Just Like a Through Except Back to Front
the Backwards Through is a tremendously flexible set up move. it can turn straight lines into arcs and arcs into straight lines… a very useful skill
3 Keys for the Backwards Through:
- reward placement
- adjusting linear speed
- setting the line
Reward Placement and Pattern Training
your dog goes where the reward happens, to where does your dog release to after a Backwards Through?
Dogs pattern train really well, and so do human beings. Especially human beings that are struggling to keep up in a fast paced game with an expert playing partner. Odds are if you have a Backwards Through and are currently working it, you already have a pattern trained response to the presentation of the cue by the dog.
You can counter that pattern train, or create a more sensible thoughtful response, by simply using Reward Placement – stay close = Bite in the hand… go away = Roller or throw. Randomizing Reward Placement helps to prevent unwanted patterns from developing.
Add a secondary cue if you want. “Rut-n’Fly” is my cue for backwards through and run like heck while “Rut-n-flip” is my cue for Backwards Through and Flip. It’s given early enough so the dog sets their approach based upon their expectation of the situation.
Adjusting Linear Speed to the Task at Hand
if you are sending your dog out for a long throw, let it happen full throttle, but if flipping from a Backwards Through, drop that speed to zero.
There is a pretty serious safety concern with the Backwards Through and flipping. It’s a popular move these days, and many people are running their dogs too fast while flipping from this set up move.
Flipping from this set up move requires a massive reduction in linear speed. Even a stride or two of distance from the handler can allow the dog too much speed to flip safely and effectively.
If you are going to flip out of this move, consider starting while facing your dog. That will allow the dog to have to go around a bit and reverse field to do the Backwards Through. This will reduce the linear speed to zero while they are underneath you, setting up a high, safe, and clean flip.
Setting a Line or Releasing the Dog
the Backwards Through has a kind of targeting system built into it. a subtle shift in position by the handler can fire a dog out in nearly any direction.
You can bend your dog’s line with the Backwards Through. Your hips and shoulders provide the targeting system, and your lower body is the firing mechanism. When your legs open up, the dog decides to go through. If you turn a bit as you open your legs, you can point the dog in another direction using your hips and shoulders and prove that’s where the dog should go using Reward Placement.
You can also use the Backwards Through to straighten out a dog who tends to only run circles. Just use your shoulders and hips and fire that dog out there on that straight line.