Flatwork is the stuff that happens between the catches. How the team moves and transitions, often without the disc, is flatwork. Flatwork concepts in disc dog are taken from the More is not Border Collie stuff. Flatwork is a fact of disc dog – it is happening in the game of disc whether you are working it or not. The The Flatwork Compass is a disc dog form that separates the Flank from the Pass, creates a reliable trigger, and exposes the team to all of the key elements of More is a tool we use to cultivate and develop communication and understanding of disc dog 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 from both 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 and handler.
Obi has worked the Flatwork Compass only a few times since we saw him in DiscDogger Weekly #4 (below), roughly a month ago, and has shown great progress in following the handler. It’s not perfect, but it is FAR easier to handle him today than a month ago.
Obi is far less pushy today than a month ago. Getting set up with him is a dream compared to our last filmed session where he was pushing on me, quite uncomfortably, and trying to Pressure comes in many forms in dog training. Positional Pressure, Performance Pressure, Environmental Pressure, the Plane of the handler’s body. Pressure is a fact. How you wield it or leverage More me into action.
Today, Obi is responding to my pressure and patiently waiting until I act. He is not trying to pressure me into action. This is much easier. Before I had to work hard to handle him. Today he is nearly handling himself.
More Responsive to Pressure
Obi historically has a “fly-by” hook up with the handler. Apryl has worked on this quite a bit and has solved it situationally for Toss n Fetch, but the problem has not been fully resolved nor has it been worked much in a freestyle or game context.
He is still performing fly-bys, but it is not happening on every rep and from every direction. He is responding to the positional pressure of his handler and in the near future, a few more sessions of this skill, and he will cease with the fly-by behaviors and follow his handler much better. We will revisit this in a week or 2 after a few more training sessions and will see a different dog.
An Unintentional Cue
At 0:57 Obi breaks on my look to the right. This is not the cue, nor the trigger. It seems to me that I’m probably doing something in my application of the Flatwork Compass that told Obi that the look was important and a trigger for the skill.
Keep your eyes peeled for unintentional cues like this. In the future I will be looking for and proofing against this unintentional trigger.