Flag and Flash Cuing is a great tool for obtaining Overs and Vaults, and sharp movement to a position, but due to the nature of the skill – flying to the place where reinforcement happens – the performance of the skills are loose. It’s riding on the edge of control.
If you are looking for tight and clean performance of a behavior, this flag and flash cuing will need to be supplemented with foundational training.
Verbal and Target Cue
The Presentation of the target needs to happen in a manner that triggers prey drive. Sharp, fast, quick – the presentation needs to be exciting enough to get the dogs attention to pop onto the target.
The Verbal cue is paired with this sharp presentation of the target. Both the Verbal and the sharp, fast,quick presentation of the object will become cues to bite.
Bite as Cookie
If a dog has the concept of Bite as Cookie, success on this skill is highly likely. The self control that a dog exhibits when working Bites as Cookies is important to keep them stable while getting set up and the value of the bite as cookie helps a dog commit to flying at the target.
Wait with Bite
If Attention and Position have a strong reward history, cue or lure the dog into position, mark the arrival into position or wait for offered eye contact to mark. After the mark wait a moment… The dog should wait trying to figure out where the bite will happen. It is not hard to stretch this out to a nice three to five second wait.
Set Up on the Fly
One way to get around having to worry about keeping a dog in position is to use a Bite as the cookie for a cued Drop.
Toss the toy or pull the dog into position using the tug and cue the drop. The drop is marked and reinforced with the presentation of the Target for the bite.
While this setting up on the fly works, it creates a loose game that can easily get out of control. Working at a slower pace with well executed waits and positional cues is something that should be learned and practiced.