Retrieving breeds are very popular in this sport but all you really need is a dog with a love of toys and acceptance of water. There are multiple divisions to make competition fair for big, small, and in between jumpers, so you don’t need to have a big jumper to be successful in competition. For training, dogs are gradually introduced to jumping into deeper and deeper water from greater and greater heights. Because wet docks are very slippery, carpet pieces are usually laid out to prevent dogs from slipping and becoming overly cautious on the dock. Practicing is done in lakes, swimming holes or private pools, and competitions are held in large above-ground pools. All you need to compete is a floating toy to retrieve and a flat collar.

There are three competitive divisions:

Distance, in which the dog leaps off the end of the dock and his distance is measured by where the base of the tail meets the water.

Height, in which a bumper is measured to determine height then placed out over the water. The dog is released and leaps to capture it. If they succeed to snatch it within 2 tries, they may move on to the next round.

Speed Retrieve, a proprietary Dock Dogs event. According to the Dock Dogs website, "Speed Retrieve® is a "timed event".   At the far end of the pool a bumper toy is suspended 2" above   the water with a starting indicator above it. The dog is then placed at the 20' white mark on the dock; when the light turns green the handler releases the dog. The time clock stops ticking when the dog has pulled the toy from the Speed Retrieve® bracket."

On the west coast, the two main dock-jumping organizations are Splash Dogs and Dock Dogs. Shasta Splash Dogs is a dock-jumping club in Redding, CA. They hold classes and practices at Whiskeytown Lake.



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