I forgot to post about this a while ago. Starbuck starting taking flyball lessons back in Jan. of 2010. I have no idea what I was thinking when I decided Starbuck would be the one trying out flyball. Out of all of our dogs, she was probably the worst candidate for flyball. She didn't care at all about tennis balls and she could not catch anything at all. She was one of those dogs that if you dropped a treat an inch from her mouth she would just blink and watch it hit her between the eyes and then eat it off the ground. I think the only thing she had going for her was that if there was a jump in front of her, she would take it. She just loves to jump.
Well, it took her about 5 months to be interested in a tennis ball and catch a treat if I threw it at her mouth. Then another month or so before she could catch a ball when thrown at her. And when we first tried to get her to grab a ball from the box, all she would do was trigger the box and then run after the ball once it shot out:
That was back in October of this year. She had been doing that for a couple of months and we tried everything to get her to understand that she needs to grab the ball before it was thrown. Finally, with a lot of help from the Chattanooga Chomp and an awesome handler, Kate, Starbuck finally got it at the end of November!!!
I never thought she would get it - but I was so excited when it happened. We ended up doing a lot of muscle memory training with attaching the ball to the trigger using velcro so she had to grab it right from the spot. It also helped when we switched to a squishier ball. I'm hoping that she'll be able to run in a tournament sometime in 2011. She seems to be really uneasy around high energy dogs, so I really need to work on her focus. And of course I also need to have a free weekend when there is a tournament...