Training for Dogs: Agility and Flyball

Within the United States, obedience training for dogs has become quite popularized from everyday types of obedience training to more advanced forms of obedience training. Agility and flyball are two of the sports for dogs that fall into the advanced obedience training category.

The primary purpose of sporting in dogs is to prepare them for competition. The agility competitions for dogs have extremely strict requirements regarding each activity. Any dog failing to follow these guidelines exactly loses points from his score.

Flyball competitions involve an activity performed on a straight strip of ground that is short in length. A box with a trap and a foot lever is located at one end of the strip.

The flyball event includes several successive steps performed by the dog and his master. Each step is outlined as follows:

  1. When his turn arrives, each dog is given a signal.
  2. The dog races down the strip to the box.
  3. The dog steps on the foot lever attached to the box.
  4. A ball is released by this action and flies up into the air.
  5. The dog leaps up into the air in order to catch the ball.
  6. The dog rushes back to his owner who is waiting at the initial end of the strip to give him the ball.

Flyball competitions are usually run as relays. Each round in the competition involves four different teams of dogs that contain approximately six dogs.

A dog emerging from a tunnel on an agility course.

Agility competitions involve obstacle courses that include a series of timed activities. In addition to a tunnel, seesaw, stay on a table, and several jumps, the course also includes the weaving in and out through several obstacles.

Participating dogs must perform each event according to the guidelines. A perfect navigation of the course will achieve a perfect score. Anything less and the dog loses points.

Dogs that are placed in agility and flyball training competitions must undergo rigorous and consistent training. Both the dog and his trainer must take the sport seriously as competition is fierce.

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