National canine competition splashes Gardnerville |

National canine competition splashes Gardnerville

Staff Reports

Heritage Park was crawling with four-legged competitors last week during the Splash Dogs Nationals competition.

This was the fifth year the Town of Gardnerville hosted Splash Dogs and the first year nationals were held in the Valley.

Splash Dogs is a nationally recognized dog enthusiast company that organizes and promotes dock jumping events across the United States and in parts of Canada.

"It was fabulous, more dogs registered then the last several years," said Minden resident Heather Paterson-Lewis.

The event brought canines and their handlers from 47 different cities and several states, including Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Texas, California and Nevada.

"It was a good turn out, lots of people, kids and dogs of course," said Paterson-Lewis. "The dogs love it and appreciate it."

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Regional competitions were held throughout Northern Nevada in August, with nationals taking place Sept. 28 through Oct. 1.

Each event consists of competitions and training sessions for new dogs and owners. All breeds of dogs were encouraged to take the plunge from wiener dogs to Labrador retrievers.

Participates had to compete in at least two events with their two best jumps moving on to nationals, said Paterson-Lewis.

Paterson-Lewis participated with her dog Oreo, an 8-year-old German shorthaired pointer and heeler mix, for the fifth year in a row who took third in the pro finals on Saturday with a score of 21 feet 11 inches.

"She loves it. She just goes and wants to do it again," said Paterson-Lewis.

Also at this year's event was Inde, a dock diving champion.

Inde is a Belgian Malanois, a breed known most for their police work, that competed with the U.S. team at the 2014 Mondioring Team in Merano, Italy.

The four-year-old canine competed in the Valley event making a splash into third place with a jump of 25 feet 8 inches.

Another four-legged competitor was Drake and handler Lisa Smith of Oroville, Calif. Patterson-Lewis said Drake was the first diving Dachshund to compete, in the competition. He received a score of 3 feet 1 inches in the Lap Dog finals.

"It was fun, a lot of different breeds and handlers having a good time," said Paterson-Lewis. "We had a lot of positive feed back from visitors too, not just during the competition, but being tourist and visiting Douglas County. Many said they couldn't wait to come back."

For information on Splash Dogs and a full list of the 2017 Splash Dogs nationals results visit