Last year we didn’t make it, this year however, we went to Dock Dogs in Clayton NY and thought we’d try what everyone else is raving about. While I live here since Dec. 2010, it was the first time I actually took a trip out to Clayton. I must say, it is a beautiful place with a gorgeous scenery. What wasn’t very fun, was the noise from all the Motorboats. While Clayton is amazingly beautiful, just the noise from those Motorboats would drive me crazy. They were pulling up, into the small Docking Area right around the time, the Competition started.
Another Highlight of the day was Sailing Ship Lynx. What a beauty and what a gorgeous day to take her out for a stroll.
Nala had a blast. She was going nuts over the atmosphere. So many people, dogs and especially TOYS, TOYS and more TOYS. She didn’t know where to look. We got there right at 0900 in the morning to register. Since it was her first time jumping, the Staff told us not to cross in for any of the competitions and wait until after the first practice run. I knew she’d jump from the beginning, there was just no way she wouldn’t jump. I knew she might hesitate for a split second but there was no way she would not jump. However, having them jump into a lake, pond or river is different from jumping into a pool. She’s been in a pool with super clear pool water at a friends place, in San Antonio but that all was a good while ago. That being said, there is jumping and JUMPING. Nala isn’t a competitive jumper, it’s the first time she’s been doing it and she had a blast. Trying to figure out what works best for the dog, to get the most out of the dog, takes time.
The staff was amazing. They stood by the side, giving tips how to do it. They told me to toss the toy 8 feet, not any further. What did I do? I tossed it way out there. Nala jumped, but it wasn’t a good jump. Second jump went better, third and fourth training jump she nailed it and I was told to start tossing it out further. Meanwhile I switched over to actually have her in drive, let her see how I toss the toy, pulled her back and then let her go.
I probably should have pulled her back further than I did, so she could pick up more speed and get a better jump but I sticked to the advise of the Staff. Either way, she jumped a wooping 11’10 feet. I didn’t expect anything. I went there for the fun and to try out something new. Since she is an untrained dog that went for the first time into a Dock Jumping competition I was happy that she jumped that kind of distance at all.
All in all she got to jump 8 times. 6 Practice Jumps and two for the competition.
Some of the dogs wouldn’t jump at all and one seasoned dock jumper shut down completely during the competition, so their handlers tried to hype them up within the waiting line. Playing with them, trying to get them interested into the ball or simply trying to pass time. For Nala that was pure torture. She is so darn driven, she didn’t know where to look, so I stayed away from most of the commotion and either walked around or sat down somewhere else. I tried to keep her calm, more or less successful. She was ready to go, the second we got there and she saw a handler and his dog on the dock and she didn’t care that she had to compete against the current World Record Holder and/or World Champions. The only thing it was about, was fun, and we sure had that, today.
I met a young woman with a gorgeous black and red German Shepherd who was very nice and filmed her first official jump.