Launched in 2000, Dock Dogs competitions pit canine athletes against each other in a contest to see who can leap the furthest, jump the highest, and swim the fastest. Since starting out, the young sport has grown rapidly; it now has over 10,000 participants around the world.
One of the biggest events on the circuit is the Eukanuba Dock Dogs competition at the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado, where dozens of dogs and their owners converged the weekend of June 7 to test their mettle in three different events. Many took the plunge, but only a few emerged at the head of the pack.
A German shepherd soars over the crowd during the Big Air event. Much like the human long jump, the Big Air has dogs jump after a toy with the aim of covering as much horizontal distance as possible. Flour, a border collie from Vail, won this year's event.
Lab with ball
From mountain bikers to runners, athletes in almost every outdoor sport today compete wearing GoPros. As this lab proved, dogs are no exception.
While dogs of all types compete, Labrador retrievers are one of the most popular breeds in Dock Dogs competitions
Not every dog is wild about the water. Some, like this Australian cattle dog, couldn't be lured into the drink.
They may not have won any awards, but a few smaller dogs, like this Boston terrier, got in on the action
Besides the Big Air, dogs can participate in two other events. The Extreme Vertical is the canine version of a high jump, with dogs leaping up to grab a toy suspended in the air.
In the Speed Retrieve event, dogs are timed to see how fast they can retrieve an object from the other side of the pool
A vizsla waits his turn on the dock
A German shepherd takes the plunge in the Big Air. The current world record for the event stands at 31 feet.
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