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Discussion Starter #1
I have discovered that we have a club in our area that holds weekly meet ups for practice and training. It's run by a trainer that I've heard good things about, and a lot of the people cross over with agility (no surprise there).

I'm curious enough that I'm going to check it out next weekend with Molly, but I'm not sure what to expect of it or what's involved training wise. Personal experiences, good links, etc would be very welcome.

I know she's still too young for a lot of the crazy stuff, and I'm not sure I want to go there ever, but I'd like to dig around a little and see. She's pretty disc nuts and I think it might help her with her confidence and training in general if I can figure out how to use it more.
 

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I do not, but I did an 8 week course once thinking I would get started. I trained with a really cool club with people who took it pretty seriously.

I dropped out because I couldn't learn the throws!!! Tons of class time was spent teaching all of the different styles of throwing. I couldn't learn a single one. I totally stunk. Totally. The dogs had a lot of fun and it's great exercise, but I worry about the wear and tear on the dog's bodies. Especially since I couldn't throw effectively!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The wear and tear on the dog is my biggest concern. Molly's probably always going to play frisbee - that's not something I feel like I can't take away from her, though of course I could - but I'm not entirely sure about the extra level of abuse from some of the vaults and rebounds and so on.

Throwing wise. Um. I've got a decent, accurate, backhand? Noooot sure about the rest, but I hadn't really thought about it much. I should. I am not the most coordinated person in the world.
 

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I do not, but I did an 8 week course once thinking I would get started. I trained with a really cool club with people who took it pretty seriously.

I dropped out because I couldn't learn the throws!!! Tons of class time was spent teaching all of the different styles of throwing. I couldn't learn a single one. I totally stunk. Totally. The dogs had a lot of fun and it's great exercise, but I worry about the wear and tear on the dog's bodies. Especially since I couldn't throw effectively!
Learning to throw a disc for dogs is difficult and requires a lot of time on the human's part to get it right, in my experience. I have ultimate frisbee players in my family and have spent thousands of hours throwing with people, starting when I was 8 years old. I didn't have a reliable throw until I was about 14 - by reliable I mean get the frisbee to within about 2 ft of my intended target at 50 yards.

I don't do disc dog, although I used to throw a frisbee for Loki for hours and would frequently alternate between forehand, backhand, hammer and high/low releases for each of those. I taught him to runaround, but since he was 130 lbs, I never bothered with flips or leg weaves. I also could never quite do the more complicated elevator/wheel tosses with any reliability, plus I found the elevator pass made my dog jump too high and risk injury.

I think, even if you don't end up being super serious, using some different throws/techniques really helps keep a dog mentally stimulated during a game of frisbee. Different spins and throws require different thought processes and responses from the dog, therefore it really turns the game into mental stimulation, as well :) So even if you don't get super serious, I think both you and Molly will learn a lot that you can work with in the future.
 

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I don't, but I just want to reiterate the importance of learning to throw properly and also teaching a dog to land properly (like, taking the time to do boring drills to build muscle memory and 'force' them to tuck their back legs in). If you build drive and disc-craziness before building the foundation in you and your dog, your dog is going to get hurt. My dog's been there.

Not anything you don't know already I'm sure, CptJack, just putting this general PSA out there for people who might not have heard this before!
 

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I don't, but I just want to reiterate the importance of learning to throw properly and also teaching a dog to land properly (like, taking the time to do boring drills to build muscle memory and 'force' them to tuck their back legs in). If you build drive and disc-craziness before building the foundation in you and your dog, your dog is going to get hurt. My dog's been there.

Not anything you don't know already I'm sure, CptJack, just putting this general PSA out there for people who might not have heard this before!
This is why I think throw reliability is really important and requires a lot of practice. Even if a dog lands properly, vaulting in the air 30 times in a row because the person throwing can't get the frisbee at ground catch height is going to cause wear and tear.

I'm lucky Loki never got hurt. When he was younger and I was practicing elevator throws, there were several he launched himself at when they were very high. He had Great Dane height and GSD athleticism and his vertical leap was around ten feet. He could *easily* have hurt himself and I'm very lucky he never did. To satisfy his frisbee drive as he got older, I'd toss it into a lake and make him swim for it to keep the wear on his joints down.
 

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Not yet....?

One of the trainers I work with does some disc competitions and I've practiced with her a little bit with Skye. She's been helping me with my throwing, which has been slowly getting better. Right now I'm still doing mostly rollers until I improve my throwing. But there's an event at the end of September and now that we have the new yard, if I get some good practice in I may consider trying it out with Skye. I don't think I will ever get super into disc, mostly since all my time and money goes towards agility, but Skye does love disc and I think it will be a good thing to try and help get her used to competition type events and such.

So basically, I'm in about the same place with Skye as you are with Molly. Dog loves it, maybe kinda sorta gonna check it out? lol

There is one organization that hosts a few events in Michigan called UpDog Challenge and I haven't been to one yet but I've heard really good things about them. They have lots of games, beyond just throw and catch and freestyle. They have a game called "Frizgility", which includes jumps and tunnels....Right up our alley I think. Skye won't be old enough for that yet, if I go I will probably just do a throw/catch game with rollers for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I've kind of decided I'm going to check out everything I have the opportunity to, with her. Agility is, I think, always going to be MY true love, but she really, really, really loves disc and I won't be surprised if that winds up being more her thing than agility. Mostly though, she wants to DO, and I don't think I'll ever have a dog who is more willing to give anything a shot.

I'm going to see if I can go to a few club practices with the disc thing, keep agility going, and work the rest in as I can. Probably plan to get her set up for rally/obedience in the fall, hit up more dock diving with her and Thud when summer runs back around, and I'm pretty sure this winter is when flyball classes and treibball workshops come back around. There's a whole other club I haven't investigated too much, too, that does some freestyle and things that I will also probably look into at some point.

I don't want her out of classes. I don't want her sitting at home for months on end, and she honestly, honestly, needs *structured* activities not just training and exercising if that makes any sense at all.

And yes, absolutely with proper foundations and good throwing and safety, all around. Also LOL. Yeah. My smaller dogs leg weave. Thud does not. I like my face.
 

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And yes, absolutely with proper foundations and good throwing and safety, all around. Also LOL. Yeah. My smaller dogs leg weave. Thud does not. I like my face.
Hahaha. I initially did try to teach Loki to leg weave... Big mistake. I'm rather tall for a female (5'8), and I have long legs, but his shoulders were around 34" and he just did NOT fit.

Plus he quickly decided high-speed-from-a-distance-go-under-the-legs was a fun game. It wasn't.
 

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I don't, but I just want to reiterate the importance of learning to throw properly and also teaching a dog to land properly (like, taking the time to do boring drills to build muscle memory and 'force' them to tuck their back legs in).
Can you (or anybody else) think of any great online resources for in-depth information on these things? Something that included the in-depth "Why?"s as well, preferably.
 

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Can you (or anybody else) think of any great online resources for in-depth information on these things? Something that included the in-depth "Why?"s as well, preferably.
I like this video (and the guy's channel) a lot:


The 'why' is if your dog is very driven to get the disc and just flings itself into the air for it without proper conditioning, rear end awareness, and landing, (AND playing in a safe place with level ground and adequate cushioning) it can get seriously injured. Those dogs that jump super high and twist to catch the discs look cool, but what they are doing is not safe.

Imagine if you were playing volleyball; you are so motivated to hit that ball that you jump super high, land on your ankle and sprain it. Imagine you are obsessed with volleyball and had zero impulse control or sense of self preservation, and you are playing in a parking lot... You are going to dive for those balls and skin yourself raw on the asphalt.

Now think about dogs and the state of minds they are in when they are driven for the treat, the ball, the disc.... It is the owner's responsibility to set the dog up with the smallest chance of getting hurt, given the already high impact nature of this sport.
 
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