Dock Jumping

Dock jumping is a sport in which dogs compete in jumping for distance or height from a dock into a body of water.

A team consists of one dog, of any type, size, or age, and usually one handler. Dogs must be over 6 months of age to compete. Handlers may use a toy, also known as the chase object. The dogs are not required to chase or retrieve the toy.

The dock is usually 40 feet (12 m) long by 8 feet (2.4 m) wide and 24 inches (61 cm) above the water surface but may differ depending on the sanctioning organization. Any body of water or pool that is at least 4 feet (1.2 m) deep can be used. The dock is covered in turf-type carpet for better traction and safety for the competitors. The handler may use any amount of the dock and they may start their dog from any point on the dock when competing.

The jump distance is measured from the lateral midpoint of the end of the dock to the point at which the base of the dog’s tail (where the tail meets the body) breaks the water’s surface.

Popular Dock-Jumping Breeds

  • Beagles
  • Border Collies
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Parson Russell Terriers
  • Rottweilers

Suggested Exercises

  • Place and Send
    1. Walk the dog to the end of the dock and/or hold the dog back while throwing the toy into the water. Walk the dog back to the starting point, place the dog, then release or send the dog to go get the toy.
    2. This is effective for dogs that are not trained to wait or stay on the dock, especially if they have a lot of speed and can compensate for the lack of lift at the end of the dock.
  • Chase Method
    1. Place the dog in a stay or wait stance at his/her starting position on the dock.
    2. Walk to the end of the dock holding the toy.
    3. Call the dog from the end of the dock.
    4. Time the throw, and throw, trying to keep the toy just in front of the dog’s nose so they chase it into the water.

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