Are you looking for a fun activity to do with your dog?
For pups who enjoy the water, nothing beats dock diving in Little Rock!
This fast-growing sport has been around since 1997. It first appeared at the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge. Now, dog dock diving in Little Rock is officially the latest and greatest way to bond with your dog while encouraging their natural athletic abilities.
Plus, you will make friends! The dog dock diving community is made up of welcoming folks and four-legged furballs alike – including our trainers. Enthusiasts even have their own organization called North America Diving Dogs, which seeks to enhance the sport by working with dock diving facilities & competitors across North America and is also recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Overall, dog dock diving is a fantastic sport for water-loving canines.
Today, The Pine Hill Ranch Canine Center covers everything dog owners need to know to get started dock diving in Little Rock.
What Is Dock Diving?
Newcomers to the sport might be wondering, “What exactly is dog dock diving?” If you have never seen it in action before, picture the following:
A dog is running full speed down a 40-foot takeoff strip. Then, they launch and go flying through the air until…splash! Their body lands in the water and they are judged based on how far or high they were able to jump, usually in pursuit of a toy or target. Most pups fall somewhere in the 2 to 9-foot range. However, one special all-star athlete (a Whippet named Spitfire) once achieved a jaw-dropping 31 feet.
While your pooch might not break any records, they will still have a blast stretching those muscles and paddling through the pool.
The second thing to understand about dog dock diving is that there are two different specialties. These include:
- Distance jumping
- Air retrieve
With distance jumping, dogs get two tries. These are also known as “splashes.” Each score is calculated by how far the base of a dog’s tail is after he/she plunges into the water.
Conversely, air retrieve is all about height. A rubber dog toy called a “bumper” is hung 4-feet above the pool water. The objective? The dog must either knock off the bumper or fetch it in their mouth. The better they do each turn, the further away the target is moved. That’s essentially it!
Where Can I Find Dog Dock Diving in Little Rock?
Don’t have a pool? Can’t get away to the lake every weekend? No problem!
The Pine Hill Ranch Canine Center facility is right at your feet (or should we say paws?). At The Pine Hill Ranch Canine Center, we offer obedience training as well as private training, board and train packages, and of course sports training, too! To browse the class calendar, click here.
For dock diving in Little Rock, you will want to go somewhere that has a nonslip 40-foot runway and clean water that is at least 3 feet 6 inches deep. To find upcoming USA events, visit any of the following websites:
So, if you have been pondering, “Are there any dock diving facilities near me?” the answer is, yes. Just be sure to check a center’s vaccine policy beforehand. For the health and safety of all pups in attendance, proof of vaccinations will be required.
Dog Breeds That Can Participate
The beauty of dog dock diving is this: all dogs can participate.
From the tiniest Chihuahua to a gigantic Great Dane, so long as they know how to swim and aren’t afraid of water, any pup is capable of becoming a master dock diver. Some breeds that make excellent divers include:
- Labrador retrievers
- Golden retrievers
- Australian shepherd
- Border collies
- Belgian Malinois
These dogs have the energy, drive, power, and water-loving qualities that consistently get them ranked as champions in dog dock diving competitions. They have a need for speed! Yet, even shorter, rounder, and less athletic dogs can still appreciate a good splash. Just consider their physical limitations. For example, short-nosed breeds (like pugs and French bulldogs) should always wear a lifejacket.
The most important part of dog dock diving is teaching your pooch in a safe and comfortable environment. Purina recommends finding or starting a club/gym – such as a dock diving Little Rock group. A qualified trainer will help introduce your dog to dock diving and also teach their human partner (hey, that’s you!) how to be a good handler.
This way, there will be minimum risk and maximum fun.
Benefits of Dog Dock Diving
Dock diving is an awesome spectator sport, however, did you know that there are also plenty of physical and mental health benefits of participating in this fun canine activity.
All that speedy running strengthens muscles. For dogs with endless energy to burn, dock diving is a match made in heaven, as far as workouts go. What’s more, it’s mentally stimulating. Dogs who get bored at home can greatly benefit from a weekly trip to the pool. This is especially true for working breeds that thrive on having a “job” to do, thus preventing them from becoming anxious or destructive.
Best of all, Little Rock dock diving helps pet parents to bond with their dog.
Quality time spent together is the #1 way to cultivate a happy, healthy, and loving relationship.
The Official Rules of Dock Diving
Hopefully, by now, you are getting excited about the prospect of dock diving!
Before signing up for the next class, let’s briefly go over the rules. Remember, there are two disciplines of dock diving: distance jumping vs. air retrieve. Both are judged differently. According to the AKC, divisions are broken up into novice, junior, senior, master, and elite. Generally, rules state that each dog gets two jumps, with the longest being entered as a qualifying score. Video cameras capture the exact moment a dog’s tail touches the water.
For air retrieve, each dog also has two attempts. Successfully capturing the bumper in their mouth means moving on to the next round. Hooray! After three unsuccessful tries, a participating pup is eliminated. Lastly, dogs must be at least 6 months old to compete.
For a full list of rules, read the North American Diving Dogs Rulebook.
In summary, those curious about dock diving in Little Rock will be delighted to know that this canine sport is alive and well. As its popularity grows, we expect to see you (and your water-loving pup!) poolside very soon.
Questions? Connect with our team at The Pine Hill Ranch Canine Center today.