Amusing Monday: Without a doubt, these dogs are athletes

UPDATE: July 19

Purina has posted videos of the Surf Dog competition for both large and small dogs. Check the bottom of this page to watch.
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In promotional materials, Purina calls these dogs “canine athletes” for their ability to perform and compete before crowds of observers.

This is the 20th year that Purina Pro Plan has sponsored the Incredible Dog Challenge, which features dog surfing, diving and agility contests, along with the freestyle flying disc competition, which comes about as close to dancing as a dog can get.

I’ve posted videos of the winners of the Diving Dog and Fetch It! finals on this page, including both the Western Regional and Eastern Regional competitions. If you enjoy these videos, you may wish to take time to watch the full competitions:

Both the Diving Dog and Fetch It! contests challenge the leaping ability of water-loving dogs. In Diving Dog, the canines leap off a 40-foot carpeted runway and try to go as far out as they can. The winner is the dog whose nose is the farthest when its chest hits the water.

Fetch It! uses the same runway but adds the physical challenge of touching an object at the end. The winner is the dog who is able to knock the object, called a bumper, the farthest out into the water.

While athletic ability is important, trainer Brianna Minshew of Rome, Ga., says the most important thing for a beginning dog is good obedience.

“My advice for those wanting to get into the sport of dock diving is to start off with a basic obedience class so the dog can learn to sit and/or down stay on the dock,” Brianna said on the Pro Plan’s website. “They also need to learn to track and retrieve a toy. What I believe is the most important is to find a local facility that has a pool and get proper instruction and safety tips for the dock and also to have fun with your dog.”


Brianna is staff supervisor at the Georgia Dog Gym. Her 4-year-old border collie, named Knox, took first place in the Diving Dog competition during the 2014 Eastern Regionals.

Other events in the Incredible Dog Challenge:

WESTERN REGIONAL FINALS

EASTERN REGIONAL FINALS

The Incredible Dog Challenge Eastern Regional Championship was held April 7 and 8 in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Western Regional Championship was held June 9-10 in Huntington Beach, Calif. The national finals are scheduled Sept. 29-30 in St. Louis, Mo.

The Western Regional Championships are scheduled to be rebroadcast on Aug. 3 at 9 p.m. on KING-TV, Channel 5, according to Carson International Events. I anticipate that the finals will be broadcast as well.

Note: The Surf Dog competition, also sponsored by Purina Pro Plan, is normally considered part of the Incredible Dog Challenge. It is my favorite event. So far, I have been unable to locate video of this year’s surfing competition, but I have asked the Purina folks if they have such video and can make it available. If something comes through, I will post an update.

One thought on “Amusing Monday: Without a doubt, these dogs are athletes

  1. UPDATE: July 19

    Purina has posted videos of the Surf Dog competition for both large and small dogs. Check the bottom of this page to watch.

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