Catching frisbee is an excellent way to spend time with your GSD, giving him cardiovascular exercise, building muscle, developing coordination and creating a team relationship. Young shepherds who are still developing and growing will not be ready for frisbee catching, as the jumping and wear and tear of the sport put excessive stress on developing skeletons and musculature. Wait until your dog is fully developed and ensure your GSD is in good shape to learn how to catch a frisbee. If your dog likes to chase and catch balls and sticks, transitioning him to catching a frisbee may be a natural progression.
To catch a frisbee, your German Shepherd will need to be very focused on the frisbee so that when you toss it out, he can track it in the air and then mark the best moment to leap up in the air and grab it in his mouth. You will then want your GSD to return the frisbee to you to be thrown again. Some owners teach their dog to release the frisbee on command, others have another frisbee available so that the dog will drop the first one in order to retrieve the second frisbee.
This activity will involve three skills: throwing, catching and retrieving. A disc that hovers in the air will be easier for your GSD to catch. Be careful not to allow your GSD to become too possessive of the frisbee or disc, or allow him to play with it unsupervised in case it breaks and could then injure your dog.
There are special frisbees or throwing discs available commercially at pet supply stores designed especially for dogs. These are better for dogs than standard frisbees, as they are made from softer materials and are less likely to cause injury to your dog or break apart and produce small jagged pieces that could harm your pet. Many training frisbees are made from fabric and rope and are good for getting started with a young dog, as they resemble toys he may already have. Many owners use two frisbees when teaching their dog to catch frisbees, to aid in teaching the dog to release the frisbee after it has been caught.
Do not leave your dog unsupervised with throwing discs as they can come apart if your dog chews on them and injure your dog. Make sure your dog is healthy before teaching him to catch a frisbee and has no joint issues that could become aggravated by exercise and jumping. You will also need a leash and treats when teaching your GSD to catch a frisbee, to control your dog out in the open when necessary, and to reinforce successful catching behavior.