North America Diving Dogs


It’s hard to decide who is having more enjoyable, the dogs leaping into the water, the handlers hurling toys, or the spectators cheering on their favorite competitor. North America Diving Dogs (NADD) events happen to be growing in popularity since the American Kennel Club began recognizing dock diving titles in 2021. However this sport isn’t just for purebred dogs, one of the first NADD record-setters would be a Labrador Retriever-Border Collie mix named Augie who completed a 24-foot Air Retrieve to tie the planet record. 

About the Sport 

The North America Diving Dogs events are split up into categories: Distance, Air Retrieve, and Vertical jumping. Each category offers different divisions based on the height and skill from the competing dog. Dogs qualify to compete after they reach 6months old, and a special veterans class is offered for dogs older than 8 years. The Open class allows most dogs no matter breed, sex or age. Lap Courses are for dogs under 16” in the withers (top of neck). Dogs within the Lap Class are measured until they're 24 months old at which point they're given a final height. 

Distance Jumping 

Distance jumping is an extremely popular category and it is the very best starting place for dogs a new comer to dock diving. Within this class, the handler stands at the end of the dock and throws a toy in to the water for retrieval. A “splash” includes two jumps, having a judge determining the distance from the jump according to where the lower dog’s tail breaks the water’s surface. The very best distance forwards and backwards jumps is recorded because the final score for the dog during that splash. These kinds is really a demonstration in teamwork because the handler must have good timing in throwing the toy to encourage your dog to leap farther to catch it. 

Air Retrieve 

In Air Retrieve, a long metal rig holds a bumper (toy) affixed by magnets within the water. The environment Retrieve distance starts out 6 feet from the edge of the dock. The goal of the Air Retrieve is for your dog to run the length of the dock, jump through the air and catch or knock the bumper off into the water. Each successful jump leads to the rig being moved back 1foot. When the dog has missed the bumper twice consecutively, or has three overall misses, the distance of the last successful retrieve is recorded because the score. 

Vertical Competition 

Vertical classes are an evaluation in how high your dog can launch off the dock to retrieve the bumper. At the beginning of each dog’s turn, a metal arm is positioned 8 feet. from the dock edge and also the bumper hangs either 2 feet (Lap class) or 4 feet. (Open class) over the surface of the dock. The aim of this class is for the dog to run the length of the dock, jump up vertically and catch or knock the bumper from the rig. After each successful removal of the bumper, the rig is lifted 2 ” and the dog jumps again. When the dog has missed the bumper twice in a height, or three misses overall, the last successful retrieve is recorded as the score. 


While every competitor is different, most dogs seem to enjoy a positive, encouraging crowd. The greater involved the spectators, the more energized your dog and the possibility of a bigger jumping effort. Since dogs are often competing against their own best record, competitors at NADD events really are a supportive community who root for each other. 

Learn More 

For more details about the North America Diving Dogs, check out .

The North America Diving Dogs holds a competition in Orlando, FL, with the finals on December 17 – 18, 2021. The National Championship presented by Purina and also the Canine Extravaganza will even occur during this period. If you’re planning to attend, don’t forget to visit PetPartners in the Fun Zone conveniently located between the vendors and the concession area!