Team Movement is hard for many people because it is more than tricks. Team Movement is moving together. This is often easier said than done with a ballistic collie or a disc seeking missile, but it is an important concept to keep in mind while training your disc dog.
What are you doing to cultivate team movement? How are you stopping your dog from running on autopilot and playing at your pace?
Epic Easy Stuff
Epic knows how to move with his handler. After some less than perfect work in Take 1, given a distraction on the field, this session is much closer to his standard work.
He is a little quick on the Rear Cross a few times. In the first 2 runs he was pretty flawless, like totally Epic… Then at 1:34 you can see a change as he pushes into that Front Cross and moves too quickly into the Rear Cross at 1:37. He pulls his stuff back together and runs the next few quite well.
This is a tremendous improvement over the session with the distraction.
Loot Hard Stuff
Loot is another story. He’s fast and aggressive – too fast and too aggressive to even move properly. This form is critical for his ability to perform successful Team Movement.
His desire to move and to chase and bite plastic makes him very likely to anticipate and act before his handler is ready. This creates a nearly impossible timing and Team Movement task… How do you match that kind of speed and intensity? You can’t. And you shouldn’t have to try.
Cuing and Doing
There is the cuing and the doing, and they cannot happen at the same time. Loot is a fine example of cuing and doing happening at the same time. Epic has some slack built into the game, and once Loot gets working well, towards the end of the video, so does he.
We really don’t want our dogs to make the move when we say so or when we start to give the physical cue, especially for Team Movement. So you know that reflexive Front and Rear Cross you got? The Spin & Twist that happens on the first sound out of your mouth? Not helpful sometimes…
A big part of the Disc Quan Do program is getting a handle on cuing and doing and learning to keep them completely separate. The Figure 8 Cross form is a great tool for that purpose.
If we want to work together with our dogs we need the dog to respond to the cue. If the dog whips off a behavior before the cue is finished who is responding to whom?