Playing hard ball or ... Frisbee
Breeds like the Labrador Retriever, Weimaraner and Australian Shepherd are a natural at fetching balls and dog toys. In addition to fetching balls many herding and hunting breeds are also accomplished Frisbee dogs, also known as Disc Dogs.
The Border Collie and German Shorthaired Pointer are two of the best Disc dogs. They have a sharp alertness that helps to estimate the path of the Frisbee. Disc Dogs are skilled with the physical agility to easily jump to catch a Frisbee in mid air.
Many mixed breeds, dogs from animal shelters and rescue groups have been trained to be World Champion disc dogs. In many cases, dogs have overcome abandonment, aggression and various trauma issues via their disc training. With guidance, trust and proper training, a dog can gain the confidence to become an accomplished disc dog.
Training your dog to fetch a ball is easier when the dog owner makes a slit in a ball and puts a dog treat inside the ball. After the dogs retrieves the ball and brings it to you, take the treat out of the ball and reward your pup. Soon your dog will fetch the ball without the dog treat inside, and enjoy a reward of a good belly rub.
Teaching your dog to catch a disc in mid air is different than playing fetch. When you train your dog to catch a Frisbee, the dog should only receive a reward when the disc is caught in mid air; otherwise they will confuse fetch training and disc training. Fetch is retrieving an object from the ground, catching a Frisbee in the air requires different training and rewarding.
Dog training, whether fetch or disc training requires trust. Never throw a ball or disc directly at your dog. Playing ball and Frisbee is great exercise and skill training for dogs. It also brings dogs and their owners closer together through lots of attention, praise and treats.