Flyball is a fast paced, super exciting team sport for dogs. It was created in California in the late 60’s and soon became a popular sport worldwide for humans to do with their dogs. The sport consists of a relay race with 4 dogs in each team. The dogs must go over 4 hurdles spaced 10 ft. apart, jump on a spring box that releases a tennis ball, turn around and carry the ball back over the hurdles to the finish line, where the next dog is released to do the same. The team who completes the course without errors in the fastest time wins that heat. Two teams run next to each other and the one to win 3 of 5 heats moves forward in the tournament.
Flyball is a great way to engage a dog that is full of energy. This team sport promotes energy release and training in a fun environment with other dogs and people. Though most flyball champion teams include Border collies and Aussies the team can be comprised of any breed or mixed breed dogs. The height of the hurdles is determined by the shoulder height of the smallest dog in the team so it is not uncommon to see Jack Russels, Poodles, Whippets and other small mixed breed dogs in Flyball teams.
Teams that go to competitions can sometimes have coaches and advanced strategies like teaching dogs to do the equivalent of a “swimmer’s turn”. But that doesn’t mean you and your pup can’t join the fun. Anyone with a healthy dog who likes running, playing with a ball and a bit of training can get started in Flyball. There are many facilities in the area, where you and your dog can become part of a team and learn the sport.
Are you interested in watching a tournament first hand? Williamson County Expo in Taylor, TX will hold a Flyball tournament June 17th and 18th, make a weekend out of it!