Frisbee, & The Behaviour Boosting Secret Behind It.
Frisbee, like all catching games are great fun for both you and your dog. But, the benefits are more than just fun.
boost our dogs energy level when appropriate and helps to bring it back down when required
build passion and drive for reward. (This makes new training easier.)
create and build optimism and confidence in our dogs, within new environments
build great intensity into behaviours taught by us
ensure that our dogs focus is on us and the actions we are presenting, rather than everything else around us.
The last point on focus is a big benefit. For all animals, it is an evolutionary advantage to be very aware and take action on the surrounding environment. Dogs are no different.
Squirrel - that can be prey.
Other dogs - that is a potential mate or even a threat.
Smell a camp fire or food - possible scraps.
Fresh water - that is refreshing.
Female in heat, well... you get the idea.
However, with the lifestyle we and our dogs live these days, it isn't so important for them to be super aware and reactive to their surroundings. Of course, we still need to be very aware while we are out with our dogs. However, we don't want them reacting to it. This would mean continual pulling on the leash, lunging and barking as well as many other behaviours that we as humans, deem undesirable.
All too often, I hear people saying that their dogs are not interested in them while outside; everything distracts them. This boils down to the fact that their dog is more interested in everything going on around them than their human.
So, how do we become more than just an owner to our dogs and keep their focus on us?
By creating an iron clad bond with them and offering them something of higher value - us, with our new found bond, as well as our actions are that of higher value. And catching games are one of the actions which builds this focus.