When it comes to sports with a dog, many imagine sled dogs, sleds, and endless snow-covered fields. Indeed, dog sled racing is one of the most ancient and popular sports disciplines today. But few people know that she also has a snowless analog called dryland mushing.
This is a separate group of summer dog sports. The history of dryland is much shorter than the history of dog sledding because the sports disciplines on earth originated precisely from snow sports. The fact is that sled dogs needed training not only in winter but also in summer to maintain their physical shape and skills. This is how summer sports were born.
Summer Sports With a Dog
Dryland includes several areas of training with a dog:
Bikejoring. It is based on cycling over rough terrain, most often in the forest. The dog runs in front of the cyclist and tows him. The length of the track is from 3 to 10 km;
Dog-carting. This sport is reminiscent of sledding, it is a dog carriage race. The harness usually contains from two to six animals. The carts themselves are also different: they are two-, three- and four-wheeled;
Dog scooter. It’s kind of like a lightweight version of dog-karting. Dog Scooter is a scooter race, pulled by one or three dogs. This sport requires not a simple, but a special scooter with large pneumatic wheels;
Canicross. The safest clay sport. This is a cross-country run with a dog.
Most Trainable Breeds
Dryland has absolutely no size or breed restrictions. Absolutely any pet can go in for sports, the main thing is to choose a suitable load and type of activity.
Of course, as in other sports, dryland has its own leaders – breeds that are traditionally recognized as the best sled dogs. These are Alaskan malamutes, huskies, huskies, and other members of the family. Dobermans, shepherd dogs, mestizo are also successful.
However, there are still some limitations. They are related to the age and health of the participants.
Dogs under 15 months of age cannot compete in canicross and dog-go-cart competitions, and dogs under 18 months of age cannot compete in dog-scooter and bikejoring competitions.
Age restrictions apply to riders as well. So, children under 12 years old will not be able to participate in competitions in canicross and dog-scootering. In bikejoring, the higher threshold is 14 years. And a driver of at least 18 years old can drive a team of 6-8 dogs.
First, you need to determine what kind of sport you want to play with your pet. Canicross is perfect for beginners; if you decide to try yourself, for example, in dog-carting, be prepared for investments, including financial ones.
It is quite difficult to prepare for the competition on your own. It is best to contact a professional athlete and dog handler. Such activities require not only physical training but also psychological. The dog must be obedient, attentive, and well-mannered. In addition, the pet must know the necessary commands and follow them unquestioningly.
Do not forget that dryland is a team sport, and success depends not only on the animal but also on its owner.