Does your dog love water and fetching toys? Dock diving could be exactly the summer sport for you and your dog! This sport requires agility, energy and enthusiasm. Dock diving dogs can compete for prizes or just practice for fun and exercise. It can be a wonderful time for dogs and their handlers to bond.
What Do Dock Diving Dogs Do?
Dock diving dogs compete to earn titles in a water sport that involves jumping off an elevated dock into a pool filled with water to retrieve a toy (known as a bumper). There are different competitions and disciplines (such as high jump, distance jump, and speed) based on the organization that is running the activity.
One organization that has sanctioned dock diving is North American Diving Dogs. Based on their regulations, dock diving dogs can earn points toward a title for attempting a jump. Two of the events held by North American Diving Dogs are the Distance Jump and the Air Retrieval.
The Distance Jump competition requires dogs to make longest jump into the water possible. A handler throws the bumper into the water and the dog must run and jump off an elevated platform. The distance recorded reflects the length of the jump from the end of the dock to the end of the dog’s tail.
The Air Retrieval competition requires dogs to attempt to grab (or knock off) a bumper that is suspended in the air while they are jumping into a pool full of water. The bumper is suspended about 4 feet above the water. After each successful grab or knock off, the rig that holds the bumper is moved another foot away from the dock. This process continues until there are two consecutive misses at a certain distance.
Where To See These Dogs Dive!
Want to see dock diving dogs in person? North American Diving Dogs has competitions happening all over the United States and Canada. Check out these fun qualifier competitions:
AKC 2021 OKC Summer Canine Olympics, June 30, 2021 – July 7, 2021
Oklahoma City, OK USA
Splash Your Pups Independence Day Qualifier, July 2, 2021- July 5, 2021
Davidson, MI USA
HDDS 1 st Annual Margaritaville Dive and Campout 2021, July 16, 2021 – July 18, 2021
Phelan, CA USA
Northequest’s Annual Summer Splash 2021, August 6, 2021 – August 8, 2021
Uxbridge, Ontario Canada
Splash-O-Rama National Qualifier 2021, August 27, 2021 – August 29, 2021
Cato, NY USA
Each competition has its own fees and follows the regulations of the local governing bodies. Please check the link for each event to learn more information.
Only For The Big Dogs?
While there are large dock diving dogs, any breed or size of dog can participate! Water dogs, such as the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, English Setter, and Labrador Retriever, absolutely love dock diving. Remember, this is all about fun. Even though dogs can earn titles, the most important thing is that both dog and handler have a great time participating together. Dock diving is a great bonding experience to enjoy with your dog!
Are These Dogs Special?
In a way, dock diving dogs are quite special. These dogs have a lot of trust in their handler and a drive to jump after a target. Since these dogs are athletes, it is important that they eat a highly nutritious diet and get lots of body work. Many handlers choose to use CrittEar dog earplugs to help keep their dog’s ears clean and dry after all that time in the water. Dog earplugs help protect ears – even during water sports like dock diving!