Updated: Jan 3, 2019
Nothing is more impressive than watching a dog chase down and catch a frisbee midair. Some dogs have a natural knack for these kinds of things but even if your dog doesn’t, you might be able to teach him. Keep reading to learn some helpful tips for teaching your dog to catch a frisbee.
Getting Your Dog Used to the Frisbee
Before you can teach your dog how to chase down and catch a frisbee you need to get him interested enough in the toy that he’ll want to chase it. Start by simply introducing your dog to the disc and see how he responds – some dogs immediately recognize the disc as a toy while others do not. Place the disc on the ground and encourage your dog to check it out then toss him a treat and tell him “Good boy” whenever he touches it. Once your dog becomes interested in the disc, pick it up and try to get him to play tug of war with it – keep giving him praise and treats as he interacts with the disc. After this step you can start to toss the disc for your dog at very short distances at first, working your way up to throwing it so he’ll chase it down and catch it.
Tips for Teaching Your Dog to Catch
Once your dog has gotten used to the frisbee and enjoys playing with it, your next step is to teach him how to chase it down and then how to catch it midair. Here are some tips for teaching your dog to play frisbee:
To teach your dog to chase the disc, try rolling it past him – once he grabs it, call him back to you and use a “Drop it” command to get the disc back.
When your dog is consistently chasing the disc, start tossing it to him from a few feet away. Be sure to get his attention then toss the disc toward him so it flies flat – when your dog catches it (or attempts to catch it) praise him and toss him a treat.
Once your dog gets the hang of catching the disc from a few feet away, start to increase the distance but keep tossing the disc directly at him to hone his catching skills.
As your dog gets better at catching the disc from longer distances, start to throw the disc past him or off to the side so he has to chase it in order to catch it – keep praising and rewarding your dog for each success.
Some dogs are more likely to pick up on this kind of skill than others, but it never hurts to try. If your dog doesn’t develop a liking for a hard plastic frisbee, try a floppy disc that is easier on his teeth. Praise and reward will be very important while you’re developing your dog’s skills but, at a certain point, you’ll want to phase out the treats and use the game itself as the reward.
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