Sunday, April 7, 2013


I took the dogs on a spur-of-the-moment trip up to a dock diving practice in the Portland area. I only learned about it with almost exactly enough time to get there on time, so tossed the dogs in the car and started driving.

Dock Diving-1072

Pallo, you may recall, doesn't dock dive. He thinks jumping off a perfectly good dock is stupid. He will swim, if he can walk into the water. But jump in? No way.

Koira, on the other hand, loves dock diving. She had a bit of trouble at this practice location though. First, the water is a really deep green color, which I think threw her off at first. She was really reluctant to leave the dock the first time when I did a place and send with her. Once she finally did jump, the set up they have made it hard for her to find the ramp to get out- she swam to the side of the pond, then couldn't get to the ramp due to barriers, and couldn't get to me due to a fence around the pond.

Dock Diving-1073

I think Koira was reluctant to jump at that point because she didn't know how to get out. We have done most of our swimming at lakes and rives, and most of our dock diving at a pond that she can climb out of anywhere along the shore, so having to turn 180 and come back toward me to get out was foreign to her, and with the barriers, it was impossible for her to get to me once she swam to the shore. 

We ended up moving over to the shorter (both in length and in distance above the water) training dock, to try to get her to turn 180 and return to me. Unfortunately, I think that the confusion on where to get out and the cold water combined to make her reluctant to jump at all. She was still having fun, I think, but was stopping at the end of the dock every time before launching herself off, whether I did a place and send or a hot throw.

Dock Diving-1074

I dried Koira off, put her coat on, and put her back in the car to warm up. Then I grabbed my camera and took some pictures of a friend of mine's dogs learn to jump for the first time. Of course, it started raining like mad a few times, but everything was so wet already that it didn't really matter much, except to my camera. I ended up pulling out the umbrella from my emergency kit in the car and using that while shooting. It kind of made me feel like a failure of an Oregonian though (for those of you not from the awesome rain forest that is Oregon, real Oregonians own umbrellas, but never, ever use them- ever). 

Once Koira was warmed up, I brought her back out for a few more jumps, and she was doing much better- hesitating at the end of the dock still, but not coming to a dead stop. She still wasn't quite getting the concept of coming back to me to get out. She would turn back to me if I was close than the shore, but headed to the shore if her jump took her in that direction.

We'll for sure be doing some more dock diving. I am thinking of getting Koira a neoprene vest to help keep her warm on cold jump days or if we swim in cold rivers or lakes over the summer. And I'll have to think about if this particular practice area is a place we want to return to, with the issue of Koira finding the ramp. I don't want to turn her off the sport by making her have trouble getting out of the water.


  1. How fun! I wonder if there are clubs for this in our neck of the woods.

  2. The second picture is awesome. What a great action shot!

    Can't wait to get my hands on a DSLR. My iPhone camera just ain't cutting it.

  3. That sounds like a really awkward location! Koira still looked like she was enjoying herself in the pics. :)

  4. How fun!!! Koira looked like she was having a great time! Love the action shots!!! Thanks!

  5. I'm jealous! I always wanted to try dock diving with the toller!

  6. Great pictures! Where were you standing? It almost looks like you were out in the water.....

  7. Awesome pictures!!! I love that while we were on some boring dog walk, you were off doing this!

  8. Taryn- I was on the other side of the pond, using my 70-300mm zoom lens to get right into the action.

  9. Karma would probably love dock diving, given a beach and a willing ball thrower, she'll dive in and out of the water all day. Quasar thinks water is for drinking, so I don't hold much hope for making a dock diver out of him.