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Getting started in flyball

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Hi, all! I am brand new to this board, and close to brand new to having a border collie: Bailey is 7 months old and I have had her 1 1/2 months. I am trying to get her started in flyball and am finding her MUCH more interested in watching the other running dogs than any toy or treat I have yet found. I didn't have this issue with my ball-crazy lab, but I am sure other border collies would rather herd than focus on a ball...


Any ideas? Thanks!!

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Get her really into one special (i.e. only comes out for flyball) toy, like a tug. Get her tugging like a maniac at home (getting down on your knees help - really get into it, dogs know when you're faking). Make some special noises or use a special word when playing with her, so she associates that word/noise with fun PLAY. Start with short sessions and make sure YOU end the game. When she's doing this well at home, i.e. stays focused, take her to some public places with either no dogs or just a few leashed dogs. Get her to tug like a maniac again. When she can do it at a few different places, take her to flyball practice but get as far away as possible where she can see/hear the other dogs but they won't come up to her. Tug here (use the special word/noise you've developed if she gets distracted). Get as far away as you need to to get her to tug (and you can also only ask for tug when dogs aren't running at first), then gradually move closer to the other dogs running. Work on this until you can tug right beside the racing dogs and keep her engaged the whole time. It might take awhile (i.e. several separate sessions) before you can move closer - be patient.


Good luck!


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Laura's suggestion is perfect.. getting her a motivator will definitely help a ton!


For my boy, he would not stop staring at the other dogs and trying to chase them. Of course, when he did chase them he'd just run next to them for a second then come back to me :rolleyes: .. dork. For him, it required 6+ months of advanced Obedience. Now, when I say watch me and tell him to leave it, he actually listens!! ;0) consider putting her through beginning-advanced obedience from a reputable, trained instructor. She won't be able to jump anyway for about 1 year

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The Spring Loaded VHS/DVD training series is also really good for exercises to get the dog focused on you & not on the other dogs. You can get them at www.flyballtrainingvideos.com


I had trained several labs before I got my BC. It was a TOTALLY different experience. She has taken tons longer to train than the labs - mainly because of her interest in the other dogs. But, that same interest quickly turns into drive to beat the other dog if channelled correctly. She's now tons faster than they'll ever be : ) Have fun!


Dana Nichols

Greeley, Colorado



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