The only thing you will do more in a round of freestyle than drop discs is to catch them, and that is only if you go dropless. Dropping discs is, literally, half the game, and dropping them at the right place and the right time is more than half of playing the game well.
It’s quite hard to flow with a dog who doesn’t drop on cue. This problem is greater if you treat action and interaction with the handler and disc as a cookie and expect the dog to Drop before offering the cookie. This is the way most of us like to install the Cued Drop as it affords the handler greater control over reinforcement of the Drop behavior.
Cue Before Do is standard operating procedure for teaching a cued Drop with discs. Cue Before Do means that you ask for and get the Drop behavior before giving the cookie which is “Do” – throw, next move, bite, etc. Because disc dog freestyle is really nothing more than a series of long behavior chains, many of which are dependent upon having the disc out of the dog’s mouth to complete, this makes complete sense and is logically sound.
Well, I’ve got some bad news for ya. Toss n Fetch is not helpful for shaping & reinforcing a cued Drop. And it’s probably worse than that, it’s probably damaging to the good work you are doing on the cued Drop. Especially if you’ve got a dog that drops late.
Go Around is a standard Set Up Move in disc dog freestyle. It creates timing and position with movement and is the standard set up for toss and fetch. It is this standard set up for toss and fetch that dominates the movement and as a result, most Arounds resolve or release to the front of the handler at 12 o clock in clockwise fashion.
Loot is an unbalanced dog. He has a strong preference for counter clock movement. His reliable counter clockwise release after any catch is of great benefit to team movement, routine building, and disc management. This piece explores the usage of the release after catch of the unbalanced dog.
This piece is building off of the Stop Putting the Cart Before the Horse piece from a few days ago.
We call the dog’s movement after a catch the Release. As in, “the dog releases clockwise”, or “the dog releases to the handler”. Your dog has natural releases, conditioned releases, patterned releases, and situational releases. And it is not at all clear which one is which. It’s a good idea to be present and aware before and after the catch and to understand your dog’s movements after the catch.
Yesterday we covered Efficiency, Intelligence, and Intent in Disc Management in overview fashion. Today we’re going to go a bit deeper and focus in on one of the applications mentioned in that piece: Flatwork Navigation.
Efficiency, Intelligence, and Intent in Disc Management has little to do with picking up discs.
The handler’s job is not to hit a moving target. Hitting the moving target is the dog’s job. The handler’s job is to give the dog a clue, tell the dog when to go, and put the target where it needs to be – Tell > Trigger > Target.