Dock Dogs Returning To Statesboro

 More high leaping, long jumping, fast swimming DockDogs dogs than ever before are traveling to Statesboro for the third annual Anderson’s Summer Splash, a three-day event beginning Friday morning at Anderson’s General Store.

DockDogs is the trademarked name of an Ohio-based organization with affiliate clubs around the United States, plus some members and events in Canada, Great Britain and Australia.   The 2013 Summer Splash attracted dogs and handlers from seven states: Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia and Ohio.  Dogs compete in three different events, each with a trademarked name: Big Air, Extreme Vertical and Speed Retrieve.  Big Air, which usually draws the most competitors, is a canine version of the long jump. Dogs run down a 40-foot dock and jump into the water after an object. They are electronically judged for distance over the pool.  Extreme Vertical is analogous to the high jump. A bumper, somewhat like a chew toy, is suspended from a pole over the pool. The bumper is attached magnetically so it can detach. Dogs jump up to grab the toy, and after each successful retrieve the distance is recorded. The height is increased until only one dog successfully grabs the toy.  Speed Retrieve is a newer event, so far with fewer competitors. Dogs jump off the dock, swim to the end of the pool and retrieve a bumper that stops a clock.  For dogs that compete in all three events, there is also an Iron Dog ranking. Points are awarded for longest leaps, highest jumps and fastest times to determine an overall Iron Dog.

This weekend’s activities are scheduled as follows.

  • Friday will be devoted to Big Air exclusively. It begins with on-site registration and practice at 9 a.m., followed by the first “wave,” or competition bracket, at 10 a.m. and a new wave every two hours. With the final wave starting at 6 p.m., the action should last for about two hours after that.
  • Saturday, on-site registration and practice starts at 8:30 a.m., followed by Big Air waves at 9:30, 11:30 and 1:30 and Extreme Vertical at 4 p.m. The Collegiate wave is slated for 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
  • Sunday, registration and practice open at 11 a.m. Then the day’s first Big Air wave starts at noon. Speed Retrieve is a 4:30 p.m. Big Air Finals start at 6 p.m.

Stacy George

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