Dogs are bred for so many different reasons: height, hair, etc.… all based on what their owners favor, making them the most anthropomorphized animal on the planet. Given the sheer breadth of diversity that exists within this canine family it is so refreshing to hear about a sport that any dog can do, and they have a ton of fun doing it.
Dock jumping first appeared in 1997. DockDogs was established in 2000 and had its first event on ESPN in their Great Outdoors Competition in that same year. As popularity grew, more organization began to spring up. Splash Dogs was created in 2003 then Ultimate Air Dogs (
Last year Dock Dogs thrilled more than 2.3 million people. Generally the dock must be thirty-five to forty feet long and eight feet wide. Dogs are judged via the distance they traverse via the lateral mid-point of the end of the dock to the base of the dog's tail when it breaks the water surface. There are two different techniques used to encourage dogs to jump into the water. One is the Place and Send technique and the other, Chase. The great thing about both these methods is any dog can literally learn from either, usually within a couple of hours or so. Once they are doing it they are ready to compete.
The divisions within this sport are many, e.g. “lap dogs” or dogs that are eight years or older the “veteran division.” They are broken down into Novice, Junior, Senior, Master, and Ultimate. According to Wikipedia , the current record holder as of August 4, 2012 is Cochit, who jumped thirty-one feet.
Competitions are popping up all over, so if your dog loves water and you can find one, maybe your dog is a Dock Dog.