Last week I shared strategies to help become comfortable with videoing your dog training and reviewing video. It was a blog post that I hadn’t planned on doing a follow up on, as the intention was just to help with ideas for you on how you can embrace video as the great dog training tool it can be. However, there were some great tips and questions here on my blog and on Facebook, so this post is ‘part two’. It’s actually a blog post that YOU wrote over the past week so a big shout out to each of you!
What to Use to Video Your Training
Hands down the winner for the question on what to use to video was phones, closely followed by tablets, followed by video cameras. I use a phone frequently to video my training. One of the tips shared was to keep your old phone if you update to a new one and use it for the purpose of videoing.
Where to Put the Video Camera and How to Hold It Up
There were many creative tips on this. Here are several to help.
- If you go to Pinterest there are lots of free resources to DIY phone holders. (Lynda)
- Stand your phone in a cup. (Tatjana)
- I’ve been creative and put my phone on a chair propped up by a mug to video myself before. You can do it by yourself with no fancy equipment, you just have to be creative. (Lia)
- I also use a cardboard box in which I cut a hole to use as a stand. (Elena)
- I bought myself a little phone tripod last week and so have just started videoing my training sessions. (Roxy)
- The best video tip I ever received was to have a fixed tripod in my training room. With my wide angle lens on my phone it covers 90% of the room and all I have to do is put my camera in it. I used to spend so much time trying to set it up to shoot what I wanted that it was pretty punishing for me. (Debbie)
- It seems so simple now, but, I struggled with where to put the camera. Watching Susan with the camera simply put on the floor or ground, makes it so much easier than trying to balance it on a chair or whatever. Also surprised at how much it gets from that perspective. (Jeanne)
Many of you wanted to know what I use. Frequently it’s my phone in a *GripTight GorillaPod Stand and I also use a *Fugetek Selfie Stick Tripod Combination …. I’ve put the Amazon links to these here so you can check them out. The majority of us train alone so a tripod is a ‘must have’ piece of equipment. Tripods can be found online at Amazon/eBay, retail camera stores or larger chain stores.
[*Amazon Links Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Susan only recommends products she uses herself, and all opinions expressed here are her own. The link above is an affiliate link that, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission if you decide to buy from it. Thank you!]
The Practicalities of Turning On and Off
Claire posted that one of her barriers to videoing was the feeling that it takes away the momentum in her dogs to start and stop the camera, and this was echoed by several people. To help with this, below I’m sharing a sequence of stills from a recent workshop in Agility Nation where I was filmed, filming my training. This shows how I maintain the connection with my dogs. You might be wondering why I would put my video on when being filmed, but it is something I do all the time when it’s my dog training as it allows me quick review and to get the angle I want to see.
I always set up my training area first with everything I need, including the camera. Then I warm up my dog (this is important even if you are not videoing your training). After the warm up, my dogs ‘hop-it-up’ to a bed or table like a Klimb, or go ‘in-yer-kennel’ (crate) … this is something my dogs have a lot of value for from the foundation of Crate Games. It is a trigger for fun, so it does not stop the momentum at all.
It is then I turn my camera on, release my dog, and transition into training. As the training sessions are ‘short, fast and fun’ the video is not running for a long time. Often I have a timer on too. When I end the session, I send the dogs back to ‘hop-it-up’ and then turn off the camera. It’s all part of maintaining connection with my dogs… I would never just turn my back on my dog to go turn the camera off, instead I give them a job they love with “in-yer-kennel” or “hop-it-up”.
In the still below you can see I’m using a mirror for this training session. Your video can be used along with a mirror too so you can see what you want to see. And Amy shared “If you have a front-facing camera, use that so you can glance at it occasionally to make sure the camera is still on and the things you want to capture are in view.”
The mechanics of starting and stopping your videoing are good to practice without your dog, so it becomes a natural part of your training. On that note, Mark shared two tips last week … “You can buy a Bluetooth remote shutter control. Just click to start video, click again to stop, from up to 30 or so feet away” and “Apple Watch also has built-in Camera app which will start & stop the video from your wrist“.
When to Review Your Video Footage
A tip on reviewing video from Lynda is “Don’t wait to review! Review right away so you can adjust quickly‘” is one that will help and something I do. Make sure your dog is set first, and then you can review your training on your camera if it allows for that. Most modern cameras do. You might want to transfer the video footage to a computer later on for a more in depth review, but don’t delay reviewing your training while the session is fresh in your mind.
What to Use to Watch and Edit Your Video
This is where there are many possibilities, and it all depends on your system and your type of camera. There are many apps for video review; check out Coach’s Eye and VideoFramePlayer just to name two. It’s the same for video editing, there are many apps out there so find one that suits you. Search for your particular set up and find recommended resources and tutorials.
If you are not sure how to get the video off your camera to your computer or to where you want to store it, search for that too. There is a world full of solutions and online tutorials that will help you. Ask your family, friends and training buddies for tips. Charlotte shared “if you establish a YouTube channel, you can upload your videos there and also run them slow motion“. On a video hosting platform like YouTube or Vimeo, you can make videos private if they are just for your personal viewing.
Allow Yourself to Learn
There were comments last week that the technology of videoing and the mechanics can be a difficult and frustrating to master. Videoing can be a learning curve, but give yourself the chance to learn and become comfortable. Split this down into manageable components for yourself.
Start with learning how to hold your camera up … whether it is your phone in a mug or in a tripod. Then learn how to turn the camera on and off. Then how to review the footage. Learn where to position the camera so you catch what you want to see. Learn how to transfer and store your video. Learn how to edit, starting with trimming front and back of your video.
You can apply the 5C Pyramid of Success to your own learning and break it down into manageable pieces to protect your confidence. And if something goes wrong and you end up with 20 minutes of footage of nothing but grass, just know that you are not alone! Give yourself a chance. The more you do the easier it will become.
Many people posted the benefits they have found to videoing once they got started, so I’ll leave you with three of those comments for inspiration.
“Videoing my training is fundamental to my handling. I train mostly by myself, so videoing and review is an essential part of my training. I have learned immeasurably from scrutinizing my videos. Having video for me is as essential as the dog and the obstacles.” Julia
“I have to confess that in the beginning I was not very disciplined about my videoing. I have never been comfortable seeing myself. Recently I have become a video addict. Further more how I view my videos has completely changed. I used to just watch the pretty dog and I still do. What’s changed is that now when something doesn’t work as planned I look at what I did before to see how I may have impacted the mistake. It has been an incredibly valuable tool and has helped me to progress much faster with my training.” Jacqueline
“I resisted video for a long time as I hated to watch myself. Now I video all my home training and I have learnt so much. It helps you see exactly why the dog did or didn’t do what I asked and how to improve things. Definitely the most valuable piece of training kit.” Caroline
If you are videoing, what do you use to review and edit your videos and how do you store them? If you are not videoing, would you like to give it a try now? Let us know in the comments.
Today I am grateful to you all for writing this blog post, and for all the great tips and solutions you are sharing about videoing, and for jumping in and giving it a go!
Update: If you’d like some extra motivation and inspiration to start becoming comfortable with videoing your training, we’re including a Shaped by Dog podcast video on the topic below for you. If you’d like the transcript and eBook, it’s over at Shaped by Dog Episode 133 to download.
OK, please don’t laugh…I am so MOVED by my initial reading and viewing here on this course, that I shed tears! This is so thorough and kind and exciting and interesting and encouraging and inclusive and and and!
Wow. Thank you Susan and your team. Really cool, so far!
I like to use video to compare what I’m doing with the video of the game. When I compare my mechanics with the handler in the example- oh my! Instant learning! Location of reward, body movements that add confusion, timing problems – I’ve done all the mistakes!! LOLLL video is super helpful.
I video taped my training where and how do you send it
Consider sending them to a private YouTube channel. From there it is easy to share the link in both the Facebook groups and the coaching forum.
2 things … First, instead of keeping my old phone to video, I actually bought a new iPhone 11 when it came out – just because it had the wide angle view built in. Makes it so easy to setup a tripod in a corner and catch just about everything there is to see. Second, I use a free app called Videorama (you can purchase some add on effects if you want). It is a very easy app to trim/split and edit your videos. Easy to add text if you want. Easy to put transitions between clips if you want. You can even add VoiceOver if you want. And it lets you upload to YouTube in any resolution including 1080i. Use it all the time.
I use video all the time. It is especially valuable in Flyball as it is hard for the naked eye, in real time, to catch all the little movements of the entire body as they approach the box, prepare for launch. foot placement on the box, head movement, push off, and landing. Video & slow motion are the only way to see all this, then you can immediately adjust something for the next box hit to improve if needed, so you’re not establishing poor positioning by allowing repetition of the behaviour.
I video my other dog sports as well. Sooo many little things you can pick up, good or not so good that you can’t see while you’re working.
There article said there were links to recommended hardware items. I’m not seeing them…..?
I have a tripod and currently video. Having trouble figuring out positioning of camera for best view. I have not seen anything here about choosing best angles or spot to place camera. Have I missed a post or link?
I have a gorilla tripod, and also just ordered this one, it’s a tripod AND selfie stick AND it has a detachable remote. 3 in 1! https://smile.amazon.com/Fugetek-Portable-Lightweight-Aluminum-Bluetooth/dp/B081V95FMZ/ref=sr_1_15?crid=EQIIK084J9EP&dchild=1&keywords=tripod+selfie+stick+with+remote&qid=1588263295&sprefix=tripod+selfie%2Caps%2C224&sr=8-15
It got great reviews as one of the top 5 tripod/selfie sticks on the market, fyi.
Great ideas! Now that I am home all day. I have now excuse for not progressing with this tool
nice work, keep up the good work.
I have not videoed my training sessions, but have videos of lots of runs at trials. I have found it very helpful to see what I did right and what I did that threw my dog off. I’ve noticed it’s usually my timing. I will say I have run out of memory on my card, and have run out of battery in the camera. So even though I kind of like watching the dog and handler teams before and after me, (I learn a lot from watching them as well), I plan to buy one of those blue-tooth remote controls and try it out. I’ll try it in the yard first to see if it will work before trying it at a trial.
I really need to start to video…..somewhat technically challenged though so thoughts of storing & editing & what to use have me always putting it off.
Can anyone recommend a portable tripod that will hold a regular sized iPad! I have looked on Amazon but only see ones for iPhones or mini iPads.
I have been using Movie maker on Windows 7 PC. That is not available on Windows 10. Does anyone have a suggestion for a free or inexpensive software for Windows 10?
Started to video yesterday. First time since becoming a Recaller 1 1/2 years ago and a new Connect360 student. I have finally gotten to game 19 in Recallers and doing flat work in 360. I used my iPad propped up on dining room table. The video has an edit function that allows you to cut beginning and end of video. Therefore, I just set iPad up and when training is complete, I edit to trim the video to cut out wasted time at start and finish. Planning to video outside today while training Restrained Recalls with a twist including the start of a blind cross. Thanks to all who have posted videos. Now I can see how important they will be to our success. Special thanks to LaDonna King for posting her Recaller videos that have helped me tremendously.
Videoing allows me to spot things i did not notice in the moment, like Harper looking back just as she goes in the crate. Had not seen that due to the way the soft crate is built, the cloth blocked my veiw but video allowed me to spot that.
For turning on and off videos there are also Bluetooth remotes available. I have not used one yet, but found this one I may try. *note a lot of these remotes take pictures but don’t mention video, so be sure to find one that will stop and start Videos. I can’t wait to try it.
I use an Android phone that is fully integrated with my Google account. All photos and videos taken on the phone are automatically uploaded to my Google account when on a WIFI connection. I can then view the video from any other computer just by logging into Google, and I can create a share link to the video to send to others or post.
I have a big mirror on the wall at floor level in my training room, and I make sure the video camera can see the mirror and dog at the same time (not straight on, to avoid the infinite depth image). This lets me get an image of both sides of my dog in the video when training. Especially good for targeting and activities where position is important.
I train better when the camera is on!
Love all of these DIY tips!
Thanks very much for the information. I have and presently struggle. It takes longer to get camera directed at the area of training than to actually train. Very good tips and helpful leads to info.
I use a video camera, so use the editing software that came with the camera. I then store on my hard drive, but have also just created a FB page for each dog as Susan suggested for storing edited video.
I am one of those struggling with the camera position. Got something like the Gorilla pod and that was a big step! Next step is finding a way to keep track of all these videos so that I can find what I need again later.
All this videoing is still taking soooo much time but it is becoming my best helper in the training as I am mostly alone during training.
Good tip for me: Give the dog a task while I go turn on/off my video. Don’t just turn your back on the dog!
Jack and I, my assistance dog for mental health (Owner trained) although agility is not an aspect of our lives competitively we do a lot of “freestyle” agility of our on walks as part of his every day walks/training to add interest, stimulation and this also creates for such a fun filled walk! As someone who does a lot of photography/videoing of Jack in action I really am grateful for these videoing tips. Thank you all 🙂
Old phone in a mug on the floor, learn how to turn the video on and off and look at it. I can do this! Thank you Susan and everyone.