How dogs navigate to catch frisbees

Dennis M. Shaffer, Scott M. Krauchunas, Marianna Eddy, Michael McBeath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Using micro-video cameras attached to the heads of 2 dogs, we examined their optical behavior while catching Frisbees. Our findings reveal that dogs use the same viewerbased navigational heuristics previously found with baseball players (i.e., maintaining the target along a linear optical trajectory, LOT, with optical speed constancy). On trials in which the Frisbee dramatically changed direction, the dog maintained an LOT with speed constancy until it apparently could no longer do so and then simply established a new LOT and optical speed until interception. This work demonstrates the use of simple control mechanisms that utilize invariant geometric properties to accomplish interceptive tasks. It confirms a common interception strategy that extends both across species and to complex target trajectories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-441
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'How dogs navigate to catch frisbees'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this