Manufacturing the Approach
The dog goes to where reinforcement happens, knowing this, to set a particular approach from a particular distance just toss a cookie out there. No sitting, no waiting, no frustration.
Waiting for Understanding
Make sure that to put a Waiting on cue and situationally is extremely important for disc dog freestyle training. The competition field might not see too much waiting going on as everything is supposed to be happening in flow, but on the training field there probably is not a more important skill than a Wait. A Wait is critical for flipping and vaulting.... between each element of the sequence. Don’t be afraid to mark and reinforce the Wait randomly to add more value and make it more likely to happen in the future.
Rewarding with Action
Keep in mind the Rewarding with Action concept. Reinforce Unsolicited eye contact or Attention is a great way to hook up with a dog. If you have something the dog wants he should give eye contact in order to get access to it. This quickly becomes akin to asking permission for things that the dog wants. If your dog offers Attention when they see something they want, most dog... and toss a cookie to set an approach. The reorientation to the handler by the dog can be marked and reinforced with the cue for the first trick in the sequence.
Reward the first trick of the sequence with a cookie or a Wait cue. Short 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... the Wait and reinforce with the next trick or a cookie… etc. This can turn the idea of ‘Next’ into a cookie. Reward with Action well, your dog won’t have the time or opportunity to make mistakes.