To be honest - I have yet to commit to competing myself. I honestly enjoy our weekly courses. But travelling to a competition and spendings hours in arenas? Um...not sure I'm willing to do that.
We're continuing our weekly classes. Ball is just being introduced as his turn is solid. But we learned that Rocky is too big. The box does not give him enough room to actually DO a complete turn AND get the ball : LOL! And yes - the different sounds and distractions play a big part in learning! I've been lucky - Rocky is not too distracting by these things yet.
I guess it's about finding a club that is open to green runners (newbies). SOunds like that club you talked about is only interested in winning. The group I am with is really terrific at accepting newbies and training them. but that is mostly due to the insane amount of time the coach gives to flyball. She has class after class after practice between competitions! LOL!
But talking to members who compete, they said you dont have to compete ALL the time. Some members will go only once a month. Some will camp to save money. So I might take those kinds of baby steps if and when Rocky is ready.
How big is Rocky? Dutch is pretty big...85 lbs. At class on Saturday they suggested that I set up hurdles in a hallway and practice inside. They told me to watch which direction he turns when he gets to the ball. Usually he turns to the right, but sometimes to the left. I think he turns right more often because there is more room to turn in that direction...there is a wall to the left.
They will rarely got the same way %100 of the time - we mostly tested to see wh ich way they turned more often. but if the wall is reallly in the way that could have an impact.
Rocky is 80pounds. Big but not huge. He's quite tall and lean - and too long to do the turn AND grab the ball. He can do the trun very well but his head is at the wrong place to get the ball. We will still TRY to get a full four legged turn as that will make him much faster. But we may have to be satisfied with 3 paws. Time will tell
There are other labs in the group that do perfect turns, they are shorter in height and in lenght.
Jubilee and I are new to the forum but this thread is what drew me here. Jubilee is in flyball. She is an incessant retriever and is very motivated by a ball or frisbee...I call it "losing her marbles" because everything else goes out the window and all she wants is that ball. We started training with a flyball group in August 2006. She potentially could start in the Feb tournament down here but I may wait until June.
I don't use treats for flyball so I can't help you there, but my group did let me take the practice box home for a few weeks which helped a lot. I started by holding the ball (her particular reward) in my left hand and her harness in my right and using a circular motion to get her to follow the ball yet hit the box with four feet. It was hard on my back and I was often dizzy but she does so well now. Now we are using a pvc gate with green fencing to help her get down to the box and around using all four paws. Our group stresses proper turning as well.
woohoo! another flyball dog
It's great that you were able to borrow the box. Can't wait to hear about your progress
We've taken a long break over the holidays and are just getting back into it this weekend. Should be slow until he remembers everything haha.
The treat thing is actually an issue for me and Rocky with ALL training. I can get him to do basic stuff without a treat but it's must slower. Recall - only if I have treats. Flyball - I think treating with a tennis ball is the best bet (sounds like that is what you did).
he's so fickle though. even tennis balls he tires of (thus looses ALL interest). Food is the only item in the world that get and keep his attention. I don't know why i bother buying him toys - he plays maybe a few minutes (these days not even) then won't touch them again!
A lot of the people in our group use a lot of food motivation. I will ask around on Sunday because I am sure they may have some really helpful tips for you. The other group I practiced with didn't seem to use as much food as this group so I am assuming they use it for a good reason
The members who compete rarely use treats. Most of the dogs are quite happy with a tug and some play time. Rocky just doesn't get the tug. once in awhile he'll be in the mood to play but that is rare and can't be counted on! Even squeaky toys have lost their appeal...as have tennis balls.Originally Posted by gatorblueyes
Any suggestions are welcomed
Well I will ask around and see what pearls I can find. Would he motivate for a frisbee? I was using that to get Jubs to speed up. One team encouraged me to use it, another discouraged me because I can't really throw it in tournament although I don't think she will care either way. I did just buy a tug but she is not as driven about it.
He'll barely watch a frisbee. The ONLY thing he will fetch is an actual tennis ball (lucky me that is the object used in flyball!). I've worked to entice tugging but it's never 100% - it really depends on his mood and the day. So it's not a good reward. Though I'll keep at it - when itworks it REALLY works.Originally Posted by gatorblueyes
My next tug will be one with treats inside - that should help phase out the treats in a way.
Ok so I have practiced with two different teams and they both said go with what works...one lady has a ziplock baggie full of treats and she entices the dog (he is actually a very young puppy with a short attention span). They said to keep the sessions short and use the food. There is a chance that is what you will always use or once he gets the hang of it you may be able to use another ball.