A guest post by the Awesome Lynda “Ethel” Orton Hill aka LOH.
I’ve been pondering for a few weeks on what I think has been the secret to my success with my relationships with my dogs (Ruby, Spirit, Favor & Cool Moss) in the Do-Land program. The more I thought about it the stronger I believed that the success of the relationships I have with my dogs is now available to everyone who opens up their learning to Susan’s latest project . Puppy Peaks.
I have spent the last 10 years watching Susan Garrett train dogs. I realized that the secret to my success in this program is this simple, I’ve been watching Susan Garrett train dogs. I have always been in awe of the behaviours she creates in her dogs but for 10 full years and I’m sure 10,000+ hours I have just watched Susan, not the dogs or the puppies she was working. Puppy Peaks is just that, videos of Susan training her puppy Swagger with cameo’s of her fantastic adult dogs.
If you watch Susan’s videos you will see with amazing detail :
- How Susan sets up her environment, manages her environment, chooses behaviors in a sequence that in the future will help guide/build more behaviors
- How she engages, interacts, responds and reinforces dogs.
- What hand she uses where/when with what reward, details missed by most.
- How she builds trust, and an enthusiasm in the dog before she works them ultimately building a confident and outgoing driven dog.
- How she uses games, shaping, record keeping and the power of science to build behaviours she wants to see repeated.
- How she problem solves to instill confidence if it’s weak, settles arousal levels to a manageable level if out of control, just through use of reinforcement, giving dogs choices and then using her own voice and demeanor to help the dog be able to think.
I’ve watched her work high barking out of control dogs and dogs that are mashed against the floor. Her training addresses each spectrum of arousal while bringing out a glimmer of hope for their owners that they too can move forward with difficult training challenges. I’ve watched Susan detail the smallest of details in own her training that seem unimportant at the time but ultimately create behaviour like no other.
I’ve watched her program grow from taking her own training weaknesses and finding a solution that makes learning for others so much easier and fun at the same time. Swagger has opened a door for people to see first hand the way she trains life skills, relationship building, body awareness, sport skills and all in an entertaining way like only Susan can do!
As an administrator for Puppy Peaks I have received all kinds of emails from “this is fantastic” to “this isn’t for me.” I guess it is the latter emails that got me thinking…”Wait! Wait! look at it from a different perspective! “You can have what I have! Just by watching!”, and at your leisure. This program, just like Recallers, will open doors for trainers just like myself all over the world to watch Susan train Swagger as he grows. Something I’ve had access to for all those years of my learning “how to train a dog.” I went from never owning a dog to what I like to think as a pretty successful dog training life. Watching Susan and putting into practice her relationship building program with my own dogs has taken me around the world to teach Susan’s students and competitively playing on five Canadian world agility teams in 2 jump heights. Most importantly, my dogs are a joy to live with and bring joy to our family no matter the challenges as they grew up!
Just remember “the secret”. If you are already a member, watch from a different perspective. Watch Susan and all the detail she is offering to you! If you are not a member, try it out to see what she does with her own dogs! Then go out and build great relationships with your own dogs while training fun, useful behaviors for great pet dogs first and competitive dogs second!
PS: Susan is dropping PuppyPeaks membership down to the introductory price. For one day only… Her birthday! July 26th, till 12:01am on the 27th (new york time) you can join PuppyPeaks at the lowest it will ever be. $5 a week! And wish Susan Happy Birthday!