Yukon is not a serious head down gallop kind of dog, although he can be and he might have been, but Stacey has done a lot of work intercepting discs and throwing at a short distance to cultivate a Step, Step, Collect… Jump! understanding.
What you can see when Stacey throws a longer disc is that as soon as he is sent around, Yukon puts his head down, hard, and runs like heck to get To the disc. He’s running so hard that he misses his collection and has an awkward looking catch, despite the amount of time he had to create his plan.
When I’m throwing to Yukon, you can see his entire posture change. His head goes up and his rear goes down. Yukon crawls out there to get the disc. The catch was not made, but the focus of this exercise is to slow the dog down and get their heads up. This kind of a concept, of pulling back, not running so hard, reading the disc, moving slowly – this is an important skill for dogs that over pursue targets.
Ideally the disc will be thrown in the exact same arc every time, the perfect arc that will keep our dogs slow and engaged and the dog will catch the disc. The high and low extremes demonstrated in the video is about the full range of our potential trajectory, so we need to try to keep the disc between those high and low extremes.
You need to ensure that the disc continues to run away from the dogs, your dog should move slowly and track, but not stop or reverse field in this drill.
This drill combined with short toss and short to medium interception type catch drills can dramatically improve a dog’s patience, performance and understanding of catching discs.