What is Flyball?
Flyball is a fun sport for you and your dog.
Dogs of almost any age and size can take part, owners of any age and size can also take part!! If your dog is fit enough it can play flyball - you will also find you will get fitter too!
The only age restriction is that your dog must be at least 18 months old to take part in a sanctioned flyball tournament. This age restriction is purely to safeguard the dog's long term health.
Flyball is basically a team sport. Each squad can consist of up to 6 dogs and from this 4 are selected to take part in each heat. It is basically a relay race with 4 dogs and their owners/handlers in each team for that heat.
The 5th member of the team is the box loader and whilst they are not running one of the dogs they are critical to the team's performance and have to make sure the ball is ready and in the right place for each dog. They have to know the preference for EVERY dog in the team AND have to be very nimble fingered to reload the box in time for each dog.
The dogs race against a team in another lane over 4 hurdles, retrieve the ball from a box and return it to the handler, the next dog does the same and so on until all 4 dogs have run.
The winning team is the first to get all 4 dogs over the line without any faults.
The sport is the fastest growing dog sport in the country and it also played world wide, using the same rules, in countries as diverse as USA, Canada, Japan, Australia as well as many European countries.
It is a very social sport with most teams opting to "camp" at the various weekend tournaments - resulting in a lively social life for you and your dog.
Good training is the essence of the sport - it may look fast and frantic, but all dogs competing have had a lot of time dedicated to their training so that the sport is not only enjoyable for dogs and handlers but also safe for all, allowing the dogs to compete for many years.
Boxes - These are placed 51 feet from the start/finish line. BFA boxes may have slightly varying designs but ALL are carefully constructed to make safety the top priority for the sport.
Jumps - The jumps are hurdles that the dogs jump during the race. The first one is 6 feet from the start line and the next 3 are 10 feet apart. The jumps can vary in height depending on the smallest dog in the team, from 7 inches to 14 inches. Teams often have a dog smaller than the rest to act as a "height dog" as the height of the jump is taken to be 4" smaller than the height of the smallest dog at the withers. So if you have a small dog that you think could be good at flyball you will probably be mobbed when you go along to your nearest club as they are always looking out for fast height dogs with enthusiastic owners.
For more details on training with the Cheshire Set Flyball Team click the link to TRAINING