Flyball is a physically demanding sport requiring dogs to run at extremely fast speeds, jump, grab a ball, and turn a dime. Dogs need to be physically mature before their joints and muscles are sufficiently developed to handle the stress of this activity. In addition, a flyball competition is noisy, with lots of other dogs, people, excitement, and distractions, so a mature dog that is used to being in a distracting environment and able to focus on the job at hand is necessary. Dogs must be well socialized with other dogs, since this is a team sport, and not aggressive with other dogs, or handlers.
In flyball, teams of dogs are restrained, one at a time, and then released. Each dog runs full speed through two upright poles that represent the gate, down a course with 4 hurdles. The dogs grab a ball from a box, which spring releases the balls at the top of a ramp. Dogs turn using the ramp and run full speed back over the 4 hurdles and through the gate before their next teammate is released. This is a fairly complex set of behaviors to teach a dog, but ball-crazy, motivated dogs usually enjoy learning this activity, and it is good fun and an excellent way to spend quality time with your dog.
If you are training for competitive flyball you will want to simulate a competitive course with appropriately sized hurdles and a spring-loaded ball box, the same as what is used in competition. Flyball uses a tennis ball for your dog to retrieve, and flyball jumps are between 8 and 16 inches high, 24 inches wide between the uprights, and have a spread or base of 16 inches. The height of the jump is set 4 inches below the height a the withers of the smallest dog on the team. Jumps are placed 6 feet from the start line, with 10 feet between jumps.
If you are just teaching your dog for fun, you can set up appropriately sized hurdles that are safe for your dog to jump, and place the ball on the ground, or have an assistant produce the ball.
Before starting training you should ensure your dog is in good physical shape, with no impediments, orthopedic or joint problems, that could be aggravated by strenuous activity. Dogs should also have good off-leash recall, and experience with obedience commands.
I am in that stage where focus is on short supply, and this pup is testing me more and more. I have raised several dogs but I am unsure about how this one will react with growling and lunging when you yelp or whimper when a play bite gets too hard. I don't think she is mean, she's very sweet, but she doesn't know how to de-escalate. She is ball attentive and I would love to eventually see if she takes to fly all, but right now I just want to be able to pet, snuggle or train her without being chewed on or my hair pulled or barking.
Hello. Here is information on puppy nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.
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