Preparing for DockDogs World Championships!

After months of waiting we are now only 3 days away from the start of DockDogs World Championships! Bailey qualified for this invite-only event back in July and now we are getting ready to make the long (long, long!) drive to Dubuque, Iowa. In anticipation of Worlds, I’ve created several pieces of Bailey “swag” including trading cards, t-shirts, a decal, and a banner. I’m really happy with how everything turned out so I thought I’d do a post on all of the custom items that we’ll be bringing with us to Dubuque.Many Worlds competitors are bringing “trading cards” featuring fun facts and photos of their dog. Rumor has it there may actually be a “Paw-tograph” session where willing dogs can stamp their paw print onto their cards for adoring crowds, but it seems that the main purpose of these cards is really for competitors from around the country to exchange info about their dogs and, of course, get some bragging rights for being Worlds invitees! Here are the double-sided cards that I got printed for Bailey at

I also made “The Little GSP” shirts for Matt and myself to wear at the competition. I used a silhouette of Bailey jumping (it’s actually the same photo as the top left image on her trading card) and had these shirts printed at The shirts are super soft and my Bailey shirt is quickly becoming my favorite t-shirt of all time!

DockDogs is hosting a “window-tagging” contest (i.e. “DOCKDOGS WORLDS OR BUST” written all over the car windows) but we are skipping the window paint in favor of our Little GSP decal. I had our decal made at a few years ago. If you see a silver Subaru Forester driving down the highway with this decal (or ANY window-tagged DockDogs vehicle, for that matter!) please feel free to honk and wave!

Our last bit of “Swag” for Worlds is a banner that features all of the Delmarva DockDogs that will be competing in Dubuque. We are excited that so many of our club members will be joining us at the event and we’ll proudly display this banner with our fellow club members in the competitor area. The banner also came from

We’ll be heading out to Dubuque in our swag-laden car in about 20 hours. Wish us luck! 🙂

Dockdogs Eastern Regional Championships

Last weekend Dockdogs teams from 15 U.S. States and Canada converged on the WISP resort in Garrett County, Maryland for the first-ever Eastern Regional Championships.  This was the biggest Dockdogs event we’ve ever attended and it featured two pools, nightly social gatherings, and the best Big Air and Extreme Vertical dogs in the country.  The goal of the event (besides having fun and hanging out with friends!) was to earn an invitation to the Dockdogs World Championships that will take place in Dubuque, Iowa in November.

You may be wondering… did Bailey the Little GSP make the cut and earn a World invite?  Did she hold her own against our friends and competitors from all over the east coast?  Did she thrive in the 90+ degree hot and humid temps?  I’m happy to say that the answer to all of those questions is YES!!  After a long weekend of more than 20 competition jumps Matt and Bailey placed fourth in the Elite division.  Watch out Dubuque… We’re going to Worlds!

Bailey’s jumps weren’t stellar — actually none of the elite competitors were jumping the types of 23+ foot jumps we’re used to seeing out of them — but her 22’6″ qualifier jump with Matt was good enough to earn her a spot in the Elite finals.  Bailey also jumped a respectable 22’3″ for me which would have qualified us for finals if she hadn’t already been in the line-up with Matt.  (Matt and I always have a friendly competition going on to see who can get the biggest jump out of Bailey… I’m still ahead for the season with Bailey’s 23’1″ jump from Hog Dog a few weeks ago!)  🙂

Here are a few photos from the event:

Remember Baxter? We last saw this high-flyin’ Malinois at the event in Virginia Beach a few months ago. Baxter again showed everyone who’s boss by winning Super Elite Big Air, Iron Dog, and Speed Retrieve.

And here’s Rocket, another top-ranked Malinois. Rocket is from Pennsylvania and he’s one of Bailey’s friends.  Also… Rocket is sponsored by Precise Pet Products, go check them out!

An odd thing happened to our friend Tim during Elite finals. Tim thought that his black lab Boo looked a little slow running down the dock so he leapt in front of him at the last moment. Needless to say, physics took over and Boo slammed into Tim, sending him straight into the pool. Tim took the fall in stride and was able get out of the pool in time to complete Boo’s “real” jump… good enough for 3rd place Elite and a World Invite!

Here’s another shot of Bailey. She’s twisting mid-air in an attempt to catch her toy. Not her longest jump but it looked pretty cool!

This is Twister from Baltimore, Maryland and yes, that stick is about to hit her on the head. (Don’t worry though, she’s a hard-headed Chessie!) Twister rocked the dock earning second place Elite with her handler Steve and first place in the Youth Handler division with Steve’s son, James.

This weekend Bailey was jumping best with the “place and send” technique, meaning that we throw her toy into the water first, then take her to the back of the dock and release her. Here’s Matt chasing her down the dock during a qualifying round on Friday.

To see more photos of the Dockdogs Eastern Regional Championships, you can visit my Flickr photo album of the event.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck to all of the teams who are going to World Championships!

Addicted to DOCKDOGS!

Back in 2009 Matt and I were watching the “Diving Dogs” in the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge on ESPN.  In this competition each dog sprinted down a 40 foot long dock and catapulted itself as far as it could go into a big pool of water.  The dog with the longest jump, a GSP named “Seven,” in that particular competition, won the event.

Bailey catches her wubba on a practice “Big Air” jump

This looked like great fun and our GSP, Bailey, had just learned how to swim and already was great at jumping over a two-rail fence in and out of my mom’s garden.  We decided to put the two skills together and try out the sport of dock diving.  We entered our first “Dockdogs” event in central PA in June 2009 and from that point on we were officially addicted to Dockdogs!

Since that first event we have traveled all over the East Coast with Bailey to compete with our Dockdogs friends and our club members from Delmarva Dockdogs.  Bailey has jumped at county fairs in New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut and Waterfowl Festivals in Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware.  The farthest we’ve traveled so far was to a Bark in the Park event in Lawrence, Ohio (about a 10 hour drive!).

Bailey shows off for a big crowd at the Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland

Bailey has earned an “Elite” Dockdogs title for Big Air (the long jump event that first got us hooked).  She’s also earned a “Top Gun” title in the sport of Extreme Vertical, which is a high jump competition where the dogs must knock down a bumper that’s extended up and over the pool.  Some of the high points of Bailey’s Dockdogs “career” so far are listed below.

Bailey competes in Big Air (left) and Extreme Vertical (right)

If you think Dockdogs sounds like a sport that you and your dog might enjoy, I highly recommend that you give it a try!  There are local clubs all over the country that have practices and events during the summer.  Check out to learn more!

Bailey catapults herself off of the dock in an attempt to catch her duck

Bailey’s Top Performances:

  • #1 Ranked German Shorthaired Pointer in the Country for 2010 and 2011
  • 1st Place Elite/SuperElite Finals, 2012 Ocean County Decoy and Gunning Show (Tuckerton, NJ)
  • 1st Place Elite/SuperElite Finals, 2012 Delmarva Summer Splash (Dover, DE)
  • 2nd Place Top Gun Extreme Vertical, 2012 Delmarva Summer Splash (Dover, DE)
  • 1st Place Pro Finals, Monmouth County Fair (East Freehold, NJ)
  • 2012 World Championship Invitation, Elite Big Air
  • 4th Place Elite, 2012 Eastern Regional Championships (McHenry, MD)
  • 2nd Place Top Gun Extreme Vertical, 2012 Delmarva DockDaze (Bivalve, MD)
  • 1st Place Top Gun Extreme Vertical, 2011 Ocean County Decoy Show (Tuckerton, NJ)
  • 1st Place Top Gun Extreme Vertical, 2011 Chesapeake Pondfest (Adamstown, MD)
  • 1st Place Top Gun Extreme Vertical, 2011 Delmarva Summer Splash (Dover, DE)
  • 1st Place Pro Finals, 2011 Harford County Farm Fair (Bel Air, MD)
  • 1st Place Elite/SuperElite Finals, 2010 Delmarva Summer Splash (Dover, DE)
  • 2nd Place Elite Finals, 2010 Keystone Stoltzfus Summer Splash (Gap, PA)
  • 2nd Place Pro Finals, 2010 Harford County Farm Fair (Bel Air, MD)
  • 1st Place Elite Finals, 2010 Keystone That Pet Place Event (Lancaster, PA)
  • 1st Place Top Gun Extreme Vertical, 2010 Delmarva Doggone Fun Event (Dover, DE)
  • 3rd Place Pro Finals, 2010 Clay’s Bark in the Park Event (Lawrence, OH)
  • 1st Place Elite Finals, 2010 Tidewater Paws for a Cause Event (Newport News, VA)
  • 2nd Place Pro Finals, 2009 Harford County Farm Fair (Bel Air, MD)

Bailey’s Personal Bests:

  • Big Air – 25’6”
  • Extreme Vertical – 7’0”
  • Speed Retrieve – 6.550 seconds

Bailey at the Big Butler Fair in Butler County, PA

For more photos, visit TheLittleGSP on Flickr!