Train Your Dog to Catch a Flying Disc
How to train your dog to catch a flying disc.
Jean M. Fogle
Mark Pastor and his 12-year-old Parson Russell Terrier, Rosie, love to play and compete with a flying disc. The bond we develop from working together is incredible, says Pastor, a flying disc instructor at Camp Gone to the Dogs in Vermont. Rosie really is a ham and has always enjoyed being the center of attention.
It's easy to teach your dog to catch a flying disc. (Remember that this sport takes a team, though, so spend some time practicing your own throwing skills.) Keep training sessions short, and always end on a positive note. You might just find the two of you competing!
Try these tips to start your dog on his way:
- Give your dog a positive introduction to the disc by using it as his food dish.
- Begin by encouraging your dog to grab the disc while you slide it back and forth in front of him.
- Roll the disc on the ground and let him get it. This helps him learn to track the disc.
- Practice tossing the disc, but never directly at your dog. Hitting him with the disc in the beginning will scare him. Throw only short distances; don't be tempted to go for distance yet.
- Stand 3 feet in front of your dog, toss the disc in the air, and ask him to catch it. When he catches the disc, give him lots of praise.
- Teach your dog to go to the disc by standing next to him, then tossing it out in front of him. Praise your dog for returning it.
Be sure to master the basics and get your veterinarian's okay before attempting fancier moves.
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