How to Train a Puppy to Catch a Frisbee

Easy
2-10 Days
Fun

Introduction

Life hasn’t stopped since your puppy entered the scene. The day now starts early with taking the little guy out to go to the toilet. Then by the time you’ve finished breakfast they seem to need it again. Somehow having a puppy is nearly as hard work as a baby, especially to start with. But you are making progress. They are learning the ropes and even picking up some basic commands, such as ‘sit’ and ‘roll over’. However, one thing they’re not so good at is catching. You’d love to be able to take ol' fuzzball out and play fetch with a frisbee. But for them to be able to do that they first need to catch the frisbee. 

There are good reasons to train your puppy to catch a frisbee. The main one is that they will have an incredible amount of fun. So much fun that you won’t be able to resist putting 101 photos on social media. 

Defining Tasks

If you’re enthusiastic and energetic then training your puppy to catch a frisbee is relatively straightforward. The biggest hurdle is getting them excited by the frisbee in the first place. Fortunately, even that’s pretty easy. You just need to get animated and associate it with toys and treats. Training will consist partly of showing them how it’s done. Then you just need to reinforce training with consistent practice.

Because they are a puppy, they should be fast learners and raring to go. This means you could see results in just a matter of days. However, if they’re easily distracted you may need up to 10 days. Get this training right and you have a fantastic way to exercise your pup, which is particularly useful if you have a large puppy with plenty of energy. In addition, this training and play could also be decent exercise for you.

Getting Started

Before you can set to work, you need to make sure you have a few essentials. The most important requirement is a frisbee. Brightly colored ones often work particularly well. You will also need plenty of space to practice, such as a large yard or local fields.

Set aside 15 minutes each day for training. You will also need a friend for one of the methods below. Toys, treats and a clicker will also be required.

Once you have all that, just bring patience and a proactive attitude, then work can begin!

The Start Small Method

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Step
1
Start at home
The first thing to do is get your puppy excited by the frisbee. So spend a few minutes at home playing tug of war and getting them worked up. You want them jumping up and down whenever they see it.
Step
2
Stand in front
Once the pup is sufficiently excited by the frisbee, head out in the yard. Stand in front of them and hold the frisbee up and above them. You can be animated at this point to get them worked up.
Step
3
Tempt them
Now slowly tease them with the frisbee, going up and down just above their head. They will probably naturally jump up and try to get to it. The trick is to make this all into a game so talk in a playful tone.
Step
4
Reward
After a couple of attempts, let the pup jump up and catch the frisbee. Then go down and give them some praise. You can also throw in the odd treat to reinforce that they have done the right thing.
Step
5
Make it harder
Now all you need to do is practice while making it harder. So start standing just a couple of feet away and throwing it lightly to them. Then take a couple of steps back and so on and so on, until they can catch it from considerable distance. Just keep giving rewards and they will continue to want to play.
Recommend training method?

The Clicker Method

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Step
1
Get them clicker friendly
A clicker is a brilliant way to signal to your pup when they have done something right. In fact, used correctly, a clicker can speed up the learning process.
Step
2
Tug of war.
Start by playing tug of war at home with the frisbee. Talk in a high-pitched voice, hand over treats, click and really make this play time as enjoyable as possible for them. You want the dog itching to get their mouth around the frisbee at all times.
Step
3
Throw it low
Now take your puppy outside and stand a couple of feet away. Throw the frisbee low and not too hard just over their head. Throw it too high and they won’t see it and will quickly give up trying. Throw it too fast and you will scare them.
Step
4
Click & reward
Click and reward the pup even if they don’t actually make the catch to begin with. As long as they try to catch and show interest, click and reward. If they don’t get a reward at the beginning they may soon give up.
Step
5
Stand back
Now all you need to do is practice regularly. As they improve, start standing further back and increase the distance between the two of you. Then once they get really good, start phasing out the treats and just click. By this point playing the game will be reward enough.
Recommend training method?

The Extra Hands Method

Effective
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Step
1
Setting up
Head out into the yard with your puppy, a friend and a frisbee. You’re going to make your puppy want to play by simply making it difficult. Talk to the pup in a playful voice as you go outside to get them worked up.
Step
2
Throw between you
Now you and your friend start throwing the frisbee between you. Throw it low and not too fast. You don’t want to hurt or scare the pup or make them think they have no chance of catching it. Call the pup's name and point to the frisbee as you throw it.
Step
3
Involve them
After a minute or so of doing this, it’s time to give your puppy a chance to get involved. So throw it just over their head so they can jump up and grab it. You may want to move close to make it easier.
Step
4
Reward
As soon as the pup catches it or even tries to catch it, rush over and give them praise. You can also dish out treats and play around for a minute. Attention from both of you is going to make your puppy eager to play again.
Step
5
Lose the rewards
Now all you need to do is build the dog's confidence and make it more challenging. After a couple of days you can lose the friend and just toss the frisbee yourself. Continue to give the pup rewards until they are impressively good at catching, then gradually phase out the rewards.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

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