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Turning the Impossible, into the POSSIBLE

Posted on 02/14/16 26 Comments

jan Do ever you look at your current agility life and believe there are things that are just impossible for you and your dog? That your thinking isn’t being a “pessimist”, rather you are just being a “realist”. Do you believe there are limits on what you can achieve as a handler because of your current life circumstances? And that there are limits to what your dog can achieve with you as the handler? Do you think of those limits? Well, I hope after today you break through that glass ceiling that has held you down, and think in terms of all that is possible rather than impossible.

For example, if you were living in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world, in a small flat, would you think training a skilled agility dog would be possible for you? What if you also had virtually no backyard or garden, and any time you wanted to practice you had pack your jumps into your tiny car (of course your car is tiny, living in this large city) and drive to the nearest park to practice. What does your agility look like now?

I’d like you to meet Jan and her working Cocker “Halle”, a student in my online Handling360 program. I hope her agility journey will be as inspiring to you as it is to me.

Each impossibility we have in our lives has one thing in common… within the word impossible, you can find the word POSSIBLE always hiding, testing you to see how much courage you have. Because the best things in life are the things we had to stretch to find… the ones outside of our comfort zone.

So maybe you do agility, but really have not had much success. You consider yourself, as I recall one American student of mine referring to herself, as “M.A.C.H. fodder”, implying that she and her dog were running in the class, just there to allow the “best dogs” to earn more points when they win the classes she was running in. So perhaps you have been doing agility for years with your dogs without ever really winning the “big class”. You are now not the youngest person in the sport, nor are you the fastest handler around the ring. What are your possibilities? Would you think a Gold Medal at a world championship?

Enter another of our Handling360 students. This is Jen, and her Border Collie “Spud” that is her story exactly.

In both Jan’s and Jen’s Handling360 case studies, you can see how each looked for possibilities. They were persistent.  jen

We have heard from many of you during the past week as we share our Handling360 video series, that you are seeking solutions, and wondering if your own “impossibilities” can be overcome.

To help you, I would like to invite you to sit in as a guest on an upcoming Handling 360 Coaching Session tomorrow evening (that is, Monday February 15th starting at 7 PM ET).

The goal of these sessions is for me to bring clarity to anything our Handling360 students would like to focus on. This Monday, I will be sharing a secret that I’ve been keeping without knowing it. I had a big “ah ha” moment recently about distance work with agility dogs. It will even be enlightening to my H360 peeps during this coaching session. Also during Monday’s session, since there will be so many “guests” in attendance, I will also spend time answering any questions you may still have about being a member of our Handling360 community or about handling in general.

Being a “guest” during our session is free. However, I will ask that you register in advance so we will know how many “virtual guests” to expect.

Your Invitation to a Free Online Coaching Session

When: Monday, February 15th, 2016

Time: 7.00 pm ET (Toronto Time)

Where: Register to Join in by clicking this link

How: All you need to do is be online at 7.00 pm ET on Monday, on the webpage for our coaching session, and you can join in as we are streaming live directly to you!

Your Handling 360 Questions: We LOVE your questions.  Ask them in the comments section below and we will answer as many as we can on Monday.

 “Impossible only means that you haven’t found the solution yet.” – Anon

We are looking forward to helping you find your solutions on Monday.

Today I am grateful to Jan and Jen for searching out possibilities for their dogs, for being courageous, taking chances and not giving in to limiting beliefs. Most of all I am grateful to these two ladies for  sharing their stories with the world.

If you seem stuck under your own glass ceilings one of my favourite resources is Guy Hendrick’s “The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level.” It is truly a life altering book…a must read for all. I have it on audio book and have listened to it three of four times since it first came out in 2010.

And speaking of breaking through glass ceilings of your own, if  you haven’t already seen the last video in our recent agility handling series, here is the link   http://my.handling360.com/video-4  Let me know if my description of a day at an agility trial strikes a nerve with you.



  1. Fiona says:
    Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 6:17pm

    Wow what inspiring stories. So glad that I am part of the H360 group 🙂


  2. Ruth says:
    Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 7:45pm

    Absolutely love these inspiring stories from around the world. What diverse beginnings and, with the common factor of H360, wonderful results!! Wow wee!


  3. Debbi says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 10:45pm

    My Golden Nugget?…the 5C Pyramid=fine tune the path to success!!! Yeah..I have a brilliant Rally dog that totally stresses at trials. I have consciousness and clarity but NOT confidence so the trial is too much of a challenge for her yet!…back up ..build confidence with baby steps……this is a great weight off my frustrated shoulders. Thank you Susan…..Debbi and Emmy


  4. Jitka says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 4:10pm

    Dear Susan and H360 team,
    for my dog (3 years) competition field with lots of dogs, people and noise is very stressful.
    When we prepare before start, he can do tricks and he is focus on me ( I give him some treats).
    But when we are approaching start, I have difficulties to keep him focus on me, and very often he leaves me and barks to the people around. Please see the video.
    It is very frustrating and I don‘t know what to do with it.
    I would appreciate any help.
    Thank you


  5. Patricia Duncan says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 12:50pm

    My ACD has both food and toy drive, toy drive being higher than food drive. If I throw a toy for reward or motivator, she will grab the toy, run away, shaking it, then lay down to chew on it. If I use a high value treat, she may bring the toy to me, but I’ve lost any reward or motivation value for the toy. Loves to tug. I would love to build her value for bringing a toy to play with me. Thank you!


  6. Debbie Laxague says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 11:35am

    If there’s time during the webinar, I’d like to hear your opinion on problems with hesitation and freezing on the teeter (especially strange teeters, like in a trial). I could give more detail (lots more, smile) but I know you like one-sentence questions.


  7. Patricia Tyler says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 11:17am

    Hi Susan, thank you so much for your recent videos, they have inspired me so much, you are very kind to let us have so much free information. However, we come to the problem of the courses and the price. I would dearly love to take part, but as a pensioner, your costs would take up over half of my pension, so as you see, impossible to manage. I’m not saying that your courses aren’t worth the price, but just that myself and probably an awful lot more people, especially pensioners, just cant afford it. Perhaps in the future, you could give special rates for us?? I thank you once again and keep on the good work. Pat. All the best for the future. X


    • Monika says:
      Monday, February 15, 2016 at 5:20pm

      I have the same problem as you, no matter how much I wish there is no way I can afford H360 right now, well I am on the other end as a student with no regular income 😉 But I will try to save the money and join next year 🙂


  8. Rosanne says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 11:13am

    I have been competing for a couple of years with a Belgian Turvuren and have had good results but I keep striving for more. Our placements are commonly in the upper 20% but would love to be more competitive. As a Belgian he is a structurally upright dog but he is very athletic and has great structure and balance. What appears to slow us down the most is that he head-checks or is watching me instead of the course even when I am running next to him or in front of him. He watches me off course all the time too so this trait is part of who he is, but I’m wondering how H360 could help break this habit and speed up our times.


  9. Jane says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 11:05am

    Will your handling 360 course help me to make better course running/handling decisions? Also my younger dog tends to come out of the last two weaves on a regular basis, is there something I am doing to cause this? Any advice would be very helpful. Thank you.


  10. Debbie says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 10:41am

    Questions for Coaching Call:

    I want to change my lingo to the H360 lingo so that it is easier for me to follow along. Is it possible to make this change with a senior dog?

    Thank you


  11. Monika says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 10:18am

    Hi, for live coaching I would like to know:
    How does DVD Success with one jump correlate to H360?
    Thanks 🙂


  12. Tiiu Mayer says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 7:37am

    We are doing well in agility but have lots of room for improvement and have the potential to do MUCH better. Flying off the A-frame and to a lesser degree the dogwalk ( teeter is OK ) is one of the major challenges. Of course we execute them quite well in class 😉 . Does 360 address this? I attended a seminar recently and the ‘fix’ for this seemed like a very long and exhaustive process. Thanks!


  13. Glenda Russell says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 5:22am

    I really enjoyed Jan and Jen’s video’s-very inspiring. I wanted to ask if the hand signals are right hand always sends right and the left hand always sends left no matter what direction you are facing? I am trying to figure out if there is a definitive hand signal that tells the dog to jump to the backside because it looks effortless in the videos. Also asking for a friend- any specific training that could help keep a dog from jumping ring gates and leaving to go sniff and explore during training. She is doing recallers but her dog seems to enjoy jumping the gating to run around. Thanks so much-:)


  14. Susan marsland says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 4:52am

    I’m so excited as l have been following h360 for last 2 years. I have 2 beautiful border collies scooby 5 years and pepper 16 months.Have had lots of problems with scooby at agility l have no start line wait have had four different trainers all say something different tried everything,so being positive with all the training you are giving ie crate games.My other problem is scooby goes under a lot of the jumps,my trainer said he needs to hold his head up and look,How do l train that.

    I would love to hear your feed back on that.
    As we have only just started pepper l dont want to make that mistake with her.
    Best wishes
    Susan x


  15. Sally says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 4:30am

    Brilliant videos.

    I especially enjoyed Jan’s video as she and I have chatted in the H360 forums, and so seeing her story here is a real pleasure. Go Jan and Halle!

    And Jen – WAY to GO! Lovely story with such a beautiful ending for you. Very moving.

    To be honest these stories are just what I need to get me back training again with renewed enthusiasm after our winter rest.

    Thanks all. 🙂


  16. Heather Henshaw says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 3:45am

    Amazing inspiring stories. I have my own ‘impossible’ in that I have a disability. I find it ‘impossible’ to go fast so my dogs slow down to stay with me. I have managed to ‘ditch the elbow crutch’ while working them in agility to enable me to give clearer physical signals but I’m really hoping predictive verbals will help us so that they won’t be constantly looking back at me.

    I can’t make tonight’s session sadly ???? I’m in the UK and it’s a little late as I have work early the following morning – hoping I can catch up on it later on you tube ?


  17. Anna says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 3:44am

    Fabulous inspiring videos.


  18. Gill C says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 2:52am

    As a (ahem) mature handler I loved seeing these handlers do their thing with these dogs… Because I can DEFINITELY do this!! ???? Oh yes! My question for Susan is “How do I keep one very agility-motivated mini schnauzer quiet while I train the other?!!” It drives me bonkers that she barks all the time whether her crate is covered or not!!


  19. Charlotte says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 2:09am

    What superstars Jan and Jen have been. Hope I get to meet you both when I go to UK this year 🙂


  20. Betty says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 12:58am

    Another question I notice most of the dogs in these videos are big dogs what about my small Papillons can they accomplish the same and with my 6 year old who is strong willed can I turn him around By the way both of my dogs are high drive who love tugging and food of any kind lol Looking forward to webinar


  21. Penny says:
    Monday, February 15, 2016 at 12:02am

    I have a young dog (2.5 years old) that has found the tunnel on the agility course as a place he can hide from me on course. He rolls in the tunnel and when he is called will most often come out of the same side of the tunnel, Nquing us a a team and frustrating me as a handler. I would appreciate any help.

    Thank you



  22. Bridget says:
    Sunday, February 14, 2016 at 11:46pm

    My question for tomorrow night for Susan: I know many dogs who were made in agility through H360, and the common denominator in many of these dogs is that they “frustrate high”. However, I find it interesting that none of your own dogs seem to exhibit this frustration response. Could you comment on this? What are your students doing differently than you that can create this response in their dogs? And what circumstances cause your dogs to shut down, and how do you respond to this? Thanks 🙂


  23. Betty says:
    Sunday, February 14, 2016 at 11:42pm

    What two great stories hope me and my pups can do that


  24. LeeYong Wong says:
    Sunday, February 14, 2016 at 8:56pm

    What amazing stories – thank you for sharing them with all of us! Inspirational indeed! Susan, you must be so proud of all your students from all over the world. Congrats to all for your achievements!


  25. Shelly says:
    Sunday, February 14, 2016 at 5:09pm

    Jan & Jen, wow, I just love both of your stories. I sit here with goose bumps & a big smile while watching 🙂 So inspiring!! Thank you for sharing.


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