BENNINGTON — More than 100 dogs traveled to town this weekend to jump, run and bark with fellow competitors.
Green Mountain DockDogs continues to grow in membership and hosted its second Jumpin' on the Block event with a pool on Phyllis Lane. It's the group's fifth year as a club, President Beth Sausville said.
Previously held at Lake Paran, the DockDogs event is open to all dog breeds and skill levels as long as they're older than six months. Some people drove by the location on Friday and saw the equipment set up and signed up the next day.
Even on the last day, golden retriever Baxter was setting records. It was his 13th competition since getting into the sport last year. His owners, Tim and Karen Bowman, hail from Southampton, Mass.
"At 12 weeks old he jumped in my coy pond," Tim Bowman said. "Since then he's been jumping in ponds and pools. Last week he was at the Big E."
Baxter jumped 21 feet 5 inches in the Big Air contest at Sunday's DockDogs event.
Tim Bowman said there's not a lot of training or practice he has to do, it's just about obedience. Baxter got invited to the world championship in Iowa. Sausville said several of the club members get invites.
Karen Bowman just recently started practicing speed retrieve with Baxter.
On Sunday, the event announcers mentioned that there were 12 total personal best records out of the entire weekend.
Elvis' best is 18 feet 3 inches. He also has a good K9 citizen award and his mother, Amy Jo from Sunderland, made sure all her friends attended the competition to support her fur baby. Her husband, Bob Jo, said this is Elvis' first competition at 5 years old.
"He's actually a good bird dog," Bob Jo said. "We just got lucky. It's not real serious. We just want the dog to be happy."
Head sponsors for the event this year included Native Performance Dog Food and Loyal Canine Company.
One-hundred-and-fifty dogs participated this weekend, traveling from various neighboring states. The biggest jump overall came in at 24 feet 5 inches by a dog named Cooper, owned by Mark Krause of Bennington.
DockDogs was founded in 2012 in Vermont and gathers dog owners to practice jumping and running into water. In 2013 it had 35 members and has since grown past 100. The national organization has been running more than 10 years and is recognized by the American Kennel Club as an official canine sport. Events stretch as far as Canada, the U.K. and Australia.
Contact Makayla-Courtney McGeeney at 802-490-6471.