Dog sledding is one of the most original and popular sports. The history of the race is based on the purely practical application of dogs, which developed into competition in the mid-1920s. The popularity of this sport is confirmed by the fact that it was part of the compulsory program of the Olympics of the 1930s. Consider the history of the origin of the race, its variety of sports and dogs suitable for competitions.
- Racing on dog sleds - from the origins of history to the present
- Equipment for the race on dog sledding
Racing on dog sleds - from the origins of history to the present
How it all began
The history of the unusual sport begins at the time of the Gold Rush, when thousands of people went to conquer the arctic lands in search of treasure. The only means of movement in this area were sled dogs . Arrived in the far north, people took four-legged friends, but most breeds could not acclimatize and cope with heavy loads.
Among the breeds used were sheep dogs, collies, setters, St. Bernards and large breeds of Métis. Most of the dogs died. Only the local husky and lycoids managed to cope with the task, which easily endure a harsh climate and are enduring.
Soon the gold diggers stopped experimenting with the choice of the breed, giving preference to the northern inhabitants. Each prospector sought to get the most hardy animal, so in their spare time, men often arranged a dog sled race in order to demonstrate the speed and strength of their pets.
The next impetus in the development of extraordinary sport was the epidemic of diphtheria, which took place in 1925. The only way to get the vaccine was Nenan, which was a hundred kilometers from the sick city of Nome. The first team, which went after the medicine, fell into a snowstorm. Therefore, to replace her left the next - led by the famous dog Balto.
The dog demonstrated an amazing speed, having overcome an impressive distance in a record short period of time. Thanks to the surprising speed of Balto, hundreds of lives were saved. This event was the reason for the annual sled competitions. The distance is exactly the same as Balto's. In order to become a participant in the race you need to experience driving, as well as passing qualifying tests in which dogs and their owners will be able to demonstrate their potential.
Rules and rules of the competition
Sled dog races are held to popularize sled dogs, as well as to attract attention to a healthy lifestyle. The competition is organized by the Center of Sled Sports, the competition is held with the support of the Department of Physical Culture.
Basic requirements for dogs:
- Checking pets with a veterinarian;
- The provision of a dog's passport, which indicates the information about vaccinations made. At the same time, the document must be submitted no later than one month before the start of the race;
- Providing a certificate of format F1 for those participants who have arrived from other areas;
- The pet taking part in the race must be over 1 year old;
- The judiciary board can eliminate the team from the competition if the dog shows aggression towards other participants;
- Before and after the race, pets should be in a specially designated room;
- One and the same pet can take part in several disciplines of this sport.
The program of the competition has the following sequence:
- Arrival of participants of the contest and spectators;
- Inspection of the competitive route;
- Registration of participants and teams;
- Opening ceremony;
- Holding a race;
- Awarding ceremony.
The winner of the competition is the team, which managed to pass the distance for the shortest period of time, taking into account the possible penalty time. To participate in the competition, you must pay an entry fee, which varies depending on the sport (from 500 to 1000 rubles).
If the athlete participates in several disciplines of the race, the contribution is reduced. Several participants can take the first place. In this case, the 2 nd and 3 rd places are not awarded.
Equipment for the race on dog sledding
In order to become a participant in the race, you must have a special equipment, which is represented by the following components:
- Belt and gloves.
Modern sleds consist of a rack for an athlete, a platform for cargo, a brake and a "snow anchor". The main materials for production are wood, plastic and metal. There are models with a combination of these materials. Mounting harnesses, as a rule, are made of synthetic materials. This is necessary so that the harness does not absorb moisture and does not rub the skin of the dog.
Formal division of the dog sled race into types
A popular sport today has several types, which differ in the length of the distance, the number of dogs and people taking part:
- Unlimited - the minimum number of dogs in the team is 12 individuals;
- Limited - the creators of the competition clearly determine the exact number of dogs participating in the race;
- Sprint - dogs show their speed, for a while, overcoming the distances;
- Marathon is a race where the endurance of pets is tested. It is divided into medium distances (up to 500 km, during which there is no time for rest, but there are many control points), long distances (from 500 km, where there are control points and recreation points) and multi-stage competitions (a combination of several types of distances);
- Relay - each team has several teams that change each other in certain zones of the race;
- Cargo - in addition to its owner, dogs carry a load of a certain size. The severity and length of the distance are agreed in advance;
- Race "blind" - athletes are invited to overcome the track, which they see for the first time. Participants are provided with a map and a compass.
Kinds of racing in sledding
Today, dog sled races are represented by several varieties, for participation in which it is not necessary to buy a dozen "northern" dogs. The traditional subspecies of the competition is the bullet. Several dogs are harnessed to the harness, a rope is attached to the end of the harness, which extends to the participant's belt. The athlete is behind the team and goes on skis. A cargo is attached to the harness, the size of which is determined by the sex and the type of dogs. The competition is held in the winter.
The next type of race is the sit-ski. One sportsman and one dog participate in the race. This race is very similar to a gun, the difference is that instead of skis used sled, where a person sits. During the race athlete does not help the pet. The time of the race is also winter. Initially, this sport was a kind of family leisure, which gave the pet the opportunity to run well and realize energy.
Skijoring - a kind of sport, which consists in towing a skier by one dog. This competition is held in America and Europe. A person "connects" with a pet by means of a shock absorber and a belt.
Maps race - the race is held with the participation of the crew, which is towed by a team of dogs. The person is in a three-wheeled stroller, which is harnessed by 3-4 dogs. Competitions are held in the summer.
A popular race is also gaining popularity, which can be held at any time of the year except in winter. Participation in the race takes one pet and one person. The competition is a kind of prevention of a good physical form of a person and his pets in breaks between the main races.
Bike ride - instead of a stroller a bicycle is used, which is towed by 1 or 2 dogs. The race is held in summer time.
Choosing a dog - what breeds are suitable for a race?
To participate in the races you can use pets of almost any breed, the main thing is that the dog was medium or large size, had a strong constitution and was located for training. Among the most popular breeds are sheep-dogs, kurtzhaars, drathaars , Airedale terriers and Dobermans . They demonstrate excellent speed indicators, often become winners at short distances.
However, for professional sports, you should choose "northern" breeds that have a gene for "riding in harness" and have been used for centuries to travel over snow-covered plains:
Buy puppies for participation in competitions recommended at the age of six months. At this time you can already see how a pet is built, whether he has a developed chest and long paws. In addition, at this age any deviations and pathologies will be noticeable. Do not worry, because even in adolescence these breeds will quickly get used to the new owner and will be receptive to the teams.
Buy puppies should be in specialized nurseries that offer puppies with developed "working abilities", rather than a beautiful exterior.
In order to achieve success in this sport, you must give training enough time. The pet should be trained by a number of teams. The task is complicated if several dogs are harnessed to the harness. Their work should be harmonious and well-coordinated.
The necessary skills of dogs to participate in the race:
- Dragging the cargo, running ahead of the athlete;
- Knowledge of turn commands;
- Braking of the team, quick reaction to the "stop" command;
- Commands of general obedience (sit, next, lie).
Dog teams are recommended to form on the basis of the family, adding puppies there as they grow up. Training of pets is carried out by the method of imitation. A huge responsibility lies with the athlete, who acts as the leader of the pack. A person must clearly define the hierarchy within the pack.
High dogs and low dogs stand out. The first group leads the rest. Pets with a low rank are prone to subordination and will not overtake colleagues with a higher rank. Therefore, it is very important to build a sequence with the pet in such a way that, ahead there were leaders of the group, followed by other dogs.
Needed are endurance training. Before them, it is necessary to remove water from the animal 4 hours before the session and put in place for half an hour before the "start". It is necessary that the animal drank enough water to prevent dehydration during the race. After training, it is necessary to examine the pet's legs for the presence of wounds and abrasions of the pillows. If injuries are detected, grease the paws with grease before the next workout.
The next stage is the training of the pet to run ahead of the person. For this, a long leash and a "haik" command are used. It is necessary to give a dog a treat if it starts an independent run ahead of the athlete. Further it is necessary to accustom the dog to a turn, it is recommended to do this for 3-4 sessions of training. Adjust the direction of travel using the cord and voice commands.
At 5-6 classes you can combine pets in a group. By this time they have already developed a certain discipline of behavior, and they can work together. If dogs are not familiar with each other, then first you need to start walking them together.
Racing on dog sleds - the sport is quite complex, not forgiving mistakes. Therefore, it is so important to do everything correctly, avoiding common missteps:
- A person gives commands to different languages, confusing pets;
- A person does not give the dogs the right team before the turn, but only pulls the reins;
- Use of coercion during training;
- Wrong placement of pets - the leader of the group should be ahead, followed by trained dogs, at the end there is young, which is trained by the method of imitation;
- "Wear" of animals - training with a load must be carried out with a gradual increase in weight and distance. At the first signs of fatigue in the dog should stop the occupation;
- Absence of the system in dog training - during the first 8 months of the animal's life, the emphasis during training is on endurance, then the rest of the team must be introduced.