11 Top Dog Breeds for Flyball


Flyball is a highly active dog sport. It is both fun for dogs and owners, plus it’s a blast to watch as a spectator. In Flyball, teams of four dogs race two of their members parallel to each other across a line of hurdles in order to reach a box. This box releases a tennis ball when the dog presses against it, and the dogs must bring this ball to their owners at the finish line. When all four dogs in a team finish error-free first, that team wins.

What makes a good Flyball dog?

While any breed of dog can participate in official and unofficial Flyball tournaments, this type of sport relies on extreme physical health, intelligence, and a host of other aspects. Amateur and hobby Flyball enthusiasts need only ensure their dogs are healthy, but if you really want to make a mark on the Flyball world, your dog should have these other traits, too.

Great Flyball dogs must be able to handle copious amounts of fast-paced running. For success in Flyball, your dog needs to have great stamina and endurance and get a big kick out of running like the wind every chance he gets. This is basically a race, after all.

Flyball also involves a considerable amount of jumping. That means dogs need to have strong bones, sturdy joints, and some impressive hop. Make sure your vet keeps a close eye on your dog’s joints during routine checkups.

The point of Flyball is to retrieve a ball quickly, so the best Flyball dogs will love to play fetch or bring you surprises. That means that herding dogs and retrievers tend to do best at this sport.

By the way, these are the jumps that we use to train in our garden. They are portable and considerably cheap.

However, the dogs also have to work as a team to win, so they must be smart and well-behaved pooches, too.

With all that in mind, these are the 11 top dog breeds for Flyball.

Golden Retriever

Most Golden Retrievers are indeed great family dogs. They tend to have a laid-back and cheerful disposition and those wonderfully soulful eyes. But there is a spunky, excited side of this great breed that is just howling for Flyball. Their enthusiasm toward making their owners happy, coupled with their love of running and retrieving things, makes them one of the best dog breeds when it comes to Flyball.

The strong points of this breed are:

  • Intelligence
  • A natural fetching skill
  • Hunting drive
  • Ease of training
  • Eagerness to please their trainers
  • They like to meet new people

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds are fantastic working dogs that love to gallop, herd animals, and leap over things. They are intense dogs, completely focused on whatever task you set before them. They are also well known as being highly obedient. These traits make them top competitors in Flyball competitions.

The strong points of this breed are:

  • Extreme intelligence
  • Highly active
  • High endurance
  • Fantastic at herding
  • They love work
  • They are easy to train
  • They tend to be decently sociable if you socialize them young

Shetland Sheepdog

This entry on our list of the best dog breeds for Flyball might come as a surprise to many. With phenomenal smarts and the speed to match, these fluffballs really rock it when they compete. That all goes a long way in making the Shetland Sheepdog one of the top breeds in Flyball, as well as most other doggy sports.

The strong points of this breed are:

  • A strong will to learn
  • A deep love for playing with humans and other dogs
  • Super high energy
  • High intelligence
  • Natural speed

Whippet

Bred for speed and superior vision, the Whippet is the quintessential Flyball dog. The aerodynamically slick Whippet is a sighthound that really takes the (dog safe) cake when it comes to fast-paced sports like Flyball. They are friendly, great team players, and absolutely love the thrill of the chase. These dogs may be better suited to those with true confidence in their training ability, but they make incredible beginner Flyball dogs if someone can help a newbie train them.

The strong points of this breed are:

  • Nearly unmatched speed
  • Inherent playfulness
  • A natural love for fetching
  • Relatively simple to train

Border Collie

Considered one of the pros of athletic doggy sports, these agile and energetic dogs tend to dominate the Flyball scene, and with good reason. Border Collies were bred for this kind of high-energy sport, and their smarts enable them to pick up on their training very quickly. As long as you’re confident in your ability to train, these dogs make great first-time Flyball dogs for newbie humans.

The strong points of this breed are:

  • Intelligence
  • A love for a good day’s work
  • Super high energy
  • Incredibly agile
  • Fantastic at herding
  • Supremely easy to train

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Both brainy and brawny, the brave Staffordshire Bull Terrier can zip across the track and retrieve the ball like any other. More importantly, they can happily show off their ability and willingness to crush the competition with well-earned skills. Despite their bulky appearance, they are surprisingly fast and agile while running, and they love to partake in sports like Flyball.

The strong points of this breed are:

  • A strong and robust build to help prevent injuries
  • Energetic dispositions that attract humans and other dogs
  • Friendly
  • Surprisingly agile
  • A natural love for sports

Papillon

As I’ve stated before: any perfectly healthy dog can enjoy a nice healthy sport of Flyball, and that includes dogs of smaller statures as well! Don’t let these fancy looks fool you, folks. The Papillion may appear to be a pampered pooch, but under that fabulous exterior is a need for the thrill of a fast-paced environment like Flyball.

The strong points of this breed are:

  • A love for games of speed and skill
  • Naturally agile
  • Very energetic
  • Supremely friendly
  • Easy to teach
  • Very outgoing

Poodle

Smart, super-fast, and agile, the Poodle makes for a delightfully surprising competitor in Flyball. While they may seem “too fancy” to partake in sports, their looks can be deceiving. Under all that prim and proper fluff, you will find a strong body that excels at any doggy sport thrown at it, including Flyball. In fact, Poodles are often bred for some heavy-duty working as water retrievers and hunters!

The strong points of this breed are:

  • Unsurpassed intelligence
  • Natural agility
  • Very athletic
  • A love to learn
  • Friendly
  • Highly active

Jack Russell Terrier

This entry will come as no great surprise. The every bubbly Jack Russell Terriers are known for their high levels of energy and ability to leap great heights. That, as well as their natural skill for chasing, makes them a formidable foe against a rival team of Flyball dogs. A word of warning though: these pups can be a handful if you don’t have the energy to keep up with them.

The strong points of this breed are:

  • High affection, which translates to a strong desire to please you
  • Lots of energy
  • Decent to train
  • A love for fast sports
  • A high prey drive

Cocker Spaniel

These curly-coated pups were bred as working dogs. As such, they come with a naturally high prey drive, which makes them fantastic at many speed and hunting sports such as Flyball. They may not be the most intelligent dog on the Flyball field, but they can truly blow you away with their mad skills and desire to make you happy.

The strong points of this breed are:

  • Their eagerness to please
  • Ease of training
  • Outgoing nature
  • Good energy level
  • A high prey drive

Corgi

No, that’s not an error or even a ridiculous joke. While Corgis might have short little stumpy legs and the build of an overly exuberant tater-tot, they were actually bred as working dogs. They can be very speedy and energetic, believe it or not. They love the hard work that sports like Flyball bring, and it’s adorable to see them bolt across the track like a speedy toasted marshmallow.

The strong points of this breed are:

  • Their boundless energy
  • Their inherent herding ability
  • A love of dog sports
  • Very outgoing
  • Decent to train

Conclusion

These are the top 11 dog breeds that can really smash the competition in Flyball. While these may be our top picks, it’s worth noting that just about any healthy dog can do well at this spot. It takes a little time, effort, and dedication, but dogs of all sizes and shapes can be seen out on the Flyball course. What’s your favorite Flyball breed?

Mark

I grew up alongside a Labrador. I've been obsessed with dogs since then and owned several different breeds. My passion is to share my knowledge and start this blog about my furry friends. I hope you enjoy my articles.

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