Vaults vs Overs

It is important that a dog understands the difference between vaults and overs. A simple way to discriminate vaults vs overs is through disc placement.

Vault Placement

In order to vault, a platform must be given to the dog and a target must be placed in a fashion that necessitates the usage of that platform to get the target. The vaulting obstacle is placed between the dog and the target and a disc is placed too high and too far away for a normal leap. The dog will use the vaulting platform to get the disc.  

Vaults vs Overs

Over Placement

In order to perform an over, a target is placed in a fashion that makes it likely that a dog cannot touch the obstacle being leapt over. The target is between the dog and the obstacle, or above the obstacle at a height that ensures that the dog can not touch the obstacle on the way to a successful catch. The dog will make the catch and then avoid the obstacle.

Mutually Exclusive

These basic placement concepts are designed to be mutually exclusive. Dog-Obstacle-Target means that the dog must use the obstacle to catch a vault and with Dog-Target-Obstacle using the obstacle to make a successful catch is not possible. This mutual exclusivity provides clear communication to the dog. If the target is in front of, or directly above the obstacle, the dog knows it’s an over. If the obstacle is placed between the dog and the target, too high or too far away to jump from the ground, it’s probably going to be a vault.

Eliminate the Gray

That is great intelligence for the dog to have as they make their plan to intercept the disc. So generally speaking, and especially when teaching, try to eliminate gray areas and be sure the desired behavior is clearly communicated with the appropriate target placement. Make it as black and white as possible:

  • This is a vaultDog — Obstacle — Target
  • This is an overDog — Target — Obstacle
  • Clear as a bell!

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    1. Grr… Closed the window in which I was post my reply.

      Good stuff. A little late on pretty much all of them, last minute, just in time throws. It worked out well because the placement was solid. Be sure to work on throwing earlier on the overs where Brodie is moving.

      You should try to work out of a Squib (Rear Cross) as Set Up Move. Just make the squib happen about where you are asking him to wait. That will set Brodie up for a good straight line at the Over.

      By setting him up with the around and wait, you are setting a rounded line, a weak line towards the over, and are kind of leaving him hanging after he sets up. The skill gets very flat with that kind of a set up. The Squib will liven that up and provide a better angle.

      You should also work the Over out of a Flip and a short toss or two. Putting a flip or a toss in front of the over will make it look cooler and will also help you to time the skill and set the appropriate distance.

      Your Flag and Flash Overs are nice, but you are crowding Brodie. You need to give him a little more room to get set up. He’s also starting real flat-footed. A little more distance should help you hook up better. That time he rammed you was a result of being crowded.

      The back and forth seated Over sequence was real nice. That’s a great way to establish muscle memory and is the pace we are looking for. Try to get that pace and pattern with some different body positions. Preferably standing up… with or without a leg over.

      Remember on the Over Timingto try to throw earlier, before he breaks down on the running overs.

      Good job, Jeff!

    2. You know, Jeff.
      You really didn’t cue them at all.

      The cue seemed to be the Verbal and the release of the disc.

      I’d like to see a directional cue with the disc to tell the dog where the skill is going before the action starts.



    The first part of the video, as I looked at it made we want to review your video. Then I decided that I need to get it more solid with treats.

    2nd part is the bent caveletti thing

    3rd is some over/vaults with my leg as the obstacle, after reviewing it, I see that I need to go back to treats there also.

    Treats, toys, frisbee…..

    Patience is a virtue, I do not have…..

    1. 0:00-2:00 – Barrel/Ball Work

      I don’t know what drill you are working here, Bob. The vault discrimination drill that is in week 5 is designed to make avoid this negotiation and balking on the vault/stall/rebound behavior.

      Bent Cavaletti

      The first throw (to your left) should be made at the Camera, the flank (throwing to the side of the handler) is a bit weak. The other side (throw to your right) is great though – that’s a pretty sharp flank. Replicate that on your left side.

      From 2:45-3:30 you look pretty good as far as setting the Flank – you could still throw further to your left, but it’s looking like the drill.

      Great job!

      Vault/Over Work

      Again this negotiation would not happen if you work a solid vault discrimination drill. Go back and take a look at the videos and replicate it as best you can with cookies.

      I’ll check out the next video. Patience and process will mean you don’t have to be as patient. 😉

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