‘It’s organized chaos’
December 2, 2012
Training for Flyball, a relay racing sport involving dogs and their owners, will begin Tuesday evening at the Carson Canine Adventures.“It’s organized chaos,” said Donald Watson, explaining the sport is fast-paced and exciting. He and his wife, Michele, have a team called Hot Rod Hounds and came to Nevada in part to start the classes here.“My husband and I have five dogs; three of them are rescue (dogs),” she said. A flyball team, she said, includes several dogs and four race each time. She also said there is quite a bit of strategy involved in the sport.The classes for beginners, which start at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the canine adventures facility at 580 Mallory Way, will be at that time each Tuesday for six weeks. The training facility is on the north side of the Nevada Appeal building. Additional classes for other levels are planned later.Four dogs and their handler compete against a similar team over a 51-foot long course, with four jumps and a box that each dog must trigger to fetch a ball and return to the handler.The race ends when each dog successfully and cleanly completes the course. Participating dogs run the course as quickly as 3.5 seconds or as slowly and steadily as 10 seconds, which makes in part for the handlers’ strategic decision-making. “It is a great team sport,” said Michele, who along with her husband trains dogs not only for flyball, but also in various other categories.“There are a lot of herding dogs and terriers that participate in this sport, but any dog can do it,” she said. “Rescue dogs or dogs that ‘need a job’ often excel at this sport. It is a good sport to promote dog socialization, burn energy and have fun as a team.”The couple moved to Carson City from Texas. Watson is retired military and has returned to school to advance his education; his spouse is a managing nurse in the health care field. Dogs are their passion. “Currently we both train and compete in agility, conformation, flyball, herding, hunting and obedience,” the couple explained on the Carson Canine Adventures website.The canine adventures facility, owned and operated by Joann Brennan, is billed as the sole 17,000-square-foot indoor training spot with matted flooring in Nevada’s capital city. Brennan, also a trainer, when she moved to Carson City in 2002 found no training facility that suited her for diversified dog training.Carson Canine Adventures now has upwards of 10 trainers working across the spectrum on various training disciplines.