Training Fundamentals

Foundations to Teach your Dog at Home

Puppies can and should be taught these foundations. They are to young to do jumps until around 1 years old.

Laying a Good Foundation

Establish a Good Motivator

A tug or Frisbee is the preferred motivator, but whatever you pick you should stay with. Play with your dog daily with it and make it a fun game for him. Much of this is teaching the dog that it is fun to play with you and the motivator. This will help the dog’s focus and keep him on task. If the dog is focused on you and the motivator he will be less likely to get in trouble.

The most important thing in flyball training is laying a good foundation from which to build upon. Spend the time playing and motivating your dog. Making it fun for them. If they know that you are having fun it is very likely that they will sense this and this game will be fun for them too. No matter what type of dog you have if they are having fun they will give you 110%.

Speed is a bi-product of having FUN.

Many people just entering the sport want to see results too fast and when they don’t see them they get discouraged and quit. Much of the things you were taught in obedience training you don’t use when training a flyball dog. Flyball training is not obedience training and somethings taught in obedience training have no place in flyball training.

Flyball is an intensely physical sport and an overweight out of shape dog will get hurt. Before you start Flyball training with your dog make sure they are physically fit. If they are overweight, put them on a diet. Conditioning should be something that you work on with your dog year round.

When starting with a new motivator, a good game to play is the "keep away" game. You can start this game being excited about the motivator. Hold the motivator high enough so the dog can’t get it or run around with it because the dog will almost always want what they can’t have. Show your dog how much fun the motivator is. If you are starting with a puppy you may have to start having him follow your hand or food and slowly work toward transitioning to the motivator. Tugging is a natural behavior for most dogs so this should not be a problem.

Sometimes the dog may not want to play and that is okay. If that is the case
put your motivator up and don’t play. Your dog must want to play rather
than being aggravated to play. Only play with the dog when the dog is giving
110%. At the first sign of fatigue or disinterest the play should end. Keep your motivator out of sight when you are not playing with your dog. As soon as your dog sees the motivator they should react and know that this is play time.

Keep your play sessions short. Keeping sessions short insures that the energy level of the dog will be high. Try to always end your play sessions with the dog wanting more.