Dock Jumping Dogs

dock jumping dogsWe thought this Friday, as we head up north to a lake for the August long weekend, we would highlight Dock Jumping Dogs.

Getting the inside scoop

We filmed some Hot Diggity clips at the All About Pets Show with Ultimate Air Dogs as dogs competed to see who could jump the furthest from a wooden dock into a narrow 40-foot pool of water. We have seen the amazing X-Treme Air Dogs Canada in action -Trainer and Champion Heather McLeod of ruffsport.ca trains and gives classes out of The Red Barn Event Centre. Dock Jumping looks like such fun.

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From Ontario DockDogs we learned it is a great sport for dogs over 6 months old who love the water and toys.

The three different disciplines of DockDogs:

  • Big Air– essentially a long jump for dogs. Distance jumped is measured to the BASE of the dogs tail. The best Super Elite dogs have been known to jump more than 25 feet
  • Extreme Vertical-high jump competition for dogs. The bumper is suspended above the water eight feet out with the lowest starting height set at four foot, six inches high. Dogs are required to “grab” or knock down the bumper from the extended arm to obtain an official score
  • Speed Retrieve Each dog take two retrieves in rotation order. s The dog’s handler signals to the dog to race to retrieve the bumper which is located on a rig at the end of the pool, 58 feet from the 20-foot mark on the dock as fast as possible.

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We are all looking for fun ways to get and keep fit with our Dogs. We did a post about great ways to do just that this summer that you can read here.  Of course, think safety before trying any new activity- make sure your dog can swim (we saw several breeds like Boston Terriers wearing life jackets to participate), and that the dock and area you and your dog are jumping in is safe. Kilo the pug wears a life jacket and you can read more about how those and dog shoes aren’t just a cute fashion statement here. Also be sure to look into special training, warm ups and cool downs to prevent injury.

Share your ideas for Fit Dog Friday. Have a Great Weekend!

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16 Comments

  • What a great and informative post. These dogs need to be very fit to participate in this sport. They also require a lot of fast twitch muscle training in order to make those jumps. The fast twitch conditioning is very different from the typical canine exercises (e.g. walks, jogs). It also requires proper warmup and cool down to minimize the risk of muscle pull (ant other) injuries.

  • Dock diving dogs are so amazing to watch…The dog in that 3rd photo down has perfect form…Love it!

  • I have watched some dock dogs demonstrations. I think it would be funny to see a Dachshund do it but I don’t think it would be good for their backs since they are prone to back problems. It looks like fun though.

  • I’ve seen the Big Air competition on TV, but not the others. It sounds like great fun for dogs who love to retrieve. My dogs would fail, miserably! First… water isn’t their thing and secondly, the scratch their heads in puzzlement about why dogs would want to run out to get something and bring it back!

  • I have still to find Dock Jumping in my neck of the woods (Tropical Queensland) but I do believe they’ve set something up in Sydney. The closest to it for us is a local creek nearby where I’ve watched some dogs leap in off the side into the deep end to ‘fetch’. My dog hasn’t ‘leapt’ in after them yet. He prefers a shallow sandy entry still……

  • So COOL! I used to join fun dock dogs but due to my allergy on lake/pond water I had to stop. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  • This is Heather McLeod of RuffSport! We are doing a demonstration of Agility and DockJumping at the Wiggle Waggle Walk & Splash this weekend in Burlington, Ontario on Sunday Septemeber 8th. Many of the Dogs pictured in this article will be performing! If you would like to come out, visit http://www.hbspca.com/donate/wiggle-waggle

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      Can’t wait! Did you see our Fit Dog Friday article on Walks for Charity-this great event is featured there too.

  • In regards to the Sport of “Dock Jumping” I’ve trained many breeds to enjoy the sport through the love of getting there toy! Many breeds who are not known for a sport that includes jumping into water like “Jelly” the English BullDog, Olie and Forrest the Heronview Leonbergers owned by Anna-Marie Kristensen and many who though this sport was just for labs and waterdogs alike! Let’s get the Doxies, the Yorkshire Terrier like “Razzle Dazzle” out there having fun with a new team sport! With proper introductory training as to not discourage the dog or owners at the intimidating set ups away from the lake, safeness of pool at home, let’s get these dogs rocking on a Dock and have competing no matter what! You can make your team be as competitive as you put into it, or you can go have some incredible Fun! They have no idea whether they jumped 3 ft, 10 ft or over 20!! Hope to help your team get started in the near future!! Visit http://www.ruffsport.ca and take advantage of our Sport Foundation Classes which get you ready for any team sport whether, life skills, home skills, agility, disc, flyball…it’s what you teach!

    Thx
    Heather McLeod, president of RuffSport