Vaulting a Disc Dog is a complicated process. We break this complex process down into 3 basic functions – Tell | Trigger | Target. We have already covered the Tell function in an earlier DiscDogger Weekly. After you Tell the dog what we are going to do and where we are going to do it, then we Trigger the skill. We have covered the Trigger skill here on the blog in various places.
On vaults with a moving handler or with a dog moving on the run, the Tell and the Trigger work in concert and are extremely important to establish timing.
On this moving vault, the Tell is a verbal followed by a dramatic directional cue (0:33, 0:36, 1:01, 1:05). This cue tells the dog 2 things. “Top” declares that this will be a linear vault – you will vault on a straight line to the target – and the placement of the disc in the physical cue tells the dog approximately where the disc will be thrown and caught.
From this moment, Eppie is on point and on the lookout for a trigger to start the trick.
At 40 seconds of the video, while the handler is turning to perform the On a Front Cross, your dog switches Flanks in with you in front of them. From Clock to Counter Clockwise Flank or vice versa. Taken directly from the canine agility More Eppie performs a lead change. At the moment this lead change takes place, the team has started the vault.
The presentation of the vaulting platform at 40 seconds is confirmation of the Trigger. You might notice that it is at a similar distance to a static vault or a vault from a wait position.
At 0:40, from 10 yards away, Eppie changes leads and locks into the vault. He knows we will be doing a linear vault and he knows roughly where it will be done.
Timing and Rhythm
The normal presentation of the platform or obstacle as Trigger is not possible due to speed and timing while on the run. This is the most common problem with people vaulting on the run.
Either they set up at the normal, static position and timing (0:42), shorting the dog the time and space to prepare for the vault on the run, or they set up the platform at a distance (0:40) and force the dog into running 10-12 yards after the trigger has been given. This creates a flat trigger that has no rhythm and is difficult to time.
Front Cross as Trigger
The Front is a stable position directly in front of the handler. Front is an traditional obedience skill. Usually your dog sits in this position, but standing is often acceptable as More A Cross is an canine agility term that describes a change of working sides. Your dog moves from your left to your right (Heel to Side) or from Clock to More as Trigger is applicable on any vault or over on the run or when the handler is in motion and the trick is placed in flow. Be aware of this trigger and leverage it to your advantage.