Getting Your Dog to Chase a Flying Disk
Chasing a flying disk is a great way to keep your dog in shape and a fun way for the two of you to bond, but encouraging your dog to actually chase the disk can be a challenge. The following tips can help get you and your dog started.
Tempt with a TreatYour dog will dig his disk if you put his food in it. Take the platter away when he's finished eating so that it doesn't become a chew toy. Wash with dish soap and warm water after use as a feeding dish!
Start with Rolling the Disk
When your pup feels peppy, get down on his level and talk excitedly to him. Then roll and shake the disk to get him interested in it.
Fake The Toss
Still at your dog's level, fake tossing or rolling the disk. When he realizes he's been duped and starts to run for the toy, hold it out. After he grabs it, give a gentle tug to make sure he is grasping it firmly. Then praise him. Repeat several times.
Toss and Praise
Position your dog directly in front of you--so close you can almost hand him the disk. Now toss it to him. Praise him if he catches it. If he misses, don't let him pick it up. He only gets to keep it if he gets it in the air.
Extend the Distance
Position your dog by your left side if you are right-handed and make the same sort of short toss you did in the last step. The difference is that now your dog is moving to the disk, rather than having it come to him. If he catches it, praise him. Then gradually extend the distance on subsequent tosses.
Train to Fetch
If your dog catches the disk and won't return it, don't punish him. Dogs love to play keep-away. Instead, consider enrolling in a pet training class (such as those offered at PetSmart) to learn some basic commands that will make teaching your dog play Frisbee easier. Once a dog learns commands like "take it," "drop it," and "come," teaching him to catch a flying disc will be easier.
Leaping for the Disk
Eventually, you can coax your canine to leap for the disk. Do so by holding the disk over his head. If he jumps up and takes it from your hand, say "up" or "jump." Then make short throws and bark the same command as he pursues the disk.
Conquer the Basics, Then Introduce New Moves
By now, you and your dog are best buddies and a proficient disk team too. This is when you can introduce other throws: sidearm, overhand, wrist flip, skips, between your legs, behind your back, and multiple rapid-fire tosses.