Monday, June 10, 2013

What is this "Frisbee" of which you speak?

So lately, I've been working to teach Elka how to play Frisbee.

Oh, she'll run and retrieve something very well. But run, catch something in the air, and bring it back? Well, that needed some work. See, her typical M.O. is to wait until something hits the ground, then pounce on it, then pick it up and shake it, and then bring it back. Then maybe she wants to tug it for a little while (which I discourage with tennis balls, as you may imagine. I've had to discourage it with frisbees as well).

But, I think we're actually making some progress!



If you'll remember our Elka in the Snow! video, you have a good illustration of the "run, pounce, shake" process. If you don't remember, well, here it is (for some reason, it isn't embedding the move when I preview the post, but is in the compose. If it doesn't embed, I guess just click the link. Freaking computers):




See? Not "real" frisbee playing. Now, I don't have a disc dog in the making, not even close. As evidenced by this gem, which I am not placing on Youtube, just sharing here with you folks:

 Ignore my hands. Apologies. But, get a good laugh out of when the frisbee hits her in the butt! You'll notice that I've switched to a fabric type frisbee (purchased at Tractor Supply). My fiancé suggested (and good thought, really) that she might "get it" better with a different type of disc. After all, she's very familiar with the Kong type material of the other disc, and has chewed and tugged on such things before. The nylon-ish one, though, she's never encountered before this....exercise, shall we call it? So we can instill good habits from the get go. Or better ones, anyway.

We still have a "stop and chew" stage, but that happened even with tennis balls as we were learning retrieval back then, so I expect the behavior to fade the more rewarding the actual "catch and retrieve" becomes. She isn't doing the full on leap yet, but, puppy steps!


(Elka Catches the Frisbee!)

38 comments:

  1. That was a great catch! I have two retrievers that stand there and watch me throw balls, sticks, fribees and then turn and look at me like I'm nuts!

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    1. Sometimes they do seem truly mystified, like "You had that great thing, why'd you throw it away?"

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  2. I think you did great!! My mom threw a Frisbee once for me to go
    and fetch. I looked at it, then to her like she was crazy!! She had to go and retrieve it herself! BOL!!!

    ~Higgins

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    1. Elka loves chasing things! It's the bringing them back....

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  3. Looks like lots of fun
    Urban hounds

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    1. It's pretty good when we can get the rhythm going! Elka sometimes also doesn't move away from me (as shown in the last one) so that lack of space needs working on.

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  4. Ha ha ha! Honestly, I'm not sure Küster would know what to do with a Frisbee, either. He's so crazy about balls and tug toys that we've never tried one with him. Elka is definitely enthusiastic about it, even if she has to kill it each time before she brings it back!

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    1. She's so funny, she does the "death shake" with nearly every toy, from frisbees to ropes to tennis balls (and of course Gumby!)

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  5. Hey Elka,

    You're super smart, so I'm sure you'll get the hang of it! I once found a plastic frisbee in my garden that the kids had been playing with, I'm not super into the whole fetch thing AND no-one was watching OR throwing it, so I chewed it to pieces and spat them all over the garden - Tee Hee

    Wags to all and have fun,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

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    1. I think with a hard plastic Frisbee, she would definitely just chew it up!

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  6. We've never had luck with Frisbee. The dogs we've tried it on were convinced we had found a new method of torturing and killing them.

    Elka has the look of a great Frisbee dog.

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    1. She does have quite a lot of form in that last video! Just a matter of working on distance, I think.

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  7. How fun! I have tried to play frisbee with Leroy a few times and he just let it hit him in the nose!

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    1. Elka sometimes just lets things we throw to her just hit her in the face. I never understand why. We show it to her, say "catch", and then BAM. So weird.

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  8. Too funny! You make that frisbee thing look fun
    Benny & Lily

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    1. Elka gets super excited about it!

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  9. Hi Y'all!

    I used to be really good at leaping to catch, but my Human was afraid I'd injure myself 'cause of my size. The solution was a Frisbee with a hole in the middle that, when tossed low, hits the ground and rolls on end like a tire. Now I don't have to jump...just chase!

    Y'all come back now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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    1. That sounds like a fun way to play frisbee too!

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  10. Rooo looks to me like she's got the idea! And every doggie knows that you have to shake a toy before retrieving it *waggy tail*

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    1. No sense bringing it back if it isn't good and stunned, I guess!

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  11. Nice job! I've been thinking about getting one of those soft frisbees for Honey. I'm afraid I'd kill her with a conventional frisbee.

    Couldn't play all the videos. But I loved the big catch at the end.

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    1. Yeah, I'm not sure what the problem was with the video embeds this time. Silly Internet, seriously.

      The soft frisbee was my fiancé's idea, and really, it was a good one!

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  12. Not bad, not bad at ALL!!! Very impressive Elka!! I still do what you did in the furst video! hehehe, we would have a FABulous time togethers!!
    Kisses,
    Ruby

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    1. Thanks Ruby! She doesn't let it hit her very often, but she is frequently looking in the wrong direction after I throw the frisbee.

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  13. I keep trying to explain to my dogs that they are retrievers but it falls on deaf ears. Then I wonder, am I trying to convince them or myself?

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    1. They're saying "Don't impost your breed roles on me!!!" ;)

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  14. Oh, good progress. Silas was up to catching one every now and then, but we've stalled out now that it's hot. He's too lazy to try to get it. Or, he'll run after it once or twice, and then get tired right as he remembered what to do.

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    1. Awww, poor Silas.

      Though I do wish it was just a little bit hot here. It's been 50's (or less!) and raining. Ugh.

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  15. Oh hoorah! Our Flash came to us already catching Frisbees, but only the soft ones. I love how she gets hit in the butt!

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    1. The soft ones are pretty great!

      Hah, yeah, the butt shot was pretty funny :D

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  16. Kill the frisbee!!!! Elka is a funny girl!

    I have to be honest - I'm a little scared of dogs leaping for frisbees. One our first dogs was a frisbee dog, making huge leaps to snag the disc out of the air. Then, after one session, he lost the ability to move his hind legs. It was horrifying. Fortunately, after hospitalization and IV steroids, he recovered... but we've never played frisbee with a dog again.

    Didn't mean to rain on your parade - but perhaps it's a good thing that Elka doesn't want to make huge leaps for the frisbee!

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    1. She has to kill all the toys! It's a Thing.

      Especially with her size, it might be good that she doesn't really do big jumps. Though I will say my fiancé's mom had a 14 year old Border Collie in tip top, glossy muscular shape from frisbee playing her whole life...and she would do the full on leaps. I guess it depends on the dog? Or the landings? I worry sometimes about things like that, definitely. Sometimes I make my own rain ;)

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  17. Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm very proud of her progress. It's a little embarrassing to realize your dog doesn't know how to play frisbee ;)

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  18. Replies
    1. Thanks! She's definitely up for fun that includes running and chasing.

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  19. Great work so far and good luck for the future!
    Dina Mom

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    1. I'm pleased with how few sessions its taken, really, and it's a nice break from the tennis ball throwing.

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