Does your Golden Retriever love to play in the water? If so, dock diving might be a great sport for you and your Golden to get involved with. Engaging in canine sports with your dog is a great way to enhance your bond, give your dog a job to do, and have tons of fun!
What Is Dock Diving?
So what is this canine water sport anyway? With dock diving, you will stand at one end of a 40-foot dock and your dog will be in a stay at the other end. When you give the cue your dog will start running toward your end of the dock. As he gets closer you throw a toy that can float, just out of reach, into a long pool. Your dog then launches himself off the end of the dock to get the toy and return it to you. This finishes the dive.
There are three different types of dock diving competitions. The first one measures the distance that your dog jumps. Beginners will often jump up to 2-feet, while more experienced dogs may leap up to 30+ feet! The second is for hight vs. distance, with your dog jumping vertically to get a toy and then dropping into water. The last variation is a time trial, measuring the amount of time it takes for your dog to retrieve the toy at the end of the pool and bring it back to you.
This canine sport was originally started in 1997 at Purina’s Incredible Dog Challenge.
Who Can Do Dock Diving?
Any dog can participate in dock diving as long as they enjoy swimming, are toy motivated, and have a natural passion for retrieval. This means that most Golden Retrievers are ideal candidates for dock diving. However, the sport does not exclude any breed or mix-breed, all are welcome!
When it comes to the handler all you really need is a good throwing, patience, and enthusiasm! A positive attitude is always a nice touch too.
Benefits Of Dock Diving
Dock diving can provide many benefits to your dog. Dock diving is great exercise combining running, leaping, and swimming. One of the nice things about dock diving is that there is less impact because the dog is landing in the water and not on the hard ground. This may help reduce future joint stress when compared to other canine sports.
Dock diving can also provide your Golden with a job to do. Giving him an excellent mental and physical workout. This can help him live a better and healthier life. Additionally, dock diving is a fun way to strengthen the bond that you share with your dog.
Can You Earn Titles?
Yes, you can earn titles! There are several different clubs for dock diving worldwide that will offer an assortment of titles. Find a regional or national club near you, so that you can start earning dock diving titles or find a dock diving training class.
Dock diving may be a great outlet for your Golden Retriever. If he loves water, chasing toys, and retrieving then this might be the best sport ever for the two of you to participate in! Be sure to find a local club where you can get support, take a training class, and start competing.