Cue & Trigger

Lesson Progress:

Do You Have A Reliable Trigger

The Low High Toss drops down vertically and bounces up in horizontal, proper disc flying fashion. This bouncing transition from vertical to horizontal is a very strong trigger for catching. Dogs who have this trigger installed will wait until the disc bounces and goes horizontal before starting to leap.

This reliable trigger is absolutely key for interior overs and vault work. The stability of a dog who trusts that the Basic Standard Position pose is going to pay off with a toss and who looks for the proper moment to spring into action is priceless. It’s a completely different planet. Get this part of the game straightened out, and welcome to Planet Freestyle.


Verbal THEN physical, or Cue THEN Do, is the way you want to roll when it comes to communicating with dogs. Most behaviors on the disc dog field have several cues. More often than not, our tricks have both a verbal and a physical cue, and the verbal cue is markedly weaker than the physical. You want to always use the weaker cue followed by the stronger cue to reinforce your weak cue and predict a strong one.

There is a concept called “Attention” in learning theory and psychology. Taking a verbal cue requires auditory attention, and taking a physical cue requires visual attention. Asking the learner to do both at the same time creates a 20-30% reduction in recall of an experience. That’s a lot of success to waste.

In Yachi Method, they call simultaneous verbal and physical “Aho“. “Don’t be Aho!” is the mantra. It’s a good mantra. Doing verbal and physical at the same time is a recipe for disaster.

Cue Before You Do
Give the cue, say your first and last name to yourself slowly, THEN act.

Low High

As mentioned above, the Low High toss is a really reliable trigger. If you install it on your dog, your dog will wait until the rim presents itself as catchable before acting.

Low High tosses teach the dog that when the disc is vertical or “showing circle” (not showing a clean rim to the dog), that it is not available to be caught. “You should probably stop and give eye contact to get me to throw it…”

They start to look for the predictor of a live target, and that predictor is the disc bouncing from horizontal to vertical.

In the strip above, look at Loot. He’s cool as a cucumber; super stable until “finally”… It is only then, in the last panel, that you can see movement and a break on the disc. These images were shot every .5 seconds. There were probably 15 images to choose from in this BSP sequence that were all just about exactly the same. He waited there completely motionless for about 10 seconds.

Loot trusts that Low High and he knows that it’s not live until it bounces horizontal.

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