How Can I Get My Dog Involved?

If you're blessed with a water-loving dog, dock diving may be a great sport for him. Start by attending an event, so you can talk to the organizers and other dog owners. You don't need to invest a lot of money in expensive gear, and there are divisions based on a dog's level of experience and size.

There are two basic ways to get a dog from the dock to the pool: The first, Place and Send, is best suited for speedy dogs. A handler takes the competitor to the end of the dock and then brings him back to the starting point for a temporary stay, before giving the canine a green light to jump as he sends a toy across the pool.

The second technique, Chase, caters to canines who can maintain a stay at the starting point of the dock. The handler then heads to the end of the dock, releases the dog and times his throw so that the object is directly in front of the dog's nose all the way into the water. The goal is to motivate the pup to literally chase the object into the water.

Where Can I Catch a Dock Diving Competition?

Dock jumping made its debut in 1997 at an Incredible Dog Challenge event sponsored by Purina.

Since then, more and more communities have hosted dock diving competitions.

By the end of this year, DockDogs, the largest of the three organizations, expects to host more than 300 sanctioned events in more than 150 cities. And for those who just can't get enough of the canine sport, there's also an app for that -- the DockDogs Spectator App.

"This is a fun sport that gives dogs the chance to swim, run, jump and get their adrenaline pumping," Reeves says. "I predict it will become the number one canine sport in the world because it is such a crowd pleaser."