This is Deb Walz's Selka, or more formally,
Sandhill's Goldust Selka. A lover of the sport no matter what the season, he also enjoys
dumping snow from his Frisbee onto his head! Now, that is what we call one thinking
Golden! According to Deb, Selka is a joy to everyone who knows him and spends his time
retrieving, working as a therapy dog or laying in Mom's lap.
Meet Jaeleen and Sandy. They made their first
appearance at a disc-dog competition in 1990. Here, they came in 1st
place in the novice division. Since those early beginnings, these two have been regional
finalists in the California, Arizona, and Nevada divisions of disc dog competitions six
times! And, Jaeleen & Sandy have been finalists in Dever's open national regionals
twice. They have also made appearances for the SPCA, the Galaxy Soccer Team, minor league
baseball teams, county fairs, and the Las Vegas Excalibur Hotel. Sandy is now busy
training her two-year-old Typhoon Taffy. Of course, Taffy is a Golden gal as well!
Jaeleen is a member of the
Canine Disc Masters. Although this club
was only formed in 1997, they have already competed and performed internationally at many
professional sporting events, county and local fairs, and charity events. This club has
also been featured in training videos and showcased on Animal Planet.
This is the place to find out more about our
canine flying athletes. Sometimes they are called FrisbeeŽ dogs, and
sometimes flying dogs, or just disc dogs. FrisbeeŽ is simply a brand
name for one type of flying disc. First, get a free training manual from the
ALPO Canine FrisbeeŽ Disc Championships (write to ALPO Canine FrisbeeŽ Disc
Championships, 4060-D Peachtree Rd, Ste 326, Atlanta, GA 30319 or call
1-800-786-9240). Then, check out the following print, media, and web
Check out this Golden from Russia enjoying his Frisbee!
Before you start training, check with your veterinarian to
make sure that your dog is physically able to engage in vigorous disc play. Certain breeds
are predisposed to hip problems, and jumping for the disc might aggravate this condition.
Always conduct training sessions in a safe grassy area
away from other human activities. Playing or practicing on asphalt or concrete is harmful
to the pads of your dog's feet. Work in a safe area away from the street to avoid passing
cars or bicycles that can injure your pet.
Let your dog warm up slowly, like any responsible athlete,
before a workout. Keep workouts short at first especially during hot weather.
Bring a clean, fresh water supply with you to refresh your
pet if he gets thirsty. Wait until he stops panting before providing water.
Always clean up promptly if your pet takes a nature break.
This demonstrates responsible pet ownership.
We recommend that you keep your dog on a leash when near
people, to avoid the possibility of unfavorable encounters.
Familiarization with the Disc
Feed your dog out of a FrisbeeŽ disc.
Slide the empty disc across the ground. Your dog will
pursue it to make sure that it is there for his next meal.
Never throw a Frisbee disc directly at your canine's head.
Remember, the disc should be your dog's favorite plaything, not an object to be feared.
Basic On-The-Ground Training
Start your dog off with light tug-of-war play. Let your
dog get a good grip on the disc. After a few seconds, release your own grip so the dog can
feel triumphant about taking the disc away from you. Never let your dog chew on the disc.
Play keep-away with a friend while your dog watches. Stand
5 to 10 yards apart. When your dog shows interest in joining in the play, float your
throws and let him intercept the disc frequently, giving him praise for each catch.
Roll the disc on its edge along the ground so that your
dog is able to maintain eye contact with it during the chase. Even if your dog doesn't
grab the disc while it's rolling, praise him for a good effort and keep trying. Make your
roller throws short at first and gradually lengthen them as your dog becomes more
Retrieving the Disc
─ Attach a long leash to your dog's collar for a play
session. After he chases down the disc, call him. If there is any hesitation, gently snap
the cord, like a tug on a leash, to get his attention. If this doesnšt work, gently pull
him all the way back while praising him for desirable behavior. Once your dog has mastered
this lesson, try it off-leash. Repeat this frequently for short periods of time until he
gets the idea. Mid-Air Catches
Start by encouraging your dog to leap up and take the disc
out of your hand.
Make short throws which are easy for your dog to track
Always make sure that your dog has eye contact with you
and the disc before you release it.
It is important to praise profusely for successful
efforts. Never scold a dog for failure to catch the disc.
Remember: canine disc play is a team effort!
Establishing a Routine
─ Once your dog has learned to catch the disc and can make mid-air catches, you may
wish to establish a routine for both exercise and possible competition. Establishing a
routine involves the use of more than one disc thrown sequentially, trick catches and
other stunts. The best way to learn some of these advanced maneuvers and incorporate them
into a routine for your dog is to attend some of the ALPOŽ competitions. Even if you do
not compete, this will provide you with an opportunity to observe other dog/owner teams in
competition and give you ideas for tricks that you can incorporate into your own routine.
If your dog goes after the disc but won't bring it back, try attaching a long cord to your
dog's collar, so you can pull him back gently if he doesn't respond. Praise and continue
this practice until you don't need the cord. To get your dog to make mid-air catches, try
holding the disc over your dog's head and encourage him to leap and take it out of your
hand. Gradually toss it a short distance from you so that your dog has to leave the ground
to catch it. Peter Bloeme's Basic Throwing
Use a firm but not tight grip to hold the FrisbeeŽ disc.
After you develop a comfortable grip, practice it
repeatedly until it becomes second nature. As in golf and tennis, the proper grip is
paramount to success.
The more spin, the longer the disc will hold its
stability. At first, beginners can simply concentrate on wrist snap. Ideally, however,
spin is imparted to a disc through several factors, including proper body position and a
snapping motion that originates from a steady stance and progresses through the hips, arm,
elbow and finally, the wrist.
For the proper stance, your feet should be shoulder's
width apart with your knees slightly bent and parallel to each other. Your forward
shoulder should point toward your target. Start with two-thirds of your weight on your
back foot. Then shift it naturally forward to your front foot (leaving one-third of your
weight on your back foot) upon release and delivery. Don't lift your back foot off the
ground and lunge forward; always keep some weight on each foot.
The Backhand Throw
The backhand throw is a versatile and easy-to-learn
delivery. It is good for accuracy and distance.
For the proper grip, make a fist with your palm up, open
your thumb to the hitchhiking position, loosen your fingers just enough to slip the disc
between your palm and finger tips and place your thumb down on top just like you would
hold a dinner plate if you were holding it upside down. Now bring the other hand up and
hold the far side of the disc temporarily. With your gripping hand, move your bottom
fingers slightly toward your thumb (while trying to maintain as much contact as possible
with the inside/underneath rim) until they feel relatively comfortable.
For right-hand throwers, the throwing motion should be
left to right, smooth and even, with a good snap upon release. Do not rotate your wrist
from side-to-side, only forward and backward as if you were doing wrist curls with a
dumbbell. Follow through with your right hand (not just the finger) pointing at your
target. Keep your eyes forward. If your throw goes to the left of the target youšve
released it too soon; to the right, too late. Most people fall in the too-late category
and hook their throws.
If the disc wobbles, check your grip, speed up your
delivery and concentrate on keeping the disc level from your release to your dog's catch.
When starting out, keep the disc's flight as flat as
possible. The disc will react differently if released angled nose down or up, or angled
Always try to throw across the wind, not downwind or
upwind. Once you are proficient as a thrower, you may choose to throw into the wind for
extra float time.
At first, practice only short range throws (10 to 15 feet)
that are released between waist and shoulder height. Gradually increase the distance of
your throws as you gain proficiency.