Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Taking the Plunge - Dock Dogs 2010!

Inseguire attended the Dock Dogs competition in Prince Albert, SK. Dock Dogs is a competition where a dog runs off a 40 foot dock placed 2 feet above the water and are judged on the length of their jump. Basically it is a long jump competition for dogs. Sounds simple? Well getting your dog to actually jump off the end of the dock proves to be a real challenge. All our dogs love to swim and spend 3 days a week or more retrieving things out of a pond. They will splash and dive in without hesitation all day long, but asking them to jump 2 feet down off the dock is a completely different story.

My biggest motivation to drive down to give this a try was Sadie. She adores swimming and you never see her more excited than when she is retrieving things out of the water. She did not disappoint me as it only took a time or two and she was leaping off the end with very little hesitation. The rest of the crew, however, was a little more reluctant. I was hoping Cali's drive would overcome her hesitation to leap but with no luck. She would happily jump in off the ramp on the side of the dock but wanted nothing to do with leaping off the end of the dock it's self. After trying, unsuccessfully, to get her to jump I asked the Dock Dogs crew if I could get in the pool and try to coax her in that way. They looked at me in my nice shorts and t-shirt and laughed, saying if I wanted to hop in the cold, cold, water I was more than welcome. I had no swim wear but luckily I had an extra pair of pants in the car so into the water I went. I stayed in for both Riley and Cali and was eventually able to get them to jump in, although Cali needed to jump onto my shoulder first and then into the water. We even got the puppies, Tov and Kiwi, to jump in off the ramp and fetch up the toy.

When it came time for the competition Sadie jumped off just like she had in practice, run to the end of the dock, stop, think, leap in. With time, and some more practice, I am hoping she will learn to make a nice smooth run off the end. She was very excited each time it was her turn and really enjoyed herself. Cali was excited to chase her ball but just could not muster up the confidence to jump off the high dock solo so after her 90 seconds was up I let her get it from the ramp. It was much more important to me that she enjoy herself and have a good time then force her to jump off the dock it's self. Riley was much the same way as Cali and having had some good practice jumps with me in the water I am satisfied that with time he will learn to enjoy this sport.

Much to my surprise as we were packing up and saying good-bye I was told Sadie won her Novice division (even against the big dogs!). This was just icing on the cake as she loved every second of the time we spent in, and near, the water. All in all it was a great day, despite being overcast and raining, the dogs came home tired and happy and I came home with a lot of fun memories and maybe a new game to play with my dogs.

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