In 2003 (or there abouts) This page was part of a whole website call Up North Disc Dogs. Deron and I had started a dog club when we lived in Northern WI and I set up the Disc Dog website...we wilded it down and put this up for your enjoyment. I will add a little bit more information on training your dog to play with and catch a frisbie and how you can find out where you and your dog can compete near you.
While I do throw a frisbie for our now dogs, we no longer compete....but boy I sure recommend it if you get a chance!! Competing is a ball and the people are tops.
After your dog is excited about playing Frisbee and is obedience trained to come when called, meeting friends at local parks to play with your dogs together is great fun. Meeting together with your dogs is also good training for Disc Dog Competition. Your dog will need to learn to focus on you and catching the Frisbee even with distractions.
You will find the more time you spend working/playing with your dog, the more time you and your dog will want to spend together. Dogs that have a "job" (catching a Frisbee) will spend less time barking, digging, and getting into what we humans call trouble. Always PRAISE and encourage your dog for correct behavior.
Take sports cones and a 100' measuring tape to a large flat grassy field and mark off distances so that you can see how far you are throwing the Frisbee and at what distance your dog is catching the Frisbee. This will help you in your competition strategy. Also most competitions will have cones set up for boundaries and distance markings, by working your dogs around cones during practice the dog will become familiar with and ignore the cones when competing.
Take the time and opportunity to introduce yourself and the Disc Dog Sport to other dog owners you meet while out practicing. You might want to carry your business cards, or local Disc Dog club information printed out to give others while out with your dog.
Be kind to newcomers to the sport. Take the opportunity to explain why certain discs are better then others for the dog's safety. Tell them how they might get their dogs to play Frisbee and direct them to your favorite Disc Dog web site. If you are in a local club, invite them to come to an event or meeting. You might also tell them about books and videos that are available for training Disc Dogs.
Just like hunting and field trial dogs, Disc Dogs must learn to honor one another while playing Frisbee. Honoring means to sit quietly and wait for their turn. Bringing a crate for your dogs to a Disc Dog event is also a great idea.
While ANY breed or size dog CAN play Frisbee, dogs between 30 - 50 pounds have been the most successful at Disc Dog Competition. Before starting Frisbee play with your dog, it is a good idea to have the vet check your dogs health and do a hip x-ray. Basic Obedience Training is a must for Disc Dogs that play outside their own back yards (and even in the back yard it is HIGHLY recommended)
As I said, ANY dog CAN play Frisbee, but it is not a good idea to work an extra large or giant breed. The leaping and jumping is very hard on their joints... and vaulting, well basically impossible. If you do have a large dog that plays Frisbee, keep your throwing low to the ground.
Dogs LOVE to play Frisbee, but several short plays (15 minutes each) are better the one long play. Watch you dog, if it starts looking tired, stop playing on a "good note". This will also keep the dog "wanting more" and it will be excited for the next time you "get the Frisbee out". Never play until your dog is exhausted.
Items to remember to take with you for Frisbee play with your dog: Water and Water Bowl. While you can water your dog out of a Frisbee, be sure to either take an extra Frisbee for water or a water bowl, that way if your playing Frisbee would get a tooth whole or a crack in it you would still have a water bowl. Also take at least two throwing Frisbees, a Leash for your dog, Dog Treats, and a Measuring Tape and Sports Cones. Most of all take Your Good Humor!! Make it a fun time for you and your dog.
Disc Dog Humor
Check back often....we may be slow working on the website, but you might get another chuckle.
Sometimes you just have to Pray that all things will work out... maybe the wind is stronger then you thought, you released the disc too soon/too late, dog ran out too soon/too late... and sometimes, on a good day, God shows mercy on you.
Practice, Practice, Practice... and that means in all kinds of weather, rain, wind, snow... this might give you a hands up in a Competition. You can always hope that your competitors dog does not practice in less it is a nice day.
Be sure to remember to take "poop bags" that are big enough for the job with you when out Practicing and Competing with your dog.....well, really, anytime you leave your own property with you dog.
Be nice to other Competitors. You never know where it might lead.
Just because you share nothing in common with a person expect Disc Dogs does not mean you can not have a great time getting together with your dogs.
Once in a while, while training your dog a new sport for cross training.....all you can do is bait the dogs and hope for the best.
Sled Dogs are run WITHOUT reins, this means you should be sure your dog is well verbally trained before "taking off down the trail" One medium sized dog of any breed can easily pull an average sized adult (well, maybe not an average sized, over weight America average, but someone 150 - 180 pounds.
Don't get too "Cocky" dogs have a way of humbling their owners.
Sometimes the dogs get along better then the Competitors do. Watch your temper when out in public.
You can teach an old dog new tricks....just make sure it is up on all it's shots before "reaching in" for the frisbee.
I would like to invite you to join us on a Yahoo Group that I host called Working Big Dogs.