Epic Flatwork is Flow

Giz Gaz Warmup

A Giz Gaz is kind of the anti-Zig Zag. The Zig Zag features a sharp, aggressive reorientation to the disc, most always towards the handler. The Giz Gaz is a Rear Cross in both directions with a Working Flank in between. The dog works the flank with then peels off, turning away from and releasing the handler and the disc, in both directions.

It’s one of my very favorite skills.

One of the main goals of these Flatwork sessions with Epic and Loot is to get a handle on the Drop again. My implementation of the Yachi Stuff was not really solid and kind of broke the stimulus control over the Drop that I thought we had. I say thought we had because we didn’t really have it. My dogs would do it but they didn’t know what they were doing.

Anytime the dog drops, the handler will stall and disengage, almost like a robot losing power. Once the dog picks the disc back up, the handler starts to move again. A super simple tactic. Super effective, too. There is a piece up on working the drop in more detail on the Art of K9Disc Youtube page.

Jakie Twist

We’re trying to move seamlessly from the Working Flank to sweet interior moves. It’s not easy to do when the dog is coming in from the side or on an arc. Seamless transitions tend to happen with a set up move by the team or a screeching halt in Front Position by the dog.

Flatwork can be used in close quarters to clearly communicate team movement and limit mistakes while set up happens on the move.

The Jakie Twist, a flip off the handler’s body after catching a disc, is a great move for this. The angles work pretty well and there’s a well defined target to help the dog line up from awkward anglers.

You should be able to see the flank slow roll into a pose (BSP – Basic Standing Position in Yachi Method), the movement and pressure from the handler’s lower body, shoulders, and hands transitioning and halting the dog. It’s really pretty sweet.

One of the most valuable things I learned at Yachi Camp is that the position I do Flatwork in is a Pose. It’s Basic Flank Position (BFP). 🙂 I figured this meant that I could seamlessly transition from Working Flank to Front Position any time I want it. And it did. The dogs are highly responsive to the Flank cue being a pose.

The key here is to transition from the Flank to the pose, from BFP to BSP. The pose before the interior trick is key as well. The dog needs to trust the Flatwork cues as they would a pose. If they do then Flatwork really does become applicable to interior movement.

Linking Some Other Stuff

Linking other tricks allows Epic and I to play around with this idea and to avoid turning the sequence into a simple pattern: Jakie circle Jakie. It is important that both Epic and I understand what we are doing and have more than muscle memory to rely on when things get crazy.

Many times, applying the skill or concept you are working on to a similar activity can really solidify the skill or the concept you are working on. Call it forced fluency.

Tightening Up the Jakie

Now that Epic and I kind of know what it is we are doing. We’ve got some experience with different angles, looks, and timing. We’ve tried a couple other tricks to generalize the idea of what it is we’re trying to do here.

So let’s give it a shot. These are live speed moves, for the most part. And look how creative Epic got on that one that was sort of ‘flippy’.