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Riley Goes to Dock Dog World Championship

Riley and Brenda Halverson have worked hard all year to qualify for the Dockdog World Championships… and they did it! Though Riley is not a newcomer to the championships (he was 6th in 2012 and attended last year), qualifying unto itself is quite an accomplishment! Riley has qualified and will be competing in the Big Air and Speed Retrieve competitions.

Riley's World Championship Invitation
Riley’s World Championship Invitation

Big Air is the original and most popular Dock Dogs competition. Each dog and their handler make up a team. Each team competes head-to-head against other teams to see who can jump the farthest. Each team is allotted 90 seconds to get their dog down the dock and into the water. A judge evaluates all jumps electronically using digital video-stop action technology developed by ESPN. The official jump distance is measured, and the dog that jumps the farthest wins!

The newest form of Dock Dogs competition, which was introduced in 2008, has nothing to do with the dogs ability to jump but rather its speed. In Speed Retrieve, each team is allowed to use a maximum of 20 feet of the dock surface and is allotted 60 seconds to get into the water. However, instead of measuring distance or height, each dog is racing against the clock. Upon entering the water, each dog must swim to the end of a 40 foot pool and remove the Dock Dogs designated object from a modified Extender Arm in order to complete their timed run. The dog that removes the object the fastest wins.

There will be 370 teams competing in this year World Championships, which will be held in Dubuque, Iowa in November. Riley and Brenda have their work cut out for them!

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