Category Archives: dock diving

Dock Jumping: It’s Like Learning to Fly, But Way More Fun!

dock jumping ElleBy Elle Matsuura, Canine Guest Blogger

Spring is in full swing, and summer is on the horizon. Here in Southern California, we kind of bypass spring and jump right into summer. But that’s OK with me, because I like summer the best. Summer means swimming!

Regular readers of the CANIDAE RPO blog know that I’m a fun loving yellow Labrador girl, and my name is Elle.  When I was thinking of ideas on what I wanted to blog about, my human Mom said, “Elle, write about what you like to do and what you are good at.” Well, I’m good at eating (Hello! I’m a Labrador) and being a CANIDAE ambassador dog. I’m good at a lot of other things too, but most of all I’m good at swimming. It’s in my blood. My ancestors were helping fishermen from Canada who fished in the Atlantic Ocean with their nets and stuff like that.

But the best part of knowing how to swim is learning how to dock jump. It’s a natural progression. You can still go swimming and not learn to dock jump, but what is the point of that? Dock jumping is liberating – it’s like learning to fly, but even more fun than that because the landing always ends with a giant belly flop into a pool of cold water. Splashtastic!

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Special Achiever Jay Harris Helps Chase Away K9 Cancer

By Linda Cole

Canine cancer is a hard topic for me to write about. It has touched my canine family several times over the years. However, it’s important to shed light on the disease to help dog owners understand how early detection can make a difference in a dog’s survival. Jay Harris, a CANIDAE Special Achiever, is using the sport of dock diving to promote cancer awareness and to raise money for Chase Away K9 Cancer, an organization trying to find a cure for canine cancer. If you’re into dock diving, you’ve heard of Jay Harris and his eight year old yellow Lab, Sir Harley, who is ranked 11th in the world as a Veteran. I had a chance to speak with Jay to find out more about both of his passions.

Chase Away K9 Cancer was founded in 2006 by Cera Reusser after losing her black Lab, Chase, to cancer. Chase was full of life and excelled at dock diving with an Elite Jumper status in Big Air and NW Challenge Championship in 2005 and had a designation of AKC Master. One day, Cera found a lump under Chase’s chin. It was nasal carcinoma. Chase was just shy of her seventh birthday when she died. This grassroots organization raises money for grants to fund cancer research. So far, they’ve raised over $530,000.00 and funded twelve cancer studies with more studies planned for later this year. They also aim to give support, understanding, comfort and guidance to dog owners.

Detecting canine cancer early can make a difference in the prognosis and treatment. Chase Away recommends a nose to tail body check on the 14th of each month. Start at the head and look in their ears, eyes and inside the mouth, checking for tumors. Feel and look over your dog’s entire body, searching for lumps or bumps. Know where to find the dog’s lymph glands and how they feel. If you notice any changes, call your vet. Weight loss should be a red flag.

Jay brings awareness to this disease through his love of dock diving and helps raise money throughout the season for canine cancer. This year, one of Jay’s fundraising events, the 2012 Sir Harley Veterans Tour Chase Away K9 Cancer kicks off the season in honor of his Lab, Sir Harley, who became a Veteran Competitor in DockDogs. Donations will be accepted all year and a check will be presented to Chase Away at the World Championships at Dubuque, Iowa in November. “To date, we are over $3,000 and the jumping season is only getting started.” Money is raised for Chase Away at all regional (club) events. If you attend an event, look for a dog wearing a K9 vest walking around in the crowd and if you are able to help, please donate.

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CANIDAE Sponsored Dogs Make a Splash at “Paws in the Pool”

By Linda Cole

Dock diving is a popular and inexpensive sport you can enjoy with your dog. The competition is friendly but competitive, and the dogs love every minute of it! At the recent Splash Dogs competition held in Lancaster, OH on August 20 and 21, Team CANIDAE was well represented with talented canine athletes ready to show why they’re top dogs. Tony Reed of Splash Dogs and Terry Cook of Aqua Dogs hosted the event that had handlers and dogs from all over the country eager to hit the dock to show how far their dogs can fly.

The Paws in the Pool competition wasn’t just about having a great time with your dog. The event also raised money to help support local animal shelters and rescue groups in the Fairfield County and surrounding area in Ohio. Animal shelters across the country are having record number of pets surrendered to them with fewer donations to help keep shelters operating. Events like Paws in the Pool help to raise much needed funds for rescue groups and shelters. Dog teams from around the country gathered in Lancaster to give their support to a good cause, have fun and find out who has the top dock diving dog, at least for this competition.

The Paws in the Pool competition was open to all interested dock diving clubs. Several CANIDAE Team members participated and made a great showing. A big congratulations to Dan Jacobs and his Labrador Retriever Kody who placed 2nd in the Pro Division Finals with a score of 20.01 ft. and Brian Johnson and his Chocolate Lab Gunner who placed 3rd with a score of 20.00 ft. Dan and his Labrador Retriever Kasey took top honors in the Senior Division placing 1st with a winning jump of 18.06 ft. Lynn Taylor worked three dogs through the Junior Division placing 3rd, 4th and 6th. Riot, a German Shorthaired Pointer, took 3rd with a score of 12.09 ft.; Champ, a German Shorthaired Pointer, finished 4th with a score of 12.07 ft.; Cajun, a Labrador Retriever, took 6th with a score of 10.06 ft. Way to go Team CANIDAE!

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How to Have Safe Summer Fun with Your Dog

By Julia Williams

Warm, sunny days are here at last! Though many dogs do enjoy romping in the snow, the pleasures of summer are hard to beat. Canines and humans alike shed their heavy winter coats and head outdoors, unencumbered and ready to play. With that in mind, I’ve compiled some ways to have safe summer fun with your dog.

Sports for the Four Legged

Whether your dog is endowed with natural athletic prowess or doesn’t seem to have a competitive bone in his body, you can both still enjoy participating in sports created just for dogs. They will have a good time regardless, because dogs simply don’t worry about such things like winning or losing – they just enjoy the activity for what it is, and they’ll get much-needed exercise too. CANIDAE sponsors many fine canine athletes, in disc dog, dock diving and other fun dog sports.

Disc Dog is an exciting sport that’s been around since the mid-1970s and continues to be popular today, for participants as well as spectators. Using flying discs, teams comprised of dogs and their human handlers participate in “toss and fetch” events or choreographed freestyle routines. Although sometimes referred to as Frisbee Dog, the preferred name is Disc Dog since Frisbee is a trademarked brand. If organized sports aren’t your thing, you and your dog can still have fun with flying discs at the park. Dogs love chasing the discs, and you can try teaching them a few tricks too.

Dock Diving is one of the most beginner friendly dog sports there is. Dogs jump from a dock that is usually 40 feet long into a pool with distance markers that is also 40 feet long. The dogs run down the dock and into the pool to retrieve a toy tossed by the handler. To learn more about this sport, read Getting Started in Dock Diving by Dan Jacobs of the CANIDAE-sponsored “Team Missy.”

Flyball is an international sport that features teams of four dogs competing against each other in relay races. Two teams compete at a time – the first dog jumps over four hurdles and then steps on a spring-loaded box to release a tennis ball. The dog catches the ball in his mouth and races back over the 51-foot-course to the starting point. The second dog then begins the course. The dog team who finishes first without any errors is the winner.

The sport of Dog Agility involves directing your pooch through an obstacle course in a timed race. As they run up ramps, snake through tunnels and race across balance beams, you’ll need to be guiding them every step of the way, which means that you both get lots of exercise in the process.

Water Fun

Most dogs love getting wet, and many are natural born swimmers. If you have your own backyard pool, let Fido practice his dog paddle, or throw floating toys into the water for him to fetch. If your dog doesn’t like to swim, he can still have fun in the water. Buy a kid’s wading pool and designate it a “doggie pool” that your four-legged friend can splash around in to cool off on hot summer days.

When the weather heats up, a dog-friendly beach is a great place to go for a family picnic. Or, teach your dog to surf so they can “hang twenty” in the ocean like the famous surfing-for-charity canine Ricochet, or CANIDAE employee Diane Matsuura’s dog Hailey, who recently competed in the Loews Coronado Resort 5th Annual Surf Dog Competition with 65 other canine surfers.

Vacations and day trips

Hiking is great exercise for people and dogs alike, and there are many state parks across the U.S. that welcome leashed four legged hikers on their trails. Dog friendly national parks are harder to find, but they do exist. You can research them online, but be sure to confirm with the park directly before you go to avoid disappointment.

Camping with your dog can be a wonderful experience. Camping offers lots of new sights and smells for your dog, as well as some stress-reducing peace and quiet for you. As with the hiking, be sure to confirm that your chosen campground allows dogs before setting off for your rugged outdoor adventure.

If hiking and camping aren’t really your cup of tea, you can still have outdoor fun with your canine best buddy by taking him to the local dog park. He can run and romp freely, and socialize with other dogs while you chat with their owners.

Most dogs love riding in the car, and travel with ease whether you’re going on a road trip vacation or just taking a little sight-seeing jaunt around town. A road trip with your dog can make for a fun and memorable family vacation, provided you seek out pet-friendly lodging. Thankfully, there are plenty of motels, cabins and vacation rental homes that allow dogs.

Now that you have some ideas for summer fun with your dog, isn’t it time to shut off the computer and head outdoors?

Read more articles by Julia Williams

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

The Michigan Pet Expo is a “Doggone Purrfect” Event!

By Julia Williams

If you love dogs and/or cats, and you live near Detroit, Michigan, then the place to be November 20 to 22 is the 2009 Michigan Family Pet Expo. In fact, this three-day showcase for pet products and services is so big and promises to be so much fun, you might want to attend even if you don’t live in Michigan! Besides being a one-stop shopper’s paradise for all things pet-related, the Michigan Pet Expo is slated to offer a great mix of entertainment, artwork, demonstrations and attractions, including a cat show, a Petting Zoo, and a “Dancing with Dogs” competition.

CANIDAE will be at this exciting event (of course!), handing out free pet food samples and helping to raise funds for cancer research in pets. As part of their ongoing mission to foster Responsible Pet Ownership and aid animals in need, CANIDAE will once again hold a charity raffle, with a fabulous Felt Bicycle as the grand prize. Proceeds from the raffle will directly benefit cancer research projects at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

One of the highlights of the Michigan Family Pet Expo is sure to be the Dock Diving competition, where CANIDAE-sponsored Team Air Gunner will participate in the Ultimate Air Games. In this sport, dogs run down a 40-foot dock and into a swimming pool to retrieve a toy that’s tossed in by their handler. “Dock Diving” dogs can reach speeds of more than 30 miles per hour and jump over 28 feet.

Also scheduled to appear at the Pet Expo:

Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix will amuse pet lovers of all ages with their comical canine routine. Johnny Peers performs as a Charlie Chaplin-like clown with a personable pack of mutts that skateboard, walk the tightrope, climb ladders, jump rope, knock Johnny down and walk all over him (in a lovable sort of way).

Rock-N-Roll K-9’s Performance Team will enthrall crowds with their amazing athletic dogs and trainers. Cheer on your favorite canine as they race around, over, under and through the custom-made agility course, perform a hilarious musical mat routine or try their paw at flyball and high jump. Combining energetic dogs with rock-and-roll music and incredible tricks, this show is sure to leave audiences begging for more.

Cat Show & Seminars hosted by G.L.A.C.E. (Great Lakes Area Cat Enthusiasts).The club will have a special display of cats, seminars and exhibits, along with cat agility, a parade of cats, cat presentations, cat grooming and care seminars.

Paws With A Cause will demonstrate how this national agency serves people with disabilities through custom-trained Assistance Dogs. PAWS staff and their clients will demonstrate some of the many tasks dogs can be trained to do, which provides invaluable help to those with disabilities.

First Aid 4 Paws will present pet first aid & CPR training demonstrations.

Animal Adoptions: many local rescue groups are planning to participate in the Michigan Family Pet Expo. You can view different breeds of dogs and cats that are available for adoption, and speak with educated volunteers to find out which animal would best suit you and your family.

Now in its second year, the 2009 Michigan Family Pet Expo takes place at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi, Michigan on November 20 to 22, 2009. Admission is $9 for adults and $5 for children (ages 3-12); parking is $5. Please visit their website for more information, including a complete schedule of entertainment and a list of vendors.

If you’re in the area next weekend, you won’t want to miss this family-friendly event – and while you’re there, come by the CANIDAE booth to say hello and buy a raffle ticket to support cancer research in pets.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Getting Started in Dock Diving

Are you looking for a dog sport that your entire family, canine included, can enjoy? Dock diving may be just what you’re looking for! In this sport, dogs jump from a dock that is usually 40 feet long into a pool set up with distance markers that is also 40 feet long. Dogs run down the dock and into the pool to retrieve a toy that was tossed by the dog’s handler.

Both dogs and people can enjoy dock diving without a lengthy training regimen. Some teams – handler and dog – have become accomplished jumpers after just a few attempts at their first event. In dock diving, success is not measured by the distance jumped but by how much fun you and your dog had. Dogs have as much fun jumping 3 feet as they do jumping 23 feet.

Participants at these events are often asked by spectators how to get started in dock diving. First, you need a dog that is not afraid of the water. The more they love to swim the better. Your dog needs to be leash controlled in an unfamiliar environment and non-aggressive to other dogs at the event. Another important factor is “toy drive,” and the greater the drive in the dog, the easier it will be to overcome any hurdles they may encounter.

Remember, you are asking your dog to do something that most dogs are not familiar with – to run down an open dock and jump into a pool of clear water that is probably located somewhere the dog has never been before. The dock diving platform usually consists of a 6 foot high scaffolding/trailer dock that they must climb up stairs to access. It may be located in the parking lot of a sports store, or in the middle of your local state fair. It may be complete with spectators surrounding the sides of the pool and the hum of the upbeat music and pulsing voice of the announcer that stirs the crowd (and some teams) into excitement. Sounds intimidating, but most dogs overcome these distractions within minutes as they place their trust in their handler.

If you find yourself and your canine companion at a dock diving event without the benefit of practicing at a local lake or pool, there are a few things to remember. First always make it a positive experience with your dog. Remember, having fun with your dog is paramount, even if he does not jump. There will be many other handlers at the event that were once in your shoes, so use them as a tool to help you and your dog. They will be more than willing. At every step praise your dog and remember it’s his first time too so he will be just as nervous as you.

The next thing is often the hardest for handlers to do – leave your ego in the car. It is not important for a first time dog to jump a great distance. What is important is that the dog has a positive experience and they figure out what you want them to do. As you walk them up the stairs to the dock, remember to praise and assure them. They trust you. Familiarize them with the dock and lead them up and down the dock a couple of times. Confidence is building with every step and it is that confidence that will allow your dog to improve with every jump.

Take your dog to the pool end of the dock and let them take a look at the pool and its surroundings. Let the dog examine the two foot drop into the water. This is one of the biggest hurdles. Have your dog’s favorite toy (floatable & non-edible) ready and get your dog enthused about fetching it for you. Return to the edge of the dock and toss the toy 7-10 feet out onto the surface of the water. No closer as it becomes a downward dive when you want the dog to jump out. Too far and the dog realizes they cannot get that far, causing some dogs to try to run outside of the pool to get it.

Remember when you took your first dive in a swimming pool? You did not do it from the 20 meter board but rather from the side of the pool. Take your dog 5-10 feet back on the dock allowing the dog to maintain eyesight with the toy. Encourage your dog to retrieve their toy then take them off lead and let them go, all the time encouraging and praising. First time dogs will usually take a couple of strides, hesitate, then jump. If the dog jumps you are on your way!

Don’t be afraid of getting wet; give them an affectionate hug as they exit the pool, praising them on what an outstanding job they just did. Do this immediately – don’t wait until you get out of the staging area. If the dog does not jump, reset the dog and try again while keeping the positive reinforcement flowing. If he stops the second time, go to the edge of the dock and encourage him from there. If you feel your dog is not going to jump, allow them to go down the exit ramp into the pool and swim out to retrieve the toy. This helps ensure a positive experience for the dog.

Remember, you must take small steps before you take larger ones. With your help and encouragement your dog will build confidence and you will both succeed. Again, the unwritten law for all dock diving participants is “keep it fun.”

By Dan Jacobs of Team Missy
Sponsored by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.