A flatwork green belt Disc Quan Do form, the 4 Way Out to the side of the handler is the Flank. If the dog is out to the handler's right or left the dog is on Flank. If the dog is More is a form that explores purposeful Team Movement is how dog and handler move, as a team, out there on the field. It is a judging category in some organizations and certainly is a focus of More and covers the entire field. 3 Working Flanks and a On a Front Cross, your dog switches Flanks in with you in front of them. From Clock to Counter Clockwise Flank or vice versa. Taken directly from the canine agility More, the 4 Way Flank is a key form for flowing flatwork and controlled purposeful Team Movement.
Clock and Counter – Pass and Flank
The form starts by contracting the flank. After the dog catches, the same flank direction is used to pull the dog around for the next throw. Then a front cross, again in the same direction is employed to get to the other side of the field. The last throw comes after the opposite The Working Flank is a moving position. On a Working Flank the dog is out to your side some distance and holds position, moving with you as you move around More is employed.
The resultant pattern is a square with the catches made in the corners of the square. This is a great flatwork pattern for UpDog’s 4 Way Play game and is a pattern that we teach in camps and seminars.
The form can and should be done in both the clockwise and counter clock direction. Working both directions creates competent Team Movement and develops the skills and ability to move your dog wherever you desire.
This is essentially a practical, moving The Flatwork Compass is a disc dog form that separates the Flank from the Pass, creates a reliable trigger, and exposes the team to all of the key elements of More. The same movements and communication being employed in this form are employed in the Flatwork is the stuff that happens between the catches. How the team moves and transitions, often without the disc, is flatwork. Flatwork concepts in disc dog are taken from the More Compass, the only difference is the direction of the throws and the origin of the throws from the Working Flank.
This pattern was originally created to exercise the flank and control the drop in a 4 Way Play game pattern. The flanks work in concert to pull the dog in towards the handler for a convenient drop location. Using the pattern to control and explore the cued Drop is a key element in the form.
Pass vs Flank
It was mentioned above that the 4 Way Flank resembles a moving Flatwork Compass. The purpose of the Flatwork Compass is to discriminate the Flank from the Pass and Clockwise from Counter Clock and to create competent Team Movement and clear communication of all directions.
The 4 Way Flank puts this competent Team Movement and clear communication to the test on the run and in motion. Learning how to change and control the direction of play while on the run is no easy task, but it is made simple in the 4 Way Flank.
Purposeful Team Movement
Moving with purpose is an important intangible of disc dog freestyle. The simple, rigid pattern requires and develops purposeful Team Movement.
Controlling a disc dog and moving as a Team is, historically, not easy to learn how to do. The 4 Way Flank changes that.
Working this in both directions will cultivate competent, purposeful movement for the dog, handler, and team.
This form can be purposed towards various ends. It can be used for many purposes. It can be used to work on the drop, for better team movement, for leaping, for a game of 4 Way Play, to manage wind, to name but a few.
Splitting vs Lumping
“Be a splitter, not a lumper” is a maxim of dog training. It means to keep your focus on one criteria at a time by splitting the whole behavior into discrete criteria.
This idea of splitting vs lumping is extremely important in disc dog training in general and in the 4 Way Flank form in particular. When learning the skill or when working it, be sure to home in on one or two criteria and keep your focus on them. Focusing on all aspects of play while working this form can be overwhelming and counter productive.