Training Border Collies

Border Collies – How Do They Catch Those Frisbees Anyway?

Border Collie – one of the most active and intelligent dog breeds you’ll ever find. Originally bred as sheep dogs, Border Collies possess remarkable stamina and energy, perfect if you want a dog that loves to play and engage in fun activities, such as dog Frisbee.



Border Collie Traits


Border Collies are highly intelligent; in fact, they are considered as one of the smartest dogs in the world. They are also very energetic because they were originally bred as sheep dogs, herding animals such as sheep, cattle, pigs, ostrich, hens, and ducks.


These dogs need physical and mental stimulation to keep them happy. A bored Border Collie may resort to obsessive behaviors like chewing furniture or herding anything that moves: children, cats, other dogs, skateboarders, even moving vehicles.


They also like to play a lot and spend time with their owners. Border Collies can be physically and emotionally demanding; it might not be suitable for those who want a laidback pet. But, for dog lovers who want an energetic and lively companion, this dog is suited for you.


Border Collies are fast learners if given the proper training. Introducing them to a new sport can be a fun and exciting endeavor. You can consider teaching them Frisbee dog (also known as disc dog) to develop their timing and coordination skills.


History of Dog Frisbee


The history of dog Frisbee is a very interesting one. On August 4, 1974, Alex Stein, a 19-year old college student and his dog, Ashley Whippet, jumped the fence at a baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Alex had with him some flying discs, which he threw at the dog. Ashley wowed the crowd with her disc-catching ability, as she ran 35 miles per hour and jumped 9 feet into the air to snag the Frisbees.


It caught so much attention that the baseball game was stopped, as the announcer continue to annotate the “dog exhibition” on the field. After a few minutes, Alex was escorted off the field and then arrested. The nationally televised event of Ashley’s skill fueled much interest in the dog sport of Frisbee.


Frisbee (a trademark owned by Wham-O for a flying disc), also known as disc dog, is a form of canine sport wherein human handlers and their pet dogs compete in events such as freestyle catching and distance catching. Timing and coordination are very important in this sport.


Dog Frisbee requires energy and stamina. Certain dog breeds are more likely to excel in this field because of their physical qualities and natural abilities. Aside from the Border Collie, other dogs that are excellent Frisbee catchers are the Labrador Retriever, Australian Shepherd, Rat Terrier, Golden Retriever, and the Australian Cattle Dog.



Important Tips and Guidelines


Before engaging in the sport of Frisbee, make sure that your Border Collie is in good physical condition as evaluated by a veterinarian. Also, the type of Frisbee to be used must be soft and flexible.


Do not teach your Border Collie to catch Frisbees until it is at least one year old, because its bones and joints are still developing. Jumping a lot, especially if the elevation is high, can cause physical injuries in young dogs.


During the initial stage of training, throw the Frisbee over short distances. Be sure that the disc is thrown at the dog’s height. Also, do not throw the Frisbee directly towards the dog, especially in the eye area.


  • Introduce the Frisbee to your dog – Associate the Frisbee with fun, excitement, and positive experiences. At first, you can try using it as a food bowl, so your Border Collie will get used to its presence. In time, your pet will grow a fondness with its “new toy.” Reward your dog with treats every time it retrieves the Frisbee.



  • Make training sessions intense but short – Ideally, Frisbee training sessions should be full of enthusiasm, but don’t tire your dog too much. It might lead to exhaustion and possible physical injuries. When you sense that it is experiencing fatigue, take a break and resume practice the following day.



  • Do not get mad at your dog – Patience is very important in dog training. Don’t get mad at your Border Collie if it wasn’t able to catch the Frisbee on the first few tries. Instead, give your dog lots of encouragement and positive reinforcement.


  • Use treats as reward – Every time your dog takes a positive step in the training process, reward it with treats and goodies. If your Border Collie successfully catches a Frisbee, praise it by patting it on the head.


How to Train a Border Collie to Catch a Frisbee


When teaching your Border Collie to catch a Frisbee, you should choose a place where the life of your dog will not be put in danger when it runs after the disc. Parks and other areas that are properly fenced (such as your backyard) are good locations.


Frisbee is a fun activity that is easy to teach, especially to a smart dog like the Border Collie. This sport is all about excitement, praise, and encouragement. Here are some tips how to teach a Border Collie to catch a Frisbee.


  • Feed your Border Collie using the Frisbee. Let it be familiar with the sight and feel of the disc in its mouth. By doing this, your dog will associate the Frisbee with a positive experience, making dog training easier.


  • Put the disc low to the ground and move it from side to side. Hold the Frisbee close to his face until he grabs it using his mouth.


  • Teach your dog the “drop” command. When it grabs the Frisbee in its mouth, give it lots of praise then tell him to drop it. Pull the disc gently, but stop pulling if he resists. If he doesn’t obey, look down and be quiet. When he drops the Frisbee, give him praise.


  • Roll the disc to get your Border Collie to chase it. They are fast, so they should be able to keep up with the Frisbee without much trouble. Give him praise if he is able to catch it.


  • Toss the disc slightly to the side of the dog’s head. He may not catch it on the first few tries, but the Border Collie is a natural athlete it should start catching the Frisbee really soon. Gradually increase the distance of your throws.


Dog Frisbee Formats


Disc Dog has two formats: toss and fetch and freestyle. In toss and fetch, participants have 60 seconds to attempt as many throws as possible. Dogs are judged based on the distance of the throw, with extra points given to mid-air catches.


In freestyle, the length of the routine ranges from one minute thirty seconds up to three minutes. Judging will be based on the degree of difficulty, canine athleticism, and showmanship. You can see incredible flips, spectacular vaults, and hyper-fast multiple catches in freestyle events.




Dog Frisbee is a fun and exciting canine sport that you can teach your Border Collie.  This dog breed is very energetic and intelligent, perfect for such a sport. Before proceeding, make sure that you consider these factors: age of the dog, its physical condition, and the type of Frisbee.



Tags: Border Collie, Border Collies, Frisbee dog, dog sports, canine sports, cute pets, dog breeds, dog training, smart dogs, sheep dogs, cute puppies, working dogs


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