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Behavior & Training 4 THINGS YOU


Freestyle Flying Disc is a toss-and-fetch event where owner and dog perform choreographed routines that require technical skill and a healthy dose of showmanship. If you compete at the Purina® Pro Plan® Incredible Dog Challenge®, you and your dog get 2 minutes to show the crowd what you’re capable of.  


The elements of the sport are:

  • This event is a judged competition
  • You earn points for executing toss-and-fetch skills with the flying disc, and for creativity and style 
  • The handler can use his or her body as a prop for the dog to balance on or as a springboard to great heights  
  • Competitors are awarded bonus points by executing 2 long distance throws/catches from one end of the field to the other. But the dog must catch the flying disc inside the white Purina® Pro Plan® square to earn the bonus. 
Watch the winning Freestyle Flying Disc routine from Mark Faragoi and Riley at the 2014 Purina® Pro Plan® Incredible® Dog Challenge® National Championships


You see a wide range of breeds competing in Freestyle Flying Disc, from herding breeds like Australian Shepherds or McNabs to other high-energy dogs like Jack Russell Terriers or Whippets. But the reality is you just need a dog with a strong desire, and the willingness to put the time in to learn together. 


Andrea Rigler and Moxie

Andrea Rigler, along with her husband, Jason, used to play club level ultimate. Jason always wanted a dog he could throw a flying disc to. 

The couple has competed at the Purina® Pro Plan® Incredible Dog Challenge®, and now Andrea has joined Purina® as a trainer.

Her advice for those getting started? 

Every dog is different,” said Rigler. “Don’t compare your dog with anyone else’s dog or anyone else’s journey – look for what makes your dog shine. When you first start, you see videos of other players and like their style and mold your own unique style from theirs – it’s hard to not go too fast and do more than you or your dog is ready to do at first. Go slow and enjoy every moment – the journey we have with our dogs really does go too fast. “

As for the traits that give a glimpse into a dog’s potential to excel in flying disc: 

“All but one of our dogs are rescues or rehomes – and we really feel strongly that rescue dogs are fantastic for this sport as a lot of dogs end up in shelters for jumping fences, having too much energy or having natural herding behaviors – all things we look for in a great disc dog. We love to educate people about the “rock stars in waiting” at their local shelters or rescues – that any dog truly can be amazing.”


There are a number of ways to get started in freestyle flying disc.

  1. There are clubs and dog gyms all over the country with facilities and knowledgeable staff. Just do a quick search online to locate one nearest you.
  2. Another great place to begin is by networking through your local breed-affiliated club.

  3. Truth is, all you need are some flying discs, a back yard or an area in a park where leash-off activities are permitted.

Now matter which direction you choose to begin, the Purina® Pro Plan® P5 Dog Training app is loaded with helpful video tutorials from expert Purina®trainers to help get you on the right path. Download it for free  for your iOS or Android device.