Pressure is a fact. It is the Tao of Dog. Lean forward and push the dog back. Lean back pull the dog in. Pivot towards the dog he backs off. Pivot away from the dog he comes in to you. Violations of these rules have to be taught or are techniques learned.
Pressure is how humans move dogs. Settling into Basic Standing Position? That little jiggle to the left to straighten the dog up? That step forward to push back before you settle back into position? That’s pressure and the release of pressure. All dogs know this.
The dog plays disc in front of the handler. Turn yourself 90º on the field and the location of the game changes completely. The dog is sucked into the area in front of the handler – like into a vacuum. That is Pressure.
Disc dog freestyle violates the rules of pressure. Throws rarely go in the direction the positional pressure is telling the dog. In some styles the dog is working the throw itself and not the positional pressure, but the result is the same. If the ways of pressure are not practiced and respected in training they will not be practiced or respected in performance.
The basic Way of the Dog, the completely natural rules of positional pressure can go weak and fuzzy for lack of exercise and the common reinforcement of exceptions to the rule.
At Pawsitive Vybe we teach, learn, and exercise Flatwork so we have understanding and control over team movement with practical experience using positional pressure. We teach these pressure applications quite formally to the team so they are reliable when flying around chasing discs or bouncing off a spinning handler.
Formal instruction and extensive practical application helps the dog clearly see and recognize the cues when we intend to use them. Handlers get the benefit of learning to move with purpose and how to more reliably trigger skills and catches.