Important things to bring with you at an event

  • Your dog’s MOST favorite floatable (non edible) toy
  • Crate for your dog
  • 4-foot maximum length leash (no zip or extender leashes please)
  • Flat buckle or martingale style collar
  • Poop bags
  • Water dish and water for your dog
  • Dog food for after they are done jumping or some bring high energy snacks for their dogs during a long event day
  • Blanket or sheet to cover crate if direct sun is a problem
  • Towels to dry your pup (and yourself)
  • Pop up canopy to provide shade or protect from rain and chairs to sit on
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat -OR- Raingear, waterproof shoes
  • Dog vaccination paperwork
  • Change of clothes (and spare pare of shoes) for you…just in case you go for a swim.

A few rules and information about the DockDogs event:

One question frequently asked: “Do I have to register for all the waves?” or “Do I have to jump every day of the event?” The answers are: You can register for one or all of the waves.  You do not need to be there every day, but you might want to come back on the last day to see if you dog made the finals.

All dogs MUST be crated or on a leash that is no longer than 4 feet long at all times. This is an important rule to follow.  Please understand with all of the different competitors, dogs and people watching the event, we need to make sure if we are not competing or practicing our dogs should be crated.  Retractable leashes (i.e., Flexi-Leads) are strictly prohibited.

Please keep your dog under control at all times. We ask that you maintain at least 6 feet between your dog and all other competing dogs at all times.  This is a safety issue for competitors, dogs and people who come to watch us jump.  If a youth handler needs assistance please make sure someone (preferably a family member or friend) is close by to assist

If your dog does not want to jump, DO NOT push, pull, drop or throw your dog into the water. Doing so will result in immediate disqualification.

DO NOT jump or dive into the pool; any Handler doing so will be disqualified from the event.

Please do not allow your dog to urinate or defecate anywhere inside the Dock Dogs venue. If he/she defecates; it is YOUR responsibility to clean it up. Failure to do so may result in disqualification.  We will have extra dog bags at the registration desk if needed.

Bitches in heat or injured / ill dogs will not be allowed to practice or compete.

All choke; prong, electronic collars & gentle leader’s MUST be removed upon reaching the top of the stairs on the dock during both competition & practice times.

Any harsh behavior towards dogs or general unsportsmanlike behavior may result in immediate disqualification from the event.

Check-in and Practice 

Once you are set up please go the admin tent, you will check in, sign the Waiver of Liability, and get your wrist band, which designates you as an official competitor.

There will be open dock practice times. If you would like to practice with your dog (and I strongly recommend you do), put your dog on a leash, get your throw object, and get in line behind the dock. When it is your turn, there should be someone to help you. You will get one or two jumps or a certain amount of time, depending on how many people need to practice.

The Waves

About 15 – 30 minutes before your wave begins, the Judge will call a handlers’ meeting. This meeting is imperative for all handlers to attend. If you are not at this meeting, you will be scratched! It is better if you do not bring your dog to this handlers’ meeting.

At the meeting, you find out in which group you are jumping (each wave usually has 2-5 groups) and what number jumper you are in your group. You can again, sit in your crating area, watch the dogs jump, or walk around and talk until the announcer calls for your group. But do not wander too far away. You need to be able to hear the announcer call your group to the dock.

When it is your group’s turn, take your dog (on a leash) to the back of the dock. The wrangler will be there to help keep everyone in order and will let you know when to go up on the dock for your jump. (It might help to let the wrangler know this is your first event and you need a little direction.) Beginning with #1, each competitor in your group will get one jump. You then start over with #1 and everyone gets a second jump. The longer of the two jumps is your official score.


There are six divisions in Dock Dogs as follows:

Novice           1″ – 9’11”                                               Master         20′ – 22’11”

Junior           10′ – 14’11”                                             Elite             23′ – 24’11”

Senior          15′ – 19’11”                                              Super Elite   25′ and over

Although each wave will have dogs of all levels jumping, your dog’s jump will determine in which division he is placed. For example, if your dog jumps 12’4″, he will be placed in the Junior Division. Another dog in the same wave might jump 22′ and be in the Master Division. This ensures that while your dog is jumping with dogs of all levels, he/she is only competing against dogs that jump in his division.


As you can see, it is important for you to stay until the finals participants are posted (after the last wave). Your dog could have jumped 8′ or 9′ and very easily make the Novice Finals. Remember, you dog is competing only against dogs in his/her division.

Extreme Vertical, there are no “finals”.  The finals are determined on where dogs finish at the end of competition.  

Speed Retrieve, the finals are the top 6 dogs overall.


Above all, let’s remember we are all here to HAVE FUN with our dogs!