Chicago had Air Jordan. Medford Lakes has Air Cello and Air Hooch.
Cello (short for Limoncello) and Hooch are owed by local residents Brian and Jenny Beadling. The dogs compete in dock diving competitions in which they get to show off their aerial skills. The two canines have literally jumped onto the scene and have earned invitations to the Dock Dogs World Championships. It all began shortly after the Beadlings moved to Medford Lakes in 2009. Cello was showing off his skills behind the house, and the Beadlings were already aware that dock diving competition for dogs existed. Brian soon realized Cello had plenty of elevation.
“She would be out back with us,” said Beadling. “She’d be jumping off the dock and I started to notice she goes pretty far. I knew that dock diving existed. There was a competition down in Tuckerton, New Jersey. We decided to go camp down there and enter Cello.”
Cello made the most of his opportunity. Despite facing nearly 300 other dogs, Cello came in second in the competition. That’s when the Beadlings knew they had something special with their high-flying canine.
“She’s actually a very driven dog,” Beadling said. “As soon as I grab that toy, she’s howling and screaming and whining. All she wants to do is get on that dock. She shakes the entire time. The humans enjoy the competition, but the dogs enjoy the jumping.”
While Cello is a four-year-old, Hooch has begun dock diving as a puppy. Hooch would follow his older friend around all of the time. After standing on the docks watching Cello perform, it did not take long for Hooch to follow in Cello’s paw-steps.
“We never thought he was going to jump,” said Beadling. “We didn’t want to force it on him. One day when he was about four or five months old, he just started jumping in the water. He’s been so fun to watch.”
The dogs compete in events throughout the East Coast. Last June, Cello earned his birth in the world championship competition by competing as an Iron Dog and earning first place in the Warrior Division. Cello also had the fastest Express Division Speed Retrieve score at that same event. Cello has been selected to be sponsored by TurboPUP, which offers meal bars to active dogs.
Hooch is ranked as the No. 1 German shorthaired pointer in the United States and the No. 2 German shorthair in the world. The one-year-old recorded a jump of 23- feet 8-inches to win first place in the Big Air Competition Virginia Beach last June. Hooch added a jump of 24’2” in Cape Charles, VA to set a new personal best.
In addition to the thrill of the competition, both dogs are getting the type of exercise which will help lead to a long and heathy life.
“They are well-trained athletes at this point,” Beadling said. “They’re very fit. It’s good for them. It’s also good for us. It keeps us active because we have to keep up with their training as well.”
While the Beadlings are thrilled to see the success of their dock-diving dogs, they are also happy to see them be part of an organization which helps dogs across the country.
“You see a lot of good stuff that happens,” said Beadling. “Dock Dogs is full of great people. You see a lot of adoption stuff going on. Dock Dog International actually has its own charity called the Bark Foundation, which does a lot of charitable work for dogs in need. They’ve done a lot to help as well.”
With both dogs rapidly emerging on an international level, the sky is literally the limit for Cello and Hooch.
“They can compete up until they’re seven years old,” Beadling said. “You look at the world record when they first started doing this and it was something like 18 feet. Cello and Hooch currently jump between 24 and 26 feet. The world record is 31 feet. As you get better at training and technique, it seems like the dogs just keep going. We may never beat the world record, but it’s fun to try.”
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