If you’re looking for something exciting to try with your fur friend—Jasper’s Splash Zone has a new, state-of-the-art facility in Lafayette that offers dock diving and “drag racing” for your dog. Dock diving is an aquatic sport for dogs where they compete in one of the following competitions: jumping distance, height or speed of retrieving the object their owner threw. Dogs that compete in all three are called Iron Dogs. “Dueling dogs is essentially dog drag racing,” says Owner Yvet Montiel. It involves the dogs all lining up next to one another (each in their own lane) and racing to retrieve a toy at the end of the pool and drag it back to their owner.
“We get a range of skills when dogs first come to Jasper’s,” says Montiel. “Some don’t even know how to swim, others are already jumping off our docks, getting both height and distance.” Jasper’s teaches the dogs to retrieve, but they also teach the owners to throw. “People think this is all about the dogs, but it’s also about the owner’s throw and their timing with the dog. We teach all of that here.”
Best in Show
All dogs are welcome at Jasper’s with a reservation but some breeds outperform the others. In 2005, when Montiel first got involved with dock diving, labs and retrievers were leading the pack. “Now, people are breeding dogs specifically for this like lurchers and whippets.” The dogs, however, don’t seem disheartened by the overachieving set of the pack. “The dogs absolutely love it here. People say their dogs start getting excited the minute they turn off the freeway. One dog even jumped out of their owner’s truck and started running towards us just like that Budweiser commercial with the horses.”