August 22, 2005
The Dock Dogs
Here is Roddy Reynolds of Lookout Mountain with Star, one of the Dixie Dock Dogs. These dogs, mostly Labs and Chesapeakes, are trained to jump as far as they can off a dock after whatever toy you can entice them with.
It is an awesome sight, and the sport has organized and grown to national caliber competitions that have been on ESPN. The elite class dogs can jump more than 23 feet! They use digital video technology developed for the Olympic ski jumps to get the "photo finish" for measuring.
Here Roddy is just demonstrating a training exercise used for new dock dogs. He is a master dog trainer - those dogs hang on his every command. He breeds and trains hunting dogs, mostly Chocolate Labs, and has two that consistently compete in national competitions including Jack, his dog sponsored by Rock City. I've got a few other good pics of Star and her brother Hoss that I may post on my Flickr (link to left).
I love dogs (there are two in particular) and I love to watch them perform skills like agility, disc catching and fly ball. Recently they added a competition to the dock jumps called extreme vertical. It is a jump for a fixed chew bar that is a real audience crowd pleaser because of the instant gratification in whether the dog can grab the bar. Kind of like watching a field goal being kicked, I guess.
The group will have a fun jump at the Show & Sell in Rock Spring, Ga. on September 24, and then will be hosting a sanctioned trial at the Rock City Barn in Flintstone on October 15.