Flatwork Compass | A Hair Trigger & Graphic Display of Over-Pursuit

Running flatwork is Loot’s Thing. And the running part of it is key. He really loves to run. I mean, he likes discs, but loves to run. He’s also got a bit of an impulse control problem, and it’s not just drive it’s like faulty wiring… but we love him and he sure is fun.

The Flatwork Compass has been a great form for him to work, although we have not done it much this season, and it’s a shame, it really helps him dial himself back and play within his means. Shame on his handler. I’ll be sure to add this to his warm up regiment and feature it in future jam footage.

Check out that Gangsta Lean… This video is part of the 4th installment of DiscDogger Weekly, an online show in playlist format produced and hosted by Pawsitive Vybe.

One Eye on the Disc One Eye on the Destination

Loot’s been through this form before. We worked it quite a bit the year before last as a warm up. For a while, it was one of the only things we did. It was a wholesome experience for the young man.

That said, it’s been a while and it shows. Fortunately we’ve been focused on catching over the last few weeks and he’s dialing himself back nicely, so he’s not in the same boat as Obi on this skill, but he seems pretty fired up about this in the video.

He certainly did dial things in rather quickly. The whole session was 10 throws…

Notice that the disc is vertical… So, um… Where you going, Looter? “Going Fast.” A few reps of letting him spin his wheels without a trigger and we were ready to go to work. Waiting Works.

Over Pursuit

The Clockwise Flank is Loot’s Weak Flank. Throwing out to this side should result in a Clockwise Flank. Take a look at that arc though… Notice anything interesting about it? I mean it’s green which means it is supposed to be clockwise, it even says so in the corner of the screen… But if you look closely, Loot is running Counter Clock. Wha?

His over-pursuit puts him on the other side of the disc. This is a common problem with dogs and over-pursuit. It usually doesn’t reinforce the catching behavior either. This is not a particularly bad expression of the over-pursuit behavior, but it is still not proper.

The Flatwork Compass helps to eliminate these kinds of bad habits.

Notice that Loot has run behind the disc. This is not OK. It is not likely to be successful. His arc should be on the other side of the disc for a proper Clockwise Flank.

Now this is a problem. This miss is a direct result of Loot taking his eye off the disc and approaching like an crazed lunatic on the Strong Flank. This shape has to go. It is highly likely to result in a miss.

Eliminating Over-Pursuit

This looks much better. It is nearly on the appropriate side, and given Loot’s heavy preference for Counter Clock movement, I think it’s completely acceptable. I will continue to work to keep him on the other side and to get an honest and proper Clockwise approach to the disc, but this isn’t bad. I’ll take it.

Loot has crossed the line of the disc, but just barely. I’ll call this a win. We’ll continue to work to stay on the other side and have a proper Clockwise Approach, but Loot is a highly unbalanced dog and we’re fighting some serious Border Collie instinct. It will be a constant battle.

Now we’re talking… This is exactly what I’d like to see out of Loot in the Flatwork Compass. He’s working on the proper side and is hitting the disc on a proper, counter clock approach.

I wish I would have added an instant replay on this in the video. From both of the other cameras, this was obviously going to be a catch from the get go. It looked natural and tight. We were doing the thing with purpose – as a team.

This shape and approach makes me happy. Notice that the dog is on the other side of the disc. His approach on catch is in the Counter Clock direction. Good man, Loot.

Affects of a Clean Trigger

The affects of a clean trigger in the Flatwork Compass show themselves in most all aspects of the game. Most dogs do not have a clean trigger. Cleaning up your trigger will have a positive impact on many aspects of your game.

Give it a shot.

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The Purpose and Value of Recognizing Shapes in Disc Dog Freestyle

Shapes are created by the position and movement of dog, handler, and disc. And shapes can be created by the dog, the handler, and the placement of the disc. Shapes are a fact of disc dog freestyle.

When the dog leaves the handler for a catch, that tends to create a line. When the dog is away from the handler and moves across the field to make a catch, as in a Zig Zag or Around the World, that tends to create a Shape.