Our Michigan Dock Diving Adventure

Our one-year-old Labrador Retriever, Finnlee, had her first swim lessons this past spring at Sit, Stay, Swim in Garden City, Michigan and was already doing a perfect water retrieve at her second session. She then spent the summer at the lake perfecting her technique and becoming a remarkably strong swimmer.


Finnlee swimming in the lake.

Finnlee is truly a natural in the water and after seeing some canine dock diving contests on television, I knew we just HAD to take her to the next level. In a quick Google search, we discovered that we had a dock driving training center right here in metro Detroit!

So today, Jason and I loaded Finnlee into the SUV and headed north to Bark-A-Bout in Shelby Township, Michigan. There, she had her first one-on-one dock diving training session with Karen, her instructor. Our pup was amazing – as was Jason as her dock handler. I, on the other hand, was mostly just really nervous!


Finnlee is raring to go while Karen instructs Jason on the proper technique for throwing the bumper.

Much of the work was Jason’s – learning how to throw the bumper properly and consistently. Within the first half of her session, Finnlee was jumping up to 12 feet and doing a full water retrieve with her bumper. The instructor explained that the key is not necessarily for Finnlee to catch the bumper mid-air but to simply enjoy the jump and retrieve the bumper.


Finnlee’s flying! A very happy dock dog!

Finnlee was so happy after her dock diving session that I would swear she was smiling! We can’t wait to take her back and since she enjoyed it so much, I’m excited about possibly getting her involved on a competitive level next year. And yes, I really would like to see her catch her bumper!

If you’re interested in learning more about canine dock diving in Michigan, please feel free to visit the links below. Happy jumping!

North America Diving Dogs – northamericadivingdogs.com

Ultimate Air Dogs – ultimateairdogs.com

Michigan Dock Dogs – michigandockdogs.com

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