Flyball is a team sport based on the most favorite canine activities: running, jumping, grabbing objects, competition. At the same time, in the process, the dog, of course, seeks to please the owner, having correctly completed all the commands. If your pet loves to catch balls, run and jump, then flyball will appeal to it.
What is Flyball?
Flyball is a relay race involving two teams of 4 dogs each. Participants need to go the distance as quickly as possible while overcoming a number of barriers; at the end of the path, they must catch the ball from the fly box and, without losing it, return to the start through the barriers. The fastest and most agile team wins.
Flyball differs from other dog games and sports by the independence of the dog. She must not only run to the end of the field without the owner’s prompts but also press her paw on a special device to get the ball. Of course, the correctness of her actions is carefully monitored, and if any barrier is not passed, she will have to run again. But it’s still fun.
Why Flyball is Good for Dogs?
Flyball is not only fun for dogs and a show for spectators but also a useful sport:
During the passage of barriers, dogs develop tremendous speed. In everyday life, they rarely have such an opportunity, so flyball not only allows you to use up the accumulated energy but also improves the dog’s mood;
In order to get the coveted ball and bring it to the owner, the dog needs to stop after a rapid run and press the button. The ball will fly out of the car and must be caught immediately or the attempt will not be counted. This task requires the most precise coordination of movements and instant reaction, which are developed in the process of preparing for the game;
Flyball training is aimed at improving not only the physical condition of the dog but also the mutual understanding between the owner and the pet.
What Do You Need for Flyball?
Flyball will require medium-sized elastic balls (tennis is great), four low barriers (they should be 13 cm shorter than the dog’s height, 50 cm wide), and a fly box. If you do not want to participate in competitions, you can arrange a playground for your pet in the yard and play with it there. All the necessary paraphernalia can be purchased at the pet store. You can do the obstacles yourself. The main thing is to make sure that the playground is completely safe.
What Do You Need to Be Able to Do for Flyball?
Experienced trainers and players will help prepare for professional competitions, however, some skills can be developed in a pet on your own:
First, teach your dog to get over a low barrier. This will take toys, treats, and patience. Place the pet on one side of the obstacle, and go to the other yourself. You can lure him with a treat or a toy so that he follows them, stepping over the barrier. Over time, the dog will get used to not bypassing the obstacle, but jumping over it if it wants to reach the goal. Remember that all actions should be a joy for your pet. If something does not work out, try again or return to class the next day;
It is also important to train the dog to reach the target without being distracted by various noises and without stopping, and then return to the owner. In flyball competitions, the distance is fixed – the length of the ring does not exceed 27 meters. You can teach your pet to cover just such a distance.
Any dog, regardless of breed, size, physical condition, and level of training can start competing in flyball. The main thing is to teach her the rules of the game.