Flyball vs Agility

Discussion in 'Labrador Training' started by QuinnM15, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. QuinnM15

    QuinnM15 Registered Users

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    I am looking into signing up for something new with Quinn in the new year. Quinn is crazy for a ball, so I think flyball would be more fun for her - has anyone tried both? Any pros or cons with one over the other?
     
  2. Naya

    Naya Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I can't help with an opinion on flyball, but can with agility.
    We started doing agility just over a year ago. When we started Harley was a nightmare waiting for her turn - I had to literally constantly treat her whilst waiting. Now, I only occasionally treat whilst waiting. Over the past year she has become much more steady, focuses on me a lot more and absolutely loves it. When I say 'are we going to agility' she runs to the front door and sits waiting. I have found she settles a lot better now and is generally happy to wait her turn. We use a ball for her reward and it's the best of both worlds for her. I have also made a lot of new friends (human and doggy). Hope this helps a bit
     
  3. QuinnM15

    QuinnM15 Registered Users

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    @Naya one of my concerns is her going crazy waiting her turn. In obedience, her normal calm and quiet self turns into a barking nightmare, so either way I will have to work very hard on settling (extra hard with a ball in sight in flyball I think). Sounds like you made a lot of progress in a short time and Harley loves it - just what I am hoping for in doing something like this! Thanks for the info!
     
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  4. Emily_BabbelHund

    Emily_BabbelHund Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    If Quinn is totally ball crazy, flyball probably would be more fun. I tried it once with Brogan and he looked at me like, "You want me to CHASE something and put it my MOUTH? Gross!". Brogan firmly believed that only food, water and the occasional mouthful of yummy wet sand should go anywhere near his face.

    But we both loved Agility. We were the slowest (Rottweilers are not known for being light on their paws) but it was a great confidence builder and all the different tasks (vs. just one for flyball) really kept him interested. We only did classes, not competition. The way the classes were set up ensured that there was really no waiting time. Everyone worked with different parts of the course at the same time or ran through one just behind the other. You maybe had to wait a bit if a dog got stuck on one bit of the course (especially a problem with the teeter), but that was it.

    I have to say, if you have a dog that is easily distractible and you're trying to work on that, it's a great opportunity. Lots of action going on so a real challenge for the dog to remember what he's supposed to be doing and focus on you. Of all the different classes I took, agility and canine freestyle (aka doggie dancing, lol) were the most fun.

    Maybe start with flyball and then give agility a try when you have time? Around here, you can usually go to a dog sport area and try out the agility equipment just for fun to see if you like it. Dog shows usually have an agility tryout area, too.
     
  5. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    I did about 8 sessions of flyball with Molly when she was around 20 months of age. She got the hang of it after practising at home but was very slow and not that keen, so as it was a forty minute drive to get there I gave up.
    However if your dog is ball mad I'd say give it a try.
    It was very noisy -lots of barking- and maybe I didn't really enter into the spirit as most people seemed to want to get their dog excited so they'd fly down the line, whereas I wanted a calm dog so walked her around the arena when it wasn't her turn - which was a useful training experience in its own right.
     
  6. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    We went to watch a flyball event and found the noise deafening. At Ella's age (20 months) and level of training we felt that the environment was counter productive as we seem to spend 90% of our time working on calm, controlled behaviour when out and about.

    I'm sure many other dogs (not quite as nutty as ella) would thrive in the competition though :D
     
  7. Emily_BabbelHund

    Emily_BabbelHund Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Agree completely! It's a completely different culture from some of the other dog sports. Agility (at least the NON competitive type) seemed more variably-paced for different types of dog. Flyball is very dominated by the super fast little terrier types (JRT for example), at least the classes I've seen. And they are very, very, very barky during the entire exercise...I would need ear plugs (and maybe some Valium :p ).

    Do you have "Mantrailing" around you? Not even sure what it's called in English, maybe scent tracking? People are CRAZY about it here and it seems all types of dogs love it. Some friends of mine even do with all three of their dogs - including an Airedale mix, sighthound mix and Pekinese mix. It don't think it's really a training thing, though...but it sure does sound like a good way to end up with a tired and happy dog, if that's what you're after.
     
  8. Raven12

    Raven12 Registered Users

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    I do flyball with Jura, and have done so since she was 12 months old. It is a very noisy environment, particularly the competitions! To start with Jura was highly excited between races and lunged towards the lanes, but now (she is now 20 months) she will sit calmly, watching the other dogs between races. In training it isn't so bad as not all the dogs will be out at the same time. If your dog isn't running then generally you are helping out with other jobs such as box loading tennis balls etc. In addition to flyball I also do gun dog training with her, which has helped with her overall steadiness and calmness, and certainly I haven't found that flyball has made her anymore excitable away from training or competing, but that may just be the nature of my dog. She loves it, and I enjoy the team aspect of it.

    If you do decide to give flyball a try, then researching a good club is important. Flyball can cause injuries, particularly shoulder injuries if the dog isn't trained to go onto the box safely. Here she is in one of her first starter competitions!

    04011401.JPG
     
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  9. QuinnM15

    QuinnM15 Registered Users

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    This is all great info! She is absolutely ball crazy - her all time highest reward and will ignore anything in the world if she thinks there is a chance a ball will be pulled out of a pocket. She's pretty fast, but doubt she could beat a competitive border collie or JRT!

    @raven7 did Jura start barking more at all from being in that environment? Quinn is very calm by nature, but can get frustrated in training environments when it's not her turn and is meant to settle, so this could be good training on that. Good advice about researching a good club, I will spend more time on this for sure. I think I am definitely leaning towards flyball over agility.

    @Emily_BabbelHund the dancing sounds hilarious- there is something I found called "trei ball" which is like soccer for dogs, which makes me laugh thinking about too. We are thinking about some scent work classes in the future as well. Those classes are getting pretty popular here too.
     
  10. MF

    MF Registered Users

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    We also did dog dancing aka canine freestyle. Basically teaching tricks and obedience with music playing. It was the best thing we did - lots of practice with focus and the tricks were fun - like weaving in and out of my legs. I much preferred it to regular obedience which in my experience was like doing military marches up and down a field (hated that!). The tricks were also fun to demo to visitors to our house! And I do them when Snowie needs to calm down by using his mind - I like that it gave me extra training ideas that don't feel like training!

    We never did agility or flyball - as a puppy, when we tried out for the class, we were told to come back when he'd matured. For the tryout you had to play with a toy and demonstrate recall. Well Snowie collected all the other dogs' toys in his mouth and ran off!!!
     
  11. Emily_BabbelHund

    Emily_BabbelHund Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I honestly can say, the fabulous tight heel that Brogan did just as a matter of course all came from our goofy doggie dancing classes. We just both really learned how to move together. We used it his whole life - a lot of times weaving through crowds or going around shopping displays I would look down and him and he would look up at me and it was as if we were both thinking "Hey, it's doggie dancing!".

    And the leg weaves were Brogan's favourite, too. :)
     
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  12. Naya

    Naya Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Harley is ball obsessed too so it is her reward when doing agility. We only have one person in the arena at a time as could prove difficult as they are off lead in there.
    We've done a few gundog training session and have also loved these.
    In January we are going into a scent workshop and plan on doing the grades for it.
    I think any kind of activity you choose should be fun for you both, but bare in mind that the first few weeks will be exciting and dogs struggle to relax at first.
     
  13. FayRose

    FayRose Registered Users

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    Well, I'm sure Molly would love some agility, however, with my hip and dodgy knees, it would kill me :eek: so she has to settle with 'find the dummy' which she does love very much, thank goodness :penguin:
     
  14. Raven12

    Raven12 Registered Users

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    I haven't had any problems with Jura barking, she only gives a single bark when the door bell rings at home, and I don't think she's ever barked at flyball at all. That said, it does encourage a few dogs to bark, there is one cocker in particular which barks a lot at flyball which apparently doesn't bark anywhere else.
     

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