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---"I want to add my praise for WiggleLegs Frog toy.  My cat loves to play with WiggleLegs No other toy will do.  When I ask her to find WiggleLegs she goes right to it!  I just ordered 3 more as I'm afraid you will stop making them and then I don't know what we will do!"

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---"I just wanted to let you know that my cat, Molly, is absolutely addicted to your FlyToys. I literally have to hide them from her so she will go to sleep at night, but as soon as morning arrives she is sitting right in front of their hiding place waiting for them to come out and play."

Each MetPet FlyToy is handmade by skilled artisans with great attention to detail.  They come in the form of bugs, amphibians, mammals and more in three very reasonable price points.

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Flyball for Dogs

One of many organized sports for dogs

MetPet.com Staff Writer

Flyball is a timed relay race for dogs of all kinds both mixed and purebreds, large and small.  A team of four dogs run one at a time along a 51' course jumping over four same-height hurdles.  At the end of the hurdles they step on a spring-loaded platform connected to a wooden box which tosses them a tennis ball. 

start line ---6'---hurdle---10'---hurdle---10'---hurdle---10'---hurdle---15 feet---box

They catch the ball and run back over the hurdles to the start line.  The second, third and fourth dogs do the same thing.  How far is 51 feet?  A five-story building would be about 50 feet tall.   The fastest team time, without errors, wins the heat.  Tournaments can be double elimination (either best of 3 or best of 5 heats) or round robin with teams winning a point in the tournament for every 3-out-of-5 heats they win.  The fastest recorded official time is 16.06 set in July of 1999.  That is only 4 seconds per dog!  

Flyball was invented in California in the 1970s and is organized in the US by the North American Flyball Association (NAFA). 

        North American Flyball Association, Inc.
        1400 W. Devon Ave, #512
        Chicago, IL 60660 
       Click here to go to NAFAs site

There are also Flyball associations in other countries such as the British Flyball Association with similar rules.  Dogs can be registered (border collies, retrievers and shepherds dominate but toy poodles show up too!) and can earn points toward rankings and certificates.  Serious Flyball teams travel long distances to compete in tournaments. 

Flyball hurdles are set at different heights based on the shoulder height of the shortest dog on the team so small dogs can compete on an even playing field.  In fact, Flyball teams with a really short dog can be at an advantage.  The shortest or "height dog" (a Chihuahua for example) sets the height of the hurdles for the entire team.  The hurdles are set 4" lower than its shoulder height.  The minimum is 8" and the maximum is 16".  

Can my dog play Flyball?  
Here are some basic requirements in order to be a successful Flyball novice:

He should be socialized to other dogs, to strange people and to noise and activity.           
He should be well schooled in obedience including come, sit and down stay.
He should be able to retrieve a tennis ball.  
He should be in good physical condition.
He should want to play Flyball!

Why should my dog play Flyball?  
It's a fun, organized way to meet with other dogs and dog-loving people.  For dogs, especially hyperactive ones, it's a way to burn off excess energy without tearing the house apart.  It's also another reason to take good care of your dog.   Flyball athletes must be healthy, happy and well trained.  Most importantly, it's entertaining for you even if you just want to go and cheer on other teams. 

 

 
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