Bad Dog Agility Podcast

In this episode (50:28)

In this episode, the team discusses the impact of Covid-19 on major dog agility events in the United States, highlighting various adjustments and postponements including the recently announced changes for Westminster 2021.

You Will Learn

  • How Covid-19 has impacted major agility events.
  • How the US Open went 100% virtual.
  • What Covid-19 precautions are in effect at the AKC Invitational.
  • When European Tryouts for Team USA have been postponed to.
  • Westminster’s new date and location for 2021.
  • Why dog agility is being featured on a South Korean variety show.
  • The important of mask wearing to the future of dog agility.
  • Esteban’s thoughts on vaccine development.


Direct download: BDAPodcast265.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:39pm CDT

In this episode (39:25)

In this episode, Sarah, Jennifer, and Esteban highlight the challenges of dog agility’s “extending” obstacles: the tire, the double/ascending, the triple, the panel, the wall/viaduct, and the broad/long jump.

You Will Learn

  • Why these obstacles tend to cause dogs to extend their jumping/striding.
  • How dogs measure their take off point: which bar do they consider the “main” one?
  • How to overcome problems with specialty jumps.


Direct download: BDAPodcast264.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:14pm CDT

In this episode (19:40)

In this episode, Jennifer, Sarah, and Esteban talk about cheerleading in dog agility.

You Will Learn

  • Why people use cheerleading in dog agility.
  • Why cheerleading may not be the fix you think it is.
  • When cheerleading is okay.
  • Which BDA instructor was a cheerleader in the movie Bring It On.
Direct download: BDAPodcast263.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:22pm CDT

In this episode (19:43)

In this episode, Jennifer, Sarah, and Esteban discuss the three elements of “wise feedback” in dog agility. Learn how you can give yourself (or your students) more valuable feedback that leads to immediate improvement.

You Will Learn

  • What the three elements of wise feedback are.
  • Common feedback mistakes that handlers make.
  • Why high standards are important for feedback.
  • Why instruction is more helpful than evaluation.
Direct download: BDAPodcast262.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:49am CDT

In this episode (23:21)

In this episode, Jennifer, Sarah, and Esteban explain why dogs head check when they run on course, and how you can eliminate this problem.

You Will Learn

  • Why your dog head checks on course.
  • When a head check is not a problem.
  • How to eliminate problematic head checking.


Direct download: BDAPodcast261.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:05pm CDT

In this episode (15:35)

In this episode, Jennifer, Sarah, and Esteban talk about how you can make the best possible use of your training time when you rent a facility or field for agility practice.

You Will Learn

  • Why you should have a plan before you arrive at the field.
  • Tips for pre-training preparation.
  • When you should quit before your rental time expires.
Direct download: BDAPodcast260.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:12pm CDT

In this episode (55:04)

This podcast is taken from a live video presentation. In this podcast, Sarah, Esteban and Jennifer use the front cross as an example to show you how to advance from one stage of competence to the next.

You Will Learn

  • How to use the knowledge-execution paradigm to advance your skills.
  • The how, what, where, when, and why of front crossing.
  • Why you should practice without the dog.
  • How you add speed to your own handling.


Direct download: BDAPodcast259.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:53pm CDT

In this episode (38:23)

This podcast is taken from a live video presentation. In this podcast, Sarah, Esteban and Jennifer discuss how handlers acquire competence in dog agility. Instructors usually talk about training the dog, but we believe the handler has even more to learn than the dog!

You Will Learn

  • How to apply the four stages of competence to dog agility.
  • How determining your stage of competence can reduce your frustrations.
  • How agility handling is like driving a car.
  • The stage where most agility trainers get stuck.


Direct download: BDAPodcast258.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:31pm CDT

In this episode (42:42)

In this episode, Jennifer, Sarah, and Esteban share their thoughts on two buzzwords for contact performance: “consistency” and “criteria”.

You Will Learn

  • Why instructors emphasize consistency.
  • How altering your criteria at a trial creates a range of behaviors from your dog.
  • How to fix broken contacts.
  • Why dogs creep down contacts.


Direct download: BDAPodcast257.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:05pm CDT

In this episode (34:37)

In this episode, we share numerous examples of proofing that you can do with your dog while training. Proofing in practice will give you better performance in the ring as your dog will feel more confident.

You Will Learn

  • Why you should proof against distractions that you will likely see at agility trials.
  • The most common distractions a novice dog faces in the ring.
  • At what point in training you should start proofing.


Direct download: BDAPodcast256.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:36pm CDT

In this episode (46:42)

All information is researched but not exhaustive and not reviewed by an outside expert. Although Esteban is a licensed physician, this is NOT medical advice → you should get medical advice specific to your situation and health from your doctor, not from us or this podcast.

Why Should We Wear Masks?

Study came out 3 weeks ago titled “Universal Masking is Urgent in the COVID-19 Pandemic:SEIR and Agent Based Models, Empirical Validation, Policy Recommendations”

  • The authors (who are from Hong Kong, UK, France and Finland) compared countries with high levels of mask-wearing to ones with low levels. Using computer modeling and real-world data, they found masks could reduce transmission.
  • The study concluded that if 80% of the population wore masks, there would be more than a 90% drop in infection rates.

Etiquette and Politics Concerning Masks

  • Wearing a mask does not give sick people permission to attend a trial.
  • Allergies and upper respiratory infections can look similar, don’t assume the best case (that you have allergies). Instead, assume you are sick and stay home.
  • Risk tolerance is key, but this is subjective and based on personal risk factors. However, understand that you will likely be unhappy for two different reasons:
    • Either you feel that there are not enough rules in place (and/or too many violations) so that you don’t feel comfortable being there because you fear getting the virus. If so, STAY HOME.
    • Or you feel that there are too many rules in place (and they are unnecessary) so that you don’t feel comfortable being there because people are upset with you for “bending” or breaking the rules. If so, STAY HOME.
  • Sample statement from AKC premium: “If you are concerned about the possibility of exposure to the coronavirus OR if you are unwilling to follow the states rules, it would be best if you did not enter this July trial.” Every personal situation is addressed by that statement.

CDC Guidelines

Who Should Wear?

  • People older than 2 years of age in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain

Who Should Not Wear?

  • Anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. In Esteban’s opinion, these people should not be at agility trials because they are at high risk for complications from coronavirus infection.

General Considerations

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
    • Comfort is important. Kap 7 masks 82% Polyester/18% elastane
    • Shopping time, you should have a mask for every day of the week, like underwear! Children require a smaller fit. Leave your children at home. Leave guests at home–don’t bring them to agility trials.
    • If it doesn’t fit well, especially around the nose, you will suck in unfiltered air from around your face.
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
    • PM2.5 N95 Activated Carbon Filter Mask Insert (100 for $100)
      • Blocks at least 95% of viruses as small as 0.3 microns
      • Virus even smaller but carried on droplets that are 5-10 microns
      • Thread count of 180 or better for materials like sheets/pillowcases
    • HEPA vacuum bags (hard to breathe)
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops.
    • Ties are more adjustable than a rubber band behind the ear!
    • Metal to form the nose helps contour the mask to avoid gaps
  • Allow for breathing without restriction.
  • Remove very carefully, don’t touch the mask part, just touch the ties.
  • Be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape.
    • Air dry is okay, leave it in the sun if possible.
    • Hotter is better than colder for washing and drying.

Two situations for masks: low risk and high risk. Agility trials will be high risk. Crowded grocery stores are high risk. Walking outdoors alone is low risk. Use your filters and higher quality masks for higher risk situations and opt for comfort and no filters in low risk situations.

Special Dog Agility Considerations

  • Your dog’s comfort level with masks
  • Other dogs’ comfort level with masks
  • Difference in your voice
  • Difference in facial expression

The American Kennel Club (AKC) is deferring to clubs in that they should “consider recommending that exhibitors wear masks. Exhibitors should be able to run without a mask if they desire. Judges may wear masks at their discretion if not required by the club.” See the document here:

CPE Guidelines effective May 11:
Philosophy: As dog sports are very “social”, we are choosing not to use the term“social distancing” rather refer to it as “physical distancing”.

MASKS: Masks are to be worn by anyone within the ring (building, walking, running, judging). Masks are up to the individual, club, local, state and government guidelines when not within the ring. Exhibitors who will be wearing masks will need to bring enough masks for the duration of the trial and dispose of single use masks properly.

Make sure your dog is ok with people wearing masks. We don’t want a dog becoming
fearful due to something they’ve never seen before.

From Esteban: We can come together as a community in order to save our sport and rebuild it in the coming years.


Direct download: BDAPodcast255.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:24pm CDT

In this episode (19:37)

In this episode, Sarah Baker joins the podcast to explain the difference between management and training, and how you should apply those concepts to addressing behaviors, from barking in the crate to missed weave pole entries.

You Will Learn

  • When you should “manage” and when you should “train”.
  • How good management protects your training.
  • Why management is not just for puppies.
  • How management can halt your progress in training.


Direct download: BDAPodcast254.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:01pm CDT

In this episode (26:44)

In this episode, Sarah and Jennifer discuss different learning patterns you may see in your training and how they affect your planning.

You Will Learn

  • Why you should not panic when things seem to fall apart in practice.
  • Why it may be important to keep things the same when your dog struggles.
  • How to recognize when you need a new training approach.


Direct download: BDAPodcast253.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:09am CDT

In this episode (24:55)

In this episode, Sarah and Esteban help you integrate tugging into your agility training.

You Will Learn

  • The 5 aspects of tugging.
  • Why tugging has become more valuable in AKC agility.
  • How to overcome weaknesses in your tugging chain.
  • How to avoid a common mistake when using a second toy in retrieve work.
  • Where you can learn how to teach tugging to your dog or students.


Direct download: BDAPodcast252.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:50pm CDT

In this episode (28:00)

In this episode, the BDA crew shares some ideas for getting the most out of your online learning experience.

You Will Learn

  • How to find the right online classes to fill your needs.
  • How many courses you should take at the same time.
  • The pros and cons of Facebook classes.
  • What auditing and visualization have in common.


Direct download: BDAPodcast251.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:45pm CDT

In this episode (30:35)

In this podcast, we discuss the paradox of choice and the idea of “good enough” as a way to organize your dog agility training.

You Will Learn

  • How more choices can lead to less satisfaction.
  • Why perfectionism paralyzes you.
  • How you can use the concept of “good enough” to better you agility training and make difficult decisions.


Direct download: BDAPodcast250.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:46pm CDT

In this episode (20:34)

In this podcast, Anthony Clarke joins the podcast to talk about this week’s 4-day charity event called #AgilityRelief.

You Will Learn

  • Why Anthony created this 4-day event.
  • Which charities will be supported.
  • How the challenges are structured.
  • How podcast co-host Jennifer Crank will be involved.
  • How YOU can participate!


The Competitors

Direct download: BDAPodcast249.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:48am CDT

In this episode (26:25)

In this podcast, we talk about how you can structure your training during this time of cancelled trials and group classes.

You Will Learn

  • Why you should give yourself permission to take time off right now.
  • How a daily schedule can help your mental state.
  • How you can shift from event based to skill based goals.
  • Why you may be facing overwhelm during this time.
  • Questions to ask yourself to help structure your priorities.


Direct download: BDAPodcast248.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:03pm CDT

In this episode (1:25:53)

In this podcast, UKI founder Greg Derrett joins Esteban and Sarah to talk about UKI’s new “At Home Agility By Video”.

You Will Learn

  • Why UKI created this program.
  • How UKI plans to keep competitors and dogs safe.
  • How challenging the courses will be.
  • Why the US Open dates were changed.
  • How agility organizations are coping with shut downs.


Direct download: BDAPodcast247.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:33pm CDT

In this episode (28:22)

In this podcast, we talk about two different handler strategies: reaction and anticipation. Many times during a run, a handler will react to an action by their dog—the dog does something (good or bad) and the handler decides what to do next based on what the dog does. At other times, a handler will anticipate that their dog will do something (usually good) and make a decision BEFORE the dog acts. Confused? Listen to the podcast!

You Will Learn

  • How competitors REACT or ANTICIPATE when they run courses.
  • When you should strive to anticipate your dog’s actions on course.
  • When you should react to your dog’s actions on course.
  • How the presence of refusals shape handlers to favor reaction over anticipation.
  • The difference between a dog’s mental and physical commitment to an obstacle.


Direct download: BDAPodcast246.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:08pm CDT

In this episode (31:28)

In this episode, 2020 Crufts Championship Winner Dan Shaw joins the podcast.

You Will Learn

  • How the coronavirus crisis changed the Crufts event.
  • Dan’s strategy for the preliminary rounds.
  • Why Dan prefers to NOT run last in Finals.
  • How you can train with Dan online.
  • Where Dan will put his dog training focus during the time that agility shows are suspended.


Direct download: BDAPodcast245.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:15pm CDT

In this episode (48:08)

In this episode, Esteban and Sarah discuss what you should know about the Coronavirus outbreak in order to protect yourself and your dogs.

You Will Learn

  • How to find the most accurate, up-to-date information about the Coronavirus
  • Why this outbreak is different from past Coronavirus outbreaks
  • Which people are at the highest risk for dying
  • Which preventative measures you should take
  • Why you should protect your dog from getting the virus
  • How the Coronavirus compares to influenza (the flu)


Direct download: BDAPodcast244.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:48pm CDT

In this episode (24:32)

In this podcast, Esteban, Sarah and Jennifer discuss why having a dog that trusts you is so important in dog agility training.

You Will Learn

  • How the trust relates to speed.
  • How consistency relates to trust.
  • How personality can affect your dog’s reaction to incomplete information.
Direct download: BDAPodcast243.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:23am CDT

In this episode (1:14:33)

In this podcast, Jennifer Crank goes from podcast co-host to interviewee. Jennifer and border collie P!nk won the overall Masters Champion at this past weekend’s Masters Agility Championship at Westminster held in New York City and made history as the first non-20″ dog to earn the title.

You Will Learn

  • How the Westminster Masters Agility Champion is selected.
  • The results of the 2020 Westminster Masters Agility Championship.
  • Our thoughts on the broadcast and answers to the most common questions from our listeners.


Direct download: BDAPodcast242.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:19am CDT

In this episode (48:55)

This week we introduced a new speed-based ranking, the All-Decade Power 70. In this podcast, we discuss this ranking and the trends we see in agility over the past 10 years.

You Will Learn

  • How the All-Decade Ranking was created.
  • Why there are 70 ranked dogs instead of 60.
  • Why we think so many of the ranked dogs are from the last few years.
  • What breed dominates the ranking.


Direct download: BDAPodcast241.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:23am CDT

In this episode (42:11)

In this episode, we discuss the use of markers in your dog agility training.

You Will Learn

  • What a marker is in dog training.
  • Why you might want multiple markers.
  • The benefit of location based markers.
  • Identifying inadvertent markers.


Direct download: BDAPodcast240.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:53pm CDT

In this episode (25:42)

In this episode, Sarah and Jennifer discuss how to pick the right agility organization for your debut and your agility career.

You Will Learn

  • The biggest factors that will affect your choice of agility organization.
  • Why you don’t REALLY have to choose.
  • Which organizations have rules that are favorable to new agility teams.


Direct download: BDAPodcast239.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:18pm CDT

In this episode (30:03)

In this episode, Director of Westminster Companion Events joins Sarah and Esteban to talk about the upcoming Masters Championship at Westminster, including important changes for both competitors and viewers.

You Will Learn

  • What upgrades Westminster has made for competitors.
  • How you can view the preliminary rounds on livestream.
  • Which network the Finals will be broadcast on tape delay.
  • Who the judges are for this year. How the prize pool will be distributed.
  • Why Meet the Breeds will not take place in conjunction with agility this year.

Fix and Go at Westminster

After the podcast, we received confirmation from Paul Campanella, Director of Agility for the Westminster Kennel Club, that Fix and Go WILL be allowed during the Preliminary rounds at the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster. However, FNG runs are scored as an E, and an E in a preliminary round disqualifies the team for the finals. Fix and Go will NOT be permitted during the Finals.


Previous Westminster Posts

If you’re going to the event and want to immerse yourself in all things Westminster, here’s a list of all of our previous Westminster coverage.

Direct download: BDAPodcast238.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:59pm CDT

In this episode (53:32)

In this episode, AKC Executive Field Representative Kitty Bradley joins the podcast to explain the new rule changes for the American Kennel Club.

You Will Learn

  • Why the AKC is allowing a third tunnel option.
  • How the AKC is addressing the issue of spacing between jumps.
  • Why you should remove the tape from your weave poles.
  • What is “Fix And Go” and how is it different from “For Exhibition Only”.


Direct download: BDAPodcast237.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:49am CDT

In this episode (32:29)

In this episode, we discuss how to enjoy your training and use that enjoyment to create greater success in dog agility.

You Will Learn

  • Why enjoyment is important for your mental state.
  • How enjoyment can get you to success more quickly.
  • Why you should focus on daily “little wins”.
  • What we’ve learned from playing Fortnite.


Direct download: BDAPodcast236.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:11pm CDT