The dog sport Dog Frisbee originally comes from America. In the summer of 1974, Alex Stein and his whippet Ashley were playing frisbee on the field during recess at a baseball game. The television cameras were enthusiastic, the police less so. Alex Stein was arrested for this illegal action and his dog was missing for 3 days, but the two left a lasting impression on all spectators and dog lovers. It was the birth of the Dog Frisbee and although it came to Europe years later, the sport is very popular today.
What is Dog Frisbee?
In Dog Frisbee, the dog owner throws the Frisbee and the dog should catch it in the air. Sounds simple, but it is not necessarily so. There are many different throwing techniques such as Heber Roller, Overhand Wristflip, Backhand, Forehand, and many more. There are also several disciplines in which you can compete with your dog against other teams. For example, there are freestyle, mini, and long distance competitions. In freestyle, the dog and owner perform a kind of freestyle. Mini and Long Distance are all about throwing and catching, either based on time and points or based on the longest throw distance in three throws.
How does Dog Frisbee work?
Anyone can learn Dog Frisbee. It is a fun sport from America, which is particularly suitable for agile and sporty dog breeds. Especially Border Collies or Australian Shepherds will have a lot of fun. You can start very easily and first roll the Frisbee over the floor and encourage the dog to fetch. If that works, you can start throwing the frisbee in the air so that the dog learns to catch it in the air. The more attuned you are, the more demanding you can make the training.
However, it is important to note that it is a canine sport that demands a lot from the dogs joints and bones. Young dogs and older dogs as well as dogs with hip joint or elbow dysplasia should therefore not play Frisbee. It is also important to buy a suitable dog Frisbee. It must be flexible and must not break when biting.
What is Dog Frisbee?
Dog Frisbee is a fun sport where you play Frisbee with your dog. The dog’s task is to catch the frisbee while jumping and bring it back to its owner.
What does Dog Frisbee do to dogs?
Dog Frisbee becomes a very demanding dog sport as the level increases. Man can throw a frisbee farther than a ball and the dog catches it with a big leap in the air. So the dog sprints a relatively long distance and ends up in a long jump. A warm-up should not be neglected with the dog either. The best thing to do is jog with the dog or do small agility exercises such as slalom. Muscles and joints need to be prepared for sprints and jumps to avoid strains and serious injuries.
Mentally you can also stimulate the dog very well with a Frisbee. On the one hand, different throws increase the level of difficulty of the exercises and, on the other hand, you can work with several Frisbees and come up with tricks and even entire choreographies. This is required, for example, in the freestyle discipline. However, you have to be careful with particularly motivated dogs that they don’t overdo it. That can happen quickly in this high-intensity game. If you notice that the dog can’t calm down and is completely hyper, you should take a break immediately. If you neglect such breaks and don’t pay attention to them, it can happen that the dog gets used to them and ultimately can no longer concentrate during the game and does not switch off so easily afterwards either. This is stressful for the dog and master/mistress and should be avoided at all costs.
Which dog breeds are suitable for Dog Frisbee?
All particularly active and sports-loving dog breeds with the right physical conditions are particularly suitable. These include Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Terriers, Whippets, Greyhounds, Beagles, Labrador Retrievers and other dog breeds. However, it is important to note that only dogs and dog breeds that are not prone to joint damage participate in this sport. Particularly large and heavy dogs such as a Great Dane or a Bernese Mountain Dog are more prone to joint damage in old age and should only do the sport in moderation.
Even “torment breeds” with particularly small noses will not enjoy the Dog Frisbee. Sprints and jumps require a good supply of oxygen. A pug would not enjoy the game as it would have constant breathing difficulties. So you always have to weigh up individually and for each dog breed whether Dog Frisbee is the perfect sport to exercise a very agile dog or whether it is rather an impertinence for the dog’s health.
Which dogs are suitable for Dog Frisbee?
Dogs such as Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Labradors, Weimaraners, Whippets, Terriers are suitable for Dog Frisbee.
When can you start with Dog Frisbee?
In principle, young dogs are not allowed to play Frisbee. Your bones and joints need to fully develop and harden. Otherwise, damage to the skeleton will be detected early and the dog will be impaired for the rest of its life. A dog is usually fully grown by the age of 18 months. In the case of particularly large breeds such as the Great Dane, however, this is only the case at the age of 24 months, i.e. 2 years.
What basic commands does the dog need to know?
A safe recall command is sufficient for playing Frisbee in your free time – should you play in open terrain. Of course, it also makes sense to teach the dog to let go of the disc on command. Retrieving should also be learned so that the dog actually comes back to the owner with the disc and does not lie down in the middle of the field and start nibbling on the Frisbee with relish.
In competitive sports, of course, more commands are required. In freestyle, the dog naturally has to listen to the practiced commands of the freestyle. In the mini and long distance disciplines, it is also important that the dog does not start before the frisbee has been thrown. There is a starting line that the dog must not cross beforehand so that the attempt is counted.
What do I have to fulfill as a dog owner?
Dog owners also need to bring some stamina and strength with them in order to have a nice experience together with the dog. Of course, like any sport, Frisbee is all about having fun. The main thing the dog owner needs to practice is throwing the Frisbee correctly. The normal backhand technique, where you use a forearm movement to gain momentum and release the disc with your wrist, is a good place to start.
For the first training sessions you should also be able to roll the frisbee over the floor. In this way, the dog can get used to the new toy and is gently warmed up at the same time. As a second step you can throw the frisbee straight up in the air to encourage the dog to catch it in the air. For more unusual throws you can learn more throwing techniques. This also encourages the dog to catch the Frisbee in different ways depending on how the Frisbee flies. So you can practice different jumps and stress the dog in a variety of ways.
What should the bond with the dog be like?
You must already have bonded well with your dog in order to play Frisbee with him. Basic commands such as retrieval and “out” should be seated, just as the dog must be familiar with retrieving. To achieve all of this, you must already be able to communicate well with your dog, be able to assess him and have built up enough mutual trust that the dog will willingly follow the owner’s instructions.
Of course, the bond is additionally strengthened and significantly positively influenced by the joint sport. The fun must always be in the foreground and if something doesn’t work out, you can take it with humor. The more you play, the better you become as a team. You can’t immediately expect the dog to make the greatest jumps and catch and deliver every throw like a pro. If the game doesn’t go as expected, you can take a step back and roll the Frisbee over the floor again, throw it straight up in the air or take a break. You always have to pay attention to the dog so that you notice when it is tired and can no longer do it. Many very athletic dogs don’t show this very obviously. So you have to know your dog well and recognize signs of exhaustion quickly.
When do you start with Dog Frisbee?
Dog Frisbee should only be started once the dog has grown. This is the case for small to medium-sized dogs from 18 months and for giant breeds from 24 months. However, one must inform oneself about the occurrences of the breed in advance.
Tips to get you started: This is how your dog learns Dog Frisbee
Step by step guide
At the beginning, the dog is allowed to get to know the Frisbee. Let him sniff the new toy, bite it and just play with it.
After the dog is familiar with the frisbee, you can start rolling the frisbee on the floor. To do this, you grip the Frisbee as if you wanted to throw it normally, but do not hold it parallel to the ground, but at a 90 degree angle. Then turn your wrist towards your body so that the disc touches your forearm. In this position you can then use the throwing arm to swing slightly and let the Frisbee roll down onto the floor by opening your arm and sending the Frisbee forward and down the path. It should fly a meter or two and then hit the ground and continue rolling. The dog can learn to fetch the Frisbee.
In the third step you can throw the frisbee straight up. This encourages the dog to jump for the first time. This prepares him for what it’s like to catch a Frisbee out of the air. You can practice this as often as you and your dog need it.
Once the dog is familiar with throwing the Frisbee, you can start throwing the Frisbee normally. Just a quick throw to allow the dog to acclimatize and warm up, because remember that a dog needs to be warmed up before engaging in such a challenging sport.
You can always extend the throws. Dog practice never ends and while you may not be a high achiever at first, you will only get better at it over time. So you can think up tricks and learn new throws. But wait until your dog is safe and fit enough to learn new tricks.
Dog Frisbee as a competitive sport
In mini-distance, points are counted within 60 or 90 seconds. Points are awarded for each throw caught by the dog. The playing field is divided into several zones and the further the throw is, the more points it brings. There are also bonus points for discs caught in the air. Only one disc is played at a time, so no matter what happens, the dog has to bring the disc back as quickly as possible. On the first throw, the dog must not cross the starting line before the target.
In the long-distance discipline you have three throws. Every throw caught counts and the dog is not allowed to cross the starting line before the disc. The team with the longest throw caught wins.
In freestyle, the team performs a 2-minute routine. This can consist of different throws and jumps. In addition, tricks can be installed and there is appropriate music. Depending on the set of rules, there are 7-10 discs in the game and a jury evaluates the performance. The athletics of the dog, the creativity, the diversity, the smooth flow, the reaction of the audience and the overall impression are evaluated.
How useful is Dog Frisbee for my dog?
If you have a very agile dog that needs more exercise and doesn’t have any physical disabilities, Frisbee can be a very great sport for your dog’s body and mind.
Requirements for the perfect start: equipment & terrain
The right dog Frisbee
Normal plastic discs are not suitable for the Dog Frisbee. This would splinter on contact with the dog and probably even injure it in the mouth. A dog frisbee is flexible and sturdy, so the dog can bite into it at will and nothing happens. If the Frisbee does break, it will not splinter, which is why the right dog Frisbee is an absolute must-have.
Which terrain is best?
Of course, flat meadows are the best way to train Dog Frisbee with your dog. However, such extensive areas are rarely found or dogs are not allowed there, for example on sports fields or in parks. So it makes sense to join a Dog Frisbee club directly and train with like-minded people on suitable areas. Otherwise you can also test the next meadow while walking or a field that is no longer used. It is important that the area does not have holes that are too large or that wild boars have run over them. After all, the dog should not step into holes or step and hurt itself when running and jumping. It is best to go over the selected area beforehand and see whether it is flat or where there are holes.
Is my dog suitable for Dog Frisbee?
Whether your dog is suitable for Dog Frisbee depends on his physical condition. A pug, for example, will quickly become short of breath in this demanding sport, and large, heavy dogs such as St. Bernards are also not made for this sport. If your dog has a previous illness such as arthrosis or elbow or hip dysplasia, Frisbee is also not suitable. Can you rule that out? Then you and your adult dog can try out whether Dog Frisbee is something for both of you. And don’t forget: the focus is on having fun and keeping the dog healthy.