Flyball Is Your Dog A Candidate

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Flyball Is Your Dog A Candidate

by Michael Russell

There are several considerations if you are thinking about joining a flyball team. One of them is the quality of the response you get from your dog when he plays fetch. Is he turned on by tennis balls? A dog that goes nuts when he sees a tennis ball may be an excellent candidate for a flyball team. The desire to give chase is called "prey drive" and a dog who is frantic to go after a tennis ball is a dog with a high prey drive. These are the dogs that flyball team members want.

Another consideration is the size of your dog. A person who has a small dog with high prey drive is in great demand from flyball teams because of the size of the dog. That is because a flyball course is composed of a series of hurdles, which must be jumped by the dogs on the way to get the ball. The height of the hurdles is based upon the height of the smallest dog on the team. Thus, a team that has a tiny dog as its leading member is a team that has low hurdles, making the entire course easier for all the dogs on the team.

Another consideration is the speed of the dog. Faster dogs who are quite agile are in demand since the team who finishes first is the winner of the heat. However, if there is already a small dog on the team so that the hurdles are low, a taller dog with less speed is acceptable because with his length of leg he can often clear the hurdles with a longer jump, increasing speed in this way.

A flyball dog should be intelligent and inquisitive. The whole concept of the flyball is that the ball will be "sprung" out of the box when the dog pushes on a lever. Quick learners are the dogs most likely to succeed. Dogs who are naturally quite lazy and laid back may not do as well. If you are considering flyball it might be best to try it first with just the dog and the ball and see if he can learn and is eager to learn this beginning activity. You can always borrow a flyball box from a team first and see if you can teach your dog this trick and if he is motivated to do it. The best dogs are the dogs that will pop that ball out of the box for the sheer joy of doing so and will not need a treat or any other encouragement.

One of the most important characteristics of the flyball dog is his ability to focus. Flyball is intensely competitive, extremely noisy and there are a good many distractions. There are other dogs, most of them barking wildly and excitedly. There is often very close proximity to dogs on the other teams since the competition requires that teams be running at the same time, against each other and the runs are parallel to each other, usually about four feet apart. A flyball candidate needs to get along with other dogs and be highly motivated to maintain focus on running the race.

Flyball teams usually practice at least once a week and often more when there is a competition to train for. The flyball competitor needs to have the time to commit to this activity. His fellow team members need to be able to count on his presence. A person who is not able to commit to this activity should not become a competitor.

If you and your dog can meet most of the above considerations, it is probably a safe bet that the two of you will be welcome additions to a flyball team.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Dog Training

Michael Russell - EzineArticles Expert Author

Return to Index


Cannot find it here? Search the internet with the power of Google: