Dog Diving European Championships
The sport that will make a splash at the World Dog Show
Dog diving has truly taken off: more and more dogs and people are now passionate about this sport that traces its origins back to 1997 in the USA and has since become officially sanctioned. At the World Dog Show & German Winner Show in Leipzig, the Dog Diving European Championships will be held on Sunday, 12 November.
A large swimming pool, a ramp and a sophisticated measuring system… – that’s all that is needed for dog diving. And dogs that are fond of water, of course, and leap joyfully through the air. Dog diving has long been booming in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Great Britain and Portugal. In other countries, including Italy and Slovenia, this water sport for man’s best four-legged friend is only beginning to take off now.
The World Dog Show & German Winner Show is coming at an ideal time for all who want to become more familiar with this fun sport. In Leipzig, you can just splash right in! All visitors to Leipzig can try out dog diving training with their dogs. At least from Wednesday to Friday. On Saturday – when a local tournament will be held – numbers are limited. At 13:30 on Saturday, the Leipzig Challenge will get under way, and only dogs will an over-average jump distance will be allowed to take part.
What kind of dogs is PRO PLAN Dog Diving suited to? All dogs that love water and like retrieving objects are natural candidates. Those are the prerequisites. And then there is training: the dogs can prepare for competition in a targeted fashion.
First, dogs retrieve an object on dry land. The next step is retrieving from water. In the stage after that, dogs leap from a platform to fetch an object that has been thrown into the water. In the last training phase, speed and jump distance are optimised.
The Viennese organiser of PRO PLAN Dog Diving, Alexander Dobernig, relies on an electronic measuring system to establish the speed at which a dog leaps through the air. The equipment includes a video camera mounted at a height of 4.5 metres and sports analysis software.
The video software is able to show stills from the video. The judge picks out the picture where 50% of the dog is in the water, and the software then works out the distance between the jumping-off point and the tip of the dog’s nose.
All of the participants from European countries who have already qualified nationally can take part in the European Championships – the best ten dogs per country in each class. If a class has less than ten German or Austrian starters or less than 5 starters from another European country, the starting list will be filled up with the best participants from the competition in Leipzig on Saturday. So if there are only eight starters from Austria, for example, the ninth slot will be awarded to the best Austrian dog at the Leipzig competition on Saturday. Over and above this, wild cards will also be allocated. For the best ten dogs in the Leipzig challenge – no matter where they come from. This is, after all, the World Dog Show. So dogs from China, Japan, Russia, the USA etc. can also qualify. The competition will be held in two classes: Small – for dogs with a shoulder height of 39 centimetres or less. And Large – for dogs over 40 centimetres. Come and make a splash!