Teaching the Flip

Lesson Progress:

Throwing at 10 o clock

In the video with Juicy, I’m not throwing at 10 o clock, and that’s because that’s not Juicy’s spot. It’s a poor illustration of the angle that we’re really looking for. It should have been about 1 foot further to the left of the screen. You should notice that the orientation of the rim was set in a fashion that allowed juicy purchase on the rim.


Dropping from High to Low creates a situation where the dog has to make a very quick decision. This is especially helpful for those of us who have dogs that are too quick (or too smart) to need to make the leaping flip. We essentially force them into flinging themselves for the target by reducing the amount of time they have to plan and prepare to strike the disc. This can be quite helpful for Border Collies that turn away and then make the catch in particular.

Throwing from Low to High is a much slower movement and asks the dog to watch the disc closely. Starting low keeps the dog’s head down, looking at the disc. As the disc starts to track upward, the dog keeps their eyes on the prize and the dog’s front end starts to come off the ground because of their focus on the disc. The flipping motion is started with the dog’s desire to keep their eyes on the target.

Flat Spin

For dogs with lower drive, that are too fast, or otherwise are not catching on to the flipping concept, we’re going to lower that disc out to 90 degrees (the C position from Flipping Principles) and essentially throw it where the dog has no chance of catching it without flinging their bodies. This Flat Spin will encourage the dog to be very aggressive as they’re fairly used to going hard after discs in that plane of movement. As the dog starts to let go and drive hard for the target we can start to raise the disc up to a more vertical orientation.

Using a Take

On many dogs, we can use a take, being sure to present the take behind the dog. We’ll push the disc out quickly and give our bite cue after the target has gotten behind the dog, pretty much over the dog’s rear end. We’ll let the dog take the disc out of our hand and complete the flip.

Notice the terrible landing that Hops had in the video due to me placing the disc in front of his head. Getting the disc behind the dog is critical for safety when using this technique.

The take should not be used too often or the dog will believe that they only flip for a disc in the handler’s hand. As soon as we’re getting a flip with the take, we’ll start to toss the disc to the same spot and give the bite cue. If the dog doesn’t go after the disc at the time of the bite cue, we might want to use the Flat Spin technique to bump up their confidence and get them thinking of popping on that target.

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