This old dog is learning a new trick: Video!

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For years, I’ve been begging the powers that be who own this magazine for the resources that would enable the production of videos that would accompany articles in the magazine. My concept was that people learn differently, and while some people can read about something (and look at the photos and captions) it won’t make sense to other people until they can see it acted out – video! I thought it would be especially helpful for training articles; people could see exactly how quickly you need to click the clicker, how the placement and presentation of a treat is important when you want a dog to hold his position, how you could shape a behavior by rewarding successive approximations of what would finally become the desired behavior . . . the options are endless.

Recently, my wishes came true. Our publisher equipped me with video and audio recording equipment and the computer technology required to produce video. Go for it, girl!

But wait! In my dreams, I filmed the action, and selected the footage that would best show my readers what the article was talking about . . . and then I guess I’d just hand that footage over to someone else, and then the video would appear! Voila!

Well, that’s just not how we do things around here. Publishing budgets are tight – what budgets aren’t, these days? So if I want video – and I do – I’m going to have to learn to produce it myself (and some support and encouragement from HQ).

The first video I produced by myself is currently on the website, accompanying the article about dog daycare. It’s not perfect, it contains some glitches and bobbles, and I can’t stand to see or listen to myself, but I’m learning. I hope to improve and produce a lot more video on topics that will help our readers see what we’ve been talking about.

Here’s a question for you: What aspect of training that you’ve read about in Whole Dog Journal perplexes you the most? Is there a training activity that you just can’t visualize or understand? Let me know, and I’ll put it on the video “to do” list. I’m excited to have the tools to show you – not just tell you — how powerful positive training can be.

-Nancy Kerns

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