Frisbee for dogs is a type of canine sport that combines elements of play and acrobatics. Its essence is not just catching a disc thrown by the trainer, but doing it in the most effective and beautiful way possible. Dog owners want to make their pets’ performances spectacular, so they’re constantly experimenting with the height, angle, speed and direction of the throw, and invent tricks.
At first glance, it seems like a fairly simple sport, but that impression is deceptive. Dog Frisbee requires perfect harmony and understanding from both dog and its master, as well as serious physical preparation. This is a very agile sport – the dog sometimes develops the speed of more than 30 miles per hour, performs high jumps and difficult tricks, sharply changing the direction of movement. In addition, the pet has to do this in strictly defined time, which implies deep and careful training.
Learning Frisbee as simply pastime for themselves and their pets, many owners change their attitudes over time and switch sports. Motivation very quickly changes into enthusiasm, which in turn quickly turns into sports fanaticism (in a good sense of the word), thanks to the highly agile and free-spirited nature of the game.
Video: Spectacular Frisbee Freestyle Performance
History of Dog Frisbee
And the history of Frisbee for dogs began not quite legally. On August 4, 1974 in Los Angeles, USA, during a baseball game broadcast on TV, the audience was surprised when a man named Alex Stein and his whippet named Ashley began their performance, uncoordinated with the authorities and management. Whole 8 minutes the owner and his pet played “flying saucer”, and the dog, though very agitated, amazed people with his tricks, developing speed up to 35 mph and jumping to a height of 2.7 meters. Alex Stein was arrested and taken away by the police right on the field, but he did his job: the audience was delighted. Irv Lander, a businessman who cares greatly about animals, was among them. He quickly assessed the success and potential of the performance, bailed Stein out and offered his help in the development and popularization of Dog Frisbee.
A year later, the “Lander Cup” was established and the first competition, which had the status of a world championship for this canine sport, was held. For the first three years, it was the Lander Cup Whippet Ashley which produced the most impressive results, taking top places. As time went on, however, other teams began to prove themselves, such as Andy McIntyre with his Australian Shepherd Hank. The performances of both dogs were so outstanding and popular that they and their owners were invited to a dinner party at the White House by US President Jim Carter himself. Alex Stein and Andy McIntyre have contributed greatly to the development of dog Ffrisbee, traveling to cities throughout the U.S. and Canada, developing various training techniques and tricks which are still widely used today.
Dog Frisbee Breeds
For all of its history, dog Frisbee competitions have been available for dogs of all breeds, including mixed breeds. Of course, some dogs are more predisposed to the sport, due to their psychological and physiological characteristics. There are most preferred breeds of dogs for Frisbee, in particular – Border Collies, Aussies, Shelties, Jack Russell Terriers and some others. The best for classes and competitions in this sport are energetic, playful dogs that have the following traits:
- agility – the dog must be able to accelerate quickly, brake, and change direction sharply;
- jumping ability – Frisbee is best suited for dogs with well-developed muscles, but light enough to make jumps at great heights;
- flexibility – Frisbee is a spectacular sport full of tricks, so the dog must have good flexibility and good coordination.
In addition to purely physical skills, a dog is required to have excellent reactions and a good rapport with the trainer. It is also very important that the dog must be passionate about the game and see it above all as a game of fun, in which case he will be much more willing to carry out all the commands and tricks.
Dog Frisbee Competition
As the dog Frisbee evolved from a simple entertainment to a separate kind of canine sport, certain standards and rules began to appear in it. General requirements for the dogs are age from 12 months, good health (confirmed by certificates) and lack of aggression. Breed, exterior and pedigree do not matter. At the competitions, special flying discs that do not injure teeth and mouth of the animal must be used. The performance is carried out without a leash and collar, and the handler is forbidden to show any physical or psychological violence towards the dog. Frisbee competitions themselves are held in the following disciplines:
Mini-Distance. This type of competition consists of the dog having to catch a disc as far away from the trainer as possible. The farther the pet catches the plate, the more points the team gets:
- under 20 yards – 0 points;
- from 20 to 30 yards – 1 point;
- 30 to 40 yards – 2 points;
- over 40 yards – 3 points.
A further half point is awarded if the team earns half a point if the dog is off the ground with all four paws when it catches the disc.
Video: Guinness World Record: Longest Throw (130 yards) to a Dog
Freestyle (free flight). As the name implies, such competitions give the handler and his dog complete freedom of expression. The team can perform tricks of any complexity for an unlimited time under the self-chosen music. The performance is evaluated on a 10-point scale, with the following criteria taken into account:
- dog’s jumping ability-the higher the dog jumps when performing a trick, the more points the team earns;
- difficulty of tricks-the more spectacular, original and difficult the number, the higher the judges rate the team’s performance.
In a free performance, the team can perform a variety of maneuvers, but only those stunts will be evaluated in which the disc is thrown and caught. All the rest increase visual appeal, but do not affect the crediting of points.
Video: Frisbee Freestyle Competition
Dog Frisbee is a very exciting and, most importantly, affordable sport. All you need for this is a Frisbee disc, a nice flat, clean area (grass, field etc.) and plenty of free time. Playful and fun activities will engage you and your dog more and more, and who knows, maybe your team will be at the top of international competitions in the future