Wild Bill Days brings Dock Dogs to Deadwood

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Deadwood, SD It was a tail wagging good time in Deadwood during the annual Wild Bill Days Friday.

Bonnie LeCates, owner of Maximus Cash says, "They're excited because of the water. They get to jump and retrieve and that's what all these dogs want to do and that's what they're taught to do."

From pro puppies to amateurs ... it was a pawesome time in Deadwood as dogs and their owners competed at the annual Dock Dog competition.

Freddie Sheppard, event manager says, "There's 40 feet of the Blue Buffalo dock, 40 feet of pool, the furthest jump wins the competition."

The four legged friends get to try their luck at three events including big air, extreme vertical, and speed retrieve.

Sandy Thiel, owner of Skeeto Bear says, "She had three invitations to last year's World Championships which she placed five in the finals in Iron Dog which is all three disciplines."

Many of the dogs competing are seasoned professionals and some are jumping for the first time.

Sheppard says, "You can be a couch potato, bring your puppy down, 6 months of age is all we need, and that gets them up on the dock."

One local dog handler got her start last year on a whim and has been hooked ever since.

LeCates says, "A couple of friends of mine we're set up and we were going to come down and watch them one day and I thought oh, I could do that so we entered him last year and he jumped and we decided to do it again this year"

The winner of the first heat of pups in the distance jump competition landed a 23 foot 6 inch jump and the winners of this event will qualify for the national competition,

Sheppard says, "It's an incredibly competitive sport it's down to millimeters to win championships."