Most dogs love getting out on adventures and being as active as possible! It can be hard, however, to think of new ways to help them get the most from their enthusiasm. If you like the thought of something fast, noisy and energetic, perhaps flyball could be just the ticket! At The Insurance Emporium, we’ve been doing some research into the sport, so you can work out if flyball might be the activity for you and your dog!

Border Collie playing flyball.

What is it?

Flyball is a competitive team game, originating from America, where two teams of four dogs use two racing lanes. Each teams’ dogs run these in relay, clearing four hurdles, collecting a ball from a flyball box at the end of the track, before returning over the hurdles back to the finish line.

What are the rules?

Much like a human relay race, in order to win, the fourth dog in your team must beat the other teams’ dog by crossing the finish line first, with any part of its body. Each pooch has to have passed the finish line before the next can start its leg of the relay. If the next dog starts too early, or if any of the pups drop the ball, miss a hurdle or are helped out by their humans, they will have to run the course a second time!

What will you need?

Staffordshire Bull Terrier type of breed playing flyball.

The first of four pieces of equipment you’ll need are four hurdles, each ten inches high. You’ll also need a flyball box to hold the balls, as well as a backstop board – this is to slow your canine down when they reach the end of the course! The final pieces of equipment are simply tennis balls. A large area of space is also required, as dogs can run really fast, so need ample room to slow down!

What are the benefits?

Flyball can have benefits for both you and your four-legged friend. Obviously, it’s a great way to keep dogs fit, socialised and mentally stimulated, and it might reduce the likelihood of them destroying your soft furnishings instead! It could also be a chance for you to meet new people and form friendships. On top of this, you and your dog can spend some quality bonding time together!

What kind of dogs can compete?

Terrier playing flyball.

Flyball is open to all sizes and breeds of dog. Even though the hurdles are ten inches, their height can be reduced for our smaller furry friends. They will, however, need to be fit and healthy, have great recall and be sociable puppers. It also helps if they already go mad for tennis balls!

If you want to find out more about getting into this high-energy sport, you might want to take a look at the BFA website. Whatever form your adventures with your canine friend take, they’re sure to be special and fun. If you’re thinking of taking up any new doggy activities it could be a good opportunity to also think about dog insurance. The Insurance Emporium offer up to 30% discount* on policies, with a range different policies and cover for Vet’s Fees up to £8,000^ as standard. Want to know more? Head to The Insurance Emporium today!   

* The 30% discount is made up of 20% Introductory Discount plus 10% Multi-pet Discount (if appropriate). The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.

^ Vet’s Fees cover up to £8,000 available on lunar monthly Lifetime Gold policies only.

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