Flyball is a recent dog sport which started in the USA and came over to the UK in the 1990`s. It is essentially a team sport in which a relay of four dogs one at a time, jump four hurdles, trigger a flyball box, retrieve a tennis ball and return over the same four hurdles. Each team can have 6 dogs but only four race each time and the height of the jumps is dependant on the height of the smallest dog in the team. What sounds very simple in essence becomes complicated when racing competitively where 100ths of a second count.
Most dogs can enjoy flyball as long as they are fit and healthy, although some take more training than others.
We training using positive methods and motivational training as the main aim is for the dogs to have fun. However flyball is often quite a noisy sport and some dogs will get over excited so it is not the sport for everyone or all dogs.Those that enjoy it most are the dogs which would fetch toys or tennis balls all day long and are highly toy motivated and orientated. If you are interested please contact me and then come and watch a session and see if you are likely to enjoy it.
We train on a Monday night at Ford Farm Stables which is off the Burley road at Brockenhurst.
Dogs must be tolerant of people and other dogs as flyball is a fast paced and energetic sport involving dogs racing past each other so aggressive dogs cannot be tolerated within the group. Dogs must be able to be restrained by other members of the club during training sessions as well.
Whilst we will do our best to make the training as safe as possible this is a very fast paced environment where there is a risk of injury to your dogs as in any sport so owners are responsible for their dogs behaviour at all times and must keep their dogs under control. We would advise pet insurance for all dogs and any dogs attending classes must be healthy and have had primary vaccination courses
The Technicalities of Racing
Run times and ‘passing’ (the next dog may not cross the start/finish line until the previous dog has returned over it) is monitored via electronic sensors and timing devices as is the start which is similar to a formula 1 grand prix style lights countdown.
the start dog may not cross the line until the green light has come on but by using the countdown lights handlers can judge when to release the dog to achieve the best start possible, by releasing the dog some 30 or 40 feet from the line it has chance to build momentum before reaching the racing lane, the same is true when subsequent dogs are released to pass…
with both dogs running flat out you want them crossing nose to nose within the timing sensors to achieve the best possible time, it is being able to judge this ‘passing point’ and adjust where necessary that makes a good handler, races are won and lost on 100ths of a second!
The Awards System
As well as winning rosettes (and sometimes other nice prizes) if you are in the placings at a tournament dogs running in sanctioned competition also earn points towards flyball titles awarded by the BFA. The points are awarded for each leg run and are based on the teams time for that leg:
- less than 30 secs: Each dog receives 5 point
- less than 26 secs: Each dog receives 10 points
- less than 22 secs: Each dog receives 25 points
The awards are as follows…
Flyball Dog (FD) 200
Flyball Dog Intermediate (FDI) 1,000
Flyball Dog Graduate (FDG) 3,000
Flyball Dog Advanced (FDA) 5,000
Silver Milestone 10,000
Gold Milestone 15,000
Ic Blue Moon Milestone 20,000
Platinum Milestone 25,000
Pearl Milestone 30,000
It takes many miles of travelling, many hours of training and many fast and consistent runs to get to those milestone awards!