Dock Diving

Dock Diving

Originally developed as a display event by Purina, North American Diving Dogs was formed in 2014 and offers diving dog titles recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC).

In dock diving, a dog jumps from a 11 – 12 meter dock (covered in artificial turf, carpet or a rubber mat for traction and safety). The dog usually sits 0.6 meters (2 feet) above the water, which is at least 1.2 meters (4 feet) deep.

The handler may use any amount of the dock and they may start their dog from any point on the dock when competing.

Each team takes two jumps in round-robin format. The longer of the two jumps is that team’s score for that competition. A jump in which the dog’s tail enters the water at a point further from the dock than another part of the dog’s body is scored using the point of the dog (for example, the head/nose) that breaks the surface of the water closest to the dock. If the dog’s strides are off so that the dog starts its jump before the end of the dock, that is a disadvantage, because the jump is always judged from the edge of the dock, not from where the dog leaves the dock. A jump is only official if or when the toy leaves the handler’s hand. The dog is not required to retrieve the toy for the jump to count.

To begin learning about dock diving, we recommend taking the following steps:

  • Make sure your dog has excellent foundation manners.  Take a course with one of CAPDT’s trainers to make sure your dog has a great recall, stands well for examination, is crate trained, has a good long down-stay (for resting between rounds) and knows their release cues (the cue your dog gets to begin racing down the dock).  These are among the very first foundation skills. 
  • Watch some of the excellent videos of dock diving on YouTube  to see if this is a sport you and your dog might be capable of “going all the way in”.  Like most dog sports, there are beginner/hobby levels and advanced competitive levels.  Think about your time, energy and finances and consider what a realistic goal is for you and your dog.
  • Find a local CAPDT trainer who offers a dock diving fundamentals or a “Try Dock Diving” course.  You can search in the CAPDT directory using the words “dock diving” and your area.
  • CKC gives Canadian dogs certificates for titles they have earned through the North American Diving Dogs (NADD) organization and the sport uses the NADD rules and regulations.  
  • Our CAPDT trainers can help you learn what you need to compete.  Many trainers will offer help and support as you move ahead in your chosen sport.
  • Most importantly, have fun!