Flyball is a hurdle relay race for a team of 4 pure- or mixed-breed dogs. Each dog in turn goes over four jumps spaced 10 feet apart. At the end of the four jumps is what is called a flyball box. The dogs press the front of the box with their paws and it shoots out a tennis ball , they catch it and go back over the four jumps. Once one dog passes the start/finish line the next dog starts.

Flyball is very exciting to watch. In North America, Flyball is governed by the North American Flyball Association. NAFA awards titles to dogs based on their lifetime point accumulation. Points are earned by running on a team that completes the four dog relay in sufficient time.

If the team runs:
under 32 secs: Each dog receives 1 point
under 28 secs: Each dog receives 5 points
under 24 secs: Each dog receives 25 points.

Titles range from Flyball Dog (FD) - for earning 20 points, to the Flyball Grand Champion (FGD Ch.) - for earning 30,000 points.

Flyball is popular in the Midwest and in Canada, although it is a growing sport in many other regions. Whippets can be very good at flyball due to their speed and jumping ability, but some do not enjoy playing with balls, so look for a happy retriever who is very playful if you are interested in Flyball with your Whippet.

You can learn more about Flyball by visiting the Flyball Home Page.

Text Copyright Nancy Bennet

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