Ron Watson | Reverse Back Vault

Blind Flipping off the Back to Catch a Disc

the dog flips off the handler’s back to catch a disc in a Reverse Back Vault. this trick requires strong foundational understanding by Dog | Handler | Team to pull off reliably and for the long haul.

Keys to the Trick:

  1. Trigger
  2. Verbal Discrimination
  3. Don’t Wait for the Dog

A Trigger is Key

you are not looking at the dog and the dog is behind you. how do you tell the dog when to go in this situation without a clear and bulletproof Trigger to start the skill?

Triggers are critical in vaults and even more so in Reverse Vaults. The Reverse Back Vault requires a strong trigger. You can learn to do it without one, but once it becomes comfy for Dog | Handler | Team, weak Triggers will fail and the trick will fall into Chaos.

There are 2 Triggers and/or potential Triggers for this skill if you want to look at it that way:

  1. Vault Obstacle Presentation
  2. Throw Leaves Hand or is in Air

Both of these happen. Both can be relied on. I rely on both, but I purposefully intend to Trigger the skill with my Obstacle Presentation, when my back moves to become a platform, but if my dog doesn’t see that, the dog will go on the visibility of the Target or the release from the hand.

Verbal Vault Discrimination

verbal vault discrimination is a necessity for safe, successful, stylish, and creative vaulting. the dog needs to know what kind of vault we’re doing. the dog knowing that a Flip is happening off the back for this trick is key.

Can’t be stressed enough. I cue Rebound and pause… my dog wonders what he’s gonna be flipping from… and then my back moves and he gets his answer. And from the get go Eppie knows that he will be flipping for this target. So he collects for a Flip off my body and starts to look up and behind him for the Target.

This knowledge is super important when we start to add a bunch of different weird positions, like standing behind the handler. The dog needs to have more than handler body language and position and context to execute a variety of vaults safely and successfully.

Don’t Wait for the Dog

on a proper vault, the dog leaves the ground for the target. on most Rebound type vaults from in front of the handler the dog leaves the ground and the disc is being thrown. doing that on this vault will not work well.

Once you make your move to set your back into vaulting position, don’t wait to see if the dog is coming, just make the throw. If you wait for the dog the dog will be leaping to jump on your back and not to get the disc. Getting the disc becomes plan B.

You don’t want your dog adding a Plan B to vault execution.