Questions, Concerns & Family | Susan Garrett's Dog Training Blog

Questions, Concerns & Family

Thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments on the blog. Lots of great questions as well in anticipation of the new e course. I am going to cover a few here today.

Many concerns from those of you that live alone and how are you going to do these restrained recalls without someone to hold the dog. I mentioned an easy way in the Restrained Recall presentation itself. I will leave you to go back and “find it.” I also posted another solution in the comments and that comes from Crate Games, there is a chapter in the DVD dedicated to doing restrained recalls from the Crate so be sure to check that out.

There was yet another great solution posted in the comments on the video itself, something I recommend as well, doing restrained recalls around a pole. We have even more games that make restrained recalls possible that will be rolled out in the e-course.

A few of you posted in your homework of “listing your A food rewards” that your dog loves all food equally. That does not fly with me, sorry. I know if I was to put down a tiny piece of dried kibble beside a 2″ chunk of steak I am pretty sure your dog will dive for the steak first. Get to know your dog and what are his drives and triggers in order to have the biggest impact on your training.

Question number four was; “Is a reliable recall possible with every breed?” I love the answer from Sylvia with her Inuit dogs so check that out in the comments section.

The answer to this question, in my opinion, is yes it is possible with every breed. Is it possible with every dog within every breed? Maybe not. If the history or reinforcement is strong enough to NOT always come when called and it has been building for many years then there is no way you will get something as reliable as a dog that has rarely made a poor choice throughout their entire lifetime!

Here is another way to look at that question; Do I think it is possible to dramatically IMPROVE the recall of every dog within every breed? My answer to that question is a confident, enthusiastic YES!

There was also many questions about what to use for recall cue. I made the suggestion of “Near-Me” as a great new recall word. If you aren’t comfortable with that, any simple sounding cue will work.

It was suggested that words like “Dinner” or “cookie” or “Go for a” . . (car ride, walk) would work for a new recall cue. The thing is, the reason these words now have value is because they have been followed up with the act of you delivering great value! Keep those triggers to mean what they mean today but condition a new word that is particular to your recall (that will be loaded up with great value through restrained recalls and the new e-course).

My family is still hanging around today. My two sisters and I are taking my brother Brent out to re-furnish is apartment. Brent, is learning disabled and lives on a fixed income pension but does have a Trust fund that was set up with the inheritance from my father’s estate. The thing is that Brent doesn’t like to spend his money! My father put me in charge of Brent’s Trust fund (crazy to put me in charge of money:)) and even though Brent has not bought anything new for his apartment in 25 years, he still doesn’t want to part with his cash!

With the help of my sisters we have convinced him to start today. New fridge, new bed, new dresser, new drapes are all on the agenda for shopping this morning! Wish us luck that Brent doesn’t pull a 180 on us!


Brent in the shades sitting beside Uncle Alvin, sister-in-law Pat and my brother Steve.


The family reunion was a blast. I was a bit naughty being a “gnome” weaselling my way into people’s photos as evident below — too much fun.


My sister Mary-Lynn and my uncle Alvin (everyone should have an uncle Alvin, he is a crack up!).


Brother Steve & his wife Pat (the gnome holding flowers:))


My brother Rob and his wife Grace.


The gnome posing with her handsome escort John.


Today I am grateful for time together with my family.

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