If you’re new to flyball entirely, contact us and come check out a practice for free. We’ll be happy to talk about the team, about your dog, about your interest level and experience. Time permitting we may evaluate what your dog’s capable of, what his habits are, etc. Then we’ll be able to recommend if they are ready for training, and if we’re able to meet their needs with our resources.
Assuming you continue, you’ll come back to a few practices, help us out and we’ll work with your dog for a small per-practice fee. As things progress, we may invite you to join us at an upcoming tournament, see the environment, help us out, etc. We may work your dog into green dog racing or other training opportunities where we are able, but it’s largely for us all to participate in a tournament environment together.
Finally, if things are going well among the humans and the dog is working well with us, we will invite you to join the club.
Green Dog Training
You might ask, how long will it take for my dog to learn Flyball? Every dog goes through a unique training progression as each dog will have different experiences and different things to work on. What we can tell you is that it does test your patience! It may be easy to learn how to play the game, but to learn and do it right, do it efficiently, do it safely, and ultimately do it as fast as possible, that takes time. The major themes though remain the same:
Jumps and striding
Being comfortable running over all four jumps, having a safe and consistent stride through the jumps
Getting and perfecting a four footed turn off a board, the wall, and then a box. Able to retrieve the ball from the box consistently with good form and drive coming off.
Striding into the box at speed with control and retrieving the ball with great form and a safe and efficient box turn.
Passing other dogs
Working with other dogs running in the other lane, in the same lane, either passing into or taking a pass from another dog.
Running the course and returning consistently to the handler in control.
These are just high level themes though, as little things always crop up as training proceeds and we’re here to work through that as best we can. There’s a ton of nuance and any experienced trainer will come in here and want to add another 30 bullets of detail. But in the end, we’ll get the dogs to a solid point of understanding the rules of the game and running their race consistently.
Once dogs are trained, we tend to categorize them as Full Time dogs, Part Time dogs, Height Dogs or any other restrictions they may have to run safely and quickly. The goal is to have as many full time well trained dogs as we can, of course. We’ll assemble our racing teams for tournaments from these racing dogs whenever their owner is able to attend the tournament.
And from there… we’re off to the races!