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Does anyone here do really competitive dock diving?

My 3 year old is a real water fiend, and she's a pretty athletic little psycho. Launches herself off our pier, boat launch piers, lake bar piers, any piers, all the piers. I was thinking about entering her in some late summer dock diving things for fun, and then realized I have zero idea what the trial protocols are, how much trained technique is involved to actually be competitive, if new people are hardcore snarked at, the usual.

Aaaaaaanyone here competing? I scanned the website, but firsthand info is always better. :)
 

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We dabbled in it. It was Tom's sport with Halo so there was never any actual training beforehand, lol.

All the events we did were Splash Dogs. How they did it was you paid for however many "waves" of competition you wanted to enter. You could also just sign up for practice, which in SD was the same price as a wave. If it was your first time you'd have a certain amount of time, 5 minutes I think, and someone would be there to help you if necessary. They'd have you take your dog off the exit ramp first, so it would know how to safely get out of the pool. Practice would be before and between waves. Once your dog was going off the dock you'd get two practice jumps and then go to the end of the line. You'd get as many tries as there was time for before they closed practice for the next wave.

Halo went in off the exit ramp twice, Tom took her up on the dock, she went off twice, and I went over to apply her practice fee to a wave. Since practice time was included in the price to compete, if you weren't sure your dog would actually jump that worked out well. If they didn't, you could still practice all day for that one wave fee. If they did jump, you could sign up for as many waves as you wanted. Each wave was also two jumps, with the best one counting.

ETA: I found the SD organization and competitors to be very supportive of newbies. A lot of the dogs were like ours - just there to have some fun.
 
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We're newbies ourselves and don't do it competitively because it just started up last summer here, but they're starting to bring it in now that there's huge interest. It's exactly as @Cassidy's Mom puts it. I'm not sure what it's like competitively, but practice wise our fee is $20 for drop in and that guarantees 5 dives. Within each dive, you get about 5 minutes each, so it works out really nicely. They have three trainers on hand at all times at our location - one in the pool with you, one around the gate, and another around the fenced perimeter just incase. They encourage you to bring a swim suit in case you want to get in and help your dog to go in. They don't allow beginners to jump off the dock, instead they practice on the exit ramp and do lots of slow, positive encouragement. They're very receptive to newbies and super positive. Last year Ryka was a pro at retrieving a pool noodle... for some reason it was the only thing she'd go in after, hahaha.

 

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I've never competed with my dog, but I have been at several events where they had Dock Diving going on. Here in the MI, Ultimate Air Dogs seem to have the most frequent events, and they've been the hosting organization for all but one of the DD events I've been to.

UAD people (staff and participants) seem to be really welcoming to newbies. I asked a little bit about the sport at the first event I ever went to, and they were great! Very friendly and encouraging to my friend who was thinking about getting her husky involved sometime in the future, as well.
 
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I've competed with one of mine in Dock Dogs and NADD. We are members of the local dock dogs club. While I have certainly never known them to be very snarky to newcomers...I would not say they are unwelcoming I guess but neither have they been very helpful.

I've been going to member practices for I guess two seasons and only twice ever has anyone offered to give us any pointers on how to improve our performance etc. I don't really care because I don't have any desire to be competitive at it, my dog is big and heavy enough he will never beat the mals. He is happy, he loves it, and I am too big of a physical mess to really even do a great job throwing the toy so whatever. It's fun and that's all we care about. Our club is basically like show up and do your thing.

There is one couple who is quite nice and did offer to help me try speed retrieve with my dog once. My dog did not want to jump without seeing me throw...he didn't really get it. He just likes to jump when I throw and he thinks it's rad that he gets to fly for a minute. Literally every picture I have of him taking off he has this gleeful little grin on his face.

NADD people were helpful when we showed up to our first event in that venue. At least at the ones I've been to Dock Dogs plays way louder music ha ha...the sound track was good though so we were into it.

My biggest thing between the two is that Dock Dogs you get one jump and then have to wait in line all the way through again the get your second jump. NADD you do both jumps while you are on the dock so like half as much standing in line. My dog got really jacked up in line and wasted all his energy that way and he last jump was way better in NADD than Dock Dogs and I attribute it to all the energy he wasted in line feeding off all the other freaky dogs. I may have been able to do a better job with him in line at dock dogs to solve that problem. It's a long way to practice and we don't always get to go so, we will never be awesome at any of it but it is tons a fun.
 
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