Screams and shouts coupled with the chaotic sounds of hundreds of hounds barking echoed from the Kiama Quarry Sports Complex across the weekend.
It was the first time the NSW South Coast has hosted the Australian Flyball Association National Race Meeting, and it was serious business.
Does the screaming help the canine’s run faster?
“No, but it makes me feel better,” laughed Maureen Hindley, who travelled from Hobart with the Tassie Flying Paws Dog Club.
“It’s about the dog and their enjoyment, but we can also yell and scream and get excited … so it’s a release for me as well.”
Mrs Hindley got her Jack Russell Terrier, Gheegle, and Border Collie, Tafann, into the canine team sport because they were both bored with obedience training.
“Consequently my border collie actually bit the judge at obedience so we wanted to do something different,” she said.
The only thing Tafann bites now is the ball attached to the flyball relay.
Two teams of four dogs compete at a time, each pup needing to jump over four hurdles and retrieve a ball before returning over the hurdles to the start line.
Emily Lyons from the Central Coast started racing her poodle in flyball 10 years ago and now has four dogs competing including Watson the Chihuahua-cross.
“Some breeds obviously excel at it, your working breeds tend to pick things up faster,” she said. “Everyone’s pretty friendly. In the ring it can get a bit competitive – you’ve got a couple [of competitors] that are always going to be there, like, racing for sheep stations.”
The event was hosted by the Wollongong Wonder Woofs who train at Albion Park Rail.