*** Update 2/19/2018 *** The previous version of this page had more suggestions for type of disc to use for freestyle and toss and fetch. Those suggestions have largely been removed because there is now such a huge selection of discs and an even bigger number of different disc dog events, there are too many factors to choose just a single disc. I am now using many different types of discs depending on the dog, conditions and event type. I have won World Championships with my dogs throwing many different discs – Discovering the World Fastbacks, Hyperflite Jawz Hyperflex, Z-Discs, Hero Xtras and Super Stars. This shows that there are many good discs out there. It’s just a matter of deciding which discs work for you.
When choosing discs, I suggest buying from the three manufacturers listed below since they make discs that are known to be safe for your dog. Safe discs don’t get dangerously sharp edges when damaged, aren’t too heavy and aren’t too hard for your dog’s mouth. These are my personal reviews of the various types of discs you can buy. I believe all of these manufacturers have good discs to offer and most of the discs they produce have a place in the sport. It is a good idea to get at least one of each type of disc to try. That could mean 20+ unique discs to buy at first, but if you want to get serious about the sport, that’s the best way to do it. My reviews consider safety, flight quality, “feel” and suitability for their intended use.
I will discuss discs performance for freestyle, toss and fetch, puppy training or other game type events you can compete in. Freestyle is a 1.5-2 minute timed event with multiple discs (5-10 typically). I look for a disc that allows for the various tricks to be performed and a disc that feels right in my hand. Toss and fetch (aka distance and accuracy or mini-distance) is a 1-1.5 minute timed event with a single disc where you throw the disc upwards of 40 yards accumulating as many points as possible. I want a disc that is durable and flies straight consistently. Durability comes into play because it is a single disc event. For puppy training, a small soft disc is generally required.
Floating the disc is very important for freestyle and toss / fetch. I had previously used only lightweight discs to get better float. I now use heavy discs as well and although they have a tendency to drop faster, with better technique, you can get a heavy disc to float similarly to a light disc. Floating a disc is primarily a function of how the disc is thrown. It takes thousands of hours of training and practice to accomplish this, so if you are new to the sport, don’t expect to be able to throw a heavy disc and have it float consistently.
I currently use many of these discs in competition. Depending on the event, conditions and specific dog, I might use Fastbacks, Z-Discs, Z-Disc FLX Discs, Jawz, Jawz Hyperflex, Xtra 235 Distance or Super Stars. You will need to experiment. You’ll find that not every disc is suited for every dog or your own throwing style. Over time, you’ll also see that you use different types of discs and change preferences. Below are my reviews for each manufacturer.
USA based company that makes the best disc for hard bite dogs. They offer many different types of plastics and three sizes, pup, standard and classic. I will review their most popular discs. Hyperflite is now the brand I use the most discs from.
Competition Standard – Formerly known as the K10 disc. The standard size is smaller diameter than a Fastback but have a deeper rim. These are suitable for freestyle but are smaller than I prefer. They tend to suffer in the wind a bit more than other discs. The pup version of these discs are good for puppy training but are too light to be usable in competition.
Jawz – These are the original discs intended for hard biting dogs and they are still a good disc for that purpose. Even when they get chewed up the edges aren’t very sharp. There are people that have been using the same set of Jawz discs for many years. They come in standard and pup size. If you have a small dog that is hard biting use the pup size otherwise use the standard size. They have a tendency to fly low, but with practice you can get them to float somewhat. They are easier to throw in some ways because the wind impacts them less than other light weight discs. Some people feel they don’t work well for a lot of tricks in freestyle because they are quite soft and floppy (air brushes, air bounces, skips for example), but I have found that with practice, I can do all of these advanced tricks just as successfully with Jawz as with any other disc. I have been using the Jawz Hyperflex for both freestyle and toss/fetch with most of my dogs. I love how soft the disc is, making it safe to throw, even though it’s a heavy disc. Something that I never thought I’d say is that if I could only use a single disc, I would choose the Jawz Hyperflex. I can be successful with all of my dogs using this disc.
SofFlite – The softest discs on the market and are good for puppy training but not the best for competition or throwing in the wind. I have used it in competition for some of my dogs that prefer soft discs.
Z-Disc – This is a take on the fastback disc. It has the same rim, underneath feel and material as a Competition Standard. It has a low profile, similar to a sonic, but on a disc that is a standard diameter (very close to the Air 235 diameter). It is slightly heavier than a Fastback or 235 air. The disc does not fly like a typical dog disc. It is overstable (similar to a lot of disc golf discs). Even when I throw the disc with no hyzer at all, it falls to the left (for a right-handed backhand throw). The disc is fine for shorter throws such as for freestyle. For longer throws, it’s difficult to control. After mastering this disc, I have found that it is very predictable for the dog. I originally didn’t like this disc at all but I kept experimenting and since the disc is overstable, it will always act the same way. I am in the minority of people that would say this is a great freestyle disc.
Z-Disc FLX, Fang and Fang-X – These are Jawz material in the form of a Z-Disc. FLX=Jawz Hyperflex, Fang=Jawz and Fang-X=Jawz X-Comp. These are very heavy discs. I personally would never throw a Fang-X disc to any of my dogs because of the weight and hardness. I have thrown the Fang disc a few times into headwind only (which would make the disc fly slower and safer). The Z-Disc FLX is a nice disc. It combines a heavy disc with soft material, making it really safe to throw. I like it for toss/fetch but have found that the disc gets warped quite easily and flight quality will degrade quickly.
Discovering the World www.dtworld.com
USA based company that has the rights to the Frisbee name that Wham-O originally branded. If you want to throw a “Frisbee”, this is the only place you can get one. Here are my reviews of their discs.
Fastback (AKA Chomper) – The original dog disc. This is a good freestyle disc. They have the best float of any disc out there. They are average durability but tend to get sharp edges as they get used. These work for all but the hardest biting dogs. These can be purchased at the lowest price of any disc in bulk and you can get misprints that are even cheaper. I get them for about $1.05/each in bulk. Historically this has been the most popular freestyle disc in the sport. They are used in toss and fetch, but not as often as in the past. Their flight quality degrades over longer distances.
Flex / Super Flex – These are the same as a Fastback except have softer plastics. These can be used instead of a Fastback for a dog with a softer bite. I generally don’t like the color options for these; normally dull and translucent. I always have some of these available and use them from time to time. I consider these discs to be of very high quality.
Eurablend – A heavy disc that should only be used with the hardest biting dogs. Since it is a heavy disc, it takes a lot of practice to get this disc to float. They can still get sharp edges even though the plastic is a bit softer than a regular Fastback. Suitable for a hard biting dog but I think they are lower quality than the other options (Jawz or Super Hero/Star).
A Japanese company with an office and manufacturing in the USA. They generally make very high quality discs although they have inconsistent colors and plastics from run to run. I used Hero discs a lot in the past but have been finding myself using different brands (particularly Hyperflite) with better results. They have the most options in materials and sizes of any manufacturer. I will discuss most of these options here.
Air 235 – A Fastback knockoff. At least that is what it was originally. Now it is a higher quality version of a Fastback. This disc flies straight as an arrow when it’s new and even when it’s damaged, doesn’t suffer flight quality that much. It is good for both freestyle and toss and fetch. Even though this is one disc I personally don’t use in competition, I can assure you that is a very good disc. The main reason I do not use this disc is because the rim is the smallest of all the standard size discs. This is a major problem for me since I do a number of tricks that heavily involve the rim (most freestyle players will never notice since they don’t do these types of tricks). I also feel it is too slippery in my hand. It may seem odd that I would highly suggest a disc that I personally don’t like but the truth is that my dislikes of the disc are for very specific reasons that most people would never care about.
Xtra 235 – There are two versions of this disc. Both versions are a more rigid version of the 235 Air but at the same weight (some people think they are heavier, but I promise they are not). The distance version is a good toss and fetch / long distance disc and are very high quality. They fly absolutely straight if thrown properly. This used to be my go-to disc for toss/fetch but I have been moving away from it in favor of heavier discs. It isn’t usable in freestyle because it is way too grippy (discs stick together!). The freestyle version of this disc is a slippery version. Unfortunately I think it is way too slippery to be a good freestyle disc. Although Hero indicates these are extra durable, it comes with mixed results. They are harder discs so the dog won’t shred them as easily, however they get deformed easily and will never fly properly once they get deformed. These discs don’t last any longer than a Fastback in my mind because they start flying poorly quicker than a Fastback. These get thrown away because they won’t fly, not because they become dangerous for the dog.
Super Aero K9 Candy – A very unique disc. It is good for hard bite dogs but is a light disc. They are very soft and don’t hold their shape when in flight, therefore don’t fly very good at long distances. It is good for a training disc but is unsuitable for toss and fetch and just barely usable for freestyle. It’s the best disc to use for your dog swimming in a pool! See the Starlite version for a better competition version of the disc.
Super Aero Starlite – It is good for hard bite dogs and is heavier and more rigid than the Super Aero Candy. It’s a medium weight disc, almost in a category by itself. It would be a better disc for competition than the Candy version since it flies better. It’s still kind of a weird disc in my mind and one of those discs you’d just have to try and see if it fit your needs for some reason. Unfortunately, this version of the disc isn’t nearly as good in the pool as the Starlite version.
Super Hero / Star / Swirl – Heavy discs and are all good for hard bite dogs. Think of them as heavy versions of the 235 Air. I like these a lot for toss and fetch but haven’t used them in freestyle. They hold up nicely with hard bite dogs, just not as good as the Jawz discs. They float better than a Jawz, though.
Sonic 215 – A small-medium sized disc that comes in two versions. The Super Sonic is better than the Xtra Sonic in my mind. The Xtra Sonic gets deformed too easily and flies poorly after that (much like the Hero Xtra). The Sonic can be a decent disc to use for a smaller dog. Because it is using a heavier plastic, it will tend to drop quickly. They have a very flat profile which results in a flight path that I’m not super happy with, especially at the end of flight. It can fall hard left or right easily. Put extra spin on these to keep them stable. There are two versions of the Super Sonic, the Taffy and the Candy. Both are very similar. The main difference is the Taffy is opaque and the Candy is translucent.
Pup 160 / 120 – These two discs are very small and are great for training a puppy but don’t work in competition. They have poor flight quality and are difficult for a puppy to catch. The Pup 160 disc has not been available the past few years, so I suspect they no longer make it.
Atom – A disc for small dogs. Hero sold these in the past and started making them again more recently but with different materials. My experience was with the old version. The new versions of this disc are very different. Although I did throw them for testing, I don’t have enough experience with them to give a proper evaluation. My impression was the Super Atom could be a good disc for a hard biting small dog.
Praxis – These discs have been removed from their web site, possibly no longer being made. Maybe they saw my old review: I have no idea why Hero puts their name on these discs. They are extremely poor quality and serve no purpose in my mind.
Latitude 64 www.latitude64.se (I bought mine at Amazon)
A Swedish disc golf company that is now making a disc targeted for disc dogs. From what I have seen, they should just stick with disc golf discs.
Bite – This is a heavy disc and has a very low profile (most similar to a super sonic but bigger and much heavier). It’s a surprisingly small diameter disc for the weight and therefore is very dense. I don’t know if this disc is safe for dogs because of how dense the material is. More dense than any other dog disc. I won’t throw it for my dogs, only without them to test the flight characteristics. This disc will go far. Without much effort I can get a lot of distance out of it. It just seems to want to go and go and doesn’t roll over or fade very easily, just flies straight.
If you made it this far, you are really doing your homework. With so many different discs available to us, it becomes more and more difficult to choose the right disc. The right disc might be 5 different types of discs, like I use.
Feel free to comment below if you want to ask specific questions.