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
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
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.
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.
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).
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
President Australian Canine Disc Association (ACDA) Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
supplied by Karen Noud and cannot be used without permission.
FrisbeeŽ is a brand name and trademark of Wham-O, Inc.
Christina & Christian.