The business is doing a lot of clever marketing. The event is a good way for people to "do stuff" with their dogs and compete....without necessarily having any training. Maybe that will prompt them to look into other activities, maybe not. But regardless, it's an increased quality of life for the dogs. There are going to be trials RIGHT there. Not 2-3 hours away where the other events are. People like proximity....due to time constraints and rising gas prices. Though, in reality, people probably just didn't know this was a type of competition available in the state.
So....what do I do? What do I tell my 4-H'ers (who would get a discount...)? What do I tell my students who ask?
- Read the rules. There are a few different dock diving organizations. Find the rule structure that best maximizes what your dog can do well.
- Does your dog even like the water? Like thrown toys? I can be surprised at those who don't have water-liking dogs and want to do this. Thrown toys aren't required, but to get your dog jumping maximum distances....it's important.
- Of my own dogs... Luna doesn't like water enough. I wouldn't be able to get Blaze out. And I don't now what Griffin would do. I don't know that I want him learning to jump, he currently wades into ponds....which is preferable for a retriever. If he did a wild leap into the water, he could land on something sharp below the surface. I don't know if having him learn to do dock diving would change his water entry in 'real' ponds. I don't know that it's worth the risk. We have enough other things we enjoy.
- I probably won't be discussing this with my 4-H'ers.... It's just not something I'm comfortable with at this time.
This brought up the conversation with a training friend....how is this different than entering a trial and supporting a 'traditional' club? I know with trials about how much money is going to the organization and how much is going to the club. A club is somewhat different than a privately owned business...while the club gets the money (and some of them have a lot of money over time), it's not going to the individual/s associated with the facility. There are clubs where I do not trial because I am not comfortable supporting the club financially.*
*Due to some of the rule structures in place/behavior towards people. It's not about the type of training that is or is not happening.