The North American Diving Dogs are holding an event in Ste. Andrews this weekend and a couple of local dogs are looking to make a big splash.
Jacklyn Friesen, owner of Skippy and Sparky, details how they found this sport and what it's all about. "It's dog dock diving. Our dogs just love water and I thought why not just give it a shot? We went out this week, we gave it a shot and our instructor said they could probably compete. So, why not try it?"
Friesen says being a new dog mom, she was surprised just how many things are available, dock diving being one of them. "It's a crazy big dog world. There's a multitude of things you can do with dogs. Mine love water, so I tried to find some things and dock diving came up. It's not just thrilling for the dogs and their handlers, it's thrilling to watch as well."
Skippy and Sparky will be competing in the junior distance portion of the competition. Friesen explains how it will work. "So, the dog goes onto a platform. You can put your dog far away from the water so they do a running jump or you put them closer and they jump. You throw a toy, one of their favourites. Usually, the toy is just used for this and it has to be something they really love. They are measured from the time they jump, where they land to the base of their tail."
The practice has been ongoing for a bit now, "I can tell you the water was a little chilly but that's okay, we do what we gotta do for our dogs" Friesen says with a laugh. "One of the things I do have a challenge with is getting the right angle for the toy and the right timing. When the dog jumps off the dock, you want to throw the toy so they're chasing it and it makes them jump a little bit further. There is a technique to it."
Now that they have found the sport, Friesen believes they will be doing it for a while. "My husband said after I came home from the first one, that he's now determined to build our pond in the backyard bigger so we can have a better area for them to jump."
For times and a schedule of the event taking place this weekend, go to NADD | Dog Dock on the Bay, The Dog Pool, crazy for the splash! (northamericadivingdogs.com)