A Flash Discovery!
Summer of 2019, in TimeLord fashion, the Scoot to Front Cross was drudged up from history in an unearthed unplayed disc dog Flash Jam from 2017.
Today’s lesson will build off of that TimeLord Flash Jam.
Connecting with the Front Cross
The Front Cross is extremely useful for connecting with your dog, and connecting after a Scoot can be interesting.
The Front Cross is a change in Working Flank – dog and handler switch from working on the Clockwise to Counter Clock Flank (Heel to Side) or vice versa.
The Front Cross creates an understanding of Team Connectedness. It forces the team to get hooked up and connected and delivers an innate sense of working position.
If the dog has no history of a Front Cross, odds are the dog has no history of hooking up and working with the handler. Of course this is largely situational, as the Front Cross is a fact of dog – it’s how we move and align the dog to front position using positional pressure, but it is not always clear, situationally, that we should be hooking up.
The resolution and release of the Scoot is one such situation.
Connecting on the Scoot
As the Scoot finishes, the dog tends to fire forward into Heel or Side position, usually Heel, to get to where the cookie has historically happened during the learning process.
This firing forward is how the dog hooks up with the handler. It is the situational understanding of hooking up. “This is how we do it and how it is done.”
This firing forward to the historical reward placement is usually real trouble for most handlers, it was for me and I’m quick and aggressive.
Sequencing after the Scoot was really hard and getting a Wait back there was nearly impossible, as I was fighting reward history and reward placement.
Over the last few years I’ve developed a couple of tricks for getting a stable dog after the Scoot, but by far the best solution, the most elegant solution I’ve found, is the Front Cross.
Turn Into the Dog
To accomplish this skill, simply turn into the dog and present Basic Flatwork Position.
Dog Steps Into Focus (1:22-1:36)
In the hyperlinks above, there is a lesson that talks about how the dog wants to move to where the handler is looking and how to establish position during and after the Scoot with cookies.
Connecting on the Vault (1:48 – 2:48)
The Front Cross can be employed to hook up with the dog after a Vault in similar fashion to the Scoot. Getting a dog to stop after a Vault is not always a simple operation.
Use the Front Cross to teach the dog that you two will be hooking up and working together as soon as the trick finishes.