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Photo by Clay Schuldt A number of dogs took part in Dock Dogs at the Brown County Fair on Friday, performing several impressive practice jumps in front of a grandstand of impressed fans. Catching the toy in the air isn’t a requirement, but it’s still impressive.

NEW ULM – Dock Dogs made a stellar return to the Brown County Fair.

The show had been absent from the fair for five years, but on Friday the dog show returned to the delight of dog lovers.

The competition runs all weekend with different events throughout the day including the distance jump, vertical jump and speed recovery.

On the first day, the competition focused on distance jumping. Each dog’s handler throws a toy from a dock and the dog jumps off after the toy lands in a pool of water. The judges record how far the animals were able to jump.

In the first round of competition, a Labrador named Reagan from Minneapolis set the tone for the weekend, jumping 21 feet, nine inches.

Photo of Clay Schuldt Knox, a black lab mix, jumps for the toy thrown by handler Brent Dolly over a jump of over 17 feet. Catching the toy in the air isn’t a requirement, but it’s still impressive.

Reagan’s manager, Charlie Martin, said they had been at Dock Dog shows for three years. Reagan took the leap without hesitation, but Martin said he and his wife, AnaEliza, continued to work to increase his performance.

Reagan also competes in high jump and speed competitions. AnaEliza Martin is her manager for high jump and speed recovery. AnaEliza said Reagan’s strength is her speed and she, “needs speed”.

Several of the handlers have brought multiple dogs to the competition. One of the biggest teams was the STIHL team led by Tom Dropik from New Prague. Dropik brought three dogs: a Lab-Shepherd mix named Rambo, a Lab-Belgian Malinois named Little Rascal, and a whippet named Ridder.

Rambo and Little Rascal jumped in the first round on Friday. Rambo managed to take second place on the first lap with a 21-foot-1 jump. Little Rascal came in third at 19-foot-9.

Dropik said he has been a dock dog handler for 22 years. He started doing it after seeing the competition on television. He has already competed at the Brown County Fair and was happy to be back.

Photo by Clay Schuldt A number of dogs took part in Dock Dogs at the Brown County Fair on Friday, performing several impressive practice jumps in front of a grandstand of impressed fans. Catching the toy in the air isn’t a requirement, but it’s still impressive.

“The crowd is big here” he said.

Public support helps train the dogs. Several of the dogs jumping this weekend are new to the sport and need to be introduced to jumping slowly. Some dogs are adept at jumping into lakes, but other animals are hesitant to jump into a clear pool. Trainers will take advantage of a weekend-long competition to train some of the young dogs.

From 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, the public will hold Dock Dog tryouts for new dogs and handlers. Other training jumps occur throughout the day.

There will be three distance competitions on Saturday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. An extreme vertical competition will take place at 4 p.m.

Sunday at 10 a.m., the dock dogs will hold the speed recovery round, a distance round at 11:30 p.m. and a big air final at 3 p.m.

Photo by Clay Schuldt A number of dogs took part in Dock Dogs at the Brown County Fair on Friday, performing several impressive practice jumps in front of a grandstand of impressed fans. Catching the toy in the air isn’t a requirement, but it’s still impressive.

Photo by Clay Schuldt A number of dogs took part in Dock Dogs at the Brown County Fair on Friday, performing several impressive practice jumps in front of a grandstand of impressed fans. Catching the toy in the air isn’t a requirement, but it’s still impressive.

Photo by Clay Schuldt A number of dogs took part in Dock Dogs at the Brown County Fair on Friday, performing several impressive practice jumps in front of a grandstand of impressed fans. Catching the toy in the air isn’t a requirement, but it’s still impressive.

Photo by Clay Schuldt Jango, a border collie, pulled off several impressive practice jumps in front of an impressive grandstand of fans, averaging over 20 feet tall. Manager Kim Nygard of Rockton, Illinois, said Jango can normally reach 30 feet when he doesn’t jump off the dock too soon.


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