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Discussion Starter #1
So I got bored and decided to put my random phone videos to use, and I got the chance to try out my upgraded iMovie. Remember, small dogs are people, too! Wait.. you know what I mean..

 

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Holy cow he can jump! Have you considered training him for disc competitions? He's clearly already flipping, so you've got the beginnings of a freestyle routine. And he's definitely small enough to compete in the micro-dog division in Skyhoundz.

A couple suggestions:
Depending on your location, I might be able to put you in touch with a local disc dog club.
Also, you might enjoy some different discs - the kong one doesn't fly very well. Hero USA and Hyperflite are the two biggest makers of canine discs. Hyperflite makes "pup discs", which are great for small dogs.
 

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You have an amazing little dog! :)
He is a natural at jumping. I agree with Gottaluvmutts you should think about competitions.
 

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Thanks! In L.A. Is that your dog in your profile pic? I don't think I'm coordinated enough to freestyle after watching some of these teams. But I looked over SkyHoundz and the Xtreme Distance looks like something i'd be interested in.

I made the mistake of starting him on a Kong first instead of the plastics. He's really picky. In fact, if I were to buy a new Kong he wouldn't chase it until he's had at least a week to get it dirty and roll around with it. I'm pretty sure I could get him into the plastics though eventually, so I'll check the brands out your mentioned.



Holy cow he can jump! Have you considered training him for disc competitions? He's clearly already flipping, so you've got the beginnings of a freestyle routine. And he's definitely small enough to compete in the micro-dog division in Skyhoundz.

A couple suggestions:
Depending on your location, I might be able to put you in touch with a local disc dog club.
Also, you might enjoy some different discs - the kong one doesn't fly very well. Hero USA and Hyperflite are the two biggest makers of canine discs. Hyperflite makes "pup discs", which are great for small dogs.
 

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Wow - FANTASTIC! Your little guy is awesome. Was he always naturally interested in the frisbee? When did he start going for those long jumps, did you "train" him, or he just kind of... did it?

I ask because Jackson is finally interested in the plastic disc, and I can get him motivated to chase them and tug on them, but I can't figure out how to teach him to catch it at long distances. He can catch a ball or a toy, etc, if I throw it at him, and he'll even catch a plastic frisbee if I throw it directly towards him... but can't figure out how to get him to go long!

This is the closest I've gotten him to (and it was not a plastic disc, it was a soft thing): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIRUC0pQhHs

Love your Boston- he's a very handsome boy. :)
 

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Wow - FANTASTIC! Your little guy is awesome. Was he always naturally interested in the frisbee? When did he start going for those long jumps, did you "train" him, or he just kind of... did it?

I ask because Jackson is finally interested in the plastic disc, and I can get him motivated to chase them and tug on them, but I can't figure out how to teach him to catch it at long distances. He can catch a ball or a toy, etc, if I throw it at him, and he'll even catch a plastic frisbee if I throw it directly towards him... but can't figure out how to get him to go long!

This is the closest I've gotten him to (and it was not a plastic disc, it was a soft thing): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIRUC0pQhHs

Love your Boston- he's a very handsome boy. :)
You're going to need to work up to long throws. Start with shorter throws, especially for a small dog.
Instead of trying to throw a disc directly at him, throw in the same direction he is moving. You may need to train an "around" command (if you don't already have one) to get him facing the same direction as the disc is moving. This allows dogs to track the disc much better and dramatically improves catch ratio. If needed, you can use the disc to lure the dog around you, until they get the idea.

@ Jae: I've never seen a micro dog (Skyhoundz definition) who could jump anywhere near as high as your Boston. He's clearly built for freestyle. Even if you think you're uncoordinated, check out some youtube videos and just try some simple moves. He's got the flipping motion down, so all you'd have to do is toss a disc over his shoulder to get a flip. I bet he'd be a whiz at vaulting, too, which is a skill that is more versatile with a small dog. If you have Hulu, there are a few episodes of the Purina Dog Challenge that have several routines each.

Disc dog clubs are one of the best resources to help you improve. The experts there can provide advice, inspiration, and they may organize training clinics, playdays, and competitions. Here's a link to one in SoCal: http://www.d2isc.com/

Picky dogs are a pain in the butt. I think I'd get a bunch of discs and just use them interchangeably, possibly even multiples. He clearly wants to play, so if a non-preferred disc is the only option, maybe he'll decide that the type of disc isn't important. If he regularly destroys the average plastic discs, Superheros (Hero USA) or Jawz (Hyperflite) are both more durable, but also heavier. While he seems to like the kong, it just doesn't fly well at all. In your video, every throw is coming down at a steep angle, which makes it hard to catch (he's doing a nice job of compensating, though). This angle is more a function of the disc than of your throwing.

Yes, the dog in my avatar is Kit, a 3yo mutt (BC x pointer?) who is absolutely nuts for disc. We compete all over the state and have been to the Skyhoundz NW regional competition twice. I also helped found Oregon's first and only disc dog club a couple of years ago. My forte is distance/accuracy, but our freestyle is coming along, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks guys! When we first got him at 8 weeks, he had a circle rope, and the first time i threw it he grabbed it and brought it back. I thought that was pretty cool for a 8-week-old puppy to do consistently. He would do it over and over. Think I have a vid of it on YouTube actually. He was so small he would trip over it on the way back.

Catching the frisbee took a little longer, but I don't think I "trained" him in the conventional sense of the word -- I think it was just a natural progression. For a month or so he'd chased it and bring it back until he got closer and closer to catching it. Do you play on grass when there's no snow?

Cute video! I think you're closer to him catching it than you think, he obviously had the eye to mouth coordination. He's obviously very interested in playing catch, but it takes a ton of practice. Jax doesn't like plastic frisbees, worth a shot to try a rubber one and see if that makes a difference. Don't focus too much on the long throws yet. Lastly, be consistent in your motion when you are going to throw it. If he knows you're about to throw it and starts to take off, react on that action and throw it just beyond his reach. He'll get closer and closer to it and eventually make the connection. Good luck!

Edit: follow GottLuvMutts advice above. I couldn't have said it any better.

Wow - FANTASTIC! Your little guy is awesome. Was he always naturally interested in the frisbee? When did he start going for those long jumps, did you "train" him, or he just kind of... did it?

I ask because Jackson is finally interested in the plastic disc, and I can get him motivated to chase them and tug on them, but I can't figure out how to teach him to catch it at long distances. He can catch a ball or a toy, etc, if I throw it at him, and he'll even catch a plastic frisbee if I throw it directly towards him... but can't figure out how to get him to go long!

This is the closest I've gotten him to (and it was not a plastic disc, it was a soft thing): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIRUC0pQhHs

Love your Boston- he's a very handsome boy. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Speaking of trying moves, I actually saw a few freestyle videos after you mentioned Skyhoundz and made my way over to the park. I reluctantly tried a few "moves", like kneeling down and having him launch off one knee to grab the frisbee. He did it on the 3rd try and grabbed it -- is that vaulting? I held it above my head kneeling down and back and he launched off my chest and grabbed it. The flip catch he can definitely do. I didn't realize it was a freestyle move. Do a lot of men do freestyle comp's?

Hey that's cool that you compete! Sounds like a blast actually. I feel like it would be a waste to not at least check out a club and get him out there since we're playing frisbee every other day anyway. He lives for it. Gonna get a few of the discs you mentioned and leave the Kong at home. Eventually he'll have no choice but to go for it.

Regarding the Kong and my throws, the ones where the frisbee was coming down towards him were only for the video to show how high he can jump. I typically throw it where he makes the catch in stride, without having to jump high to make the connection. It's almost like he times it to where he barely gets there but manages to grab it. Thanks for the tips!

You're going to need to work up to long throws. Start with shorter throws, especially for a small dog.
Instead of trying to throw a disc directly at him, throw in the same direction he is moving. You may need to train an "around" command (if you don't already have one) to get him facing the same direction as the disc is moving. This allows dogs to track the disc much better and dramatically improves catch ratio. If needed, you can use the disc to lure the dog around you, until they get the idea.

@ Jae: I've never seen a micro dog (Skyhoundz definition) who could jump anywhere near as high as your Boston. He's clearly built for freestyle. Even if you think you're uncoordinated, check out some youtube videos and just try some simple moves. He's got the flipping motion down, so all you'd have to do is toss a disc over his shoulder to get a flip. I bet he'd be a whiz at vaulting, too, which is a skill that is more versatile with a small dog. If you have Hulu, there are a few episodes of the Purina Dog Challenge that have several routines each.

Disc dog clubs are one of the best resources to help you improve. The experts there can provide advice, inspiration, and they may organize training clinics, playdays, and competitions. Here's a link to one in SoCal: http://www.d2isc.com/

Picky dogs are a pain in the butt. I think I'd get a bunch of discs and just use them interchangeably, possibly even multiples. He clearly wants to play, so if a non-preferred disc is the only option, maybe he'll decide that the type of disc isn't important. If he regularly destroys the average plastic discs, Superheros (Hero USA) or Jawz (Hyperflite) are both more durable, but also heavier. While he seems to like the kong, it just doesn't fly well at all. In your video, every throw is coming down at a steep angle, which makes it hard to catch (he's doing a nice job of compensating, though). This angle is more a function of the disc than of your throwing.

Yes, the dog in my avatar is Kit, a 3yo mutt (BC x pointer?) who is absolutely nuts for disc. We compete all over the state and have been to the Skyhoundz NW regional competition twice. I also helped found Oregon's first and only disc dog club a couple of years ago. My forte is distance/accuracy, but our freestyle is coming along, too.
 

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More than any other dog sport, disc has a very nice gender ratio. Kit and I also compete in agility, and that's heavily dominated by women (mostly in their 50s and 60s). But disc is usually nicely split. Plenty of men doing freestyle, too. Here's a video of my favorite trick performed by a (male) member of the Oregon disc dog club at regionals a few weeks ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaS9AX5li8o&feature=player_embedded

It sounds like you have the beginnings of a freestyle routine: flips and vaults. If the dog knows any tricks that you've taught outside of disc, those can be incorporated, too.

Here's another disc dog club in SoCal: http://www.k9aircorps.com/
 
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