Watching true Frisbee-loving dogs is an amazing experience; these dogs will do just about anything to catch their favorite toy. If you dream of entering your dog in competitions, or if you’d just like your dog to learn to play catch, start by teaching him that the Frisbee is the best thing in the world. Even if you never go on to compete, playing Frisbee is a great way to bond with your dog and gives both of you a chance for some fresh air and exercise.
Feed your dog in his Frisbee. This gives the disc a very positive role in your dog’s mind.
Slide the Frisbee around on the ground in front of your dog. Move it back and forth near him, where he can easily grab it. Encourage him to take hold of it and lift it from the ground. Always use a happy voice and lots of praise.
Alternate the Frisbee with your dog’s other toys, so he can associate the Frisbee with playtime.
Roll the Frisbee along the ground for your dog to chase. Most dogs will run after things, so as you roll the disc encourage your dog to chase it. Make the game exciting and happy.
Praise your dog when he grabs the Frisbee, and let him know that he is the best dog in the world for chasing and catching the disc. Most dogs will get excited and work harder to run down the Frisbee once they know that you approve.
Toss the Frisbee gently to your dog while encouraging him to catch it. Be sure he sees you toss it; only throw it about 3 or 4 feet at first, and be careful not to hit him with it. You can increase the distance as your dog gets better at catching it.
Play with your dog every day, and always make sure that Frisbee time is happy time. If your dog enjoys the game, he will love his Frisbee.
- If you’re starting with a puppy, choose a breed of dog that has shown an affinity for the Frisbee. This is not a guarantee that your pup will play, but it can improve the odds that he’ll be a Frisbee fan. If you’re looking at an older dog, see how he reacts when you encourage him to chase the Frisbee. If he loves it, he’s probably a good choice for the sport. If he seems frightened by it, he may not make a good Frisbee dog.
- Have your dog checked for soundness before you get him involved with playing Frisbee. Too many high jumps, twists and hard landings can cause serious injuries to a dog who has health problems, especially if his hips aren’t sound.
- Be very careful not to hit your dog with the Frisbee, as he is liable to shy away from the disk if he thinks it may hurt him.
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