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All about flyball

As a continuation of the previous post, where we showed the information to get started in flyball, we are going to continue with other information of great interest about this canine relay sport.

As in the previous article, we have had the help of Gemma, Educanids canine educator, to obtain first-hand information. Will you accompany us to continue learning about flyball? Go for it.

Necessary material to practice flyball

Gemma has told us that it is easy to find the necessary material to do flyball in Spain. It is usually necessary to purchase this type of item online, from the US.

Below are all the necessary materials to carry out this fun canine sport.

Ball of flyball

Really, any tennis ball would do.

flyball hurdles

The flyball obstacles are made of solid wood. The Educanids canine educator, Gemma, tells us that she uses agility jumps to introduce dogs to flyball, since they are safer for those who are just beginning, thus avoiding harm during the jump, since those who are designed for flyball, despite not being very high, they are made of solid wood, so when running, if they do not jump or do not reach the necessary height, they may get hurt.
The heights of each jump for each team are set at 10.2 cm lower than the shoulder height of the smallest dog on the team. The minimum height is 17.8 cm and the maximum is 35.6 cm

Flyball machine or box

As we previously discussed, it is difficult to find the flyball machine or box. Generally, it can be found online, coming from the United States.

  • How does the flyball box or machine work? It is an ergonomic box in which there is a hole to put the ball. This has a platform that has a pedal that, once pressed, releases the ball so that the dog can pick it up and carry it through the obstacles.

How to start doing flyball

Gemma goes on to tell us that people generally underestimate the first sessions of any kind of sport. For her, these first sessions are the fundamental ones because, as she had already told us for the previous article, it is where the emotional state and motivation that the dog will end up developing in the future will be marked. If those first sessions cause the dog to chew due to excitability or to be super unmotivated because they are being given very complicated exercises, then, in these cases, it is very important that whenever you want to start some kind of canine discipline, you put yourself in Mano is a professional who takes a little into account all these things that have been discussed up to now. In addition, the issue of motivation is very important, which is a priority, since the technique can be achieved, as long as the dog is animated, everything else comes alone.
He recommends, then, that you start in this canine sport in the hands of a professional so that everything goes smoothly and so that both people and dogs enjoy.

Where to start practicing flyball

Flyball in Barcelona

Gemma tells us that in Spanish territory there is no league created, neither federated nor non-federated. In fact, in Catalonia, to this day, there are no clubs that give or teach flyball classes as such. The closest thing to this type of activity are the workshops that are given by Educanids and that, from time to time, Gemma herself tries to have a small group of continuity to practice this sport, although she does not have as much visibility as agility can have. today in our country.

Flyball penalty

  • There are two main cases that are considered a penalty within flyball, these are:
  • If one of the dogs leaves early: since you have to wait for the previous dog to arrive.
  • That one of the dogs drops the ball during the course.

Who is the practice of this canine sport intended for?

who is flyball for

People who really want to do things with their dog and learn things from their furry friends, as well as enjoy those moments. And it is that, as Gemma tells us, flyball is like an afterschool in which you spend a fun time with your dog. The team is made up of you and your dog and, in short, it is a super collaborative sport.

Physical level to do flyball

Physical level that dogs need to do flyball

Flyball is a very physically demanding sport for our dogs, since it is an activity with a lot of explosiveness and a lot of impact. For this reason, it is not recommended for dogs with injuries or ailments.
In case of practicing this sport at a competitive level, it is completely ruled out in case our furry friends, as mentioned, have some kind of ailment. On the other hand, if it is practiced at a recreational level, modifying and placing the jumps on the ground and adapting the sport to the dog, it could be practiced, but always keeping in mind that it is practiced as something ludic.

Physical level in people to do flyball

On the other hand, in people the physical level is not as demanding as in dogs, since, in reality, the only ones who run in flyball are dogs.
It is not like, for example, in the case of agility, in which everyone has to run.
In flyball, it is true that, at first, it is necessary to run to teach the sequences, but during later practice, it will not be necessary.
In addition, it can be an extremely interesting sport for those people with many physical limitations, since it helps the dog burn energy and calories, without having to spend many hours exercising with other activities that cannot be carried out with said person.

What are the most frequent injuries when practicing flyball?

Collisions between dogs of the same team

Gemma explains that it is super important to wait for the previous dog to arrive before the relay starts, so that they don’t collide in the middle of the obstacles.
This is a very common event, in fact, the vast majority of flyball injuries are carried out in this way, during the crossing of two dogs, since they go very fast, motivated to catch the ball, and can be done much damage.

Left or right handed dogs

It is essential to take into account if our dog is right-handed or left-handed, since depending on the natural turn that it has, we will teach it to get on the platform and go down.
It seems a detail that is not very relevant, but the truth is that you will have more risk of injury than if you turn on the opposite side to your natural side. Therefore, in the workshops given by Gemma, you always begin by knowing if the dogs are left-handed or right-handed, to later begin the sequence work with the flyball machine.

Frequent questions

What are the next flyball with dog activities in Barcelona?

Gemma will prepare a workshop for the end of February – March 2023 on flyball and will occasionally prepare workshops on how to get started in this canine activity.
Don’t worry, you can see on when they will be organized and ready to reserve your place here.

Can a puppy practice flyball?

Gemma recommends waiting for the dog to ossify well so that it does not have health problems, since such a young impact can lead to health problems throughout its adult and senior years.
He therefore recommends starting the competition after a year and a half.
There are many other activities that can be started before the dog is a year and a half old, such as: to work on motivation we can carry out exercises with the sticks on the ground, thus beginning to work on the bond; also the management of certain games so that he learns to return things; also everything that is physical preparation.
It should be noted that we do not always have dogs suitable for practicing sports, but it is possible to physically condition the dog a bit, making the puppy capable of carrying out certain activities, without having to go headlong into discipline.

Is the flyball suitable for hearing impaired dogs?

Gemma doesn’t see any problem for them, dogs in general are very gestural animals and she doesn’t think it’s a limiting sport for hearing impaired dogs.

Is it necessary for my dog ​​to like the ball?

There’s no need. The truth is that it is preferable that he does not like to play with the ball than that he likes these types of toys too much, since simply with motivation he will get him to pick it up and bring it.

So can I practice flyball with my dog ​​if he loves the ball?

Of course it is also possible, but in these cases it will be necessary to work more intensely so that he returns the ball.

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