Introduction to Dock Diving
Dock Diving is my favorite dog sport to photograph! I love watching the anticipation and pure joy of dogs flying through the air to make a major splash landing! Today’s blog post will introduce you to the basics of dock diving and give you some tips about how to get started!
What is Dock Diving?
Dock diving is just what it sounds like; dogs jump off of a dock into a pool. The owner or handler stands behind the dog and tosses a lure out into the pool. The “lure” refers to the dog’s favorite toy (typically floatable). The dog then jumps in after it. The dock is typically 40 feet long. The pool is at least 4 feet deep and approximately 21′ x 41 according to the North America Diving Dogs Association. The dogs compete to see who can jump the farthest. Different sized dogs are in different groups. As you can imagine, it wouldn’t be fair for a German Shepherd to compete against a Jack Russell Terrier!
1. Big Air.
The goal for this category is to have the longest jump. The jump is measured from the end of the dock to where the dog’s tail breaks the surface of the water. You can read more about Big Air HERE.
2. Speed Retrieve
This event is timed. A toy is hung two feet above the water at the end of the pool. A light is set up near the toy; when the light turns green the dog is permitted to run from a designated point. The clock is set to stop when the dog leaps up and pulls down the toy. You can read more about Speed Retrieve HERE.
3. Extreme Vertical
Just as the name implies, dogs compete to see who can jump the highest. The dog starts at a designated spot on the dock (20 feet from the edge), runs, then jumps straight up to grab a toy that is dangling over the water. The location of the toy is 8 feet away from the dock. For the first jump, the toy is suspended 4 feet, 6 inches, and is gradually raised. You can read more about Extreme Vertical HERE.
How do I Get Started with Dock Diving?
Dock diving is a fantastic way to give your dog exercise, mental stimulation, and also further increase the bond between the two of you. I recommend watching a dock diving event in person or on television/streaming so you can see what is involved with dock diving. Of course, it’s always a good idea to check with your veterinarian before getting your dog started with any agility sports.
Many facilities have options where you can sign up to try out dock diving with your dog. Many of these facilities offer training for your dog. Some facilities in Raleigh NC and surrounding areas are linked below:
Teamworks Dog Training LLC located in Raleigh NC and Youngsville NC.
Indian Creek K9 Aquatics located in Goldston, NC.
Carolina Training Center and Dock Diving Pool located in Stony Point, NC.
Where Can I Watch a Dock Diving Competition?
There are several dock diving leagues throughout the country. Each has a list on their website about upcoming events. Please keep in mind that some events may be canceled or limited due to covid-19 restrictions. Please check with the organizers of the events before planning to attend.
Action Portraits with Paws Fur Joy Photography
I love capturing the relationship between dogs and their handlers during dock diving. It’s amazing to see dogs fully present in an activity that they love to do. If you would love to have professional photos of your dog dock diving or enjoying any body of water then send an inquiry below! I have experience in photographing dogs in action; whether it’s during a competition, practice, or lessons! If you want to learn more about an action photography session with Paws Fur Joy Photography, then fill out the form below!
Fill out the form below to learn more about your action photography session. I’ll get back to you soon!
What do you think dogs would shout as they splash down instead of “cannonball!?!” Let me know in the comments below!