Sat 14th & Sun 15th March
and Sat 21st and Sun 2nd MarchDog Owners & Trainers Seminar Details
Day 1 - SEE THE DOG: The Elemental Questions
If that amazing feeling of connection with your dog seems to come and go, if you wish things could be just a bit smoother between you and your dog, if you’re wondering why your dog’s performance varies, if you’d like to know WHY he’s doing this or that, this is the seminar for you.
Participants will learn to “see the dog” using Suzanne’s Elemental Questions, a detailed look at the dog as an individual. Handlers benefit from a deeper, nuanced understanding of how the dog perceives his world, what interests or bores him, how physical limits may be performing at his best, how to respond to a dog who tells you “this is boring!” and more. Emphasis is placed on understanding the dog’s behavior as a response to environment, intrinsic, extrinsic and social stimuli. Understanding the dog within the context of this complex blend of information helps handlers work to modify and adapt their handling and goals for enhanced relationships and better performance.
Whatever the training goals or sport, understanding the Elemental Questions and how to ask them — and listen for the answers — provides the detailed information about each animal as he is. This is where truly humane training is grounded: in detailed knowledge about the individual dog.
Handlers will be able to fine tune their training approach, understand behavior or training challenges, and appreciate the qualities that contribute to or strain a relationship.
Day 2 - From Maddening to Maturity: Understanding & Helping the Adolescent Dog
Do you wonder where your once wonderful puppy went? And why has he turned into a sometimes maddening, unpredictable, maybe even out of control adolescent? Relax – you’re not alone. More than a few puppy class stars have gone on to be champion buttheads as teenagers!
For many dog owners, the 18-24 month period of adolescence is problematic. Even with a great start in puppyhood, many dogs hit adolescence and become frustrating, unruly, and simply maddening in some ways. While puzzling to many owners, this is a natural but poorly understood stage of development.
Did you know that adolescence begins around 20 weeks of age?
That a year old dog is roughly the equivalent of a 14 year human?
That adulthood in the dog begins at 2-4 years of age?
That the most annoying teenage dogs are usually geniuses?
The Relationship Centered Training (RCT) approach to adolescents focuses on three areas of the teenage dog’s life:
Relationship with handler
Social life (other people, dogs & animals)
Life skills (self control, basic manners, coping skills)
For each area, we will explore ways to assess each dog’s strengths and limits, how the handler can support the dog, what skills need to be developed, and how to recognize problems that must be addressed.
This seminar will address
RCT keys: communication, commitment, communication
The handler’s role as the teenage dog’s guide to life
Balancing the relationship
Age appropriate responsibility
Cooperation as a lifestyle
Permission and parameters
“Even though” empathy & expectations
Potholes, loopholes and missing bricks in the dog’s skill sets
Self control, handling arousal, dealing with distractions and attractions, polite behavior with others (people and dogs) – all are important aspects of growing up into a well behaved adult. Learn how to guide your teenage dog to maturity using effective and humane RCT techniques such as Really Real Relaxation, Go Say Hi, Auto-Check-in, Puppy Politeness Poker and more.
When you understand your adolescent dog better, you can settle into the work and joys of helping them grow into a wonderful adult dog. The kind of adult dog that makes people say, “Oh, I wish I had a dog just like that!” while you smile and wonder if they knew him as a teenager.
Dog Training Professional Seminar Details
Pro -Day 1 - What your dog’s body can tell you
The Physical Dog seminar focuses on a topic near & dear to Suzanne Clothier’s heart: the physical dog. She first published her award winning video, Your Athletic Dog, back in 1995. Her Relationship Centered Training pulls together her knowledge of structure, movement, functional assessment, body type and how all of these factors work together with behavior and emotions. Her keen eye for movement and functional athleticism is remarkable. The late R.K. Anderson DVM noted that Suzanne “was the best observer of dogs that he had ever met.”
Observation skills can be taught, and Suzanne loves teaching people how to really see their dogs in new ways. Each dog is a unique blend of skeletal structure, functional abilities, conditioning, challenges and talents. Knowing how to understand your dog’s body helps you understand him at a deeper level — and understand how to keep him safe and functioning at his best.
Attendees will learn about:
Structure – the basic body types, their purpose & significant differences
Gait analysis & functional assessment – learn what nuances in movement can tell you about a dog’s ability & willingness
The effects of structure & function on behavior, training & performance
Recognizing common performance problems & their physical roots
Common behavior problems & their physical roots
Basic principles of exercise conditioning
Maximizing talents, minimizing faults to keep your dog safe
Juggling your goals and your dog’s abilities
You will learn how physical problems are often mislabeled as behavior or training problems, and learn to recog- nize the most common issues of pain, guarding, structural and functional issues that dogs present.
Our dogs cannot speak to us with words to tell us they are sore, uncomfortable, out of balance, unsure or just feeling “off.” But their bodies can and do tell us immense amounts. Learning to read the physical dog gives the concerned, humane handler a way to be sure that they can answer two of The Elemental Questions: “How is this for you?” and “Can you?” Suzanne will use video, hands-on exercises, and observation of live dogs to make sure that you will never see your dog the same way again!
Pro – Day 2 - Practical Bones
This is a hands-on, working seminar focused on practical application of RCT exercises. Handler will be working with their own dog as well as unfamiliar dogs, as well as with other handlers in a variety of exercises.
The emphasis throughout the day is increased awareness, greater skill proficiency, and hands-on practice with coaching and feedback from Suzanne. This is an intense day of learning that will include:
Follow Me – A relationship diagnostic & repair
Really Real Relaxation protocol
Permission Exercises for self control & connection
The Connection Course – leash walking skills
Go Hunt – redirecting focus
Leash Handling Skills
Ghost Handling - multiple purpose skill
Participants will leave with new ideas for teaching their own students, improved skills in hands-on work, and new tools for their training toolbox. Handouts for use with your own students are included.
Handlers may bring their own dog(s), but dogs who will be participating should be safe and comfortable working with unfamiliar people. The dog does not need to particularly well trained, but must be safe around other dogs and when handled with respect, kindness but some degree of confusion & clumsiness – these are inevitable when people are trying to learn a new skill.
Working spots are reserved for professional trainers, apprentices or volunteers who assist in classes or shelter settings. Those wishing to improve their own dog skills are welcome to audit.