Michigan dog 'Slingshot' is a dock diving champion, world record holder

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When his name is called, it is time to jump.

The dog is Slingshot and he is aptly named. This is dock diving - and Slingshot, a 4-and-a-half-year-old whippet, is the best in the world.

"Pretty much anytime that he goes up and jumps is an attempt at breaking his own record," said Rachael Brinkman, Einstein Dog Training.

Brinkman and her husband Dan are Slingshot's owners and trainers. They say in the 2018 season alone, Slingshot set 12 world records in dock diving. 

They were honored last year with the longest jump last September, which was a Guinness World Record.

"They judge from the end of the dock to where the base of the tail lands in the water, and that distance was 35 feet, three inches," said Brinkman. "It amazes me still when I watch it."

That's because this is so very rare. Thousands of dogs compete in this sport at all levels all over the world - it's rare for any dog to jump more than 30 feet.

"To be able to hit the 30-foot mark - there's only a handful of dogs that have even been able to even achieve that," Brinkman said. "So to be able to jump 32, 34 - 35, is incredible."

The Brinkmans - who own Einstein Dog Training - say Slingshot's success is due to breeding and training - his athleticism and the relationship between the dog and the trainers - it's not just good luck.

The Brinkmans, who live in Genesee County - are even being recruited for a television show. They can't talk about that yet, but they're happy to talk about their dogs, their family's passion for dock diving, and Slingshot's shot at fame - that he's so wonderfully unaware of.

"(People ask) what does your dog do, what is your dog's name, I say Slingshot and they're like whoa - 'The Slingshot?' He doesn't know that he's 'The' Slingshot - you know - he just goes out and has fun."

And that - she says - is the great thing about dogs.

"There's no ego - there's no, 'Oh, I lost,' he doesn't care," she said. "He goes out and has fun."