~ What is Chesapeake DockDogs?

Chesapeake DockDogs is an affiliate club of the World Wide DockDogs organization that sponsors regional events throughout the Maryland and Northern Virginia area. DockDogs is an exciting activity that gives the whole family an opportunity to compete and have fun with there pets.  Through DockDogs you will create friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.

~ Can my dog participate?

Labs and retrievers are most associated with loving the water, but if your dog loves to swim and has great toy drive then they can participate too. DockDogs and their affiliate clubs welcome all breeds of dogs from Jack Russells to Great Danes.

~ How do I get involved and see if my dog will like it?

If you and your dog have never tried jumping off a dock and you would like to give it a try we recommend that you attend one of our member lead Practices. For a $5 fee during the non-member time posted you can try to jump your dog and get great advice from our on-site members on how to get your dog started on their dock dogging adventure. Please ask all the questions you would like. You'll find that our members enjoy sharing their experiences and knowledge about the sport and are always willing to help others get started.

No registration is necessary to attend our practices but please make sure you look over the Basic Rules and our What to Bring Page before attending a practice.

You can also come out to our Next Event to visit us and see how a competition works.

No previous experience is needed by you or your dog so come out, give it a try and most of all have fun with your dog.

~ How do I become a member?

OK, so you want to become a member. Chesapeake DockDogs’ membership is $50 per year per family. Any family member from 7 to 107 years old can jump their dogs.To join please fill out our Membership Form and mail your payment to the address at the bottom of the form.

~ What do I get for becoming a member?
  • Your membership entitles you to participate for free at all our scheduled practices.
  • Early bird registration for all Chesapeake DockDog events through the DockDogs website
  • Wave discounts for volunteering at our events. 
  • Able to receive cash payouts for Finals.
  • You and your dog(s) get a listing on our Members Bios page.
  • You will have opportunities to provide input on the direction of the club at our member’s only conference calls.
  • Participation in our end of year holiday banquet with a prime rib meal and gift exchange.
~ What is expected of me as a member?

As a member of Chesapeake DockDogs we highly recommend your participation as a volunteer at our events. We could never put on an event without club members who sacrifice a small portion of their time at an event to help it run smoothly. We always need people to help with maintaining the dock and cutting the grass, wranglers, and people to run our merchandise booth and many others. It's easy, it's fun and you can earn discounts on your wave fees too!

Also as a member who is volunteering we expect you to handle yourself in a manner that reflects well on our club. To be courteous, friendly and respectful of other club's members and non-members that are participating at our practices or events.

~ How do I register for an event?
  • If you have come to one of our practices and feel it's time to start competing, go to the DockDogs website at www.dockdogs.com and create a free account. Once you log in go to the Events page, select the event from the calendar and click on the REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT link. Anyone can participate in an event. You do not need to be a member to compete. Online registration guarantees a spot in the wave.
  • There are a limited number of onsite registrations available on a first come basis.  All spots open and are available for registration on the first morning of the event.
  • Registration is open one hour before the first event of the day unless otherwise stated on www.dockdogs.com
  • Anyone 16 or younger must have an adult with them to sign the Minor Waiver
  • Please bring payment (cash or check) with you when you check in and sign the waiver.
  • If you are attending a multi-day event, PLEASE KEEP THE BRACELET.  There is no need to check in at any other time until the Final Bubble is posted.
~ How do I find events near me?

You can find all regional and national events on the DockDogs website (www.dockdogs.com). For Chesapeake DockDogs sponsored events please frequent our Events page.

~ What should I bring to an event or practice?

For a complete list of items that you might want to bring to our practices or an event please see our What to Bring Page.

~ I have read the Rules online, what are the major ones I need to remember?
  • No pushing your dog off the dock
  • No abusive behavior toward dogs, other competitors, or workers
  • No dogs in heat
  • No Flexi type leashes
  • No leashes longer than 4’ and keep your dogs at least 8’ from other dogs
  • Only the dog on the dock may be off leash
  • You must clean up after your dog at BOTH the event area and hotel
  • You, or a representative, must be at the judge’s/handler’s meeting in order to compete in that wave
  • No prong collars, choker collars, or shock collars are allowed on the dock.
~ Do I have to be a Club Member or National Member to compete at an Event?

No, all Club Events and most National Events are open to everyone – you simply have to register for a wave. The DockDogs World Championship is held in November and is “Invitation Only” to the “Best of the Best”. Regional Championships are held in June/July and you must be a National Member and hold either a Regional or National Title to complete.

~ It’s my first event, how do I know if my dog will jump as a Novice, Junior, Senior, etc?

When registering they’re asking for your DockDogs Title. As a newcomer, you will not have a title and this should be left blank. Every wave, unless otherwise stated, is an “Open Wave” and will have dogs from all categories competing within that wave – Novice through Super Elite.

~ What time do I need to be at an Event?

You must be at the event one hour before the wave you registered for starts. If you’re in the first wave, and it’s your first event and you want to practice, we suggest getting there earlier and have everything set-up and ready to go when registration opens.

~ How many waves should I enter?

It depends on your dog’s stamina and your budget. Most new teams enter most, if not all of the waves, to build their dog’s confidence on the dock. If you think your dog will get tired, enter less. Some dogs are raring to go at the end of an event, others need a nap between jumps, and others get tired as the event goes on. Watch your wave scores and see if you notice a trend and enter future events accordingly.

~ How do I know when I jump in a wave?

You receive your place in the running order for at the Judges/Handlers meeting 20-30 minutes before each wave. All of Group 1 takes their first jump in running order and then takes their second jump, also in running order. Group 2 then does the same thing. Pay attention to the announcer – they start calling the next group when the first group is into their second jumps. There is no break between groups – it is continuous.

~ What is the difference between a National and Regional Event?

A National Event is scored by a camera and software and run by DockDogs employees. A Regional Event is run by club members who volunteer and scored by two certified eyeball judges. Both events have Open Waves and Finals although the finals format may different depending on the club.

~ What is Big Air?

Big Air is the most popular of the three disciplines available to compete in. See our Big Air page for a complete description of the discipline.

~ How do I get into the Big Air finals?

For each wave you get two jumps. The best jump out of the two is your scored jump. The dog’s best scored jump of the weekend is used to determine if you qualify for finals.

~ What is Extreme Vertical?

Extreme Vertical is the high jump for dogs. For more details see our Extreme Vertical description page.

~ What is Speed Retrieve?

Speed Retrieve is the sprint for dogs. For more details see our Speed Retrieve description page.

~ How do I qualify for Speed Retrieve Finals?

The six dogs with the fastest speeds go onto the Speed Retrieve Finals. These finals are fun immediately after the Speed Retrieve Wave.

~ How do I earn a Title?

Besides being a WorldWide DockDogs Member, each discipline has its own requirement.

How do I earn an Extreme Vertical Title?
There are two categories that titles that can be earned in Extreme Vertical:
Cadet – under 6’
Top Gun – 6’ and over
The dog must have three successful grabs or knock-downs in the category to earn your title.  It is not based on teams, rather it is only based on the dog.  There are both Regional and National Extreme Vertical Titles – Regional Grabs go toward your Regional Title and National Grabs go toward your National Title.

How do I earn a Big Air Title?
Regional legs go toward Regional Titles, National legs go toward National Titles.  You must have 5 jumps in the below categories to earn a title:

Novice – 1” to 9’ 11”
Junior – 10’ to 14’ 11”
Senior – 15’ to 19’ 11”
Master – 20’ to 22’ 11”
Elite – 23’ to 24’ 11”
Super Elite – 25’ and up

The jumps do not have to be consecutive and they carry over from year to year.  The title goes into effect at the END of the event you earn it in.  If your first National Title is a Senior Title, you can go on to earn your Master, Elite and Super Elite Titles.  You MAY NOT go backward and earn your Novice and Junior Titles.

Contact us if you have any additional questions that weren't answered above.