Dock Diving

--"Cochiti", the longtime record-holding dock dog--bred, owned, and trained by Diane Salts. Photo Credit: Julie Ward

Another relatively new sport that is growing in popularity among dog owners is Dock Dog or Dock Diving. While Whippets are not normally considered a breed that enjoys the water, and their lack of natural buoyancy makes them indifferent swimmers compared to the water retrieving breeds, a few Whippets are making their mark at the sport of Dock Diving because their athleticism suits them well to the Big Air competitions, where the ability to launch with tremendous acceleration off of a dock into a long, rectangular pool and landing as far as possible away from the edge of the dock gains the dog the best score.

A racebred Whippet from Washington State, "Cochiti", was a longtime record holder in this division and is the 2013 Big Air Super Elite World Champion, and has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.  However, 2018 has been a banner year for Whippets in this sport and we've seen the world record fall several times, with the current record holder being a racebred Whippet bred by AWC Member Annie Kelsey of WildAbout Whippets in Indiana but residing in Michigan--"Slingshot"--with a spectacular jump of 35 feet, 3 inches.  To see an aerial drone footage of this record breaking jump, go HERE

Although this sport is not one which is in any respect part of the traditional purposes of the breed, if you have a Whippet that does not hate the water, and if an opportunity to try Dock Diving with your Whippet presents itself, why not give it a try? You might find you have the next Dock Dog Big Air contender! That some Whippets have actually done quite well at this sport is just another example of the amazing versatility found in the Whippet breed.

There are a number of organizations which sponsor dock diving and offer titles.  Although the dock setup can be similar, the titles and rules and competitions offered have some variation, so be sure to know which organization is sponsoring the events you plan to attend with your dog and familiarize yourself with their various rules and requirements. Most require that you pay a registration fee for each dog before their first official entry.  North American Diving Dogs is the only organization which has titles recognized by the AKC, and the UKC (United Kennel Club) also offers their titling version of dock diving.  There are additionally other independent dock diving organizations that offer their own titles and competitive events, so people who participate may choose to focus on one particular group or pursue titles with multiple groups depending on how important AKC recognition of their titles is, or not, to them.  Additionally, there are state and regional differences in which organizations are more active in offering events.  More information can be found under these groups:

North American Diving Dogs

Dock Dogs website

Ultimate Air Dogs

UKC Dock Diving

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