Kooikerhondjes are versatile dogs when it comes to their one passion: making their owners proud.
We have Kooikers that work Search and Rescue, compete in Agility and now another sport, flyball.
This video shows our co-owned male Kooikerhondje Flying Finn, competing and winning his heat. He is the dog closest to the camera.
From Wikipedia, here is the description of Flyball:
Flyball is a dog sport in which teams of dogs race against each other from a start/finish line, over a line of hurdles, to a box that releases a tennis ball to be caught when the dog presses the spring-loaded pad, then back to their handlers while carrying the ball.
Flyball is run in teams of four dogs, as a relay. The course consists of four hurdles placed 10 feet (3 m) apart from each other, with the starting line six feet (1.8 m) from the first hurdle, and the flyball box 15 feet (4.5 m) after the last one, making for a 51-foot (15.5 m) length. The hurdle height is determined by the shoulder height of the smallest dog in the team. Under current North American Flyball Association (NAFA) rules this should be 5 inches (12.7 cm) below the withers height of the smallest dog, to a height of no less than 7 inches (20.3 cm) and no greater than 14 inches (40.6 cm). Current EFC (European Flyball Championship) rules limits the height to no less than 17,5 cm and no greater than 35 cm. Each dog must return its ball all the way across the start line before the next dog crosses. Ideal running is nose-to-nose at the start line. The first team to have all four dogs cross the finish line error free wins the heat. Penalties are applied to teams if the ball is dropped or if the next relay dog is released early.
Flyball started as a dog sport in the late 1960s and early 1970s, in Southern California. Some dog trainers combined scent hurdle racing with the dogs bringing back a tennis ball to the finish line. Then a tennis ball-launching apparatus was added and the first flyball box was born. Herbert Wagner is credited with making the first real flyball box, and he also demonstrated flyball on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
The first Flyball tournament was held in 1983 in the USA.
Flyball has now expanded into many countries including Australia, Canada and South Africa, and in Europe countries such as Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, theNetherlands, Poland, Austria and the United Kingdom have National flyball tournaments and also hold joint annual European championships.
The European championships which are the largest international Flyball championships were held in the United Kingdom in 2007 and 2012, the Czech Republic in 2008, Belgiumin 2009, 2010 and 2013 and Germany in 2011.