Frisbee is an excellent choice for dogs who love to run, jump, catch, and retrieve. At the same time, many dog owners think that training their dogs to play Frisbee is very complicated. Just try to toss a flying disc, and you will witness your dog flying into the sky. They enjoy it because it’s a way for them to have fun with their pet parents; it feeds into a dog’s prey drive, and it’s plain, fun, and simple.
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How Long Will It Take to Teach a Dog to Catch a Frisbee?
Teaching your dog to catch a frisbee takes approximately 2 to 3 months. It is not easy to train your dog with this game; hence it needs a longer time. In addition, not all dog breeds can readily acquire it, whereas few breeds can acquire it easily.
Tools Needed to Teach a Dog to Catch a Frisbee
The tools which you will require to teach your dog to catch a frisbee are:
Which Breeds Are Perfect for Frisbee?
The best breeds of Frisbee dogs are:
- German Shorthaired Pointers
- The Australian Shepherd
- Labrador Retrievers
- Golden Retrievers
- Border Collies
High prey drive breeds perform the best as they already have those instincts to track after anything they detect, so grabbing a flying disc comes naturally.
When to Start to Teach a Dog to Catch a Frisbee?
Most dogs are fit for obedience training between eight to twelve weeks. Eight weeks is a starting period for the puppy training process because most puppies are not mature enough to begin the obedience process sooner. Before the eight-week mark, puppies learn most of the lessons by interacting with their litter and mother rather than with humans. Usually, you can begin Frisbee training with your pup once they are ready for a regular obedience class.
Steps To Teach a Dog to Catch a Frisbee
Below are the procedures of how you can teach your dog to catch a frisbee.
Encourage Your Dog to Chase
- The challenge in Frisbee teaching is to encourage your dog to chase. Some dogs naturally perform while some others need extra effort. Your dog should naturally chase and grab a frisbee when you start rolling the disc along the ground.
- You can encourage your dog to play with the disc by lightly rubbing it on his stomach or spinning it in circles if he is not attracted to it.
- When your dog confidently chases the thrown or rolled disc, you’re well equipped to work on the catch.
Teaching the Catch
- Frisbee training’s end goal is to witness your dog leap into the air to catch the flying disc like a kangaroo.
- To begin training this behavior, position yourself in front of your dog and gently toss the disc towards him.
- You have to land the disc on the ground without hitting the dog.
- If your dog attempts to run toward the disc, appreciate him with a treat.
- If he misses picking the disc, only a successful catch should end with him getting to play with the disc.
- Since your dog becomes more stable with his catches, you can increase the reach of your throws.
Apply “Come” Command
- One of the essential phases of a successful Frisbee retrieval is recall.
- First, your dog should grab and return the disc to you.
- If your dog does not come back to you while carrying the disc, go to the basic come command training.
- Below are some techniques for getting your dog into flying discs. Whichever you prefer, remember to keep things fun and to inspire your dog!
The Excited Method
- Get pumped: Once your dog makes eye contact with you, get him excited. Let him know something thrilling is about to happen.
- Introduce the disc: Let your dog sniff the disc.
- Praise the interaction: Appreciate when your dog sniffs the frisbee.
- Throw it to a short distance: Lightly toss the disc, so it only reaches a short distance.
- Encourage retrieval: In the most delightful voice, call your dog back to you once the frisbee is in his mouth.
- Repeat: Continue doing this exercise, but every time, increase the distance of the throw. Your dog will get the sense in no time.
The Strategic Method Let your dog meet the Frisbee: Like the other techniques, it’s essential to get your dog excited during this introduction.
- Teach Grabbing: Stand in front of the dog and bend slightly. Hold the disc horizontally near to your dog. Wait for your dog to hold it. Once done, appreciate treats, and repeat several times.
- Practice ‘let go’: Train your dog to let go of the new toy command.
- Roll the disc: Get the Frisbee and on the ground, flip it on its side. By doing this, you’re letting your dog identify how to pick up the new object.
- Train the dog to go around: This one is for all the speedy hounds. Train them to run around you before taking off after the frisbee.
- Teach ‘catch it’: After you command, encourage your dog to grab the disc from you. Then, start to toss the frisbee each time you train lightly.
- Increase distance: In a short time, you’ll be able to command “catch it” and whip that disc off into the air.
The Bribery Method
- Use the frisbee as a dish: Feed your dog in the disc, so she thinks of it as a good thing.
- Reward interactions: Any time she approaches the disc, toss her a treat!
- Play games with the frisbee: Try to convince your dog that the frisbee is a hot commodity using it in a tug-of-war. Make sure she knows that having the disc is a good thing.
- Teach ‘let go’: Use the Frisbee and treat, and tell your pup to let go. If she does, hand over the treat!
- Start throwing: Gently throw the frisbee and praise your dog like crazy if they go for it. Then, once again, bring out the treats if necessary.
- Finesse the game: Increase the distance of toss and gradually phase out the treats. The reward will be the fun behind the game.
The Running and Grabbing Method
- Run around the dog with the frisbee in your hand and place it in front of your dog’s mouth. Allow him to grab the disc.
The Jumping and Grabbing Method
- Stand firmly and hold the disk a bit above your dog’s mouth. Wait for him to jump and grab the disc.
Note: Choose a distraction-free area for the training. For example, a properly fenced backyard.
- Don’t rush with the training.
- Use soft discs regardless of age.
- Keep your dog hydrated.
- Keep the training periods short.
- Do not punish.
- Be patient and consistent.
Beware of Injuries
Another crucial thing to keep in mind is that dogs are not immune to injury! Catching frisbee is an intensive activity that, if started at a very early age, could lead to significant accidents without letting your dog’s legs mature. The same can even give birth to arthritis or hip dysplasia.
Chasing and catching frisbees is a physically demanding activity that tests your dog’s fitness, intelligence, and endurance. It’s an extension of a dog’s prey drive, and many dogs pick up the mechanics without any effort. It needs patience and time, but any dog can become a Frisbee dog with a bit of effort.
Playtime with our dogs is one of the greatest moments for bonding. Frisbee throwing and retrieving is a great way to get your dog’s daily exercise, and it helps your dog learn new tricks and spend quality time together. However, make sure your dog does not have any health issues.