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SG Susan Garrett
SG As we wind down the year, I thought I would do a best of 2021. The most popular podcasts of 2021. I'm
also going to share what my favorite podcast of the year was and the one I would love each and every
one of you to listen to more than once. Hi, I'm Susan Garrett. Welcome to Shaped by Dog. There was a
common theme through all of the podcasts that were at the top. And I will tell you what our most
popular podcast was for the year.
But the commonality was they were all about dog training. They were all - somebody was googling “I
have a challenge and I need help with this.”
And they could be grouped into ‘walking my dog on leash’, ‘help with my puppy biting’, ‘reactivity or
resource guarding’. So, there's like four topics that covered all 10 of those most popular podcasts of the
And so, the number one podcast of the year, I'm going to just jump right in and tell you all about it. I'm
going to go through these and I'm going to share with you the big key takeaways and why the
information that I share, why it's just so darn effective for you and your dog.
So, number one, drum roll please. Number one podcast of the year, leash walking. This is episode
number 76: Leash Walking: Distracted, or Reactive Dog? So, this was a podcast where I shared
several games that you could play when you're walking your dog on leash. Which there's two things
you could do when you're walking your dog on leash and I talked about it in this and other podcasts.
You could be a distracted owner walking with your phone, you know, scrolling through whatever on
your phone, which you know what that's not going to benefit anyone, certainly not your dog. You could
be engaged with your dog and play some of the games that I mentioned in this podcast, but you could
also just let your dog sniff, let them check the pee mail. And you know, I like to do a balance of that
with the dogs, sometimes they're just walking with me hanging out and they are doing their own thing.
And other times they're engaged.
Why do I want that engagement? Because if there's a dog coming towards me, I don't want them to
suddenly go, “Hey, connect with me because I got to get you on the other side!” I'll always be scanning
the area to see should I have my dog working with me so that oh yeah, we can pass where my
shoulder is on the side of the dog and my dog is on the opposite side just to prevent any possible
So, all of our top podcasts were about dog training. And all of the dog training that we do here is done
in what we call Do Land, which means we are looking for solutions that we are the center of. Meaning
we don't blame the dog for something that they didn't do.
In our number 10 most popular podcast here on Shaped by Dog and the reason I think it's only number
10 is because it's a very recent podcast, podcast episode number 121 was one of our most popular
podcasts in the first 24 hours it was released.
And it was about teaching your dog not to jump on your guests or not to jump on people that you meet.
And of course, it's a Do Land approach. A Do Land approach meaning we teach in layers, layers that
create understanding, layers that we teach with interactive games. We don't use food lures; we shape
behaviors, and we teach the dogs to be in control of their own choices. And they want to do the right
Now, when this was posted on Facebook recently somebody said, “Oh, what I like to do is to just gently
give my dog a knee to the chest when he jumps up and he learns not to.” And I read that, and I said,
you know, there's a lot of people who look at something like a knee to the chest. And if it was you who
said that please don't take this as a criticism, but it's a commonality. People go, “Well, it's just a dog
and they figured it out really quick.” But think about this, if you took a kid who loved to hug, and they
just love greeting people with this great big hug. Jumping up is a dog’s hug.
And suddenly now we're in a pandemic. We can't have our kids’ hugging guests. So, we tell our people
“When you come through the door just gently punch my kid in the stomach because he'll get it. Don’t
like knocked the air out of him or anything. I don’t want you to be like you know, mean. Just a gentle
poke, like a Pillsbury poke in the stomach. You don't have to warn them. No, just give them a poke in
I bet that would work too. But at what cost? And taking any approach, any challenge you have with
your dog and turning it on yourself and going, “Okay, how could I be clear with my expectations?”
allows you to reach a deeper level in your relationship with your dog. It allows you to set up training for
And you could say, “Oh Susan, I don't want to do all that training. I just want my dog to behave.” Well,
anything worth having in life is because you invested your time in that. All the most important things in
life I bet you will find are not things at all, they’re relationships.
And our life with the dog is just a relationship. And so, you want to put in value and that's what these
games do. We're building layers of learning through shaping behavior that create games that the dog
loves to do which creates behaviors that give us the outcomes that we want. Win-win. Another popular
episode was episode number 66, and this is all about resource guarding.
And I actually recounted a diary of what I went through with my puppy This! who went through a period
of resource guarding. And I just want to add a footnote to this, that when I say she went through a
period of resource guarding, if you have a problem like resource guarding or reactivity it's never like
one and done. You don't check it off.
You always want to be cognizant of helping that dog to understand how they can be confident around
food and dogs or around toys and a dog or around you and your food or whatever it is that dog is
resource guarding. Don't be afraid to put money in that bank on an ongoing basis so that you don't ever
have that problem.
But if you go “Oh, I just followed Susan's protocol and yeah, we're all good.” You're kidding yourself,
because any behavior that gets ignored is either going to grow or erode. And your dog's confidence in
any environment is something that we need to be cognizant of and be their best advocate and
constantly be putting money in the bank. “Hey, no need to worry. There's lots to go around”. And so
that it never gets to be a problem as an adult dog.
So, I asked Sharon who is on our team and works on the podcast production “What was your favorite
podcast of the year?” And she picked podcast number 118, which I think is a really good one for
everybody to listen to because it's a common issue.
What happens when there are two sets of rules in the house? And even though this one wasn't one of
our most popular ones, why? Because it wasn't necessarily a cookbook recipe on how to do
something. But nonetheless, a super important episode because it shares the truth that dogs will only
be as consistent as we are as trainers.
So, if there's one person in the house that's very inconsistent or is consistently inconsistent, then the
dog will know to always try to get what they want from that person. And if you are the person that is
consistently consistent [that's redundancy I recognize], then they're going to understand that you have
criteria. Your criteria is always the same. It never changes.
Which means you have a little bit of responsibility here that it doesn't matter if it's raining out. It doesn't
matter if you're late for a meeting. There is no reason why you change criteria for the dog, that
sometimes is any time to the dog. And so, you need to be clear and consistent with your expectations
and your dog will be amazing to you and always do the same thing. Because the rules never change.
As I said in episode number 118, you are not that gaping hole in the fence.
Now three of our top 10 podcast episodes were all about how to stop puppy biting. And let's face it,
puppies bite. It's a way of life. But if you do this right your puppy really shouldn't bite for long. Honestly,
I play with a puppy and they understand my rules really, really quickly. And it isn't done by me saying
“No” or being harsh with a puppy. It's all done in place.
So, if you have a puppy or considering getting a puppy, make sure that you listen to podcast episode
number 17, episode number 82 and episode number 18. All about teaching your puppy to understand
life with me isn't about biting my hands or biting my pant legs. It's about biting the things that are
appropriate. And we were going to grow the things that are appropriate and be patient with a puppy,
because the way that they communicate is through their mouth.
I'm just going to add an aside. I think I've mentioned it in every episode, one of the big reasons puppies
bite, people keep them up way too long. Puppies sleep a lot. And if you're certain your puppy's getting
adequate sleep, lots of naps, you're going to find that the amount of biting that happens goes way
Now, as I mentioned, the commonality in all of these top 10 podcasts is training and podcast episode
number 68, a big favorite and it was Three Tricks Every Dog Should Know.
And they’re simple tricks. I’ll walk you through how you could teach them. And while I'm talking about
that, I would be remiss if I didn't say on YouTube actually our most popular videos are again, training.
So, Perch Work (Pivots and Spins), a massively popular video along with my Puppy Game video. So, if
you have a puppy or planning to get one, be sure you check out those videos.
And while you're over there on YouTube, guess what, we have playlists which means you can watch in
succession podcasts or videos on each topic. So, we had them on leash walking or puppy training or
puppy biting. We have playlists on reactivity.
So, jump on over to YouTube and you can just binge right? Put Netflix off for a little bit and just come
on over to our YouTube channel and binge-watch some of our episodes.
What is my number one most favorite podcast of the year? And when I asked Sharon this question as I
mentioned she gave me one of hers, but she also gave me two and I had two.
So, my second most favorite podcast was podcast episode number 107, where I shared how you can
kindly, and cooperative get your dog or your puppy to allow you and them be involved in getting their
nails trimmed. So, it doesn't have to be a struggle. It doesn't have to be a fight.
Check out both podcast number 106, it's kind of related to number 107.
But the number one favorite for myself and for Sharon, and it's the one that I wish that you guys would
watch and rewatch. I wish you'd share it on every social media channel that you have, because I think
it shares the message of Do Land better than any other podcast episode.
And that is podcast episode number 100 where I celebrated the fact that we made it to 100 episodes!
Woo! Woo! Woo!
And I talked about the parallel between dog training and the evolution of dog training and the evolution
of how children are raised.
And it's just I think such an important podcast for every dog owner to listen to because things like back
to my Facebook page where we shared the post about how to get a dog not to jump up, somebody
wrote, “Well, my trainer told me to grab my dog's paws and hold them until the dog sits.”
Again, not a Do Land approach but not an uncommon one.
Podcast number 100. Well, it's about the philosophy about bringing out the best in your dog about
creating psychological safety for the dog, about bringing up their confidence about, creating a
relationship, a teamwork.
And it's just an investment of your time that pays dividends for a long, long life for your dog
I believe the way you train a dog has an effect on the longevity of the dog. Why would I say that?
Because it's all stress related.
If the way you train a dog is causing stress while we know what stress hormones do to longevity, it
absolutely has an impact on that.
Dog training can’t help but have an impact on how not only how long our dog lives, but the kind of life
they have in each year of their life.
Now, as we get near the end of the year, and we are in the holiday season I just want to say I know
that right now there's a lot of people that are forced to spend the holidays alone. I myself will be
spending the holidays alone.
I have nine brothers and sisters but because of the pandemic we don't get together the way we used
to. We do it on Zoom.
But I want to share with you that when you have a dog, you're never alone. And I'd like you to be
proactive for the holidays. I'd like you to make a list of the podcasts that you would like to listen to.
Maybe those with training games that you can work on with your dog.
Maybe on certain days you're going to go for a walk at your favorite place. Come back and play one of
If you have a to-do list that includes dog training with your dog, I promise you this time when typically,
you might tend to be more lonely is going to be far more joyful because you're going to be doing
something with the dog you love.
Now before we go, I just want to say thank you.
Thank you to all of you who listened to the podcast.
Thank you to all of you who come on over to YouTube and watched the podcast.
You guys have made Shaped by Dog one of the most popular dog training podcasts of the year. And I
thank you for that.
My team and I recognize that you have a lot of choices when you are watching a video or listening to a
podcast, and we take this responsibility seriously.
We put a lot of effort into making sure that each podcast is not only educational, but also inspiring and
entertaining. And so, thank you. Thank you for making the year of podcasting a good one for all of us.
Thank you for leaving your amazing comments. Thank you for giving us reviews where podcast
reviews are available. And by the way, I've heard that Spotify is now going to be making reviews
possible. So, when that happens or if you're listening to this podcast now, please give us a rating. I
can't tell you to leave us a five-star rating but if you would leave a rating of a number that rhymes with
‘hive’ that would be awesome.
And please, please, please leave a review. And before you go, jump over to YouTube and let me know
what was your favorite podcast of the year and why? And finally, I thank you for sharing our episodes
with all of your family and friends and all the dog loving population in your circle. And I look forward to
you joining me and helping to make 2022 the year of the understood and well-loved dog.
I'll see you next time here on Shaped by Dog. Happy holidays everybody. And even if you're listening
to this when it's not a holiday let's just pretend it is. Happy holidays.