Flyball is a dog sport much like estafette for humans. The first dog races over 4 obstacles, turns onto a box which throws a tennis ball and then returns over the 4 obstacles back to the starting line. At the starting line, the next dog then starts the same parcours. One race consists of 4 dogs fetching the ball via the parcours.
If your dog gets very excited about tennis balls and you would like to provide him with a new challenge, flyball might be the right sport for you.
How to commence flyball practice?
You can either start training by yourself or join a flyball club. The first part of teaching the right movements can be a little challenging.
First off it’ll be important to teach your dog to jump over the hordes and not run around it. The first time, you can let your dog wait at the horde, walk over yourself and then try calling him over the horde. Whenever he jumps over the horde, you’ll have to reward him. By building up from one horde to four, your dog will probably get the hang of it rather quickly.
A second element necessary to teach your dog if you want to play flyball, is turning on the box. There are two main reasons it’s important to teach this movement as correct as possible. Firstly a good turn allows your dog to lose as little time as possible and thus making his total run quicker. Next, and more importantly, it’ll put less strain on the joints of your dog.
Starting too young
Though you might want to start preparing your puppy at an early age, this is often advised against until the age of one. to protect your dog from any possible injuries.Since the joints of your dog are not fully developed before this age. As with other sports, there are certain risks involved when starting too young. The most common problem occurs with the growth plates. Since they aren’t fully developed yet in puppies, the impact from jumps might cause harm to these plates.
Basic obedience training
Before starting with dog sports like flyball, it’s important to make sure that your dog has a decent level in obedience. The main reason for this is that your dog will be provided with freedom during his run. If your dog does not return to you when called, this can be annoying or even dangerous. Your dog might run off to other dogs and not every dog likes this.
Focus on technique
Although everyone wants to have the fastest dog, keep focussing on the technique. Great technique results in less injuries and a faster dog. Do not fall into the pitfall of pushing your dog before he has a good technique, since this will only result in an injury somewhere down the line.
Much like humans that need to take recovery time after an intense sporting session, the same is true for your dog. So it’ll be your responsibility to make sure your dog gets his well needed rest after an intense training session.
In conclusion, be sure to get the basics right before pushing your dog to go faster. Just as with humans, technique should be the primary focus.