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Thread: Flyball tournament with Halo - video! Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-21-2015 01:46 PM
Cassidy's Mom Thanks! And yes, Halo is a longcoat.
12-21-2015 01:06 PM
Wags You have such a beautiful dog, and watching your dog's passion for this just makes me more excited to get involved in the sport!
05-26-2014 04:59 PM
Tiffseagles Great video! And my boy heard the "Readdddyyyyyyyy" being yelled and came over to bark at the computer. I probably should have turned the volume down LOL
05-24-2014 10:34 PM
GSDLoverII Thank you for all of the good information. I will definitely look into it.
05-24-2014 06:46 PM
Cassidy's Mom
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
The training can be tailored to fit the age of the dog. Legend started when he was around 12 weeks old, but Nikon started when he was 4 years old.
Halo was already 2-1/2 years old when we started taking classes. It really depends on the clubs you find and what their policies are. Dogs have to be at least a year old to get a Competition Racing Number (CRN) in NAFA (the North American Flyball Association), which is required to race. I'm not sure what the minimum age is for U-Fli. But obviously, training starts well before that.

When people in our club get new puppies they bring them out very early, but these are experienced flyball people, and mostly they're doing restrained recalls on the flat (no jumps), getting the puppy used to driving to their owner for a reward, and being restrained by a variety of people. We have special 5" high puppy jumps, and I think we start using them at around 6 months old. We don't start box work until a few months after that. I'm not sure how old our club would want a dog to be to sign for our classes, it's a question that hasn't come up yet - as far as I know all our class dogs have been adults.

There's some foundation stuff you can do on your own, though. Getting her on a tug would be great, especially if she'll tug in a variety of places, around distractions. And teach her to retrieve a ball and bring it all the way to your hand. Short distances are fine at first, it's just important that she bring it all the way to you. If she'll retrieve a ball for a tug reward, that would be ideal! Some dogs only run for food, but a tug or other toy is preferable.

Do restrained recalls, where one of you holds her back while the other runs away and calls her, and then the first person lets go and she (hopefully!) runs to you. Our club uses a target stick to train the box turn, but not all clubs do. But targeting is a good skill to have as it can be used as a foundation for lots of other stuff, including agility. I had never used a target stick before, but I train all my dogs to target my hand with a nose bump to my palm to the "touch" command, so transitioning Halo from that to targeting the end of a stick went pretty quickly.

Beyond that, there's not much you can do on your own. But if you are able to get her to retrieve a ball, target the end of a stick, and tug with you anywhere you'll be that much further ahead. Dogs who are neutral to other dogs won't need to be trained not to blow you off and chase other dogs, so you could work on that too - keeping her engaged with you in the presence of other dogs.
05-24-2014 06:25 PM
Liesje The training can be tailored to fit the age of the dog. Legend started when he was around 12 weeks old, but Nikon started when he was 4 years old.
05-24-2014 05:31 PM
GSDLoverII I think this would be a great outlet for all of Sierra's energy when she gets older.
Smokey, not so much because he isn't "great" with people. He was an abused rescue.
How old do you think before she can start training?
05-24-2014 01:48 PM
Cassidy's Mom Oh, you should! You can look for nearby clubs on the NAFA (North American Flyball Association | NAFA Home) and U-Fli websites, those are the two flyball organizations.

I haven't tried it with Keefer, his prey drive is high so I know I'd spend a lot of time training him not to chase. He'll be 9 in August, and while there are a lot of older dogs still racing in flyball that's a little late to start training. He also has spondylosis, which we found out accidentally a couple of years ago. We'd never have known since he has no clinical signs, but the sort of receptive jumping and turning on the box is exactly the kind of thing he shouldn't be doing. Halo was pretty easy to train, she raced in her first tournament 8 or 9 months after we started taking classes with the club. Desensitization to the mass quantities of loose tennis balls laying around has been our training challenge, she's pretty neutral to other dogs and only chased a couple of times early on in her training.
05-23-2014 10:22 PM
GSDLoverII What a riot! I think I am going to try this with our dogs.
Does Keefer like it too?
05-22-2014 10:49 PM
Cassidy's Mom Blackshep, are you still working with your girl? It can be tough with a reactive dog, we had one in our club's classes. He does well in disc sports because he's the only dog out there, but getting him to the point of racing in a tournament would be a big challenge.

His owner is super nice and would be a great teammate, so it's really a shame. I hear he's planning on getting another dog soon, so maybe Whiskey will just be a disc dog, and the new one can be trained for flyball.
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