Catch a frisbee - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2018, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Catch a frisbee

This summer has been extremely hot, to hot to go for many walks, so i’ve been trying to teach my 6 month old male GSD how to catch a frisbee so we could go out and play a quick game of frisbee to burn some energy and for fun as well. I introduced the frisbee to him a couple months ago and brought it out only as like a fun and rare reward. The past couple weeks I have been practicing with him 1-2 times a day for a while and he still doesn’t get the point. I can tell hes very interested in the frisbee because he likes to chase it and play tug with it but when it comes to catching it in the air it’s almost likes he’s afraid of it and hesistates. I don’t just throw it and expect him to catch it i’ve been doing exercises like playing tug with it, rolling it on the ground, tossing it very short distances or right at him, but he just isn’t able to ever catch it in the air. Please help? It’s a great way to burn energy for him but i don’t know what to do to make him want to catch it. How do i get him more comfortable with the frisbee? How do I make this work? Thank you
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2018, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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I’d also like to add that he is able to catch many of his toys in his mouth like giant tennis ball, squishy football, kongs, he loves to play wth his tennis ball and can easily catch that. It’s just the frisbee he seems to have trouble with.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2018, 08:23 PM
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What kind of frisbee is it? We had a soft one and they did learn similar to as you explained. I do have to say they did kinda twist their back though once so after that, no more really, if we played frisbee, it was only thrown close to the ground. Now soccer balls?!!!!! That was their deal!!! I'd stand on the patio and kick them for them! Those cheap $4 ones at Walmart! They weren't as slick as a "real one"!! They'd take turns running and getting them! Sometimes they'd catch them!!! They'd run out in the yard, turn and face me and wait for me to kick it!! They loved it!!! We did it just about every day!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2018, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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What kind of frisbee is it? We had a soft one and they did learn similar to as you explained. I do have to say they did kinda twist their back though once so after that, no more really, if we played frisbee, it was only thrown close to the ground. Now soccer balls?!!!!! That was their deal!!! I'd stand on the patio and kick them for them! Those cheap $4 ones at Walmart! They weren't as slick as a "real one"!! They'd take turns running and getting them! Sometimes they'd catch them!!! They'd run out in the yard, turn and face me and wait for me to kick it!! They loved it!!! We did it just about every day!
It’s one of those blue plastic ones from petsmart. Okay I will definitely try a soccer ball. My neighbor brought one out with her dog and my pup really seemed to like it.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2018, 08:41 PM
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Yeah, I always thought the plastic would hurt to catch! They have soft rimmed ones at petsmart or Walmart! Also during the summer we only played soccer in the morning or evening, as not to over heat! We had "dead" soccer balls around the yard too! Lol! They liked to run by and snag them up, play tug, flip them around! They both has since passed, but I still have a couple of deflated soccer balls in the yard! Just reminds me of good times! My current dog ( non-gsd) never wanted to play fetch! He'd run and get it then just run off and drop it!! Never brought it back! Just not his thing! Now he is a senior too so couch surfing is his thing!! Lol!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2018, 11:19 PM
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My previous GSD was a frisbee catcher. We'd literally go out every day in the backyard and we'd play for half an hour just to burn off that energy. He was good at catching them. I'd even take him to an empty field and throw it 30-40 yards and he'd run and catch it in the air. People would always stop and watch us. Teaching him things was very easy with him. He'd learn real fast. The current pup who is also 6 months old like yours...it's taking him a little longer to learn. Not as smart as the previous one. How I taught my previous dog and my current pup is slow steps. I first start out with a soft cloth frisbee so as to not hurt him. Hand the frisbee to him. When he grabs it with his mouth and holds on, I excitedly praise him and reward him. Then, eventually I start slowly increasing the distance between me and him. When he and I can't reach each other anymore, I gently toss it in the air to him. If he catches it, praises/rewards. Increase the distance and start throwing (instead of tossing it) the frisbee at him. Remember, it has to be a soft, preferably cloth frisbee. You don't want to chuck a hard one at his face. You could break his teeth, hurt his eyes, etc. Eventually he'll start catching them with ease. The next step is throw it in the direction he's running. He's fast, but not that fast so wait a second or 2 before you throw it while he's running for him to get a head's start. When he got good at catching, I found it was my throwing that made the difference between him getting it or not....the accuracy and the timing. When he gets good at it, then start switching to harder plastic frisbees. Don't forget...never throw hard disks at his face! Try to time it so that you throw it in front of him while he's running. Anyway, I hope that helped. Sorry if it's unclear. It's late here and I'm tired. Anyway, mine is almost there. He actually just caught his first (cloth) frisbee about 10 yards away yesterday. Don't give up. Takes a few days, maybe a few weeks but once your throws are in sync with him, it'll be rewarding for him and you. Catching balls is fun is for him. Catching frisbees, fun for both. Feel free to ask me questions.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2018, 11:21 PM
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I wouldn't throw frisbees for GSD's, I'd keep jumping to a minimum and controlled.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tc68 View Post
My previous GSD was a frisbee catcher. We'd literally go out every day in the backyard and we'd play for half an hour just to burn off that energy. He was good at catching them. I'd even take him to an empty field and throw it 30-40 yards and he'd run and catch it in the air. People would always stop and watch us. Teaching him things was very easy with him. He'd learn real fast. The current pup who is also 6 months old like yours...it's taking him a little longer to learn. Not as smart as the previous one. How I taught my previous dog and my current pup is slow steps. I first start out with a soft cloth frisbee so as to not hurt him. Hand the frisbee to him. When he grabs it with his mouth and holds on, I excitedly praise him and reward him. Then, eventually I start slowly increasing the distance between me and him. When he and I can't reach each other anymore, I gently toss it in the air to him. If he catches it, praises/rewards. Increase the distance and start throwing (instead of tossing it) the frisbee at him. Remember, it has to be a soft, preferably cloth frisbee. You don't want to chuck a hard one at his face. You could break his teeth, hurt his eyes, etc. Eventually he'll start catching them with ease. The next step is throw it in the direction he's running. He's fast, but not that fast so wait a second or 2 before you throw it while he's running for him to get a head's start. When he got good at catching, I found it was my throwing that made the difference between him getting it or not....the accuracy and the timing. When he gets good at it, then start switching to harder plastic frisbees. Don't forget...never throw hard disks at his face! Try to time it so that you throw it in front of him while he's running. Anyway, I hope that helped. Sorry if it's unclear. It's late here and I'm tired. Anyway, mine is almost there. He actually just caught his first (cloth) frisbee about 10 yards away yesterday. Don't give up. Takes a few days, maybe a few weeks but once your throws are in sync with him, it'll be rewarding for him and you. Catching balls is fun is for him. Catching frisbees, fun for both. Feel free to ask me questions.
Thank you so much for all the advice! I’ll definitely head to the store and get a soft cloth frisbee! I can’t wait to start practicing with that
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 08:48 AM
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My dogs play with the rubbery Kong discs. Since my boy liked to fold them in half to carry them back the middles eventually cracked and broke. When that happens I tear out the middle and keep the outer ring. They still fly and can be used as a tug toy. Another game we play goes like this: I have the dogs do a down, walk across the yard, hold the disc to the side with two hands and have them come running towards me and grab the disc as they run by. I have to remember to hold the disc down low enough that they don't have to leap too high into the air.

I do let my dogs leap but not for long periods of time. If they start to get tired they will land poorly and that could be an injury that stops playing all together for awhile.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 03:06 PM
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My dogs play with the rubbery Kong discs. Since my boy liked to fold them in half to carry them back the middles eventually cracked and broke. When that happens I tear out the middle and keep the outer ring. They still fly and can be used as a tug toy. Another game we play goes like this: I have the dogs do a down, walk across the yard, hold the disc to the side with two hands and have them come running towards me and grab the disc as they run by. I have to remember to hold the disc down low enough that they don't have to leap too high into the air.

I do let my dogs leap but not for long periods of time. If they start to get tired they will land poorly and that could be an injury that stops playing all together for awhile.
I've used those Kong ones before too with the previous dog. And just like yours, mine would crack. My personal experience with them...they don't travel very far and they're a little heavier. The good thing is they're soft and you can run a hose on them after. Easy to clean as opposed to the cloth ones. When my old boy got good at catching them, that's when I switched to the plastic ones. Wham-o used to make these translucent soft plastic ones for dogs. I bought a whole bunch back about 8 years ago. I have only 2 left (1 is all chewed up but still flies) from that bunch that I use for the current pup. I've tried to look for more but I can't find any anymore. It may be a discontinued product. So when these 2 are all chewed up, i'll have to look for a new product.
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