Presented by: Denise Agnew of NADAC Australia Division
Instructors: Suzanne Clothier & Dan Tambourine!
Following the success of her Australian workshop in March 2003, Suzanne returned to give the Australian dog fraternity the opportunity to experience her famous Dances with Dogs camp - or aptly renamed - Camp 'Down under!'
Involved professionally with dogs since 1977. Her background is widely varied, with experience in breeding, kennel management, grooming, showing, training, canine midwifery, puppy aptitude testing, instructing, behaviour consultations, in-home training, K-9 Search & Rescue, holistic health care and various club memberships and activities (show/trial superintendent/secretary, and obedience chairman) Served as a committee member for the American Humane Association's task force for the development of Humane standards for dog training, and as a member of the AKC's Agility board.
Her current activities have included; private behaviour consultations & canine athlete evaluations, teaching seminars internationally, ongoing development of educational materials/programs, articles, videos and writing.
Her latest book, BONES WOULD RAIN FROM THE SKY; Deepening our relationship with dogs (Warner 2002) has received widespread acclaim. Suzanne has been teaching seminars since 1989 in the USA, CANADA, JAPAN, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, and in 2004 traveled to BELGIUM for the first annual European Dog Trainers Conference.
Pictured: Suzanne & Dan with 'Peppi' at camp.
A professional trainer and behaviour expert, Daniel Tambourine has over 25 years of animal training experience. He has worked with a diversity of species, including dogs, cats, wolves, bears and other exotics. Currently, he consults with pet owners on all behaviour problems and specializes in cases involving aggression and severe anxieties.
With unique insight into the canine mind, he has exceptional training and handling abilities with all breeds. He applies learning theory and scientific analysis into all behaviour modification and practical obedience programs while putting the 'how to do' in simple steps that allows owners with minimal knowledge and skill to be successful in training.
Dan is owner and President of Crossroads Country Club Pet Resort, a premier training facility located in Southern California. He oversees training for a staff of 6 trainers and overall staff of 20. He is a member of many behaviour and training organizations, including the Delta Society, Animal Behaviour Society, the Association of Behaviour Analysts, Animal Behaviour Management Alliance and Charter Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. Dan has two German Shepherd Dogs, a Rottweiler and a black Labrador.
This was not your everyday dog camp. The aim of the camp was to develop the relationship that allows the dog/handler team to strive for their own personal best and aptly named 'dances with dogs' the dance between dog & human.
The camp was for folk who love dogs and those willing to go beyond conventional thinking to explore what is possible between a human and dog. It was not a 'dreamy-eyed' New age experience where animals were better than people - we were taught the realities of a life shared with predators, canine behaviour (the good, the bad & the ugly), with an emphasis on developing a depth of knowledge as the basis for humane training.
Camp Down Under was challenging on many levels, and provided participants with plenty of laughter (and a few tears) as people worked through some of their issues regarding relationships, themselves and their animals.
The week long camp was shared with some great people and their canine companions, some traveling from as far away as Western Australia to gain insight into the canine mind. Denise (camp organizer) chose an excellent venue -the Sea Mist Holiday Farm near Winchelsea Victoria - where campers were able to enjoy the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the bush surrounds complete with its unique Australian wildlife. Sea Mist supplied campers with some excellent food each day which included breakfast, morning and afternoon tea as well as lunch and dinner and the cabins/rooms at the grounds were spacious and comfortable as well as reasonably priced!
We had two extraordinary instructors who believe in a holistic approach to dogs & our lives with them. Their combined knowledge and expertise was an inspiration to each and every participant and provided participants with new hands-on skills to take home to apply to their own dogs.
Participants Name: Cheryl
Dogs Name: Jaffa "Hevnsent Crystal Dark"
Breed: Australian Shepherd (Red Merle Colouring)
Age: 2.5 years old at camp
Dogs Name: Holly "Borderglen White Xmas UD AD TD
Breed: Border Collie
Age: 8 years old at camp
I've been involved with dog training for 20+ years and always welcome an opportunity to extend on my knowledge and to have an opportunity to work with well regarded trainers and like minded people. The chance to spend 6 days at 'Dog Camp' with my best mates was too good to pass up. I had no idea what to expect. I am usually completely exhausted after 2-3 days of conferences, so I had no idea how I was going to manage 6 days...so off to camp I went in September 2004!
We had a great week at camp and thoroughly enjoyed every session. I really appreciated the relaxed, unstructured approach as it gave all of us a chance to work on individual problems as well as learn heaps from the lectures and demonstrations. The analysis of movement and structure sessions have been invaluable and I also learnt a great deal more about dog body postures from working with some of the inter-dog-aggressive issues. One such dog was Sandy's Kelpie - Clancy. It was very rewarding to have Clancy run free with my dogs towards the end of the week after a few intensive sessions of work with Dan and Suzanne.
We played games, practiced agility, lay on the grass soaking up the sun. Ate heaps, went to bed late, walked our dogs, and generally took time out from the hub-bub of everyday life.
Jaffa (my baby) became more confident during the week of intensive work. Holly (my old girl) just had heaps of fun.
The venue was really great for the purpose, meals great and the generosity of the local farmer in allowing us access to 50+ acres of paddock, complete with dam (well liked by one Golden Retriever in particular), to run our dogs really topped off the location. Ultimately, it was about having a holiday with my dogs. One that enabled me to build on my relationship with my dogs and to be with like minded people. I came away completely relaxed, as you should after a holiday.
I'll be back for more the next time Suzanne is 'Down Under'.
Cheryl, Holly & Jaffa
Participants Name: Jo
Dogs Name: Bracken
Breed: Golden Retriever
Age: 2.5 years old at camp
Pictured: 'Benton'-left 'Jo'-centre 'Bracken'-right
Dogs Name: Benton
Breed: Golden Retriever
Age: 8 years old at camp
"I have two Golden Retrievers, Benton, my Angel, sent from above - he is gentle, calm, loving, LOVES people, always by my side. The other, my young one, is Bracken...... Words often escape(d) me with Bracken - he is big, bold, cheeky, fun loving, always knows best, very much an "out there" boy. Every now and then, I would get this wonderful snippet of a caring, loving, all consuming bond - but it was fleeting. I couldn't quite capture the essence with him.
My purpose to attend the Suzanne Clothier Camp Down Under '04, was as per within the title of Suzanne's book, "Bones Would Rain from the Sky", to Deepen my Relationship with Bracken. I felt I had already pretty well achieved a remarkable bond with Benton, and knew of the special qualities this brings, so wanted to achieve comparable with Bracken.
Bracken excelled himself at the camp, for all to see, much to my embarrassment. Nevertheless, he had a ball....a 20acre paddock with a complimentary dam next door, was more than a boy could ever wish for within a lifetime! So off he'd go, when he wished, regardless of what I may wish, have a wonderful swim, satiate his desires and return as he chose.....this is not my idea of a well balanced relationship, no matter how entertaining that may be to others. His focus was excellent - when he chose, his abilities very promising - when he chose.
Fortunately for us, we had two wonderful trainers who possessed not only excellent training skills, but compassion, empathy, PATIENCE and TOLERANCE. Although I know Bracken & I looked absolute fools on many occasions, not once was I made to feel that way. Suzanne and Dan spent a great amount of effort, giving us the time it required to work through our issues and gave me some skills to take away, and further develop.
Three quarters of the way through the camp, early one morning, I recognised something "clicked" between Bracken & I. I sensed a better understanding of him and a greater respect of he for myself. I am so proud to be able to say, that was only day one - the bond has continued to strengthen between us. Although I am sure we still have quite a way to go, the three of us share a remarkable closeness and joy in one another. The look within my dog's eyes when they gaze into my eyes, is like they are piercing my soul - it is a relationship which I am so privileged to experience. It is also one, which is very hard to describe to someone who has never had such a privilege. I am eternally grateful to Dan and Suzanne, for having given such an opportunity.
I believe this photo epitomises why I attended the Suzanne Clothier Camp, my two golden companions and I, walking as one......"
Participants Name: Theresa
Dogs Name: Vegas 'Camnusch Vegas'
Breed: German Shepherd Dog
Age: 8 months at camp
Dogs Name: Peppi 'Ch: Breebaron Lawbreaker' 'A''Z' H-neg CD ET TD
Breed: German Shepherd Dog
Age: 8 years at camp
The Suzanne Clothier 'Camp Down Under' provided me with the opportunity to watch and share a week's worth of knowledge and practical work with some great people and their dogs under the guidance and supervision of 2 very talented people - Suzanne & Dan. Learning, or should I say trying to learn, techniques like clicker training which I'd never felt compelled to use before was a little discouraging, but listening to Dan's explanation as to its practical applications was very interesting (particularly its use with Dolphins) …however, I came to realize it just wasn't the method for me.
I found the dog aggression work interesting. Having had one or two dogs with this tendency in the past, I was curious to watch the methods Dan & Suzanne would use with Clancy the kelpie. Under the careful guidance of these two very experienced people I was able to witness the gradual transformation of Clancy throughout the week to a point where he was able to interact socially with other dogs... including off lead!
Suzanne affectionately nicknamed Vegas 'the puppy from hell' - and is a name which still fits her well! Having the opportunity to spend time with Vegas at camp was invaluable for both of us. She's always on the go and can be very possessive of me, particularly around other dogs... so to have the opportunity to watch and assist Sandy with Clancy's re-education and using our own dogs as the helpers provided Vegas with valuable opportunities to work closely with other dogs around me during the week.
I think the highlight for me was watching Vegas and Kathy's young kelpie 'Tia' off lead romping with each other in the paddock. They were beautiful to watch at play and the body language they used toward each other was intriguing. Later that day we replayed Stan's video footage and watched them all over again in slow motion... it was absolutely captivating! Both Kathy and I agreed it was the highlight of the camp...well, of course we'd say that - wouldn't we!
Peppi on the other hand seized ANY and EVERY opportunity to be the crowd pleaser...as always! Even when the objective was to watch HIM in some dog to dog interactions! Of course he didn't see any urgency for such nonsensical doggy play; preferring to play with someone/anyone that was prepared to kick a leaf, ball, grass or anything else for him! (I think he's beyond any help I'm afraid…sigh!)
Pictured: Focus training? Peppi waiting for someone to kick his leaf!
Suzanne & Dan's easy going and fun natures made the daily events free flowing and spontaneous enabling us to amble along without the hussle and bussle of a strict itinerary to follow. We were continually asked what we would like to do rather than told what we would be doing and Suzanne & Dan always made sure that each individuals needs and/or interests were at the forefront of all the daily activities.
The structural evaluations provided the group with insight into the dogs' movement and physical structure which is always interesting to an enthusiast of any breed, and later on everyone was given ample opportunity to do some hands on work with the dogs. I must also make mention of Suzanne's artistic skills - Her knowledge of a dog's skeletal construction and the implications it can have upon a dog's movement i.e: capacity/capability to function or perform within the limits of that structure, was amazing. Proving she really is a woman of many, many talents!
Thank you Suzanne & Dan for a great week!
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