Summer Olympics Events for You and Your Dog to Try
Fun in the sun has never been better for dogs thanks to the warmer weather and special gear designed just for dogs. Both you and your canine Olympian may have many different options. Here are some popular Summer Olympics events, along with a few of our favorite dog products to make related activities possible:
Swimming Doggie Paddle
If your dog likes to swim, consider getting it a special dog life jacket, which most large pet stores now carry. Made for dog flotation, these jackets can improve your pet’s safety during boating trips, water sports adventures and other outdoor activities. They also now come in bright colors for improved visibility and added fashion coolness.
Beach Volleyball with Your Dog
Dogs may not be able to serve or do other moves associated with the human version of beach volleyball, but ball and Frisbee games on the beach with your pet can be a blast. Look for the balls that come with a plastic arm-holder, which allows you to throw the balls farther and to pick them up easily out of sand and water.
Water Polo Dog Style
A plain beach ball can get a swim-happy dog going, but I also like the new amphibious pet toys. They come in fun shapes, like a boomerang, which aids mouth catches. These toys both float and sail through the air with ease, and they’re also easy on your dog’s mouth.
Dog agility puts dogs through an obstacle course in which they must jump and show off their balance skills and other talents demonstrated by Olympic gymnasts. Check out a local dog agility club or buy a set to turn your own backyard into an agility course.
Night Olympics with Your Dog
If you and your dog decide to stay home to watch the Olympics and would rather go out at night, try a game of fetch using a glow-in-the-dark tennis ball or Frisbee. For an added challenge, include one of the new whistling tennis balls for dogs. In the dark, only the whistle will inform you and your pet where to find it.
The dog version of the Olympics might also be within reach. This October, the CSJ CanineMax Dog Games, held in Gloucestershire, England, will include dogs and their owners from around the world. Maybe you and your pet could represent the USA? Check out our article ‘What Are Dog Olympics and Does Your Dog Have What it Takes?’ to get more activity ideas for you and your dog.
Boating With Your Dog
Can You Bring a Dog On a Boat?
For the right dog, a boating adventure is a dream come true. It’s like a rolled-down car window times 12, with great scenery, good company and fresh air for added pleasure. Swimming skills are obviously a must, along with your dog should also always wear a life jacket when on the boat. That holds true even for dogs that traditionally take to swimming quite easily. Such breeds include the following: Schipperke, Labrador Retriever, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Spanish Water Dog, Irish Water Spaniel, Newfoundland, Irish Setter, English Setter, Golden Retriever, Portuguese Water Dog and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
Prior to your dog’s first outing, check with the local authorities to ensure there are no laws or regulations around dogs being on boats.
There are some safety guidelines that you need to consider before taking your dog boating. Make up a safety plan outlining what you would do in emergency situations such as if your dog goes overboard or gets sick or injured. Include in your first aid kit some sunscreen for your dog, and also ensure that your dog has access to fresh water and shade. A leash may come in handy for any on-shore adventures.
Your dog’s first boating trip should be kept short so he can adjust to being on the water. Watch out for any sea sickness. Your veterinarian may recommend medication if the sea sickness is severe.
Gayle Martz and Delilah Smittle, authors of No Pet Left Behind: The Sherpa Guide for Traveling With Your Best Friend, suggest that you bring these items on your boating trip:
- A towel just for your dog
- A shirt or sweater made out of water-resistant material
- Lots of fresh bottled water
- Barbless hooks (if you’re going fishing)
- A pooper-scooper, unless you’re near the shore and your dog can take periodic bathroom breaks
Your dog’s life jacket should fit securely, have handles on the back, be comfortable for your dog to wear, and be a bright color to make your dog easy to see if they end up in the water.
Do Dogs Like Boating?
There are some breeds who are considered to be typically more suited to being on the water. Breeds such as: Labrador Retriever, Boykin Spaniel, Portuguese Water Dog, Schipperke, American Water Spaniel, Poodle, Miniature Schnauzer, and the Newfoundland may have sturdier sea legs than other breeds. To test the water with your dog, make their first venture out on the water a short one to see how they go. Your dog will let you know if boating is for them.
Where Do Dogs Go To The Bathroom on a Boat?
To save your dog having to wait until you can take them onshore so they can do their business, you can set up a bathroom area on your boat. There are a range of options you can try. The cheapest is to use a piece of old carpet. The drawback of using carpet is that it can become waterlogged and your dog may not want to keep using it. The used carpet can be dunked into the water to rinse off any odor.
If carpet isn’t right for you or your dog another option is to use puppy potty training pads. These are more absorbent than carpet and are easily available. If neither carpet or puppy pads work for you, you could go for artificial dog turf or a portable dog potty.
Obviously your dog will need to be trained to use their onboard bathroom, but if your dog is already house trained this shouldn’t be too difficult.
How Can I Keep My Dog Cool in a Boat?
Just as you would on land, it is important that you keep an eye on your dog while on the boat to make sure they do not overheat, potentially developing heat stroke.
There are some things you can prepare for your dog before your trip:
- Ensure you have plenty of fresh water for your dog to drink
- Fill a water sprayer with fresh water
- Have your dog groomed or de-shed him using a comb such as a Furminator
To keep your dog cool while on the boat you can:
- Keep them in the shade. A leash may be helpful to tether him to make sure he stays there
- Provide plenty of fresh water in the shade, for your dog to drink
- Spray him with fresh water using your prepared water sprayer
- Place a dog cooling mat in the shade for your dog to lie on
- Have your dog wear a dog cooling vest
The most effective way of cooling your dog down is by putting them in the water. For safety reasons the water should be shallow, and your dog should be wearing his life jacket.
Dog Dock Diving
What is Dock Diving for Dogs?
Murphy, a chocolate Lab and pit bull mix who was rescued from an animal shelter, is now one of the country’s top doggy dock divers.
Dock diving continues to grow in popularity as a sport for dogs. Competitions are held year-round, but summer is one of the best times of the year for the events. Whether your dog is an experienced flier or just learning to take off, your pet, like Murphy, could have what it takes to be a “Splash Dog.”
Diane Lundquist, who adopted Murphy with Dr. Noel Grandrath, a California-based veterinarian, explains that most events involve a portable, above ground pool filled with 30,000 gallons of water. Nearby is a 40-foot dock that is set up with a flatbed trailer. The competing dogs follow their favorite lure, be it a ball, duck toy or other coveted object, off the end of the dock before leaping into the pool.
A high-tech camera system records 64 frames per second and captures the dog’s entry into the water to judge the distance of the jump. Distance is measured from the end of the dock to the point at which the base of the dog’s tail enters the water. Dogs with the longest jumps, performed in what are known as “competition waves,” earn both numerical and honorary rankings. Since Murphy has already performed a 22-foot leap, he’s considered to be a “pro.”
The longer of two jumps becomes the dog’s score for the “wave.” Through a group called Splash Dogs, the top 12 canine jumpers can then compete in a “pro final,” while the next 12 dogs compete in an “open final.” There are also finals for dogs with junior handlers (aged 16 and under) and “Lap Dogs,” or dogs under a certain height so no participant feels left out.
Could Your Dog Dock Dive?
Lundquist and Grandrath observed that dogs who do well at the competitions usually:
- love being in and around water
- are good swimmers
- have a high toy drive, with a desire to chase toys
- are healthy and active
- have a motivated owner or handler who also loves the sport
- are at least 6 months of age
“While people are competitive and want their dogs to do well, it is also a friendly group,” says Lundquist, who adds that no one is ever allowed to push or throw dogs into the water, and absolutely no abuse or negative behavior is tolerated. Everyone cheers each other’s new bests, and newcomers are welcomed and given assistance in working with their dogs.
How Do I Get My Dog To Dock Dive?
You can give dock diving a go if you have access to a dock or a suitable bank on the shoreline of a lake, or a swimming pool. Clear the runway of any debris or hazards to reduce the risk of injury for your dog.
Your dog needs to be comfortable jumping into the water. You can encourage this by standing on the edge and throwing in one of your dog’s favorite toys for your dog to jump in to retrieve. At the beginning, it may be necessary for you to be in the water to provide encouragement for your dog to jump in.
Gradually introduce a run up to the edge of the water. You may need to have someone hold your dog if they do not have a strong stay command. Release the toy as your dog reaches the edge of the water.
If you’re interested and think your dog could be a jumping pro, consider taking these three steps:
- Join the SplashDogs.com mailing list. You will then receive information about dog dock diving events held all over the country.
- When first getting started, try to go to an event on a warm summer day. The splash of the cool water and outdoor fun will be all the more enjoyable.
- Beginners might consider participating, but not competing. This is allowed for a $20 practice fee. The payment permits owners to let their dogs jump into the pool in between the actual competition waves.
“The dogs love it,” says Lundquist, who is already looking forward to the next Splash Dogs competition.
What is the World Record for Dock Diving?
How Old is Spitfire the Dog?
The Whippet known as Spitfire, a legend in the dog jumping world, was whelped in 2013.
Article written by Author: The Dog Daily Expert