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Bark in the Park events are open to all competitors, regardless of their ability, race, sex, ethnicity, nationality, club or group affiliation.
Competitors are responsible for the welfare and safety of their dogs at all times. At the discretion of Bark in the Park staff, any dog that is perceived to be a medical or physical threat to other canine competitors will not be allowed to compete and may be asked to leave the premises. Female dogs in heat are not allowed to compete and may not be brought to the competition site. Participating dogs must be at least 1 year of age.
Abusive treatment of canine competitors, or any actions that may be perceived by staff or spectators as such, will not be permitted. Electronic training aids of any kind, active or inactive, are not permitted during competition. While the health and welfare of canine competitors is the responsibility of their owners/trainers, any Bark in the Park staff may be called on to ultimately determine whether a canine is fit to compete. Many dogs will continue to play even if they are badly injured, so competitors are encouraged to be aware of the physical condition of their dog at all times.
Nature Breaks and Other Disruptions
If a nature break occurs on the playing field during competition, time will continue and any clean-up necessary must be done by the human half of the team upon completion of the round. As a courtesy to others, competitors should avoid allowing their dog to take a nature break on the playing field at any time as this can cause an unnecessary distraction for other canines participating in the competition. To this end, canine competitors should be kept away from the playing field before the competition begins and should be taken for a nature walk before they are scheduled to take the field during the competition.
If an unleashed dog runs onto the field during competition, time will be suspended and the competitor will be given the choice to 1) continue with the rest of the round, 2) start the round over, 3) move to the end of the order and start the round over after their dog has rested. Time will be suspended for other unforeseen distractions or obstructions at the discretion of Bark in the Park staff, and the same three choices will be given.
As a courtesy to other competitors, treats or food of any kind is not allowed on the playing field during competition. Food that is inadvertently dropped on the playing field may cause an unnecessary distraction for other canines in the competition.
Abusive language, boisterous challenges of Bark in the Park staff, confrontations with other competitors, or any other unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated and will result in disqualification from competition. In extreme cases, the Bark in the Park staff reserve the right to suspend an offending competitor from the competitions.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I play more than one dog at a competition? Can someone else in my family play my dog?
The answers to both of these questions are yes. There is a limit of four dogs per handler at each event, and a limit of two handlers per dog at each event. Bark in the Park asks that competitors be very mindful of the safety of their dogs, so watch for exhaustion if one dog is being used by two people. Bark in the Park would like to encourage families to participate as well, so the possibility that two family members may want to use one dog gives rise to this allowance. All dog/thrower teams are ranked separately, so the points that a thrower earns with one dog have no bearing on a his or her ranking with a second dog. Likewise, points earned by a dog with one thrower have nothing to do with points earned by that dog with a second thrower.
Why does time continue if my dog takes a nature break? I can't control that!
Actually, we believe you can. Owners control the feeding schedule of their dogs and can take the responsibility to take their dogs for a walk prior to competition. When any dog eliminates on the playing field, it has the potential to create an unnecessary distraction for other canine competitors who come after them in the order. Allowing the clock to run during nature breaks is a way to make competitors aware of this event that could potentially affect the outcome of the competition. Please clean up after you pets!
Can I practice on the field?
No, there is not enough time between shows and events to allow everyone equal practice time. Therefore, we can not allow anyone to practice on the field. Also, the more traffic that is on the field the worse condition it will be in for the shows and events.