It's not exactly an Olympic sport, but canine dock diving is catching on and a Tucker businesswoman has an emerging star in the field.
Nathan Jr., a three-year-old Pit Bill-German Shepherd mix, is competing in 's DockDogs qualifying event, starting today, July 27, through Sunday, July 29, attempting to win an invitation to the DockDogs World Championships.
His proud owner, Heather Gulden of told Patch: "We are very excited about this upcoming event. We just returned home from the Eastern Regionals where we placed just shy of the Top Four placing needed to go to the World Championships in November (we finished sixth) so it is nice to have another shot here at an invite."
Dock jumping is fairly basic - dogs jump into water, catch something in the air, and judges measure the distance travelled. The competition at Stone Mountain feature all three DockDogs disciplines. Big Air is where the dog jumps for distance; Extreme Vertical is where the dog jumps for height, and Speed Retrieve is where the dog jumps and swims for the fastest time.
Nathan Jr. and Heather's team earned both Master and Elite titles with the national DockDogs organization within the last two years. In Charleston, SC earlier this year, Nathan Jr. jumped well over 20 feet.
Gulden is hoping their winning streak continues after a sixth place finish in the Master Division at the DockDogs Regional Championships in McHenry, MD.
"People we know are super excited to be able to come see Nathan jump (in Stone Mountain)," Gulden said. "They always are hearing about us on our travels but to be able to really show what us and our friends are doing all the time is really exciting!"
These events are open to all - mutts and purebreds alike. According to DockDogs CEO Grant Reeves, top-ranked dogs in the sport from all over the country will compete for a chance to qualify for the DockDogs World Championship in Dubuque, IA, in November. "This is our first time here at Stone Mountain, and we expect our event to be a huge success in such a family-friendly environment. Everyone loves dogs and water sports. We are excited about sharing this event with the Atlanta area," Reeves said.
Gulden added: "How do I think we'll do? I can't jinx us so I am just going to say that we hope we do well no matter what. The invites and titles are great but most of all, I love dock diving with Nathan so any chance we get to play is a good day for us!"
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