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Tex jumping for frisbee...

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So Tex (4 1/2 months) has been obsessed with his frisbee since the day it was introduce to him. We have been playing with him for a little over a month now and he would just run wild and grab it off the ground and bring it back. Three days ago he started jumping for it (and catching it about 80% of the time :rolleyes: )in mid-air. Now I have read that this is NOT good for their joints until they are fully grown. Is this mainly for when they jump for the short tosses and sometimes land awkardly on the ground (sometimes on their sides, back). 99% of the normal tosses out into the yard, he jumps straight for it and lands cleanly in stride. I am just wondering if this is still bad for him to do if he is jumping and landing very cleanly. It's going to be soo hard to stop because he loves playing so much. As soon as I say the "F-word" he freaks out and runs right to the dog drawer. I feel like if we aren't playing frisbee, he is just waiting to.


Any feedback would be great. Thank you!

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Yep - agree with Geoffrey - but then I'm a total worry wart, and also I want to still be able to compete with my dogs when they're seniors. Personally, I'd just be doing rollers - and not too many of those at one time. It's true that puppies will jump around by themselves a lot - but that's different from us asking them or setting them up for repetitive jumping actions.


It's hard to be patient, isn't it - especially with a driven pup - but think down the track a bit - waiting a few months now could give you extra years of fun later. JMHO :rolleyes:

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My Border collie puppy is exactly the same way. It's been a chore to keep him on the ground since day one, as well. I worry constantly about the effect the jumps he's attempted could have had on his future careers, but I've learned to work around it.


I've done a great deal of practicing with the frisbee myself and I always throw it so that he's able to snatch it out of the air without leaping - that way, he can practice catching and not endanger those joints. If he's still leaping to catch when it's not necessary, then I'll throw it far enough and low enough so that it hits the ground before he reaches it.


One other piece of advice: it's wonderful that your puppy is so highly driven - you can have that work for you in many ways. I'd reccomend asking for a trick or at least a down before throwing the disc - some dogs become so riveted on the toy that they become oblivious to all else and they cannot focus on you when the frisbee is in sight. While I play frisbee with my 7-month old, I ask him to do the figure 8 trick(weaving through my legs), touch my hand, and practice heelwork, eye-contact and down-stays, all within the same game. It keeps him focused on me and helps him to recognize that I am in control of the toy and that it is a reward. It also keeps training fun for him and leaves him begging for more.

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Guest TheRuffMuttGang

The problem with jumping at a young age is that they could hurt a growth plate. One growth plate injury and your pup is done jumping for life. If your pup does not hurt a growth plate, you will most certainly drive him to an early retirement (lame by 6 or 7 instead of 12 or 13) by allowing him to break his joints down from the time he is very young. Unfortunately, this is a huge problem (IMO) amongst the competitive frisbee and performance crowd. All you have to do is search Youtube to find the types of videos I am talking about. People have 8 month old puppies all but doing back vaults. And a 7 month old puppy doing a full set of weave poles? You're just asking for back problems later in life. I think we all know the sorts of people I am talking about. The ones that only have dogs to make themselves look cool. No amount of convincing will get these people to change their minds because when the dog is useless, they just get rid of it.


Soooo...Tex's Owner, at 4 1/2 months old your pup is way too young to be jumping to catch frisbees safely. If you can master low throws that require your pup to run and reach but not jump for the frisbee, more power to you and your pup. Ideally at 4 1/2 months old, I would stick to rollers for now. It teaches your pup more than you might think. You can also teach a lot of other cool groundwork tricks that you could incorporate into a freestyle frisbee routine in a year or so. Teach a back stall (bend down low so your pup can get down safely), spins, twists, backups, weave your legs (minimally as a pup), go around behind you, beg, stand up (minimal, as you don't want a small pup wearing those hips out too soon)....and anything else you can think of. The possibilities of groundwork tricks are almost limitless.


Here is a short video of my pup, Tank, when he was 6.5mos old.



He really does not have the drive for the disc that I would like so we spend a lot of time tugging to build drive. I admit that I have not worked much with him since this short snippet, but at 8 mos old I don't really want him leaping for frisbees yet anyway. He is a natural born jumper so I know we'll have no problem learning to catch the disc (he can catch them if tossed at him) mid-flight when I am ready for him to do so. I have not yet mastered throwing the disc low enough to prevent dogs from jumping every single time and Tank is one of those dogs that has little to no regard for his body so he WOULD jump and hurt himself if I allowed him to do so.

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I feel like if we aren't playing frisbee, he is just waiting to.


That's not much of a relationship to me. That sounds mean, but hear me out before you get upset.


Try varying your activities a lot more. You know he will want to play frisbee, but his formative months should be about relationship, relationship, relationship, followed by preparing him for a great *total* life. He needs basic obedience, tricks, manners, just plain old "be a pup" growing time, get to know many other people and dogs. Take him to a puppy agility class or develop something of your own to get him used to uneven footing and obstacles - expand his mind, without stressing his body.


It's so easy to get wound tight about the details of a future sport or work and forget the rest. Really easy...'cause these dogs can get wound tight about that sort of stuff as we do - it's easy to get hooked on the fun stuff! :rolleyes:


You have to think beyond Frisbee. And when all my pups thinks about is *insert obcessive source of focus here* even when its not there then I'm not doing my job.


I raise all my puppies so that no matter what happens - if they can't play sports, if they can't herd sheep - they can have a happy and fulfilled life without it. Right *now* is the time to train that puppy to enjoy life with you no matter what. The Frisbee is icing, and if it dissapears tomorrow you've got a great cake, and alternative icing.


No Frisbees off the ground until at *least* a year. In fact I'd put the Frisbee for a while. No jumping until at least a year. None, nada, no more than a doorstep. It's just not worth it.

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Thanks for the replies. I didn't mean to say that frisbee is the only thing he likes. I guess that came out the wrong way. We do things like play ball with him, take him to the lake, and we do a LOT of obedience with him. Well I think the comments clarify my question a bit. I will definitely keep Tex on the ground for the time being. Thanks again for the input.

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