Dexter Disc Dog Seminar Followup – Winter ’09

Seminar Notes

Pawsitively Pawsitive is nice and cozy. The floor’s a little small for disc dogging stuff, but totally safe and the tight confines gave us all challenges and benefits.

Warmup and Eval

We started with a little throwing warmup and moved right into the eval jam. Pretty much everybody struggled with keeping discs inside of 10 yards as was required by the 18×12 yard performance area.

A few dogs were a bit distracted by the several floor to ceiling windows and sliding glass doors leading out to the deck but on the whole the dogs were engaged in play when they hit the floor.

An absence of set up moves and single direction play was pretty evident in most of the participants, but all the dogs and handlers seem to have enjoyed themselves. I had prepared correctly and had just the lesson plan for the group.

I’ve gotta just stop and give one up for John… He and his big strapping BC, Pal, showed me one of the coolest back stall moves I’ve ever seen – a two handed toss up as he was standing straight, Pal leaps to back stall as John bends down into stall position. Pal sticks the stall and then John stands up a bit, firing a 12+feet toss straight up and Pal makes the grab while still sticking that stall position… it was a very, very cool trick…


Catch High

  • Catch High >> Turn Outside >> Finger on the Rim >> Pull
  • Catch High >> Turn Inside >> No finger >> Pull

Catch Low

  • Catch Low >> Inside >> Regular Throw (BackhandThe Backhand toss is the traditional disc throw. While it might not be the easiest throw of them all, it is the easiest to throw a hundred yards, and it is the easiest to float and hover, and that’s what discs are supposed to do. The Backhand throw will be your best and most accurate throw. Be sure to leverage... More)
  • Catch Low >> Peace Sign >> Middle Finger on the Rim >> Outside >> Elbow on Hip >> Pop and Pull Back

Flowing Catch

A game of flowing catch, where the throwers return the disc with the grip that they caught it with (catch high or catch low). This kind of catch removes the brain out of the situation and allows us to learn through play. Remember how quickly Mercedes’ Mom popped off that throw behind her neck? Flowing Catch will give you confidence and style if you just play around with it.


Targets: Throwing Hand Shoulder >> Other Shoulder >> Throwing Hand Hip >> Other Hip >> Throwing hand knee >> Other Knee >> Nose – repeat as desired.

Catcher marks with Yes! when the thrower hits the target. This is very important. Remember how quickly you all started improving after you started drawing attention to success? Success is contagious and habit forming. MarkShort for “Positive Marker”, a Mark is a word or signal given at the exact moment a desired behavior is performed. It’s like a clicker. Mark can also mean the act of marking behaviors. “Did you Mark that?” asks if the positive marker was given to tell the dog he was correct. When playing disc it is important to Mark... More it, remember it, recall it.

Remember to Throw with Intent!

Remember the difference between interception and chase.

Throughout the day, the use of a positive marker with the energy level of the game being used as reinforcement for behavior was displayed and was successful in creating good work without stress.

Personal Dog Sessions

Personal sessions went long, as always…

Directional Feeding

Directional feeding was learned and employed by many players here. Directional feeding, the act of precision delivery of discs to your dog as reinforcement for dropping, is a foundational skill. Dog drops on cue and the handler fires out a throw that hits the dog in stride in the direction the dog is moving. This helps the dog learn to drop and to move after dropping and asks the handler to make a good read on the dogs speed and direction and deliver a disc to the spotSpot is a “go to a place”, or “go to a mat” behavior. This means that the dog seeks out and performs a duration behavior on a spot of the handler’s choosing. A Pedestal is a raised spot. Anything a dog can leap onto and perch upon. Spots and Pedestals are important dog training tools.... More and time required to make the dog look good.

Through Wait Flip

Remember to be sure to add the wait. Very important to slow the dog down and ask them to think about the task at hand. The wait adds clarity to muddy behaviors.

Dropping is Key

A drop that is marked and well rewarded will happen. Ask once and wait. When the drop happens, mark Yes! and spring into action! Fire out a roller, directionally feed them, reinforce with a bite on you. For a dog that has trouble dropping, Dropping becomes the key to making the game work.

Don’t forget to dismissIf a dog is dismissed, it means the handler is "off limits". Dismissal does not mean the dog has to leave, just that the handler is not available. Dismissal is a valuable drive management tool. Used to great effect on both high drive and low drive dogs, Dismissal turns environmental management into a freeshaping opportunity.... More your dogs early and often to keep you at the center of their world.

Links: – Hero Airs (disposable) Hero Xtras (durable) SuperHeros (bulletproof) – Jawz disc (bulletproof)

Questions and comments welcome below….

Thanks a lot guys!


Ron & Apryl