Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Getting Your Dog into Dock Diving


People are not the only ones who enjoy jumping then diving. We usually do it on boards, platforms, docks, and even on cliffs. Dogs have also developed interest on this adrenaline rush. In fact, a diving sport was even made to cater to them.

Dock jumping or dock diving is a dog sport wherein dogs, at least six months of age, compete for distance or height by jumping out from a dock and diving into a body of water.  The trainer usually throws a chase object which can be a stick or a toy, so that the dog will follow it and jump as high as he could. The dog is not required to catch the chase object however.

The dock is about 35 to 40 ft long and 8 ft wide.  It must be about 2 ft above the water, a pool or any body of water at least 4 ft deep will do. For better traction and the dog’s safety, the dock is usually covered by artificial turf or rubber mat.

So how can you get your dog into this sport? First, choose the perfect spot to train your dog.  This includes choosing a good body of water that is deep and safe enough for your pet to dive into. Or if you have a pool, that can be a very good option so that you can also have lesser worries.

Second, be sure that your four-pawed friend does not only enjoy water but also knows how to swim on it.  You wouldn’t want to see him drowning right? The third step is related to the second. To test if he’s fond of the water, try to toss his favourite toy into the water and see if he will go after it or back away from the water. Be sure to choose an object, if not a toy that he’s really into so you can be sure he’ll chase it even to the water.

Fourth, finally show him the dock. Let him do the running and chasing but now make him jump out of the dock. Repeat the exercise until he progresses. If you think his jumps are good enough, try if he can qualify into competitions. Be sure that the training you give him is petsafe.  Don’t over fatigue him and give him time to rest. In no time, you'll be having a dock diving dog.

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