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Canine Disc

We’ve all seen it. You’re at a beach or in a park somewhere and off in the distance you see something that looks like a ball of fur flying through the air with their mouth open like it’s going to devour the first thing they see. Then their mouth closes quickly and efficiently around a round flat disc that we know as a Frisbee, they land on all fours and excitedly run back to their owner for some well-deserved praise and probably a treat.

While this is a relatively common activity in any backyard setting and in most cases an informal play session there are also very popular and formal Canine Disc Competitions with rules and prizes. It’s estimated that over 1 million pets play fetch with Frisbees but only a small number engage in competitions.

The activity/sport was popularized in the 1970s and has an interesting beginning and has grown over the years to the point now where there are at least five canine competition series, employing a variety of competitive formats, that exist today including those staged by a variety of organizations such as the Ashley Whippet Invitational (AWI), Flying Disc Dog Open (FDDO), Skyhoundz, and US Disc Dog Nationals (USDDN).

Playing the game usually requires an enormous amount of energy and stamina from the dog. There are certain dogs that it seems were just born to take flight. These dogs not only leap highly into the air to catch Frisbees, but their movement is fluid and natural making them ideal candidates for Frisbee games and any other game that requires flight. The competitors also need to have an innate drive for retrieving or a need to be given a task to accomplish. Apart from being able to jump, these dog breeds also need to be very intelligent and trainable.

According to Dogsaholic, six of the breeds who love playing the most and have many of the above characteristics are, Labrador Retriever, Rat Terrier, Australian Cattle dog, Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, and Golden Retriever.

Polls have shown that the primary reason that people participate in canine disc competitions is because their dogs love it, however when you see these dogs and their owners participating in the competitions it’s hard to tell who is enjoying it more. Read on and play safely.

Canine Disc History

No one actually knows the identity of the first person to throw a disc to a canine, but the credit for first popularizing this activity must go to Alex Stein, owner and trainer of the legendary three-time world canine disc champion, Ashley Whippet. Besides being his registered name, Ashley actually was a Whippet; a breed that looks like a small Greyhound — sleek, smooth, short-haired, athletic and very fast.

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Canine Disc Play

Canine disc sports are a team effort. Although the focus is frequently on the canine, in order for your canine to shine on the playing field or at your local park, you must throw smoothly and accurately in a variety of weather conditions. Good throwers are not born, though good throwing skills are most definitely born of hard work. Developing your throwing skills will enhance your dog's catching potential. We have often seen dogs with great natural abilities score poorly in competition due to their owner's consistently poor throws.

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Canine Disc Competition

Polls have shown that the primary reason that people participate in canine disc competitions is because their dogs love it. Sometimes we lose sight of that simple fact as we become more experienced and more active on the competition circuit. Winning and losing, in canine disc competitions, should always be secondary to the special relationship that you have with your canine. You are unquestionably your dog's hero when you take the time to play and have fun together. Winning or losing is simply not something that matters to canines. We could all learn from their example.

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