We've been playing around with a couple of different sports lately, just for something fun to do: disc and flyball. I'm a complete newbie to both sports. I started to teach Mika the basics of flyball when she was a young dog, but I ended up concentrating my efforts on agility. (She did get to race over lines of flyball jumps at the SuperDogs show in October. She didn't show any hesitation with the flyball jumps.) Flyball is a new one to Wall-e, but he's been playing with discs ever since he was ten months old (no catches). I've always had lots of fun with Mika, who can take huge flying leaps into the air to catch a disc or toy from my hand, but I never was able to train her to catch a thrown disc in the air. Wall-e's tried to do that one time when the thrown disc was blown up into the air by the wind, but he just missed it and hasn't tried it again.
We won't be competing in either sport simply because we don't really have the time. Agility takes up a lot of time from April to October, so much that Wall-e will only be able to work sheep again a couple times this year. Agility is definitely our main sport.
That doesn't mean that we can't have fun playing other sports, though! Mika and Wall-e have been learning swimmers turns on a piece of carpet placed over a wide plank. (I don't actually have a flyball box.) Mika needs to have the plank flat on the ground because she doesn't quite understand what she's supposed to do with the plank raised (she tries to do 2on2off, hahaha!). Wall-e does great with the plank raised at about a 45 degree angle. I'm using a 6" jump in front of the plank for both of them.
I've been reading lots of disc articles from DogSport magazine, but I still can't seem to get either dog to catch a thrown disc. Both dogs can catch the disc if I'm holding it while running (so it's moving in the air), and Wall-e can easily catch a roller (a disc rolling on its side along the ground). With Mika I'm concentrating my efforts on building drive for the disc; she really likes discs, but she doesn't have the maniacal obsession for them as she does with tugs. She seriously looks like a mad (as in crazy) dog while tugging, and I'm trying to transfer that drive to discs.
Any ideas for training Wall-e how to catch a thrown disc in mid-air?