Dog competition

DockDogs dog competition comes to Walla Walla Fair | Top stories

Rosanna Lugo from College Place has her fingers crossed for the upcoming Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days.

Her family’s beagle, Ella, is signed up to compete in DockDogs, a new entertainment option at the 2021 fair, “Stars and Stripes and Country Nights.”

DockDogs is billed as a national specialty act featuring competition dogs in events such as “Extreme Vertical” and “Speed ​​Retrieve”.

The Ohio-based company began in 2000, “to create a nationally recognized competitive sport based on rules and precedent in athletic competition,” the DockDogs website says.

The organization has a large base of competitors nationwide, and that’s true for Washington state, said DockDogs employee Linda Torson.

Many winners compete in national and global competitions, she said.

When competition is held at county fairs, dog owners like Lugo and spectators are drawn to the events taking place in a 40-foot pool, Torson said.

“We love having crowds because the dogs feed off that energy. It makes them more excited.

All races are welcome in categories like the most popular “Big Air” contest, she said.

The four-legged athletes descend the long quay as their owners call them, then launch themselves into the pool to attract the bait.

“We have six different divisions,” Torson said, noting dogs will typically jump 1 inch to 25 feet.

The current world record is 32 feet and 10 inches, held by Sounders the Seattle area whippet.

Torson, a mother of a competing dog herself, said DockDogs has no problem getting people to register their puppies to compete at local fairs.

“Dog owners are attracted to this, if their dog is athletic and likes a job to do. But a dog has to want to get this toy. My dog ​​is 9 years old and has been competing since 2012 and is the most trained dog by toys in the world.

The people who come are the friendliest in all of dog sports, she added.

In the high jump event, a plastic bumper – it’s an air-filled bladder with an attached end – is suspended with magnets 8 feet above the pool, starting at approximately 5 inches above the water, Torson said.

In subsequent rounds, the bumper is held higher and higher. In recent years, the record has stood at 8 feet 10 inches, she said.

Ella, born to her litter, is entered into a number of DockDogs events, Lugo said.

Not that she’s so sure the 4-year-old beagle will channel her considerable energy in the right direction, Lugo said with a laugh.

“Ella is very good at being a beagle.”

His training is also… informal.

While Lugo works in human resources at Seven Hills Vineyard, Ella attends daycare at Aunt Martina Cruz’s, where she walks, cuddles with her Chiweenie cousins, and patrols Cruz’s yard for action. squirrels. Ella’s closest thing to a formal sport is ball chasing, Lugo said.

And while the beagle loves the water, chances are she’s using the DockDogs pool for a fun swim, Lugo added.

And that’s fine.

“I see it as a community event, like having fun with other dog owners. The fair is for fun and this year they include pet owners,” she said.

It’s part of Walla Walla Fair Director Greg Lybeck’s mission to bring a diversity of entertainment to the annual celebration of family and community.

All kinds of people with different tastes come to county fairs, Lybeck said.

“We have to find numbers that everyone will like. It’s our job to have entertainment that reaches everyone who walks through our doors.

DockDogs has been a nationwide favorite and a great investment for fair boardrooms, as the organization puts on three or four shows a day, he said.

Going forward, Lybeck wants to up the game at Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days by bringing entertainment people will only see once a year.

“There are top diving acts, sea lion acts, waders, jugglers and much more that we will be programming in the fair next year,” he said.

We need to entertain our show guests from opening to closing. »

Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days runs September 1-5 with the DockDogs Finals scheduled for this Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

Admission to the competitions comes with the entrance fee to the show. For the show schedule and more information, go to or call the main office at 509-527-3247.