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01395 642 065
Flyball is a popular dog sport – and for good reason. It’s fun and sociable for dogs and owners alike, and it’s suitable for dogs of all shapes and sizes.
At Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear, we are proud to sponsor Crossfire Flyball Team, a newly formed team in the UK.
We know that trying something new can be nerve-wracking, so we asked Crossfire team leader Diane Brown to share the reasons why you should give flyball a go. Here’s what she had to say…
Training on your own with your dog can become lonely, but by getting involved in a sport like flyball you can meet like-minded people. As Diane says: “Flyball is often described as a big family – and that is exactly what it is. We are a community of people who enjoy the sport and spending time with our dogs. Yes, we enjoy racing but we enjoy socialising as well. If we have a two day comp, most of us bring our caravans so we can stay over and make a weekend of it. We make a big effort to support each other, particularly the younger members. We win as a team and we lose as a team.
As Diane puts it: “We love flyball because the dogs love it”. From Chihuahuas to Labradors, flyball is a sport that any dog can enjoy. With the chance to chase, jump, catch, retrieve and run, it gives dogs the chance to do all of the things they love. Although any dog can enjoy flyball, if you are looking to seriously compete then it is important to work with a dog who has plenty of energy and is good at following commands. Don’t think it’s a sport that’s limited to typically athletic dogs, though. Give it a try and your dog’s talents might surprise you!
Flyball requires practice – and practice gets the heart racing, for dogs and owner alike! Diane says: “We use a range of Tug-E-Nuff toys during our training. The toys with tennis balls on the end are the most popular (such as the simple but effective Tennis Ball Bungee and the Sheepskin Ball Bungee Tug With Tennis Ball, along with the food pouches. These are really motivating for the dogs and make it fun.” And when you’re having fun, running around no longer feels like exercise.
Low confidence is an issue that effects many dogs, particularly if they have been rescued, but there are ways to help them come out of their shell. Diane says: “We rescued our dog Alf at five months old and he was very timid. We took him to flyball, hoping it might give him some confidence and it worked like a dream. At flyball, he is a totally different dog. Now he has the reputation of being the noisy one!”
There’s something special about the bond shared between a dog and its owner – and flyball is a great way to strengthen that bond. Diane says: “Flyball really helps with bonding. Although you run as part of a team, you are still very much reading your dog’s body language so you can know when to release him. Knowing his speeds and traits are very important, and a close relationship is essential. My dog Alf will not run unless my husband runs by his side. It’s very special.”