Posted Date: November 1, 2007
Set-up day for Splash Dogs made waves as over 300 dogs tried their paw at the dock jumping practice. By Anne Douglas
Most dogs that jumped on Wednesday and Thursday morning hadn't done it before. Since about 75% of the dogs were successful, spots for Sunday's Splash Dogs World Championships quickly filled up by Thursday afternoon.
"Lots of people just signed up to get their dog wet," says David Drake, the announcer for the Splash Dogs competition. "But when they were getting good jumps, they decided to join the competition. Now we're pretty much maxed out for Sunday."
This year, Splash Dogs has doubled the number of dogs that can jump. They've got two pools set up: one for practice runs for people to try it out and one for competition. About half of the people competing are new to the sport, such as Barbara Persson and her Border Collie, Speck.
At just 18 months, Speck isn't ready for agility competition, so Barbara took him to try the Splash Dogs practice jumps. "We did the practice to keep cool and he was doing really well so I thought I'd try the competition," says Barbara, gesturing toward Speck who is yipping in excitement. "He loves it and he's obviously excited to do it again."
That's the reaction the Splash Dogs organizers have come to expect. Their trained wranglers at the practice pool help dogs and handlers achieve a successful jump. They're accustomed to people like Barbara falling for the sport.
"Most new people find that it's a blast for them and their dogs. They're excited about it. Anybody can do it," says Brian Sardo, a Splash Dogs judge for the event.
The biggest jump as of midday Thursday was Sherry Robinson and Nevada, a Border Collie who jumped 23.5 feet.
Anne Douglas is the editor of DogSport Magazine (www.dogsportmagazine.com) and can be reached at email@example.com.