Good training is the essence of the sport - it may look fast and frantic, but all dogs competing have had a lot of time dedicated to their training so that the sport is not only enjoyable for dogs and handlers but also safe for all, allowing the dogs to compete for many years.
Boxes - These are placed 51 feet from the start/finish line. BFA boxes may have slightly varying designs but ALL are carefully constructed to make safety the top priority for the sport.
Have a look at this short video to see one of our dogs, Freddie, training towards using the box
Jumps - The jumps are hurdles that the dogs jump during the race. The first one is 6 feet from the start line and the next 3 are 10 feet apart. The jumps can vary in height depending on the smallest dog in the team, from 7 inches to 14 inches. Teams often have a dog smaller than the rest to act as a "height dog" as the height of the jump is taken to be 4" smaller than the height of the smallest dog at the withers. So if you have a small dog that you think could be good at flyball you will probably be mobbed when you go along to your nearest club as they are always looking out for fast height dogs with enthusiastic owners.
We welcome dogs (and people) of any age. If they are too young (the dogs NOT the people) to compete at Flyball we can assist in general training to work towards getting you dog to play flyball. If they are at least a year old and able to fetch a tennis ball, they are ready for initial flyball training.
Please note: in the early days of your training don't expect your dog to do all the running!
Training is held at Cheshire Polo Club Grounds near the Oulton Park Racing Circuit. Please see our Venue page for more details on the location.
Winter training is normally either Saturday or Sunday
Summer training may be evenings or weekends
Please contact us to find out when we are training as it may vary with the weather in winter and due to competition commitments in the summer.
You are welcome to come along for a trial training session without charge or obligation.
The various team members are always on hand to help each other out and people can become as involved as they want to. We have those who just come and train for a bit of fun and those who attend every competition.
The key factor is enjoyment it's got to be fun for both people and dogs!
The Cheshire Set Flyball Team don't like rushing the dog and push them beyond their capabilities. Some dogs are trained within days and most within a few weeks.
Starter Dog - These are the dogs that have just been introduced to the Flyball box, jumps and training netting and most probably other dogs. We take you through the basics of how, when, what and why.
Beginner Dog - Once he or she progresses to "Beginner Dog" your dog should have grasped the basic principles of the sport and should be ready to take part in starter Competitions in netting. The owner should also be getting a grasp of the basic rules.
Apprentice Dog - These dogs are a lot more experience having taken part in a numerous starter competitions. They may be asked to come and apprentice with the main teams. They will be able to run in the warm ups of every race. This is purely to get experience out of netting and the noise and other dogs running around.
Team Dog - Speaks for itself! And yes, we do expect the owner to have picked up the rules along the way as well.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF INITIAL TRAINING?
Assuming you and your dog wish to continue, after the training course you have a choice.
You can continue to attend the training sessions and just have fun with your dog or you can compete in Flyball competitions with the rest of the team - a word of warning though - THIS SPORT IS SERIOUSLY ADDICTIVE!!