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Dogs love their toys, plain and simple.

Usually, it’s the dirty, faded, squeaky ones that capture their little doggy hearts the most. 

In fact, the sport of dock jumping hinges on this intense drive dogs have for their toys. Most pooches would go to the ends of the earth to fetch back their favorite squeaker. Or, at least to the end of a 40-foot dock and jump into a long pool of water. Much like they do at DockDog Competitions. So, now that you know the toy-loving secret behind this four-legged sport, here’s the down low on the new feature at the 2018 Pigs & Swigs Festival in downtown Lincoln. 


The Splash That Started It All

A relatively new canine sport, dock jumping made its debut at the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge back in 1997. It caught the eye of several dog trainers/owners who brought it to life a few years later. 

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From there, dock jumping has made its way across the United States. Dock jumping organizations have popped up all over to support the sport. And the fans love it!

DockDogs, the organization to be featured at the Lincoln Pigs & Swigs Festival, was launched in 2000. Splash Dogs followed suit in 2003, and Ultimate Air Dogs was founded in 2005. These are just a handful of the many organizations who hopped on board the dock jumping trend. 

Others countries like Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom have embraced this sport, as well. Never before have wet dogs smelled more like fun and competition!

From the Dock to the Water 

Just like it sounds, the sport of dock jumping consists of dogs jumping off of a 40-foot dock. Though there is a science to it all. 

Five elements exist - the dog, the handler, an object or toy to be retrieved, the dock, and a long pool of water. 

A dog waits excitedly on the far side of the dock facing the water. When signaled by his handler, the dog takes off running at full speed and jumps into the pool of water to fetch his toy. Making a big splash, enjoyed by onlookers, judges measure the jump in different ways depending on the event.

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DockDogs Big Air scores according to distance. This event measures from the end of the dock to the point where the dog’s tail base hits the water. Of course, the dog who jumps the longest distance wins.

DockDogs Extreme Vertical is focused on height. Rather than tossing the toy right into the water, it’s dangled above the pool. Dogs are scored according to what height they can successfully retrieve the toy. 

DockDogs Speed Retrieval measures how fast a dog can jump into the water to retrieve his toy waiting for him at the opposite end of the pool. The fastest dog wins.

Here’s the kicker, ALL of these events will be featured at the 2018 Pigs & Swigs Festival in downtown Lincoln! Here’s the Calendar of Events.

Does Your Dog Have What It Takes?

Dock jumping combines favorite activities of both man and his best friend. Running, jumping, fetching, and swimming belong to the dogs. And we humans love competing.

So, do you think you and your canine companion can be the next DockDogs champ?

Most handlers and their dogs start out by dipping their toes in the water, literally. They give it a shot at a local event and then head into training if they spot potential. 

Listen up Labrador and Border Collie owners, your dog might be a natural winner. Although DockDogs welcomes any breed, any mix, and any size, these two particular breeds dominate the champion circle. DockDogs even has an open class for dogs 10-years and older. 

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Thinking of registering? Check out the official DockDogs Registration 2018.

Although DockDogs uses a standard “fetch” object in their events, remember that fetching toys is a surefire way to get a dog up and moving. You might have a champion jumper snoozing at your feet right now and not even know it. 

No matter if you decide to test the competitive waters or not, come enjoy the big splash of DockDogs at the 2018 Pigs & Swigs Festival in downtown Lincoln!

Click HERE for a full line-up of festival events. 

Questions about the upcoming 2018 competition? Contact Us

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