Vaulting Vocabulary and Nomenclature

One of the problems with talking about disc dog stuff is the lack of a common vocabulary. We have developed a common vocabulary and nomenclature at Pawsitive Vybe for vaulting and it’s relatively simple.


Nomenclature is a system of principles, procedures and terms related to naming.

Type of Throw >> Type of 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... More >> Part of Body is, generally speaking, how we name our vaults. So we wind up with a term like ButterflyA butterfly toss is a throw that cascades end over end instead of spinning round and round, like flipping a coin. Catching a butterfly is more difficult than catching a stable spinning disc and is considered an advanced maneuver. Flips, vaulting, overs, and multiples are the types of tricks and sequences that normally feature butterfly tosses. The faster a butterfly... More Reverse Back Vault. That is a Reverse VaultA Reverse Vault is a vault in which the dog flips off the handler’s body. The Reverse Vault, aka Rebound, can be done off of any part of the body, and the part of the body that the vault happens from usually is reflected in the name: Reverse Leg Vault, Reverse Chest Vault, Reverse Back Vault. Leg Rebound, Chest Rebound,... More (flipping off the obstacle), off the back of the handler using a Butterfly throw. 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... More Body Back Vault is a back vault that crosses our body from left to right, or vice versa.

This nomenclature, the system for arranging terms in a name, is not quite perfect, there are exceptions, but it’s a good start and better than having a completely random or personal naming system. Here are some terms for describing various vault types:

  • Backwards – from the opposite direction
    A Backwards Back Vault would be a Back Vault where the dog goes from front to back instead of from back to front as a normal Back Vault is performed. The “Hike Vault” is an example.
  • Reverse – a Flipping Vault
    The dog flips off of the handler’s body. A Reverse Leg Vault would have your dog flipping off of your leg to catch a disc.
  • Cross Body – from Right to Left
    Linear Vault where the dog crosses the handler’s body from left to right or right to left.


  • Obstacle or Platform – the part of the body that is used for vaulting.
  • Target – the disc
  • Set Up – distance and orientation for the start of a vault
  • Release – the throw

These are not completely standard outside of Pawsitive Vybe they may or may not be understood. We believe it is important to try to standardize the naming system and vocabulary so we can easily communicate and understand disc dog concepts.


  1. Georgios

    So basically you have two verbal cues top and rebound for the vault and then the type of vault the dog does is dictated by yor body, the placement of the disc (where you throw it) and the cued direction with the disc?
    What is the verbal que for an over? is it simple over?


    1. Ron Watson Post author

      I have 3 Verbal Cues:
      Linear VaultVault over me in a straight line to get the target – Back Vault, Leg Vault
      StallJump on the Obstacle and Wait for the target – Back Stall, Foot Stall
      Rebound – Jump up and flip off of obstacle to get the target – Reverse Chest Vault

      The position of the handler’s body helps to tell the dog what direction we are going and what part of the body is the vaulting platform.

      We use Hup!, Hup Over! and Over! to cue overs.

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