There is so much to learn in the world of dog training and it is never more evident than when you start to explore the world of Susan Garrett and Say Yes Dog Training in Ontario, Canada. For those of you who don’t know her, Garrett is a world-renowned agility and flyball competitor. Here at the Clicker Leash Co., we are passionate about teaching our dogs new things and agility has proven to be one of our favorite extracurricular activities because there is ALWAYS something new to learn in the sport. Over the years we have learned a lot from Garrett’s videos and books, not just with regards to agility but dog training in general.
Garrett’s book “Ruff Love” is the perfect foundation for any person and their dog regardless of whether dog sports are on the horizon or not. This book is especially meaningful to people dealing with dogs that are easily distracted and overly energetic. Relying on learning theory, not dominance, Garrett shows you how to establish boundaries and provide structure in a meaningful way that will actually result in a more confident dog and a strong connection with the owner.
“Shaping Success” is next on our recommended book list. Here, Garrett describes the trials and tribulations and the lessons learned from her over-the-top Border Collie Buzz who went on to be a world-class competitor. You will come to understand the benefits of “errorless learning” and the importance of setting your dog up for success. Your dog will love to learn and you will love being its trainer with the methods laid out in this book!
Garrett’s “Crate Games” DVD isn’t just beneficial in teaching your dog to LOVE its crate, an important tool for home or on the road, but also lays an excellent foundation for dog sports. Crate Games will give your dog the skills to have self control in highly arousing situations, the drive and confidence to work away from you (so important in advanced agility courses) and will also illustrate any holes that may be present in your current training style from your timing to your ability to fade out rewards.
For people considering agility but worried about limited practice space (let’s face it, we don’t all have acreage), Garrett’s “Success With One Jump” DVD has a ton of exercises that only require one jump! These exercises will help your dog’s understanding of your positional cues when out on the agility course while building a great desire to perform jumps. Since most agility courses are comprised of at least 80% jumps, this DVD will contribute to your ability to smoothly and effectively navigate your dog even if you have limited space to practice at home.
Finally, one of the agility obstacles most people and dogs struggle with are the weave poles. People have tried to overcome this challenging obstacle with channels or wire guides that set the dog on the correct path or by simply luring the dog through the poles. Both methods require hundreds of repetitions to become reliable and it is often difficult for people to fade themselves out of the picture. Garrett’s brilliant solution – “2 x 2 Weave Training.” In her video, she demonstrates how quickly you can teach the weaves in just a few minutes a day, over the course of six days with a dog that doesn’t even belong to her! The 2 x 2 method results in thoughtful, independent, fast weaves as your dog comes to understand them as a series of entry points to drive through. We have tried a lot of methods to teach our dogs to weave over the years but we have never had as much fun as with the 2 x 2 method.
If you like what Susan Garrett has to offer, you may also want to check out her camps that she hosts at the Say Yes training facility in Ontario, her entertaining and informative blog and You Tube videos or her e-books that are jam packed with great articles and information. Thank you Susan Garrett for your contribution to the world of dog training and the human-canine bond!