Who doesn’t love to see a dog enjoying a swim in the water? And most dogs jump in the water without a second thought. Is it any wonder that a sport would come out of all this dock diving? Dock diving is a relatively new sport that first appeared in 1997 at The Incredible Dog Challenge sponsored by Purina. Dogs dive off a dock and compete for distance or height.
Training Your Dog
Training your dog to dock dive is as inexpensive as your dog’s favorite toy, preferably one that will float. You need to ensure that the body of water you are using is deep enough and free of underwater hazards such as rocks or debris for your dog to jump into without causing injury. The dock shouldn’t be more than two feet off the water to start. There are two basic methods of training your dog to dock dive. Both involve the dog’s favorite toy and a love of the water. Obviously if your dog has an aversion to water, this won’t be an enjoyable activity for either of you. First, take the toy out to the end of the dock with your dog and toss the toy in the water to see if your dog will jump in after it. You can place your dog in a sitting position and shake the toy to get your dog’s attention. When the dog is chomping at the bit to get the toy, just toss it in the water. Repeat this over and over again until the dog jumps in without hesitation. The second method suggests that you have your dog sit further back on the dock and stay while you walk to the end. Wave the toy around enthusiastically. Encourage your dog to run towards you and throw the toy in the water. This type of training will result in the dog jumping further because of the running start.
<Also Read: How To Train Your Dog To Swim>
Dock diving has become a very popular sport and there are many events around the country that showcase this talent. Two of the larger organizations that promote dock diving are “Splash Dogs” and “Dock Dogs,” but there are many other clubs nationwide that hold events, as well. These clubs are easily found on line by searching “dock diving” in your search engine.
The health risks to your dog from dock diving are minimal. Any activity you can do with your dog will benefit your dog’s physical and mental health. There is no jarring of the joints from jumping or leaping on hard surfaces. And while it’s thought that most dogs will swim when put in water, it would be best to test that theory with your dog while you are in the water together, in case there is a problem. Always ensure there’s water deep enough to dive into without harm and never, ever force your dog to do something she is afraid to do. As long as she is willing and happy to participate, dock diving can be a fun, refreshing sport for you and your dog to enjoy.