Seattle FlyDogs will teach your dog some Flyball tricks
Exhibition Times: 10:15am l 10:45am l 1:30pm
See dog run. See dog fly. FlyDog fly.
That's the mantra for one of Poochapalooza's favorite annual exhibitions, Flyball, featuring the Seattle FlyDogs Team. Members teach Flyball, providing free introductory evaluations, training, practices and certification that acknowledges your pooch's athletic skills in this fast-paced sport, while ensuring a real Flyball experience.
If you've never watched Flyball, you are in for a big treat. This extreme sport appeals to dogs that thrive on speed and action. Just watching the barking, jumping and anticipation as these dogs prepare to run gives you a flavor of the excitement to come.
Flyball is an international team sport that was introduced in California in the late ‘70s. Pioneer Flyball enthusiast Herbert Wagner first demonstrated it on The Johnny Carson Show to millions of Americans, and it spread quickly around the world. Dog trainers and dog clubs were making and using Flyball Boxes. In the early 80’s the sport became so popular that the North American Flyball Association (NAFA) was formed; they are the worldwide authority for Flyball with more than 16,000 dogs competing for points. The dogs appearing at Poochapalooza are some of the top Flyball competitors.
Flyball is a relay race with 4 dogs on a team. The course consists of a starting line, 4 hurdles spaced 10 feet apart and a box. The first hurdle is 6 feet from the start line and the box is 15 feet from the last hurdle for a 51 foot overall length. The dogs jump the hurdles and steps on a spring loaded box that shoots out a tennis ball. The dog catches the tennis ball and then runs back over the 4 hurdles. When the dog crosses the starting line the next dog goes. The first team to have all 4 dogs run without errors wins the heat - and they typically finish in less than 20 seconds! Tournaments are usually organized in either a double elimination or round robin foramt. Double elimination is usually best of 3 or best of 5. Round robin is usually best 3 out of 5 and the first team to win 3 heats receives 1 point towards their standing in the tournament. The hurdles’ height are dependent on the height of the dogs in the team - 4" below the shoulder height of the shortest dog. 8" is the minimum height and 16" is the maximum height.
The fastest time is 15.22, beating 15.43 seconds by SpringLoaded from Michigan, a team that has managed to secure the top spot nationally in the regular and mixed-breed categories from 2003-2005. The two other categories are veteran’s and non-regular. In 2005, NAFA sanctioned 306 events in 39 states and provinces. Washington state teams compete in Region 7, which includes Oregon and British Columbia.
If dogs were event planners, they'd do Poochapalooza!
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