Cued Biting and Tugging of Discs Adds Value to the Handler and Teaches Patience in Drive
catching discs happens out there. a good reward history of dog and handler sharing the disc via a bite and tug adds value to the area around the handler giving the dog a reason to hang out there…
4 reasons to teach and use a cued Bite:
- add value to the handler
- reinforce key links of behavior chains
- create patience in drive
- shape leaping behaviors with takes
Add Value to the Area Around the Handler with Bites
offering the dog a cued Bite on the disc in the handler’s hand is great for up close and personal reinforcement, an important element in working freestyle.
The game of disc tends to take place yards away from the handler with no handler in sight. This often causes problems for teams when trying to work in close proximity to the handler – the ‘inside game’. The dog is expecting to run around and chase discs, not stand around and wait, or do 3 silly things for a crappy 1M toss.
Offering a cued Bite on the disc in handler’s hand allows for exciting reinforcement with precision timing and reward placement designed to add value to the area around the handler.
Reinforce Single Links in Your Behavior Chains
freestyle disc with dogs is composed of long behavior chains. cued Bites on the disc allow the handler to reinforce weak or key links in these behavior chains.
The complexity and mechanics of the inside game can lead to less than stellar energy levels, a reduction in motivation and in effective Rate of Reinforcement. Adding the cued Bite as reinforcement for any link in your behavior chain empowers the handler to motivate the dog in consequent fashion at any time.
Random and intermittent reinforcement of key or weak tricks in your sequence is a great reason to have the Bite behavior in your back pocket.
Enhance Patience and Create Operant Drive
a little bit of Attention work with a cued Bite as cookie can help a dog learn to be patient in drive and help them increase their threshold for operant behavior.
Reinforcing Attention (unsolicited eye contact) and the cued Wait with a bite is a great way to help the dog understand that there are rules to this freestyle game. Good things come to those who Wait (and give eye contact).
Shape Leaping Behaviors with Takes
the hardest part of training your dog to leap is finding the right spot and time to place the disc. using takes allows for precision placement and a permanent target.
Takes allow for fast and efficient teaching of leaping, overs, and vaults. The hard part of these skills is getting the disc in the right spot at the right time often enough to create commitment in your dog. The Take allows you to put it there early and hold it there a long time allowing dogs who are not totally crazy for discs to gain the confidence to commit to the thrown disc.
Use takes on overs, vaults and flips where possible until you and your dog figure out where the target needs to be placed, when it needs to be there, until you and the dog become confident enough to make the skill happen.
FYI – There is a danger of dogs who have a lot of eye (border collies) not leaping after thrown discs because they do not look like takes.