Become A Thunderdog

Due to capacity, we are currently not taking new members at this time.

Please click here to view other Flyball clubs.

The Norwest Thunderdogs Flyball Club takes in a limited number of dogs into its Beginners Program each year, depending on capacity.

After a short introductory program, the new dogs are introduced to the Clubs modular training program. Training a flyball dog to the stage of racing can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months (or longer) depending on the focus of the dog and the amount of effort put in by the handler at Club training and at home.

The Club trains on Tuesday nights at Castle Hill Dog Complex with beginners and novice dog training setting up at 6.30pm, starting at 7pm till 8 pm and then racing dogs training from 8 pm till 9.30 pm.

If you are interested in joining Norwest Thunderdogs and starting to train your dog in flyball, here is the information you need.

When do we train?

We train every Tuesday night (weather permitting) with beginner and module dogs training starting at 6:30pm for set up and going to 8:00pm. This is followed by advanced, race training starting at 8:00pm and going to 9:30pm. Advanced Beginner handlers are encouraged to stay for racing training and to learn about the team aspects of the sport.

Where do we train?

We train at the Dog Complex at Castle Hill Showgrounds near the new railway buildings. Turn off Showground Road at the lights where the sign is for the showground and follow the road around and past the new structures, turn left where the building is used for karate lessons (there is another building and chook shed on the right) and follow down the hill past the huge undercover area to grounds on your left. 

How do I join?

New members must register to do the Norwest Flyball Beginners Course. This course runs over 6 x Tuesday nights and is designed to allow prospective members to see if flyball is a sport for them and for the Club to assess the dogs from a suitability viewpoint. Nearly all dogs are suitable to learn flyball but on occasions a dog may be deemed to be behaviourally or physically unsuitable.

What breeds of dogs can do flyball?

Virtually any dog breed (pure or cross breed) can do flyball – some are easier to train than others and some are faster than others – but most can all do Flyball. Flyball Race Meetings are run in divisions so dogs of similar speed race against each other. We have lots of different breeds in the club from big to small and fast to not quite so fast. We do not accept dogs into training until they are at least 9 months of age and they cannot jump or race till they are at least 12 months of age.

How do I enrol for the Beginners Course?

Norwest accepts beginners on the first Tuesday night of certain months depending on capacity. If you would like to learn about our next Beginner intake, please submit your enquiry via our online contact form available here.

Once we receive your enquiry, a club member will provide you details of the next intake, a registration form and further information required prior to joining. It is important to note that all dogs must be over the age of nine months of age and up to date with their vaccinations – proof will be required before you can commence training.

How much does it cost to do Flyball?

The Introductory Course Fee of $50 will cover not only the Introductory Course fee but also your membership to Norwest Flyball Club and your flyball equipment levy for the year to 30th June next. After you have completed the 6-week Introductory Course, the ground training fee is $5.00 per night. Annual Membership after that is $15 for a Single member or $25 for family membership. Members are encouraged to purchase a crate if they don’t already have one as you need to have a secure place to put your dog during breaks in training, setting up the gear prior to commencing and later at Demonstrations and Race Meetings. When you and your dog are ready to start in Demonstrations and competing in Race Meetings, you will need to join the Australian Flyball Association which currently costs $25 per year.

What do I need to bring to Tuesday Training?

Bring yourself and your dog, a flat collar and lead, some treats that are easy to feed and a crate. Please ensure you are wearing enclosed, flat shoes such as runners (no thongs). We recommend not to feed your dog before training as it will keep them more focused. Popular treats are those easily consumed such as small bits of meat or cheese, BBQ chook, anything soft and enticing.

What happens if it rains on Tuesday?

Flyball training may be cancelled if it’s raining or the grounds are too wet. A decision is made by no later than 5pm and a message is posted on our Facebook Norwest Training group for members indicating if training is on or cancelled.

What if I can’t train with the Thunderdogs?

As we take a limited number of beginners each year, we may not have capacity for you at the time of your enquiry. We encourage those looking to start flyball, to consider joining another club if they do not wish to go on our waiting list. View other Flyball clubs here.

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