This weekend I had the good fortune to attend a seminar given by Suzanne Clothier. I was very excited about this seminar because I wanted to learn more about her Relationship Centered Training. I have said over and over again that training and trialing is about relationship, and so I was eager to learn how Suzanne conceptualizes and uses this concept in training.
Overall, I really enjoyed the seminar. I learned a lot, although at times, I felt overwhelmed. Some of what she said was extremely challenging to my current worldview, and while I initially disagreed with some of it, I am excited to think over what I disagreed with, and more importantly why I disagreed. In the end, I’m not sure if I will come to agree with her or not, but in the process, I know that I will have a more well-rounded education and a better thought-out philosophy on dog training.
All of which is to say: You may expect a lot of blogging from me about this seminar. I am first going to spend a few posts summarizing what I learned from the seminar. These posts will not offer much personal insight, and I’ll attempt to represent what she said as accurately as possible. I do hope that I render it fairly, as I’m sure I missed some details that clarifies something she said, and there is certainly a high probability that I misunderstood a few things.
After those summaries, I will begin a series of posts discussing my personal reactions to her work, and the way I hope to apply what I’ve learned. I definitely took away a lot great ideas, and things that I really want to try with Maisy. Although I don’t really feel like these ideas are new in and of themselves, I do think Suzanne’s perspective was unique. A slightly different way of looking at things or doing things can make a huge difference.
In the meantime, I strongly encourage you to attend a seminar by Suzanne if you ever get the opportunity. She’s fabulously engaging, quite funny, and very real and honest. She is also very direct, and strikes me as someone who absolutely believes in what she’s saying, and frankly, she doesn’t care if you disagree with her. But the amazing thing is, she’s not rude about it. In that sense, she’s very dog-like: “This is how it is for me. Would you like me to explain it for you?”
And, I absolutely recommend that you read Bones Would Rain from the Sky. Although the seminar really helped flesh out a lot of what she said in the book, all of the basics are there.
Okay, I’m off to work on my first post on the seminar…