Also known as dock jumping, the sport of dock diving is a rapidly growing sport in the United States. Most competitions are held in a regulation dock diving pool, while some competitions are in a natural body of water.
Anyone can enter his or her dog in a DockDogs competition. The only requirements are that the dog is at least six months old, current on all shots, and if female, not in heat. You do not have to wait until your dog is an accomplished jumper. There is always open dock practive time at each event and staff members to help you.
Remember … the most important rule is to have FUN with your dog!
Next Event: Cohuttas Blue Ridge Challenge
June 21, 2013 – June 23, 2013
Want to try dock diving? New to the sport and want practice? Dixie Dock Dogs and Rucker Horse and Pet present: Dock Diving 101 – June 15th. Check out our events page for info!
Dock diving has three sporting disciplines. Your dog may participate in one, two, or all three of these disciplines.
Division Jump Distance
Novice 0’1” – 9’11”
Junior 10’0” – 14’11”
Senior 15’0” – 19’11”
Master 20’0” – 22’11”
Elite 23’0” – 24’11”
Super Elite 25’ and above
Amateur 17’11” or less
Semi Pro 18’0” – 21’11”
Pro 22’0” or greater
Big Air is the most popular discipline, as this is what most people think of when they hear the term dock diving. In Big Air, the dog runs down the dock and jumps out for a toy that has been thrown into or out over the water. The measurement is taken at the point at which the base of the dog’s tail (where it meets the body) hits the water. With 90 seconds to execute each jump, the team is given two jumps in each wave with the longer of the jumps being their official score for that wave.
There are two methods of jumping your dog in Big Air. These two methods, known at The Chase and Place and Send, are described in the articles below. You may use either method.
These articles will give you more information and tips for jumping your dog in Big Air
Link to a short video showing Big Air jumps. ©
Division Jump Height
Cadet Up to 5’11”
Top Gun 6’0” to 6’11”
High Flyer 7’0” and above
Extreme Vertical is an exciting discipline that has the dog jumping up to grab a bumper. In Extreme Vertical, a DockDogs bumper is suspended from an extender 8 ft. out from the dock and at heights ranging from 4’6″ up to as high as a dog can jump. (The current record is 8′ 2″.) The bumper is moved up in increments as the participating dogs execute the jumps.
The dog begins his run anywhere in front of the 20 ft. line on the dock and has 60 seconds to complete each jump. The bumper must be either snatched cleanly or completely knocked down into the water by the dog in order for the jump to count.
Each dog is given two chances to execute the jump at each height.
Link to a short video showing Extreme Vertical jumps. ©
Division Scored Time
Sonic < 5.999 seconds
Turbo 6.000 – 7.999 seconds
Express > 8.000 seconds
Speed Retrieve is the newest of the dock diving disciplines and is quite exciting. A DockDogs bumper is hung at the end of the pool (or 38′ from the dock in a body of water). The dog is set by the handler at the 20 ft. mark on the dock. When the signal is given, the timer starts and the dog is released.
The dog runs down the dock, jumps into the water, and swims down to the bumper. When the dog grabs the bumper and pulls it down, the timer stops.
If the dog begins his run and crosses the 20 ft. line before the signal is given, it is considered a false start and the run does not count. The handler has 90 seconds to execute the run. Each team is given two runs in each heat with the faster of the two runs being the official score for that heat.
Link to a short video showing Speed Retrieve jumps. ©
Measuring Endurance and Strength
Division Total Score
Spartans 3000 + points
Titans 2800.001 to 2999.999
Warriors Up to 2800 points
Iron Dog is a Division for teams who participate in all three Disciplines. At each National event, and at some club events, if you enter at least one Big Air wave, one Speed Retrieve wave, and Extreme Vertical, then you qualify to enter the Iron Dog competition. Points are awarded for each score in each of the disciplines. After the Finals, the Iron Dog winners and places are announced.
© Copyrite material with much appreciation from Nancy and Bill Akin