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Train Your Dog To Be Your Frisbee Playing Buddy
On the surface playing Frisbee with your dog may seem like just a bit of fun, but this activity actually holds other benefits as well.
1. Certain breeds are accustomed to an active lifestyle, so, when they are forced to remain idle, they tend to create interesting diversions to entertain themselves. Unfortunately, their idea of fun may be something that you consider to be destructive behavior. Playing Frisbee with your dog may help to curb some of your dog's destructive behavior by giving your pup an outlet for all of his pent-up energy.
2. Playing Frisbee will also provide both you and your dog with a bit of exercise. This is a great way to help your pet keep in tiptop condition.
Herding dogs are more adept at fetching a Frisbee, but other breeds can certainly be taught. There are even different discs on the market that are suited to different types of dogs. If you want to begin training at an early age, then you should look into purchasing a miniature disc for your puppy as a regular-size disc would be much too large for his tiny mouth.
Frisbee. It's What's For Dinner
Your first step toward molding your dog into a Frisbee-catching-master should be to replace his regular food dish with a Frisbee. Flip the disc over and serve up some chow, but be sure to remove the disc as soon as your dog has finished eating. The last thing that you want is for the Frisbee to become a chew toy. Your dog, who will come to associate the disc with supper, will gladly chase after it when you start tossing his "food dish" through the air.
Didn't Your Mother Tell You Not to Play Indoors?
Well, for this next step you are going to have to go against mom's advice. Take a seat on the floor and start rolling the Frisbee a few feet along the ground. Next, encourage your dog to chase after the disc. If your dog obeys, then be sure to provide ample praise. If your dog doesn't go for the disc don't become discouraged. Never become angry or frustrated with your dog during his learning experience. It is vital to the process that your dog view this as the greatest fun that the two of you could ever share. Just keep trying. He'll get it eventually.
Now you are going to teach your dog to return the disc to you. Play your usual game of roll the Frisbee, but this time call your dog's name and tell him to come back to you with the disc. Even if the dog returns with out being told, this step must not be skipped as it teaches your dog to retrieve the Frisbee. There are additional steps that you might need to try if your dog doesn't bring the disc back to you when called.
1. Tempt your dog to return by offering another Frisbee in exchange for the one he's got. After you have rolled the first Frisbee and your dog has picked it up, call his name, tell him to bring the Frisbee to you, and show him that you have another disc. Your dog will most probably come running for the other Frisbee. Roll the second disc and repeat this process.
2. If your dog proves to be a little stubborn, then you may have to resort to using a training lead of about 30 feet. After you have rolled the first Frisbee and your dog has picked it up, call his name, tell him to bring the Frisbee to you, and then gently pull him back toward you. If your dog drops the disc while being reeled-in, then stop pulling him toward you. Get up, retrieve the Frisbee yourself, and begin the rolling process over again.
When your dog has mastered bringing the Frisbee back to you without the offer of another disc or the aid of a lead, then it is time to move outdoors as he is now ready to begin learning to catch the Frisbee. Care needs to be taken at this point that you do not actually throw the Frisbee at your dog. Some dogs may not try to catch the Frisbee and will, instead, be hit by the disc. This will cause them to become fearful of the disc and then training them to play with it will become a very difficult task.
Stand a few feet away from your dog and toss the Frisbee into the air. While doing this say "Catch". Repeat this process until your dog completes the task. Be patient as this process may take months for your dog to accomplish. When your dog finally manages to catch the disc be sure to provide a reward and a lot of praise.
You are now ready to move onto the next and final step. If you are right-handed, then take a position on your dog's right. Those who are left-handed should simply reverse their position in relation to their dog. From this position throw the Frisbee a short distance in front of you. When you dog becomes adept at catching these short throws, then you can progress to throws of a greater distance.
Congratulations! You now have a Frisbee catching buddy. Take your playmate out to the park and show off his new skills. Don't surprised if the two of you draw a crowd of very impressed onlookers.
This article was posted on December 11, 2004