K9 Kamp Week Two: Play With Your Discs

 Yeah, yeah. This week’s K9 Kamp Challenge is actually called “Play With Your Balls.” I was afraid if I used those exact words in the title of this post I’d start getting all sorts of weird search engine terms linked to my site. After over two years of remaining creep-free, I’d like to keep it that way. (Isn’t “pimp dog” bad enough?)

Besides, we have started training some basic disc dog skills in the hopes of adding another dog sport to our list of hobbies. It’s been a blast so far and Shiva has picked it up quickly. I have already made a bet with my PH that Shiva will probably end up competing in disc dog before she ever enters an agility trial. When I saw that the second K9 Kamp challenge related to retrieving, I knew I’d be forgoing “fun with balls” for “dancing with discs.”

Disc games definitely qualify as exercise. Not only does Shiva have to run and retrieve, she also has to catch the disc mid-air. Bonus points if she catches it with all four paws off the ground. All that jumping is hard work!

The exercise for me comes into play in learning how to throw the disc properly. It’s not an ability I was born with. If I want Shiva to be able to catch it, I need to throw it high enough, close enough, and hopefully in the same direction in which she is running. It’s not easy! More often than not the disc ends up hitting a tree. Or my head.

Another game we enjoy is Monkey in the Middle. In this case, “Doggie in the Middle.” We have used balls, discs, tug toys, and even treats. I will stand on one end and my PH will be on the other, with Shiva in between. We throw the toy back and forth between us in the air, doing our best to prevent Shiva from snatching it. It is a great game for encouraging drive for an object. Shiva goes crazy when she sees something flying back and forth in front of her that she can’t have. Keeping her away is a real work-out. If she does beat us to the toy, we play a quick game of tug and then start all over again.

Tragically, we had a lot of fun participating in the challenge outdoors all weekend but when I remembered I needed photos for the blog post, the weather grew cold and rainy. Thus, the only pictures I have of our fun are blurry indoor ones. I need to glue my camera to my forehead or something so I have some better ones of the next challenge.

Adapting a ball challenge for The Cat was even more difficult. Believe it or not, he does enjoy playing with such toys, albeit kitty-sized versions, but he is a cat so he usually prefers to play solo. I think the hardest thing about K9 Kamp for cats is finding a way for us to exercise together at the same time. If I move too quickly, he gets freaked out and runs away. It’s like he thinks I am going to jump on him or something.

This week, I worked on getting him to bat at the ball when I rolled it near him. I took any movement from him as success. Sometimes I had to be sneaky. I’d roll the ball towards him and then walk away to watch him around the corner. He doesn’t like to play if he thinks it’s what I want him to do. But if I appear completely uninterested, he’ll often come around on his own.

In that sense, playing with the cat is the complete opposite of playing with Shiva. With the dog I have to act like a lunatic, leaping around and acting like the toy is the best thing in the whole world. With the cat, I have to act like a bump on a log.

If it wasn’t for the laser pointer (best. cat toy. ever.) I don’t know if I’d ever be able to play with the cat at all.

He's standing! The cat is actually standing in a photo! It's a K9 Kamp miracle!

Did you play with your balls this week? I’d love to hear all about it! Make sure to check out the K9 Kamp Posts from Kol’s Notes and Peggy’s Pet Place and all other participating bloggers!

17 thoughts on “K9 Kamp Week Two: Play With Your Discs

  1. Yay the cat is standing in the photo!!! And swatting at a toy! This is k9kamp history in the making!
    Your disc exercise is great. Learning to throw it so that it doesn’t land on your head sounds challenging (are you sure you’re not using a boomerang?)
    Keep up the great work!
    Peggy & Kelly

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  2. What great improving you’ve done Kristine, neither of my dogs really like chasing anything but small animals. 🙂 Although I will say Delilah will play a bit of fetch with a ball, toy or stick but not for very long. Had I been diligent at the beginning of the week I could have managed an hour’s worth of fetch, at least for Delilah.

    I agree with you about the title though…..once I had a post that had ‘bush’ in the title and lord the porn spam I got. After contacting word press, I finally just removed the post. It eliminated the problem. 🙂

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  3. Hi Kristine, hmmm…fun with discs and balls and doggie in the middle. This could form the basis of a great action video. Maybe set everything up on a tripod and away you go. I’m not really into discs and balls – sniffing stuff and taking the stuffing out of furry toys is more me.

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  4. What kind of year of zoomery is this when you’re not even willing to title a post “playing with your balls”? You realize all this balls talk is going to skew your Google Analytics in some very interesting ways, right?

    I’m thrilled to hear you’re doing disc with Shiva. She seems like a natural. I can relate to the inability to throw one, however.

    We have a flying disc that is actually a ring. It’s much easier to throw and you might want to check it out. Unfortunately, Honey is not as coordinated as Shiva and she often gets her front paw stuck in it while she’s running. But she doesn’t seem to mind and we think it’s cute.

    As for playing ball with the cat, is there any chance you could find a ball that has a laser pointer inside?

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  5. Ah, sounds like you had quite the adventures this week, attempting to excite everyone about their balls. We’ve got some cats here that absolutely love balls! They’ll even play by themselves with them. LOL

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  6. I still can’t believe you’re trying to train a cat. It’s like some sort of sacrilege. Also, I wound up using a frisbee instead of a ball, but MY GOD he made it harder than it had to be. Which is, I suppose, why they call it a challenge.

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  7. Nice work 🙂 I have one cat that is almost as ball crazy as my dog . .I wish I would have thought about including her – she would have loved it!! You are always so creative!

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  8. First of all, just for kicks google Play With Your Balls. It is the **highlight** of kamp for me and I am SO EXCITED to say that there, right in the middle of all the smut is a link to a K9 Kamp post. My goal has been achieved. LOL.

    Shiva’s going to be a fantabulous disc dog – I just know it! Now about the cat, what if, your goal was to stay perfectly still…in a squat or a lunge or something like that. A plank is killer on the abs…that might work??? Maybe you’ll try it for this week’s challenge!

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  9. Pahaha–he’s standing! It’s a K9 Kamp miracle!

    That cracked me up! You are too funny. I bet Shiva ROCKS at playing disc! I can just picture her jumping up into the air. Riley used to like to jump and play keep away or monkey in the middle with us when she was younger (before we found out about her hip dysplasia). So much fun!

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  10. lol! you are so funny with that cat!

    i have no doubt that you and shiva will become Canada’s Next Top Disc-ers or whatever term would be appropriate here. there doesn’t seem to be much you guys can’t accomplish. we are desperately trying to teach desmond to catch a frisbee, but for some reason he can’t do it. catch a ball? no problem. frisbee throws him off entirely.

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