the UK for WAO. That ended last Wednesday and then on Thursday John and I teamed up to host a four day obedience workshop.

Yesterday I turned my attention back to Swagger in order to help my, now 12 week old, puppy find the joy in retrieving. I have been adding value for bringing ME toys while working at convincing Swaggie that there is more fun to be had with me than anywhere else other he may find.

This video shows how close the distance between two points may be when one decides it is time to “be the squishy ball!”

For those of you that may not be able to view the video here I will also post it on my facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/SusanGarrettDogAgility)

Today I am grateful to have been blessed with such a wonderful puppy!


  1. Beverly Hebert says:
    Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 5:45pm

    After just taking your most recent Recallers (2013) I have been searching and searching through your online blogs and videos for the precise steps you used to go from Bad Boy Swagger to Great Retriever Swagger. Please please tell us more about how to build value for the retrieve – esp the return. I am trying on my own to shape it and Premack it but need more guidance. I never had to work through this particular problem of building drive for the retrieve because all of my past dogs were “natural” retrievers.


  2. uf says:
    Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 4:33am

    May I ask, why are you taping his ears?


    • Susan says:
      Monday, May 9, 2011 at 2:04am

      So they will both sit up (ideally sit up and tip over) rather than have one up and one down.


  3. tsuey says:
    Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 12:25am

    Truly amazing!It took me quite a bit longer than that to teach my pup to retrieve!


  4. Gretchen says:
    Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 9:55pm

    Just awesome to see the progress in a week’s time. Thank you so much for putting in the work to share the videos with us. “Average or better” ….. going right into my repertoire of training tools, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!


  5. Sandy Lochner says:
    Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 3:29pm

    I wish that I had tried this with my 2 yr. Aussie. I am still having problems getting her to bring anything back to me.
    Do you have any idea’s on this problem?


  6. Nat says:
    Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 3:07pm

    Glad that you decided to keep your Swagger boy! He’s doing so great!


  7. Casey O says:
    Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 2:42am

    Great update. What a cutie he is and losing that “naughty boy” touch.

    Can I put in for a consideration of doing a 5 min formula on competitive obedience? I would have loved to come to the obedience seminar, but couldn’t swing it. Online would make it do-able. Thx!


  8. Pat says:
    Friday, April 29, 2011 at 8:27pm

    Can’t stop smiling after watching this. I noticed you brought out the big guns when training, using IYC with the food. Really enjoyed seeing how you handle the below average response.


  9. Bev says:
    Friday, April 29, 2011 at 5:45pm

    Lovin’ it! Great job both of you!


  10. Kathy says:
    Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 1:58pm

    it is so fun to be able to see how you work through the challenges with your pup.Thanks for posting these videos!


  11. Nancy says:
    Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 11:31am

    Puppy JOY!!! How could you ever not want a BOY? This is simply amazing.
    I am on pins and needles hoping you have a puppy class in time for my now 2 week old girl!!! πŸ™‚ I want to share in the JOY I see here!!!


  12. veronica says:
    Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 7:21am

    Suasan …WoW! Swagger has well and truely accomplished a huge milestone.

    Brought tears to my eyes just to see the wonderful relationship between you two.

    I bet Swaggers learning will now accelerate.
    Arn’t you glad you kept him.
    He looks every bit a champion.
    Now we can visulise it.
    Just love how you can put more ” positive” into positive training.

    Great stuff!!!


    • veronica says:
      Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 7:24am

      Sorry “Susan” wasn’t wearing my glasses.


  13. Heather says:
    Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 1:12am

    WOW. What about those RZ returns on the Long Squishy Recalls. How cool is that?


  14. Sydney says:
    Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 12:30am

    Amazing! When did you find the time? Between Recallers and workshops at your place – when do you sleep?


  15. Alison says:
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 7:56pm

    Susan, what was your plan if Swagger decided to chew on that bone you gave him instead of bringing it back?


  16. Maureen says:
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 6:02pm

    Thank you Susan! I was trying to show a boy at class last night that if he started out with tiny drops of the ball and traded for cookies that he absolutly could teach his dog to “retrieve”. I’ve forwarded your video on to him. The joy Swagger shows in one week is worth “thousands of words.”


  17. Evelyn says:
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 4:29pm

    absolutely awesome !!


  18. Claire says:
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 4:05pm

    Oh my…he’s even retrieving a METAL spoon !!!
    Thanks so much for sharing !!


  19. Anna-Maria Markus says:
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 3:26pm

    Amazing! I love those Swagger videos – watch them over and over again. Looks like pure magic – but it’s all about a solid foundation, timing, criteria=joy!, reinforcement, consistency, average or better, I’ve learned (from you πŸ™‚ – but you know what? Knowledge alone doesn’t make a brilliant trainer, it’s as well dedication and love and respect for your training partner – your puppy. I feel honored and grateful for being part of the Recallers community and being able to learn from you. You give us all so much inspiration and motivation! Thank you, Susan!


  20. Amy Galperin says:
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 3:01pm

    What a great lesson! Truly what a difference a week makes!


  21. Debra says:
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 11:24am

    Never doubted for a second that you would bring Swagger into the joy of being with you, Susan!! Puppies, like children are not born knowing how to act… it takes loving parents and owners with much patience and joy to bring about that foundation. Loving this year of the Swagger!!


  22. shelley says:
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 8:20am

    I can’t stop smiling!!! Goooo Swagger you show that Momma she was right to choose the BOY dog!!!! πŸ™‚


  23. barrie says:
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 8:16am



  24. Jan V says:
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 8:00am

    There is no wonder why you are smitten with the boy! The two of you are looking swell!! Makes me want to go play some more Recaller games right now.


  25. Jodi Altman says:
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 7:18am

    Re-affirms your mantra…
    anything is possible

    He is spectacular!


  26. Esther says:
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 5:35am

    Wow wonderful to see his enthousiasm.
    And did I see it right that first long distance retrieve of the squishy ball only paid with complements and not a cookie?? Average or better I guess?


    • Esther says:
      Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 5:35am

      Forgot to mention, first long distance retrieve he didn’t come back right away but made a little detour???


    • Susan says:
      Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 7:48am

      @Esther you got it, average or better!


  27. Alaska says:
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 5:33am

    Ha! You have conditioned me to visit your blog to get my JOY fix πŸ™‚

    And I am conditioned in other ways too. “Did she not reward that first long squishy ball retrieve?” popped into my mind unbidden. Before Recallers I would not have even noticed, but now I subconsciously mutter “Average or better…” and watch with satisfaction to see Swagger’s performance improve in a single rep.

    Freakin’ awesome.


  28. Wendy says:
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 1:33am

    I remember reading “I am a professional dog trainer and I feel like I am capable of reining this boy in.”

    Boy did you, and he’s more excited about this game than he was about playing with his ball on his own. You rock! Thanks for sharing the joy!


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