Animal Information

Teaching Your Dog To Play Catch

Teaching your dog to play catch would probably fall under ‘advanced training’ category. Translated, that means that this trick is indeed a little tricky to teach your dog. But is it an impossible trick? Absolutely not.

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Dogs need exercise and so do Pet Parents. Get off the sofa & play catch with your pet.

The only thing is that it will require a little more patience on your part. But with the help of a couple pointers, which you will find on this post, you should be able to get your dog to catch a disc, ball or pretty much anything you want them to.

So, look at the pointers below and get ready to have some fun!


Dogs are very much like little children. They only have three things in mind: sleep, eat and play. They run around the house, expect their parents to fumble and tumble with them and generally require that they have their special toys too. The toys for dogs are not just for playtime, though.

Toys Teach Tricks

Are you already imagining yourself playing frisbee with your dog. Great. Now go on and learn how to get there.

With a little patience and the following steps, you and your pet can learn to do this fun and rewarding activity.

  1. The meal ticket: the best way to get your dog started on this game is to introduce the frisbee in their dish. This will allow him to familiarize themselves with the disc in a positive manner. Dogs, in general, are very quick in making associations especially if it involves food in one form or the other. So always try to use that information to your advantage.
  2. Encourage them: try dragging the dish in from of them and encourage them to catch and hold the dish. When they do this, do not forget to use positive reinforcement, such as rewarding them with a treat every time they preform correctly. You can phase out these rewards later on.
  3. Track the fun: start to roll the disc in front of them; they will learn to track the disc when you do this. By learning to track the disc they will later be able to catch it effectively.
  4. The short length: try throwing the disc for short length; remember not to through the disc directly at your dog is it may end up hitting them. Start small; so go for shorter lengths at this stage of the training process. Remember to use positive reinforcement all through the training process and start using word associations, in this case ‘catch.’ Remember to reward them with a doggy treat every time they do this correctly.
  5. The full length: going the full length is never easy, at least not in the beginning. It will take your dog some time to get used to tracking the disc over long distances and to catch it by jumping up in the air. But with repetition, they will be able to perform flawlessly every time you say the magic word ‘catch.’ With these pointers, you should be able to get your dog to catch a frisbee, or anything else for that matter, in a short amount of time.

Keep in mind that teaching your dog to play catch is not the easiest trick around, so it will take some time and patience. But if you stick to it and make sure both you and your dog have fun while training, you should be able enter your dog into professional competitions. Now, that’s something to ponder about, huh?

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PSS: Judy Helm Wright is an intuitive, wise woman who teaches respect for all creatures, two and four legged.  Read more about her work at   She is a member of WIPIN (Women In The Pet Industry Network)

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