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High-flying canines to show off talents
Event shifts to holiday weekend, new location
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Forsyth County News

If you go

• What: Rucker Falling for DockDogs

• When: starting at 10 a.m. Friday to Sept. 3

• Where: Rucker Horse & Pet, 3540 Keith Bridge Road

• Online:

For the first time, Forsyth County will be Falling for DockDogs instead of taking a Jump into Summer.

The popular Dock Diving Dogs competition, which has taken place in Forsyth for two consecutive spring seasons, will have its third local event on Labor Day weekend.

Dixie DockDogs, the national organization’s north Georgia affiliate club, will hold the competition that judges dogs that can jump the farthest into a pool, leap the highest and swim the fastest.

The four-day event begins Friday at Rucker Horse & Pet in north Forsyth on Keith Bridge Road.

Nancy Akin, a club founder and event organizer, said some of the “waves,” or rounds within the three contest types, have filled up in online registration.

A lot of jumpers have signed up from Georgia, as well as Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio and elsewhere.

With an extra day added to the contest from the previous two events, there will be “more chances for people to come out and try it,” she said.

Dogs can compete in three different contests, including big air, extreme vertical and speed retrieve.

Big air, the most popular competition, measures how far a dog can jump horizontally off the end of a dock.

The extreme vertical contest tests the height of a dog’s leap into the air, and the speed retrieve event measures how fast a dog swims to retrieve a toy from the other end of the pool.

Dogs are judged within their division, which is determined by their ability, so first-timers don’t have to compete with the top dogs.

Those who want to bring the family dog and watch the event are welcome, and teams can practice a jump if time is available, Akin said.

“We’re expecting huge, huge crowds to come watch,” she said. “And a lot of fun.”

For the past two springs, the well-attended competition was three days and held at Rucker Pet & Wild Bird at Bethelview and Castleberry roads.

Akin said the owner of the stores, Scot Rucker, has allowed the dog sport to grow in Forsyth County by providing a venue for contests.

Rucker “fell in love with the sport,” she said, and has built a pool at his store where people can buy time to practice.