Local dog trainer to begin offering dock-diving lessons

Smokin’ Guns Working Dog Club will host a 10-week “dock dogs” training program for children and their favorite dogs beginning Saturday.

The youth dock diving league training will involve 10 two-hour gatherings 3-5 p.m. Saturdays. The entire program costs $65 per student.

Children ages 7-17 are welcome to sign up. They must have a dog, but the breed of dog is irrelevant, said Jason Howe, with Smokin’ Guns.

Howe tells how he watched an 85-year-old woman encourage her chihuahua to take a tiny leap off a dock into a pool.

“We’re trying to make this as cheap as possible for the kids,” Howe said.

For more information, call Howe at 207-332-5432 or call Smokin’ Guns at 573-378-3440.

“After the first four weeks, we’ll get the dogs jumping,” he said. “They’ll have different levels — novice, junior, senior, master and elite.”

He explained the levels aren’t measures of how well the dogs do. They are measures of how far the dogs can jump.

If the dog just plops into the pool, it’s going to get credit for a jump, Howe said.

Howe is just now completing a 16-foot wide, 32-foot long above-ground dock-diving pool at his home (which will be used for the program). He calls the site Scuba Steve’s Maligator Swamp.

The pool features a 40-plus-foot runway for dogs to gain speed for takeoff. It also features a ramp, making it wheelchair accessible.

Upcoming classes will include disc dogs, protection, nose work, barn hunts and agility.

More information about Smokin Guns Working Dog Club may be found at www.facebook.com/smokinGunsWDC.

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