Tao of Disc Dog | There Is No Way

in #tao3 years ago

There is no set Way with your dog. No formula for success written for you, your dog, and your skills exists; anywhere. Such is the way of things.

The formulas for success are great tools and frameworks, ours included. They do have to be tailored to dog, handler, and team to be self expressive, fun, and successful. This might mean not being able to play like your favorite player or like you did with your last dog. You might just have to accept that your dog doesn’t leap well, or flip well and stop trying to feature that part of the game.

The Way for you is the way that makes you, your dog, and the team look good, that demonstrates safe and successful play while making you and your dog happy. If you can do that, the looking cool part is pretty easy. Competence + Confidence = Cool (more score).


Mixing methods and styles is all but required and can be terribly fun and rewarding, but it can also be trouble. Styles all have key elements and if those key elements go away, the method or style is not helpful and ceases to exist in your game. There are pillars in all methods – technical pillars and philosophical pillars – that are foundational. Train one of those key pillars from the method out and it can be trouble for a much larger chunk of your game. It is not uncommon for a style to become unrecognizable to other practitioners of that style.

Ideology and philosophy matter as well. Any method or style employed should fit within your training beliefs and philosophy. Remain attached to your philosophical and ideological moorings when exploring other styles of play. It is important to believe in what you are doing. Trying to do something you can’t believe in is no recipe for success.


Explore the whys and the hows of various methods and styles. Do more than just mimic them, or learn how to do them, but seek to understand what is happening within them. What are the principles being leveraged? Which ones do you think are important? Can you steal some of their style?

Identify the working principles to seek the way of things. Look past what dog and handler are doing and see what is being done. “I do this and then the dog does that.”

OK. But what is being done here? The handler triggers the dog. The dog responds to trigger. The dog must have been waiting for trigger, right? What is the trigger? “I do this and the dog does that,” is rather deep. Such is the Tao.

Many times other styles challenge our understanding of the game. That’s great! How amazing. You have something to learn and explore. That happens if you realize that your Way is really no way at all. It is just your understanding at this time, based upon what you have seen, and how things have been looked at.

Don’t be afraid to empty your cup.

Dog Training in Western Michigan

An Excerpt from the Tao of Disc Dog
by Ron Watson

Posted from my blog with SteemPress : https://pvybe.com/disc-dog-life/tao-of-disc-dog-there-is-no-way/

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