Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mercedes or Nissan?

OK, so my stupid, snide little two paragraph post about Susan Garrett's $5000 running contact class generated a lot of discussion both here and on facebook where Daisy Peel put a link. Yeah, right, it was poignant and I did mean what I said. I LOVED the time I spent learning, obsessing and training Spur's running dog walk. Seriously, I think it is the reason he likes agility today and I think it has made me a better trainer. He is faster, more confident and doing SO well and I credit the running dog walk training with his success.
Silvia's training philosophy is a HUGE part of his success - HUGE. It's just fun. She is all about fun, run fast and have fun. She focuses on speed and fun. To Spur that made so much more sense than anything else I tried. He loved it!!!!

But, I was being snide. I really was.

What I think happened, however, in translation is that people either thought my silly little post was SO amazing (I don't get that, but whatever) or they thought it was not nice. It was not meant to be either, really. It was snide, I admit, I was poking fun at Susan Garrett's marketing plan. And, adding something poignant about my training. That's all. I DO think the long way is often the best way. Short cuts are all well and good, listen these dogs only live so long and people want to get out there competing, fast. Nothing wrong with that and there is nothing wrong with paying all the money for that. And anyone who REALLY thought her method was a short cut isn't being very bright. It's not, she requires two trips to Canada with your dog. Hardly a short cut!!
But, there are people who feel that is wrong, charging all that money to learn her method. I don't. I don't care if you want to spend $10,000 to learn how SG does it. It's your money. You can also buy a Mercedes if you want. I don't really think it is a good idea, however. I think your money could be better spent. I really do.
I said that on facebook, but no one really got it, I don't think. I don't want to spend the money on a Mercedes when my Nissan will do. It WILL!!! I don't really understand why someone buys a Mercedes. Honestly, I don't get it. I know people with Mercedes. They run fine, but they don't run any better!!! Seriously, my experience has been that they cost more and have all the same maintenance issues and when they do need to be maintained it costs more. That's it, that's all. It's more expensive. It isn't any better. OK, so many the airbags are stronger, the frame tougher, the stability better, the ride very comfortable and smooth. I have ridden in some Mercedes, they do ride nicely. I don't know, my Nissan drives really well and handles just fine and has won awards for safety. I just hang on for the ride and zip around town with better gas mileage. And, it actually IS very comfortable, for me.
Look, Little Spur is just like a Nissan Cube. He's no Mercedes sedan. He isn't, but he is zippy and happy and runs his heart out for me!!! He has weak pasturns, slightly crooked front legs, shorter front end then rear, not much neck, but he does run his heart out for me and is cheerful and fun and my best little buddy!!! And he's cute as a button!!!
I trained him using Silvia's method. She offered me advice for free, advice as exchange for Roscoe learning to drum so well and so fast, advice I payed some money for, but essentially she coached us to a running contact and to excellent happy training for very little money. To me, it was priceless and I am forever grateful!!!! She doesn't worry about people stealing her method, her class videos are all public and open so if someone had no money they might even be able to train her method without her help. She isn't worried about that, she has enough students and mental security to share her ideas freely and she is proud to let that happen. I LOVE that about her. She has shown me kindness and support that makes me teary. Really. She is so kind.
Susan Garrett has every right to act like a Mercedes. She's costly, she's secretive, she's not willing to share with everyone her methods, she wants all the money for it so she can protect her rights. I don't hold that against her, I really don't. She can, she's Susan Garrett. People WILL pay her. Whatever. That's her deal. It doesn't mean that I will like it. I don't. I think it's proprietary and it makes me as insane as Apple allowing flash on their products. Stop it!!! After Susan Garrett has done this expensive class and taught her coveted five, her method will leak out. It will. There is no stopping it. I promise. Apple will have to allow flash one of these days. They will, it's going to happen. It's a GLOBAL world. (that's a funny thing to say)
Why not let it happen, SG, and enjoy watching hundreds of people train your method and enjoy that ride and take pride in your method and how it's available and easy and works or whatever you believe about it. Why not? Again, I don't hold it against her, really I don't. She wants the money. I am just saying, wouldn't she feel better about herself if she DID let more people do this? I would. But, I am not Susan Garrett.
I am just a little Nissan Cube. I don't have any method I can charge $5000 for. If I did I wouldn't, but I don't hold that against her. Really, I don't!!!! She wants the MONEY!!!! It makes the world go round, take the money SG!!! But, don't expect not to get critisized for it. It puts a distaste to your work, it really does. I don't hold it against her, I just don't have to think it's a good idea. That's all.

I want more money, too. Money is good. I like money. But, I am not going to charge $50 just to walk your dog for half an hour. I am not that good.
I wonder if anyone would pay that? I do get people desperate for my services and willing to pay "whatever". I won't do it. I am not that good. I am just a dog walker. When you pay me you get a trusty little Nissan Cube, peppy, good gas mileage, functional and fair and I love sharing my work "secrets" with others in this field. The more good pet sitter/dog walkers out there, the better off our world is. There are plenty out there who are not so good, I'm happy to help along those who want to be good. It only helps me. When I am booked I can refer to someone good. That helps me!!!

Wouldn't that be awesome? All those with running contact methods joining together and sharing "secrets"? Amazing! How awesome would that be?
It ain't gonna happen. Not for a while anyway.


  1. It just makes me respect Silvia even more.

    I love how on Susan's blog she posts how it can't be about the money since she if she opened up to more people she could make even more. But she is a marketing genius. Super secracy creates demand and in a few months she can do her trademark "if you missed the last opportunity don't fret! For 24hrs you can have full access blah blah blah" and then ONLY charge $1000 for person and link everything to crate games and mini trampolines. That women is a genius.

  2. Well, LL & V, if you add up all it costs to train a running dog walk, it's kind of pricey even without anyone's professional help. You need a dog walk, pretty much or if not access to rent one, right? That costs each time to rent one and buying one isn't cheap. Then a camera to video. Then an editing program to edit the videos. Plus the planks at the lower level.

    Let's see - I went the ultra cheap route...........
    *Dog walk I made. Cost = about $150.
    *Planks. Cost = $30
    *Camera. Cost = $350
    *Editing program. Cost = $free, it came with my Windows, I used Movie Maker
    *Hit-it Boards. Cost = $175. I needed those!
    *Rental for DW use in the winter. Cost = free thank goodness! I traded some training for use of the facility and DW.
    *Silvia's class. Cost = free - thanks to Roscoe winning the drumming challenge. Extra class = $125.
    So, the cheapest possible route was still pretty expensive. Already up to over $800!!
    Things that make you go.........hmmmmmmm.

  3. Nah, I just used one plank to get to full height. Then did twice a week working on it before my other dog's agility class and then during his agility class. Definitely not ideal to go without regular access to a dogwalk and of course that did not get me turns. You do need a video camera though if you don't already have one!

    I'm surprised at the end you didn't add "total cost: priceless!"

  4. Hahaha, yeah, it sure was priceless!!!! BTW - Vito looked great at the last trial video I saw. :D