Frisbee training

Discussion in 'Dog Sports' started by bellapup, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. bellapup Well-Known Member

    I apologize if there's already a thread on this, I tried to do a search but didn't see one that gave tips.

    I heard that puppies can't play with frisbees too much because of their teeth and wondered if that was true. Bella already knows how to fetch, but doesn't know how to catch things in their air. I'll throw the frisbee and she'll run toward it but won't pick it up until it lands.

    I also heard somewhere that you should throw the frisbee upside down to make it easier for the dog to catch, which I have been doing for Bella and it has seemed to work to help her grab it.

    Any tips on how I can teach her how to catch it before it lands? I tried the treat catch trick in the vids but it doesn't seem to be working for Bella yet.

  2. Jean Cote Administrator

    I think if Bella is a puppy, then you should play for 'fun' and throw it close to you. Usually a frisbee session with my border collie really makes her tired from all the running so as a puppy you should go easy. :)

    You can get your dog to get things in the air by first holding the items in the air and tease your dog with it, her reward will be to play with the toy with you. You tug right? :dogsmile: After a while you can throw it at her in the air (closely) and cheer if she goes for it!! Eventually it builds up so that she will want to catch everything in the air, but you gotta make sure that you cheer every time she attempts to do it!
  3. bellapup Well-Known Member

    Ah...that sounds easy enough! I can't have Bella fetch a ball more than maybe 6 times unless she's super hyper, so with my first frisbee session with her I let her grab the frisbee in her mouth. I didn't think to play a little tug with her though. Thanks for the tip, I'll be having some fun with her this afternoon for sure. :D
  4. fickla Experienced Member

    I think I've heard one way is to start by having the frisbee in your hand and snaking it along the ground rewarding your puppy for grabbing it. Then you start throwing rollers (roll the frisbee on the ground away from you) and reward your puppy for going and bringing it back to you. For catching it in the air, you then encourage your pup to grab it out of your hands as you bring it across your chest and gradually start letting it go right before they come to grab it.
  5. bellapup Well-Known Member

    That's funny, I saw something on tv today that talked about snaking it on the ground too. :) Thanks for the tip, I tried playing with Bella with the frisbee a bit today but she was too pooped out from the park so I'll try it tomorrow.
  6. blisandt New Member

    you might also want to offer her "soft" or "floppy" disks to play with.. (NOT "tug")...

    my guys HATE the hard plastic "whamo" brand frisbees... and even crack them into sharp pieces!
  7. bellapup Well-Known Member

    Any 'best places' to get soft disks?
  8. storm22 Experienced Member

    look online, on trademe or ebay, they have dog disc that are made out of rubber and dogs love them, storm hasnt managed to chew his up yet, he does with the hard plastic ones
  9. leema New Member

    Not sure of the logistics of teaching frisbee to puppies - but perhaps try with soft frisbees if you are concerned about teeth damage?

    I taught my dogs to catch things in the air by always using a cue when I expect them to catch (that is, when I'm going to do a 'lop' throw) - "catch". It also helps to do some fake throws to warm them up, with a cue for warm up... e.g. "1... 2... 3... Catch!"

    Good luck!
  10. bellapup Well-Known Member

    I found a soft frisbee at BigLots the other day. I'm not expecting Bella to just suddenly pick up frisbee catching, I just want to know how to start so that I can lead her toward it slowly. I've just been rolling it on the ground for her so that she'll go after it. The really great thing about it is I've gotten a chance to reinforce her 'release' command. :)

    I'll definitely get a rubber one for Bella once she gets a hang of it. Thanks for all the advice!
  11. silasandfocus New Member

    I saw a "kong" frisbee the other day is that the same as the rubber disks others have mentioned?? I have enjoyed this thread as it was a question I had too. Thanks!!
  12. Jean Cote Administrator

    I don't know if this has already been mentioned, but personally I prefer using the soft frisbee - they sell them at PetSmart. The one I use is green on the outside and pink on the inside. I love that thing. ;)
  13. fickla Experienced Member

  14. ella Well-Known Member

    I used to start with the hyperflite "Sofflite". Great disc and available in two sizes.
    Rollers are perfect in the beginning.... here is a video of the (back then) four month old Morris, at his first frisbee-show -> [media][/media]
    as you can see, it is just for the fun of it. Just about two catches and no longer than about a minute playing...


  15. ruffmuttk9z New Member

    Puppies SHOULD NOT be jumping up in the air for frisbees until their growth plates are closed. This is typically anywhere from 12-18 months old but can only be determined for sure with an x-ray. If you insist on teaching your pup to catch frisbees at a young age, work on keeping them very low and straight so the pup can simply run out and grab them out of the air without jumping. I will try to get some video of this with my 7.5mos old pup. She caught her first frisbees at 5mos old. Here is a video of her FIRST time with a frisbee. She is about 10wks old in this video.


    Also, there is nothing wrong with real plastic frisbees. Go to to order some 'real' ones if you want. The plastic kind from Petsmart or Walmart or whatever aren't worth the $2 you pay for them. Get you some nice Fastbacks or K10s.

    Also, to whoever said not to TUG with your dog, I am curious what your reasoning is? TUGGING is the BEST BEST BEST way to reinforce a dog. The drive is instinctual and sooo rewarding to a dog that is tug-motivated. You'll see that I tug with Fury in the video as her reward for bringing the frisbee back to me. At 3:54 of this video you'll see a neat trick you can teach a dog that really likes to tug. Ignore the rest of the video. It's old and is the very beginnings of teaching frisbee tricks with both of these dogs.

  16. bellapup Well-Known Member

    Jean, I found the exact frisbee you're talking about at Big Lots. :) I've been snaking it on the ground and rolling it to let Bella run after and catch it.

    Bella jumps on her own out of excitement, although she's gotten a lot better with a lot of work. I've never forced her to jump for a frisbee or anything else for that matter.

    I was told that you shouldn't tug against a puppy, but it's good to allow them to tug, so I hold my arm stationary while she pulls and tugs away from me. I'm assuming it's because of the same reason as not allowing a puppy to jump high in the air. Instead of tugging against her, when she pulls I'll reach over with my other arm to playfully pat her sides to get her excited. I'll also let go periodically to 'let her win' the tugfest.

    She's been having a lot of fun with the frisbee and has successfully picked it out of her line of toys with her object recognition training.

    Slowly but surely, I think I'll have a frisbee dog. :)
  17. bclover New Member

    Another good frisbee is the Chuck-it flying disks, avaible at Petco. They are soft and chew-proof. They fly great too.
  18. Jean Cote Administrator

    Cool! Yes as long as you keep the experience positive and that both of you are having fun - you'll have a Frisbee dog in no time!!! :dogwink: A tip: end your Frisbee session when your dog is having the most amount of time, so that your dog associates massive pleasure to the Frisbee. In other words: don't wait until your dog is tired and bored until you quit. :dogwink:

    Have fun!
  19. lonewolfblue New Member

    Very, very true. That is the main reason dogs shouldn't be jumping at an early age. Too much jumping at an early age will possibly cause minor, if not major problems down the road, as in arthritis, etc.
  20. lonewolfblue New Member

    I never thought of it that way myself. I'm definitely going to have to add that to my sessions. Usually I play frisbee to tire them out. I'll have to see where the line is between getting tired, but not going too long. ;)

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