Episode 07 of the Fenzi Dog Sports Podcast came out last week. In it I interviewed Sue Ailsby, and I wanted to share a few of my favorite takeaways from the interview.

Sue Ailsby has done a little bit of everything when it comes to dog sports — from water trials to herding — but is particularly well known for her Levels training program. In this episode we talk about how that program came to be, and what she’s learned in over 50 years training dogs.

A few great takeaways from our interview:

“I took riding lessons for years and I learned a great deal about riding. I’m a pretty awesome rider, by golly, but I don’t know anything about horses. As long as I’m on top of them, I’m good to go, but on the ground I know nothing. And that to me is an extreme failure of instruction, because surely knowing the animal is the bottom line.”

I said, ‘She’s terrible at herding sheep.’ And they’re all looking at me like here it comes, she’s going to give the dog away or… and I said, ‘Do you know what this means? I don’t have to buy sheep this year.'”

“…if you don’t have focus, stop working on something else and go back and get focus. It’s like clothes. Okay, you’re in grade two now, you have to wear clothes. Yeah, but I’m late for school. Oh my God, he’s late for school, let’s go to school. Oh, wait a minute. You still don’t have clothes on. […] I’m not going to take you to school and shove you in the classroom. It doesn’t matter if you’re late for school, you’re going to put your clothes on first.”

“…people say, ‘But my dog really, really, really, really wants the treat. He just goes crazy.’ Honey, your dog doesn’t want the treat more than my stud wants to get to the breeding pen. Trust me on this.”

Click here for the Podcast site, with the full transcript and videos on how to subscribe if you’re new to podcasts.