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Tournament dog sport: Variants and conditions of participation

Tournament dog sport

If you want to keep your four-legged friend physically and mentally on the go, you can choose from a range of dog sports for this purpose. One of them is the so-called tournament dog sport, where humans and animals compete together as a team.


In the following, you will find out exactly how tournament dog sports work, which variations there are and what requirements you and your dog should meet to participate. We will also explain why nutrition is so important for your sporting dog and what you should pay attention to when feeding him.

What is tournament dog sport?

Tournament dog sport is also known as track and field with a dog. This basically describes quite well what this form of dog sport is all about. Because in tournament dog sports, dog and owner compete as a team in various disciplines of athletics.


In contrast to many other dog sports, where the human only takes on the role of the spectator or coach on the sidelines, in tournament dog sports your physical fitness is also required.


Because you always have to keep up with your four-legged friend while he jumps over hurdles or runs through the gates in slalom.

Different variations in the tournament dog sport

In tournament dog sport, a distinction is made between different variants. The best known of these are the cross-country run and the so-called tetrafight, of which there are three different performance classes in the VDH examination regulations.

The cross-country run at the tournament dog sport

The cross-country run can be completed over a distance of 1,000, 2,000 or 5,000 metres in tournament dog sports. Irrespective of the length of the course, it is necessary to keep the dog on a lead when running off-road. 


It is up to the handler whether a belly strap is worn for this purpose or whether the four-legged friend is led by hand. Meanwhile, however, most participants decide for a belly belt, as it is also usual with the Canicross.


As the term cross-country running suggests, the course of this discipline of the tournament dog sport leads over open terrain and over forest and field paths. Asphalted routes are avoided. 

The tetrafight at the tournament dog sport

The turf war is often called the supreme discipline in tournament dog sport. The competition consists of four different parts, in which the teams of man and dog have to compete.

The following disciplines are part of the tetrafight in tournament dog sport:

Obedience

In this part of the tetrafight it is about the four-legged friend proving his obedience. For this purpose the teams have to master different tasks from the companion dog test. These include in the first performance class, for example, the leash guidance, the free sequence as well as sitting with picking up and dropping off with approaching.


In performance classes 2 and 3, the difficulty is increased accordingly, for example by doing without the part with the leash guidance and the four-legged friend must complete all exercises without leash. For each exercise separate points are awarded, which make up the overall score in this discipline of the tetrafight.

Hurdles

In the hurdle race, the dog must jump four 30-centimetre high hurdles in the first and second performance classes. The course has a total length of 60 metres, with a turn after 30 metres.


In the third performance class there are six hurdles to jump over and the course is 80 metres long in total, whereby the dog has to turn halfway. The hurdles are 30 or 40 centimetres high, depending on the age of the dog.


In performance class 1, each dog handler can decide for himself whether to jump over the hurdles or run past them. In classes 2 and 3, on the other hand, he must jump over them together with his dog, unless he reaches the age of 61 in the year of the competition.

Slalom run

In slalom, the goal in tournament dog sport is to run together with the dog through a total of seven gates set up. The length of the course is 55, 65 or 75 metres, depending on the performance class. 


In contrast to classes 2 and 3, in the first performance class it is up to the handler to decide whether he wants to lead his dog through the course on a leash, whereby leading without a leash earns additional points.

Obstacle course

The obstacle course is the fourth discipline in the four-way competition in tournament dog sport. It consists of eight different obstacles, which are set up in a fixed order over a distance of 75 metres. 


The dog handler must run beside his dog during the complete obstacle course. The only difference between the different performance classes is that the four-legged friend has to complete the course in classes 2 and 3 without a leash.

Requirements for the participation in the tournament dog sport

Requirements for the participation in the tournament dog sport

If you would like to participate with your dog in official competitions in tournament dog sports, you must have completed a companion dog test in advance. In addition, your four-legged friend must, among other things, be chipped or tattooed, have a valid rabies vaccination and have liability insurance. 


Sick and injured animals are not allowed to participate, nor are pregnant or lactating bitches. In addition, you yourself must be a member of a club affiliated to the VDH in order to start in tournament dog sports with your four-legged friend.

Which dogs are suitable for tournament dog sports?

Basically it is said that tournament dog sport is suitable for all breeds. However, there are some restrictions.


For example, a dachshund will have little fun jumping over hurdles that are far too high. Similarly, a pug will not run through open terrain or a mastiff full of verve will not complete a slalom course.


Dogs should therefore already have a certain level of fitness for tournament dog sports. This is also valid for the tournament dog sport as a mass sport with dog, where for example with the obstacle course or in the triathlon is started.


If your dog is not suitable for the tournament dog sport because of his breed, you can certainly find another dog sport, with which you can occupy the four-legged friend species-appropriate. After all, there is a wide range of choices and the well-being of the animal should always come first in the end.

The right nutrition for the tournament dog sport

Dogs that are active in sports have special nutritional needs. In this respect, tournament dog sport is no exception. In order to ensure that your four-legged friend is optimally cared for despite the sports programme and that the physical strain does not have any consequences for his health, it is essential that you consider the nutritional requirements when feeding him.

The Bellfor nutrition concept for active dogs

The Bellfor nutritional concept offers you everything you need for a needs-based care of your four-legged friend active in tournament dog sports. All products contain only natural ingredients and are characterized by excellent digestibility.

We recommend that you rely on the following products for the nutrition of your active four-legged friend:

  • Bellfor Premium PUR Aktiv Trockenfutter with lots of meat and fish as well as easily digestible carbohydrates from rice and maize to cover the increased energy requirements resulting from training and competitions
  • Bellfor Fitness Powder as a supplier of additional amino acids that promote regeneration and support performance in tournament dog sports
  • Bellfor Joints & Bones with Ovopet for an optimal supply of nutrients to the joints, so that problems with the musculoskeletal system can be effectively counteracted


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