RULES AND REGULATIONS
Aqua Dogs, created for competitors by competitors, is dedicated to providing the best in entertainment and overall experience for all involved.
Glossary of terms:
- Competition Area: all-inclusive of the crating area, administrative area, as well as a twenty-foot circumference around the dock and pool.
Staging Area: area located in front of the stairs that dogs and handlers will use to get on the dock. The staging area will only be for dogs/handlers that are participating in the round or practice.
Judge: An Aqua Dogs certified person in charge of the event. The judge will ensure that all rules and standards set forth in this document are adhered to. The judge will also be responsible for ensuring the measurements of the jumps are accurate.
Light Tree: a device used to start the Go Fetch competition. Similar to drag racing, the light tree consists of four lights with the top light being red followed a blue light, a yellow light and a green light. Starting from the yellow light, each light will be lit in 1-second increments with the green light indicating the start of the run. The red light will be used to indicate a false start.
Launch Pad: The platform, or deck, from which a dog launches into the water. The platform measures 40 feet (12.19 m) long x 7 feet (2.13 m) wide.
Bumper: A double rope bumper designed for dock diving work. The bumper is made of foam and measures approximately 10 inches (25.4 cm) long x 2 inches (5.08 cm) in diameter.
Go-High: The objective in this discipline is for the dog to successfully grab, or knock down a bumper that is hanging from the Go-High rig. Only one handler is permitted on the dock.
Go-High Rig: The Go-High rig is an arm that is raised and lowered from a crank mechanism on the base of the rig. A bumper is hung from the arm of the rig that extends 8 feet out over the water (6 feet/1.82 m for lapdogs). The bumper is raised in 2-inch (5.08 cm) increments.
Go-Long: This discipline measures the distance a dog jumps in to the water. The measurement is calculated from the end of the launch pad to where the base of the tail enters the water. This jump is done using either the Get It Method or the Place and Go Method. Up to two handlers are permitted on the dock.
Get it Method: This technique is used by a team wherein the handler places the dog in the stay position at the desired starting place on the launch pad. The handler releases the dog and simultaneously throws a toy out over the water while the dog chases the toy through the air.
Place and Go Method: This technique is usually used by a team wherein the handler throws a toy into the water. The handler then sets the dog in position on the launch pad and releases the dog into the water to retrieve the object thrown.
Go Fetch: The objective of this discipline is a timed swim to obtain the bumper that is hanging over the water from an apparatus at the end of the pool. Only one handler is permitted on the dock.
Round: Any qualifying event of competition.
Qualified Jump/Run: the better of two jumps/runs in one round, either higher in Go-High, longer in Go-Long or faster in Go-Fetch.
Lap Dog: A dog that measures 16 inches (40.6 cm) or less at the withers.
Double Digits: Dogs aged over 10 years old.
Code of Conduct:
The following people are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful manner in accordance with the values set forth in this document.
- The handler/competitor
- Persons that are accompanying the handler/competitor
- The event staff
- The spectators
- Guiding Principles for acceptable conduct
- Be Respectful – We ask that everyone attending the competition in any semblance be respectful to other people, pets, equipment and material.
- Be Safe – Safety for both the handler and dogs is our greatest concern and we ask that our competitors ensure that they conduct themselves in a safe manner as well as ensuring their dogs’ safety at all times.
- Be Cooperative – We ask that everyone involved do everything within their power to cooperate and work to ensure the enjoyment of everyone at an event.
- Timing/schedule set forth in the competition – Should a disagreement arise, we ask that everyone exercise patience in resolving the matter.
- Be Supportive – Although this is a competition, we believe in supporting your fellow competitor.
- Unacceptable Behaviour
- All forms of animal abuse (physical or verbal).
- Aggressive dog behaviour resulting in a dog attacking another dog or human.
- Harassment, including behaviour that degrades, demeans, humiliates or embarrasses someone that a reasonable person would know is unwelcome.
- Discrimination against any person or group because of their race, colour, ancestry, nationality or place of origin, ethnic background, religion, age, sex, gender-determined characteristics, sexual orientation, marital and family status, source of income, political belief and physical or mental disability.
- Actions that put another person at risk or harm, including physical acts (with or without a weapon) and threatening someone.
- Consequences for Inappropriate Behaviour
- Depending on the severity and frequency of the behaviour (deemed by the onsite Judge) immediate suspension from the event and/or organization may occur until an official Aqua Dogs committee completes a formal review.
- In the case of minor infractions, the handler may be excused from the round. In such circumstances, another handler may take over so that the dog can continue.
- Rights and Responsibilities of Aqua Dogs competitors and Event Management
- Aqua Dogs reserves the right to apply consequences to misconducts as they deem suitable to the infraction.
- Aqua Dogs Staff will at all times comply with the Rules and Regulations set forth.
- All Aqua Dogs competitors have the right to submit a formal grievance in the case of a disagreement with an official decision made by the board or judge therein.
- Complaints may be submitted to the Aqua Dogs board via our website.
Season start date January 1, season end date December 15.
- A team is defined as a dog and handler entered into the round.
- The minimum age of a handler is 6 years old.
- No pushing, pulling, or dropping a dog into the water. Handlers may not assist the dog into the water.
- The minimum age of a dog must be 6 months. Should the dog’s age change during the competition season, the latter age will be recognized.
- A handler may compete with more than one dog in any given discipline.
- A dog may only be entered one time per round.
- In the event that a dog is entered with more than one handler, the team with the higher score will compete in the finals.
- Dogs must be kept on leash in the venue at all times, with the exception of being on the launch pad.
- Leashes may be a maximum length of 6 feet (1.82 m), however the dog must be kept within 4 feet (1.22 m) of your person. A minimum distance of eight 8 feet (2.44 m) between dogs must be maintained in the competition area at all times. Violations of this will result in removal from the competition area for that round.
- Entry fees
- The cost of each round is set based on each event.
- Injuries / Health Records
- Handler must have available proof of legally required vaccinations based on provincial laws.
- Dogs in heat will not be allowed on the premises of the venue or in the competition area.
- All dogs, when not in competition or practice, shall be kept crated in the designated crating area.
- All crates must be of significant enough structure to ensure your dog will not escape.
- Collars / Leashes / Distance Between Dogs
- All dogs must have flat or martingale collars while in the competition area or on the dock.
- Electronic collars, choke (chain) and prong collars are strictly prohibited in the competition area. If the handler is unable to produce a flat or martingale collar, they will unfortunately be asked to leave the competition area.
- No Flexi, or Extendable dog leads will be permitted in the competition area. If the handler is unable to produce a flat collar , they will unfortunately be asked to leave the competition area.
- Training Devices
- Food and/or treats are prohibited on the launch pad at all times. Failure to abide will result in a disqualification of the round.
- No apparatus or device other than the toy can be used to get the dog off the launch pad and into the water, including toy launchers and any device that hangs toys over the water. The use of any of the aforementioned devices will result in a disqualification of the jump.
- Young Handlers
- All handers under the age of 16 will be receiving a Participant’s Medal. In the event that a young handler’s birthday should fall before the end of the competition year, the hander will be placed in the appropriate division for the forthcoming age.
- Aqua Dogs Go-Long: A long-jumping competition where a dog runs down the launch pad and jumps into the water chasing a toy. The jump is measured from the end of the launch pad to where the dog’s tail set (butt) breaks the water.
Each dog will get 2 back-to-back jumps in each round with the better of the two jumps qualifying for the finals as well as their titles. Aqua Dogs allows two handlers at a time on the launch pad during a round of competition.
Go-Long Finals Divisions (Long Jump)
- 0 – 9 feet 11 inch(0 – 2.78 m) – Novice
- 10 feet – 14 feet 11 inch (3.05 – 4.30 m) – Amatuer
- 15 feet – 19 feet 11 inch (4.57 – 5.83 m) – Semi-pro
- 20 feet – 23 feet 11 inch (6.10 – 7.04 m) – Pro
- 24 feet and above (7.32 m and above) – Super Pro
- Lap Dog – under 16 inches (40.6 cm)
Aqua Dogs Go-High: A high-jumping competition where a dog must grab or knock down a bumper hanging from an apparatus. The apparatus, known as the Go-High Boom, will extend the bumper 8 feet from the end of the launch pad (Dock) and remain centered to the launch pad. In the case of Lap/Toy Dogs, the bumper will be extended out 6 feet from the end of the launch pad.
The height of the bumper will be based from the surface of the launch pad. To determine which dog starts first, each competitor will tell the event judge their preferred start height. The dog with the lowest start height will take the first jump. The bumper will move up in 2-inch increments after each jump until it reaches the second-lowest preferred start height. That is when the second dog will start jumping. This sequence will continue until the highest jumping dog has started its run. For example, if Toto enters at 6 feet, Koko enters at 7 feet, and Momo enters at 7 feet 4 inches, Toto will have to make 5 jumps before Koko can start, and Koko will have to make 2 jumps before Momo can start.
Dogs will be allowed one miss at each height. When two consecutive misses occur, the dog will be eliminated from the competition.
Go-High Finals Divisions (high jump)
- Lap Dog – under 16 inches (40.6 cm)
Aqua Dogs Go-Fetch: A speed competition where a dog must run down the launch pad and swim across the pool to grab a bumper hanging from an apparatus 38 feet (11.58 m) from the end of the launch pad. The competition will start based on a light tree that will be activated when the competitor gives a signal to the judge.
The light tree consists of four lights with the top light being red followed a blue light, a yellow light and a green light. Starting from the yellow light, each light will be lit in 1-second increments with the green light indicating the start of the run. The red light will be used to indicate a false start.
The objective is to have your dog cross the end of the launch pad on green. A laser for detection of reaction time will monitor this. Official time starts on the green light and time stops once the dog has removed the bumper from the apparatus. Each dog will get 2 runs in each round of competition with the better of the two qualifying them for finals. Your dog will be allowed to run on the launch pad on the yellow and blue lights, but will be disqualified if it jumps off the launch pad before the green light.
Go-Fetch Finals Divisions (speed swim)
- Top four placements
- Lap Dog – under 16 inches (40.6 cm)
- Medallions or ribbons will be awarded for top four placements in Division Finals. No awards will be handed out for placement within each round with the exception of young handlers. During qualifying rounds, we will give awards for the following:
- First time jump in Go-Fetch, Go-Long, Go-High
- Personal Best (PB) in each discipline
- Perfect start in Go-Fetch (0.000 s)
- All young handlers will receive a medal for participation.
- Section 1: The following is the procedure, which must be followed in protesting an Aqua Dogs contest:
- Only a protest involving violation of a specific rule will be considered. A competitor may not protest decisions of judgment.
- The protest must be made verbally by the competitor at the time of the misinterpretation to the events judge.
- Upon completion of the competition, the protesting competitor must notify the Aqua Dogs judge to file a written statement of the incident with the Aqua Dogs Committee within 24 hours.
- The event Judge must notify the Aqua Dogs Committee within 24 hours of the incident.
- The written statement must be signed by both the complainant and the judge.
- All events are to be completed in the event of a protest. A competitor that withdraws from the contest shall be considered forfeiting to the event and the protest will be retracted.
- The Aqua Dogs Judge and Committee members may use videos to determine if a specific rule has been violated.
Section 2: Due Process
- The decision from the Aqua Dogs Committee shall be made after consultation with the competitor and the event’s official judge.
- There is no appeal of the Aqua Dogs Committee.