Freezing the Flank

Posing and the Flank

The standard disc dog pose in Front position – disc held vertical in the throwing hand – is common to almost all disc dog freestylers. In the Yachi Method (YM), this pose is called Basic Standing Position, BSP 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 Flank, 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 Position (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 Drop. 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 Cross or Set Up Move 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 Wait, 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 Flatwork. I figured that one half of a Front Cross 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 Cross 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 twist or spin.

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 Over or Vault, or to set up a linear Set Up Move.