We have already covered the Squeaky Wheel Form in the show. That version was a single direction – 4-6 throws in one direction as a session, and then, perhaps 4-6 throws in the other direction – which can be considered the “standard” version of the form at the Green Belt level. This week’s version is the alternating expression of the form which is 1 jump and catch in the clock direction followed by 1 jump and catch in the counter clock direction. This makes the form much more fluid and flowing and puts the focus on flatwork.
The alternating pattern, as mentioned above, changes the nature of the form to express much more flatwork and 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 than the standard, single direction version of the form.
Switching directions on each successive throw requires good flatwork skills and provides interesting Team Movement challenges and opportunity to read and understand your dog’s movement.
Splitting vs Lumping
As a result of the flatwork and Team Movement focus, leaping, both over the jump and for the catch, as well as throwing can suffer.
Be sure to be a splitter and not a lumper. Initially, choose a single criteria to work on and smash that with success. As you get better at handling the skill you can add the leaping criteria or start to focus on multiple criteria and hold the dog, handler, and team to perfect performance on all of the criteria through out.
In this session with Eppie, I was a bit lax on my throwing and leaping criteria as I was trying to read the dog and get my feet under me handling the movement between the jump and the leaping catch. In the future I will try to focus more on the leaping part of the form.
While working this, I wasn’t quite sure if Eppie was figuring out the pattern and releasing to the alternate direction for the next rep or if it was just the pressure of the field, placement of the disc, or happenstance that guided his release after catch.
In the future I will watch this and try to figure out his rhyme and reason for his choice of release direction after the catch.
Throw For Release
In addition to reading the release of the dog after the catch, the placement of the disc, in space and time, can and does have an impact on the dog’s chosen release direction after catch – especially with a balanced dog like Eppie.
I will explore this as an additional criteria after we dial in the performance of the form for fluid Team Movement and leaping. I can add that criteria to the mix after we’re fluent in the performance of this form.
In the meantime, I can and will observe his release after catch as it relates to my placement in time and space.