If you don’t know what Dock Dogs is, then
click here for a brief overview.
Graue took the idea to the Up in Smoke on the Square/Pigs & Swigs
Committee, then contacted Dock Dogs to see if they would come to
Lincoln on June 1st and 2nd. Once it was determined that the program
would be available, the next vital step was to secure the $6,800 in
sponsorship needed to bring the event to town.
Graue made contact with the city of Lincoln and the Logan County
Board and received sponsorship dollars from those two government
entities. Sponsorship dollars were also provided by CEFCU, Lincoln
NAPA, Logan County Farm Bureau, Best Friends Animal Hospital, and
the Lincoln Animal Hospital. Chicago Street Rental is helping out
with some of the equipment that will be needed and the Humane
Society of Logan County got on board, agreeing to help with the
management of the program and to serve as hosts on the days of the
Events will start on Friday and continue on Saturday. The large,
portable swimming pool for the event will be placed on Broadway
Street on the east end of the block near the intersection of
Broadway and McLean Streets (the post office corner). The pool will
be set up against the sidewalk on the courthouse side of the street.
Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets and may sit
on the courthouse lawn to view the competitions.
The competitions will feature dogs and handlers that routinely
travel the Dock Dog Circuit, but is also going to offer amateur
competitions for local pets and their owners.
The gist of it is that any dog six months of age and older can
compete, and all the handler has to do is get the dog interested in
taking a dive in the pool, catching an object thrown out over the
water, or jumping high to retrieve an object suspended over the
The Dock Dogs Big Air competition is basically a long-distance jump.
Trainers will instruct the dogs and entice them to run the length of
the platform and jump as far as possible before landing in the
water. The distance will be measured for the edge of the dock to the
location where the dog’s tail section hits the surface of the water.
The Extreme Vertical is a high jump. This is basically a high jump
over water. An object will be suspended over the pool and dogs will
jump off the dock, into the air to grab the object. If they
accomplish this, the object will go back in the air, the target will
be raised a few inches, and the dog can try again. The competing
dogs will continue to jump until they are unable to reach their
Graue said that as of last week, there were 22 teams signed up for
the event from the Dock Dog Circuit. These will be dogs and handlers
that are trained and have lots of experience. The dogs and their
handlers will all have their own subtle style and it promises to be
But wait. That isn’t all. Within the event there is a schedule for
the amateur dog. This could be YOUR dog! All you have to do is
enter, and get the dog to jump.
Anyone who wants to give it a shot, simply needs to come out on
Friday at 1 p.m. and register your dog or dogs or be there at 10
a.m. for registration in Saturday competition.
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Locally, a couple of people, Lincoln Alderwoman Heidi
Browne and Lincoln Street Superintendent Walt Landers have jumped
their dogs at Dock Dog events held in Springfield and Morton. Both
said it was a fun event and that the big challenge is that the dogs
can become shy and won’t want to get into the water. But, if you
have a dog, regardless of breed, that appears to be a natural born
swimmer and loves to play with his or her toys, then you have a good
shot at getting the dog to respond.
For local folks, the local dog competition could be a big highlight
as it is fun to cheer the professionals, but sometimes even more fun
to cheer on the “underdog” novice, especially when Rover belongs to
The Dock Dog schedule is as follows:
Onsite registration/practice – 1 p.m.
Practice in between waves both days as time allows.
Big Air Wave # 1 – 2 p.m.
Big Air Wave # 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Big Air Wave # 3 – 5 p.m.
Extreme Vertical (All in one finals) – 7 p.m.
Onsite registration/practice – 10 a.m.
Big Air Wave # 4 – 11a.m.
Big Air Wave # 5 – 1 p.m.
Big Air Wave # 6 – 3 p.m.
Speed Retrieve (All in one final) – 5:30 p.m.
Big Air Finals – 7 p.m. (Pro, Semi-pro, Contender & Amateur finals)
Graue said the Dock Dogs was a great addition to the weekend because
it is very much a family oriented attraction. While the Swigs side
is best appreciated by those age 21 and up, and the KCBS
competitions, Steak, Backyard, and Kids Q may attract a specific
group of people and may not hold the attention for the full day, it
is hoped that this event will fill the gaps and end up being
something that keeps visitors in the downtown area all day long.
The other asset to this is that because there is no admission
charged. Dock Dogs is a ‘come and go’ event. Visitors can tour the
BBQ rows, do some shopping in the downtown stores, enjoy food from
the vendors or local eateries, visit the Oasis Flea Market, and call
Dock Dogs their home base for the weekend. Parents and older kids
can split up and follow their own interests then come back and
rejoin at the Dock Dogs. Or if dad wants to go watch the BBQ
competitors dish up their fare, and mom and the kids want to stay
and watch, it’s all good.
This is a first year event, and its success is going to depend on
the number of people who come to watch and cheer and on the number
of people who participate.
The Pigs & Swigs Committee, the HSLC, and the event sponsors are
hopeful that the entire community, as well as guests from out of
town who are there to enjoy all the festivities of the weekend will
come out to watch.