Most of us have played a game of fetch with our furry friends. Now there's a new sport that's quickly growing in popularity all over the country that takes fetch to a whole new level.
Not only is it fun but its also a great way to beat the heat.
From energetic Marlow, a large golden retriever to frisky Feather, a young Labrador retriever who's a brown blur flying through the air, these pups aren't just excited to fetch their tossed toy, they're fearless when it comes to retrieving.
"This is fun," said Emily Forsyth, president of Dock Dogs. "Dock Dogs is the fastest growing sport in the United States. It's where the dogs jump off a 40-foot dock into a swimming pool. Any dog can do it, no matter mixed breed, full breed, small dogs or big dogs. We just have a lot of fun."
And Emily says that's evident by happy wet wagging tails, repeated dips back in the 26,000 gallon pool and excited scampers off the dock after their floating prizes.
So what is the point of this? Service? Rescue Training? No. It's just for agility and fun.
"It's something the team handler and dog can have together," Forsyth said. "It doesn't require a lot of training just bring your dog out, We do a little work to get them in the pool and before you know it they're jumping. I've seen dogs come out that don't even like water and we get them out and into the water."
Granted some pups might be a little hesitant to take that first leap of faith, but Forsyth claims it doesn't take long before most are jumping like pros.
"We can train a dog in a day to come in and jump," she said. "You come down here Saturday and get your dog jumping. It just depends on the dog and the drive the dog might have."
And that's when the competition heats up
"We've got people coming down from Ft. Worth, Dallas, Louisiana, Houston area as well as lots of people from San Antonio," Forsyth said. "There's three different venues we'll be doing this weekend. One is called big air, that's where they jump for distance. Then we have speed retrieve which is where dogs jump from the dock, swim to the end of the pool and retrieve a bumper and that's based on time. And the latest thing that's really exciting to watch is extreme vertical. Where the bumper is extended eight feet out from the dock and the start height is four feet, six inches from the dock."
But if just having some fun is more your style of sport, a simple $10 fee will gain you and your pooch all day access to the pool.
"It doesn't matter how far your dog jumps," Forsyth said. "They can jump one inch or 20-feet as long as you're having fun with your dog. The dog really does not care how far they jump they really just want to get in the water."
Over and over and over again. Just don't forget their favorite floating toy.
If you would like to participate in the dock dogs event - you can find them at the Freeman Expo Hall at this weekend's Texas Hunting and Outdoor Classic. Admission is $7 for adults - children under 5 years old are free.
Dogs must be at least 6 months old to compete and handlers must be at least 7 years old.
To train or play its a $10 fee; $25 fee to compete.
For more information visit www.dockdogs.com.