Picking the right disc, especially in the beginning can make a huge difference on how your dog will take to it. Size is the easy part. Most of my adult discs range from 8.75" to 9.25". If your dog is over 50lbs, the adult size should be fine to start with. If your dog is under 50lbs, I would recommend either a pup size or mid size. These discs range from 7" to 8.5". I even carry a mini discs for the smallest breeds.
One of the most important factors is your dog's "bite". That is, the strength of the jaws, gums and teeth. With puppies, older dogs or any dog with any tooth sensitivity, you'll want a softer disc, especially in the beginning and perhaps all the time. I carry several discs designed for dogs with a softer bite. The Hyperflite SofFlite is a fan favorite, but the Hero Atom 185 Soft, the West Paw Zisc and the GoDog Ultimate Nylon disc are also great choices.
Now lets talk durability. My discs range from around $5 to $20. In most cases, the reason for that is the level of puncture resistance. Remember, discs are made for disc play and not intended to be chew toys. That being said, a good strong bite can eventually dent or puncture even the best discs. You know your dog better than I, but my advice when starting out is to try a couple of the more economical discs first. The Hyperflite Competition Standard and the Hero Air 235 and Xtra 235 are great discs. See how they hold up before going to the JawZ, SuperHero or Atoms.
I carry the soft or tough discs in a size that's right for your dog and I'm always happy to answer any questions to help you find the right disc for your dog.
Let me start out by saying that I have a lot of customers that are avid dog disc enthusiasts and I learn more from them than they do from me. But I've worked with a lot of my rescues and foster dogs and have a few things that have worked for me.
One of the first challenges is teaching your dog that the disc is for disc play and not a chew toy. Good luck in the beginning as your dog plays "keep away" with the disc. I only take the discs out when its disc play time and I always put them out of reach when we are done.
I also find that rolling the disc on its edge from about 10 feet away to one side of your dog or the other is a good way to generate interest and establishes some fetch play. Throwing it frisbee style at your dog right from the start usually gets you a pissed off dog...and that's no good for either of you.
To begin the hand to mouth play, I simply have the dog a couple feet in front of me and invite them to take the disc calmly from my hand....then allow me to take the disc back. This seems to help them get used to how the size and shape feels in the mouth. Once they are comfortable with that, I'll try a gentle toss of only a foot or so, just to introduce the feel of catching it. This can take some time and often you may have to go back to the calm hand off. Once your dog is comfortable with the "catch", increase the distance a bit. When you increase the distance, toss the disc a bit to one side or the other. In the beginning, throwing any distance right at your dog can have a negative impact on the progress you have made. In time, most dogs will be chasing down that throw and making you a proud parent!
Every dog is different when it comes to disc play. Make sure you don't over do it, especially with older dogs. I always like to a periodic check of teeth and gums as well. You will both enjoy disc play as long as you play safe and smart.