Dock jumping is a great sport activity for dogs and their owners, and if your dog gets good enough, he can even enter competitions. Dock jumping is not something you can just go into and hope your dog will perform, there are a number of steps to follow so that he will be confident enough to jump off a board, catch a toy, and land safely in the water. This article will talk about the steps needed to start your dog on the right track, and we will assume your dog already likes water and chasing a favorite toy.
Although swimming in a lake and jumping off an embankment isn’t the same as a competition dock diving pool, it’s a great place to start out. Moreover, throwing a toy into a pond or lake will build confidence, and get him some great exercise, as well as build his muscles and stamina needed for such a sport. Initially, you want to throw his toy a small way out to see if he retrieves it with no problems, then as he gets used to jumping into the water and retrieving you can throw it further out, then maybe find a spot with a slight bank for him to jump from and see how he goes.
If the dog is nervous from jumping from certain places, don’t force it, just move to a lower incline until he is ready, it is all about confidence building. Furthermore, there is usually dog diving events in most areas so check your local paper or websites to find out if there is one near you, as most of these events will give you excellent tips and maybe even show you some hands on training. Having said that, when you do get to one of these events, always show you dog the jump platform, but more importantly the way out, which is usually a ramp, because if he doesn’t know how to get out he may panic.
Finally, the actual act of dock jumping is not as easy as it looks, because we are talking about a dog jumping from a platform, catching a toy, and him being confident enough that he will land safely in water. Having said that, it takes the both of you working together to make a good team, in order for him to be successful at this, on any level, you have to time the throw of the toy just right. Throwing the toy to high, he will not catch it, throw it too far out and he may not even jump for it because it is unattainable, it takes time and lots of practice, and not all dogs will do well at it, so just enjoy what you both can do, and who knows, you may just be the next dock jumping champion.
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