Tips/Tricks to get a dog interested in the frisbee?
March 22, 2012 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Tips/Tricks to get a dog interested in the frisbee?

I have a fairly smart, high energy dog (adopted from the shelter, exact breed unknown, but possibly jack russell-beagle mix) who loves to play fetch and tug-of-war. He also loves to jump around. But for whatever reason, I can't get him to play frisbee with me. I watched tutorial videos online and did what the video suggested, like putting food in the frisbee, which he gobbled up right away. I also rubbed the frisbee in grass and try to roll the frisbee a short distance on the ground and see if he's interested. He'll go to the frisbee and sniff, and that's about it. He won't bite on the frisbee at all.

According to the tutorial videos that I've seen, you're supposed to get him interested in the frisbee by playing tug-of-war with him using the frisbee, but I can't do that if he won't bite on the frisbee. He'll bite other items though, like attempting to bring back a soccer ball even though the ball is way bigger than him.

Do I just need to keep trying? What's the average time it takes for a dog to learn how to play frisbees? Do I need to buy frisbee made with softer materials? I have the cheapie plastic basic frisbee, but I don't know whether buying more expensive frisbee will make a difference here.

Any tips/tricks would be greatly appreciated.
posted by wcmf to Pets & Animals (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You should prepare yourself for the truth: some dogs just don't dig frisbees. It might be something simple, though. If he doesn't like the feel of the rigid plastic, a Kong Flyer might be a good alternative.
posted by workerant at 2:25 PM on March 22, 2012

I've tried a lot of stuff, but I came to the conclusion that my dog is just petrified of flying hard plastic, but she will play with the softer furry frisbee type things. Check it, you can even get a fuzzy one that looks like a hippo.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 2:31 PM on March 22, 2012

Does he play tug? If so, you definitely should try a fabric frisbee, it's much more appealing to play tug with. They don't even make the best kind anymore--when my one dog's favorite frisbee finally exploded on its last flight, I searched high and low and could only find stiff fabric ones. So I am reverse engineering the dead one and sewing a new one, but really any fabric one would be worth a try. I know he wouldn't be interested in a hard one, but he loves to go get a fabric one and then bring it back to play tug.

But workerant is right, some dogs just don't like it. Never in a million years could my other dog be induced to chase a frisbee. She's just not a frisbee kind of gal.
posted by HotToddy at 2:34 PM on March 22, 2012

When I got my first dog a frisbee she was extremely disinterested in it, even though I tried most of the things you describe here. I pretty much gave up and used it as a people toy instead - and then one day while she was watching me and a friend throwing it back and forth, something went 'PING!' in her brain and from there on out frisbees were her absolute favorite toy of all. She'd carry it on walks, shove it at me when she wanted attention, knock it all over the house at all hours of the day; that dog was a Frisbee Maniac.

I still don't know exactly what it was that made it click with her in such an immediate and extreme way, but it seemed to have something to do with seeing it get tossed back and forth between two people. Couldn't hurt to try?
posted by DingoMutt at 2:36 PM on March 22, 2012

We had luck with throwing rollers. Check out this video. Throw the disk so it rolls FAST. That is much more exciting! It took our dog several months to go from chasing down rollers to catching a disk out of the air. When I started teaching her I read it could take a year to get a dog to catch a disk out of the air.

We used the Kong flyer and other softer disks as well as disk dog disks. This West Paw disk is GREAT. It floats, stands up to tugs and flies ok.

However, I have seen dogs just not catch on to Frisbee. They don't care about rollers and don't understand catching it out of the air. They just don't get it or like it. Your dog may not ever be interested.
posted by rachums at 2:40 PM on March 22, 2012

My parents used to let their pet mini schnauzers drink beer out of frisbees to get them interested in playing with them. Effective, but probably spectacularly bad for the poor dogs' livers.
posted by radwolf76 at 2:50 PM on March 22, 2012

My Samoyed was a frisbee snob. She refused to touch the cheap frisbees, but loved, loved loved the nylabone brand frisbees with a bone on top. I think they were a lot easier on her gums.
posted by rockindata at 3:07 PM on March 22, 2012

He's trying to avoid dental problems later in life. According to my vet, anyway, bad teeth (i.e., sensitive teeth, painful chewing, etc.) are a natural consequence of lots of frisbee play in the dog's youth.
posted by bricoleur at 6:20 PM on March 22, 2012

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