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Dock Dogs demonstration set for Saturday

FRANKLIN FURNACE — Think it’s hot now. Just wait until the dog days of summer hit.

Need a way to cool off? Take a tip from a dog …. A dock dog that is.

That national craze that has its fair share of local aficionados is making a repeat performance this Saturday.

That’s when it’s time for “Let’s Try DockDogs!”

“This is to introduce people to Dock Dogs,” Ginny Haas, organizer of the event, said. “There will be handlers who can help you get your dog into the water and off the dock and explain any questions that you have. Your dog doesn’t have to be a water dog, but if he likes water bring him.”

Getting a dog to become a Dock Dog takes a dock and a water toy. Then it’s simply a matter of tossing the toy up in the air over the water and letting the dog jump as high and as far as he can.

“You start off when they are really little, getting them to chase a toy and bring it back to you,” Haas said. “Then you get them started into the water and making it fun.”

A dog must be at least 6 months old before he can compete. Haas’ son, Aaron, has competed nationally with his Labrador, Reese, and was named youth handler of the year for the United States and Canada.

“That got him a two-year scholarship to Hocking College,” Haas said.

The Haas family got into Dock Dogs after seeing a television show about the pastime.

“It started to keep the dogs in shape for when they went out to duck hunt. Now duck hunting keeps them in shape for dock dogs,” Haas said.

Participants for Saturday’s demonstration should bring a floating toy and a 4 or 6-foot leash. Zip leads are not allowed because they may break during the jump.

“And if you have a friend, bring them along so they can get pictures,” Haas said. “It is quite good exercise for your dog and kind of fun for yourself. You will probably end up having more than the dog. But it is hard to tell.”

“Let’s Try DockDogs!” will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Mike Lewis’ pond at 1792 Junior Road, Franklin Furnace. For more information, contact Haas at 740-550-3405 or at moroid@sbcglobal.net.