This month, for Adventure Dog Blog Hop and #AdventureDogChat, we’re talking about water activities with your dog. Because California is pretty much out of water, we’re down to the ocean and dock diving at the moment. So I thought I’d recap an outing we took awhile back to a dock diving pool.

A couple months ago, we took Mort out to try dock diving for the second time. Well, I’m not too sure I would count the first time as the first time because Mort only got two quick tries at going in the water. It wasn’t enough! So I say it doesn’t really count.

So now Mort tries dock diving for real

So we took Mort out for an hour with our good dog friend Vader at Doggone Dirty Dock Diving. It’s this neat place in a town called Hollister, and it’s home to this wonderful facility that has a dock diving pool and hosts other events such as Barn Hunt.

Not to mention, there’s a really good spot for sandwiches on the way there (or back). Bonus.

How we got Mort in the pool

On our first try, Mort managed to get in the pool – just. The dogs walk down the ramp and into the water, and the ramp can be a bit off putting because it’s a tad slippery.

Mort climbing out of the dock diving pool using the ramp.

This is the ramp that dogs use to climb out of the pool. You can introduce a dog to the pool by getting him to go on and off the ramp. The most important thing they can learn is how to get out safely on their own.

The pool is very unnatural because the water is clear so the dogs can perceive that its deep (unlike a lake). Mort throws himself into a lake with wild abandon… but he was very cautious about this water.

What really helped: a floaty vest. This gave him the confidence to go down that ramp, and the toy became easy motivation to get this dog in the water.

Mort posing in a dog life jacket.

This flotation vest helped give him confidence. I mean, look at that pose!

Repeat for success

So we just repeat it over and over, and soon Mort was actually jumping off the ramp into the pool with that same wild abandon, and eagerly waiting for me to toss the toy again.

Mort jumping off the dock diving ramp.

Soon he was leaping off the ramp!

What about the dock?

Nope – no luck there this time. He was really, really close as you can see here but wasn’t quite ready to jump on his own. He really just wanted to head back to that ramp to go again. Maybe next time!

Mort hanging off the dock.

He was reaching for the water and got very close to going in. The toy motivation almost surpassed his caution! But not quite!

More photos of dock diving

For the full gallery of our visit, with special guest Vader from Vader’s World, see our gallery shots below.

[AFG_gallery id=’4′]

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About Author

Jen deHaan is graphic designer, small business owner, and dog person living in Bay Area, California. Jen enjoys learning about dog training and behavior, and has taken several courses and seminars since 2010. She also contributes articles to leading websites, such as Victoria Stilwell's Positively . It all started with a great dog called Mikey (aka "dude"), loved and lost but remembered forever. Jen also runs a freelance business focusing on graphic, web, and UI design at FoundPixel, and a small business creating hand crafted dog products at Stylish Canine.