Monday, December 21, 2009

Do you have someone Tape your runs?

Maybe the question should be:

Do you actually watch them?

I will admit, there are times I haven’t.


Some Excuses….

I don’t have time
(hum…if you’re reading this, that’s not true. VBG)

We didn’t Q, (It Weren’t PURDY), so I don’t want to.

We didn’t Q and I know why.

We Q’ed so there’s no need to watch it.

I don’t feel like it.


I am now getting into the habit of watching
and analyzing ALL my runs?
This requires me to watch them several times each.


There are times that what “I think happened”,
isn’t necessarily what truly happened.


What a wonderful way to discover your strengths and weaknesses!

I call this “Home Work”!

The skills the dog, or handler, or both, need to improve on.
If you don’t watch and study your videos,
you’re likely to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
Seems to me there’s a quote about that somewhere!
Here it is!

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again
and expecting different results.
(Albert Einstein/Benjamin Franklin)

While you might think (and maybe it’s true)
that it’s more fun to watch runs in which you qualify.
That’s not always the case.
There are some pretty spectacular things
that occur in those non-qualifying runs.
That is why it’s important to watch both.
You'll not only want to find things you need to work on,
but also give yourself some kudos for what you do well!
You’ll also want to practice those things,
so you don’t lose those skills.


Here are some of things I look for:

Are our turns as tight as they could be?

Am I seeing collection at the appropriate times?
If not, why?

Am I giving the dog clear information?

Does the dog know what obstacle is coming
after the one they are completing?

Am I supporting the obstacle appropriately?

Am I standing up, or do you need
a board in the back of my pants? G

When things go amuck, how do I react?



By watching your videos and answering these questions,
you too can come away with a LOT of HOME WORK!

You now might be saying to yourself,
“Why do these things matter.”

Besides the obvious, you’ll be faster.

More importantly, the better you are at the above skills,
the better the outlook for your dog’s physical health.
Nothing pains me more than to see a dog face plant,
grunt on the landing side of a jump, or struggle up an A-frame.
Just think about the wear and tear that’s causing your teammate.
Would you want to suffer that approach or landing?

As Susan Salo would say,
"If your dog was a horse, would you want to be on his back?"

Seeker has a major face plant in a JWW run in
Wentzville over Thanksgiving weekend.

He qualified, but at a price that "could" have caused him serious injury.
I knew at the time that the turn after the jump out of the tunnel,
was going to be difficult at speed.
I also knew that I needed to pre-cue for that turn.
It couldn’t be too early or I’d risk dropping the bar.
I was too late and Seeker paid the price for my poor handling.

Had I taken the time to get up into that pocket,
and provided him with more information,
this would not have happened.
Next time PUP, …..I promise!
No Q is worth doing this to your teammate.

Of course there are thing I really loved.
I loved the ability to trust him to follow me,
taking the obstacles in his path,
this allows me to work ahead with my front crosses.
I loved his collection to the poles,
his stride through them that left them rattling.
I also loved the closing, turn and
run as fast as I can out.
Trusting him to follow over the
jumps and of course keep them up.

If you’re taking someone’s time to video your runs,
then please respect their time by WATCHING THEM!!

I personally would rather watch a run through my own eyes,
without the pressure of keeping both dog and handler in the viewer.
I do, however, understand the importance of taping
and will gladly do it for others.

Next thought…..Do you Tape your practices?


  1. I can't wait for Santa to bring my new Flip... please Santa bring me a Flip!!!!

  2. Dear Santa, please help me REMEMBER to give my camera to someone to tape us! It doesn't do much good sitting in my gear bag!

  3. Uh... I JUST now realized your title could have TWO meanings... I will have someone tape my AGILITY runs from now on - Santa came through!!!