The best Routine Building tool that we have been using here at Pawsitive Vybe for more than a few years is a simple set of 3×5 cards. I learned this trick from Chuck Middleton back when I got started in the Dallas Dog and Disc Club and modified it a bit. It is now known as jam in a flash.
What we do is write down all of our tricks on 3×5 notecards, 1 trick per card. Set Up Moves are tricks that are used to establish timing and position in disc dog freestyle. Traditional tricks include: Around, Through, Backwards Through, and Scoot, but any or all More, Dog Catches, cool throws, different flips… each skill or trick that we would like to show people on the field should have it’s own card. Remember that many tricks have two distinct sides or have some special flavor that separates them from the normal version of the trick. We need to be sure to capture all of our tricks and write them on a card. The idea here is to A Take is a cued Bite that replicates the placement and timing of a throw. Usually used with overs, vaults, and flips, the Take is a powerful teaching tool for More an inventory of everything we got in our quiver of tricks and get them in a format that we can easily manage and manipulate.
Fresh Sequences Instantly
One of the coolest things about having all of our tricks on Notecards is that we can, at literally any time, simply shuffle and deal the cards and get a fresh perspective on our game.
We shuffle our deck of tricks and draw 5 cards and we have a fresh, 5 trick sequence that we have to figure out how to put together and teach our dogs. We draw the tricks and then we try to play them exactly as drawn. The random draw puts things together that we, as handler’s and players might never think could go together.We want to play these sequences honestly and as efficiently as possible. This is an ever present resource that we can tap for creative sequence building.
What? That’s Crazy!
How about Flipping A Dog Catch is a great trick to use for hitting the crowd or for putting a strategic pause in your routine. The dog leaps to catch the disc and More to Reverse Back The dog uses the player´s body as a launching pad to jump for a disc. A Vault is a leaping catch from the handler’s body. The dog leaves the ground More? That’s a flip to dog catch immediately followed by a reverse back vault – a vault where The Dog is a player archetype defined by The Dog. There are always a few canine athletes that really separate themselves from the pack. Many great disc dog teams have More flips off the handler’s back. That’s craziness! Would you have ever thought of putting those two tricks together? I didn’t… until drawing those two cards back to back one time during a training session.
I thought about reshuffling, as it didn’t sound like it would go together right off the bat, but as I thought about it, I realized that the key was to toss the dog out of the dog catch to set the appropriate vaulting distance. So not only did I get a cool new part of a sequence, Dog Catch to Reverse Back Vault, but I got the concept of setting the dog up for the Next is an important feature in a fast paced game. Everything hinges upon Next. If you like the game, then Next is important to you. When a dog loves to More trick out of the dog catch. That’s pretty valuable stuff.
Here are some sequences that Apryl created with her notecards that I found on my computer:
Special Things From the Luck of the Draw
The image above is just four – five card draws in a row. Apryl had fresh and unique combinations of tricks in each draw:
- Sequence #1
“Show and Throw” is just a 7-10 yard throw behind the handler as the dog is going A Through is a set up move where the dog runs between the handler’s legs. The dog can move from front to back or side to side and can even More. This sets the dog at 10 yards, minimum away. Apryl drew a leg vault after the show and throw. She had not been very comfortable working the vault on the run, and had been unconsciously avoiding it. This 5 card draw drew her Unsolicited eye contact or Attention is a great way to hook up with a dog. If you have something the dog wants he should give eye contact in order to More to the skill. It was Awesome!
- Sequence #4
Moving Leg Vault to A Scoot is a Set Up Move where the dog scoots backwards between the handler’s legs. It’s a really clever Set Up Move, the image of your dog spinning around More from Heel forced Apryl to chase Kiva after the leg vault to get into heel position for the Scoot. This was super cool, as it drew attention to handler movement immediately after a vault or an An Over is any leaping catch that happens over top of the handler’s body. Overs are usually named by the part of the body over which the dog flies, i.e More and how that can increase Flow is a key component of the modern day disc dog game. Keeping your dog moving with seamless, ever moving and flowing sequences with little to no set up time More and create interesting 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.
Putting all of your tricks on notecards and creating sequences by the Luck of the Draw frees up our creativity, and asks us as handlers to develop and exercise our problem solving skills. It’s a great way to learn about Disc Dogging.
Visual and Tacticle Learning Aid
Putting our tricks on notecards also allows visual and tactile learners get their hands and eyeballs wrapped An Around, or a Go Around is the traditional disc dog set up move. The dog goes around the handler’s body in a clockwise or counter clockwise fashion allowing dog More these sequences and the routine. Tricks can be linked, stacked, grouped, dealt, placed on different areas of a table or desk that represents the field. Our tricks and sequences can become tangible things. We touch and manipulate them.