CLASSES  &  TRAINING

DO YOU ALREADY HAVE FLYBALL EXPERIENCE?
Contact us at PTBflyball@gmail.com, if you are interested in exploring membership.
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Photograph by Ray Lundrigan
Photograph by Paul Linnerud
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Photograph by Ray Lundrigan

Visit and Meet Us

Portland Tail Blazers Flyball Club holds beginning classes and team practice on Sunday afternoons. We invite you and your dog to visit us, to decide if joining a flyball team might be fun. There is no charge for this visit. 

 

Contact ptbflyball@gmail.com to schedule a visit.

Beginning Flyball Classes

Dogs start when we have an open spot in class. At times, we have a wait list for prospective students. Our classes are held at Dog Days Dog Training in Vancouver WA on Sunday afternoons. The beginning class costs $120 for six sessions. Overall time for a dog learning the basic skills of flyball varies, but generally several six-session blocks of class are needed.

 

Objectives:

Our training introduces handling and foundation skills for flyball dogs. We will cover motivation and rewarding your dog, focus with distractions, dog body awareness, conditioning, flyball flat work, foundation jump work, and flyball participation requirements. Our training is suitable for puppies and adults. It is our overall goal to train dogs and their handlers to recruit for membership in the Portland Tail Blazers, to continue training and participate in tournaments and other team activities.

 

Prerequisites:

Flyball is not suitable for dogs with significant aggression toward dogs or humans, or fear of dogs or humans, for dogs with serious sound phobias, for significantly overweight dogs, or for dogs with certain veterinary/ orthopedic issues (feel free to email us to see if your dog is a good candidate, if you aren't sure).

 

Get a Head Start on Flyball Skills:

1. Really reliable recall to handler

 

The flyball environment is extremely exciting and stimulating, with balls flying every-which-way, dogs barking and running, humans yelling and running, and toys and treats being dispensed. For safety, each dog needs to have a really reliable recall to handler. Recall is also important for teaching many other skills.

 

2. Being handled and restrained by new people.

 

In flyball training, other team members will handle and restrain your dog by collar or harness, and at times shift your dog’s position (for example, turn her around). Dogs need to feel safe and be comfortable with multiple handlers.

 

3.  Dead ball retrieve

 

Learning to retrieve a stationary ball on the ground on command prepares them to eventually retrieve the ball from the box.  It is a different mindset from retrieving a thrown ball. Dog that can bring a ball ALL THE WAY back to your feet are primed for success.

 

4.  Ball exchange for reward

 

For some dogs, who really love balls, the challenge is to find something your dog wants more than a ball. This can be to tug with you, after dropping the ball, another toy such as a disc, a better ball, or treats. The fastest dogs in flyball generally come back for a tug reward. If a dog is ball obsessed, this may create roadblocks in their training. Tugging is a great motivator and enjoyable on its own for puppies.

5.  Crate training

When not racing, dogs are confined to their crates or a covered x-pen, and most of us safely transport our dogs in crates, as well. Help your dog learn that being in a crate relaxing instead of stressful.