Dog Goes Through Handler’s Legs
the Through is an important set up move. it bridges the front and back of the handler, allowing for dynamic and elastic team movement
This skill is about 4 keys:
- verbal then physical
- pull don’t push
- cue directly and loud
- turn and face your dog
Verbal Cue Then Physical Cue
give your verbal cue well before your physical cue. you always want to give a weak cue before the strong cue and you always want to have separation between a verbal and physical cue or they can interfere with each other and make for a noisy signal.
Giving simultaneous verbal and physical cues is probably one of the biggest communication problems in dog Frisbee. When the handler gives the verbal and the physical cue to the dog at the same time something short circuits in the dog’s little brain. They can’t seem to process the physical and verbal cues at the same time and the signal winds up getting lost in the shuffle.
Tell your dog with your verbal cue what you are going to do and then show them the physical cue as confirmation of the cue. This redundant and sequential communication makes for clear understanding.
Make sure you offer your verbal cue a second or so before your physical, especially while training and learning. You could probably put them 1/2 a second apart, but no closer.
Pull Your Dog Through by Stepping Back
when you physically cue the Through make sure that you are stepping backwards in order to pull the dog through. stepping forward is pushing your dog and it does not make for a strong or confident Through behavior.
Step away from your dog to pull them in. Step towards them and you push.
You want to pull your dog into the Through move. Stepping back to open your legs makes it far more likely for the dog to go through and also helps the dog go through more quickly and confidently.
Cue Directly and Cue Loud
many handlers want to draw the line that their dogs are going to take when cuing the Through behavior. draw a direct line instead. move the disc quickly and sharply to where you want your dog’s head to be and then pull the disc away from there.
Luring and prey driven cuing should not attempt to replicate the line that the dog will move along. So often handler’s try to trace the path that the dog will traverse during the skill when they are luring. That’s not how it works.
The dog puts their face where the cookie or the disc goes. So what you want to do is to get the dog hooked on the target then take that disc away and put it directly and quickly where you want it to be.
Turn and Finish Facing Your Dog
a great way to add a bit of team movement is to turn towards or away from your dog while the through is happening. this adds to team movement with dog and handler spinning at the same time and popping to a stop facing each other. it’s good stuff.
Dog and handler spinning at the same time is a definite style bonus for freestyle.