Mandan 15-year-old Jace Engelstad and his 8-year-old Belgian Malinois Sasha have been competing in dock diving for about two years.
“It’s pretty much a test where you see how far and high your dog can jump into a pool of water off a 40 foot dock,” Engelstad said.
Since they started competing, the duo has been successful enough to earn an invite to the Dock Dogs World Championship in Iowa next week.
“I started off I was probably in Kindergarten, we went to the sport show, and ever since I’ve been wanting to try it out. We got Sasha and I knew from the bat she’d be good,” Engelstad said.
Engelstad says Sasha is ranked sixth in the world in the youth category, and he hopes to see her bring home some hardware.
“My favorite part would definitely have to be how training pays off because you have your good days and your bad days, but once you have a personal best or you accomplish something big like getting an invite to the world championship, it makes it so worth it,” Engelstad said.
Sasha’s personal best in the long jump is 22’6″, and 6’4″ in the high jump.
“We look at her stride and break it down so we can get the best jump possible. You have to practice that over and over again, it takes a lot of repetition,” Engelstad said.
The duo will head to Iowa Monday for the weeklong competition.
Sasha is a rescue dog that Jace said had been neglected her first two years but is in a much better place now.