Dock Diving Dogs: How To Get Involved?

Dock Diving Dogs: How To Get Involved?

Author WDF Staff


There are different dog sports you and your dog (mostly your dog) can participate in. One that is definitely the most fun for dogs is dock diving. You might have seen the sport, where a dog jumps as far as they can and dives in the water. We know we immediately thought, “How can we get involved?” If you think this might be the ideal sport for you and your dog, or you simply want to learn more about this fun activity, here’s what you should know about dock diving.

Dock diving history

Before we go into details about this fun dog sport, here are a few things you should know about dock diving’s history. The sport is also known as dock jumping, and it first appeared in 1997. It was first organized by Purina, one of the best-known brands in the pet care market. They organized an event called “Incredible Dog Challenge,” where they included the idea of dogs jumping in a body of water. Naturally, the sport immediately became a hit. Pretty soon, different associations and clubs started organizing their own events. These days, dock diving events are held worldwide, but the sport is still most popular in the US.

Dock diving rules

Dock diving is a bit more complicated than just letting your dog jump as far as they can in a pool. Sure, that is one discipline, but there are also other disciplines your dog can participate in. One discipline will measure how high a dog can jump, and one will measure how fast a dog can retrieve a toy. The most popular one is the dog version of the long jump.

The rules are pretty basic. You take your dog onto a dock and have them wait until you throw a toy in the pool. After you do that, the dog should run as fast as possible towards the pool and jump as far as they can. Dogs that love water and toys will absolutely love being a part of this sport.

Diving Dog

Benefits of dock diving

As you can probably imagine, any sport your dog does will benefit them. However, if you decide to try out dock diving, you should know this is one of the best dog sports you can choose. No other sport will be as gentle to your dog’s joints as dock diving. It is so beneficial that even senior dogs can participate. Here are some of the best things your dog will get from participating in this dog sport;

  1. Physical activity - The best thing about any dog sport is the physical activity your dog will have. Dock diving includes swimming, jumping, and running, which means your dog will get a decent amount of exercise.
  2. Safe - This sport is safe. We already mentioned it, but swimming and running on a soft dock is good for your dog. No other dog sport will be so gentle to your dog’s ankles and legs.
  3. Beating the heat - This is primarily a summer sport, so your dog will get that relief from the summer sun and heat. Water and swimming are a great way to cool off, and your dog will surely appreciate it.
  4. Competitive - This sport can be pretty competitive, so it is a great way to compete in something if you and your dog are competitive by nature. However, it is a sport you can also enjoy and NOT compete. Your dog will still reap the benefits, but instead of competing, your main goal can be fun.
  5. Owner-dog bond - Like any other dog sport, dock diving will strengthen the bond between dogs and their owners.

Are there any clubs?

Many dog owners think their dogs might enjoy some dock diving fun. However, getting involved in a sport can be complicated. Luckily, various dog diving clubs across the US can help you get started. The three major ones are;

All organizations will require some fees, but you will get fantastic support for yourself and your pup. Plus, since you will be a beginner, your dog will be a part of the beginner group. That means you can compete with other beginners and not immediately go up against experienced dock divers.

FUN FACT: The current dock diving world record is held by a Whippet called Sounders. Sounders set a record by jumping 36 ft 2 in.

What do I need to start?

The good news is that there’s no special equipment needed for dock diving. Your dog needs to love swimming and jumping in the water. It would be great if your dog is toy-motivated and loves playing fetch. One of the things you will need is your dog’s favorite toy. Luckily, most dog owners already have that at home.

Can all dogs participate?

Yes, dock diving is open to all dogs over 6 months of age. Dogs under 6 months still have some developing to do, so it would be best to spare them. It doesn’t matter whether you have a pureblooded or a crossbreed; all dogs can participate in dock diving. However, breeds specifically bred for speed, like the Whippet, have certain advantages over your basic, heavy-boned mutt.

World Dog Finder team

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