|Barked: Wed Jun 11, '08 11:08am PST |
|You can use just about any type of ball as long as it will fit in the flyball box. Our team has about 5 different types and sizes of balls for the different dogs. The regular tennis balls, then some medium sized fuzzy tennis balls, small fuzzy tennis balls, tiny foam balls, and felt cat toy balls. Some even have little crochetted covers so that the dogs that don't like to put balls in their mouths can grab onto the yarns instead.
To play flyball the dog doesn't have to LOVE balls. It is sometimes actually easier to train if they dog isn't completely obsessed over the ball. If all the focus is on the ball, then it is sometimes difficult to get the dog to work at the other aspects and learn them correctly. If you will retrieve any sort of ball, then you will likely be fine. If you won't retrieve a ball at all, then there are some easy ways to work on it. One that works well is if you get a small tennis ball (you can usually get them at pet stores or dollar stores, in either the dog or cat section) and break it so that when you squeeze the sides, a hole opens up like a Pac-Man mouth. Stick a few small and tasty treats inside, then call the dog over and make a big deal about opening the ball and taking a treat out. Put the ball on the floor in front of the dog, and any interest towards the ball gets a click (if you use the clicker already that helps!), pick up the ball and make a big deal about getting a treat out of it. Next, slowly roll the ball a short ways on the floor. If the dog follows it even for a little bit, again make a huge deal about it and take a treat from inside the ball. Work on it a small bit at a time, eventaually encouraging the dog to pick up the ball or bring it back to you to have you remove the treat from inside.
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