How do I get started and join the team?

You can contact us via our social media (Facebook, Instagram) or via email, whichever you prefer.

We are always looking for new members so we will get back to you as soon as possible.

How old does my dog need to be?

All of our beginners must be at least 10 months old before they can start our Flyball training classes. There is no maximum age, as long as they are fit and healthy.

Can we join as an individual / couple / family?

Yep, your membership will cover everybody in your household.

We also like to encourage young members to get involved in training as much as we can. This is because once we go to competitions with the BFA there is an award system for young members to earn points and gets awards!

What are the costs?

We are an affordable team with a monthly fee that helps buy our team’s equipment plus other expenses.

Are there any health risks to playing flyball?

Like all activities you do with your dog, training flyball does have its risks but we make sure all of our dogs are in tip-top condition and work heavily on the foundations to help prevent any injury.

What are the basic things my dog needs to be able to do to train?

As long as your dog can listen to basic cues and is happy to engage with you, bring them along.

It is a big help if your dog has good recall and can also settle in a car/crate whilst waiting for their turn to train.

What is the time commitment?

We train every Tuesday evening in the summer and change to Sunday morning in the winter.

Come spring, we compete about twice a month until the end of summer at competitions.

Do you train all year round? In all weathers?

Yes, we train all year round and in most weather conditions. We just judge on the day (or the day before) whether we will need to cancel training due to unsafe conditions.

We sometimes train at an inside venue if the ground is unsuitable by being too wet and slippy for example.

What do I need to bring to training?

Tasty treats and a high-value tug toy with a handle. We recommend tug-e-nuff toys and you can get 10% off with code TITAN.

What skills will my dog learn?

Everything they need to become a flyball dog as well as how to work well with other dogs but still engage with their handler.

How long does it take for them to learn what to do?

How long is a piece of string? We train at the dog’s pace as each dog has its own challenges.

Some dogs learn how to complete full runs in 8 weeks, whereas some can take a few years. We find it takes 4-5 months for your dog to fully understand the sport, which is when they really start to enjoy themselves.

Can any dog participate in flyball or is it just certain breeds?

Yes, from Collies to Yorkies to GSD’s to crossbreeds! Any dog of any size breed or speed can join and have fun.

Where do you train?

Heaton Park at the St. Margaret’s entrance outside the dower house.

My dog is not ball/tug motivated. Can they still participate?

Of course! We will always find a way to work with each dog’s needs and challenges.

For example, some dogs are to ball motivated and have to learn where to focus their attention.

Tug toys

A good tug toy is very important in Flyball as it is used to get your dog to drop the ball after retrieving it and jumping over the hurdles.

When choosing a tug toy you want to make sure that it is on a bungee style chord as this will reduce the chances of injury to the dog’s neck when grabbing it at speed.

Having a tug that can easily reach the floor will help you stimulate the dog’s prey drive by dragging it along and ensure they go mad for the toy which is what we want.

Choose a very fluffy tug so that it is as interactive as possible, making it very exciting for your pooch.

Here are some websites that we recommend for getting yourself a tug toy:

POPPY chasing a tug toy

Harnesses & Collars

It is very important for all our dogs to have free range of movement and have no restrictions when walking/running, especially for our athletic flyball dogs!

To allow this they need to be fitted in the correct type of harness/collar. In an ideal world, all of our flyball dogs would run ‘naked’ – wearing nothing and being able to use their natural gait. Some dogs are able to run like this but as you can imagine most are very enthusiastic about the sport so we need something to be able to stop them wriggling out of our hands!

A well-fitted harness will fit around the dog’s shoulders, leaving them to move freely and around their chest. These look like a Y when you look at them from the front. A badly fitted harness will look like a T, the straps will sit across the chest and restrict there should moment and can pull on their neck.

Bytes recommend the perfect fit or snuggle pets style harness. (Make sure you check your dog’s measurements thoroughly through their personal websites).

Running your dog in a collar may be a good option too. They will have free range of movement but if they are a strong puller a harness will firstly be recommended as we do not want to put pressure on their trachea.

Sugar sitting nice in a harness for flyball at Heaton Park, Manchester