FLYBALL CLASS POLICIES
- Classes are in 50 minute sessions.
- Maximum and Minimum Class Sizes: 4 to 8 dogs.
- If any class does not meet the minimum of 4 students by one week before the starting date, the class may be canceled or re-scheduled.
- Pre-registration and payment is required.
Uncontrollable, Disruptive or Aggressive Dogs
Any dog that is uncontrollable, that disturbs the class, or is aggressive will be dismissed; or at the discretion of the instructor, the owner may be asked to muzzle the dog or work the dog in a separate area. We will make every effort to help you get your dog under control. However, we cannot accept the liability of aggression. If necessary, the handler and dog may be referred to an animal behaviorist.
If there is any question about class level placement, a flyball Instructor will evaluate the dog and handler and make a recommendation. In order to be successful, dogs should be placed in the proper class for their skill level. Keep in mind that different dogs will advance at different rates. And, beginning handlers will need more instruction than experienced ones. Sometimes dogs may need to repeat a flyball class before moving to the next level.
We will only accept Junior Handlers age 10 & older. Each Junior Handler is required to have a responsible adult present. If it is determined that the size or temperament of the dog makes it difficult for the Junior Handler to control the dog, the accompanying adult will be asked to handle the dog.
Dog Walking Area
Make sure your dog is walked before each class to prevent accidents. Each owner is responsible for cleaning up after his dog. There is a fenced potty yard on the south end of the building and there are plastic bags available at different locations around the building. Please pick up after your dog and dispose of the waste bag in designated container. If you walk your dog anywhere else, it is still necessary that you pick up after your dog and dispose of the waste bag in designated container. Thank you for helping us to maintain our beautiful facility and surroundings.
General Class Policies
The following is to help ensure that each dog and handler has a safe and positive experience while training at SOTC:
You will want to wear comfortable clothing so that you can move unrestricted. Pockets or bait bags are helpful to hold treats or toys. Absolutely NO sandals or heels will be allowed on the flyball floor. Any type of running or walking shoes will give you the support you need.
Your dog's attire is much simpler. One option is a quick-release, flat buckle collar with NO tags or hanging objects. Another option is the martingale collar which looks just like a flat buckle collar, but has a "handle" built into it that allows the handler a bit more control. A third option is a flyball harness in addition to the collar. Your instructor will help you decide which option works best for you and your dog.
The dog walking area is the grassy area in the parking lot. It is your responsibility to pick up after your dog. Baggies and waste disposal are available on the concrete area in front of the building. For younger dogs, it is a great idea to give your dog plenty of exercise before you come to class. That way, your dog will have eliminated at home and you will have "taken the edge off" so that your dog can focus on you and flyball. Please do not feed your dog before flyball class.
If you are scheduled for the first class of the evening, please arrive early (10 min.) to help the instructor set up.. And, if you are scheduled for the last class of the evening, please help put equipment away. By helping with the equipment, not only are you helping your instructor, but you are also learning about setting up the flyball course and where and how it everything is stored.
This is a great time to put together a "Flyball Bag." This will be any type of bag that you will take to a flyball event to hold things such as an extra leash, poop bags, treats, tug toys, balls, water (for two!) and a water bowl.
You will be exploring different motivators for your dog — some dogs will work for food only. Different food treats to try are hot dogs, cooked chicken, string cheese, chopped dog food rolls, or any soft food. The key to all of these is to cut them into tiny pieces. Regardless of the dog's size, treats should be no larger than a cherrio. They should be a taste only — you do not want to have to wait for your dog to finish chewing while you are working. Most of the time you will need treats that slide down the dog's throat quickly and easily; for a few exercises you will need biscuit-type treats that can be thrown without staining the floor.
Other effective motivators can be a ball or a tug toy. And, some dogs like the combination of both food and toys. Your job will be to mix it up and make it fun and interesting for the dog. It is worth the effort at home to try to get your dog "hooked" on a tug. Your instructors will have homework for you to work on this.
Be considerate of other handlers and their dogs. You are responsible for your dog's behavior, so please keep an eye on your dog at all times. Flyball is a very stimulating activity and you need to monitor your dog's level of arousal.
The entire class time is your opportunity to learn and to bond with your potential teammates. Working with the instructor is only one way to improve your skills. Another is to watch how the other participants handle their dogs and then listen to any suggestions the instructor has. Many times, students in the same class will make the same mistakes; therefore, a suggestion for one person will also work for another.
If your dog becomes injured or comes in season, you are encouraged to come to class without your dog. There will always be new information that you can benefit from — even without your dog.
Flyball One and Advanced Flyball Policy: Dogs must be crated when not working. This will allow you to work with other teammates and assist with class drills. This is also a good time to teach your dog about the crate and about good crate manners, which will be necessary for flyball tournaments. You may bring your own crate or use the crates in the building. This policy will reduce any unwanted interaction between dogs. Please remember that dog parks are for play and class time is for learning and bonding between you and your dog.
Non-Negotiable Class Policy: EVERYONE is expected help with mats, jump set up and to adjust jump heights when needed — cooperation from all helps the class to run more smoothly and gives everyone extra time to work with their dogs. Be alert to what you can do to help.
Flyball lessons don't have to end when you leave class. You are encouraged to set up some jumps at home to practice and dead-ball retrieves are always appropriate. Working to get your dog "hooked" on the tug is another good exercise for home.
Thank you for your cooperation and we look forward to working with each of you!