Five Signs Your Dog Would Be Perfect For Flyball

Flyball is fast, fun and a great way to make new friends so it’s not surprising it’s a sport that so many want to try.

But one thing Flyball newbies worry about is whether their dog is suitable for getting involved. 

We spoke to Diane Brown from Crossfire Flyball Team, which Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear is proud to sponsor, to find out five signs that your dog would be perfect for flyball.

  1. They are any breed of any size

Lots of people seem to believe that to be good at flyball, your dog has to be a certain breed or a certain size. In fact, that’s not the case.

Diane says: ‘Any shape or size of dog is welcome in our flyball classes. As Flyball trainers, it’s far more important to us that a dog (and its owner) is willing to give the activities a go and have fun than what breed the dog is.’

  1. They love a tennis ball

Tennis balls are a favourite toy for lots of dogs, and that’s a great sign they will succeed in flyball training where chasing and catching a ball is key.

Diane says: ‘It’s not essential for a dog to already be motivated by a tennis ball, but it definitely helps. However, we’re good at coming up with ways around it if a dog isn’t motivated by a tennis ball alone. 

‘For instance, there’s a dog in our current beginners course who will only fetch the ball that’s attached to her Tug-E-Nuff Sheepskin Ball Bungee Tug. To combat this, we are gradually reducing the sheepskin so she will eventually just collect the ball.’ 

  1. They've got a great recall

A basic recall is a skill that most dogs should master at an early age – and it’s one that’s essential for flyball.

Diane says: ‘Dogs need to come when called during flyball, otherwise you end up standing around waiting for the dog to decide to return of his own accord – which isn’t how it’s supposed to work!

‘Recall is something that can be improved by attending obedience classes before or alongside flyball classes so poor recall isn’t something that should stand in your way if taking part in flyball is a something you’d really like to do.’

  1. They are fit and healthy

Just like with humans, it’s important for dogs to have a clean bill of health before signing up for flyball.

Diane says: ‘We ideally like dogs to have stamina and a good level of fitness.

‘However, that doesn’t necessarily mean only fast dogs can succeed at flyball. Slower dogs can compete in lower divisions. At Crossfire we believe all dogs should have the opportunity to shine, regardless of how fast they can run!’ 

  1. They are sociable

This is a really important one. It’s essential that your dog is well-socialised and friendly before joining a flyball group.

Diane says: ‘During flyball, the dogs often run onto each other when racing so it’s important that competing dogs are sociable,  

‘Dogs get very worked up when competing and even the most placid dog can appear hyped up, If a dog is unsociable and at risk of lashing out this could cause big problems. Getting excited is fine, as long as it remains friendly.’ 

What signs did your dog give you that were ideal for flyball? Let us know in the comments below!

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Danny - Tug-E-Nuff - August 29, 2018

Hey Jean – take a look at the BFA website to find a club near you

jean garon - August 29, 2018

I have a young keen terrier but do not seem to be able to find somewhere to take her where she might learn to do Flyball near Marlow/Henley on Thames please advise

Sarah - June 13, 2018

I have 2 borders and a shollie = one is now in open flyball and the other two are training and oh my god how they love it – my bleeding ears from all the barking when we arrive at a competitiona. It is a serious sport which training and competitions do take up your time so please be prepared for this …. get into it and your dogs and you will love it and be hooked… i have and i love nearly as much as my dogs do x

Tania - June 27, 2017

Very good advice. I would like to start flyball with my dog ​​but there is no canine club near to my house, so do you have any advice for me to start at home? Sorry for my bad english, I’m Belgian ^^

Tina - May 19, 2017

Great tips, I have 2 border collies who are tennis ball obsessed with great recall and very dog friendly and sociable. Think I may give flyball a try

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