Video Review — the Most Powerful Tool in Agility Training

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If there is one tool that I learned the most from, it’s the video review. One can keep ignoring their trainer’s advice forever, but it is really hard to watch yourself making the same mistake over and over again.

Let’s say your trainer tells you your verbal cues are late. The impact of their words is not even close to what you’d feel watching a video of yourself cueing “jump” while your dog is already over the bar… You’d never believe your cues could be THAT late, would you? Now, how long can you stand your dog learning that “jump” sometimes means to take the tunnel?

What to spot

How many other tools are there that can give you feedback on so many aspects of your and your dog’s performance and in such detail? It blows my mind how many things you can notice in just one video! Let’s see…

  • Why a fault happened – this is the biggest one but it’s essentially a combo of all that follows below
  • Dog’s striding between obstacles – how many strides? bounces? shortens/lengthens the stride when needed?
  • Dog’s take off points – turns & backsides? took off late/early? correct body posture over the bar?
  • Dog’s striding on the obstacles (like dogwalk) – how many hits on which plank?
  • Contacts hits – high/low? front feet or hind feet? good separation (= speed)?
  • Approaches to obstacles – does the dog line up correctly?
  • Dog’s path – efficient? tight turns where needed? how to shape it better? faster handling options available (like wrap vs slice)?
  • Dog’s speed – proper slow down to the weaves? full speed on (running) contacts? fast/slow acceleration?
  • Handler’s path – does it support the dog’s path? deep/shallow enough? distance from the dog? change in direction at the correct moment? too much babysitting? is the handler in the dog’s way? blocking the dog’s view?
    • Handler’s speed – on time at the obstacle? supports the dog’s changes in speed?
    • Handler’s running efficiency – proper running gait? overstriding? body posture? angles?
    • Body cues – consistent with verbal cues? on time? clear? distracting to the dog causing a dropped bar or sending the dog toward an off-course obstacle?
    • Verbal cues – consistent with body cues? on time? clear enough and loud enough (I find this one very interesting – can the dog hear you against the cheering when you handle from a considerable distance)? distinctive (read more here)?
    • Environment – jumps/wings/weave poles visibility against the fencing/walls/background? loud/people cheering? wet/dark/bright? grass/dirt/artificial turf? same/different equipment from what you trained?


    Not enough?

    Watch someone else’s video! How about your trainer’s or a winning run at the last Agility World Championship? How is their handling different from yours? What are their body cues, handling choices? Their dog’s skills?

    Have fun!
    – Paulina

    One comment

    1. I wonder how many question marks there are in this article lol. This is the most thorough list I’ve ever seen regarding video review and analysis. There is so much info in this blog, and I feel like you can expand on each bullet point and make a whole blog out of every single one of them 🙂

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