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Flyball

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The DH and I are not seeing eye to eye on the flyball thing. Does anyone have any opinions, stories, expierences that they would like to share, the good and the bad.

 

He is concerned about how excited the dogs get and doesn't think that will be good for him. I think that he thinks that Blaze's excitment will not stop once we are through with practice, leave the competition, etc.

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How is your dog around running, barking, and excited dogs? Does he take it in stride, or does it overstimulate him?

 

If he takes it in stride, I would say it's worth giving it a try.

 

If he gets overstimulated, I would do some impulse control work and really get him to the point where he can "turn on" to play flyball and then "turn off" when he is finished.

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He does get excited, we took him to an agility competition when he was about 6m old and when they would bark he would bark etc. BUT at the same time when we go to the park, all the other dogs will be going crazy and acting silly and Blaze pretty much ignores them to play frisbee or fetch with the ball.

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I think it depends on the dog. Taz would be fine with flyball, I think, but Sophie was a lunatic--I tried flyball with the thought that it might channel some of her over-the-top, outta-control drivey energy, but it just encouraged all the impulse-control-lacking parts of her I was otherwise working to tone down. Had we kept at it, we might have been able to work through her craziness and maybe it would have been a good outlet for her then. But I kinda doubt it. Craig would eat the other dogs in a flyball environment. He would be driven completely insane with the desire to chase and nip their butts, which of course is unacceptable, so I would never consider putting him in that position.

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It really depends on the dog and owners.

 

It can't hurt to take some flyball classes. If Blaze (and DH) can't handle it then it may not be worth it.

 

Many dogs learn when and where they can bark and act like fools and where/when they cannot. I had a couple students who are strict on no barking, no pulling, etc... well in flyball they gave up and let the dogs do that stuff but outside of flyball the dogs must act the proper way. Yes at times it may a take day to get back to the proper way but hey these are dogs after all.

 

Like I said, it depends on the dog and the owners. Some can handle the noise and such while others can't.

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My wife and I have had this discussion, she thought flyball would make our dog flip out for good. Zoey tends to get over stimulated pretty easily. You need to try it and see how it goes with your dog. Zoey ran in her first real tournament a couple weeks ago and even I was a bit surprised how crazy she got right before each race. Even as a green dog, she knew what was about to happen. She finally ran some clean races (whoo hoo, two titles that weekend) and whenever we left the ring, she immediately turned off, as all the dogs seem to do. Nothing about her has changed otherwise. Flyball channels her intense energy into a fun sport, but it took a long time and a lot of patience to get to this point.

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I tried flyball with Abby for the first time when she was about 2 and it was too much for both of us. She didn't know where/how to channel all that energy and was totally over the top for a few days after practice.

 

I tried again this past year (when she was 3) and it is a totally different story now. I think flyball has actually helped with a lot of her impulse control problems. She used to be terrible about trying to chase other excited dogs playing fetch at the park. She learned that she has a 'job' in flyball and that job does not involve chasing other dogs. It seems to have carried over and she almost always ignores other dogs playing fetch now. She is super hyped up right before a race but calms down almost immediately afterwards. It also really helped that I taught her how to tug so she can redirect some of her excitement into tugging before/during racing.

 

We went to our third tournament this past weekend and Abby ran clean in 20 heats :rolleyes: It was lots of fun!

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Well thank you all for the replies. It seems to me that (knowing my dog) that I may wait another six months or so. We are in rally-o right now and really having a blast with it. So I think that I may just enjoy what I am getting right now and reconsider in the fall.

 

Thank you all soo much!

 

We went to our third tournament this past weekend and Abby ran clean in 20 heats It was lots of fun!

 

CONGRATS!!

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I really don't think that flyball inherently makes a dog crazy in a way that would disrupt your non-flyball time. The dogs in our club are very enthusiastic about running (in practice and at tourneys) but all settle nicely when it's not their turn. And it doesn't have to be about barking, lunging, and all that jazz. For example, Wick doesn't bark in flyball. She might let out one or two arfs on the way to the line up, but I don't let her bark and lunge when she's waiting for her turn. There is something about Wick's screaming that sets off the prey drive in the most placid of dogs, so I want to keep her as inconspicuous as possible.

 

After practice, she isn't overly hyped or anything. Ditto agility - she is very excited and enthusiastic about having a turn, and then she is happy to have a quick drink and get back to her crate so that she can go back to napping. :rolleyes:

 

The one thing that you do need to evaluate prior to starting flyball is your dog's impulse control. There *is* a lot going on, what with 8 dogs racing, balls flying everywhere, and the yelling (human and canine). I'm sure that this environment would overstimulate dogs who, for whatever reason, don't have a lot of focus.

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I'm sure that this environment would overstimulate dogs who, for whatever reason, don't have a lot of focus.
I do not believe that this is an issue for him. There are times that he gets so focused that the DH and I have to laugh and turn it into a game for him.

 

Any other suggestions, opinions?

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Charlie had his first flyball comp a few weeks ago and he was an absolute nutter in the ring. I had alot of trouble holding him at the start, he got me under the chin a few times and for a few runs he was mid-flip as I released him so I'm glad he ran in the right direction. He was that excited that I managed to teach him how to spin quickly lol. He knew what spin around meant, but was always halfhearted about it. As we left the ring each time I would get him to spin around every few metres and he would damn near give himself whiplash lol. Once we were out of the ring though he was back to being a smoochie, mellow dog.

 

I had never seen him so incredibly excited about something the whole time I have had him. It made me really happy to think how much he must enjoy the sport as the last thing I want is to force my dogs to do a sport they dont enjoy. As soon as it was over he switched back to his usual self though...

 

I agree with the others though, the dog must be able to handle the excitement if you intend competing with them. Otherwise you can always stick with training but not actually competing. Still keeps them active but removes alot of the hyperdrive they seem to get at comps.

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ohhh thank you so much. I will be sharing all of the replies with my DH. As of right now they practice when I have rally-O so I won't be able to take him for a couple of weeks (we are switching to a week night). I did speak with the captain of the team (via e,mail) that is located here and she said that they always let the dog(s) try it out for a couple of weeks before any dues are due (not sure if that is a common practice) so that is good.

 

I'm really excited about it. I just know that he will love it.

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It does depend on teh dog, and the training. training done right is much more succesfull than training done wrong! i've seen more dogs in my 14 year flyball career get ruined by pushing training too fast, and running a dog way too soon! i have a VERY visually stimulated young dog who also had a little reactiveness. i can tell you that he is a STAR flyball dog. this is his GAME!! well sheep too :rolleyes: he has NEVER crossed, never chased, never gone after another dog, NEVER taken his mind off the game--kick the other dogs a** :D and this same dog is a huge couch potato. lies around, pretty boring actually :D i took my time with his training, there is never any rush! i'd rather have a safe, sound dog running for years than one that can on run one heat every few tournaments.

i can also tell you that i live in a house of flyball dogs! almost out entire team is ours! you woul dnever know that these dogs are running sub 4 second times :D

 

 

kelli

 

i forgot to add! the only time our dogs are barking and get crazed is walking from the crating area to the racing lanes! otherswise they are sleeping :D

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We went to our third tournament this past weekend and Abby ran clean in 20 heats :D It was lots of fun!

 

Congrats, that's awesome! :D

 

The one thing that you do need to evaluate prior to starting flyball is your dog's impulse control.

 

Ditto this. Especially that impulse to chase other dogs! At our club the green dogs that are having the most problems are the ones who can't focus on their job because they're more interested in the other running dogs.

 

As for my two, they have no problem turning it off when we're not doing flyball. (well, honestly, Lilly never turns it on :rolleyes:) Alex is very driven in flyball, I let him bark, but I don't let him lunge. He knows the difference, and does not act a fool outside of flyball.

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Ditto this. Especially that impulse to chase other dogs! At our club the green dogs that are having the most problems are the ones who can't focus on their job because they're more interested in the other running dogs.

 

Well Blaze has never really shown me this side so I am hoping that he never will, the only thing it sounds like I will have to worry about is the barking.

 

Thank you all so much, this has helped me to make the determination that us going in for a few practices to see how he does and if he even likes it will be worth it.

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I wouldn't worry about the barking. See, Alex doesn't start barking until he either 1) walks out into the flyball lane, ready to race or 2) is crated within eyesight of other dogs racing. So, Blaze might bark at flyball practice (normal), but outside of flyball practice, the stimulus that causes the barking isn't there. That's my take on it, at least.

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I wouldn't worry about the barking either. I have a few friends who do flyball and their dogs are not loud off the field (lanes?). The biggest reason flyball isn't a good for for some dogs (like Sophie) is that they simply don't possess the self-control necessary in such a stimulating environment and they get overhyped. I think if your dog is basically pretty balanced overall, he'll probably have a lot of fun :rolleyes:

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I have made the decision to take Blaze in next saturday for our first observer day. I would love to go this weekend but we are going to a Rally-O trial. My question....

 

Blaze is rather noise sensitive, that is with high pitched sounds...

 

Can you think of any reason why there may be a problem with the box because of this?

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Blaze is rather noise sensitive, that is with high pitched sounds...

 

Can you think of any reason why there may be a problem with the box because of this?

 

The boxes does make a clicking noise. Some dogs will be sensitive about it, but usually can be conditioned out of their concern with a little patience and association of good things with box clicks. During the tournaments, the judge may blow a whistle if there is a fault, which might be more of a problem. But, that being said, my thunderphobic, terrified of the buzzing of flies dog does just fine even at indoor tournaments with whistles and rumbles and barking echoing off the walls. One outdoor tournament we were at even had thunder, but he didn't even seem to notice because he was in the flyball zone.

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