Suzanne Clothier

Suzanne Clothier has been working with animals professionally since 1977, with a deep background of experience that includes obedience, agility, puppy testing, breeding, Search and Rescue, conformation, instructing, kennel management and canine midwifery. She is well respected for her holistic Relationship Centered Training™ approach to dogs and the people that love them.

Whether the audience is companion dog owners or experienced trainers, Suzanne's broad knowledge, common sense and humor offer exciting, practical information and approaches that will enhance the dog/human relationship.

She has taught in the US, Canada, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Japan, Australia and New Zealand for groups as varied as Wolf Park, NADOI, Association of Pet Dog Trainers, FEMA (Northeast Region Disaster Dog Teams), Alaskan Dog Musher Association, Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society, AKC Obedience judges, many national specialties, and numerous obedience, agility, breed, rescue, shelter and SAR groups.

Her book, Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships With Dogs has received wide spread praise from every corner of the dog world, including twice being included in the Wall Street Journal's list of Top 5 Dog Books. An award winning author of videos, books, booklets and numerous articles, Suzanne has written articles for the AKC Gazette, Dog Fancy, Dogs In Canada, Off Lead, Clean Run, Wolf Clan and breed magazines and newsletters around the world. She served as a committee member for the AKC’s Agility Advisory Board, and as a committee member of the American Humane Association’s Task Force for the Development of Humane Standards in Dog Training.

In 2007, she developed an exciting new temperament assessment tool, CARAT™ (Clothier Animal Response Assessment Tool). She is also the developer of RAT™ (Relationship Assessment Tool).  Currently, she is involved in a number of research projects involving CARAT and RAT, ranging from guide & service dog schools to the use of CARAT and RAT in Animal Assisted Therapy (in conjunction with Dr. Kirby Wycoff). Together, Suzanne and Dr. Wycoff are developing a new approach to AAT - The Reflected Relationship™.

From 2007-2010, she served as a consultant to Guiding Eyes for the Blind, one of the world's largest guide dog school. Her Relationship Centered Training™ and Enriched Puppy Protocol™ served as the structure for the updating of GEB's puppy raising program. Additionally, Suzanne developed a new puppy testing protocol, an broodstock/IFT (in for training) test. Unpublished data show that CARAT and the Clothier tests to be strongly predictive.

She is currently a consultant for Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, and will be working with a number of service dog organizations utilizing CARAT, RAT, RCT principles/techniques and the Enriched Puppy Protocol. 

Begining Jan 2013, she was invited to serve as an Advisory Board Member for NBCAAM - National Board of Certification for Animal Acupressure & Massage.

A German Shepherd breeder, her 8 generations of Hawks Hunt German Shepherds have been successful in obedience, agility, SAR, tracking, herding and therapy work; she is also the co-breeder of a National Specialty BOB Brittany. She lives on a working farm in upstate New York with husband John Rice, and their considerable animal family of dogs, cats, parrots, tortoises, Scottish Highland cattle, horses, donkeys, pigs and more.