How to Teach Your Dog to Catch: 4 Simple Steps

Teaching your furry buddy to catch whatever you throw at him is a fun trick to try.

Although some dogs struggle taking aim and catching, for most, it is one of the easiest tricks in the book.

If your lovable Fido is not a great catcher and watches you with a confused expression when throwing something at them, here are some steps on how to teach him to catch.

4 Simple Steps to Teach Your Dog To Catch

1. Start With Treats

When teaching your dog how to catch, you will want to start with something enticing and light, first. You need to start with a small object— you don’t want to start throwing heavy toys at your dog’s face and end up getting hurt and scared if he does not catch the toy. He will then associate throwing with getting hit in the face. 

It is best to start with his favorite food or treats since on its own, it is a reward for your pup. Grab your dog’s favorite treat and try to break it into small pieces. Hold the treat high enough so that your dog has to reach his head up and get it, but not too high that he needs to jump to reach it. 

Just let him get the treat out of your fingers for a few times. Make sure to praise him whenever he gets the treat. 

2. Start To Toss

Overtime, increase the distance that you start to drop the treat into your Fido’s mouth. You can add a cue like “Catch”. Praise him when he catches the treat. Once you have a foot distance, you can try tossing the food into your dog’s mouth and saying “catch”. You want to throw it right into his mouth to make it easy for them. 

Show your dog your genuine praise and excitement every time they catch the treat. Once your dog can catch a flying treat aimed at his mouth, you can start tossing and throwing them at different angles. 

An adult dog will become quite athletic in getting his yummy treats. Just makes sure that the floor is not slippery or he will accidentally slip while jumping for his treat. 

3. Encourage Catching

If you have a clever pooch that stares at you as you throw the treat and only picks it up from the floor, you will need a new strategy. 

If he does not catch the treat, quickly pick it up so that he can’t eat it. Overtime, your Fido will get frustrated that he is not getting his treats and will be keener in trying to catch it before you take it back. 

Another method that encourages your dog to catch is to play the puppy-in-the-middle game. 

Ask a friend or a family member to pick up a rawhide treat. Toss the treat back and forth with your pooch in the middle. Make it look like the most awesome game in the world. What Fido can resist honing in when his family is having so much fun?

Your dog will start showing interest and will try to join in. You can then encourage it by tossing his treat low enough and saying “Catch”. 

Now, you have a dog that is associating catching with fun. 

4. Add in the Toys and Frisbee

Make sure to use soft toys and Frisbees that are made especially for dogs. 

Now using the same idea as with the treat, you float the Frisbee or throw the toy towards your Fido that’s right in front of you. This is just a couple of feet from his nose to your hand. After some time, your dog will be catching the toy or Frisbee expertly by the rim.

If your dog won’t release the toy or aiming to run off with it, just stand on his lead and entice him with a treat every time. Once he understands that, you can change his reward from treat to a quick throw. He will then know the routine of “Catch and give” and that you’ll throw it again quickly, making him excited to hand it over instantly. 

From then, you can start throwing the toy farther while telling him to “catch” it. 

Now you have a way to exercise your pooch safely while enjoying the sight of your furry buddy flying after his Frisbee and catching it expertly, then bringing it straight back to you, pushing it to your hand, forcing you to throw again.

Safety Note

There are dogs that do great antic catching Frisbee in some online videos. However, you need to take it easy on those hard landings since they can take a toll on your pooch’s health. Ensure that you are not playing on slippery surfaces or something that are too hard to land on. 

Also, it is best to teach your dog impulse control. He needs to wait and sit while you prepare a throw and telling him to “Catch” instead of getting overly excited and snatching it from your hand or jumping upon you to take it from you. 

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