Up Close and Personal with the Leg Vault
the Leg Vault is probably the most personal of all the vaults. your dog is in, and on, your face kind of frequently with this skill. it is that intimate nature that makes this a great vault to start with
4 keys to the skill:
- cue direction then verbal then physical
- let the leg lift become the physical cue
- present with prey drive
- consistency leads to commitment
Takes Create More Time and More Place
a take allows for a single minded, well planned, perfectly focused leap – the target is visible early so the dog plans where to go, from the ground, before any leaping takes place
Placement is nowhere more key in the game of disc than with vaulting. Using takes wherever possible helps dog and handler increase the amount of time the target is available to be targeted and bitten. You can just hold the disc in that spot forever and get a real basic approximation of that result.
Use that extra long time and extra stable place to your advantage. Let the dog learn where the disc is going to be and when it will be there. You learn where the disc will be and when it will be there. Let that develop then move on to the much more complex tossing of the disc.
Presentation of Obstacle Becomes Physical Cue
it’s the strong cue any way… might as well accept it and use it to your advantage. just place your verbal before the presentation of the vaulting platform…
It is often not easy to develop a rhythm when doing vaults and overs with dogs. A stumbling block on the leg vault is “When does the vault start?” The balks, and false starts and bad starts… “The dog ALWAYS breaks when I lift my leg!!!! AAARRRGH!”
Go ahead and let the lifting of your leg be a cue. The presentation of the platform is a strong physical cue for the start of the vault. It’s hard to escape anyway. So leverage it. Know that is the cue and use it. Give your verbal cue, then the strong physical cue, then catch the disc – 1…2…3.
Skillful use of the verbal vault cue in a predictable rhythm, a cadence, will allow for simple communication system for handling vaults.
Cue Direction and Cue it Sharply
place the focus and emphasis on where the target is going to be. that is what the dog needs to know. the rest is just details…
It’s nice to tell the dog, physically, that something is going to happen… “up there” [points with disc] before any vaulting tension or action happens. Just pointing up where it’s going to happen, super slow and easy before anything happens can have to amazing results.
Popping a sharp physical cue in the approximate location or direction in which the vault is going to be caught can be helpful in terms of commitment, reinforcement, and performance of your dog. Big sharp movements telegraphing a location can be helpful in keeping the focus on where the target is going to be, not focused on where it’s coming from, or focused on the obstacle. Show the dog where the disc will be and do it early.
Consistency of Cadence
verbal… physical… bite. that’s a rhythm you and your dog want to catch. consistency in cuing is a huge part of commitment and you can’t have good, solid, safe vaults without commitment
Develop a rhythm that you and your dog can depend on, a rhythm you feel. That rhythm is key to moving vaults and key to building the kind of trust required to vault off of your body.
At 15 yards, your dog hears verbal,”Top,”. Knowing that it’s a linear vault your dog slows down a bit and waits for the physical cue. You motion the disc to the area where the catch will happen. Your dog now knows where it’s going, but where is the platform? You turn lift your leg… bingo.
Consistency in timing and physical cues make for better vaulting.
Going Both Ways is a Bonus
there’s not a lot of this going on in the game of disc these days, but going both ways, left to right and right to left is a pretty bigtime move with great benefits
Working in both directions shows serious mastery of the Leg Vault. Throwing left handed is a challenge, but much easier than you would think. Vaulting in both directions is well worth your time for the experience alone.