Cross Body Back Vault

Linear Vault from Side to Side

from left to right or right to left, the cross body back vault is a common and flexible skill

4 keys to the skill:

  1. cuing & commitment
  2. verbal verification of various vaults
  3. timing = earlier than you think
  4. a time and a place for Takes
  5. precision disc placement
  6. set up spacing = 2 – 2.5 Strides

Remember: Your dog is flying through the air – off of your body – after targets that you throw.

Cuing Direction and Physical Commitment

knowing what the plan is before flying around vaulting off of objects and people is a good idea, right?

Your dog needs to know where they are going before they leave the ground. A simple way to do this is to point or put the disc up where it is going to be caught for a moment before giving the verbal cue.

Cuing Direction is of great interest to dogs because that tells them where the target is going to be. Get them to believe the target is going to be where you tell them it is and you’re going to have a dog that is committed to the vault.

After the verbal cue, present the obstacle for the vault and put the target where the directional cue was.

Vault Discrimination and Verbal Cues & Commitment

tell your dog verbally what kind of vault is coming up – linear, rebound, or stall – verbal vault discrimination

This is part of our Disc Dog Foundation here at Pawsitive Vybe. Having verbal discrimination over which kind of vault, or what trajectory your dog will follow allows the dog and handler to prepare before the physical cues start.

When the stall cue is spoken the dog will know that they will wind up standing on you and will leap, from the ground to a stall position. When they hear, “Top,” our verbal cue for a linear vault, they leave the ground leaning forward in preparation for the push off of the handle’s body. For a rebound or reverse vault they will launch themselves to an almost inverted position, giving themselves up on the verbal cue, knowing that the target will be there.

Great communication allows for great commitment.

Timing – Early, Early, Early!

the dog should make one targeting decision and that decision should happen while still on the ground. your dog should leave the ground knowing where the target is – a single decision

Ideally, your dog leaves the ground for the target which means that the disc must be thrown before the dog leaves the ground. A single plan is made and executed in pursuit of a perfectly executed toss. That is a proper vault.

If you are experiencing serious impact upon vaults and have bruising and/or serious scratching it is likely happening because the dog leaves the ground for a spot and then adjusts the plan in mid-air as it becomes evident that the disc is not going to be where it was supposed to be. Time for PLAN B!

If the dog leaves the ground for the target, they don’t have to worry about Plan B unless the wind takes it or something. Your erratic throwing is already taken into account and the proper vault trajectory is chosen before the dog leaves the ground. This is the key to safe and successful vaulting.

If you Can’t Place It There, You Shouldn’t Be Trying It

the handler must be able to place the disc in the spot 95-100% of the time – perfect placement or go back to practicing

Placement is nowhere more key in the game of disc than with vaulting. If you can’t hit a tiny target nearly 100% of the time, you should not be performing the skill.

’nuff said.

Vault Spacing – Flip and Move & the Spinning Set Up

2-2.5 strides – usually 2-3M from the handler is a good estimate – work from a Wait, a Spot, or the Cued Drop

The spacing on the set up for the Cross Body Back Vault is similar to that of most standing vaults at 2-2.5 strides. 7 to 10 feet or so is a fairly good estimate. Think about setting this distance after your set up move or flip. It is often just one or two steps or a single spin away. You can get started during your flip or set up move.