All I Need is a Drop?
The cued Drop can be the glue that holds the game together. A handler who has stimulus control over the drop behavior “owns the drop” and has great power and control over the disc.
A dog that plays freestyle with a handler who doesn’t cue the drop is most likely dropping on opportunity. In this situation, opportunity is defined by the dog, meaning the only one who knows what the opportunity is is the dog. She drops when she perceives opportunity. It might be twitching the disc, a handler movement or position, a verbal cue, praise, a marker. Who knows?
Does that sound like something you want to rely on 25-35 times per routine? How are you going to manage the discs that are dropped all over the field?
When teaching a cued drop, success is the handler’s responsibility. You cue it, always don’t let the dog drop without a cue. It is not your dog’s job to carry it longer, it is your job to make sure that the cue is what they drop on. Until you own it, the cued drop is your responsibility, not the dog’s.
Once the cued Drop is paired with teeth off and awesome action after, you can start to leverage that to your advantage. Teach the dog that dropping on CUE is the key to everything.
What Must You Be Doing to Drop on Cue?
Stimulus control over the drop means that the dog will carry the disc. A retrieve will happen as the dog carries the disc to the place where a cookie is likely to happen. The dog will carry the disc because, “You can’t drop it if you ain’t carrying it and the cued drop is what makes next happen. Duh!”
If you own the drop your dog will carry the disc, drop where you want, and the cued drop can be leveraged to make things happen in your game.