Ham and I are taking a flyball class to get him up and running. He is different for me to train– he is DEFINITELY not a Border Collie. He doesn’t automagically laserfocus on a tug once he starts heading toward me. Instead, he likes to make victory laps, preferably with a ball in his mouth. That’s going to be our biggest struggle.
But he is making progress in leaps and bounds in this class. It is cool to have video; it is cool to see how fast he is.
Class is always two parts: box turn work, and then retrieve/jumping work.
To teach Ham a boxturn we started him on a board. At first, because he was afraid, it was flat. I rewarded him for any interaction with the board, and eventually we got all four feet on. Then I started luring the turn using food at first, and then a ball. We gradually increased the angle of the board until it was steep enough that he can’t stand on it, he has to hit it and turn off it. We want a quick-on-quick-off the box.
At the end of the video, we introduce a tennis ball stuck on velcro. This blew his mind completely. At home, I dropped the angle of the board dramatically until he understood that he was to get his ball off the board, and then increased the angle again. At our last team practice, he was turning off the actual flyball box and taking his ball from the ledge. So much progress so quickly!
He is such a cool little dog and I am excited to get him up and running.