Training Tuesday Blog Hop: Intro to the Dog Sport World’s Dock Diving

The Dog Sport world is still new to us, but we are quickly becoming hooked on the wide array of sports and chomping at the bit to try them all someday! This last Sunday was our first Dock Diving class. Taking a dog sport training class is a belated birthday present to myself. It is the perfect opportunity for individual bonding and socialization time.

The pup taking the Dock Diving class is Kronos. While Bella and Terra enjoy swimming, neither one  had quite the inclination to throw herself into any body of water with abandon. At the old house, Bella would go all the way around the pool to get in using the steps instead of jumping off of the side. And Terra prefers being sassy on the shoreline when dogs get out of the water (we will be working on this behavior as we go swimming together more and more).

DSC06316
Being too impatient to get all the way out before jumping in again

But when Kronos discovered water, he quickly discovered the joy of throwing himself in. He loved jumping into the pool, and from there he did the same thing when we went to the lake. He’s still learning how to swim though. He doesn’t quite understand that he can’t hitch a ride on other dogs when he’s swimming or when he gets tired. Now that it’s warmer, we will be going to the lake to swim together.

DSC01802
Kronos watching the other dogs jump-when he realized what they were doing, he starting whining because he wanted to do it too

Though we are total novices about Dock Diving, we joined the Advanced Dock Diving class. Since Kronos was already comfortable jumping off of the dock, we were told this would be ok because the classes prior to the Advanced one were mainly focused on getting the dogs confident about jumping off the dock. The ramp at the class was narrower and steeper than the one at the event, so Kronos had a little trouble exiting using the ramp to begin with. However, he quickly caught on, and by the end of the first class he was exiting like a pro! By his second turn, he was getting sleepy and he was already starting to fall asleep in his crate. He is not quite conditioned for this level of activity like the other dogs are yet. And as soon as we got in the car, he crashed.

DSC01814
Taking a quick nap in between turns

During his first few jumps, Kronos was definitely putting the “Diving” part of the name into play! He dove off the dock just for the fun of it and didn’t really care about following the toy (though he was kind enough to bring the toy back out with him once he’d jumped in). But by the end of class he was beginning to look for the toy, track it, and jump with better form according to the instructor.

Kronos_DockDivingClass
Our technique and form wasn’t great (I was told I kept throwing too soon), but that’s ok. I’m just very proud of him for sitting and waiting for his release cue, jumping off the dock, and retrieving the toy. We both had a lot of fun and know that we’ll learn more as we practice more.

BellaTerra_AgilityPic
The girls are not being left out though! Terra just got finished with her individual training class, and now both Bella and Terra have some special training and play time for Agility. Bella has already debuted in Agility and currently has two Novice Titles in NADAC. This year we are hoping for Terra to have her Agility debut-but only if we both are ready. We will not be taking the trial field until our relationship and communication has a solid foundation. We’ve seen some teams at trials where the dog is running around basically by itself or where the handler is trying to give cues, but the dog is blatantly disconnecting or jumping up and nipping the handler; Terra would have definitely been one of those dogs if we had already debuted.

The Dog Sport world is incredible! I only wish I had discovered and pursued it sooner! There are so many options from Rally and Obedience (probably what we won’t be participating in, because the dogs find it boring to be given a command that they must obey) to Carting and Scentwork (both of which we do want to try in addition to Herding, Agility, Frisbee, maybe Freestyle, and Dock Diving).

We were introduced to a few of the Dog Sports at the Paws for a Wish event in Phoenix a few months ago. Terra and Kronos tried Lure Coursing; Bella and Kronos did their Herding Instinct Tests; and Kronos got his first taste of Dock Diving. You can see all of Kronos’s first experiences with the three different sports in the following video:

 

Bella has gotten to try Lure Coursing at one of the Arizona Jack Russell Terrier Rescue’s Fun Run Days (it took her awhile to feel confident enough to run on her own), and Terra had her Herding Instinct Test and a more in depth session at a pre-arranged place after the Paws for a Wish.

We are so excited to learn more about the Dog Sport World and try our paws at more of the sports for fun.

What sports are you involved in with your dog? We would love to hear!

We would also like to take a moment to announce and congratulate the winner of the Honest Kitchen Giveaway: Mallory!
Make sure to check back for more fun giveaways and chances to win things for you and your furry friends!

Live Life to the Fullest,

Tiffany, Bella, Terra, & Kronos
Tiffany, Bella, Terra, & Kronos

9 comments on “Training Tuesday Blog Hop: Intro to the Dog Sport World’s Dock Diving

  1. This is so fantastic!! I absolutely love hearing about how it went with Kronos’ first dock diving experience – it really inspires me to get out there with Mort. We’ve done so much stuff at the lake, I wonder if he’ll be a bit more wary of the dock (his first water experience involved a dock – he threw himself off the end with wild abandon).

    I have some videos of Mort’s first attempt at agility (although it was on “play size” equipment) – I should see if I can dig it up. Little dude really loved it, and I saw him always looking to me for what to do next which is what made me think “here’s a potential agility dog!” So different than Tig, who looked at me with the “seriously?! This is stupid.” face and then flopped in the grass to gaze at butterflies and stray cats. The funniest one was where everyone thought she was scared of the tunnel, and I knew it was just her not wanting to do it despite all the encouragement and favorite treats in the world. Finally she went through the tunnel, stopped on the other end, then looked at me with the “FINE. I did it. Happy now?!” face while everyone was “YAY! She got over her fear!” — ha. Sigh. 🙂

    1. I bet Mort will do just fine on a dock! Actually, I really believe that real life experiences make it easier when translating into a dog sport! i.e. for Agility we will do random stuff when out and about, and Bella and I did what we called “Forest Agility”-jumping on logs, over logs, running down logs, etc., so I’m hoping that when the dogs see a real Agility course, they’re like “pssht-this is a piece of cake!”
      I want to see Mort’s first experience on play equipment-let me know when you find it! 🙂
      Tig says she wants to maybe try something else! Maybe lure coursing? Or scenting? Or carting! 😀

      1. Found it! This was his first agility class – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152009709476882 (and yeah, he’s a huge urban agility fan! Forest agility would be even better!) We tried lure course with Tig, and she thought it was stupid. Mort thought it was the best.thing.ever and sprinted like he knew what to do from the second we stepped on the course. She was all “it’s a bag, dummy. I’ll run with YOU but that thing is a bag.” So we sprinted together until I ran out of breath 😉 Scenting could be a real good one – I think I’ll try that in our house. Hopefully she won’t be all “uh, that’s a box and the reward isn’t worth it. I’ll just wait until you’re ready to feed me properly.”

        1. Mort did great for his first time! He’s a total natural and his focus on you was incredible 🙂
          LOL Oh Tig! haha Ok, maybe Herding? Or she could just work on her smile and become a full time model for Stylish Canine ;P

          1. Oooh, she can herd! Her first eval (sheep) she just… did it. Kept all the sheep right with the lady she didn’t even know (and she’s shy of strangers!) It was so cool I had tears. Her second eval it was too hot, so she thought about herding (geese) and the mama goose raised her wings at her and Tig went “OK, I’m out” and lay in the shade. Can’t say I blamed her 🙂

  2. How great that you have a natural amongst your dogs. Scooter doesn’t mind going in off the beach into big surf but he still won’t take the plunge from a bank. Likes a sloping start for his water entry. Very envious. Will be sharing on Twitter.

Leave a Reply