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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Getting Your Dog Ready to become a 'Disc Dog'

Frisbee Dog 101:  Beginner Training
by Chris Engel
(c) photo copyright Kristie Moser
Bandit is Catching on Quickly

Thanks for joining us today for Part III of Frisbee Dog 101, by guest writer Chris Engel. You can read Parts I and II at these links.

The absolute best foundation you can build on a great Frisbee dog has absolutely nothing to do with Frisbees at all. I went to a puppy pre-school with Bandit where I learned about socialization, proper methods to train and handle dogs, and this was where I learned probably the most important thing which I had no clue I even needed to learn. It was all about how to communicate with my dog.

You will build a very strong bond between you and your dog as you go through this process.  You must learn how to give your dog the tools it needs to succeed. There are millions of ways to get there and you must figure that out with your dog.

How? You could hire a pro for a while if you feel you are not progressing at a level you need to be at. Maybe join a message board of like-minded trainers or enthusiasts where you can bounce ideas around and get tips and pointers. Also, find people locally who have the same interest so you can train together. Sometimes it's best to have another set of eyes looking at a sequence or routine. Your training partner may be able to shed light on why an expected behavior is not happening.

Training sessions should be kept short and you should always end on a positive behavior and reward. If you train too lo
ng your dog may become bored, and if your dog is never rewarded, he may lose desire to train altogether.

Find that special item that your dog will go nuts for and then use that as a reward for performing proper behaviors. My dog, Kota, will take a bullet for a food treat where Bandit could care less about food, but might just take that same bullet for a chance to chase a Frisbee and catch it.

Whatever that reward is, make sure it remains special and do not over stimulate and make it become just another item. If it's Frisbee training you are after, you can also get the dog used to it by using your disc as a food bowl or water dish. Never leave them out so they become a chew toy. By only bringing them out when it's time to play (or train) they will begin to know exactly what is going on and training will then become the reward.

At my next post, I will help you begin the process of training your dog to chase and catch a Frisbee. In the meantime, you can visit me at Team-Bandit or check us out at Youtube.

Chris Engel

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Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

Thanks to Marty for line editing assistance. TYPOS! My bad!

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