llombardo, this was at a big pet fair and actually a bit confusing for everyone. Odin's mom (Sue) and I didn't really care cause we just showed up to participate in the 'dock diving familiarization' part of the event.
We showed up early (10:30 am? GET THERE EARLY !!!) and the 'practice' was supposed to start at 11 am for everyone (newbies like us PLUS people entered). Because at noon, 2 pm and 4 pm there was the 'real' dock diving with ribbons and titles if you were entered. So there was a mix of us in line that knew what they were doing and then knew nothing at all (me
After watching, I DEFINITELY recommend making sure the people running the event know you are green and need help. The guy was helping us but also called away to help with the running of the event if he thought people knew what was what. We did NOT so he was a huge help.
FIRST you need to just get your dog used to the ramp. It's a bit bouncy, was too narrow for me to walk up WITH my dog, and all the new dogs were a bit careful initially. my Osin had to go up, over and in the water 3 times before allowed on 'the dock'.
Then when on 'the dock' all the newbies went a bit slowly and cautiously WITH the dogs to the edge where we would throw the toy and get the dogs in (yes, I pushed Osin the first time but when I was supposed to with the coaching help
). Then important to get the dogs to go to THE RAMP and not back to where we had been on the dock, and you can see all that initial confusion on Odin's (the second) video.
TAKE YOUR DOGS FAVORITE FLOATING TOY!!!! I wasn't as prepared and hadn't really practiced at home in water with a specific floating toy. Sue (Odin's mom) had so as soon as he saw 'the toy' he already really knew what was coming (SWIMMING!!! after my toy!!!) and I think that helped him get it a teeny bit faster to jump in then Osin.
EVERYONE SHOULD DO THIS if they get a chance. So much fun!!! And the general socialization of the place was great too.
Would help to have someone there to FILM! The reason Osin didn't get much time on her video is because Sue was holding onto Odin and he was SO CRANKED UP watching Osin and I on the ramp that most of her filming was un-usable. We didn't make it to the level that we left our dogs at one end of the ramp so they could get a running start to get to us and the thrown toy. But if you DID make it to that level, having someone hold the dogs would be a huge benefit. They are VERY cranked up and don't like to hold their stay.