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Its truly a privilege to watch a pooch and his human engage in a skilled game of frisbee. The owner throws the plate-like object and the dog soars into the sky like a kangaroo. They spin, twist and dive, almost as if they're dancing. If you've ever had the chance to see this, you may have wondered enviously how the pair got so good at the game of flying discs. Are some dogs just natural frisbee players? Or was there some serious training involved?
The game of frisbee can be especially fun for puppers and people. Discs float through the air differently than balls do, allowing your canine to really calculate their retrieval. While the end result can be great, getting there may take a bit of work!
Certain breeds are more interested in flying objects than others. Some dogs just don't understand what a frisbee is, or they expect it to move like other fetch objects, leading to confusion. By teaching your pup how to play frisbee and get excited about it, you can unlock a world of good times for the two of you.
For some dogs, the concept can take months to learn properly, while others may catch on fast. Be prepared to go out regularly and cut sessions short as soon as your dog seems uninterested. And your pooch's age doesn't matter too much; young and old dogs can learn to enjoy frisbee.
To help make your training a success, preparation is key! Some things to help you on your way to flying disc fun include:
A Frisbee!: This one's a no-brainer; you need a disc to play frisbee. But you should put some thought into what kind of disc is right for your dog. Size and material vary, so make sure you pick a suitable frisbee for your pooch.
Treats: Many methods involve a little bribery. Go get a bag of yummy treats to dish out during your sessions.
Wide Open Space: Find a dog-friendly park or field where your mutt can run free. There is a lot of leaping, bounding and dashing in a game of frisbee.
Patience: Don't get discouraged if your dog just isn't getting it. Keep calm and try to keep the game associated with only positive feelings. Eventually, she'll come around.
The only canines who really shouldn't be playing frisbee are those with serious health problems, injuries or seniors who've lost their mobility. As long as your doggo is healthy, you should be good to go.
Below are some great methods for getting your dog into flying discs. Whichever one you choose, remember to keep things fun and exciting for your pup!
The Excited Method
As soon as your dog makes eye contact with you, get really excited. Let him know something great is about to happen.
Introduce the disc
Bring out your new special toy for your dog to sniff.
Praise the interaction
Offer tons of praise while your pooch meets the frisbee.
Throw it a short distance
Gently toss the disc so it only goes a short distance.
Encourage a retrieval
In your happiest voice ever, call your dog back to you as soon as the frisbee is in his mouth.
Keep doing this exercise, but each time, increase the distance of the throw. Your pupper will get the idea in no time.
The Strategic Method
Let your dog meet the frisbee
As with the other methods, it's important to get your pup really excited during this intro.
Teach your dog how to let go of the new toy on command.
Roll the disc
Just take the frisbee, and flip it on its side while on the ground. By doing this, you're letting your canine know how to pick up the strange object.
Have the dog go around
This one's for all those speedy hounds out there. Train your dog to run around you before taking off after the flying frisbee.
Teach 'catch it'
After you say the command, encourage your dog to grab the disc from your hands. Begin to lightly toss the frisbee each time you practice.
Soon, you'll be able to say “catch it” and whip that disc off into the sunset. Just keep working on all of the steps!
The Bribery Method
Use the frisbee as a dish
Put your dog's dinner in the disc so she thinks of it as a good thing.
Any time she approaches the new toy, toss her a treat!
Play games with the disc
Try to convince your doggo that the frisbee is a hot commodity by using it in tug-of-war. Make sure she knows that having the disc is a good thing.
Teach 'let go'
Using the frisbee and a treat, tell your pup to let go. If she does, hand over the treat!
Gently toss the frisbee and praise your pooch like crazy if she goes for it. Once again, bring out the treats if necessary.
Finesse the game
Up the distance of throws and eventually phase out the treats. By this point, the fun you two are having will be the reward.
By Amy Caldwell
Published: 10/10/2017, edited: 01/08/2021