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Dock diving: a refreshing dive into the world of dog sports

Dock diving competitions, also called water jumps for dogs, are an increasingly popular dog sport that showcases the athletic skills and attraction to the water of our four-legged friends. Discover the basics of dock diving, the different disciplines, rules and tips to get started with this refreshing water sport.
Team Jagger.Lewis
Date of publication
April 11, 2023
Dock diving, also known as “water jumps for dogs”, is an increasingly popular dog sport that highlights the athletic skills and attraction to the water of our four-legged friends.
Discover the basics of dock diving, the different disciplines, rules and tips to get started with this refreshing water sport.
polongeon chien
What is dock diving?

Dock diving is a dog sport that consists of making your dog jump from a platform, called a dock, into a pool or body of water. The aim is to achieve the best possible performance in terms of distance, height or speed, depending on the discipline practiced. Dogs are encouraged by their owner to run along the dock and jump as far or as high as possible to catch an object, usually a floating toy.

The different disciplines of dock diving

There are several disciplines in dock diving competitions, each with its own goals and rules:

  1. Big Air: this discipline measures the horizontal distance covered by the dog when jumping. The aim is to jump as far as possible to catch the toy thrown by the master.

  2. Extreme Vertical: Here, the objective is to measure the height that the dog can reach by jumping to catch a toy hanging from a bar above the water.

  3. Speed Retrieve: This test assesses the speed at which a dog can swim to retrieve a toy placed at a certain distance in the water. The time is measured from when the dog jumps off the dock until it reaches the toy.

  4. Iron Dog: this is a combined competition that takes into account the results of the three previous disciplines. The dog with the highest overall score is crowned “Iron Dog.”

chien gilet de sauvetage

Dock diving rules and preparation

To participate in dock diving competitions, it is important to respect certain rules and to prepare your dog well.

Dogs must be at least 6 months old to participate. Make sure your dog is healthy and comfortable in the water. A veterinary check and a swimming aptitude certificate may be required for some competitions.

Before you start dock diving, get your dog familiar with water and swimming. Then, train him to jump into the water from a platform and catch toys while flying. A dog life jacket can be useful for less experienced dogs or those who need extra support in the water. It is also recommended to use floating toys that are sturdy and easy to spot.

Dock diving competitions are above all a moment of fun and sharing between humans and their dogs. It is important to respect the rules, organizers and other participants to ensure everyone's safety and the smooth running of the events. Before taking part in a dock diving competition, find out about the specific regulations and conditions of the event.
Some competitions may have different rules regarding equipment, age categories, or health requirements.

malinois jouet

The benefits of dock diving

Dock diving offers numerous advantages for the dog:

  • This sport allows dogs to work out and work on their stamina, strength and coordination. Swimming is also a great exercise with low impact on the joints.

  • Dock diving encourages dogs to use their natural hunting and jumping instincts, which helps stimulate them mentally and build their confidence.

  • Dock diving competitions are an opportunity for dogs and their owners to meet other enthusiasts and to share common experiences.

  • Dock diving requires good communication and complicity between the dog and its owner, which strengthens their relationship.

Dalmatien dans une piscine

It is essential to make sure that your dog is willing to do this activity and that he is not forced to do so. If a dog does not like water, or if he is afraid to jump in water, he should not do this sport.
In addition, it is also important to ensure that they do not exceed their physical limits, as this could cause long-term injuries or traumas.

Dock diving should therefore only be done if the dog is keen on it and if it is done in a safe and controlled environment. It is also crucial to follow the appropriate safety guidelines and to work with trained professionals to ensure that the activity takes place safely and with respect for animal welfare.

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