In the last 30 years Frisbee has grown in leaps and bounds. From a basic game that you play with your family, Frisbee has developed into a full competition sport for dogs. Anyone that can throw a Frisbee can teach Frisbee to a dog. Teaching your dog to catch the Frisbee requires a little patience and a lot of positive reinforcement. Before you try to teach your dog how to play Frisbee they should already know the basic obedience skills of down, sit, stay, calm, and attention to handler. If your dog does not know these commands you will want to teach them before you try Frisbee.
The easiest form of playing Frisbee with your dog is called toss and fetch. This is the simplest form of Frisbee for your dog because it does not require them to jump too high into the air and allows them the time to chase the Frisbee. Other Frisbee play may include choreographed routines that are more energetic and requires your dog to do more work. If this is the first time you are teaching your dog how to play Frisbee just try toss and fetch.
Before you begin you should start by warming up. Do some trotting, or what is commonly called jogging with your dog to get his or her heart rate elevated. Also do some spinning and weaving so that your dog has a steady sense of balance. Make sure that your dog has plenty of water to drink before you start, especially on hot days. You don’t want your dog to become overheated or dehydrated in the hot sun.
The first thing you need to be able to do is throw a Frisbee. There basically two ways to throw a Frisbee; either rolling it across the ground or throwing it through the air. At first, roll the Frisbee along the ground and allow your dog to chase it. Have the dog bring the Frisbee back to you and repeat this several times.
Be sure to positively reinforce the dog training. The more praise and encouragement you offer your dog, the more he/she will be able to retain the skills they are learning. When you first teach the dog to chase and catch the rolling Frisbee you are teaching them not to be scared of it. Doing this also helps them get used to catching the Frisbee in their mouth.
Next take the Frisbee in your hand and have the dog take it from you. Do this several times until your dog is comfortable taking the Frisbee out of your hand. Increase the distance at which you give the dog the Frisbee until you are throwing it in the air. Just remember not to throw the Frisbee at your dog; they should be running after it and then catching the Frisbee. Doing so, teaches your dog to be led to the Frisbee, and later will help improve your dogs chasing skills.
Start small, with a distance of 2-3 feet. This will allow your dog to get comfortable chasing after the Frisbee and grabbing it out of the air with their mouth. The more the dog learns and enjoys the activity the more you should back up. Give your dog anywhere from 20-40 yards of length in which to run after and catch the Frisbee. It’s obvious if your dog is enjoying playing Frisbee with you if his/her tail is straight up and wagging.
It’s important that the dog likes to play the game. If your dog doesn’t enjoy Frisbee they simply won’t play. Most dogs enjoy the exercise and work hard because they enjoy the positive reinforcement. As you train tell your dog that he is a good dog, and don’t use treats. Naturally you don’t have treats when playing outside so Frisbee training with treats doesn’t really make sense. Keep each session short until your dog builds up endurance for longer sessions or choreographed routines.