Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sporty Sunday: Best Dog Discs

Jasper is a frisbee* dog. My limit is one hour but I’ve never found his. He will chase the disc forever.

Jasper is generally easy on the discs; he doesn’t use them as chew toys. However, I’ve learned that the standard, plastic frisbee is too flimsy for dog play. Even a soft-mouthed dog punctures the hard plastic, creating a serrated-knife-like surface that’s hard on the hands and tongue. (The dog’s tongue, not mine. I have a well-calloused tongue.) With rough play, the rigid disc warps beyond even an experienced throwers ability to throw in a straight line. Eventually, the lip disintegrates and the thrower is left attempting to fling something that more closely resembles a weapon than a toy. A doggy disc is required.

We’ve tried Kong frisbees and they are durable, but heavy, and fly like shit. The softer fabric frisbees are also difficult to control. Jasper’s and our favorites are the Aerobie Dogobie and the Ruffwear Hydro Plane.

Aerobie Dogobie

The Aerobie Dogobie is the perfect balance between durability and performance. We have two of these discs, one for each car, and the only damage to either disc is the result of frisbee stealers at the dog park. (We occasionally encounter dogs that take Jasper’s frisbee to chew or play tug-of-war while their owners either laugh, shrug or never look up from their cell phones.) They’ve each been thrown and retrieved hundreds of times with minimal wear. The discs remain soft and easy on the mouth.

The disc isn’t entirely rigid, so proper throwing technique is important. If the disc is released levelly, with plenty of spin, it flies far and true. This is the perfect, all-around, dog disc.

Ruffwear Hydro Plane

My nickname for the Ruffwear Hydro Plane is “the floaty frisbee.” The canvas-covered foam floats and the ring shape is easy to retrieve from the water. But the fun doesn’t end there. Jasper makes “sweet sweet love” to all frisbees. His moves consist of licking, face-rubbing, and tossing the disc. The Hydroplane is slightly elastic, and has that handy hole in the middle, so he is able to slingshot it into the air, in addition to the other activities. We take the Hydroplane to the river and spend 60% of the time tossing and retrieving and 40% of the time making sweet, sweet frisbee love.

The Hydro Plane flies true, but not exceptionally far. The foam has dented from enthusiastic play, but that hasn’t impaired it’s floatability or throwability. The fabric covering is dirty, but not worn or torn. I anticipate many months, if not years, of wet fun with this toy.

All discs are stored out of our dogs’ reach, so they aren’t chewed or tugged on without supervision.

Any other doggy disc favorites out there?

*Yes, “frisbee” is a trademarked brand, like xerox or kleenex, but I’ve used it here interchangeably with “flying disc.”

Sporty Sunday is a recurring feature in which I share my fitness routine and offer and solicit advice. While this content might seem a little out of place in an outfit diary, a healthy, strong body is the foundation of my wardrobe. I hope to inspire my readers to be fit as well as stylish!


Sheila said...

Hee, we use the phrase "sweet sweet love" in reference to Vizzini's toys, especially his fabric mousies. Love the action shots!

C said...

my dog's BC friend dogs go through an enormous amount of frisbee-type toys...we've seen them all- hard plastic, soft plastic, fabric....the fabric seems to last the longest ..YMMV