NY – 2018 Annual Trainers’ Workshop

People with leashes

2017 Trainers’ Workshop – Leash Handling Skills

The Annual Trainers’ Workshop is held at the beautiful Hawks Hunt Farm in St. Johnsville NY. Limited to just 30 participants, this 4 day intensive focuses on Suzanne’s Relationship Centered Training (RCT), the physical, emotional & mental dog, the dog/handler relationship and more.

Hands-on work with dogs (and other species) builds your skills & understanding while having fun with like-minded people. Laughter is a key ingredient of every day!

The Annual Trainers’ Workshop is held at Suzanne & John’s beautiful Hawks Hunt Farm in St. Johnsville NY. Limited to just 30 participants, this 4 day intensive focuses on Suzanne’s Relationship Centered Training (RCT), the physical, emotional & mental dog, the dog/handler relationship and more! Hands-on work with dogs (and other species) builds your skills & understanding while having fun with like-minded people. Laughter is a key ingredient of every day!

Combined with more food for thought than you can take in, we also feed & water you in style with hot/cold breakfast & lunch, endless snacks & drinks, plus a t-shirt, workbook & more.

The Trainers’ Workshop is designed for active trainers who want to learn more about Suzanne Clothier’s Relationship Centered Training. This is NOT a beginner’s seminar, but you do not need to be a professional to attend. You should have a good foundation in training principles, dog behavior and learning theory. Strong emphasis on the trainer/instructor perspective.

This workshop fills quickly, and is strictly limited in size to 30 participants. Register early to save your spot!

PRE-REQUISITE You must have attended at least 2 days (not necessarily consecutive) of seminar with Suzanne, and be familiar with her Relationship Centered Training approach. 2 days with me gives you a strong sense of who I am and what I can offer. I do this so that you’re very clear that my approach is what you wish to learn, and you have a sense of where you are as a trainer/student. That helps keep the group coherent with a shared interest in RCT and my work. Please don’t waste your time (or mine) by asking to be the exception.


This workshop is always an adventure in what has been learned, wondered about, experimented with, worked on, tried, discovered and explored. There is always a blend of practical hands-on work, experiential learning, video, lecture and guest speakers. We will work with our own dogs as well as those owned by others. You do not need to bring a dog to attend! We always have dogs available for hands-on practice.

Bring your curiosity, your joy in connecting with animals and the people who love them, your sense of humor, and a willingness to stretch your mind in new ways. Hawks Hunt Farm offers a lovely setting for stepping away from the daily grind and refreshing your spirit.

Planned for 2018

If you have enjoyed the pre-requisite seminars with Suzanne, then you know that her work and the study of dog behavior, training & methodologies is an onion with endless layers. The Trainers’ Workshop is driven by the group’s interest and abilities, and explorations into the following are possible:

  • The Think & Learn Zone – what does it look like? how do we get the dog there? what exercises can help? Why is arousal the fundamental issue that must always be considered in dog training
  • The Elemental Questions – A “whole dog” approach to thoughtful & humane assessments
  • Hands On Practical Bones – A chance to practice the RCT basic exercises — ACI, Let’s Go, Go Hunt, Loose Leash Walking exercises, Puppy Politeness Poker, Follow Me, Ghost Handling, Treat/Retreat, In/Out, Really Real Relaxation Protocol, RCT Training Games and more
  • Handling & Equipment Skills – Be effective! Help students safely deal with the pulling dog, learn how balance & posture affect handling, 2 handed and 1 handed holds, using a long line, balance rope,double-ended leads for use with head halters/harnesses, and more
  • The Physical Dog – understanding movement, structure and their effect on behavior, performance and learning
  • Connection, Cooperation & Control (CCC) – the exciting new program developed by Suzanne Clothier & Cindy Knowlton. CCC offers an ideal entry level class to attract new students, and is perfect for helping handlers further along in their training to refine & improve their connection with their dogs/
  • Guest Speakers – In the past, we’ve benefitted from the immense knowledge of Dr. Donna Gigliotti, and Joe Steinfeld. Who knows what great additions we will have this year?

Who Should NOT Attend? We strongly discourage the following:

  • Rigid, linear thinkers who want a tidy schedule & PowerPoint slide outlines for all sessions. Life isn’t tidy, control is an illusion, flexibility is key.
  • People without a sense of humor. Seriously. Stay home.
  • Folks who want recipes (except for our terrific meals – we share those recipes!)

Participants are encouraged to bring a dog or not. You do NOT need a dog to benefit, and in fact, many first-timers are happy they came without a dog and could really focus on learning. Loaner dogs abound. Dogs with problems are welcome (provided they have not seriously injured any human or another dog).

Cost: $1,500.00

You’ll be fed & watered in style, with breakfast, lunch, snacks & beverages included, plus group dinner on Saturday evening. We do accommodate vegetarians, but vegans & other with serious food restrictions or allergies may need to provide some of their own food Also included – workbook, t-shirt, and certificate of attendance.

ONE full price “Sterling Gillis” Search & Rescue K-9 scholarship is available to operational SAR K9 teams. Please contact Suzanne directly on your unit’s letterhead, with a letter from your unit’s training director explaining why you and your dog deserve this scholarship. (If you have benefitted previously from a SAR scholarship, please do not apply again.)

CEUS should be available for IAABC.

Register: To reserve your spot, a non-refundable deposit of $200.00 is required. Balance due in full by May 15, 2018.

2019 Trainers' Workshop Registration Form

  • Please list where & when you attended your pre-requisite seminar.
  • Write in NO DOG if not bringing one
    Let us know if you are driving, flying or have a team of musk oxen who need some miles put on them. (Sorry - no musk oxen stalls available, but you may tie them to sturdy trees overnight.)
    We try to feed all attendees well, with an emphasis of fresh, homemade meals heavy on fruit & veggies. We can accommodate vegetarians, but we cannot accommodate vegans. If you are vegan please plan accordingly. IF YOU HAVE FOOD ALLERGIES, you MUST list those for us. We will try very hard to avoid those foods OR to notify you about any foods that contain allergens for you.
  • Please list any food sensitivities or allergies, as well as any other special considerations that you need us to know about so we can take good care of you.
  • Please list the name and phone number(s) for your Emergency Contacts.
    I have read and understand this Payment & Cancellation Policy. PAYMENT: I may reserve my space in the workshop with a non-refundable $200.00 deposit, and understand the balance is due in full by May 15, 2019. I may also choose to pay in full at any time. CANCELLATION: The $200.00 deposit is non-refundable. Cancellation by Feb 28, 2019 - Early-Bird payments are refundable minus the $200.00 deposit. Cancellation before May 1, 2019 - 50% refund of payments made minus $200.00 deposit. Cancellation after May 1, 2019 and before June 1, 2019 - 25% refund of payments made minus $200.00 deposit. Cancellation after June 1, 2019 - 50% of payments made minus $200.00 deposit will be applied to future June Trainers' Workshop; not transferable to other seminars or workshops.
    I understand that this event is held outdoors as well as under cover, and many activities take place on uneven surfaces. I confirm that I am able to negotiate uneven surfaces without assistance, and that this ability is a pre-requisite for attendance at this event.
    Please select your payment option.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.




Jun 21 2018 - Jun 24 2018


9:00 am - 5:00 pm




St. Johnsville, NY
St. Johnsville, NY