Teach Your Dog to Play Frisbee

                     By Peter Bloeme
A Pets: part of the family Magazine contribution


Come On in My Kitchen
Your dog will dig his disk if you put his food in it. Take the platter away when he's finished eating so that it doesn't become 
a chew toy.

Shake, Rattle and Roll.
When your pup feels peppy, get down on his level and talk excitedly to him. Then roll and shake the disk.

Fakin' It.
 Still at your dog's level, fake tossing or rolling the disk. When he realizes he's been duped and starts to run for the toy, 
hold it out. After he grabs it, give a tug to make sure he is grasping it firmly. Then praise him. Repeat several times.

 Get It While You Can.
Position your dog directly in front of you-so close you can almost hand him the disk. Now toss it to him. Praise him if he catches it. If he misses, don't let him pick it up. He only gets to keep it if he gets it in the air.

Go Your Own Way.
 Position your dog by your left side if you are right-handed and make the same sort of short toss you did in the last step. The difference is that now your dog is moving to the disk, rather than having it come to him. If he catches it, praise him. Then gradually extend the distance on subsequent tosses.

 Don't Be Cruel.
 If your dog catches the disk and won't return it, don't punish him. Dogs love to play keep-away. Instead,  fasten a rope or cord to his collar and hang on to the other end. If your dog catches the disk and doesn't return it when you call him, give a sharp tug and say, "Come." Then reel him in and praise him. Be careful not to throw the disk farther than the length of your dog's cord or his neck could be jerked back before he can catch the disk.

 Eventually, you can coax your canine to leap for the disk with the single-mindedness of Dennis Rodman skying for a basketball. Do so by holding the disk over his head. If he jumps up and takes it from your hand, say "up" or "jump." 
Then make short throws and bark the same command as he pursues the disk.

You've Got a Friend.
 By now, you and your dog are better buddies than Mel Gibson and Danny Glover-and a proficient disk team too. This is when you can introduce other throws: sidearm, overhand, wrist flip, skips, between your legs, behind your back, and multiple rapid-fire tosses.

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Copyright Since 1997 All Rights Reserved.