Incredible Dog Challenge 15th Anniversary “Top Moments”

As we told you about back in November, I had the chance to travel to St. Louis to attend the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge, the finals in a nationwide event that really is incredible. Dogs of every size were competing on the field in events that ranged from dock diving to pole weaving.

We recently received this fun collection of 15 fun moments the Incredible Dog Challenge has enjoyed during its history:

 October 1998 – Purina hosts the 1st annual Incredible Dog Challenge, held at Purina Farms in St. Louis, Mo.
1998 – The Incredible Dog Challenge is one of the first known events to introduce dog diving as a competitive sport for the first time. The following year, the Challenge premieres the first dog diving pool with a dock and measuring system (diving competition was previously limited to natural bodies of water).

1998 – The Incredible Dog Challenge is nationally broadcasted for the first time on ESPN.

1999 – Incredible Dog Challenge canine athletes compete in New Jersey against a backdrop of the Twin Towers.
1999 – Purina hosts the first Winter Incredible Dog Challenge in Breckenridge, Co., featuring snow sports such as head-to-head slalom racing, skijoring and an avalanche rescue demonstration.
April 2000 – The Incredible Dog Challenge travels overseas to Sydney, Australia, for its first ever international competition.
The Incredible Dog Challenge has hosted not only canine athletes but canine heroes as well. In 2003, an assistance dog demonstration was held during the Challenge in San Francisco, and in 2010, a team of rescue dogs returning from an earthquake-ravaged Haiti held a rescue dog demonstration in St. Petersburg, Fla.
 2006 – A competitor at the Incredible Dog Challenge is the first in the competition’s diving dog history to break 30’ in Harris, PA. Incidentally, the diving pool had to be extended to a length of 41’, only to later be extended again to its current length of 45’.
October 2006 – Cindy the Greyhound breaks the Guinness World Record for high jump at the Incredible Dog Challenge National Finals in St. Louis, Mo.
2009 – Olympic gold-medalist diver Greg Louganis and his dog Dobby compete in the small agility and diving dog events at the Incredible Dog Challenge Western Regional and National Finals.

June 2007 – The Incredible Dog Challenge makes its first appearance on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” featuring three diving dog competitors showcasing the sport on the street in New York City. The following year, actor and comedian Seth Rogen tests his skills at “human” dog diving as he attempts a dive in the pool.

June 2009 – Surfs up! Purina debuts the first ever Incredible Surf Dog Competition at Ocean Beach, Calif.

January 2010 – Competitors from the Incredible Dog Challenge showcase their canine athleticism in Times Square on “Good Morning America.”

Credit: – Nadja Palenzuela’s website

October 2011 – Fans can watch the Incredible Dog Challenge from the comfort of their home with the first live stream on

photo of laptop via Google, edited by Catalyst to incorporate screenshot of

April 2012 – ESPN debuts highlights from the Incredible Dog Challenge in Atlanta, Ga., where a free throw shot made by canine athlete, Mako, makes No. 10 on SportsCenter’s “Top Ten Plays.” ESPN also featured the Challenge as part of a viewer’s poll on SportsNation, where a diving dog competitor beat out MLB player Giancarlo Stanton for “Best Dive.”

Credit: Purina/ Carson’s

Disclosure: Photos credited as indicated. My trip to St. Louis to the Incredible Dog Challenge was courtesy of Purina.

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About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.