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Watch the video: First Lesson FAQ

How do we train for dock diving and/or swimming? Watch the video and learn what you can expect at your private lesson for swimming / dock diving at The Dog Mall:


Here as some facts about the lesson

  • Free Towels for your use at a lesson

  • Free Treats (hot dog bits) if needed

  • Free Toys on hand for your use

  • Bring friends and family to watch

  • Enter the pool if you want (we don't recommend it as it doesn't see to help get the dog in faster)

  • Split an hour with a friend or a few friends

      Or just book a 1/2 hour for your dog

  • No water experience or obedience required

  • We recommend 30 minutes per dog

General Rules: Dock Diving 101

What is dock diving? What are the rules for Ultimate Air Dogs competitions? Watch the Video and learn

  • Video tutorial narrated (listen with sound)

  • General Rule Summary

  • Cost for competition

  • Open practice explained

  • Procedures

  • Placement information

  • Finals and specialty finals explained

Ultimate Air Dog Competition Games

It's not just about jumping for distance. With Ultimate Air Dogs, there are a few different games which include:

  • Big Air (Distance)

  • Catch-It (Must catch the toy)

  • Chase-It (Timed Swimming)

  • Fetch-It (Pulling a bumper from the rig) 

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Ever dog has different abilities; Some dogs are faster swimmers, some dogs are excellent catchers, and some dogs are good at targeting a toy. These games are designed to be fun, challenging, and showcase the different skills of handlers and dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does my dog need obedience training to start?

A:  No, it's helpful if the dog knows some of it, but your dog doesn't need any type of formal obedience training to start.

Q: Does my dog need water experience

A: No, it's helpful, but no swimming experience is required to start.

Q: Do I need to bring anything for a lesson? 

A: Please bring your dog's rabies certificate to your first lesson (if you don't have it for the first lesson, please bring it another time or email it to us at We have everything else for toys, treats, and equipment.

Q: Do you offer a Dock Diving class?

A: Currently we don't. We've found that classes are just too distracting for dogs, especially those who don't have any water experience.


Q: Can I bring multiple dogs?

A: Yes, but we recommend 30 minutes per dog, especially for beginner dogs. You can split an hour lesson between two dogs (e.g., 2 of your own dogs or you and a friend's dog). You can bring two dogs to a 30 minute private lesson if you wish, but we prefer to work each dog individually in the pool; therefore, 15 minutes for each dog just isn't enough time for a productive lesson. 

Q: I'd love to compete in Ultimate Air Dogs, but my dog doesn't jump that far. Is my dog competing against dogs that jump 25+ feet?

A: No, watch the videos on this page about the rules for Ultimate Air Dogs and the Games and you'll see that there are different division based on the distance you're dog is jumping (e.g., novice is 0-9 feet). Even if your dog is only jumping 5 feet, you can still get qualifying jump ribbons and possibly get titles (e.g., Novice Level I can be achieved with 5 qualifying jumps in that division). Really, it's all about having fun with your dog. The folks that compete with us are friendly and helpful, so don't be shy, give it a try!

Q: My dog already swims in ponds/lakes. Does my dog need to take a swim lesson before I can rent the pool?

A: Yes, watch the FAQ video on this page and you'll see that even experience swimming can be hesitant to enter the clear water. Also, we need to confirm your dog can safely enter and exit the pool without help; an instructor will be in the water to assist during a lesson, but not during a rental. Also, we have a lot of experience getting dogs into the water the right way so it's a positive experience for them. 

Q: I actively compete in dock diving but have never been to your facility. Does my dog need to take a swim lesson before I can rent the pool?

A: No, you can rent our pool as long as your dog has dock diving experience (i.e. understand how to enter and exit the pool via a ramp). 

Q: Do you give out ribbons during competition? 

A: Yes, we give out qualifying jump ribbons with your jump distance and if you achieve a title (i.e., 5 jumps in one division) with us, we'll give you a title ribbon as well.  if you make it to finals and place either first, second, or third, you'll also get a placement ribbon too!  

Sign-up for a Lesson

As an Air dog member

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