Setting the Flank means to throw out to your right or left. It’s really simple, just face any direction, send the dog Around, and then turn and throw the disc out to the side. It is important to face forward first, as the Flank is out at 9 or 3 o’clock, and you want to condition the dog to be... can be done to expand or contract the flank. Throwing to expand the flank makes the flank wider, giving the dog and handler more time and space to work and cultivates a bigger or more loose outrun. Contracting the flank shrinks the outrun and makes the interaction between dog and handler happen more quickly.
A normal throw is what we call a Free Release has many meanings in disc. Throws and throw variations can be referred to as releases. Sometimes you talk about the dog releasing something, the toy, or the environment, as in to stop pursuing it or giving it up. How tricks finish and move after the finish is the Release...., and does not have much to do with the flank other than the basic direction, clock or counter.
Strong and Weak Flank
Most dogs have a bias towards the clockwise or counter clockwise direction. That is what we call the The Strong Flank is the flank that the dog wants to run. Most dogs are unbalanced and prefer to move in either a clockwise or counter clockwise fashion. The Strong Flank can also be read and understood as the dog's Strong Lead..... Most handlers (right handers) tend to work in the clockwise direction, which may or may not be the dog’s Strong or The Weak Flank is the flank that the dog does not prefer to run. Most dogs are unbalanced and prefer to move in either a clockwise or counter clockwise fashion.The dog is likely to peel off from this direction of movement to get back on the Strong Flank....
The Strong Out to the side of the handler is the Flank. If the dog is out to the handler's right or left the dog is on Flank. If the dog is moving with the handler the dog is on the Working Flank.... wants to continue moving, and the Weak Flank wants to change to the strong working side.
Very few dogs are truly balanced, so one flank will be more likely to happen than the other. Knowing this is key to being able to plan team movement and disc management.
The direction and movement after the catch is a Release. Dogs want to release to the Strong Flank.
If you are throwing to the Weak Flank and not rushing to make another throw, the dog will often peel off, to get back on the Strong Flank. This peeling off is quite reliable and is illustrated above by the yellow line after the catch.
If you are throwing to the dog’s Strong Flank, the dog will most likely continue on the Strong Flank, as illustrated by the Red line.
A throw out the the front of the handler is not truly a flank, as it’s going out to the front, but it does have a Strong or Weak Release based upon the direction the dog is going.
The Strong Release tends to lead to a longer outrun, as the dog is comfy moving in that direction and doesn’t see a pressing need to change directions. The Weak Release happens a bit faster as the dog is eager to get back onto the Strong Flank or to be moving in his or her preferred direction.
Stay tuned. We’ll be taking a look at usage of this in the near future.
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