Skip to content
Home » Dog Speed » How Fast Should Your Dog Be to Compete in Flyball?

How Fast Should Your Dog Be to Compete in Flyball?

Home » Dog Speed » How Fast Should Your Dog Be to Compete in Flyball?

If you’re considering entering your dog in a flyball competition, you may be wondering how fast your dog needs to be to compete. Flyball is a team sport that involves four dogs and their handlers racing against another team to complete a relay course. Each dog must jump over four hurdles and retrieve a ball before returning to their handler. The sport is fast-paced and requires a combination of speed, agility, and accuracy.

How Fast Should Your Dog Be To Compete in a Flyball Competition?

High-speed dogs with running speeds ranging from 30 to over 40 miles per hour (48-64 kmh) are perfect for flyball. To compete in flyball, your dog needs to be fast enough to complete the course within a certain time frame. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the ideal time for a flyball course is 24 seconds.

However, that doesn’t mean slower dogs can’t enjoy flyball. Dogs can play flyball regardless of speed. In order to level the playing field and promote fair competition, numerous flyball events and competitions implement seeding practices to pair dog teams with comparable speeds.

The implementation of seeding practices is a fundamental aspect of many dog-related competitions, whether they are in the realm of racing, agility, or any other canine sporting event. By assessing the speed and performance of each team’s dogs, event organizers can establish divisions or categories that group teams together with similar capabilities. This strategy aims to prevent situations where one team with exceptionally fast dogs significantly outpaces its competitors, thus maintaining the spirit of fair play and a competitive balance.

The speed of your dog is not the only factor that determines their suitability for flyball. Other important factors include their temperament, obedience, and athleticism. It’s also important to train your dog properly and ensure that they are physically fit and healthy before competing. With the right training and preparation, your dog can excel in flyball and have a great time competing with their team.

How to Play Flyball

This high-energy relay race involves teams of dogs and their handlers competing side-by-side to see who can complete the course the fastest.

The course consists of a series of hurdles that the dogs must jump over, followed by a flyball box that releases a tennis ball for the dogs to catch and bring back to their handlers. The first team to have all four dogs complete the course wins the race.

Flyball is a team sport, and it requires both dogs and humans to work together in sync. Each team consists of four dogs, with up to two additional dogs named as substitutes. The dogs must be able to focus and perform under distraction, making it a great way to exercise both their minds and bodies.

Flyball has a rich history, with roots in Southern California in the 1970s. Today, it is a popular dog sport in the U.S. and Canada, with many clubs and organizations dedicated to flyball training and competition. The North American Flyball Association (NAFA) is one such organization, and it hosts many flyball tournaments throughout the year.

To compete in flyball, dogs must have certain abilities. They must be able to jump over hurdles set at a specific height, typically around 7 inches for small dogs and 14 inches for larger dogs. They must also be able to catch a tennis ball and bring it back to their handler.

Flyball titles are awarded based on a point system. Dogs earn points toward flyball titles based on their team’s time. For example, dogs whose teams complete a heat in less than 24 seconds receive 25 points toward a flyball title. A dog must earn 20 points to achieve the title Flyball Dog (FD), 100 points for Flyball Dog Excellent (FDX), and 500 points for Flyball Dog Champion (FDCh).

Flyball is a great way to bond with your dog and make new human and canine friends. It’s also a healthy form of exercise for both you and your furry friend. However, it’s important to make sure your dog is healthy and able to participate in this high-energy sport. Consult with your veterinarian before beginning any new dog training program.

Determining Your Dog’s Speed for Flyball

If you’re considering entering your dog in a flyball competition, you may be wondering how fast your dog needs to be. While speed is certainly an important factor, it’s not the only one. Dogs of all breeds, sizes, and abilities can participate in this exciting canine relay race, so don’t be discouraged if your dog isn’t the fastest on the starting line.

That being said, it’s important to have a general idea of your dog’s abilities before entering a race. To determine your dog’s speed, you can use a stopwatch and measure the time it takes for your dog to run a set distance. Keep in mind that a dog’s speed can vary depending on factors such as breed, age, and overall health.

Some breeds, such as retrievers and border collies, are known for their speed and agility, while others, like Great Danes, may not be as fast but have other strengths. When measuring your dog’s speed, be sure to take into account their size and withers height, as this can affect their stride length and overall speed.

It’s also important to remember that flyball is not just about speed, but also about teamwork and training. A well-trained team can make up for any individual dog’s lack of speed, and a dog with good training and focus can excel in the sport even if they are not the fastest.

In summary, while speed is certainly an important factor in flyball racing, it’s not the only one. Determining your dog’s speed can give you a general idea of their abilities, but it’s important to remember that the sport is about more than just speed. With proper training and teamwork, any dog can excel in this exciting dog sport.

Training Your Dog for Flyball

Flyball is a high-energy dog sport that requires focus, athleticism, and obedience. To train your dog for flyball, you’ll need to start with the basics and work your way up to more advanced techniques. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Basic Training

Before your dog can compete in flyball, they need to have basic obedience training. This includes commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” You’ll also need to teach your dog to focus on you, even in a distracting environment.

Flyball Equipment

Once your dog has mastered basic obedience, you can start introducing them to flyball equipment. The key piece of equipment is the flyball box, which is a spring-loaded box that releases a tennis ball when the dog steps on it. You’ll also need hurdles for your dog to jump over, and a starting line for them to begin the race.

Flyball Training Classes

Many flyball clubs offer training classes for dogs and their handlers. These classes can help you and your dog learn the proper techniques for flyball, as well as provide a supportive environment for training.

Building Endurance

Flyball is a high-intensity sport that requires a lot of energy. To prepare your dog for competition, you’ll need to build their endurance through regular exercise and training. This can include running, jumping, and other activities that help your dog build strength and stamina.

Flyball Titles and Competitions

To compete in flyball, your dog will need to earn titles through the North American Flyball Association (NAFA) or the American Kennel Club (AKC). These titles are awarded based on the number of points your dog earns in competition, with higher titles requiring more points.

Joining a Flyball Club

If you are interested in joining a flyball club, there are many opportunities available throughout North America. The North American Flyball Association (NAFA) is the governing body for the dog sport of flyball, and they have a comprehensive list of clubs and tournaments on their website.

Flyball is a team sport, and joining a club can provide you and your dog with a sense of camaraderie and teamwork. The sport is also a great way to exercise your dog and build focus and obedience skills.

When you join a club, you will have access to flyball training classes and equipment. These classes will teach you and your dog the basics of flyball, including how to run a relay race, jump over hurdles, and trigger a spring-loaded box to release a tennis ball.

Flyball clubs welcome dogs of all breeds and abilities. While herding breeds and terriers tend to excel at the sport, dogs of all sizes and backgrounds can participate. The jump height for each dog is determined by their withers height, and errors are penalized with time penalties.

Participating in flyball competitions can also earn your dog titles from the American Kennel Club (AKC) or NAFA. Points are awarded for completing races in under certain times, and titles can be earned after reaching certain point thresholds.

Overall, joining a flyball club can provide you and your dog with a healthy and fun way to bond and exercise. It is a great way to meet new people and make friends while participating in a challenging and exciting dog sport.


Training your dog for flyball can be a rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. With the right training and preparation, you can build a strong bond with your dog while competing in a fun and exciting sport. Just remember to always put your dog’s health and well-being first, and consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns about their abilities or limitations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What breeds of dogs are best suited for flyball competitions?

Flyball is a sport that any breed of dog can participate in, but some breeds are more suited for it than others. Breeds that are known for their speed, agility, and high energy levels are well-suited for flyball competitions. Some of the most common breeds seen in flyball competitions include Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Jack Russell Terriers, and Whippets. However, any breed of dog can participate in flyball as long as they are healthy, have the drive to compete, and meet the flyball requirements.

What is the basic concept of flyball for dogs?

Flyball is a relay race for dogs that involves jumping over hurdles, retrieving a ball, and running back to the start/finish line. The dogs compete in teams of four, with each dog taking a turn to complete the course. The goal is to have all four dogs complete the course as quickly as possible, with the fastest team winning the race.

Where can I find beginner flyball training classes near me?

If you are interested in getting your dog involved in flyball, you can start by searching for beginner training classes in your area. Many dog training facilities offer flyball classes for beginners, and you can also check with local flyball clubs to see if they offer training. Online resources can also be helpful in finding beginner flyball training classes near you.

What are the rules of flyball competitions for dogs?

Flyball competitions have strict rules that must be followed in order for the race to be fair and safe for the dogs. Some of the basic rules include having four dogs on each team, each dog completing the course in order, and the ball being retrieved and brought back over the start/finish line. There are also rules regarding the height of the hurdles, the placement of the box, and the safety of the dogs.

What equipment is required for dog flyball training?

The equipment required for dog flyball training includes hurdles, a flyball box, and a tennis ball. The hurdles can be adjustable or fixed and are typically set at a height of 8 inches for small dogs and 12 inches for larger dogs. The flyball box is used to release the ball and is placed at the end of the course. The tennis ball is used as the object for the dogs to retrieve.

At what speed do dogs typically run in flyball competitions?

The speed at which dogs run in flyball competitions varies depending on the breed and individual dog. However, dogs in flyball competitions can reach speeds of 25 to 40 miles per hour. It is important to note that while speed is important in flyball, safety and proper training should always come first.