By Emma Xerri
Local superstars Berwick Flyball Racing Team were all paws on ground at this year’s Dandenong Show.
Taking part in the Dandy Drags Paw Power competition, the club’s two teams finished an impressive second, after a thrilling race-off at the end of the weekend.
And dog owner, Ula, is among the many dog owners who have found a love for flyball through the Berwick team.
“Flyball is a team sport that’s basically like drag racing for dogs,” Ula said.
“There’s two teams with two dogs, and each dog runs down its lane jumping hurdles, jumping onto boxes and catching balls before running back to continue the relay. The first team back with a clean run wins.
“We had three teams competing at Dandenong, and one of them was an open team, meaning we had other clubs joining us on the team as well.
“Our two Berwick teams both went into a race-off at the end of the weekend for first place before finishing in second place, but it’s all part of the fun.”
However, for Ula and many other dog owners, the joy of a win is simply a bonus in flyball, with owners appreciating the supportive community offered by the sport and the benefits of flyball in calming otherwise less obedient pups.
“Flyball is a really great community. We’re friends with a lot of the people we’re racing, so when we go to nationals we help each other out, and there’s a lot of camaraderie on competition days.
“We were hosting this event, so it was a big weekend for us… and there’s a lot of work involved to get a competition up and running. But we absolutely love the Dandenong Show because it’s a two-day competition and the grounds there are really great, so a lot of our dogs get their personal best times at the Dandenong Showgrounds.
“The dogs absolutely love it and you can hear them from a mile away.
“It’s just a really great way to be active with the dogs. Sometimes we say that if the dogs are really naughty and not excelling at obedience, come give flyball a try. We harness the naughty.”
For more information and to find your local flyball club, visit the Australian Flyball Association website.