Ron Watson | Scoot

Dog Backs Up Between Handler’s Legs from Front to Back

the Scoot is a unique Set Up Move that puts a bit of a glitchy, rewind, sticky moment in flow. it’s a nifty little move that has great Showmanship, Athletic Humor, and Team Movement potential if it’s not overused.

Keys to the Trick:

  1. Sloppy Entries? Use a BackChain
  2. Pay at the Butt Crack
  3. Look for the Exit Flank
  4. Move With It

Sloppy Entries? Jumping Over Your Dog? Use a BackChain

one of the things with Scoots is that sometimes it is the handler walking over the dog or the handler leaping and kicking their legs up over a flailing or manic dog. the answer to this trouble is a bit counter intuitive, of course it is, it’s a BackChain.

One of the best ways to clean up your Scoot is to do some sessions where you focus on marking the finish between your legs and making it easy to get through your legs my moving, not lifting your leg, but moving and getting into position where it is easy for the dog to achieve a successful Scoot. Reinforce these successful Scoots immediately with a Bite.

A bunch of these in a row sets up an expectation of going through the legs, for sure, getting marked for it, and getting a vicious Bite as cookie for the skill. Going between the legs AND smashing a disc is the expectation. The effort or difficulty on the dog’s part is irrelevant. All that matters is that the dog want to finish between the legs and Bite.

Once you’ve got this desire, reshape the skill either by hard-assing the criteria and just expecting the dog to complete the backchain, or by more active shaping where you reduce your movement while keeping the success rate and rate of reinforcement up while staying on the BackChain.

Pay At the Butt Crack

crude, but memorable. and you only have to do it a few times and the dog will give you some attention through the back of your head and give you a Wait at the resolution of the Scoot. how cool would that be?

The dog following the handler is a big part of Team Movement and Set Up Moves, perhaps the biggest part, in actuality…

By placing a cookie or three on the dog after the Scoot, right in the center of your behind, you interrupt the exit and give the dog something to think about, like eating cookies. While the dog is stopped back there, turn around and face the dog. Cover that movement with a cookie if you need, but just a some cookies and turn around into Front a few times and the dog will chill back there long enough for you to easily sequence out of the Scoot.

Look and You Create the Exit Flank

if you look down and to your left after the Scoot, the dog will come out in Clock on your left. look down and to the right as the Scoot resolves and the dog will pop out there. this is stronger if you have reward history at the butt crack.

Which direction does your dog exit the scoot from? Want the dog to stay put after the Scoot for sequencing purposes?

All you have to do is look to either side and your dog will show up there. This is a magical, magical tool. And it works naturally. It might take a few reps, but just do the Scoot, look to the side you want the dog on, and wait to mark and reinforce with a Bite after the dog shows up in your vision.

Move with It!

in performance, most of the movement by the handler in the Scoot behavior happens before the Scoot goes through the legs. it’s like once the dog gets lined up, Handler’s freeze. don’t be that handler. MOVE!!!

Scoot to Flank is neat. Scoot to Flip. Scoot to Leg Vault? You gotta move!

Scooting usually has the handler simply turning around to do a flip or resolves in a Stall. That’s boring. Pull a Flank out of the Scoot or something. A spinning handler trailing an excited dog out of a Scoot can look pretty cool.

Try to hook something that MOVES to your Scoot. And move it! Don’t just glitch your routine and leave it sitting there.