Part gymnastics and part Ultimate Frisbee, Freestyle Flying Disc is a toss-and-fetch event where owner and dog perform choreographed routines that require technical skill and a healthy dose of showmanship.
At the Purina® Pro Plan® Incredible Dog Challenge (IDC), dogs and owners get two-and-a-half minutes to show the crowd just how incredible they are.
The elements of the sport are
- A dog in good condition who can run and jump with ease
- A flying disc
- A clean outdoor area with even ground and no obstacles
HOW COMPETITION WORKS
In Freestyle Flying Disc at the IDC, each dog and owner pair gets two-and-a-half minutes to do a complete flying disc routine, including tossing, catching, stunts, and tricks.
Some of the rules are as follows:
- Each dog and owner pair gets two-and-a-half minutes for their routine.
- Each dog and owner pair can choose their own music.
- Dogs can jump off, stand on, or balance on their owners to jump higher or catch discs.
- Each dog can earn bonus points immediately after the two-and-half-minute routine by catching two long throws from their owner. On the competition field, the dog and owner make these throws standing in designated squares 96 feet apart.
- Each team is awarded points from judges for the dog’s skills and the handler’s skills. In the event of a tie, the team that makes the most catches will be the winner.
Freestyle flying disc is one of the easiest IDC events to try on your own. Lots of dogs are already motivated to catch flying discs, and if your dog seems interested, it’s the perfect backyard or dog park activity for you both.
First, make sure you’ve got a large fenced area to work in so that you and your dog can practice with plenty of room.
Get started by helping your dog get familiar with the flying disc, and associate it with fun, praise, and treats. You can begin by using the dish as a bowl for a few treats. Then treat the disc like a toy, getting your dog excited about playing. Finally, do what’s called “Roll and Retrieve” – just roll the disc along the ground and tell your dog to bring it back. When he does, reward him with a treat and praise. See how.
After your dog is familiar with the disc, the next step is asking your dog to retrieve the disc from your hand. With your dog sitting 5 – 10 feet away from you, hold the disc out at arm’s length, as though it’s in the air, and call your dog to jump up and retrieve the disc from your hand. Once he’s done this a few times, starting tossing the disc a few seconds before he’s reached you. Using this technique, you can practice longer and longer throws with your dog. See how
Flying Disc is a classic game for your dog for a very good reason – it’s fun for you and your dog, and it’s a great way to burn off lots of energy. Whether you learn tricks for competition or just have a great time at the dog park, Flying Disc is the perfect way to get started training with your dog.