Flyball Information

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C DAUM Photography

What is Flyball?

Flyball is a fast and exciting relay race for dogs.  If your dog has a craving for competition or an endless appetite for fun this could be the team sport for you!  It is a suitable activity for any healthy dog (purebred or mixed breed).

Two teams of four dogs race side by side down a course of four jumps to a flyball box.  The box hold a tennis ball that ejects when the dog hits the front of the box.  The object of the game is for each dog to go over the jumps, hit the box, catch a ball and return over the jumps as fast as possible with the handlers remaining behind the start/finish line.  Each dog takes a turn running the course and when all four dogs have passed the finish line with no errors the race is finished.  The win is determined by the fastest team who completes three out of five heats.  The jump height is set 5″ below the shoulder height of the shortest dog on the team.

Focus & Motivation

Flyball training can improve the performance of your dog.  It builds a strong foundation for focus and motivation.  Dogs that compete in flyball are also successful in other activities such as:

  • Relay Events
  • Herding
  • Obedience
  • Terrier Trials

Frequently Asked Questions

Will tugging make my dog aggressive?

No.  Tugging is the only game you truly play with your dog.  It can help build a strong bond, reinforces the dog’s focus, interest and pleasure in playing and training with you.  Dogs can become very aroused playing tug and, providing you are playing by the rules, is a great activity to play with your dog.  Top competitors in Agility, Flyball and Obedience use tug as a reward.

Will flyball make my dog crazy and uncontrollable?

No.  Dogs learn what they can do.  If you want your dog to behave in a certain way, teach them to do what you want.  Dogs are happy playing flyball and they are excited.  Dogs that do flyball spend lots of time learning focus and motivation.  It takes control to race side by side against other dogs while the excitement is high.

Does my dog need to be ball crazy to be good at flyball?

No.  You can teach a retrieve with positive reinforcement.  It helps if your dog likes the ball, but it’s not necessary.