Sports Saturday: Dock Diving!

Since I’m the kind of person that enjoys at least some structure, I’ve decided to initiate a blogging schedule.  Ever since my “Countdown to Graduation” project ended, I have to admit that I have felt a little lost when it comes to this blog, and I want to change that!  So, over the next week I am going to introduce the daily projects and blogging schedule that I will hopefully stick to (and that you will hopefully enjoy!).  Which brings us to Saturday.  Every Saturday, I’m going to blog about something in the world of dog sports.  “Sports Saturday” might include an introduction to a dog sport, a training exercise that we are currently working on, an upcoming competition that we might be attending, an event that we watched, etc.  And of course, you can bet that there will be lots of photos and videos along the way!


Today I want to introduce the sport of Dock Diving or Dock Jumping.  Let me emphasize that I am far, far from a Dock Diving expert … I’ve only watched two Dock Diving competitions, held by “Dock Dogs”, so I’m still trying to figure out what is going on within this sport!

A shot from the competition we went to the first weekend in June 2011 in Bristol, Virginia. (Handler: If you see this, please contact me so that I can give you and your pup credit and also a copy of this photo if you would like one!)

Dock Diving is a relatively new sport – it first appeared at the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge in 1997.  As far as organizations/venues go, the two that I have come across are “Dock Dogs” and “Splash Dogs”.  Any dog over 6-months-old can compete, regardless of breed or size.  Dogs compete in this sport by either jumping the greatest distance horizontally (such as Dock Dogs’ “Big Air” class), vertically (such as Dock Dogs’ “Extreme Vertical” class), or by being the fastest to retrieve a bumper placed at the end of the pool (such as Dock Dogs’ “Speed Retrieve” class).  The “Big Air” class seems to be the most popular and it is what most people picture when they think of this sport.

Coming back from a speed retrieve?

Within this sport, there are different divisions which allow dogs to compete against other dogs that jump a similar length.  For example, in Dock Dogs, the Novice division includes anything from your dog falling in the water up to a distance of 9’11”.  Dogs are then ranked within their divisions.  I find this neat because even if you have a lap dog (and there is indeed a “lap dog” division) or a veteran dog (a division for dogs typically 8-years or older), you can still play and be quite competitive in this fun sport.  In Dock Dogs, the jump distance is calculated by measuring where the base of the dog’s tail hits the water.  The current Dock Dogs’ world record is a whopping 27′ 7.4″, held by Rocket, a Belgian Malinois.

Wahoo, Kylie!!!

Now as far as what we’re doing in the world of Dock Diving?  For now, we’re just spectators.  Will we try it?  Hopefully!  Kylie, as I’m sure you all know by now, lives to swim and Diesel is well on his way to becoming an “Aussie-fish” as well.  Let me know what you all think of today’s post and the future of “Sports Saturday”!  And if you’re interested in trying your hand at Dock Diving, here’s a great article on how to get started (“Getting Started with Big Air”).  Have a great Saturday, everyone!  🙂


About Kas

An occupational therapy graduate student, Virginia Tech alumna, positive-reinforcement trainer, and proud mum of 5 crazy canines.

Posted on June 25, 2011, in Dock Diving, Kylie, Sports Saturday and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Wow, look how organized you are. I think this is such a great idea and your first organized(?) post is great. On a random note did you see the article on CNN about the dog that follows the Greek protesters? ( Wednesdays are usually my cocktail day, that’s as organized as I get. Ahem, on the blog not in real life.

  2. I like your concept of ‘structure’. I too have been struggling a bit with that but have yet to come up with said structure. : ) I am trying out a little with the Sunday Stills challenge…hopefully it will work.
    I love the dock diving. I have seen it on a few blogs in which the pups are competing and have always thought it would be a fun dog sport to investigate. Thanks for the info. Great photos by the way!

  3. That is awesome information! I love your idea for sports Saturday and have been wondering what kinds of activities to do with Delilah and how I might get started, but you are covering that!

    Great pictures and information.

  4. I like Sports Saturday! I bet your doggies will be good at dock diving. I know quite a few Chessies who do it and have a ball.

    • Glad you like it! We hope that they will be good at it, but as long as they have fun, that’s all that matters. And we have seen a handful of Chessies that play, and they rock at it!

  5. Good luck with your new schedule. I don’t have the time to stick to something like that beyond a weekly thing. Thanks for reminding me with those post I have been wanting to look up dock jumping around here. I think Wyatt would enjoy it as an outlet. Luna on the other hand would not do it, she would find the ramp and climb down. Kudos to Kylie for the jump!

  6. I love the idea of Sports Saturdays! I enjoy seeing the different sports that dogs are involved with. I’d love to go to a Dock Diving competition – I’m going to look at the schedules and see if any will be near enough for us to go to. Great photos!

  7. I had no idea there was such a thing as a dock diving competition. Seems perfect for your pups! For me, having a structure really helps in for my blogging (well anything). I told myself I wanted to post two blogs a week, and Tuesdays and Fridays fit my schedule the best. Having a “deadline” helps and yet if I miss an occasional one, I know it’s not the end of the world. I really like the idea for the Saturday Sports. You could be a trendsetter!

    • Hopefully this new schedule will help me get back into the swing of things … we’ll see!! Glad that you like “Sports Saturday”!

  8. Like Robin, I didn’t even know that dock diving existed as a sport! But what a fabulous and fun idea. It looks like the perfect activity for Kylie 😉 More, please!

  9. lifewith4cats

    I have been introduced to so many new things and ideas because of your posts. This new direction is great for educating a cat lady. 🙂 Dock diving competitions… who knew?

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