What comes to mind when you hear the word “athlete”? You probably picture someone in the NFL, NBA or MLB. More importantly, you probably think of two legs — not four. That’s right, four legs.

But three competitors from Burlington are redefining the word “athlete”.

“DockDogs is where you jump your dog off a dock into a pool. It may sound crazy, but it’s a lot of fun!” said Kayla Wolff, Team B’s handler.

In 2017, Wolff saw on Facebook that the Minot Scheels was holding a DockDogs event.

“I was like, ‘Well, my dogs jump off a dock in the lake. Let’s try it out,'” Wolff said.

She and her husband took their dog Bentley, and they were hooked.

“I’ve gone back every year. In 2019, I said, ‘Hey, I want to try to go to Worlds. Let’s go, Bentley.’ And he got his first World invite then,” Wolff said.

Bentley fell short of making the finals that year, but with a spot secured for the 2020 competition, Bentley began working like a dog to get to the top.

But it wasn’t just Bentley they had to work on. Their other two goldens, Bailey and Boston, also got invites.

“They’re famous! You know. It’s like we go places and they know the dogs! It’s really a neat thing to see that they’re showing that dogs can do a lot of other things than, you know, I mean, there’s hunting dogs, but this is really something cool that the dogs can do,” said Rita Godejohn, Kayla’s mom.

Bentley found redemption and made it to the finals for ​the extreme verticals event finishing tied for fifth.

“I always tell them, you know, ‘Hey, good job. Let’s get it next time,'” Wolff said.

And they did.

The trio received another invite for the 2021 competition.

This year, it was Boston’s time to shine, earning a second-place finish.

“We almost brought home a world champion!” Wolff said.

Although Bailey and Bentley didn’t make it to finals, Bentley set some new personal bests which Wolff says will help his 2022 golden retriever rankings.

Right now, he’s ranked No. 1 in the world for Iron Dog and Extreme Vertical, No. 2 for big air and No. 3 for speed retrieve.

How does that make you feel?

“It makes me really happy! It’s awesome knowing that I have this dog that, you know, the plan was never DockDogs. Bentley was a house pet. We love goldens, but the more I got more involved in training I was like, ‘I’ve got something special here,'” Wolff said.

Wolff said she’s very proud of their accomplishments.

“My husband said this is the only wall I get! But I’m like, ‘Do you see? It’s running out of room already!'” Wolff said.

Wolff and Godejohn say it’s exciting to put Burlington on the map at the international level.

“I see more people that come and watch, and they’re really amazed that these dogs are athletes! If they could see this on the big stage, they’d be surprised at the level of competition with dogs and it’s just amazing!” said Godejohn.

Wolff says they’ve had to get creative for training during the off-season.

She says they play a lot of fetch and indoor exercises and invested in a doggy treadmill to keep them in shape.

Team B’s next competition is in February, but they’ve got their snouts set on Worlds in October.