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Speaker Key

SG Susan Garrett


SG If I told you there's one thing I do when I train my dogs, that if you did it, it would exponentially change the results you get with your dog training sessions. And it's easy for you to do, and I'm willing to share in detail exactly how I do it. As a matter of fact, I wrote a book that I'm happy to give to you. Would you be interested? I'm hoping so.


Hi, I'm Susan Garrett. Welcome to Shaped by Dog. And today I really want to help you with your dog training. Today I'm going to share with you something that I mentioned in podcast episode number 131 when I was talking about exactly how to plan your training. I mentioned that my mentor, Dr. Bob Bailey when I asked him what was the one thing that he thinks had the biggest impact on animal training in his lifetime. And he did not even hesitate when he said the use of videoing training sessions.


And I said “wow!” Without even hesitation he said absolutely exponentially changes training. Now I'm going to give you a little tip right off the bat. It isn't just videoing the training. You actually have to review the video after you video the training. It's like you can't just buy one of our courses and instantly have a better-behaved dog. You actually have to learn from the course and apply what you're learning. That's how life works.


And so, videoing. I want to share with you exactly how I do it and most of you listening to this podcast or watching this podcast you have a video camera on your phone unless you still have a flip phone which some of you might still have. You have a video camera, or you can get a GoPro which is pretty inexpensive. You need a tripod yes but guess what, toilet paper roll. In a pinch it's a tripod, right? Check it out. All you need is a pair of scissors and you've got yourself a tripod.


I just shot a training session with my puppy, and I captured it all on this phone with this toilet paper roll tripod. There's no excuse for not videoing your training. Of course, you may not have a phone with a camera but if you have a phone with a camera or you have access to - buy like a used GoPro or anything - you can take advantage of video in training exponentially.


Let's arbitrarily say it takes a hundred units of time and effort to train a behavior, behavior X. If you used video while you were training, in some cases that could get down to one unit of time and effort. I kid you not.

Because think about this, if you're training your dog every day by yourself and you're doing something that’s anywhere from not quite right in your mechanics or not quite right in the delivery of reward or not quite right in how you mark what you want all the way up to— *palm slap, that is like so bad in your mechanics. Can you see how you're going to have a varied result in what the dog is actually going to learn?


Some case the dog may just get frustrated and give up. Now, if you had me there watching your training and giving you feedback, could you see how that training session could be exponentially better?

Because I'm going to help you identify what you're doing and how that's impacting your dog training. Now, what if you had a coach who didn't have eyesight like mine? You had a coach who had like Superman, not X-ray but better slow-motion vision.


That would be a huge help to be able to catch what you're doing just in the microseconds within the microseconds of what you're doing and the impact it has on your dog.

That's the gift that video gives you. It is like you are your own coach and you could say, “Well Susan, I don't know enough to be my own coach.”


We've got templates. We've got lesson plans here on Shaped by Dog, on my YouTube channel. There are some lesson plans on games that you can play with your dog. You can start there. Video your training, look at what I've taught in the video, or download the notes in the description and go back and forth.

And I promise you will move from those 100 units of training time and effort, I promise if you use video, you will exponentially improve that time and effort it takes for you. It may get down to 50 units of time and effort. It may get down to 10 and honestly it could get down to 1.


You could go, “Holy crap. I didn't know I was doing that.” And you'll be shocked once you see what you are actually able to pick up when you're watching your own video. I'm going to walk you through exactly what to look for and how to do it here in this podcast. And trust me, you know it's not that difficult. It really isn't that difficult.


Now I might make it more complex when I'm videoing my training. I sometimes set up as many as three cameras and then I will knit them together to see the finished product. All I'm suggesting is you guys you set up one camera.

Now you may or may not video your warmup. If you're new to training, I recommend you video everything, the way you're warming up your dog, because you might lose your dog in the warmup and not have the dog’s enthusiasm and attention when you go to work. And if you didn't video that you wouldn't know it.


Now I don't video my warmup these days because I've been doing this a long time. But it's really good advice to just set that camera on and start videoing everything you do.

So, here's what it looks like. I set up my camera. I start my training. I might train, I don't know, depending on what I’m doing anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, have my dog “hop it up” -I'll go and stop the camera.


And I'll quickly scrub through, just scrub through and see what's happening on that video. And then I’ll turn it back on, get the dog back out and improve one thing. Minimum of one thing. Now, there are sometimes I go “wow” like we were amazing. Let's just repeat what we just did. But honestly, I always look to change one thing, see if we can get a little better at one thing.


So, some of the times I will interrupt my training and just take a look at the video. But a lot of the times I'll get back into the house and I'll do three things. And this is what I recommend my students do these three things. So, the first time you're going to look through your video.

And it's what I call you need to dump the emotional baggage. So, you need to not judge how you look in those baggy sweatpants. You're not going to judge what you did or didn't do with your dog.


I want you to celebrate and be proud. So, you're just going to watch the video as if you're watching a television show. Just watch nothing in particular just so that you're prepared, you see everything that happened all go through once.

Let go of any negative self-thoughts, just let it all go. Guess what, I want you to high five yourself forgetting in front of the camera and training your dog.


You have done something that so many other people are choosing not to do. You are exponentially improving the ability to help your dog be better at whatever it is you're training them to be. You're going to be in a better place because you videoed and are reviewing your training. So, review, number one. Phase number one is just review, dump any emotional baggage and just watch the picture, the video of what I've seen.


Now you can choose to go a little faster, a little slower. I don't go slow on this. I just want to go and see what's happening. All right. That's review number one. Review number two is where I'm going to look through and I'm going to ignore if I see anything that's a mistake. I'm going to ignore all of this.

Review number two is where I pick three things that I'm really happy with. And I'm going to highlight that, I'm going to be writing this in a journal. Right. So, here's three things.


‘Yep. Oh, look at pass number one, I deliver the reinforcement excellent.’ Right. ‘Oh, look at my dog. She looks so happy.’ And the third thing is ‘She nailed it. Like we did great on that.’ All right. So, pick at least three things. If you see more than three things, then write down more than three things. But I want you to pick at least three things that you liked about what you were looking at. Now, what exactly are you looking at?


Well, it might be your training mechanics, how you deliver the reinforcement, the placement of the reinforcement, maybe the marking of the reinforcement. Were you moving when you use a click or when you said good? Were you already moving your food? No, you weren't. Yeah. That's something to celebrate. It might be your ability to select criteria that that's exactly what I was going for.


Now you might also be looking at your dog. Was your dog engaged? How was your dog's enthusiasm? How well did your dog execute on the criteria that you had selected for them? So that tells you how well you had planned your training and your video is just like, who would plan a movie and not go back and rewatch it right? You've got to rewatch it to see how you can get better. So that's our second passthrough is looking at what we did great and what we're going to celebrate.


Now, the third passthrough is where we're looking at where we can improve, and this is completely unemotional. This is constructive review. How can I get better for my dog? What is my dog doing andwhat is my response about it?

Remember, it's always about the environment that we set up, the criteria that we selected, the timing, whatever has gone wrong if you said, “Well gee, my dog was— yeah, they didn't do that really great.” It's on us. Right.


It's us that has to change something because when we change something that we're doing, our dog’s behavior changes. That's how it works. The change has to come from us first. Which is why we have to video. We have to video to see what it is that we're seeing in there.

Now, for those of you who are saying, “Yeah, I know I should video. I just don't get around to it” or you have a number of other reasons why you're not videoing, what I like to say if I go out and I go, “I'm just going to do a quick session. I'm not going to video it.” I run through my mind this one little thought.


I recognize that one of the leading experts in dog training or in animal training, Bob Bailey, I recognize that the experts have proven if I video this session, I will give myself an exponentially bigger chance of improving my skills and give my dog an exponentially bigger chance of learning, but I still choose not to. I personally don't want to say that too many times, so I'm going to make sure I video my training.


Now that might be too harsh for you to say to yourself, but I just want you to, you're making a choice. You're choosing to video your sessions or you're choosing not to. But be honest with yourself that it is a choice choosing to not video that's a choice you're making. And know that you are saying, “I don't mind spending a hundred times longer working on something to get it.” “I don't mind that my dog might never understand this.

And it could be one thing that I'm doing wrong that I could pick up on because I could pick it up if I watched somebody else doing it.” One thing that I picked up on.


And if you're absolutely saying, “I wouldn't have a clue what I would be looking at, at this video.”, try it. And if you still don't then join one of our programs. Home School the Dog would be a great place to start. Join one of our programs and let us help you to improve.

Because in our programs, you video your training and you look at it, you go through those three phases, then you post your video with your observations and let us help you improve those observations.


It really is the most magical thing that you could ever do. You automatically are going to be a better dogtrainer because you have a coach every time you go out to train. But remember, don't just let those videos sit on your phone. You have to review. Like even if you only have a few minutes, scrub through and just pick the three things that you did great.


All right. That's all. You don't have to watch the pretty movie and go, “Ooh, aren't we great.” You don't have to if you're short on time just watch this and see what you did great.

Now I recommend that you store these videos somewhere because your phone's going to get pretty full. And if you're using any other kind of camera, like you're going to have a big collection of memory cards.


So, two places that I like to store. Now my favorite these days is creating a Google Drive, a Google account that you can just upload your videos. And you can actually, I think it's like a dollar or $2 a month. You get like 15 gigs or something, I don't know. There is an, you can upload a lot of videos for free.


But if you want like even more storage, I think you can go to like a hundred gigabytes of storage for like a dollar or $2 a month with Google. And if you want to know how to set that up let me know and we'll shoot you a little video and put it up on our YouTube channel because I want you guys to have success for your dogs.


Now what I used to do, and this might be a great option for a lot of you is I would create a group in Facebook, a private group for each one of my dogs and I would just upload my videos there. I would take them down, and for me personally, because I might have 20 minutes of training time, there might only be like I don't know, 3 to 8 minutes of training in that 20 minute of that that the camera captured.


So, I use a product on my iPhone called Videoleap. Love that app for just doing a quick little cut. Now there's tons of different apps for Androids and iPhones that you can do a quick little video where I'm just cutting out pieces and then I just upload that little chunk. Because I will go back and review the chunks. [Videoleap for Android]


For example, I've got a Facebook group that I'm using right now just with two of my friends that I'm just uploading just my jump training with my youngest dog. And so, you can store it as it works best for you, but I just want to stress videoing is phenomenal. But it isn't of much value unless you review what you videoed. That's the magic of video.


Now my team and I we wrote this book for our online students. It's called Tips For Videoing Your Training. It goes into detail about some of the things that I mentioned here on today's podcast and also some other details about what to look for. It's a 10-page eBook if you would like a copy.


Now keep in mind I wrote this for my students. So, it would be an eBook like you were one of my students. If you would be interested in that we'll put a link in the show notes. And if you're watching this on YouTube, I will make sure there is a link in the description for you to download. This is a great book, so you can download your own copy of that eBook.


Okay. That's it for today. I will see you next time here on Shaped by Dog. Swagger’s cheering you all out.