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Dock Dogs return to the Shell Factory

February 19, 2020
By CHUCK BALLARO (news@breezenewspapers.com) , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Hundreds of dogs and their handlers will converge upon the Shell Factory this weekend for one of the first big events of the Dock Dog season.

The 2020 Tailwagger Classic Wild Card Double Header will happen this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Dock Diving pool along New 41, where the best dogs in the region will jump and run their way to a spot in the World Championships this fall.

Vicki Tighe, owner of Aqua Dog Sports, said the dogs will take part in Big Air (distance), Extreme Vertical (high jump), Speed Retrieve (for time) and Dueling Dogs (drag racing), the latter of which has become immensely popular and will be held on Saturday afternoon and evening.

"It's all divisional, so any dog can do it and still be competitive. If the dogs are less than 17 inches tall, they also qualify for the lap dog division," Tighe said. "We get lap dogs that jump 20-plus feet."

There are Pro, Semi-Pro, Contender and Amateur divisions.

The fun will start at 9 a.m. each day, with the first wave of competitors, with things expected to wrap up around 5 p.m. on Friday and 8 p.m. on Saturday, with the finals in Big Air set for Sunday at 4:30 p.m., though you might want to get there sooner.

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Tighe said she expects as many as 200 dogs from around the country to compete. As of last week, there were already 300 jumps into the pool registered.

"We have people coming from Vermont, Texas and about every state in between," Tighe said. "We're doing both Dock Dogs and Dueling Dogs (the doubleheader). With it being a wild card, if you win, it's an automatic invite to the World Championships in Dubuque, Iowa in October."

Tighe said the great part of the sport is that people will come to see it and think that they can do that with their dog, which they can and usually do.

People will come back with their dog the next day to try it out and within 15 or 20 minutes they get the hang of it and they're doing it," Tighe said. "We have no discrimination here. Any dog can do it."

For those locally, registration is expected to continue until the day before the event on Thursday. Tighe expects many more to sign up by then.

To learn more about the sport, go to dockdogs.com.

 
 

 

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