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Author Topic : Flyball advice
 Gambit Great Danes
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4/9/2017 8:40:10 PM reply with quote send message to Gambit Great Danes Object to Post   

I am not a dog trainer but I am a very involved dog mom and have competed in many different dog sports with my pups.

I have always wanted to do Flyball but there are no teams anywhere near me so this sport has always evaded me. I have decided that I am going to take initiative and put together a team! I need advice though, I've seen Flyball but I've never participated or trained a dog to do it. How do I approach my local dog training venues asking to start a class with me as the teacher? I also have no equipment and it's quite expensive from what I've researched. Can I teach a foundation class without the boxes in order to raise money for the boxes? Is there a website where I can learn the ins and outs besides the NAFA website? Any advice will help!
 Canis Lupis Kennels
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4/10/2017 11:05:38 AM reply with quote send message to Canis Lupis Kennels Object to Post

My best advice is to at the very least attend a few meets and talk to the people there. Explain what you want to do, where you're located, and, ideally, find someone who can show you the ropes before trying to teach a class yourself. Dog sports really cannot be self taught in the beginning, later on you can expand on what you've learned independantly but having an experienced mentor will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
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4/10/2017 4:38:08 PM reply with quote send message to gaylanstudio Object to Post

I would start with your local dog clubs. Tell them what you want to do - get a flyball team going.

Somebody may know somebody who has done it or is doing it somewhere or is also interested in doing it. Inventory your local resources, if you haven't already and see where you stand.

If you can, do go to some events and talk to people and ask questions as was suggested.

It might be kind of hard to actually teach when you don't know much about it yourself but if there is a group of you, perhaps by trial and error . . .
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4/10/2017 8:05:52 PM reply with quote send message to Object to Post edit post

you may be able to pick up a second had box another club no longer wants cheaper.
Realy if your offering a class that people are going to pay for they will expect you to have all the equptment. plus some new dogs can lurn the jumps very quickly so those will have nothing to do without a box. At our training new dogs start with the box on their first day.

Here is how we run our training
We start every training dong a few recalls to warm up with everyone, then the experanced dogs do them over the jumps from the box.
After this the new/newer dogs start on jumps. our jumps have wings up and we start the dog right infrount of the jump and we do 1 jump first. Once the dog is doing that with no issues we move up to 2 jumps, then when fine 3 then all 4. Some dogs end up dong all 4 jumps on their first session and some take a few sessions to get the 2 jumps correct.

once all the newer dogs have had their turn on the jumps the experanced dogs get their go at full team runs where any issues they may have can be refined and change overs are worked on.

then they rest and the new/newer dogs start on work with the box. at first we hold the ball on the top of the box and don't set the box so no noise is made. the owner sends the dog to get the ball. This encourages the new/newer dogs to put their paws on the box. once this is done a few times with no problems we set the box to see how the dog reacts to the noise it makes when it releases a ball but still keep the ball on the top of the box. we normaly do this a couple of sessions and just increase the distance the dog is from the box until it is going over the jumps to the box, first starting with 1 jump and working up to all 4.

then the experacend dogs go again and we either end it there or give the newer dog some my jump work time dependant.

once a newer dog has got a hang of it and is running over all the jumps for the ball ontop of the box we start actualy loading the ball in the box. the hope is the dog by then will automatically put his paws on the box after running all the jumps. if a dog at this point stops at the box and tries to take the ball from the box with out triggering it there are 2 options we prefur to try, one it to hold a second ball on top of the box to trick the dog into triggering it. if this fails a handler (normaly me) holds the dogs and quickly guides them onto the box, round and back off.
once a newer dog gets the hang of this they can then start running with the more experanced dogs instead of the newer dogs but change overs are at first so lose they are non exsistant for a good few sessions until we are happy the dog is ready to tighten them up. when we do we slowly tighten up the change overs normaly using the most placid dogs on the team who wont retaliate if trouble was to start from the newer dog as some dogs may not take well to a dog running straight towards them, ive not seen it happen often but you need to keep it in mind (happened to a team at crufts one year). This is one of the times when if a fight is going to break out its most likely to be during a change over, we have in the past had to have certain dogs never run against each other for this reason. other than that its lose dogs when one or more is possessive of balls.
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4/10/2017 8:12:23 PM reply with quote send message to PPvallhunds Object to Post

this post has been edited 1 time(s)

that was me, timed out.

the basic equptment you will need will depend on where your training. 4 jumps, a box, alot of balls and a measure so you can set the jumps at the correct distances (we measured it up and set them out then got a spool of rope, attached one end to the box then marked where the jumps were, it makes setting up faster) are the general nesassairy stuff.

depending on if your training on grass or indoors or on concreate will decide if you need matting as well. if u are inside or on concreate you will need non slip matting to keep the dogs safe, a slip while running or jumping can easerly injure a dog but hurting a leg or ripping out a claw.

we mainly train outside due to that reason but do have acess to in a cow shed so use carpet matting there but have just upgraded to the rubber matting used for indoor comps. but you can get other rubber matting cheaper online.

netting is usefull to help prevent new dogs from running out but isn't a must. we use it as wings rather then net the whole thing but some clubs net it all in.

Last edited by PPvallhunds on 4/10/2017 8:14:14 PM
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4/11/2017 10:49:23 PM reply with quote send message to Steph Object to Post

You can absolutely start teaching Flyball without a box.

The very first thing you need to teach is the behavior the dog does last, which is a recall on the flat ( not over jumps ) to you and the reward toy ( tugging is the favored but all dogs are different so get what the dog loves the most ).

When the dog is solid coming to you ( and I assume there will be adults as well as younger dogs ) then you introduce the jumps. We start our pups in the flat recalls, short ones, at 8 weeks old or whatever their age is when we get them.

One of the things you can do at home, especially for puppies, is roll the ball 10 feet or so and if they get it and bring it back, exchange for the tug toy. Be patient and they will learn that tugging is FUN. Make everything fun and positive and if you get frustrated, stop and try again later.

We don't start the pups over jumps until they show us they are coordinated, like around 8 months or so and over VERY short jumps ( ours are 2".

Speaking of jumps, you can make a set relatively cheap out of plywood and white paint. The base board is 6 inches tall the space between uprights is 24", so around 30" long. The uprights do not have to be white but the baseboard and slats do. you need 1,2 and 4" boards to adjust the heights.

You also do not need a box to start training the dogs. At start ours with the ramp or the wall. The front of the ramp is the size of the Flyball box in width and height as you are looking straight at it. The whole front is slanted and does not have holes for a ball in it nor does it trigger. (We do velcro a ball on it when the dog is ready for that.) It is simply used to shape the box turn and to teach them not to slam the box or use it to stop their momentum.

Having "Props" are very advantageous to training. They are a longer "jump" and are placed in front of the ramp, wall or box to help shape or remind the dog to shape the turn.

We use "Babygates" every practice too, to help teach the young, and beginner dogs things like, stay in the lane and turn tighter.

So, you can make your own jumps fairly cheap.
Build a ramp ( has matting on the front like the boxes do )
and try and acquire baby gates, and you can get started training while waiting for more money.

( Flyball since 1995 and a Supervising Judge for NAFA )

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