What is Flyball

The following description is taken from:

Flyball. (2007, October 31). In Wikipedia,
The Free Encyclopedia.
Retrieved 04:47, November 3, 2007

Flyball is a dog sport in which teams of dogs race against each other from a start/finish line, over a line of hurdles, to a box that releases a tennis ball to be caught when the dog presses the spring-loaded pad, then back to their handlers while carrying the ball.

Flyball is run in teams of four dogs, as a relay.  Each dog must return its ball all the way across the start line before the next dog crosses.  Ideal running is nose-to-nose at the start line.  The first team to have all four dogs cross the finish line error-free wins the heat.

Flyball provides an entertaining and active way to interact with one's dog and other dog lovers in an environment that is fun and allows the dogs exercise and enjoyment.  It is especially a great way to burn off the energy of dogs with a high drive to work, such as Border Collies and Terriers.

Flyball is not limited to the size of the breed, as smaller dogs such as Parson Russell Terriers and Whippets often compete with great success in mixed-breed teams (teams consisting of dogs of various sizes and breeds).  Smaller dogs are often prized as the hurdle height is based on the height of the smallest dog in the team.  Their only limitation is whether they can trigger the release pad, and small dogs often have to fully jump on it to do so.

Flyball is one of the non-hunting dog sports in which dogs and people work as a team.  Many casual pet owners use their flyball time more as a way to relax and socialize with other dog owners than as a competition, and many champion flyball dogs are essentially pet dogs with a hobby, rather than dedicated sporting or working dogs.


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Version 1.2, November 2002
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Pictures courtesy of Judy Schevene,


Australian Cattle Dog

Labrador Retriever

Sallie, 12-yr old Labrador who
competed in Flyball for
approx 10 years