There are essentially two kinds of linear vaults that can be done with a dog. He can Catch and Carry the disc or Stretch to Catch the disc. Both are acceptable techniques, each with pros, cons, and stylistic differences.
Catch and Carry
The Catch and Carry vault is by far the more popular of the two. It features a catch made close to the handler’s body, early in the vault trajectory. This allows the dog to get the target dialed in and make the catch early then cruise through the air with the disc in his mouth.
Catch and Carry vaults, if well thrown, are more safe than Stretch to Catch vaults because the dog has much more time to get the landing dialed in. He catches the disc early and is to work on the details of the landing throughout the flight path.
If a Catch and Carry vault is not well thrown, they can be more dangerous than a Stretch to Catch vault because the initial trajectory is off based upon the dog working to catch the disc.
Well thrown is a key phrase for vault safety.
Stretch to Catch
The Stretch to Catch vault is relatively old school. The disc is placed further out away from the handler along the dog’s flight path. The dog has to launch a long way to get the target, he has to stretch way out there to make the catch.
Stretch to Catch vaults with dogs that do not have a strong sense of self preservation can be quite dangerous, as the dog has to lay himself out there in order to make the catch. There is little time for dialing in the landing after the catch. These vaults require strong throwing skills and a sensible dog.
In terms of stye, the Stretch to Catch vault is all about drama. It makes a vault look like a herculean task. The Stretch to Catch vault highlights the scale and athleticism of the dog and the throwing and handling skills of the handler.
Here are Apryl and EZ Ryder doing a Stretch to Catch Vault back in the day.