0

DockDogs qualifying comes to Stone Mountain Park

If you go

• What: DockDogs World Championship Wild Card Event

• When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Sunday

• Where: Stone Mountain Park on Memorial Lawn, 1000 Robert E. Lee Drive, Stone Mountain

• Cost: Admission is free with $10 parking fee

• For more information: Visit www.stonemountain...>

STONE MOUNTAIN -- This weekend, Stone Mountain Park will be invaded by four-legged companions as part of the DockDogs World Championship Wild Card Event. More than 85 teams have already registered for the three-day competition.

"We are very hopeful for a good crowd," said Janet Bell, Stone Mountain Park's special events manager. "We could see 2,000 to 10,000 people, but with this being the first year, I'm not really sure."

DockDogs has three different competitions: big air, speed retrieve and extreme vertical. Big air is a long jump, speed retrieve is a timed event a canine drag race, and extreme vertical is a tall jump -- all of which are performed over a pool of water. Those with the farthest distances accumulate more points and take the title.

During the event, trainers and dogs will use two different types of strategies for jumping off of the platform: chase or place and send. Chase is -- as you could of guessed -- when dogs are asked to "chase" a toy into the water while sitting on the edge of the dock. Place and send is when trainers throw the toy first, walk the dog back and tell them to retrieve the object.

In between the competitions, attendees can listen to the children's group Laughing Pizza, who will be performing, or learn how to handle your pooch while listening to different trainers throughout the day.

"The competition all day and then there will be the laser show at night," Bell said. "People can make a day of it at the park."

All breeds of dogs are accepted into the competition as well as handlers 7 years of age and older. Dogs and their trainers are also allowed to register on the day of the event.

Several teams will advance to the next round of competitions.