Alright everyone! So your dog can catch the ball about 80%-90% of the time. Which is fantastic. The next step will be a little tricky to explain and teach, but it's a very important piece in the training of Flyball. So let's see if we can get through this with the least amount of confusion.
Now that your dog can catch the ball, you would think its time to move onto the jumps. Nope. Not yet. The next step is to train your dog to come running back to you at full force without wondering off and here's how we do this.
Now that you guys are in position, you call your dog's name and take off running full force, holding the reward in your left hand and down at the dogs level while you running at a slight angle to the right. DO NOT LOOK BACK AT YOUR DOG! That last part is very important. When you look back, you slow down which in turn can make your dog slow down or you could trip.Below is a picture of how this should work.
After this, if he continues to do everything right, move him back a foot at a time till he's behind the first jump (your jump should be set at the lowest height for now). Then you train him like you have been without the jumps and slowly keep moving him back. Some dogs grasp this concept really fast and others take longer. Take your time and train him right. It's worth not having to go back and retrain. Old habits are extremely hard to break.
Here's another picture. If you have more questions then please comment below. I will be glad to answer any questions. Have a great day everyone!!!
P.S. The dog should not be carrying the ball back over the jumps at this time. The only time you need a ball is when working on ball work or as a reward.
NEXT: How To Train Your Dog For Flyball: Part 3 BOX WORK