Dock Dogs Fastest Growing Canine Sport In Country


In 2002, only 240 dogs competed in the DockDogs National Championship Series. This year, there were 8,400 dogs participating in this dog dock jumping event. It is one of the fastest growing sports in the nation.

This popular sport will even soon be broadcast on cable television. The Outdoor Channel is scheduled to broadcast a DockDogs event, which measures distance, and the Extreme Vertical event, which measures height, as a seven-part original series starting October 4.

Dogs run down a 40-foot dock and splash into four feet of water while catching an object.

DockDogs welcomes all participants as long as the dog is six-months-old. Besides that, they don’t have any strict rules.

Well, they have one rule that they definitely enforce. A few years ago, a man wanted to throw a live raccoon into the pool to get his dog to jump farther. But the judges prohibited this, and the next day, they changed the rule book to say that nothing that is alive or was alive could be thrown into the pool.

Source: AM NewYork

(Thanks Tanya)

21 Responses to “Dock Dogs Fastest Growing Canine Sport In Country”

  1. nora says:

    My dog and I (as spectators) attended the local regional event in DM Iowa a few weekends ago and it was a 3 day event. It was great fun and I look forward next year taking my dog and attending it again! I am hoping that there are more vendors next year for some great doggie day shopping!!!! Most of the dogs that competed were spectacular atheletes and it was great to see so much comradiere between dogs and owners. What a GREAT competion!!!!

  2. Gary says:

    As long as it doesn’t turn like the Vick case where they kill the under performing dogs.

  3. purringfur says:

    I’ve watched the dock jumping on TV before. Some of those dogs can really leap!

    My female just flies off the stream bank, plunging into the water for a stick. I swear she’s part Catahoula the way she can jump!

  4. Lynne says:

    If they can keep big money out of it it should stay fun. If they can’t, the dogs will become commodities.

  5. MaryP says:

    When the people jump with their dogs then perhaps SOMEONE will give this more thought. Why put what would otherwise be play to a dog out there in this fashion. You can bet this, like so many other animal centered EVENTS, will end badly.

    This “latest craze” is very sad and, in my opinion, should not be applauded by any animal lover.

  6. nora says:

    OH MY GOD MARY. If you could have seen how excited and joyful these dogs were to jump into the water and fetch! And how proud and loving all the people were with their pooches!!!! This is a jumping dogs dream of a good time and what in the hell is wrong with that. Some people are just plain spoilsports and maybe even a little jealous of other people who are able to organize a truly healthy and fun event for dogs and their owners to share.

  7. kaefamily says:

    I tried to have our pooch swimming in our pool ( the shallow end) a couple of times but he was so shaken with fear that we forsook the whole idea of training a terrier mutt to be a champion swimmer. There went our pension plan ;-)

    I think Gary and MaryP meant well, Nora. As long as there is no monetary betting/gambling involved, all is good :-)

  8. Beth, team Mom says:

    We belong as a family to a local Dock Dog club. What an awesome family activity. It teaches kids to respect, understand, and be responsible for thier best friend, thier dogs. As in anything you can let politics or egos get in the way, but we don’t. I think the most surprising thing for newbies other than how much thier dogs love this sport , is the support, and encouragement, and help they get from other dock dog participants. We have met some amazing, compassionate people that we are proud to call friends.

  9. Scott, 2007 'dockdogger' says:

    Wow! We’ve met hundreds of folks in this, our first year of playing this wet, fun game with our dog! Our dog was and is our family pet. He’s a 19 mo old 74lb Chocolate Labrador Retriever that in the summer of 2006, at 6 months showed us the way to this game. We were at the lake playing fetch in the water (that’s a Lab for ya! :). After nearly 2 hours of pretty much non-stop play, I threw one off the end of a nearby dock (so I’d get a chance to catch my breath!). The idea was that he’d go back to shore and swim out for it. Nope. Ran up to the end of the dock at full speed and jumped! Uh oh! New game…

    To say ‘bad’ things will happen to these dogs is (sorry) ludicrous! I can’t tell you how many owners I’ve seen hugging their dogs (dry or wet) just cause they love em! (Even on those days where things aren’t going right competitively.) I’ve seen people that have Super-Elite jumping dogs (+25′) that cheer just as loud and pass around high fives for a little Jack Russell Terrier and it’s handler when they set a new personal best of 10′1″ or a new dog that finally gets up the courage to jump the first time. People learn the names of other dogs quicker than their people! “Hi, your Fido’s Dad, right?” People bring “Pupcakes” for dogs birthdays, good naturedly give each other a hard time about loving labs or a chessies or ’swamp collies’ (our beloved Golden Retrievers :), comisserate over old canine friends that have past, collect donations for people with dogs with cancer, support Chase Away Canine Cancer and get together outside of dockdogs as true new friends with a shared love of our canine companions.

    Come out to an event! Watch the dogs on the dock! Look back towards the back where the little tent villages pop up and watch the folks with their dogs…

    Mike Vick? We all hope he and OJ get to play catch forever behind thick walls!!! And mis-treat a dog at a dockdog event? Not if I’m there (or if any dockdogger I’ve met so far is there) you won’t!!!

    Oh and one last thing, Beth, team Mom… we Love you! Bucky, Huggy Bear & Shy-Shy along with the hounds they call their handlers (your hubby & 2 fine sons) wouldn’t be a quarter of what they are if it weren’t for you!!! xoxo

  10. Mike says:

  11. rocketdog says:

    This was our first year in dock jumping and we have jumped with three different goups. In our short time we have not had a bad experience. Our Yellow Lab Rocky is a retrieving fool and thinks he has gills. We started this on a whim by entering a local “Bark at the Park” event. He jumped a whole 13′8″ but had a great time. We then went to a couple more events where he just got better at it finally jumping 18′0″ at the last event. Everyone cheers for everyone elses dogs whether they jump big or barely jump at all. It’s great to see a dog get the courage to jump off the dock for the first time. THEY DO NOT ALLOW YOU TO PUSH THE DOG OFF THE DOCK! Your dog must go on his own. It’s a very positive atmosphere for the dogs and the people. We have met a lot of great people who have been more than happy to help with tips and techniques. We have yet to win a competition and I really doubt we will. We do it as a family to have fun with our dogs (we have one that doesn’t jump but does come as a cheerleader for his brother). It costs a lot of money when you consider 2-3 days away from home, gas, travel time, etc but it doesn’t matter. As long as he shows enthusiasm to jump we will continue with this sport.

  12. tollermomma says:

    After competing in many other dog sports, I must say that Dock Dogs is the best !! I have never met such a great group of people who welcomed the newbie with open arms. Friendly ribbing, lots of training tips and cheering when we made our first jump. It was refreshing to have other competitors cheer and celebrate Woody’s achievements, even though they were on the small end of the scale.

    It is one of the most welcoming places one can imagine. So different from the conformation ring or obedience ring where politics and catty insincerity abound.

    To skeptics, grab your dog and come out to an event. You will have the time of your life and your dog will too !!

    Woody and I have been bitten by the Dock Dogs bug and I can’t wait for the 2008 season to begin.

  13. dockdogger says:

    It’s too bad rumor has it they are close to BANKRUPTCY!!!!!!

  14. Henna's and Mossy's mom says:

    Dock Dogs has been some of the most fun I’ve had with my dogs in years! We were ‘bitten by the bug’ several years ago and have been welcomed by dozens of new friends from all over the country. Many competitors travel to events near and far to gather with their fellow dog lovers in the name of playing on the dock. Dock Dogs is like a huge extended family - only better since you get to pick and chose your family members who don’t get mad when they get a big wet doggy kiss!

    The rules are strict regarding dog safety at each event and any type of cruelty is not tolerated. Pups see that pool and nearly drag the owners to the dock for a chance to jump in after their toy. The great thing about this sport is that it doen’t matter whether your dog jumps 25 feet or 5 feet. Every dog that so much as plops off the end of the dock into the pool gets an award. In the end, your dog is happy, the kids are wet, and you may have to wring out your socks…but everyone goes home with a smile and a good night’s sleep.

  15. Mike says:

    Boys do (Dock dogs), real Men do (SRS):

  16. George & Dosie Flyer says:

    Mike, you have obviously not been to a Dock Dogs event. I would put up any Elite Dog against ANY SRS dog, spot them 2 ft and they’d still be lookin at our butt’s. On top of that Dock Dogs is just more Fun!

  17. Mike says:

    Oh but you see I have George and Dosie and never will go back again. You can keep that lousy organization.

  18. 3 BB's Mom says:

    I have been involved in this fun game with my girls ever since it arrived here on the West Coast and I have been blessed with friendships that I know will last my lifetime. Everyone supports everyone and especially when it comes to the youth of the sport, ya just gotta love it when you get spanked by young kids or even by older kids too :-)

    Coming from Field Trials and Hunt Tests the fun factor for my girls & I really hit new heights that’s for sure. Life’s too short not to just play and have fun more often.

    The way this entire group supports each other in good times and in bad really shows the love and compassion that we all have for our best friends. When the idea of raising funds to “Chase Away K9 Cancer” came after losing my girl last year I never could have imagined in just over a year we would be closing in on $100,000 in donations to fund K9 Cancer studies.

    Thank you Dock dogs & the Outdoor Channel and the entire dock family for helping the ACVIM Foundation to hopefully find ways to fight cancer.

  19. Beth, Team Mom says:

    Mike, I’m not sure what your agenda is, but you probably didn’t find a platform for it in DockDogs. See the the dogs have it figured out. It’s not about any agenda it’s just about respect, friendship, and good old-fashioned fun!!! Sure there’s good-hearted ribbing,l that’s part of the family fun!!! We were blessed this year with the love and support of fellow Dock Doggers from all over the U.S. when we lost our daughter. It was amazing!!!! What a compassionate group of people. I’m proud to belong. Sorry you can’t see that. You get out of things what you put into it. Maybe you should channel all this negative energy into something you could actually feel good about. Life is short. Smile, I know my dogs and boys are at the end of the day. Try hugging your dog instead of kicking it. You may smile too!!!!

  20. Bucky's Dad says:

    Those short negative responses here speak volumes about what type of person you are … not the organizations you are bashing or supporting. They speak loudly only of you. What kind of person goes out of thier way to publically post such potentially harmful comments on something that celebrates our relationship with our pets. I think Dock Dogs is a wonderful organization and you are just another small person trying to stir things up.
    Go away please … we’re having fun here :) and Bucky’s ready to jump again!

  21. Free Vertical Jump Training says:

    Interesting post!
    Fun Games!
    I Like your ideas!
    Thanks for sharing

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