CHEK Upside: Nanaimo business providing lessons in dog dock diving

WatchPooch Pool School is Vancouver Island's only training and competition facility dedicated to the sport of dog dock diving.

They can run fast, fly high and make a splash.

They are the dock diving dogs of Pooch Pool School.

“This is quite an exciting sport for the water dog and they high toy drive dogs,” says the school’s owner Kim Sirett.

Dock diving is essentially long jump for dogs, with the pool providing a cushioned landing.

“They run the length of the 40-foot dock and they leap in the air for their favourite toy and they’re measured on their distance, where they land, ” says Sirett.

There’s also categories for the fastest toy retrieval and the greatest height. The sport has been growing in popularity in recent years, but until Pooch Pool Vancouver Island had been lacking a dedicated facility for competitions and training.

“You know [with] COVID I got a little bored hanging out and thought you know what why not, we need it,” says Sirett.

The facility is drawing rave reviews from dog lovers across the island.

“This is great because I have a pool at home but it’s only a 20 footer and I’m always afraid [my dog] is going to overreach it and this I don’t have to worry about,” says dog owner Kimberley LePoidevin.

“It’s perfectly set out, the lines are here, we can set ourselves up so that we’re getting the perfect jump off the edge,” adds fellow dog owner Shayla Cusworth.

The pool isn’t just for experienced jumpers. There are also swimming classes for dog owners looking to build their dog’s confidence around water.

“We’ve had some really good success already with dogs just starting,” says Sirett.

“It’s really fun to see the progression so quickly and that we’re supporting that,” adds Sirett.

Pooch Pool School is available by appointment only and is slated to host its first competition Aug. 22. To learn more about the school and dog dock diving, visit their website.

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Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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