The Norwest Thunderdogs were founded on 8th October 2004 as the flyball arm within the Norwest Canine Association Inc. The Clubs grounds are at Castle Hills Showground and the complex is one of the best dog facilities in Australia, with outdoor arenas, an indoor arena, club rooms and meeting rooms.
The founding membership of the Thunderdogs was made up of 23 flyballers (see Note 1 below for Founders names) who left their prior club to form a new club at Castle Hill. The main motivation for the new Club was dissatisfaction with the way competition teams were being selected together with a desire to develop a more supportive culture for members. Most of the founding members are still part of Norwest Thunderdogs.The Clubs first competition was at the ACT Flyball Frolic in December 2004. The Club sent three teams to that competition, displaying for the first time the gold and black Thunderdogs uniform.
In the 15 years since its formation the Club has won 22 National Championship Titles - 12 First Division Championships, 1 2nd Division Championship, 21 Third Division Championship, 3 4th Division Championships, 1 5th Division Championship, 1 7th Division Championship, 1 8th Division Championship and 1 Ninth Division Championship (See listing of Championship results at foot of page). The Club has been the National Division one Champion Team in 12 of the last 14 years.
In addition to the 18 Nationals Titles the Club has broken the Australian Flyball Record 10 times and is the current holder of the Australian record at 16.394. The current record was set at the ACT Companion Dog Club - Mayhem Race Meet in May 2019 by a team comprising Ivy, Link, Flame and Cam (RIP) jumping at 9 inches.
The Club also holds a Guinness World Record for the fastest flyball run – set on 23 April 2005 at Narrabundah Canberra as part of the Australian Guinness World Record T.V. series. The Guinness record was set at 18.16 seconds. The Club holds an Official Guinness World Record Certificate indicating this achievement.
In 2009 Club members made up two of the four teams selected to take part in the Purina World Dog Games which was televised on Channel 7. The winning team, “6 Pak” consisted of Milo, Peebles, Dallas, Buddy, Arrow plus Cooper who returned from Queensland for the event. The second Norwest team “Greased Lightning” consisted of Bundy, Harry, Cleo, Twiggy, Pjevs and Jackson, came third.
In 2008 Norwest was the first flyball club in Australia to have two teams seeded in First Division at the National Championships. The teams came first and third – a great result.
The Norwest Thunderdogs have won the Australian Flyball Club of the Year Award on Seven occasions as recognition of the Clubs contribution to the sport of flyball in Australia.
The Club takes in a limited number of dogs into its Beginners Program on the first Tuesday of each nominated Month. After a short beginners 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.
Note 1 – The 23 Founding Members of Norwest Flyball – Brian, Sheryl and Kim Lindsay, Pat Byrne, Gail Starr, Joanne Parkes, Lydia and Christian Markham, Helen Borchert, Fiona and Kevin Bulman, Garry Hehir, Leoney and Glenn Pritchard, Amanda Pennicuik, Anne Younger and Kylie Younger, Elizabeth Coombes, Joy Williams, Vanessa Brooks, Kerry, Philip and Ruth Andrew.