Leaping Into Motion

"How do the universal laws of motion affect the motion of all objects?"


What is dock diving?

Dock diving is a relitavely new dog sport that has been around for only nine years. The object of this sport is to get your dog to jump off a dock as far or high as they can, throwing a toy to lure them as far off the dock as possible.

What forces of motion are used in the sport of dock diving?

Dock diving demonstrates multiple forces of motion, from the moment the dog starts running to the egde of the dock to the moment the dog hits the water. The main force of motion used in dock diving is projectile motion, the force of motion experienced when the dog is in the air.

The handler has a choice of how much of a running start the dog should get before leaping off of the dock (this can be anywhere from 1-40 feet), in order to gain the most speed and momentum so their dog to get the longest or highest jump possible. They usually start at the 40- foot line to try to get the dog to accelerate to it's fastest speed before it jumps, but some dogs take longer to accelerate to their full speed (an average of 25 mph) than others. By getting the dog to run faster before it jumps, this increases the momentum the dog has. The more momentum the dog has, the further or higher it will go.

Momentum is the product of an object's mass and velocity (p=mv). So the average sized dog would have the momentum of around 1375m/s. So, if the more mass and the more velocity the dog has, the further it goes- would a bigger dog with more mass be best at this sport or a smaller, faster dog? The answer is to find some middle ground. This is why meduim-sized dogs such as Labrador Retreivers and Border Collies participate and excell in this sport. (Doing this project, I figured out Greyhounds would be the best at dock diving, taking into account their size and the fact they are the fastest dog. Though, they don't have the motivation to jump into the water...they have that "you first" attitude.)


The dock is usually covered in astroturf to increase the friction between the dock and the dog's feet so the dog does not slip as easily when running and jumping. Astroturf provides more kinetic friction between the dog's paws and the dock than wood, plactic, or metal because it is a rougher, more grippable surface.

When the dog leaps off the dock and is in midair, the dog is in projectile motion, a combination of a downward free-fall motion and a forward horizontal motion. Another example of projectile motion would be throwing a baseball. The dog is experiencing Newton's fist law of motion when it hits the water. Newton's first law states an obect in motion will stay in motion unless acted on by an unbalanced force. The unbalanced force in this case would be the dog hitting the water.


One: http://www.chromadane.com
Two: http://www.bordercolliecentral.com

YouTube.com- "Henry jumps 26' 11" Sets new Splashdog Record" by cbbrrescuemom

"Competitor Rules." Ultimate Air Dogs. Web. 30 Mar 2010. http://www.ultimateairdogs.net/Competitor_Rules.html
DogDogs.com. Web. 4 Apr 2010. http://www.dockdogs.com/
Splash Dogs. Web. 4 Apr 2010. http://www.splashdogs.com/