Can’t Different Just Be More?

Posted on 05/04/12 77 Comments

My entire life I have been driven by this great quote by Zig Ziglar;

“You can get everything you want in life, if you can just help enough other people get what they want.”

My goal in life, for as long as I can remember, has been to help people. Back when I was young I had little else to offer other than my time so I became a Girl Guide (Scout) leader, a Sunday school teacher and a volunteer with Big Sisters. Today I feel I have been blessed to have my life’s path put me in a position where I now do have something else I can share and that is my dog training knowledge & experience.

My passion remains the same as it did when I was a teenager; to help as many people as I can. My vision is to make a difference in the lives of dogs and dog owners world wide. To let people see how dogs can flourish in a reinforcement based training program. To help create an understanding of the science of dog training in people so that they in turn become an inspiration to those around them.

That is why every time I offer an on-line course, I always include loads of information, free of charge, for all to benefit from on the topic. I recognize that our courses can not accommodate all who may want to take part, so I make a point of sharing many of the details of the training outside of these courses. Sharing critical information of techniques that have brought me success through; video series’, e-books, blog posts or newsletters is how I make sure all have access to great training information regardless if you are one of our on-line students or not.

The goal of helping others is also the reason I invite my most senior instructors to be a part of our on-line learning programs. It is not so I don’t have to read each question posted, on the contrary, I enjoy sitting down every evening and reading all of the comments and participating in the discussions. I do personally read every single comment! My goal by having my top instructors share their input is to contribute to our community. These instructors enrich the student’s dog training experience in a way that I can not.

Since I have come up with most of the component games that I are share when I teach, I am not coming from the same point of view as my students. By way of contrast, my instructors do come from that same perspective as they were all my students at one time (and still are).  Input from an instructor that has had to learn to master the skill themselves is much different than learning from the person who created the games. These people have a level of compassion for the process I can not have as they have experienced the struggles of learning it first hand. I love how, even I learn something new about the process by watching these people share. There is a synergy about our team and it is something that doesn’t go unnoticed by our students!

The other advantage my staff brings is the diversity of dog breeds they have trained. We have experienced Say Yes staff that have taught this material to a multitude of varying breeds; from the toy group, to the working group, to the sporting group and of course the herding group. I recognize that all animals learn the same but having a staff that understands some of the particular fears and drives of breeds I have never trained is a huge advantage to my program. In addition one of our Say Yes staff is bilingual and when needed, will bring clarity to a student’s question by writing her answer in French!

From this perspective our program is different.

Just like when I travel to lecture to dog training groups. In the past I have spoken to groups as small as 10 or 12 people. But there have been other times when I have lectured to groups of 2- 300. The message is the same, but the experience is different. At the larger events I am more likely to cover more content as a larger number of people stimulate more questions for our discussion. On the other hand with a smaller group I may get more time spent on one particular issue. Neither situation is “better” they are only “different.”  Different learning occurs depending upon the make up of each group.

With on-line learning different means each program available serves different needs to the growing population of dog owners that are recognizing the advantages of learning from a successful competitor (all while staying at home). With our on-line programs my goals is not only to teach a certain skill (such as recalls, shaping or this time around agility contacts) but I am also focused on creating an understanding of dog training. If I just teach you a skill, you are still dependent upon me for learning other skills in the future.  If I build up your knowledge of dog training through the teaching model we have in place, every future skill you learn from us becomes easier and easier. Which brings me to my ultimate goal of enhancing the understanding of dog training in every person that joins our courses!

The advantages of on-line learning are tremendous. It may mean allocating your time and resources in a different direction, but you are investing in your future success, the future success of your dog and of every dog you will ever own! Click this link now to find out more about our latest on-line course; teaching dog training through the model of agility contacts.

Today I am grateful for the unique perspective each one of my experienced instructors bring to my on-line classes.


  1. Debbi says:
    Monday, July 2, 2012 at 9:17pm

    Can I ask when Recallers will be offered again??
    I have the Crate Games DVD,Ruff Love and I am doing PuppyPeaks but I feel I am missing something not having the Recallers or Shaping courses. AND I have a six month old puppy!!



  2. Kathy says:
    Friday, May 11, 2012 at 12:47pm

    I’m signed up and can’t wait!! When do we start??



  3. Gabi says:
    Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 8:20pm

    what Susan describes in this article is just what I am finding – the more I participate in a course, the deeper my understandig of dog training has grown. I started out with the Crate Games DVD and her book: Ruff Love, moving on to Recallers3 and Puppy peeks! At the beginning much was very new to me, but the more I learned the pieces started to fit together and I am my overall understanding has grown. I still have heaps to learn, but I am very grateful for all that I have gained so far and I am still keen to keep on learning.
    The funny thing is people at my work place who know my passion about dog training have started to ask me what to do when they experience challenges with their dogs, and I hear myself taling to them about things I have learned from Susan and the Say Yes Team.
    It is like the ripples in the water after you have thrown in the stone, the circles are widening and reaching more and more people! So Susan, Yes, you are reaching your goal!


    • Susan says:
      Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 9:53pm

      @Gabi, thanks! I love your analogy!


  4. Cloud says:
    Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 12:55am

    As far as taking the SYCS, I don’t need or want to train my current dog’s contacts (they wonderful, thanks), but I work multiple “other peoples’ dogs”. They don’t have the full basic training that one of my dogs would, but they would be my “guinea pigs” for this course material. I’m wondering if I’ll be able to make use of the coaching element, or even keep up, as they are learning to be good dog students, but have a couple of challenges. It’s such an investment, I want to make sure it can fully be of use to me. i’m sure you’ve again done a fantastic job of organizing and developing thorough training plans, and although it’s a HUGE commitment, I’m hoping it’ll pay off for years to come. Do you think I can jump into this work with the dogs I’ll use, even if they’re really at the baby stages in some way? Thanks!


    • Susan says:
      Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 7:42am

      @Cloud, the way the course is set up, there are the baby steps for those who need it and more challenging exercises for those that are already more advanced at each step of the way. I don’t think the level of the dog coming in will make any difference, it is just more work at the beginning for the dog that needs more of a foundaiton.


  5. MaryAnn E. says:
    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 3:38pm

    Like the others, I never believed when I started with Recallers 1.0 that an online course could make such a difference and even replace traditional classes. But it rocked our world and we’ve never looked back.

    My 14-month old has been raised in the world of Say Yes on-line courses. What a great time we’ve had and I never believed I could teach a dog the things he’s learned, while steadily increasing his drive and joy.

    Equally rewarding is bringing my older two into the world of Do-Land. To see their eyes sparkle as they push for their turn on the games makes my heart soar, but it also brings tears to my eyes for missed opportunities and the days when I didn’t know better.

    Trust that this course will bring laughter and joy and accomplishments, just like the others.


  6. Carla says:
    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 11:43am

    Being in the Netherlands all I can say to people who aren’t sure: this is your chance to DO try this at home! I took the plunge last year and haven’t been sorry once.


  7. Evie says:
    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 8:56am

    I am happy to be aboard Say Yes to Contact Success !!
    I started with recallers 1, then 2, and of course also 3, Inner cirle, puppy peaks, shaping a difference …
    I have learned so much from Susan’s online courses, worth way more than I would ever be able to afford.

    Actually I think I just cannot afford to not be part of it. Also, I am positive that the course is worth way more than it costs.

    There are a lot of extras, and I especially love the community .. they all have similar goals and maybe similar struggles on the way there, it is just one big family.

    So happy I found the way to Do-Land !!
    Thanks Susan, Lynda and everyone at Say Yes!


  8. Caitlyn says:
    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 1:09am

    Yikes, what to do!!!! I don’t even have a dog that has value for me enough to work!! I think I should focus on recallers again and do this next time. Who would have thought I would be having a connection problem still. So disappointed I am not ready yet 🙁


    • Mary M says:
      Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 6:33pm

      Caitlyn Susan has stated this course may not happen again, just sayin you might want to work through this course (maybe in lower distraction areas until your value is higher for the dog….inside the house, garage, basement, these are all areas with lower distractions)…..just my two cents.


  9. Lisa says:
    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 11:51pm

    I just signed up. My only concern is should I have went with the plus membership. Can I upgrade to the plus membership at a later time? And is there a time limit to do this.

    Can’t wait to get started.


  10. Debra Jones says:
    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 11:19pm

    I never thought I would do well and be disciplined enough to do on line courses…boy was I wrong! I loved your Recallers 2.0 so much I kept on going! Snap was 11 months old when I began Recallers 2.0…she turned 24 months this week! What is so great is I can go back and read and re-read the course material, ask questions, get support…the list goes on! What is even greater is every course blends with the one before; building on each other. From Crate Games to Recallers to Puppy Peaks to Shaping a Difference and now Contact Success – they all set the foundation for the best handler/dog team ever! Oh…and I can’t leave out being an Inner Circle Peep – Susan’s awesomelicious Inner Circle Group!


  11. Maria says:
    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 10:52pm

    I, too, would love to participate in this class, but cannot afford to. My hope is that one day you will offer these sessions on DVD. Good luck with “Contact Success” and thank you for all of the information you gave us in the focus webinar series.


  12. denise says:
    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 9:23pm

    I love your online courses! The courses are presented in such a structured way so to build on previous skills. There is heaps of extra training information, ample opportunities to ask questions, great support from you and your instructors, an amazing community of fellow students and brilliant coaching calls and webinars that are not only informative but FUN.

    What has really struck me though is how taking the one course repeatedly has really helped me improve my understanding of dog training. I find that with each repeat course (Recallers), I “get” the information better each time. Also, helping others with their training challenges helps me to solidify my own understanding. It is easier sometimes to help somebody else with a problem than it is to address an issue in your own training. Maybe being that little bit removed from the situation helps bring greater clarity and the problem seems a little less impossible. However, each time you help somebody else, it becomes much easier to help yourself when challenges arise 🙂


  13. Valerie says:
    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 8:53pm

    For bonus members, here’s my math: 3 lessons for 12 weeks is 36 lessons. 365 / 36 means completing one lesson about every 10 days to finish the course within the year time line.


    • Susan says:
      Monday, May 7, 2012 at 8:59pm

      Good math! I think like most of us you may get several done in a row but then life gets busy and you might have not be able to get back to it for a week. I like you attitude though Valerie, to just pace yourself and take in all of the dog training. We will be loading up the site with LOTS of information, but mostly just to make sure the lessons are clear. For example you may “get what we intend” just by reading the lesson plan, other may choose to watch the video, but if you are new I would encourage you to do it all, take your time and enjoy the process!


  14. Valerie says:
    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 7:23pm

    Two questions regarding contact course:
    1.We are all so busy, can’t help but wonder:
    A. How much time do you expect students to spend in reviewing the materials provide? What days of each week will the lessons be rolled out?
    B. How much daily time training?

    2. For Bonus members will all materials be available for either download (or printable) from the get go? I have a strong preference for reading paper and often print blogs, etc.

    Thank you for the consideration of these questions!


    • Susan says:
      Monday, May 7, 2012 at 7:54pm

      1. All of the lessons are laid out as quick games. If you are brand new to agility or to our training it may take you longer to get the mechanics down compared to someone who as been here before. That being said the idea would be to work in quick 5 minute training sessions. That is exactly what I do with my dogs when training skills. I may do one 5 minute session, stop take some notes and do another one right away (rarely) but mostly it is just one session. With a young dog or when I am teaching a new skill I try to get in 2 -3 a day for 5 days of the week (realistically that may only happen 3-4 days a week). So really not a lot of time involved.
      There are three lessons a week. At first we will roll them out all at once on a Monday (because some of the lessons may just be a repeat for some student that they will want to move ahead). In module two and onward they lessons will be rolled out a day at a time; Mon, Tuesday & Wednesday.

      2. All members are welcome to copy and paste the contents of the material to print it out but the complete ebook will not be available until after the end of the 12 weeks; allowing us to be flexible and add material we fell will give clarity to the content we are presenting.

      Hope that helps! Any other questions just shout (or type:)).


      • Valerie says:
        Monday, May 7, 2012 at 8:41pm

        Thank you much for your reply. How long would you estimate the trainer will need to spend studying each component? Five, 15, 30 minutes per lesson?

        My concern is “can I make the time to make this work?!” Time constraint concerns aside, this should like a wonderful course. A true educational investment in becoming a better trainer. While I am still on the fence, if I do pull the trigger it will be for plus membership due to my time constraint concerns.

      • Ellen says:
        Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 11:08pm

        I work full time so I am gone 8-12 hrs a day. On a day when I am off I have several 5 minute sessions. On a day when I work I have one 5 minute session for each of two dogs and few 30 sec-1 minute ones. People at local classes think I train 24/7 LOL
        I am not planning to change it with this new course, just add extra time for agility class. Susan’s teaching is never about drilling for hours, it is about efficiency of training.

      • Susan says:
        Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 7:44am

        @Ellen, exactly this course should be no different; the 5 minute formula baby!

  15. Christine says:
    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 6:54pm

    I echo what a lot of people have said – I know I need this course but my heart sank when I saw how expensive it was going to be – thank you for all the information you have given so far – it is a wonderful taster of what could be and what I really need.


  16. Pat Wojcik says:
    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 5:47pm

    Using the games in the Recallers course taught me how to get my Sheltie Spirit to enjoy tugging. Even more impressive he’s built up to tugging on several different types of toy of various texture. Over the weekend my mom commented OMG, Spirit almost pulled me off my chair when I tugged with him!

    My friend who only believes in the olde-school methods of dog training constantly laments that her dog won’t tug. I’ve sent her the link to your course – hopefully she will sign-up.


  17. Barbara Bower says:
    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 4:58pm

    My present agility dog has been retired and I do not at present have a replacement. My concern is that the program is only available for 6 months. If I get one 4 months down the road, I am afraid I will not remember all the good info that has been presented.


    • Charlotte says:
      Monday, May 7, 2012 at 5:54pm

      If you get the extended course you receive and e-book of all the lessons so the info is with you for a lifetime 🙂


    • Mary M says:
      Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 6:30pm

      I am going to add I have worked my 11 yr boy through all the SY online courses so far and probably this one too, while he does not compete any longer, he still LOVES to play and I LOVE to have three dogs to learn from as I am learning new methods, helps me to see different responses from different dogs….so if your retired dog can physically do it (you could take the A-Frame at the very end down in height – but Susan has said most of this course happens OFF the equipment and is suitable for even baby pups) this could work for you….plus you have the advantage of “practicing” the new methods with this dog and having it under your belt for your next pup! Win-win in my opinion 😉


  18. nan says:
    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 4:44pm

    Yay!! I’ve done it! I am now officially a student of Say Yes to Contact Success!
    I am soooo excited…..


    • Mary M says:
      Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 6:27pm



  19. Margaret Parks says:
    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 4:21pm

    I have never yet taken an online course from Susan Garrett, though I have loved reading the newsletter and watching the videos. She is amazing.

    The cost is a huge issue for me, but perhaps an even bigger issue is whether you can take a dog like mine who has not been trained in the “Say Yes” way and go back to basics with this course and have it be fun and exciting for him rather than confusing and frustrating.

    We have been competing in agility in local trials for about a year and we both have a lot of fun. We Q a lot but nobody would describe him as a dog with a lot of drive and speed or me as anything but a rank novice.

    Do you think this course would be right for me?

    Thanks so much for any insight you might have.


    • Mary M says:
      Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 6:27pm


      I cannot say if the course will be right for you but can say I have taken three of my dogs through Susan’s courses, my oldest (11yr) was started with correction based training then moved to lure training, my middle boy (5yr) was lure and shaped with some correction in the very beginning of his training, my youngest (3yr) has been shaped entirely…..I will tell you that I have re-trained all using SY methods and I LOVE what I have so it can be done and I would not go back for anything. If your on the edge take the plunge, Susan always delivers more then you ever thought you would get out of her courses!


      • Margaret Parks says:
        Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 6:44pm

        Thanks, Mary M — I so appreciate your reply and your understanding.

        I have decided to take the plunge and I couldn’t be more excited!!! Yippee!!!

  20. Kim says:
    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 3:14pm

    I am very interested in enrolling but was curious what additional equipment I will also need. I do not have any contact equipment that I could use on a daily basis. Could we make progress only running the obstacles once a week? Should I factor in the cost of purchasing a small contact trainer or would you recommend owning a dog walk, teeter, or A-frame to get the most out of this class?


    • Susan says:
      Monday, May 7, 2012 at 3:35pm

      Actually Kim for this course the vast majority of it is done on stuff around your home. Even for people that already have all of the equipment, I don’t want them using it until the last 2 weeks of the course. It would be ideal if you had access to a seesaw, but even that you can just do all of your lessons once a week. Even though I do have all the contact equipment I still do all of my training on a set of stairs and a short 3′ plank. I wouldn’t suggest you buy a contact trainer for this course.


  21. Mo says:
    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 2:51pm

    I decided I could put all 3 of my dogs through the program, although only 1 is an agility dog. I came to the conclusion that the PLUS membership was really a good deal!


  22. Tiva says:
    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 2:38pm

    I would love to sign up and be a part of any of Susan’s online courses–I know her innovation, enthusiasm and shall we say ‘pizazz’ are unmatched in any other agility offering. There is do doubt that the money is well invested if you are a serious dog-trainer with some cash. I’m currently not training, and still trying to catch up on PuppyPeaks, so I won’t be attending. In the future I would absolutely purchase any SG products which became available.


  23. Sharon says:
    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 1:48pm

    YAY, I am all signed up now….and I have a whole year to work on it…no rush – very excited – because I know that it is well worth the $$ spent. Thanks, Susan and Linda and all….


  24. Ellen says:
    Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 11:36pm

    I live near big city, there are plenty of training agility classes around me. Yet decision to sign up was never a decision.
    Jan, same here we have $25 for regular class and $100 per private lesson. 2 dogs one class a week is $50. But the value is incomparable, and I am not putting local teachers down, some of them great but the way classes set up you only get so much out of it and nobody will talk to you in details, like why and how you do this but not that. Susan gives enough science in her courses to be logical and find correct solutions but not too much so my head starts spinning from all that … you know it could be negative P or positive R… and don’t forget your antecedent…


    • Jan says:
      Monday, May 7, 2012 at 6:36am

      I agree. I really enjoy my local class and know that when we return it will be with the foundation and knowledge to take our training to a higher level!


  25. JWings says:
    Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 8:33am

    Do I understand correctly that the section on Running Contacts is only covered in the full version of course?


    • Susan says:
      Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 10:09am

      @JWings, yes the Running Contacts is a “bonus” added to the “plus” membership.


  26. Marion Wehrman says:
    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 10:21pm

    Thanks everyone for all the comments! I am so wanting to do this, in fact I think I will!!!!


  27. Kathy says:
    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 7:43pm

    Like several other people, I was hesitant to sign up for the contact course because of the cost. But I looked over our agility record for the last year and saw that my fast little Scottie missed an alarming number of Qs on DW contacts. He also has started bailing off the teeter rather quickly, and the Aframe isn’t great. My older, experienced Cairn Terrier COULD do her contacts lots faster than she does (earning more MACH points on each run). And my novice Scottie could have much better speed and confidence on the contacts. (I can sit and read a book while he does the dogwalk.) The cost of the online course is a drop in the agility bucket compared to lost Qs and missing confidence on contacts. Not to mention the risk of injury from leaping from the Aframe or teeter. And after watching Puppy Peaks for 10 months, I know Susan will deliver more than she promises. And splitting the cost between 3 dogs isn’t so bad! They will ALL benefit.


    • Jan says:
      Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 9:55am

      Kathy, I think you are spot on! If you compare the cost of weekly classes ( in my area $150 for 6 weeks) and compare it to all we are getting with this course (6 months access for basic membership) and all the benefits – rear end awareness, component games plus contact games, online support from SG and SY team and coaching calls. We are getting so much more for our money than could ever be embedded in a weekly hour group lesson over the same 6 months. I just decided to take a break from lessons and trialing and feel like I am actually saving money!

      As someone who has participated in SG’s on-line courses since Recallers 1.0 I know I will not be disappointed. Being able to refer back to the content whenever I need to is what works for me. I know my dog training skills have grown exponentially by becoming a problem solver rather than just a follower.

      Sorry this is so long….


      • Megan says:
        Monday, May 7, 2012 at 1:57pm

        I agree that the cost is the biggest issue; here what I’m paying (£25 for 4 hour lessons) it would be over what my training costs for an entire year. I’ll admit I do enjoy all of Susan’s methods but the cost is just too much for me. I even looked into the payment plan, but the lump sums would still be a bit too much to pay in one go when you own two dogs and can’t work full time (I’m 17 so I work part time on weekends).

        Sadly I’ll have to give this one a miss but I’m sure it’ll be great for all those who’ve taken the leap!

      • Susan says:
        Monday, May 7, 2012 at 2:04pm

        @Megan, I am hoping to have a “Jr. Handler” program for all of my courses, ideally sometime this year . . . all I need is a person or persons to over see it all for me. So many ideas, too little time! I know it doesn’t help you right now Megan, but hopefully all the free info I posted in the videos will give you some ideas and maybe next time I offer this course you can get one of the Jr. Handler spots!

      • Megan says:
        Monday, May 7, 2012 at 2:07pm

        @Susan, that sounds like it’d be awesome and I’ll watch out for it in the future 🙂

    • Dianne Marshall says:
      Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 1:20pm

      I have had a tough time with keeping employed due to our economy and money has been real tight with very fast rising energy cost has us counting everything. These classes have been well worth it and the joy I have had with my dog is great. I even found a way to get to Say Yes while unemployed. I find the games are so much fun working with my dogs lets you get away from the tough stuff. I have learned so much and I have fun everyday dogs that can go anywhere with me and be good dogs. Do it. If I never did agility I would enjoy the results.


  28. Deb S. says:
    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 5:40pm

    I too was a little surprised by the price, but then I started thinking–If I took off work to attend a three-day seminar (driving over 13 hours one way to Ontario), staying in a hotel, only bringing one dog, I would probably be paying a similar amount (plus the kennel fee to keep my other two dogs). I would be getting a lot of personal experience, but I would then have to drive back and try to put all the techniques in practice without the guidance.

    Here, I have time for all the information to “soak in”–plenty of opportunity for me to try and not quite get it right and keep trying. I have many people to bounce ideas off–and the time to learn what the community can teach me through everyone else’s trials and errors. In addition, I can be working on all of my dogs, not just one dog.

    This is my first SG course (on-line or in-person, though I have books and DVDs), and by the end, I know that I will also have take aways to help me become a better dog trainer in general, one who is better able to communicate with my 4-legged friends, a quality that my dogs are sure to appreciate.

    I couldn’t not sign up.

    Deb S.


    • Jane G says:
      Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 3:28am



    • Lorrie says:
      Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 11:14pm

      Thanks for putting this in perspective for me. I really thought long and hard about signing up for Recallers 5.0. I teach agility seminars, and for the past 5 or so years, I have spent money on seminars and learned very little, so I felt guilty “wasting” the money. It is very true though, that I would be paying for hotel etc. to attend a seminar from someone else. So I’m hopeful that there will be several “aha” moments in this online course that I haven’t found anywhere else.


  29. Quossum says:
    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 4:05pm

    Oh, man, I gulped *hard* when I saw the cost, too! Especially since I had some unexpected expenses (good-bye, wisdom teeth!) to take care of. I even closed the browser in dismay and told myself not to go back, no need to be tempted.

    But then, I looked at my six-month old puppy. The puppy who’s been raised on a diet of Recallers, Puppy Peaks, Shaping a Difference, and Crate Games (and raw meat, but that’s another topic!). My puppy who has more self-control and a higher tolerance for frustration, more drive for work and tugging than any dog I’ve ever owned. I also took a sidelong glance at my present Agility dog, my Italian Greyhound Pixie, who is very dear but inconsistent with her contacts, and my former Agility dog who had to be retired early due to a growing tendency to run out of the ring.

    I feel like I’m evolving as a trainer, and it’s thanks to the paradigm shift that started when I read *Shaping Success* some years ago. It grew as I read *Ruff Love,* and finally, when an online friend encouraged me, it blossomed when I joined my first SG online course, Puppy Peaks.

    I can’t stop in this journey now! When I thought of all I had learned, all I had absorbed through these courses, and thought about how it could apply to contacts, too…well, I did a little bit of digging and (future) scrimping, and decided I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. I did the payment option to make it a little easier on me. It’s an investment, sure, but I think it will pay off dividends, both in my contacts and in my training chops in general. I like the ability to follow along at my own pace. The support system is nice, too; there are always veterans or Susan herself to hop in and answer questions or help troubleshoot. And now, I will have this knowledge, this foundation, for future dogs as well. To coin a phrase I’ve heard a few times before…How cool is that?

    I’m glad I took the plunge and can’t wait for the contact fun to start!


    • shelley says:
      Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 4:53pm

      How lucky is your young pup!


  30. Laura W. says:
    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 3:37pm

    “If I just teach you a skill, you are still dependent upon me for learning other skills in the future. If I build up your knowledge of dog training through the teaching model we have in place, every future skill you learn from us becomes easier and easier.”

    Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime (or something like that!).


  31. sue-w says:
    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 12:16pm

    I hesitated. Especially because May is when ALL the big living expenses hit in our household. Not one course that Susan has presented has been a disappointment for me — every course has been amazing; so many bonuses and such great learning opportunities! So much material to keep and use while training a new pup or rescue dog! I knew I had to be in Contacts! From what I’ve seen so far and also hearing about all the components planned and the many rear-end games that will be up on the course and teeter bang games, and other games —– I am so GLAD I SIGNED UP!

    I think this course is going to be the best one yet — if that’s possible based on the quality of the prior courses.

    I’ve calculated in the auto gasoline costs that I’m saying … by learning in my own home … and deducted them from the cost of the course — what a bargain doing on-line courses with Susan!


  32. Heather says:
    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 12:09pm

    Marion,that was me yesterday before I joined up, should I or not. I looked at how much I’ve learnt since Recallers 3.0 and the fun we are having in our shaping den, then I worked out how much it would cost IF I could find anything like this in the UK. That made the decision much easier, I’m only at the beginning of my agility journey and who knows if I’ll actually compete but after years of looking I’ve actually found a way of training that sits right with me and my dogs. Only you can make that decision but I’m so pleased I have.


  33. Marion says:
    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 10:49am

    I am addicted to Susan’s online classes! I am still undecided…. sign up for this next one or not???? I have a few pieces of agility equipment that we play with but I am not sure if this is for us. I know I will learn lots as I already have with Recallers 2.0 and 3.0, Puppy Peaks and the Shaping Course. I have loved them all so far! Help me…is anyone else undecided like me????


  34. [email protected] says:
    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 8:02am

    Where is the LIKE button!!!


  35. Heather says:
    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 2:48am

    I think Shelley hits the nail on the head with the comment ‘You enable each and every person who embraces your programs to grow not only as dog trainers but as people.’ I crash landed into Recallers 3.0 and haven’t looked back, took on Crate Games and One Jump and realised on reading Ruff Love I was part the way on the journey. I may compete one day but the joy for me is the interaction with my dogs and seeing them so happy. The added bonus is that I feel that I have grown as a teacher (my day job)enabling my pupils to think for themselves too. Bring on the fun.


    • shelley says:
      Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 2:13pm

      Heather, that is great that your pupils have gained too! Way to go!


  36. sharon empson says:
    Friday, May 4, 2012 at 9:10pm

    I would love to take your courses, and it is just what I need, training me to be a good trainer. The problem for me is the cost. I know the price is worth it, but I can’t afford it. On line courses are perfect for me since I live so far away from you Susan.
    So, I drool as I hear all you will cover. thanks so much for all you have taught me so far, it has been great! Thanks, sharon empson


    • Susan says:
      Friday, May 4, 2012 at 9:51pm

      @Sharon, maybe some day, meanwhile I promise to continue with great quality training ideas for those of you that just can’t swing one of my courses.


      • Caragh says:
        Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 2:45am

        Your generosity with all that you have learnt outside of your courses is amazing. I am enjoying watching Swagger grow through Puppy Peaks and using lots of things on my pup. I would love to do your contact course but am grateful for the information you share through your blogs and public video clips. Thanks Caragh, Milly and Fern. Oh and Spike the kitten because we practise recalls off him!!!! Great distraction training.

    • Noela says:
      Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 12:34pm

      @Sharon, I think especially if the exchange rate is not favourable, the cost is a factor for many of us and you are not the only one “drooling” 🙂 Would also loooooove to be part of it


      • Rebecca says:
        Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 3:36pm

        I too would love to be able to do an online course! But i am only 15 and i live all the way in ireland,so certainly cost is a big problem for me.

        But i have still learned so much from reading your blogs and ebooks and watching your videos. I just find my self connecting the dots to make a training program.
        I was puzzled as to how you got your dogs to do a nose touch on the ground but after some thinking i worked out my own games that i can do with my beagle to achieve what you did and they seem to be working!

      • Jane G says:
        Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 3:24am

        Rebecca! That’s awesome. Keep playing those games with joy as the centerpiece for both you and your dog.

  37. Alaska says:
    Friday, May 4, 2012 at 8:05pm

    This is also the reason why so many of us just sign up for each course as it appears.

    “Contacts? Not really sure what that is, but I know I love learning how to think my way through new challenges with my dog. Sign me up!” It sounds crazy, but there are veterans of previous Say Yes online courses saying exactly that.

    These courses become an addiction, NOT because people worship Susan Garrett (though some do, of course), but because the feeling you get when your dog throws something new at you and you realize you just spontaneously modified your actions to respond to that new challenge, on the fly, without having to ask a mentor what to do…wow, for most of us that is a powerful high. And that is what you learn from the Say Yes online courses.

    Also, it is FUN FUN FUN, for you and the dog, and that’s a pretty powerful drug too.


    • Ellen says:
      Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 1:51am

      Alaska, how true! I am sure it will be another year of fun and am sure my fundamentals for any performance sports will be much improved.


  38. Lisa says:
    Friday, May 4, 2012 at 7:41pm

    Having worked with a few of your instructors I personally know how they can have so much of an impact on students persuing do-land…. and Susan you should know how proud they are to represent you and say yes.. so kudos to Lynda and to Jane Book for personally being Mentors for me and so many others who are positive not only in our training but on giving our dogs all we can…..


  39. Sharon says:
    Friday, May 4, 2012 at 7:30pm

    Susan’s on line courses have enabled me to be an effective dog trainer and to ibam now able think things through. I would have never predicted that I would become as knowledgeable as I am today. I have so many resources available to me from Susan’s on-line courses with handouts Downloads , videos, audios. But what has changed the MOST for me is the JOY I now experience with my 5 JRT’s – be it at an agility trial, obedience class, at home, in the neighborhood or hiking. Susan has provided me with the tools to deal with thunder phobia, reactivity, don’t wanna don’t have to moments and shaping tricks, recalls off of squirrels and so much more. I find myself laughing more than I had been. I no longer “cry in my soup” when things don’t go he way I planned. I take those times as an opportunity to think through the problem to find the solution. Many tools Susan has given are quite simple but SO EFFECTIVE. I can apply these methods to many situations and to my jacks who are so different in many ways. Susan has instilled confidence and joy in me!!!!!


  40. Kathryn says:
    Friday, May 4, 2012 at 7:26pm

    Kudos to you for recognizing — and building into your program — the different perspectives of those who create a learning opportunity and those who have worked through it. The more the merrier, as they say, when it comes to contributing to the learning experience, particularly when the student body is so diverse.

    The instructors on your team are all first-rate, and each brings to the table both her own unique spin and an unwavering commitment to the principles that make Say Yes so special. The value of feedback from any one of them is extraordinary, and having all of them involved means even more great feedback for students and ongoing professional development for all.

    Celebrating the fact that no single perspective is the ONLY one in every possible situation is the key to building skills and knowledge for everyone involved.

    Ongoing collaboration among these supremely talented instructors is an important side-effect of working together to provide students with information. Everyone builds on what everyone else has to offer, resulting in a program that is clear, consistent, effective and responsive — characteristics that define both the best dog training and the best instruction.

    Learning from any one of the people on the Say Yes team is something to be savoured. Learning from all of them is a feast the likes of which simply don’t exist anywhere else. Is it any wonder so many folks go back for seconds?


    • Margaret Parks says:
      Monday, May 7, 2012 at 3:01pm

      Hi, everyone,

      I have never yet taken an online course from Susan Garrett, though I have loved reading the newsletter and watching the videos. She is amazing.

      The cost is a huge issue for me, but perhaps an even bigger issue is whether you can take a dog like mine who has not been trained in the “Say Yes” way and go back to basics with this course and have it be fun and exciting for him rather than confusing and frustrating.

      We have been competing in agility in local trials for about a year and we both have a lot of fun. We Q a lot but nobody would describe him as a dog with a lot of drive and speed or me as anything but a rank novice.

      Do you think this course would be right for me?

      Thanks so much for any insight you might have.



      • Liz says:
        Monday, May 7, 2012 at 5:29pm

        Maggie – many of us on Susan’s other online courses have done them with dogs not ‘grown up’ in the Say Yes way. My Golden is a good example both in terms of obedience and agility. We had some major issues but participating in Recallers etc has changed him. At 8 years of age, he competed in his first USDAA agility trial earning 5 out of 6 Q’s which was unheard of success for us! It would have been 6 but I goofed. At 9 he completed his AKC CD title as a happy dog. I plan on doing some of the contacts stuff with him at 10 just because he loves doing this stuff and I want to see how he changes. Susan has incorporated in the Contacts Course some of the same games and other things from the other courses. So I for one think you would benefit. I am having to pinch pennies this summer, but seeing the change that occurs, especially with my older dog, is well worth it. Our partnership has greatly improved and he has a lot more joy in life.

      • Jane G says:
        Monday, May 7, 2012 at 10:30pm

        Maggie or anyone on the fence, I started with Recallers 2 and took a leap of faith and joined the Inner Circle. I gotta say, Susan would have a pretty hard time getting rid of me at this point. The things she teaches us are awesome. It can be something you think is so simple, but when you break it down, there are many components. She is such a master at building foundation skills and then adding on to that foundation.
        I’ve been a part of 6 online classes now. The online groups are a diverse lot. Experienced trainers, novice folks, some that are relatively new to Do-Land and others have been living there for a while. Some with a young dog, some with older dogs, & those that have and adult dog and a puppy that are raising the puppy the Do-Land way and bringing the adult dog “along for the ride.” You name it. We all learn so much from Susan, LOH, and eachother!
        Oh, and don’t underestimate the value of Lynda! She is Susan’s ‘left hand woman’ and such an asset to the SY team. Lynda has so much to share & compliments Susan’s teaching style.
        I have received way more than I paid for in the content of the course alone, much less the extra stuff she gives us.
        I could go on, but you get the idea. It sounds like you are where I was when I was debating whether or not to join Recallers 2. I knew some about Susan and Say Yes, enough to know she was a great teacher, but, still, the committment made me hesitate. Then I was hesitant to join the Inner Circle, but when I looked at all of my dog training and trialing dollars, I thought it was a luxury I could justify with a little reallocation of resources, so I went ahead. Then the whole thing rocked my world. I’m such a better trainer, more observant, and I have a better relationship with my dogs as a result.
        If you even think you might want to do this, do yourself and your dogs a favor…come on in and join us!

      • Ellen says:
        Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 11:00pm

        Maggie, you have to jump in somewhere IMHO. Dust off your Crate games, reread Ruff love and Shaping success and you will bee seeing course with new eyes.
        I have no competition background and while relationship significantly improved after Recallers we still working on our squirrel speed. People will come to this course with their different backgrounds just as for previous courses, great thing you can work on your own time and make it your journey.
        I’ve already signed up for course and can tell you they will be covering a lot of material that was used in previous courses.

  41. Charlotte says:
    Friday, May 4, 2012 at 6:52pm

    I agree with Shelley. One of the things I love about Say Yes courses is the fact you make better dog trainers of us rather than just students who need their hands held at every turn. The volume of information received is incredible – just love it.


  42. shelley says:
    Friday, May 4, 2012 at 6:11pm

    What is pretty unique about the the online courses, is your ability to get us to THINK… to work outside our little safe boxes and become our own trainers. We might groan a little , not much(!!!), when you set us a challenge to work out on our own….but it is through these that you ‘enable people rather than disable them’…we become our own trainers because of what you give to us. You enable each and every person who embraces your programs to grow not only as dog trainers but as people.


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