A relative newcomer to the world of dog sports, Disc Dog is the sport of canine frisbee - a great outlet for high energy dogs. In 1999, the Canadian Disc Dog Association began in Ontario. Dogs and disc teams perform freestyle routines with multiple discs (as in this video) while advanced freestyle teams perform such moves as back flips, chest vaults and back vaults.
Just about any dog can be taught to catch a flying disc. Dogs with a strong prey drive and herding dogs tend to do well in this sport. Competitive events are open to purebred and mixed breed dogs who are at least 18 months of age (12 months for Single Disc) at the time of a Championship.
In the Canadian Disc Dogs Association (CDDA) trials there are four main events:
RPT (Retrieval Proficiency Test)
Single Disc (sub divided into regular and mini and novice and advanced)
The Retrieval Proficiency Test (RPT)
The RPT is the first stepping stone and is a simple retrieving test. The dog must pass an RPT to go on to the other events and collect points. The dog may retrieve any object (handler's choice). The handler stands in the "handler's box' which 1.8 meters/ 6 feet square and cannot leave the box. The handler then throws the object just over 9 meters/10 yards and sends the dog to retrieve it. The dog must then return it to the handler or drop it within the handler’s box. Once successful retrieve equals a passed RPT, making the dog able to go on to compete for points and titles in all of the other events.
This is the most popular event. In this event you have one official Frisbee and two one minute rounds to get as many catches as you can. The field is divided into yard lines and for each catch the dog makes points are earned:
1 point for over 10 yards
3 points for over 15 yards
5 points for over 20 yards
If the dog has all four feet off the ground at the time of the catch (known as "getting air") there are bonus points for that catch. Points for the two rounds are combined. Titles are awarded after a set number of points are earned, with the eventual goal of participating in the Advanced Division.
Freestyle disc is a 90 second routine of tricks and disc catches to music, while in Furthest Disc the handler has three opportunities to the throw the disc as far as they can and have the dog catch it (points are given and levels achieved for Bronze catches over 100 feet, Silver catches over 150 and Gold catches over 200 feet).
For more rules and a description of the higher titles, go to the CDDA rulebook.