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!
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.
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.
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! 🙂