Some of the area’s best four-legged athletes showed off their abilities over the weekend competing in North America Diving Dog sanctioned event at K-9 coaching on Billings West End.
Dock diving is a sport where dogs compete by seeing who can jump the farthest into a swimming pool. It’s a sport that left many of the contestants panting with excitement.
“We have dogs here that are jumping for titles, breed rankings, and Invites for regionals and nationals,” said Pam Horner, a trainer and owner for K-9 Coaching.
While some of the dogs competing are veterans of dock diving, with national titles to their credit, others are just getting their paws wet so to speak—just picking up the sport.
“For some of these dogs it's a great outlet. Some of them are rescues and it's giving them a job and something to do to just have a better life and be comfortable in all different environments,” says Horner.
One of the dogs making a splash was a Staffordshire Terrier named Lady Di.
“I came across her on the internet and she was getting ready to be euthanized. Nobody wanted her because she was pooping and peeing on herself and terrified of people,” says Lauri Alberte.
Alberte says Lady Di’s life has changed dramatically for the better since she was adopted and began competing in dock diving.
“She is learning to like people, especially if you have a dog. And she is a superstar on the docks,” says her proud owner.
Over the weekend, Lady Di would jump to a personal best.
While some of the dogs would qualify for other events, most are just competing against themselves and having some fun.
“We celebrate all different things. if your dog gets a personal best they get a ribbon. You jump in the pool to celebrate with them. It’s just the fun and connection that you get to come and play this sport with your dog. And give them confidence in life,” says Horner.