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#1 BCkris

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 04:53 PM

Hi
I have been trying to get my dog to learn frisbee. He just doesn't seem to be very interested in it. I normally work him up with the frisbee making it look appealing and he gets very excited for it, then I throw it he somewhat catches it and I cheer with excitement he runs back to me drops the frisbee and I throw it again (excitingly) and then he just stares like I just brought it to you why'd you throw it again. Is this something you need to continuously do until he starts to like it or should I just give up and toss it to he just doesn't like frisbee? I have periodically played frisbee for the past year! (may be 1-2 times a month) and in that time his attitude with it has not changed... I have also tried different types of Frisbees soft, plastic, rubber etc.

What should I do?

#2 nancy

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:34 PM

Sounds like Fergie's attitude. Man, balls were her thing. In fact, we started with pine cones when we first found that field when she was a pup. But then we got balls. And that was that. We did have some discs (don't want to infringe on a trademark - I was in the writing biz and sure learned that). She would condescend to fetch one once in a while. But she wanted BALLS!

Granted, she had two different sizes of "squirrel toss" toys. And she loved them. In the house.

Pets have rules. Obviously, your dog's rules about throwing discs are not the same as yours.

#3 Mdaniels

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 06:11 PM

My BC looks at a frisbee as if it were a foreign invader. Now a ball--he herds those like sheep :) Frisbee is not part of his vocabulary.

#4 arf2184

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 06:32 PM

Does he engage in fetch games with other things? (He understands that repeatedly fetching an object is 'fun'?)

Some dogs just aren't interested, but it could also be the type of disc you are using. Some Frisbees can be tough on the mouth for dogs and that's not fun for them. Discs that are not designed for dogs (and some that are) tend to be really hard plastic and the cheap ones can have rough spots.

Have you tried a cloth disc? They don't fly as well, but can work well for starting out. Meg had to start with those before it clicked that the harder plastic ones were fun too. She still prefers a softer plastic to the standard harder competition discs. We use SofFlite discs: http://hyperflite.co...flitediscs.html

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#5 diane allen

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 09:52 PM

My boy would chase - and return - a frisbee all day long. I have occasionally used a soft flexible disc, but mostly only throw it so it rolls on the ground. I just can't watch any of the competitions involving frisbees....makes my spine/legs/neck hurt just to watch. I don't care if my dog EVER sees a frisbee!

(sorry for the slight hijack....just be careful with your throws, so your dog doesn't injure anything...)

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#6 Frogs & Dogs

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 11:16 PM

I believe most dogs that have ball drive can learn to transfer that drive to discs. Yes, it takes time and practice. Kit came to me not understanding how to fetch, but she is a fetch enthusiast now, and discs are among her favorite obsessions. She screams with excitement when they come out of the training bag.

Start with a cloth or canvas disc - something that won't hurt the dog's mouth. I love Ruffwear's canvas one, even though it doesn't fly well. At this stage, you're going to be doing short throws, so no need for it to fly well anyway. Lure the dog around your back using the disc (you'll need to turn in place at first), and then throw it just a few feet in front of the dog and level to the ground. If the dog still isn't showing interest, try adding value to the disc by tugging with it, or by hiding treats in a special disc with a treat pocket.

For a dog with low interest, always make sure you end the game before the dog wants to quit. If that means you only get one throw, then so be it. At first, I played disc every morning with Kit - just a couple throws at the park on our morning walk. Before long, this became the highlight of the walk, and that's when we graduated to longer sessions and harder discs.

In response to Diane, I think it is easy to look at seasoned disc dogs and assume that the moves are unsafe. They are for the average dog and the average handler. However, like everything else in life, it takes time and effort to get good at the sport. By the time the dog is doing back flips and vaults, the handler knows how to place the disc so that the dog can safely catch it and come down on all-4s. By this time, the dog knows how to "read" discs in flight and is also well-conditioned (I don't know of any sport that builds muscle like disc). As with any dog sport, there is a certain element of risk involved, but I do not feel that the risk is higher than in other dog sports (agility, flyball, etc.).

Here are a couple of pics for you:
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#7 rufftie

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 06:50 AM

my nova is a freak in the bc world. she cares not a whit for frisbees, sticks or (gasp) balls. dosen't fetch at all. the clever thing she does do tho- my other dog twitch loves to play "dog with stick". he gets a stick and we all chase him around. nova knows he loves this game and will find a stick and taunt him with it so she can chase him!

#8 alligande

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 07:52 AM

I also have disappointing information, our first border collie was tennis ball obssesed, he would duck when we brought out a frisbee. We tried every type we could find and he used to look at us if we were stupid. Bring out a tennis ball and he would play fetch all day long, but only with a tennis ball, we never got him to play with ant other type.

#9 SecretBC

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:15 AM

While I'm sure there are plenty of dogs who instantly form an obsessive relationship with frisbees, I'm pretty sure that the vast majority require some actual training time before they express any interest.

I do not participate competitively (save for one toss/fetch competition I did with Luke when he was younger, and he won!), but I do enjoy tossing the disc around the yard for my dogs. Luke picked up on frisbee when he was around six months old with really no effort on my part.

Secret had ZERO interest in frisbee. None whatsoever, and this bothered me. A lot. But I didn't give up. Luke had used the soft discs for a very long time, only graduating to hard discs when I started to train for distance when I decided to enter that competition. Because of this, I tried to start Secret out with soft discs, but she didn't give a wit about them.

Rollers caught her attention. Kind of -- at least, she'd chase them and then leave them there. We just kept building on it and eventually her interest grew. I did transition to a soft disc briefly when it was time for her to learn to start catching, but when she had the idea I transitioned back to hard discs. Even once she started to show interest in catching, I still would use rollers & tosses in the same session to keep her interest -- And as has already been mentioned, our play time was VERY short. I had to quit well before she lost interest.

Long story short, two years later she is a frisbee freak. It's her preferred choice of play time/exercise each day and probably the best way to wear her out. We've worked on a few tricks, but she's 47 pounds and she'll never be a big air dog and we don't do any tricks that involve launching off my body. We're too busy with other stuff to pursue competitive disc events, anyhow, but we have fun playing!

Jawz discs and Eurablend discs from Discover the World tend to be the best dog frisbees, IMO. Luke has a Jawz disc that is several years old and still flies great! My DTW discs are getting pretty ripped up, but that's more because Secret is a tugger and will also try to stop and chew on them if I'm busy with another dog.
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#10 bc friend

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 02:24 PM

I exposed my late Meg to frisbees from the time she was a small pup. She could have cared less - although she would chase/fetch a ball w/no problem. But I was determined to make a frisbee dog out of her. After much time, effort, expense in buying different types, she would reliably fetch a frisbee as many times as I wanted to throw it but it never ceased to be a chore for her. It was just not her thing so I finally decided if she didn't want to play frisbee, she didn't have to - made our relationship much easier!

#11 BCkris

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:44 PM

Pets have rules. Obviously, your dog's rules about throwing discs are not the same as yours.

Yea I was starting to think the same thing.... but it just seems that he could have so much fun doing it!


Does he engage in fetch games with other things? (He understands that repeatedly fetching an object is 'fun'?) We use SofFlite discs: http://hyperflite.co...flitediscs.html

He understands fetching repeatedly with a ball... He loves it! I think I am going to try for a few more months and see how it goes... if he doesnt take then maybe i just need to accept its not his thing... :( too bad for me I guess..

Frogs&Dogs:
Those are wonderful pics! you guys must have so much fun together!

I guess as long as we continue to build our relationship in a positive matter we can find something else to do for free time play... am I dissapointed? sort of, but I wont give up yet!

Thank you all for sharing your stories! very fun to read! These doggies got us by the heart and will never let go..... best thing ever!

#12 Frogs & Dogs

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 02:03 AM

Jawz discs and Eurablend discs from Discover the World tend to be the best dog frisbees, IMO. Luke has a Jawz disc that is several years old and still flies great! My DTW discs are getting pretty ripped up, but that's more because Secret is a tugger and will also try to stop and chew on them if I'm busy with another dog.


Another really great brand is Hero. Jawz discs are nice, but they are HEAVY, so hard to throw really far. Hero's Superhero disc is just as tough as Jawz, possibly slightly lighter. I love those for day-to-day practice because they hold up nicely. For really long distance throws (as in a distance/accuracy competition), I like Hero's Xtra235's, but I have to replace them after one or two competitions because of nicks and dings.

But again, a dog that's new to the sport shouldn't be using any of these. Hard plastic is a no-no at this point.

#13 SecretBC

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:18 AM

That's where I would disagree, though -- Because a dog "new to the sport" should be chasing rollers because that is key to generating drive to the disc and teaching them to grab. And floppy frisbees don't roll.
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#14 diane allen

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 12:02 AM

To Frogs and Dogs (assume that's not your name, but all I see! LOL!):
I don't disagree that the "seasoned" disk dogs know how to move better than your average pet dog chasing a frisbee. But, to an extent just like agility: people who don't know any better, and who don't have access to a mentor/trainer, just see the crazy moves and try to imitate them. I get folks all the time saying, "I want to bring my dog over to your agility course and see how he does." Drives me nuts (but of course, I'm polite, try to explain...and generally don't ever hear from them again!). I still have a hard time believing that all the jumping/landing doesn't impact a dog's health over time - just as agility might. I've seen some first-hand limping totally ignored by the disk dog's owner...but that's another thread, I guess! (and since it wasn't a border collie...never mind!)

Good health to all, and best of luck to the OP!
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#15 Frogs & Dogs

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 01:53 AM

To Frogs and Dogs (assume that's not your name, but all I see! LOL!):
I don't disagree that the "seasoned" disk dogs know how to move better than your average pet dog chasing a frisbee. But, to an extent just like agility: people who don't know any better, and who don't have access to a mentor/trainer, just see the crazy moves and try to imitate them. I get folks all the time saying, "I want to bring my dog over to your agility course and see how he does." Drives me nuts (but of course, I'm polite, try to explain...and generally don't ever hear from them again!). I still have a hard time believing that all the jumping/landing doesn't impact a dog's health over time - just as agility might. I've seen some first-hand limping totally ignored by the disk dog's owner...but that's another thread, I guess! (and since it wasn't a border collie...never mind!)

Good health to all, and best of luck to the OP!
diane


Oh, I'm with you there. There are absolutely some irresponsible owners out there playing sports with their dogs.

I had a discussion about disc once with the owner of the agility barn where I train - she believes disc to be unsafe. I asked whether she allowed the general public to come train at her agility facility with no instruction. Her answer was "absolutely not". When I asked why, she informed me that safety was a number one priority and a newbie handler could injure a dog if they didn't know what they were doing. My response was "Yes, exactly." Just like agility, disc is incredibly dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. The only difference is that agility equipment costs thousands of dollars and people generally seek out instruction before starting to train. But almost anyone can afford a disc and many/most people can make one fly, so few people seek instruction.

Any disc dog club worth its weight will announce to spectators that they should not try what they see at home. In addition to injuring the dog, it is extremely easy to injure oneself (has happened to anyone who's serious about the sport). Case in point: scroll up and take another look at the vaulting pic I posted. See the vest I'm wearing? It's not for looks.

#16 Frogs & Dogs

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 01:58 AM

That's where I would disagree, though -- Because a dog "new to the sport" should be chasing rollers because that is key to generating drive to the disc and teaching them to grab. And floppy frisbees don't roll.


Yes, I suppose you could use hard plastic for rollers. The canvas Ruffwear disc I mentioned also has a nice edge and will roll decently.

#17 waffles

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 09:11 AM

Hyperflites Frostbite disc is worth mentioning as well. My dog put some indents in it when it was not cold enough but once the temperature drops it stiffens a bit (no new punctures) and it is super light compared to the JAWZ (105 grams to 145grams).

I don't understand why frisbee would be singled out as a dangerous dog sport. Working livestock (obviously not a sport) is not always safe and agility done incorrectly is not safe, dog parks aren't always safe, etc. Neither are a lot of activities people do with their dogs or themselves but what is the point in living if you never get in a car (which is very dangerous) and never do anything other than leashed walks with your dog? :D Life wouldn't be as fun or fulfilling if you never worked your dog or played with them.

FROGS: I will have to check out the HERO discs. They are a bit lighter than JAWZ discs according to their site. If you say they hold up as well as the JAWZ then I will definitely buy one in spring.
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#18 luv2napp

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 07:40 PM

I also have disappointing information, our first border collie was tennis ball obssesed, he would duck when we brought out a frisbee. We tried every type we could find and he used to look at us if we were stupid. Bring out a tennis ball and he would play fetch all day long, but only with a tennis ball, we never got him to play with ant other type.


My Lacee would also duck when I tried to play frisbee with her! She would actually go so far as to cower, so I assumed it had something to do with her past. But bring out the racquetball and she was obsessed!
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#19 terrecar

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 02:48 PM

Yes, I suppose you could use hard plastic for rollers. The canvas Ruffwear disc I mentioned also has a nice edge and will roll decently.


I can't do rollers with Hannah. Her intensity is such that she comes down on them too hard and fast, which caused her mouth to bleed a little once. I can throw them so that they fly nicely, so she catches them in mid-air.

#20 Frogs & Dogs

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 06:46 PM

FROGS: I will have to check out the HERO discs. They are a bit lighter than JAWZ discs according to their site. If you say they hold up as well as the JAWZ then I will definitely buy one in spring.


Yes, the SuperHeros specifically are designed to hold up like the Jawz. I dumped my Jawz after trying them. I've had the same set of 5 for two years now, and they get used all the time for practice (but generally not for competitions). Kit is not easy on her plastic.


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