Monday, September 06, 2010

Splash Dog at Soldier Hollow

We went to Soldier Hollow over in Midway to watch the Sheep Herding and the Splash Dog competition. We've gone and watched the Border Collies do their sheep herding magic before, but I hadn't ever seen the Splash Dog fest before.

It's done with about 30 feet of runway leading to a out of the ground pool, about 30-40 feet long, 15 feet wide and 3 feet deep. A human stands at the end of the runway and tries to get the dog to make as long a leap as possible into the water. You can throw some form of dog toy to give the dogs a target and some motivation.

Different dogs had different styles. This is more of a Superman approach.

but they all ended up with something like this.

OK, not all of them. This pup went to the very end of the ramp, got down as close to the water as possible, and then basically just plopped in. Distance was measured in inches.

You could tell that some dogs lost their enthusiasm about half way through the jump.

Ears flopping, full speed ahead!

Sometimes the owner would toss the toy poorly. Some dogs ignored it and just dove for distance. This owner tossed it too high and the dog went right up after it.

Excellent form!

This Border Collie was about to explode with excitement. This was as close as he would come to sit and stay. His butt stayed in the air to maximize acceleration. Every time the human would turn around, the dog would scoot up.

Some dogs looked like wet dogs. Other looked more like wet rodents. There was a ramp that made it easy for the dogs to get out of the pool and walk down steps to the ground.

I kept trying different angles to find the most interesting pictures. The best splashes came from head-on. My favorite dog pictures were the high speed shots from the side. Here's a series.

If you get a chance to see this competition, you should. What great entertainment.

Perhaps I will post some of my sheep herding pictures later.
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