Dock Diving with LARPBO

This past weekend was a water-filled weekend for Jake.  The only hiking I did with my dog was at Huntington Beach.  Mainly, I wanted to see if Jake was a water dog.  That was Saturday.

On Sunday, I took him to a dock-diving class with the Los Angeles Responsible Pit Bull Owners group (LARPBO). You don't have to own a pit bull or bully breed dog to participate in activities that this group offers.  They are first and foremost interested in helping individuals become responsbile pet owners. In the process of doing this, they try to re-define and counteract the bad press that pit bulls and bully breeds have fallen victim to.  Check out their video at the end of this post!  And if you're in the Los Angeles area, check out their calendar on They have training and activities offered throughout the Los Angeles area.

Back to Dock Diving.  Have you ever seen a dog dock dive?  It's pretty impressive.
Usually, the Dock Dog clubs  will set up an above ground pool. The dock is a raised platform at on end of the pool. The usual length of the pool?  From what I saw, it is at LEAST 25 feet. The dog will sit towards the back of the platform. The handler holds the toy and stands close to the water's edge. At the command, the dog gets a running start towards the handler. At a certain point, before for the dog reaches the handler, and in order to make the dog leap off the platform, the handler tosses the toy into the air at the right height and the right distance so the dog maximizes the distance of his jump.  Of course this take loads of practice to get the timing right.

What's my first hurdle? Get Jake in the Water!

He's not a natural water dog, not like Golden Retrievers or Labs. He usually just looks at the stuff and may stick his foot in it, but that's it. So I thought training water retrievals would be a chore.  With LARPBO it was EASY.  They provided the life jacket and I provided the dog, crate, towels and toy. 

After becoming comfortable in the water, Jake started to focus on the toys around him.  Jake has a high toy drive,plus he's still a young.  So it's not difficult to get him to engage his attention with a toy.  Once he discovered it was ok to dunk his head a bit, and trust that nothing would happen to him, he was totally focused on retrieving toys.  His favorite? The Wubba Toy by Kong.  Not any color either, he wanted the RED one.  Dogs may see in black and white, but there are gradations of black....also called gray, that attract their attention.  Jake also likes red frisbees....go figure.  How do I know? When I took him to the training class, the trainer laid out different colors. He chose the red every time.  Maybe red smells different...

Check out Jake's video when he first discovered he could swim to a toy to retreive it. The trainer then showed him where the island in the pool was. I can't wait to get him involved in this sport!

Sometimes it's not all about hiking.  Sometimes it's all about the FUN.

Happy Trails!

Los Angeles Responsible Pit Bill Owners (LARPBO)