Dog Flyball

Flyball – Interactive Game for Active Dogs

Flyball is the most entertaining kind of dog sports. This is an individual or team game, when the dog should overcome barriers on the way towards a flyball box (special machine, which throws tennis balls), to hit the pedal, to catch the ball and to come back to the start-finish line with it, crossing the same barriers in as short time as possible.

The History of Flyball

Flyball was appeared in early 1970s in Southern California. It was Herbert Wagner, who created the first dog flyball box. This was a kind of tennis ball-launching machine. Now the dog could throw the ball itself. It should hit the pedal with a paw and the ball had been thrown out of the box. One day Barbara Weatherwax, daughter of a famous dog trainer Rudd Weatherwax, who trained Collie for "Lassie", saw the invention of Herbert Wagner. Thus the idea of new dog sport was appeared. Then barriers were added to make the game more interesting and entertaining.

Dog Flyball UK

Collie Is One of the Most Popular Breeds in Flyball

First official dog flyball trials were run in 1983 in the USA. Now flyball is very popular in many countries. European and World Flyball Championships are run.

Dog Flyball Competitions

Dogs of any breed, age and size can take part in flyball. All the dogs, which can jump over the barrier, may be trained. There is one catch – the dog's weight and strength should be enough to hit the pedal of the flyball box.

Flyball is a good alternative for agility veterans, high and numerous jumps overcoming for which became difficult, but the desire to work is enough and to spare.

Flyball teams consist of 4-6 dogs and their trainers as usual. Several tracks are set in the field and the teams start at one time. Each team has the own track, jump, flyball box and tennis balls. The tracks are placed in parallel, their sizes are equal.

Dog Flyball Training UK

Beagle Adores to Train and Play with Balls

Classic flyball is the track with 4 jumps and a box, which throws the balls in a slant path. The participant starts moving at a command, overcomes jumps, hits the pedal of the flyball box, catches the ball and comes back the same way. If the dog's track is unsuccessful (the ball has fallen down, the dog didn't jump over the barrier), it should come back to the start, to stand at the back of the turn and pass the track again.

Sometimes the second track isn't run and that team is considered to be losing, which dog failed the track.

Individual trials are also run in some cases. Dogs compete in pairs. Those dogs, which lost the trials, leave the game. Winner competes with the other winner during the next track.

There are 2 kinds of flyball. In one of them the ball is thrown up out the flyball box and the dog should catch it. In other kind the ball is just rolled out of the box when the pedal is hit towards the dog. The second variant is simpler – the dog needs to take the ball without jumping and catching it. But flyball becomes less spectacular and here speed becomes the main and the one condition of a win. This is not so good because many dogs that are less speedy, but very successful in catching the balls, lose their chances to win.

Flyball UK

Cocker Spaniel Will Be Easily Trained for Flyball Trials

Dog flyball box is something else entirely! Each one throws the ball every time a bit differently. It can also be setup variously. The task becomes more difficult and more interesting for the dog and for the audience.

Penalty points in dog flyball competitions are scored for:

  • Fallen jump
  • Jump passing by
  • The dog doesn't hit the pedal, but take the ball from the board
  • The ball falls on the ground
  • The dog stops during the track

Dog Flyball Training

If you are not going to take part in trails, the length of the distance and the height of the jumps depend on you.

There are international rules of flyball standards:

  • Min size of the track is 10 x 30 m.
  • The distance between flyball jumps is individual, 3.05 m is a standard.
  • Free zone from start to the first jump is 10 m.
  • The distance after the flyball box is no less 1.5 m.

Dog Flyball Harness

Retrievers Are Very Skillful in Flyball

You will need flat surface and equipment for dog flyball training, such as flyball box, tennis balls and jumps. The box and jumps you can buy or make by yourself.

The most difficult in flyball is to train the dog to make a turn on the flyball box. Jumps' overcoming is easy for dogs.

Run in parallel with the dog for the beginning. Don't forget to praise and to reward your pet.

Do every set slowly to practice a technique and to eliminate potential errors in the early stages.

Dog flyball training is not just a sport. The dog should show its agility and teamwork skills, speed and coordination. Potential winners are those dogs, who run not so fast, but are skilled enough to catch the ball in the air. This quality is individual and dogs of any breed may possess it. Flyball allows any dog to become a winner in spite of the breed, age and size.

Learn also about a new kind of canine sport - dog scootering.

Useful supplies for dog flyball training, click on the pictures!

Dog Training Ball Rubber Dog Ball UK Dog Training Toy

Watch the Video with Review of Dog Training with Rubber Ball on String