Dive dogs are causing a stir at Lowcountry event
Man’s best friend caused a stir in Ridgeland recently.
A large group of dogs and their owners took part in the Dog Gone Sensational Diving Dogs event July 24-25 in Ridgeland.
The dockside diving event was held as part of the North America Diving Dogs (NADD) organization. It took place at Dog Gone Sensational, a family business that offers many services for dogs and their owners.
“We are a small business and provide boarding, grooming, training, doggy day care, show dog handling and other services,” said Business Manager Chelsea Lancaster. “We have the shore diving, which is conducted through NADD. It allows dogs that come to our facility to jump remotely, and the goal is to participate in regional and national events. opportunity to prepare for the next event. “
Diving dogs is a sport in which dogs are encouraged to walk the length of a dock and jump as far as possible into the water, competing for height and distance, according to NADD.
The Dog Gone Sensational dock is 40 feet long and the wading pool is 44 feet, Lancaster said. Dogs take turns jumping into the water to retrieve their favorite floating toy, which is deliberately thrown out of reach to give them the best possible launch angle.
“NADD takes all breeds and sizes of dogs,” Lancaster said. “Even older dogs still enjoy the sport. There is a very mixed group of people from all over the state and out of state who come here.”
Some of the dog owners in attendance were from Bluffton, Ridgeland, Beaufort, Walterboro, Charleston, Savannah, upstate, as well as a few other states.
“From beginners to advanced, we get them started and then they progress,” Lancaster said. “We give out title ribbons, but there are different awards for regional and national events. There’s a lot of energy in these dogs and they’re really starting to have fun with it.”
Windi Williams Weaver, from Ridgeland, brought her dogs Tommy and Freedom to participate. Both are smooth-haired border collies.
“I’ve been involved in agility for 21 years and other dog sports so diving with the dogs was just a natural progression because dogs love to swim,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun and a great exercise for dogs. It’s another way to enjoy your partnership with your dog.”
The dogs each perform one training jump before two competitive jumps, Lancaster said.
“It’s awesome,” Weaver said of the installation. “It’s laid back, everyone is friendly, everyone supports and encourages each other. Whether your dog is jumping 10 feet or 27 feet, everyone supports each other a lot.”
Leslie Kern, of Beaufort, works with Boykin Spaniels and came to the event to give her dogs exposure to the sport.
“Our Boykins are a very versatile breed so we try to present them with absolutely every possible opportunity,” she said.
Kern said his dogs started participating in dockside diving six years ago. She brought Reign to the event in Ridgeland.
“The Boykins are one of the sporting dogs and a lot of the dogs here are webbed dogs, but a lot of them are not,” she said. “A lot of times it’s just that they have that craving for water and most dogs take it pretty easily and like it.”
Kern said Dog Gone Sensational is a great establishment for their dogs.
“It’s great for me, but I also have people who come from upstate and a few other states as well,” she said. “There are so many opportunities to work with your dog, not only with dockside diving, but also obedience and agility work. They give you every chance to excel with your dog. is really wonderful. “
Kern said she also shows her dogs and has been on bigger shows, most notably in Westminster.
“We sort of do everything,” she said. “We start training at eight weeks for a lot of different things, mainly obedience and the type of retriever, and that goes from there.”