Training For Your Dog

Teach Your Dog To Catch A Frisbee!

Many dogs love to play with Frisbees, although most dogs don’t know how to catch a flying disc. With a little patience and the following steps, you and your pet can learn to do this fun and rewarding activity.

  • Just a note: this article assumes your dog already knows how to fetch a ball or similar object. It also assumes that you know how to throw a Frisbee backhand and forehand.

The Steps.

  1. Buy a minimum of 2 “dog ” discs.  (“Frisbees”) can injure your dog. Look for the brands Hyperflite, Hero or Aerobie. These discs are specially designed to reduce risk of injuring your dog. There are discs for destructive dogs (The Hyperflite Jawz) and soft floppy discs as well (the Aerobie Dogobie). The Flippy Flopper is a soft fabric disc available at most pet stores. The Kong Flyer is also a good choice.

2. Get your dog excited about the disc by associating it with very      positive things. For example: [1]

  • Use the disc as a feeding dish for a week.
  • Rub hot dog on the disk and praise your dog for going after it.
  • Play tug of war with the disk. Always let the dog win. Don’t rip the disk out of your dogs mouth.
  • Reward any behavior that shows “drive” to get the disk. This means that even if your dog jumps up and grabs the disk out of your hand without waiting for you to offer it to her, this is positive!
  • Never tell your dog to “DROP” the disk. Always use a second disc to entice your dog to drop the one in his mouth, on his own. Remember, always encourage your dog’s drive to have and get the disc.

3. Throw “rollers”. Instead of throwing the disc in the air, throw it so that the disc rolls on the ground like a wheel. This helps your dog transition from fetching a ball to retrieving a disc. Dogs love to chase discs this way. It helps them learn to “target” the disc and pick it up.

4. Throw the disc in the air and alternate with rollers. Begin with short, slow throws, and be very careful to avoid hitting your dog with the disc. In the beginning, your dog will likely let the disc hit the ground before retrieving it. It may take 100 or more throws before your dog grabs it out of the air for the first time. Be patient!

5. Encourage your dog’s drive to get the disc. Eventually your dog will get used to the flying disc, learn how to track it in the air, and eventually will want the disc so badly (“DRIVE!”) that he won’t want to wait for it to drop to the ground and will instead grab it out of the air. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for! Congratulations, you now have a disc dog!

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