Flyball Info


Have some questions about the sport of Flyball? Please take a look at our list of Frequently Asked Questions. If you have other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

What is flyball?

Flyball is a team sport for dogs and their handlers. Teams of 4 dogs each compete in a relay race in which each dog runs a course over 4 jumps to retrieve a ball. The handlers are responsible for motivating their dogs to increase their speed and timing the starting run of each dog to make the overall team time as fast as possible. (The record time for 4 dogs to run the course is currently 15.22 seconds set by Spring Loaded. More common are times in the low to mid 20's). The competition is two-fold; the team races against another team for tournament "placement" and also against the clock for points toward titles.

Pip passing Daisy at the start line.

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How does Flyball compare to Agility and Obedience?

Obedience is like a dinner at the White House, Agility is like a wine and cheese party, and Flyball is like a kegger.

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What breeds can play flyball?

Flyball is not an AKC sport, so any breed or mix breed can play. Most any breed can be trained to play flyball with PERSISTENCE.

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What types of dogs do NOT do well at flyball?

Dogs which are either people or dog aggressive (the type that lunge aggressively at other dogs as they pass by) will NOT do well at flyball and will not be able to successfully compete at flyball.

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I have heard that Border Collies are the best dogs to play flyball. Is that true?

No, The best dog to play flyball is the dog you have. Dogs are pets first and foremost. Flyball is a great outlet for any dog with energy and drive. Don't go out and try to find the "best" flyball dog. Have fun playing flyball with your dog.

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How do I get started?

You can get started in two ways. You can take a flyball class and learn to play the game first and then join a team. You can pick a team and learn flyball as you go. If you are interested in finding out more about joining Go Dog Go!, contact us and we will be happy to talk to you about it.

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Is there a class where I take my dog to learn flyball?

Teamworks Dog Training offers a flyball class in Youngsville (Taught by our Captain Nadine) & Holly Springs. To find out more go to:

Pet Behavior Help offers a flyball class in Chapel Hill. To find out more go to

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Should I start training my little puppy to play flyball now?

No and yes, Dogs must be at least one year of age to play flyball. The stress of jumping and landing can damage a dog that is not fully developed. Your puppy needs to be at least a year old before you start any jump training. However, all flyball dogs need a good recall and basic obedience, teaching good manners and a solid recall can be taught to puppies.

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Who governs flyball?

NAFA, the North American Flyball Association, is the governing body here in the US. (

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What titles are there?

The dogs earn points towards flyball titles based on the teams time:

  • less than 32 secs: Each dog receives 1 point
  • less than 28 secs: Each dog receives 5 points
  • less than 24 secs: Each dog receives 25 points

The titles the dogs can earn are:

FDFlyball Dog20Certificate
FDXFlyball Dog Excellent100Certificate
FDChFlyball Dog Champion500Certificate
FMFlyball Master5000Pin
FMXFlyball Master Excellent10000Pin
FMChFlyball Master Champion15000Pin
ONYXONYX Award20000 Plaque
FGDChFlyball Grand Champion30000Plaque
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How much does it cost?

Here are some of the general costs:

  • Yearly team dues: range from $35 to $50 dollars
  • NAFA registration: $15 per dog
  • Team shirts: Range from $10 to $30 dollars
  • Tournament fees: Usually around $25 per dog
  • Other Costs: If you have to travel for the tournament there is the cost of gas, hotels and food.
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What is a height dog?

This is a sort of a misnomer. A height dog is actually a short dog. The shortest dog on the team determines the jump height in flyball, so it is good to have at least one short dog on each team.

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Flyball sounds fun, but I don't have a dog. Can I still be involved?

Yes, All teams need members who aren't running dogs. Non-handlers can do jobs such as box loader, ball shagger, and evaluate passes.

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Can I make my own jumps?

Yes, it's not that hard either. Grab your plans from The Willoughby Workshop!

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What is involved in each different jobs on a team?

  • Box loader - this job looks easy, but it's not! If your team has a box with multiple holes, the box loader must keep track of which hole the ball goes in for each dog and be prepared for dogs that must be re-run or for changes in the line-up. Furthermore, a box loader who doesn't follow the rules about when to step off of the box can lose the heat for your team!
  • Ball shagger - collects balls as the dogs return, must stay out of the way of handlers and dogs.
  • Pass evaluator - positioned by the start line, provides feedback to each handler about the quality of his or her passes.
  • Other team members - may help with ball shagging, communicating among team members, or providing moral support.
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