Dog sports: Dock jumping!!!

Narrated from: Dog Sports

Forget about watching synchronized diving on the TV! You can now hold a competition in the nearest pool – and you don’t even have to get wet. Man’s best friend is more than ready to take the leap for you!

Dock jumping has nothing to do with a dog jumping as high as it can – this competition is all about length! And wet fur, of course.
What is dock jumping?

Dock jumping is one of the greatest dog sports of the 21st century! The concept is similar to that of the Olympic long jump, but there are dogs instead of humans, and they jump into a pool!

A lure is thrown into the water – usually the pooch’s favorite toy – and the dog has to jump after it. Then the distance from the end of the pool to the point in which the dog’s tail base (the point where the tail meets the body) breaks the water is measured. The dog that has jumped furthest wins!

How did dock jumping start?

Dock jumping didn’t start on the docks. It is quite a new sport, as the concept was introduced in 1997 during the Incredible Dog Challenge, an event sponsored and produced by a pet food manufacturer. The sport quickly got popular and three years later, the first official event was held in the USA.

How popular is it?

Well, there are several organizations established with the sole purpose of promoting the sport –so one can guess it’s pretty damn popular. Splash Dog and Ultimate Air Dog are popular Dock Jumping organizations in the USA, while Dash 'n' Splash and JettyDogs run things in the UK.

Can my dog do it?

Sure – any dog can do it. However, water-loving dogs tend to do much better.

Is training required?

It’s not mandatory, but if you want your dog to be a champion – then yes, training is required. Of course, one never knows – your canine might just be a dock jumping natural, and would jump after the toy at full speed from the very start. Some dogs, however, just don’t get interested that easily.

What is the dock?

The dock is a pool specially designed for dock jumping. Docks are usually narrow and long, to allow easier monitoring of the results.

However, for training purposes any pool would do – as long as it is deep enough! The pool should basically be about 4 ft (1.2 meters) deep, but this depends on the breed of your dog – smaller dogs might do with shallower pools.

What length are the jumps?

The best of the best can make jumps longer than 27 feet (8.23 meters). However, for many dogs 8 feet is actually a satisfactory result.

According to the length of the jump, your dog will be assigned a category. Said categories vary from organization to organization, but basically there are a Novice, Junior, Senior, Master and Ultimate levels.

There are usually separate competitions according to the length of the jumps, and for some specific dogs too – lap dogs, for instance, compete in a separate division, as do senior dogs.

And of course, the best jumpers are awarded special medals each year!

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