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Dock Dogs – A New Way to Have Fun With Your Dog!

Article by Ron Ayalon

Ker-splash! What conjures up images of summer fun better than a lake, a dock, a tennis ball and your buddy’s wagging tail? Take all that is wonderful about an athletic pup zooming off the end of a dock, focused like a laser on that ball, sailing through the air and landing with a fantastic splash, and ratchet it up a few notches into a competitive canine event, and you’ve got Dock Dogging!

What is Dock Dogs all about?Back in 2000, “Big Air” dogs was a filler event at ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games. No one really expected it to take off (please pardon the pun) as it did, but the event ended up attracting a huge number of spectators and a traffic-stopping level of attention. Since then an organization has sprung up to create standards and formal competitions and the popularity just keeps increasing. Known as dock jumping, dock diving, or “splash dogs,” this sport has become incredibly popular in both the United States and The United Kingdom, as well as other places around the world.

Details, Please!There are three main Dock Dogs events: Big Air, Extreme Vertical and Speed Retrieve. The Speed Swim, a fourth event has been added this year. Each event is scored separately and dogs can enter any one or any combination of events at a Dock Dogs competition.

Big Air is described by the Dock Dogs folks as “a natural extension of having fun with your dog.” In the Big Air event, the dog may start anywhere on the dock, and at the command, barrels down the dock, leaps off the end into the air (chasing a toy), and splashes down as far as possible from the edge of the dock.

The Speed Retrieve event requires a specific starting spot 20 feet back from the end of the dock. The dog’s job is to race down the dock, jump in and swim as fast as possible to the end of the pool.

In the Extreme Vertical event, the dog may start any where in front of the 20-foot mark on the dock. A “bumper” (soft float-toy) is suspended 8 feet out from dock and at the beginning of the event is held at 4.5 feet high (as measured from the dock). The dog has to run down the dock, leap high, and grab the bumper or knock it down into the water. As dogs are successful with this, the bumper is raised increasingly higher.

The new event, the Speed Swim is an all out swimming race for dogs. From a stand still at end of dock, the dog must jump in and swim to the end of the pool.

What Types of Dogs Can Compete in a Dock Dogs Competition?Really, the question is what types of owners can participate, and the answer might surprise you. Owners need to be 7 years of age and up, dogs must be 6 months old or older, and after that – no restrictions! Dock Dogs is a sport that an owner with physical limitations can enjoy with their pooch. Since you, as the human, don’t need to run, jump, or swim, you can help your dog gain a great workout, enjoy stiff competition and have a great time, even from a wheelchair.

Large and athletic dogs will have an advantage, as will dogs with a natural affinity for water and a strong “play” drive. For a dog to compete successfully, they need to have a strong take off, ideally pushing off from their toes against the very end of the dock. But even smaller or less athletic dogs can compete, have fun, and enjoy the thrill of the cheering crowd at a Dock Dogs event.

About the Author

Puppy City has been around for over 50 years, we pride ourselves in being the home for quality puppies for sale in Brooklyn, New York. We also have all of the supplies you will ever need, from dog food, to wee wee pads, to all the treats you will ever need in a lifetime. Visit us at http://www.PuppyCityNY.com

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