If you've got a dog at home that's simply bursting with energy, then you may find that they could really benefit from having a go at one of Britain's fastest and most exciting canine sports.

Having first been developed in the US in the 1960s, flyball has quickly become a favourite activity among many dog owners in the UK, providing a fun way for canines to get their exercise while also learning commands.

It is a competitive team sport which is run on a knockout basis, whereby the dogs race over a line of hurdles to a box that releases a tennis ball to be caught when the pooch presses the spring-loaded pad. The dog then runs back down over the hurdles before their teammate sets off.

Two teams of four dogs compete at the same time, each using a parallel 'racing lane' down which each canine in turn runs, and the first team to have its fourth dog across the finish line, with any part of the animal's body, wins the race.

If a run is not completed correctly (for instance if the dog drops the ball, misses out a hurdle or starts too early) then the animal must re-run at the end of the line.

At the top level, the dogs that tend to do best in the sport are border collies or collie crosses, but any dog that is fit, active and healthy is welcome to have a go at the sport.

There are many clubs up and down the UK that take part in flyball either for fun - using plenty of encouragement and dry dog food treats - or to be raced competitively, and most will offer training for beginners or those that want to improve at the sport.

So if you want a new fun way to exercise your pooch, while also improving their concentration and training skills, then why not make 2013 the year you have a go at flyball?

Written by: Hannah