Getting Started

Getting Started in DockDogs


So, you’d like to try DockDogs but don’t know where to start?

The best thing about this sport is that dogs and handlers of all abilities are welcome! Here are a few important fundamentals for those wanting to try DockDogs:


Your pooch knows how to swim.


Whether it be outside at a lake or pond or in a swimming pool, it is important that your dog feels comfortable in the water before trying DockDogs. Open water swimming is a great start, but we highly recommend that you introduce your dog to a pool before entering a DockDogs event or signing up for practice. Our club is lucky to be sponsored by Canine Rehabilitation & Conditioning Group (CRCG) which features an indoor 40 foot dock and pool at their Broomfield location. They can even help get your dog acclimated to a pool setting! Visit or call them at 303-762-7946 (SWIM).


Your dog has “toy drive.”


What is “toy drive?” Simply put, it is your dog’s desire to get/fetch/retrieve/possess an object (toy). The more drive your dog has, the more likely they are to succeed in DockDogs. Many people think that dock jumping is all about dogs liking the water, and while it is important that they feel comfortable swimming and jumping into water, it is more about their motivation to get the toy that you either throw in the water or hangs above it (Extreme Vertical) or at the end of the pool (Speed Retrieve). If you have a dog who is nuts about toys then this may be the sport for you!


Your dog has confidence.


DockDogs is a very noisy and high-stimulation experience for dogs. There are many distractions and dogs who exude confidence (and some attitude!) do best in this environment. Your pup should also feel comfortable being crated for extended amounts of time.


You want to have fun!


The most important part of what we do is having fun with our dogs and friends. Whether you are a beginner who has a dog that won’t jump off the dock yet, or if you are a champion team, we all share a deep love for our dogs and desire to bond with them and work as a team. You will find a wonderful network of people in the DockDogs community who are dedicated to helping and mentoring new teams and sharing insight and training advice. World record holders cheer on the newbies and at the end of the day we are all happy to share these special moments with our best friends.

Newcomers are welcome to enter an event and this is how many teams try the sport for the first time. By entering one “wave” of competition you will have access to practice (as available) for the duration of the event.


Please check our calendar for a list of upcoming seminars and events. We hope to see you on the dock soon!


 Visit our Training Page