Dogs face off in athletic events in Osage Beach

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OSAGE BEACH - Man's best friend received special attention in mid-Missouri Sunday.

Dog owners and trainers from around the country put their pooches head to head in the DockDogs Central Midwest Regional Championship at Dog Days Bar & Grill.

The dogs competed in the finals of three different events: "Big Air," where dogs compete to see who can jump the farthest by jumping into a pool; "Speed Retrieve," where dogs compete to see who can jump into a pool and get a toy from the end of it; and "Extreme Vertical," where dogs compete to jump the highest.

Dogs can compete in a decathlon-styled event combining the three events, called an "Iron Dog" competition.

The dogs were categorized by size and ability. 

DockDogs is a competitive series enjoyed by dogs and trainers alike.

"The best thing is to spend time with your dogs, and your family, and with friends here," Sean McCarthy of Riverside, Iowa said. "Over time, you get to meet all of the other competitors and they become your good friends, and their dogs become good friends."

"It's just really fun to do with the dogs," Sam Jones of Columbia said. "Dogs love swimming. All the dogs, they do this because they love to jump in the water, they love to, you know, retrieve toys, and everybody's real friendly."

Both Jones' and McCarthy's dogs have earned spots to compete in the 2016 DockDogs World Championships. The event is scheduled for Nov. 9-13 in Dubuque, Iowa.

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