How To Train A Dog To Catch A Frisbee

What is cooler than a Frisbee dog?  Most dog lovers agree that watching a dog who can catch Frisbee’s is great entertainment.  And we may wonder just how to train a dog to catch a Frisbee.  Some dogs seem to be naturally good at playing Frisbee but even if your dog isn’t, you can still teach your dog how to play.

Here are some tips.

First you should select a Frisbee.  This isn’t always as easy as it sounds!  There are countless varieties of flying disks on the market, whether they are the Frisbee brand or another brand.  Some are hard disks and others are soft.  Some are specifically made for dogs (though these aren’t always the best if you are looking for height and distance throws).  To train and play with your dog you shouldn’t choose the hardest Frisbees but you may not want the softest ones either.  Try a few and see what you and your dog like.  Whatever you decide on, get a couple just alike.  This helps for training purposes.

Once you’ve chosen your Frisbee, it’s time to get your dog excited about it.  Otherwise it’s just a piece of plastic to your dog.  He has no idea what it can do or how interesting it can be.  It’s up to you to start making the Frisbee an important part of your dog’s life.  You can do this by putting treats in the Frisbee or even feeding your dog his dry kibble in the Frisbee.  Let him associated good things with the toy.  Start playing some simple toss games with the Frisbee.  Tug-of-war, however, is not advised with the Frisbee. You want your dog to get in the habit of dropping the Frisbee whenever he brings it to you, not tugging on it with you.  Make everything you do with the Frisbee fun and interesting for your dog.  You can even use excited speech and body language when you are playing with the Frisbee to keep your dog excited about it.

Once your dog has begun associating good things with the Frisbee you can start rolling the Frisbee to him.  Give him lots of praise and rewards when he brings it back to you.  Make sure that you tell him to drop it when he brings it back.  If he doesn’t drop it you can let it go at first since you just want him to be excited about playing Frisbee.  Roll another Frisbee for him and he will probably drop the first one to go get the second one.  Keep encouraging him to chase the Frisbees you’re rolling for him.

You can gradually start tossing the Frisbee for your dog.  Toss the Frisbee a few feet at first and encourage your dog to chase after it.  Then encourage your dog to bring it back to you and drop it.  (Work on the drop it as much as you need to.)  Always praise and reward your dog.  It won’t be long before your dog gets better and better at anticipating your throws and bringing the Frisbee back to youIt just takes practice.  Keep making it fun for your dog.  You can slowly make the tosses longer and longer.  Give it a little time and your dog will probably be airborne.

Do take care that you don’t allow your dog to over-exert himself.  Some dogs will chase Frisbees all day if you let them.  Make sure you provide your dog with water and take time-outs when you need to for your dog to rest.

Playing Frisbee with your dog is a lot of fun.  It’s not hard to teach most dogs to play Frisbee.  Have fun!

 

Mark Mansfield
 

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