Tao of Disc Dog | On Separation

Compliments of: Disc Dog Radio

“When a Ball dreams it dreams it’s a Frisbee.”

~ Ancient Frisbee Proverb

Separation, the distance between the handler’s hand and the catch, matters. Discs should fly like wings for a moment before being caught because that’s the Way of Flying Discs.

The spirit of the jam is based upon the undeniable magic of a flying disc. Good, quality throwing and disc principles on display are key to looking like you know what you’re doing out there this is to say,“it displays your core competence.”

You can’t fake competence and you can’t fake separation. You have it or you don’t.

Separation is beautiful, timeless, dramatic, difficult, exciting, and more. It’s so much more than pushing a disc into the dog’s mouth or making a fancy throw to some undisclosed location. It has a thoughtful, purposeful intent, and that intent shows on behalf of dog, handler, and team.

Separation allows for the dog to leave the ground for the target. A much more purposeful maneuver than leaping to have something stuffed into the mouth, wherever that mouth may be.


If safety is your thing, then separation should be as well. Good separation on a vault means that the dog leaves the ground for the target. A single plan to catch the disc using the handler’s body is made. Weird placement is handled by the dog before leaping. The dog may opt out entirely from unsafe placement.

Little separation means that the dog leaves the ground with the promise of a target at some time in the future. The handler is expected to deliver it to the dog’s mouth. If something goes wrong, the dog is already committed in one direction and may or must attempt an erratic, unplanned movement. A lack of separation is a potential safety concern.

Not all throws or tricks must hinge on separation. Many flips and vaults can’t have much separation because of the timing of the sequence, or the style of the skill. Separation can be quite big and should be varied, for rhythm’s sake.

* A technical post about Separation can be found here…

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