Freezing the Flank

Posing and the Flank

The standard disc dog pose in FrontFront is a stable position directly in front of the handler. Front is an traditional obedience skill. Usually your dog sits in this position, but standing is often acceptable as well, especially in the game of disc dog freestyle. It is important to have a stable Front position for training and performing many disc dog tricks. Your Front position should... position – disc held vertical in the throwing hand – is common to almost all disc dog freestylers. In the Yachi MethodA Disc Dog handling system practiced by the Japanese USDDN contingent, developed by Yachi Hirai with the spirit and influence of Melissa Heeter and Pam Martin.  ... (YM), this pose is called Basic Standing PositionStanding in front of the dog with the disc held vertically in the throwing hand is Basic Standing Position (BSP), a foundational position in the Yachi Method...., BSPStanding in front of the dog with the disc held vertically in the throwing hand is Basic Standing Position (BSP), a foundational position in the Yachi Method.... for short. This position has a lot of power, and in YM, it means stop, wait, and drop.

The position of the handler in the Working FlankThe Working Flank is a moving position. On a Working Flank the dog is out to your side some distance and holds position, moving with you as you move around the field. The Working Flank happens on both the clockwise and counter clockwise flank. The clockwise flank is out to the handler’s left with dog and handler oriented in a..., is extremely similar to Basic Standing position. The hand closest to the dog is outstretched, presented in similar fashion to the BSP pose.

The Working Flank, like Heel, can be thought of as a moving position or a duration behavior. As such, it definitely fits the Posing concept.

Basic Flank Position (BFP)

I have been calling the handler’s position in the Working Flank Basic Flank PositionBasic Flank Position (BFP) is a standard position of the handler in the Working Flank; hand reaching out towards the dog (usually with a disc) with the dog on the same plane as the handler.... (BFP), and have been using it the same as a Pose.

It is the same thing, really, and tying Basic Flank Position to Basic Standing Position has really tightened up our flatwork.

It also created a bit of a problem with our Cued DropA cued Drop, or Drop for short, means that you tell your dog when to drop, purposefully, and upon your discretion. A cued Drop is a must in the game of disc in order to maximize training opportunities, create a flexible game and controlled game, and for Disc Management. It also becomes a Secondary Reinforcer. The Drop is different from.... The more I tied the Working Flank, conceptually, to a Pose, the stronger the physical Drop cue became. Loot and I lost our verbally cued Drop and holding a disc through a CrossA Cross is an canine agility term that describes a change of working sides. Your dog moves from your left to your right (Heel to Side) or from Clock to Counter. Crosses are labeled be the relationship of handler to the dog. A Front Cross is a cross with the handler in front of the dog. A Rear Cross has... or Set Up MoveA Set Up Move is used to create timing and position on the fly in disc dog freestyle. Dog and handler often need to switch sides or get a rolling start and set up moves provide creative, flashy, and most importantly, predictable position and timing.... became impossible. Needless to say I was not Happy.

We are currently working some skills to remedy this.

Epic lost it for a while, but we regained it rather quickly.

The point is that when the Working Flank becomes a pose, all the pose stuff comes with it. If your pose means Drop and WaitWaiting on cue and situationally is extremely important for disc dog freestyle training. The competition field might not see too much waiting going on as everything is supposed to be happening in flow, but on the training field there probably is not a more important skill than a Wait. A Wait is critical for flipping and vaulting...., the presentation of BFP, that reaching out of the hand, will become the Drop cue. I have chosen to let the pose mean Wait and attend to me. I will call the drop verbally.

From Flank to Front

When I got my first lessons on Posing at Hirai Camp this summer, I saw it’s connection to FlatworkFlatwork is the stuff that happens between the catches. How the team moves and transitions, often without the disc, is flatwork. Flatwork concepts in disc dog are taken from the agility and herding world..... I figured that one half of a Front CrossOn a Front Cross, your dog switches Flanks in with you in front of them. From Clock to Counter Clockwise Flank or vice versa. Taken directly from the canine agility world, the Front Cross is a foundational Flatwork skill for team movement. It allows you to move your dog around the field in stylish fashion. On the Front Cross, your... ought to stop the dog cold.

This was always possible, but it didn’t make sense until I had the idea of the Working Flank as a Pose. With the posing on the mind, it became obvious that if I stopped while working the Flank, the dog should stop.

This is easier said that done. Between the dogs who like to run, and dogs who really like the disc, getting a sharp stop while on the Flank ain’t gonna happen naturally. It has to be trained a bit.

The Front Cross is a great tool for halting the dog. Leveraging positional pressure and reward placement, the Front Cross is a powerful movement tool. The matching of the discs in the middle of the body at the 1/2 way point is a dead ringer for Basic Standing Position.

All you have to do is stop and present a vertical disc – BOOM!

Practically Speaking

Getting a flanking dog to line up straight is not very easy. I’ve had to use a Rear CrossOn a Rear Cross, the dog switches Flanks with the behind her. From clock to counter clockwise Flank or vice versa. Taken directly from the canine agility world, the Rear Cross is a foundational flatwork skill for team movement. It allows the handler to move the dog around the field in stylish fashion. On the Rear Cross, your dog will... for this reason for a long time. Drawing the dog in all the time after a Rear Cross can damage the skill and turn it into a twistSpins and Twists are tricks where the dog spins 360 degrees in a clockwise or counter clockwise fashion. Spin is clockwise and Twist is counter clockwise so it is important to have a cue for each skill. Feel free to call them what you want.... or spinSpins and Twists are tricks where the dog spins 360 degrees in a clockwise or counter clockwise fashion. Spin is clockwise and Twist is counter clockwise so it is important to have a cue for each skill. Feel free to call them what you want.....

Leveraging the Front Cross like in the video is a far more sustainable tactic and provides a real sharp, aggressive linear attack from the Flank towards the handler. This can be used for quick access to Front position, to set an OverAn Over is any leaping catch that happens over top of the handler’s body. Overs are usually named by the part of the body over which the dog flies, i.e - Leg Over, or the position you are in while doing the Over - Seated Over, Spinning Over, etc. Overs should be taught before Vaults.... or VaultThe dog uses the player´s body as a launching pad to jump for a disc. A Vault is a leaping catch from the handler’s body. The dog leaves the ground for the target and uses the handler’s body to get there. There are many different styles and variations of vaults, but they are commonly described by the part of the..., or to set up a linear Set Up Move.