Dog Care 101 Tip #182 – Dog Sports: Flyball
It’s time again to delve into the great world of Dog Sports with BestBullySticks.com! We won’t go too heavy on the sports commentary here, but we will let you in on one of the most exciting canine competitions out there: Flyball!
What it is Flyball?
Fast paced, “Edge of your seat,” nail-biting excitement. If you’ve never heard of Flyball, you’re in for a great time. This sport might be a new favorite!
More specifically, Flyball is a two-team dog sport where teams compete in a hurdle jumping & ball fetching relay race. A dog must run and jump quickly over a series of low hurdles in a line, step on a spring-loaded pedestal releasing a tennis ball, catch the ball, then return back over the hurdles to the starting line with the ball in tow. We’ll talk more about the specifics later, so let’s talk about how this crazy dog sport got started!
Flyball was started in Southern California in the late 1960s, early 1970s, and since then the sport hasn’t really divulged from its origins. The architects of the sport combined scent-based hurdle racing with a retrieval of a tennis ball, which was carried back to the starting line. The actual box apparatus that releases tennis balls wasn’t added until later.
The first Flyball tournaments were held in the U.S. in 1983, but since this sport has spread to the UK, Germany, Australia, Canada and South Africa. These European countries have especially jumped on Flyball and hold an International European Flyball Championship each year.
Field & Play
Now let’s talk about specifics!
Is Your Dog Right for Flyball?
The all-important question. The “players” of this dog sport tend to be Border Collies, but one of the beauties of this sport is that any dog can play. Mixed breeds are common because there are the most commonly owned dog. Labs and Australian Shepherds are also great at this sport. Whippets and Miniature Poodles have even been known to compete in Flyball. As long as your dog has lots of energy to burn, is willing to be trained and you are happy to teach, Flyball is an extremely rewarding and fun way to bond with your dog! Read more