How to Teach Your Dog to Catch a Frisbee

To teach your dog to catch a frisbee is not as easy as you’d think. This has been a tough one for me. I have tried in the past to teach a dog to catch a frisbee but have never been successful. Even now, I am having a difficult time teaching my dog Maya. She keeps wanting to wait until the frisbee hits the ground, like a ball, before she grabs it. She doesn’t understand that I want her to try to catch in in the air.

Since I am having trouble, I decided to peruse the net to find out if there is a better way to teach Maya to catch the frisbee. In my search I found some great instructional videos. By watching these videos, I learned there is more than one way to teach a dog to catch a frisbee. I also learned that even though I am not necessarily doing it wrong, there is a better way.

Step number one is to get the right frisbee. The $.99 cent ones at PetsMart are okay to start but may not be the best. For one, they are hard and could hurt your dog’s mouth. I’ve heard that Hyperflite, Aerobie, and the Kong Flyer are great frisbee dog toys. But my only experience is with the Kong Flyer. I really love this one and so does Maya. It is very flexible, soft. Best of all, it is virtually non-destructible which is great since Maya loves to chew on her toys.

Step number two is to get your dog excited about the frisbee. There is no trouble there. Maya loves it!

Step number three, which may not be in this above video, is to make sure your dog releases the frisbee when you tell him to. Maya does, albeit reluctantly. And even though she is a Retriever, she sometimes has trouble bringing it back to me.

Step number four, roll the frisbee on the ground. This helps your dog learn to grab it by the rim. I admittedly did not know to do this step. This may have helped Maya learn to catch it before it falls flat.

Step number five, teach your dog to go around you so that you have time to throw it. I never thought of this. In fact, I’m not sure it will work with Maya. Yes, I could teach her to go around me easy enough but Maya is slow and I feel like she needs to get a running start after the frisbee so that she can catch it before it hits the ground. If I make her go around me first, then the frisbee will land before she even realizes I’ve already thrown it. However, the Border Collie in this video is definitely a fast dog and so this learning how to go around first looks like it would work.

Step number six, teach your dog the ‘catch’ or ‘take it’ command and let them grab the frisbee from your hand. With Maya, I unknowingly skipped steps four and five and went straight to this one.

Step number seven, toss the frisbee in the air in front of you and use the ‘catch’ or ‘take it’ command just as he is about to grab it. As your dog gets better at it, increase the distance of the throw.

With Maya, because she is slower than that Border Collie, I have been throwing the frisbee at or by her. I have to make her stay at a distance from me, then I toss the frisbee. She has gotten to where she can catch the frisbee in the air 40% of the time, but she is still not running to catch it. I will try some of the tips in this video and perhaps soon I will have a video of Maya for you to see.

Does anyone else have any tips on how to teach your dog to catch a frisbee? If you have a video or photo, we’d love to share it!

Visit other great dog blogs at

Tags: , ,

7 Responses to “How to Teach Your Dog to Catch a Frisbee”

  1. BongoDogOwner Says:

    I love catching Frisbees but my people didn’t have to teach me – I already knew how when I came to live with them. They have to get me the expensive dog Frisbees though, because I tear up the cheap ones right away. -Bongo

  2. rumpydog Says:

    Nah, not a catcher here either. I don’t even chase the frisbee. I will, however, chase the dog that chases the frisbee.

  3. raisingdaisy Says:

    We haven’t tried this with Daisy yet because she tends to chase things and never bring them back! We’ve been working on the “come” command for months, to no avail, even using trainers’ methods. Of all the commands and tricks we’ve taught Daisy, this is the only one she refuses to do; I guess her stubborn streak is showing! Good training ideas in this post though, I think we’ll try them out – thanks!

    • ILoveDogs Says:

      The way I see it, fetch is for their enjoyment. If they don’t bring it back, oh well, as long as they are having fun. I wouldn’t go fetch the toy and try again, though. Then that means they have taught you to fetch! :0)

      Maya will sometimes play with herself before brinking the toy back to me. And if she doesn’t bring it back, then game over and we will try again later.

  4. Top Posts Since American Dog Blog Began in September 2009 « American Dog Blog Says:

    […] But the top viewed posts have very few if any comments. Here are the top commented posts: #1 – How to Teach Your Dog to Catch a Frisbee in October 2011. #2 – Why Dogs Growl and Why They Should Be Allowed to Growl in September 2011. […]

  5. Doug H Says:

    A flying/rolling disc is more than a toy…. it’s a tool. Take several sessions to get your dog to show interest in a disc rolled on the ground. If he grabs it, mark the behavior (click or ‘yes’) and be ready to reward with praise and/or Zukes Mini Naturals training treats. Throw the disc overhand naturally, not like the woman in the video… no need for that. Some dogs chase harder for a rolled disc because it triggers their ‘prey drive’. When moving toward a flying disc, always throw it past the dog so he can chase and grab. Do not throw at him or at the side…. every smacked face with a disc edge is an aversive that reduces his interest.

    As the dog learns to catch from the air, be ready to whistle or clap so he will hear your encouragement. A dog that is ‘into it’ fairly strong will work to play: sit, wait, down, circle, talk, etc. .
    Use the disc to exercise the dog and build his interest in you as the provider of food, toy play, guidance. A disc is simple to use, cheap to buy (I prefer the Hero 235) and lasts a long time. Use it to improve training commands faster and better by making the disc game the reward !

Bark at Us

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: