Frisbie and/or Disc Dog
Frisbee, or call it Disc Dog, or Frisie Dogs, is not for every owner and certainly NOT for every German Shepherd Dog. (German Shepherd Dog = GSD or GSDs). Actually, this is true for every breed of dog, you might not know it, but GSDs are NOT the breed with the highest rate of Hip Displaia. Any dog, any dog that is going to be jumping up for a toy, should start low, work up to the higher jumps when it is 2 y/o or older, and it should be X-Rayed before preforming a lot at this sport. But there is more. The owner or the person that is going to be throwing he Disc for the dog needs to know:
This is a Sport with a lot of Dog and HUMAN activity.
Not all Discs are created equal...and some will hurt the dogs teeth and mouth.
Along with the back leg joints, the dog's front end should be considered too.
Disc Dogs Sport is a HIGH activity sport. You do not just bend over pick up and throw the disc, well, you can try.
There is also much to know before trying to train your dog to play. Read all you can on the sport.
There are many rules to learn and know before you ever even think about competing with your dog
It might please you to know there are more than one class now in the Disc Dog Sport Competition....so train for one or more, but train correctly.
A bit of Frisbie History below, scroll down.
There is a lot of information on the Internet as well as books and videos on how to train your dog to play Frisbie. You will also find information for competing with your dog.
I competed with my dogs in the late 1980's early 1990's. One of my Labrador Retrievers did very well at the sport. All of my dogs learned to do Back Flips. <smiles> I wish I had photos. We lost so many of our photos to Black Mold in N WI. It just breaks my heart!
You know the song "Mr. Bo Jangles"? This is a photo of a dog I owned and loved named Mr. Bo Jangles. No, we did not call him "Bo", we called him "Bo Jangles". He was named that because after several years of that Lab, Marna's Merry Mary" called "Mary", that did so well in Frisbie, who was also my Lead Dog on my Racing Sled Dog Team, who was my star in the Trick Show Troupe I had and performed with, who also happened to have a Backpack, Sled Dog, Weight Pulling and CGC Titles, I was still grieving. Along came Mr. Bo Jangles and with him, I did not have time to think about loosing her any longer (even though we had a lot of dogs at the time and after and before Bo Jangles came along, she was "that" dog.)
There were not any clubs around when I was up North, so I started one Called Up North Disc Dogs, but we never got it off the ground, so to speak <grins> before Deron and I had to move.
Much had changed in the years since training my team of Labrador Retrievers and when I started training Mr. Bo Jangles, my Mixed Breed Dog. Oh Man. Could he chew through the DISCS! And I do not mean just chew them, he ruined them. Then I learned about a new line of Dog Discs, well, new to me at the time. They came up with a great disc that is not so hard it hurts the dogs teeth or jaw when they are after it in the air, but tough enough to with stand, well, even a dog like Mr. Bo Jangles.
It seemed that there was/now is a Disc for every dog and every trainer! Some good some not.
I like a disc that is firm, but not hard and not hard plastic. I do not like an empty center disc, where the dog's teeth can click when it grabs the disc. I do not like a non round "frisbee", these can clip the dog in the face as it goes to grab the item.
Be prepared to pay more than the old $1 for your dog's disc. The child's toys are really not safe for a dog to use.
What I look for is one that Goldie Locks would use, not too hard, not too soft. Not too big, not too small. Not too.....
I said I do not like a disc that is not solid, well... I do like this type to start a puppy or dog. It give the dog something to grab as you play with the dog. It let's the dog grab it and "make it his". "Making it his", is important, because when you toss the disc you want the dog to want the disc enough to go and get it.
You are never suppose to let the dog play with or keep the Frisbee unless you are playing with him/her. You want the dog to see the Disc as a toy for the two of you to play together. But you want him to want that toy. You want to teach him to get the disc when you fetch it. Some dogs might have to or need more Fetch Training then others. Start with very short, as in you can still reach the item, tosses for your dog. Use the same word or phrase each time you want the fetching behavior from your dog. I use "fetch it up". When the frisbee is flying (and you will first do this for your dog hanging onto the frisbee with your hands moving it for the dog to jump up a bit and get, you might use another word. I use, I know, I know, something as simple as "Frisbeeeeeee". I drag the word out to excite the dog.
It seems to me that about every Dog Toy Maker makes one type or another Dog Disc ~ Frisbee. Most people will have to buy a few different types to play with their own dog before they find the best fit for the two of them. Be warned, when you compete, most Disc Dog Clubs will specify the type you must use for the competition. Find out early, long before the date of the event and practice with your dog with that type of Disc.
I got such a kick out of one of the Disc Manufactures saying that "....it floats on air and water...."
I remember when Nerf Balls came out on the Market (yeah, I am old). They were billed as an indoor ball, then came other sponge toys from the same Company... I do remember that parents either loved them or hated them...and kids loved them, especially wet!
Now I see they are making a Dog Frisbee. I have not bought one of these to play with my dog, so I can not really give you a hands one description, but here is what the advertisement says:
Nerf Thermoplastic Rubber Flying Disc Dog Toy is something new your dog is sure to love. Just like a Frisbee it’s awesome to throw around with your dog. Nerf Thermoplastic Rubber Flying Disc Dog Toy is very colorful so while having that throws time and he misses he is sure to find it in the grass.
Make sure you feel the Disc yourself, look it all over, before you decide which one to buy to use with your dog to play.
Once your dog will fetch the Frisbee on the ground. Take the disc in your hand and move it, telling the dog the word(s) you use for it to fetch something...now add a word that you will use for 'catch' the frisbee in the air. Say both words over and over until the dog grabs the frisbee out of your hand, tell the dog "GOOD!"
Another good way, faster in my opinion, to teach your dog to catch the frisbie, is to teach your dog to "Catch" food treats as you toss them to the dog as it sits in front of you at a short distance. You can see our Tricks Page here at this site for full instructions to teach "Catch".
You will also need a Release word, so that the dog lets go of the disc when you what it to give it to you. Many people use the word "Drop". Open the dog's mouth if you need to to take the Frisbee from it as you say the word. Now when you have the Frisbee, tell the dog, "GOOOD!" Throw the frisbee again.
Keep the dog on the ground or lower to the ground for the first several lessons. This keeps him wanting to play more and more. Later as you throw the Frisbee higher, the dog will have a clue of where to look for it when it leaves your hands.
Once you and your dog get going with this sport, for fun or competition, you are going to find it is an addiction. The dogs have so much fun! They are getting great excersize. And for you, it will be such a site to watch. Beauty in motion.
Whatever you do, do not get in a hurry to teach catching a Frisbee in the air too soon. Take your time with training. Pups should not be jumping too high, it is not good for their joints, particularly hips and elbows. Like all training the more time you spend the more the dog will learn and remember.
You need to remember that this is a game to your dog. Have fun. Make it fun. Keep it fun. By keeping it fun, and stopping the game before your dog is tired of it, your dog will always want more of this game!
There must be a lot of German Shepherd Dogs that play Frisbie. This statue looks a little general, as far as breed it could be to me, but it is named, by the Manufacturer "German Shepherd Dog". Very cute I think.
Once you start in this sport, you will find yourself buying items such as this one, or you might receive it for a gift. This Statue, Christmas Ornaments, and T-Shirts and other fun items with Dogs and Discs on them.
Frisbie/Disc Dogs Training Humor
In 2003 (or there abouts) This page was part of a whole website call Up North Disc Dogs. Deron and I had started a dog club when we lived in Northern WI and I set up the Disc Dog website...we whiled the website down and put this up for your enjoyment. This area of the page was printed, in full, in the Frisbee Disc Dog Newsletter. I was very tickled when the Newsletter came out.
While I do throw a frisbie for our now dogs, we no longer compete....but boy I sure recommend it if you get a chance!! Competing is so much fun and the people there are some of "Dog Event" best!
After your dog is excited about playing Frisbee and is obedience trained to come when called, meeting friends at local parks to play with your dogs together is great fun. Meeting together with your dogs is also good training for Disc Dog Competition. Your dog will need to learn to focus on you and catching the Frisbee even with distractions.
You will find the more time you spend working/playing with your dog, the more time you and your dog will want to spend together. Dogs that have a "job" (catching a Frisbee) will spend less time barking, digging, and getting into what we humans call trouble. Always PRAISE and encourage your dog for correct behavior.
Take sports cones and a 100' measuring tape to a large flat grassy field and mark off distances so that you can see how far you are throwing the Frisbee and at what distance your dog is catching the Frisbee. This will help you in your competition strategy. Also most competitions will have cones set up for boundaries and distance markings, by working your dogs around cones during practice the dog will become familiar with and ignore the cones when competing.
Take the time and opportunity to introduce yourself and the Disc Dog Sport to other dog owners you meet while out practicing. You might want to carry your business cards, or local Disc Dog club information printed out to give others while out with your dog.
Be kind to newcomers to the sport. Take the opportunity to explain why certain discs are better then others for the dog's safety. Tell them how they might get their dogs to play Frisbee and direct them to your favorite Disc Dog web site. If you are in a local club, invite them to come to an event or meeting. You might also tell them about books and videos that are available for training Disc Dogs.
Just like hunting and field trial dogs, Disc Dogs must learn to honor one another while playing Frisbee. Honoring means to sit quietly and wait for their turn. Bringing a crate for your dogs to a Disc Dog event is also a great idea.
While ANY breed or size dog CAN play Frisbee, dogs between 30 - 50 pounds have been the most successful at Disc Dog Competition. Before starting Frisbee play with your dog, it is a good idea to have the vet check your dogs health and do a hip x-ray. Basic Obedience Training is a must for Disc Dogs that play outside their own back yards (and even in the back yard it is HIGHLY recommended)
As I said, ANY dog CAN play Frisbee, but it is not a good idea to work an extra large or giant breed. The leaping and jumping is very hard on their joints... and vaulting, well basically impossible. If you do have a large dog that plays Frisbee, keep your throwing low to the ground.
Dogs LOVE to play Frisbee, but several short plays (15 minutes each) are better the one long play. Watch you dog, if it starts looking tired, stop playing on a "good note". This will also keep the dog "wanting more" and it will be excited for the next time you "get the Frisbee out". Never play until your dog is exhausted.
Items to remember to take with you for Frisbee play with your dog: Water and Water Bowl. While you can water your dog out of a Frisbee, be sure to either take an extra Frisbee for water or a water bowl, that way if your playing Frisbee would get a tooth whole or a crack in it you would still have a water bowl. Also take at least two throwing Frisbees, a Leash for your dog, Dog Treats, and a Measuring Tape and Sports Cones. Most of all take Your Good Humor!! Make it a fun time for you and your dog.
Disc Dog Humor
Check back often....we may be slow working on the website, but you might get another chuckle.
Sometimes you just have to Pray that all things will work out... maybe the wind is stronger then you thought, you released the disc too soon/too late, dog ran out too soon/too late... and sometimes, on a good day, God shows mercy on you.
Practice, Practice, Practice... and that means in all kinds of weather, rain, wind, snow... this might give you a hands up in a Competition. You can always hope that your competitors dog does not practice in less it is a nice day.
Be sure to remember to take "poop bags" that are big enough for the job with you when out Practicing and Competing with your dog.....well, really, anytime you leave your own property with you dog.
Be nice to other Competitors. You never know where it might lead.
Just because you share nothing in common with a person expect Disc Dogs does not mean you can not have a great time getting together with your dogs.
Once in a while, while training your dog a new sport for cross training.....all you can do is bait the dogs and hope for the best.
Sled Dogs are run WITHOUT reins, this means you should be sure your dog is well verbally trained before "taking off down the trail" One medium sized dog of any breed can easily pull an average sized adult (well, maybe not an average sized, over weight America average, but someone 150 - 180 pounds.
Don't get too "Cocky" dogs have a way of humbling their owners.
Sometimes the dogs get along better then the Competitors do. Watch your temper when out in public.
You can teach an old dog new tricks....just make sure it is up on all it's shots before "reaching in" for the frisbee.
TABLIAH AND THE FRISBIE ~ OUR (new/current) DISC DOG! AND HER TRAINING
As I write this, 2017, or make that, as I start this section, Feb. 6 2017, Tabaliah is far to young to be jumping up for a Frisbie....but NOT too young to learn to Fetch It, Hold It, Get It....and she is learning just that.
To teach a dog to catch a flying frisbie, it is best to teach them first to fetch it, then hold it, then catch it (as you would gently throw it to them, like a food treat trick). This is what Tabaliah is working on as a pup....
Let me also mention that when starting pups, like with Tabaliah, a person should start with a Fabric and or Rope type Frisbie. Also read up on Dog Discs, they are NOT all the same. The cheap hard type for kid's can and do hurt the dog's mouth, and could easily cut the dog's mouth areas or knock their teeth.
I used to, years ago, compete at Dog Frisbie with Labrador Retrievers, one in particular, named Mary, was really good at the Sport. I would LOVE to compete again....but not in this SD wind! Training out here on the prairie is an issue! <shakes head and laughs>
An amazing thing happened on Tabaliah's 4 month old Birthday....2/7/17...On the 3rd day/time I played Frisbie with her, Fetch that is, just Fetch, I threw the Frisbie to her as I had her sit in front of me....SHE CAUGHT IT FOUR TIMES IN A ROW! As well as a few more times! YES! THIS IS A BIG DEAL!
This photo was taken 2-10-2017 of Tabaliah catching the Frisbie...and, yes, she did do it more than once that day too.....goooood doooog Tabaliah, Good Dog!
Please Scroll Down for more of Tabaliah's Frisbie/Disc Dog Training, and please come back to read more as she grows up and learns this Dog Sport.
I want to stop here and remind anyone working with a pup to become a Disc Dog...puppies teeth from about 3 months to 6 months. Be very careful, very careful and easy when playing frisbie with your pups during teething. Use Soft Discs only and do not play 'Tug O War', or THROW (you can gently toss a soft frisbie) at them to catch.
Not only will the hard discs hurt to use, if the mouth is played with forcefully, your dog might just be done with frisbies for life.
I like to train my Disc Dogs to use all sorts of Discs. Fabric, Nylon, Rope, and Plastic and Rubber.... it is good training for them to learn to go for anything you throw. I thought this 'Hurl A Squirrel' was cute, I bought it for Tabaliah. I also, from time to time, use Rope Frisbies from the Dollar Stores.
TABALIAH THE DISC DOG!
It was a big deal, wish I had taken the photo a few seconds later WHEN SHE CAUGHT THE FRISBIE AS IT ROLLED 2017-02-28....she is learning well!
The next day, 3-01-2017, we took Tabaliah to a park in Rapid City and played Frisbie with her again....and YES! She does catch Rollers! And. This time we got a (albeit not such a great photo) photo of her catching it!
Frisbie History and Disc Golf
Frisbie Golf! So Fun. It all started with the Frisbie Pie Company and College Kids.
Back in the early 1800's William Frisbie, a Pie Baker in Bridgeport CT, had a Wonderful Advertising Idea! To put his name, "Frisbie Pie Company", imprinted on the bottom of each of his Pie Pans. History says William's Pies were wonderful to the taste and that College Kids started Throwing the Pie Pans for Fun. Throwing to one another and back....
Ever since I started playing Frisbie, there has been the debate about how to spell the Name....Frisbie, or Frisbee....and sometimes, in some circles, the debate can get heated!
Just after WWII a guy in CA, Fredrick Morrison "got rich!" He had the idea of making 'Flying Saucers" out of plastic and the Toy Maker Whamo! Contacted him. After Whamo! started making Frisbies, their business 'took off'.
Soon, different markers and different types of Frisbees were being made. The Dog Sport started with Ashley Whippit, and that's about where I came into the sport....with dog training.
Back in the 1980's, when I was competing with my Dogs in Long Distance Frisbie Throwing....and Catching and Fetching.....I remember thinking, 'gosh, glad they made these plastic Dog Frisbies...pans would be hard on teeth!" What you also need to know....
Each Frisbie Sport, Human and Animal, has it's own type of Frisbies. In Disc or Frisbie Golf, you will need a few different types of Discs, or sometimes called Frisbees, to play.
And now? Deron and I are playing Frisbie/Frisbee/Disc with and without dogs, we now also enjoy, Disc Golf....it is fun and gets you out in the sun.
Deron ordered this Custom Disc for me for my Birthday in 2017.
I would like to invite you to join us on a Yahoo Group that I host called Working Big Dogs.
-- The Working German Shepherd Dogs Team
Wed, 11 Sep 2013 12:35:34 -0400