With winter drawing to a close, dog owners are looking for ways to engage their dogs physically and psychologically. Retrievers are looking for something to chase, and house dogs are tired of being indoors, and they too are looking for something to do.

This is what prompted Tony Reed to develop Splash Dogs, which allows dogs to stretch out and see how far they can jump. And this dock-jumping competition is fast becoming one of America’s most-popular outdoor events.

And the competition is again part of the Louisiana Sportsman Show this week, scheduled for March 16-19 at Gonzales' Lamar-Dixon Expo Center.

The competition allows dogs to compete for distance, diving from a dock into a 40-foot-long pool. No other outdoor event brings families and people together better or puts more smiles on faces than Splash Dog events.

“Yes, we add an element of competition, but we’re more about the family fun,” Reed said. “We have a set of rules, but we’ll bend them. If a dog doesn’t quite make it one time, it’s not going to hurt to give them back the toy and let them try to experience getting off the dock and feeling confident.

“It’s a great experience to watch people having fun with their dogs.”

Pet owners travel to these events from all over the region to compete. It’s a great new sport that everyone loves.

Competition is open to dogs of all breeds and ages, from lean Viszlas to shaggy Newfoundlands, all the way to Jack Russell terriers, Labradors and pit bulls.