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Interview with Janet Finlay of Your End of the Lead [contest]

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This is Janet! I’d go for a walk with her.

So, the other day I told you guys that Your End of the Lead is now being offered as an on-demand online class and that I’ve partnered up with the creator Janet Finlay, to offer you a great deal on the class through April 30th, 2014.

You can read all about that here, if you missed it.

I had some questions about the class and I figured you’d want to know the answers too, so I put together this interview with Janet for all y’all.

Wait a sec! Before you start reading, there’s a contest too. You can win a free spot in the class! Details are at the end of the interview.  But check out the Q+A first (you might learn something):

 

 

Jessica: You’re a certified dog trainer, but Your End of the Lead isn’t a training course. Why did you choose to focus on addressing the human end of the leash?

 

Janet: In my work as a trainer, I was regularly meeting people who were stressed out by their dog’s behaviour. They could no longer even enjoy going for a walk with their dog and often things were also difficult at home so they had no break from it. Even the most committed owners, who were working really hard to help their dogs, were telling me they felt guilty because of what their dog couldn’t do and many felt that it was their fault. And of course well-meaning people – even trainers – often reinforce that feeling by saying things like “he’d be better if you could just relax…”  – but of course you can’t just “switch off” all that stress. So it becomes a vicious circle that leaves people feeling useless and isolated.

While there is a lot of help out there for how to train your dog, I couldn’t find much specifically helping people with this problem. As a qualified coach for people, I know that reframing the way we think about a problem can fundamentally change how we respond to it. And as a TTouch practitioner, I have a whole toolbox of techniques for reducing tension and stress. So I put together a face-to-face “Your End of the Lead” workshop, which was very popular – and later this online course.

 

 

J: The new version of the course is “on demand.” Can you describe what that means and how that’s different than the full support version?

 

Janet: I’ve run Your End of the Lead Online twice now as a fixed session course, where all the students start at the same time and work through the lessons at the same time, as if they were in a class. This works really well but limits numbers and isn’t very flexible. Each time I have run it I have had people ask if it was it possible to do the course at a different time or to fit their particular schedule – and up to now this hasn’t been possible – partly because I feel strongly that online courses are next to useless if they just provide content without any support structures to help students actually complete the course. But I’ve now come up with a support package that will allow people to choose to do the course when they want but without being left to do it alone.

So with the On Demand version you get the whole course immediately and you can follow it at your own pace and in your own time. You’ll get prompts by email reminding about the course, there’s a Q&A page, and I’m running monthly webinars to answer questions live. And as a bonus I am also including 6 months’ membership of my private online community, so that people can discuss what they are doing on the course with other students, past and current. And I’m there daily too. So I am confident that the On Demand package has the flexibility people wanted, but without losing the support that is so important.

 

J: You’re a TTouch practitioner. Can you tell us a bit about TTouch and why it’s included in YEL?

 

Janet: TTouch is a very respectful and gentle training approach that recognizes the connection between physical state, emotional state, and behaviour. It uses a combination of observation, light body work, body wraps and leading exercises to increase an animal’s awareness of themselves, to reduce physical tension and to shift them out of habitual responses. It is well known as a way of calming dogs (and people – it works on any animal that has a nervous system), but it can also help change behaviour by improving the animal’s physical and emotional balance.

It’s included in Your End of the Lead because it offers a really valuable set of tools for owners of reactive dogs. It can really help with stress reduction for both dogs and people – it can reduce the overall level of stress, as well as providing tools to help owners calm themselves and their dogs before, during and after challenging incidents. It is also a great foundation for other forms of training as it reduces physical tension, pain and postural imbalance, all of which can make behavioural issues worse. And the leading and handling techniques we use in TTouch really enable people to keep a loose lead and avoid introducing the tension in the lead that can often trigger reactive behaviour.

 

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Photo credit: David J Laporte on Flickr – CC-BY 2.0 license

 

J: What does it mean for a dog to be out of balance in their body – particularly for dogs that are fearful or aggressive? How does TTouch help?

 

Janet: A dog may be out of physical balance in many ways. They may have tightness in the muscles, which limits free movement and results in stiff posture. They may be weighted unevenly, so they are putting more stress on one or more limbs. They may have poor awareness of some parts of their body, so they may appear uncoordinated. They may have tension in the body that makes them uncomfortable about being handled or touched in that area. They may be out of balance for lots of reasons – such as old injuries, their physical conformation or life experiences – or we can inadvertently throw them out of balance by the way we lead them (pulling into a collar for instance or holding their head up and back).

These physical issues affect how a dog feels and how they behave. For example, if a dog is tight in the neck and head, so that their posture is stiff and their head carriage inflexible, they can be reactive when approached and their posture is also more challenging for other dogs. If we can reduce that tension then we not only make them more comfortable and less defensive, but we also change their posture to make them less threatening to other dogs. Fearful dogs often have tension in the hindquarters and tail – again we can release that tension and enable more relaxed posture.

TTouch helps because it gives us a set of tools to work on these physical and postural issues and ways of leading and handling dogs to encourage them to stay in balance.

 

J: I love the sections of the class that cover human psychology – from why people invade our dog’s space to how our own thinking can get in the way of positive changes.

One lesson covers the power of language and labels. With DINOS, I’ve tried to give people a more neutral or positive label for their dogs, but as you say in one of the YEL lessons, all labels (positive and negative) can affect our behavior and thinking about our dogs. I agree! Can you share a little more about that idea?

 

Janet: When we label our dogs it can make it more difficult for us to see them clearly. We tend to interpret their behaviour according to our labels. So if we call our dog “stubborn”, for instance, and they stop in a particular situation, we are likely to think it is because they are being stubborn and so may miss the fact that they are actually frightened.

The same happens with positive labels. How many people tell us their dogs are “friendly” when in that moment they are being rude and inappropriate? Positive labels can also be deceptive.

So I would rather ditch labels altogether and focus on learning to be more observant of actual behaviour. That way we don’t fall into a fixed mindset about our dogs. We can see them as they are in any given moment and can more easily notice when they change.  And we can respond to how they are actually behaving rather than to what it is we think they are.

 

J: If there’s one thing you want DINOS families to know about the YEL class, what would it be?

 

Janet: Just one thing?

That it is possible to enjoy being out and about with your dog – even if he or she can be reactive.

The secret to being able to relax is to know you are able to manage any situation you find yourself in calmly and confidently. This is what Your End of the Lead aims to do for you. It will complement whatever training you are doing  to work with your dog, by making you a more aware, calmer and more effective handler, enabling you and your dog to really make progress.

 

Thank you Janet! 

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Want to sign up for Janet’s class?

You can register for Your End of the Lead using the DINOS affiliate link. Through April 30th, the class is only $99! That’s a savings of 40% off the normal price of $165.

There’s more – you’ll also score a free 6 month membership to Janet’s ACE Owner’s Club which offers a ton of extra support, monthly training challenges, and a community forum. All for $99

Update May 1st: The “early bird” special is now over, but you can still register to take Your End of the Lead anytime! For $165 you’ll get all 15 lessons, monthly webinars, and 6 months FREE access to the ACE Owners Club. A great deal!

And here’s the CONTEST!   

The contest has ended – thanks to everyone who entered. Congratulations to Val Appiani and her dog Lilly – they won the free YEL class!

Leave me a comment answering the question below and one lucky person will be chosen to win registration to Your End of the Lead for free! And, because so many of you have registered already, we want to open it up to you too. If you’ve already paid for the class and you win the contest, Janet will refund your $99 so you can take the class for free.  So everyone gets to play. Neat, right?

Leave a comment between now and Wednesday, April 23rd at Midnight EST. One comment will be chosen at random and the winner will be announced here and on the DINOS Facebook page on Thursday, April 24th.  Please make sure your comment or gravatar includes your email contact info, so we can notify you directly as well!

Tell us your answer in the comments for your shot at the prize:

If your dog won a gold medal, what talent or skill would it be for?

 

(My dog Birdie would win a gold medal for staging an effective  nonviolent  pool resistance movement or maybe couch cushion management. Boogie would win for completing a successful Wubba water extraction mission.)

 

 

 

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102 Comments Post a comment
  1. Murphy would win the gold medal for most attentive squirrel-staring :-)

    I also have a TTouch question: What do you do if your dog hates being touched? I worked briefly with a TTouch practioner a couple of years ago. We’ve used TTouch with horses and really saw the benefit, so I thought we’d give it a try with Murphy. He tolerated it, but the more he was touched, the more tense he became. It got so bad that the practitioner asked ME to do the touches and she showed me how, thinking that if it was done by a more familiar person it would help. It didn’t matter. It wasn’t any specific part of his body that bothered him, just being touched in general. He loves being petted (by my daughter and I) and even hugged sometimes, so I just don’t get it? Is my dog broken?

    April 21, 2014
    • Staring is an underrated sport!

      And thanks for asking about that – I’ll make sure Janet sees your question Kristel!

      April 21, 2014
    • Hi Kristel – I don’t think your dog is broken! :) It may be that it is the mindful touch that he finds hard (since he is OK being petted) so I would break it down really small. Try stroking him with the back of your hand a couple of times then do ONE circular TTouch on an area that he enjoys being petted – then go back to the strokes – or pause altogether for a moment. Then build it up really slowly. You could also try different TTouches – they do feel very different – so he may be better with a lighter touch (like the Raccoon) or with a warmer touch (like the Abalone) or with a sliding touch (like Zebra/Zigzag or ear touches). You can get an intro to several of these on my advent calendar (http://www.canineconfidence.com/advent) or on the free TTouch lesson that is linked on Jessica’s affiliate link above – and of course we cover them much more on the course! :)

      April 21, 2014
      • Excellent! Thank you so much for the advice! I will try all of it. It’s interesting you mention ears…it’s the one place he can handle being stroked endlessly (it makes him really sleepy). Maybe a good place to start! Thank you again :-)

        April 21, 2014
        • Ears would be a great place to start – and TTouch ear slides are featured in the free sample lesson! :)

          April 21, 2014
  2. Danielle #

    My dog Dusty would win the gold for the consistent artistry and athleticism she employs when diving to the floor on her back for a belly rub.

    April 21, 2014
  3. Holly #

    Chico would win the gold medal for endurance in ball- and frisbee-chasing. If only we could do THAT on our walks, he might just ignore other dogs instead of freaking out and trying to “fetch” (i.e., kill) them.

    April 21, 2014
  4. CBandy #

    My dog Kilo would win a gold medal for “Sad Eyes” when we leave the house and Martin would win a gold medal for successfully jumping up to lick you when you return without injuring you!

    April 21, 2014
  5. Junior would win a double gold for endurance tail chasing and grass removal. :-) He’s got doggy OCD and is easily bored, a bad combination. Before you get too worried, I do intervene and he has gotten better.

    April 21, 2014
  6. rose finch #

    My dog Ruby would win an award for her sense of humor. She thinks up practical jokes and plays tricks on me all the time.

    April 21, 2014
  7. Paula Garratt #

    My blind dog Byron would win a gold medal for the fastest ever ‘return to crate’ when smelling the tripe/hearing the ‘ting’ of the metallic bowl when dinner is being prepared! (He returns to his crate and spins around so that his head is in prime position for bowl delivery).

    April 21, 2014
  8. Christine Pinnow #

    Sophie would win for scanning the backyard for squirrels. She can sit back there or lie in the house looking out the slider for an hour scanning the trees and fenceline.

    April 21, 2014
  9. Joanna Brown #

    Miko Louise Brown would win a gold medal for her stealth and silent creeping onto the kitchen counter, into the cat litter box or garbage can to find whatever crumble of food or non-food she can find to eat. No sounds are made that are audible to the human ear.
    Star would win a gold medal for excitedly barking directly into my ear drum while driving her to the dog park and continuing the song of her people for all to enjoy the whole time we’re there.

    April 21, 2014
  10. Carly Hallman #

    One of my DINOS, Izzy, would win repeat gold medals for Invigorated Recycling… no box, regardless of shape or size, stands a chance when in her presence.

    April 21, 2014
  11. Laurie Hopkins #

    Daphne would win a gold medal for being aware, she knows when things are out of place, not just at home but the neighbors also. She knows what cars park where, and notices when they are out of place or there is a different one and let’s everyone know! That includes toys, shoes, socks etc left in the common area, they don’t belong so they get barked at.

    April 21, 2014
  12. Amy #

    Juno would win a gold medal for bug hunting. She consistently saves me from spider crickets, spiders, and various other buggies we find in the house (even if she sometimes leaves legs behind). Percy would win for silliest rolling around on the bed or rug. Legs flailing, snorting, sometimes leaping into zoomies in the middle of a good roll.

    April 21, 2014
  13. Miki #

    We always thought that if there was a job where Lola could find dog poop, she would make us lots and lots of money. So yeah..if she won a medal, it would be for the dog who can find where every single dog pile is lying. :/

    April 21, 2014
  14. Bobbi O #

    Caedus would win a gold medal for distance of his proud post-poo grass peel outs or for his long nonchalant stretches which conveniently end with a head plop on Dad’s chest.

    April 21, 2014
  15. Rebecca Anastasio #

    My DINOS Marvin would win a gold medal for fastest reaction time, which I think is part of his “issue” but can make him fun and interesting to train. Good or bad, he goes from 0 to 60 in a split second.

    April 21, 2014
  16. Jennifer Farr #

    Minerva would win a prize for fastest retreat to the farthest place in the house upon seeing her ear cleaner in-hand. :)

    April 21, 2014
  17. Jean Kolor #

    My DINOS Frizbe would win a gold medal for yard surveillance. She sits on the deck and watches every thing that happens. No squirrels here! My DINOS Ivy would win for speed. She zooms around the yard with such east she almost flies. My non-DINOS Shadow would win for bed warming. This guy loves to sleep!

    April 21, 2014
  18. Angelique Plute #

    My guy Aristotle would win an award for knowing my every movemt before I do :)

    April 21, 2014
  19. Emily #

    This class is exactly what I need!

    April 21, 2014
  20. Linda #

    Tigger has, in a way, won a gold medal in his sport (K9 Nosework, a rare sport that accommodates DINOS). He got his NW1 and NW2 Titles, and also won the Harry Award for being “the most outstanding rescue dog that demonstrates extraordinary ability and spirit in nose work at the NW1 level”. This, from a dog has difficulty going anywhere in public! All of our hard work paid off, so he was able to handle the drive, the new location, the parking lot filled with dogs, waiting his turn politely, etc. I was proud of both of us!

    If it existed, he’d get the Rodent Hunt-Catch-and-Eat gold medal for sure!

    April 21, 2014
    • Rebecca Anastasio #

      Nosework is such an excellent thing for DINOS! Did the same thing with mine. NW1 (Harry Award, too!), NW2, and now working on NW3. Has gone from whining with anxiety in the car to whining with anticipation (I know, but it really is a different whine, and different body language). He loves that game!

      April 24, 2014
  21. Lisa Voos #

    My Boxer mix would win first place for her navigation skills. She knows which roads to take while driving in our car to get home. She will whine if we make the wrong turn or pass our street, and she will wag her tail in a circle when we are going the correct way.

    April 21, 2014
  22. Gabrielle #

    My German Ahepherd, Oliver, would win for having the best “lemon lip” around, when we ask him questions. He cocks his giant head to one side & sucks his bottom lip up. So cute & funny!

    April 21, 2014
  23. Kayla Sprague #

    My Cupcake would win the medal for being the best motivator. Since adopting Cupcake who is a Dino I have started classes to become a certified positive reinforcement dog trainer. She has been my motivation to do so. I want to be able not only to help myself help her but to help other owners who live with Dinos. Whenever I feel the going getting tough I look at her and know that I need to go on for her and other Dinos out there.

    April 21, 2014
  24. Gina would get a Gold Medal for being the world’s littlest biggest princess (in her mind) and making sure everyone knows it.
    Pola would get a Gold Medal for outside movement distractions, yep anything that moves, she knows it and is telling the whole world about it.
    Would love to take this class for Ms. Pola aka Pola pain in the neck!

    April 21, 2014
  25. S. Jones #

    My Dog Star would win a Gold medal for convincing the public with her good looks and cheeky smile that butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.

    April 21, 2014
  26. Tanya #

    My Grace would win a gold medal in Stuffed Animal Shredding. She would make an excellent stuffed toy tester. We have yet to find one that lasts longer than an hour.

    April 21, 2014
  27. SARAH MCMANAMAN #

    If Zephyr won gold, it would be for hind end over awareness. After so heavily rewarding him for backing onto a wall, now if we pause near something, he will back onto something. When in doubt, back up onto something ;)

    April 21, 2014
  28. You guys are cracking me up! You’re the best.

    April 21, 2014
  29. Kerfuffle would get a gold medal for NOT picking up dead rodents – so far (knock wood) he has found several, sniffed, and left them alone.

    Runners-up: hugging (he gives hugs and puts his head on my chest), paper shredding, and fruit/veggie eating.

    April 21, 2014
  30. Sabrina Jacks #

    Molly would win a gold medal in Hose Acrobats. Her twists, leaps, and dedication to fighting the hose can not be beat.

    April 21, 2014
  31. Laura L #

    My ACD Tex would win the gold medal for his ability to tell time – we feed our dogs at the same time every evening, and Tex sits in front of me giving the death stare about 5 minutes before it’s time. As soon as I get up, he runs to get his bowl and bring it to me.

    April 21, 2014
  32. April #

    I think he would win the gold for finding the softest surface in any room. Then napping on it!

    April 21, 2014
  33. Ashley #

    If Isis won a gold medal it would be for creatively finding a way around any rule we have for her. She knows that she isn’t supposed to pulls stuff off the counter with her mouth so what does she do? Jumps with all 4 on the counter and pushes it off the counter with her nose.

    Can’t blame her for trying. :)

    April 21, 2014
  34. Amelia #

    My dog would win a gold medal in the fine art of Couch Destruction. Luckily, *knock on wood* we’ve conquered much of the separation anxiety and are now tackling the leash reactivity.

    April 21, 2014
  35. My dog should win a gold medal in education. The education of a dog trainer. When she stopped having fun at the dog park she forced me to learn about proximity sensitivity and body language.
    When I needed to learn true empathy for my Separation Anxiety clients, she went through a short period of separation anxiety, just to let me know what they go through.
    She developed On-Leash Aggression so I could learn the many different treatment methods, and have 24 hours a day to practice.
    She even went through severe panic attacks so I could learn about different medications and treatments for anxiety.
    That’s a truly dedicated teacher. And a gold medal winner to me.

    April 21, 2014
  36. Kim #

    If my dog Cricket won a gold medal, it would be for most 360 degree spins completed upon seeing a person he likes. Spinning around is his response to seeing his human friends.

    April 21, 2014
  37. Marcy G. #

    My dog would win a gold medal in theft (as in stealing garbage, tissues, butter, bread and even a pork chop out of the frying pan!)

    April 21, 2014
  38. My dog Dixie would win a gold medal in food storage (in her stomach) ;)

    April 21, 2014
  39. Laurie #

    My dog Sirius would win a gold medal for tracking cats and finding where they have gone hiding. She does this all the time at a local park where multiple cats like to hang out hoping the squirrels will get stupid. My dog Sky would win a gold medal for finding lost tennis balls in bushes surrounding tennis courts. I have been walking past a tennis court only to have her suddenly dive into the bushes as if after some small furry, only to emerge with a tennis ball in her mouth.

    April 21, 2014
  40. My dachshund, Winkie, would win a gold medal in blanket burrowing, followed by a silver medal in sock hoarding…

    April 21, 2014
  41. Catherine Lamarre #

    My dog Pancho would win a gold medal in giving himself haircuts (and hairballs). Whenever his stomach is upset, he chews half the fur off his tail. The fur reappears a few days later in the form of a hairball. His vet has never seen such big hairballs.

    Pancho also thinks he should get an honorable mention for friendliness to humans once he realizes they’re friends. He throws himself against their legs and flops onto his back to get belly rubs. He even does this with his vet, which I think is his biggest accomplishment!

    April 21, 2014
  42. Kathy Parrish #

    Miley would win a gold medal for chasing tv animals. Luckily the tv is up high.

    April 21, 2014
  43. Cate #

    Suki would win a gold medal for most exaggerated butt wiggle when her mama comes home from work. I’m afraid she’s gonna shake her little hips right off!

    April 21, 2014
  44. My dog would win the gold medal in unstitching seams. He was probably a tailor in a past life.

    April 21, 2014
  45. Paula #

    My DINO, Sadie would win a gold metal for stealing snuggles. Before you know it, she has managed to creep up and pile her 40# body on to your lap and rest her head ever so sweetly on your chest or over your shoulder. You feel so cuddled that only an iceberg would make her get off. Our rule was that she has to wait to be invited. So much for being consistent. :~>

    April 21, 2014
  46. Bobbi G. #

    Bella’s gold medal worthy ability is slowest walker because of her advanced “parking” skills (stops in her tracks, as if digging her feet into the concrete and doesn’t want to move) and the need to constantly sniff (no, she is not a hound). Can be quite frustrating/embarrassing as I live in NYC where the streets are busy with pedestrians so I am often apologizing as people step around her. But the sight of another dog can sure get her moving, just not always in a good way. again, leads to me apologizing. Good thing she is only 13 lbs.

    April 22, 2014
  47. lynnsimmons #

    My dog Molly is the current Goose Poop Maintenance Regional Champ [read: eats bird sh*t]. I have no doubt she would win the gold if we went national. She is. That. Good.

    April 22, 2014
  48. Amy #

    Cola would win a gold medal for tear licking! As soon as a sniffle is heard, she rushes over to comfort the person, snuggling and licking away any tears.

    April 22, 2014
  49. Ruby wins the gold medal for best greeting when I return home. She is so happy to see me she howls…sits down and throws her head back for a big wooooo. Best part of my day. :-)

    April 22, 2014
  50. Sasha would win a gold medal for his extraordinary ablity to make other dogs feel at ease. He somehow has the patience of Job even with over-the-top dogs and just waits for them to calm down, giving really great signals, and then quietly walks away to get on with his own business.

    April 22, 2014
  51. Rhi Jones #

    Wilf would win gold for 100m power walk whilst hovering his nose at ground level following a scent. Mibs would win high jump from a standing start. Fluke would win helicopter tail. Great blog, thank you.

    April 22, 2014
  52. Katharine #

    My dog Gizmo would win the gold medal for standing/jumping on two legs for the longest :) such a goofy man sometimes <3

    April 22, 2014
  53. Andi #

    My dog Edgar would win a gold medal for cuddles! He’s our little Australian cuddle dog.

    April 22, 2014
  54. Amie #

    My golden, Ousa, would win a gold medal in Dive into Roll Down a Hill… She will be walking along then next thing you know she has flipped herself onto her back and is scratching her back as she slides head first down a hill! She literally flings herself over and onto the ground!

    My Sheltie, Zest, would win a gold medal in Endurance Toy Delivery – Owner on Couch – he will bring me a toy, and deliver right to me on the couch, either jumping his front legs up to deposit it in my lap or if I am sleeping then right beside. If I ignore it (or am sleeping!) he just goes and gets another toy from his toy box and repeats. I always laugh when I wake up to a Sheltie staring into my face with 8-10 toys piled beside me!

    April 22, 2014
  55. Susan Stoneman #

    My dog would win a gold medal for keeping the yard squirrel free! Stupid squirrels! ;)

    April 22, 2014
  56. Ann Johnson #

    My dog Pepper would win the gold medal for “Waiting for any reflection to appear on any surface”! She is a master at this and really OCD at times! Thank you for this opportunity.

    April 22, 2014
  57. Susie #

    With her dazzling smile, my pittie Yangie would win for her progress in socializing with other dogs ! She still has a ways to go, but her slow and steady improvement has turned her into a much happier girl ! I’m sure that this class would be incredibly beneficial to me as I am still challenged by trepidation when it comes to Yangie and I so want to provide her with a full balanced life !

    April 22, 2014
  58. Angela #

    Jack would easily win the gold for barking at walkers/cyclists/dogs/squirrels/big trucks that dare drive by our house. He’s VERY good at it and has quite the stamina

    April 22, 2014
  59. Abby would absolutely win an award for stealing and policing my husband’s spot on the sofa. It started off very slowly – he would invite Abby up and inevitably Abby would just stand in front of him. We jokingly refer to her as our “Vampire Puppy,” meaning she needs to be invited to cross the threshold. So inevitably my husband would slide over to truly communicate that she was welcome and she would jump up. What seemed like harmless behavior then has now turned into Abby just standing in front of my husband any time she is in “her” (his?) spot. They both jockey for this prized spot, the corner of the sofa with an arm rest. And in spite of the fact that there is indeed another end of the sofa, it never matters and never satisfies either of them. So instead Abby will come over and just stand in front of my husband. Sometimes he obliges and invites her up, but often he’ll tell her to go lay down. Most times she doesn’t and stands there, or she’ll make a circle and try another angle. They do this dance for awhile, and inevitably my husband moves. And the kicker of all of this is that sometimes she won’t even get up once he has moved – she’ll just walk back to her bed as if keeping him in check that that spot will forever remain hers for as long as she wants it to be.

    April 22, 2014
  60. judithmonroe #

    My dog Moey would win a gold medal in affectionate head butting. :)

    April 22, 2014
  61. Avis #

    Dugan’s gold medal would be for inspiring love. He has his challenges, we have ours, but we are family and we are all hanging in together.

    April 22, 2014
  62. Val #

    My dog Lilly would win a gold medal in Nosework! She is a champion sniffer dog. Even though she would never really ever be able to compete. It has given her such confidence! Everything in the world is just a little less scary when you can do your Noseworks!
    (Keep back my dog needs space car magnets help too) :)

    April 22, 2014
    • Hey Val – you won! We’ll be in touch with you via email soon to get you registered for the class. Congratulations!!

      April 24, 2014
  63. Heather #

    My dog Payton would win a triple crown gold medal in the following sports: Licking Gross Things, Barking at Passersby and Stealing the Covers.

    She’s an amazing dog but is… .challenging….. on even the best of days. Thankfully she’s cute and an excellent snuggler to boot!

    April 22, 2014
  64. Kiera Freeman #

    My two would win gold medals for their ‘help’ in the garden. Lily hunts (digs holes) for gophers and Porter samples everything. He is a connoisseur of peas and strawberries.

    April 22, 2014
  65. Kate #

    Our border collie mix Marko would win a gold medal for magic. Watching him catch a frisbee in the air makes me so proud that for a moment I forget that this is a dog that, most days, refuses to go for a walk (also, won’t play in our yard, barks at wheelchairs and humidifiers, chases cats and cars, hides when a loud truck drives by, etc.). Most of the time, the world is too much for Marko, but his athletic ability is fierce and runs as deep within him as his reactivity. When he’s playing frisbee — or running agility, or playing soccer — we’re free to imagine that he can do anything and the lightness of those moments is so very welcome. We’re always conscious of his limits (and scanning the periphery for potential threats) but that only heightens the reward when he acts like a fulfilled dog, doing what he was born to do. We get comments at the dog park all the time about his frisbee talents, and I think, “if only they knew what we go through!” But then again, I’m glad that they don’t.

    April 22, 2014
  66. My dog, Dino, would win the gold medal for bed hogging. He may start out at the bottom of the bed, but he creeps up during the night into my space.

    April 22, 2014
  67. Marley would win a Gold Medal in “find the kids” anywhere he is. No matter where we go, he seems to know there are kids there and makes a beeline for them. Hershey would win for “biggest dog who can squeeze into my lap” (he is 60 pounds). And Lacey would win for “most treats caught in mid-air.

    April 22, 2014
  68. Mary McP #

    Sophie the Choodle (part poodle, part chow, part ??) is a gold medalist in human training. We have an extra bowl on the floor for her buddy, Rosie, who visits often. When I fail Soph (no water, late for supper, missing the cue that she want to go out..) she clangs the bowl against the kitchen cabinet — and I come running to get her what she needs. I think her last name may have been “Pavlov” in a former life.

    April 22, 2014
  69. Emma #

    Lottie would win for pining her loved ones down with excitement when she sees them after they’ve been at work/school/in bed/to the toilet

    April 23, 2014
  70. Spike Rainbow #

    My DINOS Banzai would win a gold medal for prolonged barking at other dogs!

    April 23, 2014
  71. alex #

    Béla would win a gold medal for softly herding the cat, and moving her around the house, behind furniture, in and out of crates, to keep her moving so she can loose some weight.

    April 23, 2014
  72. Betty #

    Kassi would win a gold metal for her relaxation skills with TTouch. At age 16, she has benefited from years of TTouch work and now, she just likes to “be.”

    April 23, 2014
  73. Kelly #

    Mia (gsd) would win a gold medal for catching the frisbee! Absolutely her most favourite game to play.

    April 23, 2014
  74. Carolyn #

    Molly would win a gold medal for supreme salivation at the prospect of food – however small the morsel – leaving puddles of slime on the floor or on any uninitiated human. Daisy would definitely win one for 24 hour policing of the cat (who takes absolutely notice of her!).

    April 23, 2014
  75. Bessie would win a gold medal for the cleverest working sheep dog I’ve ever trained as she thinks on her feet .

    April 23, 2014
  76. Debra Fernandes #

    Maisie would win a gold medal for being able to differentiate between clean and dirty . Be it water to wallow in ,grass to roll on ,or anything to pick up and eat or bring home . Clean is to be avoided at any cost ! Tesla would win a gold medal at the moment for bee chasing !

    April 23, 2014
  77. My rescue staffie would win a prize for influencing the life of a human more than any other!!! She was an RSPCA re-home seven years ago and little did I realise at the time that she would change the whole course of my career.

    A nervy girl who was anxious about other dogs, I took her to a well-respected local trainer who told me to shout at her for growling at a neighbouring dog. I felt the tears well in my eyes as I tried to shout, knowing it was wrong but not feeling confident enough to challenge the behaviour of this ‘expert’. Apparently my shouting wasn’t severe or loud enough and so the trainer took it upon herself to stand behind my dog and shout so loud that my dog wet herself.

    In those few moments, I knew that this was not going to be the route I would take so I set about learning more and more about dogs, reactive dogs, dog training and behaviour. Seven years on, I am now a professional dog trainer and am developing a real interest in reactivity. Having developed a highly successful dog training business, I want to now focus specifically on reactive dogs as I really feel that I understand them and can help them.

    I will run my first course for reactive dogs in June 2014 and would LOVE to be able to incorporate the ideas and concepts from Your End of The Lead into my course. Having lived and breathed the ups and downs of living with a reactive dog, I want owners to understand how to make a change holistically (owner included) and this resource will really help me to get these messages across.

    So thank you Suki for being my confidante, my friend and most importantly, my careers advisor!!

    April 23, 2014
  78. My german shepherds would win a gold medal 1 for being the most grumpiest and the other for being such a thief !!
    Mason (9years old GSD x Belgian) believe me if it is not nailed down he will steal it, chew it up and leave all the evidence to be seen!! He is now 9years old and has never got over this issue, he has even climbed worktops to reach into the bin and open items on the work top – it is now a military procedure when we go out as in what to hide or move which can be put 10ft or higher out of the way!
    Now trixie is another rescue german shepherd – 3 years old and a grumpy madam, you cant do anything to please her, she grumps and grunts like an old man with a toothache!! And she is certainly not ill nor in any pain, she is just…. grumpy!!

    So there you go yes my two would certainly earn a gold medal each for their ‘unique’ ways but we still love them and put up with their nonsense as in the end its our fault for having loved and mothered them too much.

    April 23, 2014
  79. My dog would win the gold medal just because he behaves as he should: Being a dog

    April 23, 2014
  80. If Flossie won a Gold Medal it would be for best Canine Co-Therapist! She is a qualified and temperament assessed Therapy Dog who works with me in my social enterprise, HumAnima CIC (www.humanima.co.uk) here in the UK.

    She’s got a fantastic temperament but has had a few issues since she was attacked a few years back by offlead dogs in our local park. Thanks to learning more and in particular reading Suzanne Clothier’s “Bones Would Rain from the Sky”, I’ve learnt to recognise her own body language more so and step in at appropriate moments preventing escalation of the situation. As a result she is more confident in my ability to protect her and she’s learning to meet and greet dogs more calmly rather than defensively.

    With people though she’s a total floozie – “Flossie floozie” is her nickname. But she loves her work and really does make some incredible and powerful connections with our clients. She’s a very in tune and sensitive dog especially during counselling sessions and continues to amaze me. I’ve learnt so much from her!

    Would love to win this as I’ve been planning on learning TTouch as I see it has huge therapeutic potential both for dogs and people.

    Fingers and toes crossed and thank you for such a great Q&A.

    April 23, 2014
  81. Mair Franklin #

    My dogs would win Gold for being experts in the art of “extreme pooping” …..that is the ability to poop in the most awkward places possible, in stingy nettles, brambles, daffodil clumps, as well as in trees! and on the sides of very steep verges to name a few examples ;)

    April 23, 2014
  82. erica z #

    My Watson would win for “Dog Most Likely to Take the Edge Off”.. and by that i mean the edge off the kitchen cabinet, the edge off his bed, the edge off the windowsill, the edge off the baby gate, the edge off the curtains, the edge off the wooden railing, but most of all the edge off of his humans bad day ;) See we really need to win ;)

    April 23, 2014
  83. Claire #

    Arrow would win a gold medal for best non vocals in the non barking category. He makes the most original noises when he spots a cat, or a raccoon they are squeals of joy, grunts and groans for deep satisfaction at bum and ear rubs, and moans of discontent when we try to squeeze onto the couch with him in the evenings after a hard day of squealing at rodents.

    April 23, 2014
  84. cat barich #

    a gold medal for Noukie for hypnotic attemps at levitation of treats and climbing trees

    April 23, 2014
  85. Angeli #

    My furry family members are cats, not dogs. However, I volunteer as dog walker at the local shelter. Also, I have the TTouch books, and practice with my cats- with some amazing results!

    If my cats would win a gold medal:
    Penelope would win a gold medal for her dedication and absolute reliability to remind me daily when it’s time for her treats!
    Oscar would win a gold medal for his voice- which resembles that of a frog’s rather than a cat’s “miau”,
    and Darwin would win a gold medal for his his amazingly beautiful green eyes!

    April 23, 2014
  86. Penny Leedal #

    My dog would win a medal for stealing – he is a terrible thief and when he was younger we woul regularly find him standing on the kitchen table!

    April 23, 2014
  87. Jo Ouseley #

    My dog Izzy would win a gold medal for best use of the sad trick I taught her. When ever she wants attention she lays down with her head between her paws, in your eye line so you can’t miss her. She even does it at the vets so they give her a treat to cheer her up.

    April 23, 2014
  88. Nancy Webb #

    My DINOS Roxy would win a medal for turning the treat pouches of unsuspecting victims into doggie pinatas, showering treats into the air!

    April 23, 2014
  89. My 16 year old Field spaniel Dolly would win gold for being the most loveable.

    April 23, 2014
  90. Kriss #

    Tilly would WIN a medal for her smashing, crashing leap thru a front window of our house to tell a little dog to get off the sidewalk in front of her house!

    April 23, 2014
  91. Angela Price #

    My dog Zeus would win a gold medal in the sport of loving his mom!!

    April 23, 2014
  92. My dog Lola would win a Gold medal (with shining diamonds) for teaching me humility

    April 24, 2014
  93. Hi Everyone! The contest is now closed (as of midnight EST on April 23rd). If your comment came in on April 24th or later, they will not be entered in the drawing. Stay tuned – I’ll announce the winner later today!

    April 24, 2014
  94. barksNpurrs #

    I know the contest is over but both our dogs would win, paws down, a Gold medal for just looking so darn cute & being adorable…..

    April 27, 2014

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