Interior Flatwork | Locking In the Scoot and Team Connectedness Via the Front Cross

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.


Epic is completely stable at the finish of the Scoot. It wasn’t always that way. This stability can be created on the fly, in flow, and during disc play using the Front Cross. Cookies worked, will work, and do work, but the Front Cross is a terrific tool for Hooking Up and Locking In the Scoot.

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.

In order to switch Working Flanks the team must first be on a Working Flank – it is this sticking point that makes the Scoot a tough Set Up Move to control.

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.

Epic (and most dogs) will likely release to Heel Position (left side). The handler should be prepared to turn to that side in order to counter the dog’s release with positional pressure.
Handler turns against dog’s likely movement and presents Basic Flatwork Position Clock to establish Working Flank. The Working Flank must be established for the dog to understand that we will be switching flanks. if this freeze frame is truly looked at, it is obvious that Eppie is on the Clockwise Flank.
In standard Front Cross Fashion, the hands are matched in the center of the body while pointing at the dog. This is the moment that the Working Flank is going to change from Clock to Counter. Epic looks ready, right?
The handler continues to turn and sets the new Flank on the dog. Basic Flatwork Position Clock is replaced with Basic Standing Position Counter. The Cross is complete.
Here we are in BSP Counter, ready to rock. It’s a good idea to actually move the dog a few times on the Counter Flank instead of just stopping in Basic Standing Position. The dog needs to learn that the Scoot will resolve with a controlled, Working Flank. Stopping and holding in BSP should be considered a test of this skill.

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.

Good luck and Happy Jamming!

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