Dogs are on the ball in fast-moving sport

One of the dogs in action in a flyball game
One of the dogs in action in a flyball game

Dog owners are sitting up and taking notice of Britain’s fastest-growing dog sport, Flyball.

Dog breeder and trainer Hazell Brown has set up a Ribble Valley offshoot of The Reiver Rebels, originally formed four years ago at Newcastle.

The team is training at Waddow Hall, Waddington, every Sunday during the winter, and is welcoming new members who are interested in training their dogs either for competition or just for fun.

“Flyball is great fun. The dogs and handlers love it,” said team captain Hazell, who lives at Bashall Eaves and works as an administrator in Clitheroe.

Flyball is a relay race with four dogs and their handlers in each team. The dogs race against a team in another lane over four hurdles, retrieve a ball from a box and return it to the handler. The next dog does the same and so on until all four dogs have run. The winning team is the first to get all four dogs over the line without any faults.

Hazell added: “It’s a fun sport for your dog, any dog, any age, any size. If your dog is fit enough it can play Flyball.

“Owners of any age and size can also take part. The find they will get fitter too.

“It may look fast and frantic, but all dogs competing have had a lot of time dedicated to their training so that the sport is not only enjoyable for dogs and handlers but also safe for all, allowing the dogs to compete for many years.”

She added: “A good sense of humour helps, especially in the early days. New dogs can join at any time for an initial six-week course.”

Anyone interested can visit the website www.reiverrebelsflyball.org.uk, email flyball@reiverrebelsflyball.org.uk or phone 07971 410223.