Dock Dogs: An Up And Coming K 9 Sport

2205 words - 9 pages

Mans best friend. The K-9 is a creature that cannot just be left in a house or apartment all day. The K-9 needs to be exercised constantly. There are many different sports out and about in the world today to keep K-9s in shape, but an aquatic sport for dogs? DockDogs is a jumping and diving sport for dogs that has a short history, yields to many different divisions and levels of competition, it also has many job opportunities.
DockDogs is a competitive aquatic sport that includes dock jumping and dock diving for all dogs no matter their breed or their size. The handler takes the dog onto a forty-foot dock that is attached to a forty-foot pool (Carolina DockDogs). It was started because of a bet between a couple of boys. In 1999 these boys were sitting by the lake having a cold one, throwing sticks into the water for the dogs to go fetch (Harris). Then one of the boys looked at the other and said “I bet my dog can jump further then yours!” When these boys made there bet they probably never realized that it would turn in to a worldwide sport. Dockdogs is fast growing and is found in the United States, Canada as well as Australia (Carolina DockDogs). Today in the world there are almost forty individual clubs and this number is growing every year (King, dockdogs).
At a Dockdogs competition there is never a dull moment, the action carries on the whole time. DockDogs are family events, as long as the handler is at least 7 years old and their dog is at least 6 months old. Each competition has three different disciplines. A discipline in the Dockdog world is another word for a category. The three different disciplines are: Big Air, Extreme Vertical, and Speed Retrieve. There is also something called an “Iron Dog” (Carolina DockDogs).
At an event the most commonly jumped discipline is Big Air, this is because it is the most popular. Big Air is known as the “long jump for dogs”. This discipline is judged on how far the dog can jump. Since all dogs are different sizes the outcome varies so the dog is judged on where the base of the tail hits the water. The owner takes the dog up on the dock and has ninety seconds to get the dog off the other end of the dock into the water. This is the only discipline that the team (Owner and dog) are allowed to use all forty feet of the dock. This is also the only discipline that the owner takes their own device, rather a toy, stick, etc., on the dock as long as it floats. (Carolina DockDogs). There are two popular methods used to get the toy and dog in the water, place and go and sit and stay. If the owner chooses the place and go method they take the dog to the end of the dock and throw the toy, then in most occasions they take the dog back a few steps and let them go and get the toy. But if the owner choose the Sit and Stay method the owner takes the dog on the dock and before throwing the toy into the water they will sit the dog on a spot on the dock, which they choose and then throw the toy....

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