Oppositional Feeding is the opposite of Directional Feeding. The handler throws a disc in the opposite direction that the dog is moving. Oppositional Feeding is a flatwork and training technique is a flatwork pattern where the handler delivers
discs to the dog in the opposite direction of the dog’s movement. Oppositional feeding has many applications which will be discussed throughout the book, but it really shines on the drop behavior. Oppositional feeding with a prompt switch is a great way to increase the range on a cued drop.
Reward placement is a powerful tool. Oppositional feeding for the drop leverages reward placement to increase the range of the cued drop.
Just predict and cue the drop. Short for “Positive Marker”, a Mark is a word or signal given at the exact moment a desired behavior is performed. It’s like a clicker. Mark can also mean the it when the teeth come off and throw in the opposite direction of the dog’s line. Throw it pretty far, you do want the dog to be able to catch it. When the dog makes the next catch and reorients, she will be a long way away. Predict and cue the drop again and fire the disc back out behind her, from whence she came.
The dog is retrieving a disc. Cue drop,”Drop,” followed immediately by a thrown disc or roller.
Mark the drop when it happens and let the chase and catch of the disc be the cookie.
The new cue is followed by the toss and the opportunity of the toss creates the reason to drop.
Build a strong reward history with many reps of pairing the cue with the toss to elicit the drop. When the drop starts to happen on your cue, before the toss, then it’s easy to require the drop be performed before the throw.
After a few repetitions the dog may slow down in anticipation of the drop cue. That’s a great indicator that she will drop there, so go ahead and try the drop cue out there a little further.
Up the ante and cue the drop a bit earlier or further away, with a focus on success and low latency compliance. You and your buddy, reward placement, working in concert…