Fastest dogs in the land to contest national titles

It's known as drag racing for dogs, and these Hawkesbury-based pooches are among the fastest in the nation.

A contingent of locals will be among 25 dogs from the Norwest Thunderdogs Flyball Dog Training Club heading to Queensland this month for the 2019 Australian Flyball Nationals, and they are doggone fast.

Patricia Byrne (Kracka), Jacinta Hadid (Paris), Kerry and Jaikan Andrew (Fuse, Ivy, Asala), Brian Lindsay (Cookie, Chevy), and Chloe and Nathan Crass (Riley, Riot, Rusty).

Patricia Byrne (Kracka), Jacinta Hadid (Paris), Kerry and Jaikan Andrew (Fuse, Ivy, Asala), Brian Lindsay (Cookie, Chevy), and Chloe and Nathan Crass (Riley, Riot, Rusty).

The sport of flyball sees teams of four dogs that compete relay-style down a narrow laneway, clearing four jumps to retrieve a ball and returning before the next team member can begin. The team with the fastest time and least faults - a dog missing a jump, starting too early, dropping the ball - is declared the winner.

South Windsor's Chloe Crass said the Thunderdogs club is the one to watch, as members will be defending their division one and division eight national titles at the Queensland event.

The Thunderdogs hold the current division one Australian record after clocking a scorching 16.394 seconds in May of this year.

"We do have dogs that do this [course] in 3.8 seconds," she said. "It's drag racing for dogs. They are the fastest dogs in Australia.

We do have dogs that do this [course] in 3.8 seconds. It's drag racing for dogs.

Chloe Crass

"They're canine athletes. Those guys are the ones that are trained to do it very well, and they love doing it."

Ms Crass will be taking her three-year-old border collie, Riot, to contest the nationals for the first time this year, but has been competing her three dogs with the club since 2013.

"It's our sixth year with the club and our third nationals," Ms Crass explained. "It's a very big social thing, our club is like a big family.

"We're very proud to represent our local area."

She will be heading to the nationals alongside other members from South Windsor, Londonderry, Cattai and North Richmond, with the Thunderdogs club competing in its 14th national championships since being established 15 years ago.

But the sport isn't just for the super fast border collies or kelpies; there are a total of 11 divisions for those canines who are a little older and slower, but still thoroughly enjoy their time against the clock.

And - just quietly - the Thunderdogs will be the ones to beat.

"It's all friendly fun but other clubs do set out to beat us," Ms Crass said.

The nationals will be held over September 27 and 28.

Drag racer: Thunderdogs team member Cookie showing some great form ahead of the nationals. Pictures: Geoff Jones.

Drag racer: Thunderdogs team member Cookie showing some great form ahead of the nationals. Pictures: Geoff Jones.