"See the Dog: The Elemental Questions"

There is a wonderful Cuban saying: "Inside every head, a world." This sums up beautifully how many ways there are to experience life, and how each of us has our own perceptions.


See the Dog: The Elemental Questions is a workshop that explores many ways to see how dogs can tell us about the world inside their heads. How the dog responds to life is highly individual, blending temperament with personality and history --- and of course, the environment and others around him. 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 your training goals or sport, the Elemental QuestionsTM help you truly “see the dog” and provide the detailed information about each animal as he is. This is where truly humane training is grounded: in detailed knowledge about the individual dog.


Suzanne's simple but powerful Elemental Questions are:



  • Hello? Looks at the dog's social interactions

  • Who are you? Asks about how the dog perceives and responds to his world

  • How is this for you? Asks about the immediate situation and the dog's mental, physical & emotional balance

  • Can you...? Looks at the dog's physical abilities & limitations

  • May I...? Seeks ways to gain the dog's cooperation and permission

  • Can we...? Balancing the dog/handler team's abilities and limitations against goals


This seminar focuses on how to ask these questions, and – most importantly – how to listen to the answers. For each dog, the answers to these questions provide a wealth of information to those interested in helping that dog be all that he can be. What makes this dog’s eyes light up? What does this dog find challenging or concerning, and why? Why does this dog [fill in the blank]? Does this dog's world need to shrink or be enlarged? Is this dog in balance and comfortable? Is this dog in the Think & Learn Zone? How can we help this dog? How can we improve our relationship with this dog?


Also included is Suzanne's newest assessment tool, FAT (Functional Assessment Tool), which evaluates the dog across the full spectrum of functional behaviors such as eating, working/learning, play, social interactions, sleep/rest and more. FAT may be used to assess the dog in multiple contexts or over a period of time to identify how the dog may be demonstrating progress or stress, and pointing to specific areas that need support and training. For shelter and rescue personnel, FAT offers a potent tool for making decisions in a resource challenged environment.


Handlers, Trainers, and Pet Owners will be able to fine-tune their training approach, better understand the behavior or training challenges presented by each dog, and appreciate the qualities that contribute to or strain a relationship. For instructors & trainers, the practical applications plus the specifics of observing handler, dogs and their interactions helps to provide better coaching to bring out the best each dog/handler team can achieve.


A fascinating blend of lecture, video & live demonstrations with case history dogs, See the Dog: The Elemental Questions provides new ways to understand and help these wonderful companions who share our lives.


CEU's: IAABC - 10 CCPDT - 7

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Additional Information

Type Live
Year 2016
Topics No
Author No
Presenters Suzanne Clothier
Location Austin, TX
Venue Rockin' Y Ranch

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