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Activities you can to do with dogs - Canine Frisbee

What is Canine Frisbee?

Canine FrisbeeŽ, Frisbee Dogs, Disc Dogs, or Canine Disc as it also sometimes called, is fundamentally a very simple activity. You throw a plastic disc and the dog catches it and returns it to you. We know that there are literally thousands of closet Frisbee dogs across Australia waiting to be discovered. If you have a dog that likes playing fetch with a stick or tennis ball then you can expect that your dog can easily be transitioned to catching Frisbees. Dogs especially love Frisbees because the disc can hover in the air a long time and they are very challenging for the dog to catch. Playing Frisbee with your dog can be a great way to help keep your dog healthy and stimulated both physically and mentally.

Apryl & EZ Ryder.

Canine Frisbee is a very popular sport overseas, including in the US where there have been organized competitions for almost 30 years. The sport is also booming in Japan where there are now more than 3,000 competing teams. More recently, canine disc has become a popular recreation in the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, and other countries especially throughout Europe and Central and Latin America.

In Australia, the sport is being coordinated by the newly formed Australian Canine Disc Association (ACDA). ACDA is the sanctioning body for the sport in Australia and is providing a cohesive framework for the national development of the sport. At the ACDA website you can subscribe to the K9 DISCussion, an Ezine that will keep you up-to-date about Australian competition and training opportunities.

Joelle & River.

Before learning to play Frisbee with your dog it is important that you are pro-active about ensuring the health and well-being of your dog. Injuries in Canine Frisbee are surprisingly rare, especially if you use your common sense. There are some simple rules you should follow in order to protect the safety of you and your dog and ensure enjoyable play sessions.

Always play on a high-quality well-grassed flat field without holes or other potentially dangerous areas. Do not throw near fences, trees or other obstructions. Do not throw a disc where two or more dogs might both chase it. Only play during the day or in brightly lit areas.

Know your dog's limitations, and be cautious. For example, if your dog cannot be trusted off-leash then only play with them in your backyard or other secured areas. Avoid any potential complications by only playing in areas where your activity will not interfere with others and where you won't attract the attention of other dogs.

Always play with a safe undamaged disc. Several varieties of flying discs, including some specifically marketed for use with dogs, are not good choices for safe play. Be selective in avoiding discs that are very rigid or have any sharp edges. Do not leave your dog alone with the disc because they may decide to eat it and this could be dangerous to your dog's health.

Also, do not allow your dog to become very possessive of the disc and never allow the dog to act aggressively when you have your hand on the disc. The disc is a retrieval item not a tug toy, and tugging games with the disc can be counter-productive to the retrieval game, especially with driven dogs. Like all types of training, you should control when and how the activity is played.

There are three basic skills for playing Frisbee: Throwing, Catching, and Retrieving. With all of these skills you need to train the dog in a deliberate manner using an abundance of praise and positive reinforcement so that your dog knows that playing Frisbee is a fun activity.

Any advanced tricks should not be attempted until after the basics have been mastered. Advanced tricks can include different types of throws using a variety of grips and releases, multiple catches in quick succession, and jumping over or off the handler's body to catch the disc.

Steven & Alex

It is expected that clubs will form in many of the populated areas of Australia over the next few years. If you are interested in contributing to the organisation of a new club please contact ACDA. The Association will not be running any events itself and is ready to provide a lot of help in establishing new clubs. The first club was formed in 2003 and is called the Brisbane And Region K9 Disc Club (BARK).

Lourdes & Stryker.

Canine Frisbee is a fun activity that can be extremely beneficial in challenging the mental and physical energy of dogs, especially active herding breeds that require a job. Canine Frisbee is often a good companion (and reward) activity for dogs involved in other dog sports. In fact, proven agility and Flyball dogs have routinely become awesome Frisbee dogs as well, and vice-versa. There is a wealth of information about other dog sports on this website and I encourage you to find and participate in activities that are fun for you and your dog.

If you want to know more about Canine Frisbee in Australia please contact ACDA for details about upcoming events in your area.

# Information submitted by
Damian Noud
President Australian Canine Disc Association (ACDA)

*Photographs supplied by Karen Noud and cannot be used without permission. FrisbeeŽ is a brand name and trademark of Wham-O, Inc.

Nick Joseph Christina & Christian.

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