Dog Puller Jumping is a relatively new sport that has taken the canine world by storm.
Commended for its accessibility to all humans and dog breeds alike, Puller Jumping has already gained an International following, and from our own experience it’s easy to understand why.
In this post we’ll focus on Puller Jumping rules and the all-important scoring system, so that you can set and aim to beat your own top score.
In competitive Dog Puller Jumping, points are scored for every successful Puller ring capture that a dog makes within a 90 second timeframe.
- 1 Point is awarded for every successful capture that is made when the dog’s jump consists of two paws leaving the ground.
- 2 Points are awarded for every successful capture made by the dog when jumping with all 4 paws off the ground.
- 0 Points are given if the ring is missed or if a dog fails to leave the ground before a capture.
How does the scoring system in puller jumping work?
First things first, in order to play the game you’re going to need to grab a pair of Puller Rings. They’re fairly easy to come by on Amazon and relatively inexpensive too.
As mentioned, in the competitive game of Puller Jumping, the aim is to earn the highest number of points within a 90 second window with points awarded for each successful ring capture.
A ring capture is when a dog grabs one of the Puller rings in its mouth while in the act of jumping.
There are two main rules that you must bear in mind when playing Puller jumping.
- The ring must remain in the handlers’ hand during the capture (but can be released after)
- The dog must complete its capture with either 2 or 4 paws off the ground (except when playing the game with puppies)
Captures must be made on alternate sides. So a jump and grab of the ring in the handler’s right hand is then followed by jumping and grabbing the ring in the handler’s left hand, and so on.
Grabbing the same ring twice in a row will result in no points being given for the second capture.
If the dog fails to go for a Puller ring during the game, the handler can offer it repeatedly until a capture is made. Points for the eventual capture will be awarded.
Playing puller jumping with a puppy
For puppies playing Puller Jumping the scoring system has been slightly altered to reduce the height that they jumps.
This is intended to safeguard against any potential strains it may cause on the young dogs’ joints.
If the puppy fails to go for a Puller ring during the game, the handler can offer it repeatedly until a capture is made.
Points for successful captures are awarded as follows:
- 2 Points for a capture that is completed with 2 paws off the ground
- 1 Point for a capture that is completed with all 4 paws remaining in contact with the ground
What are the puller jumping categories?
As the Puller sports are a test of speed and agility, dogs compete against other dogs of similar age, height and weight.
Dogs should be measured while standing on all four legs on a smooth, flat surface with measurements taken from the ground up to the withers of the dog (that’s the ridge between the shoulder blades).
In competitive sports, three judges will measure the same dog and take an average to determine the category for that dog.
There are three categories determined by size, as well as further classes for Puppies, Heavyweight Dogs, Veteran Dogs and High Speed Dogs.
Rules of puller jumping
As the Puller sports have been developed as a fun game that anyone can participate in, rules are not important if you are simply playing for fun.
However, just like the scoring system, the official rules have been marked out by the Puller Federation to encourage more places to take up and offer the sport at a competitive level.
If you are interested in starting your own Puller club then you can find the full breakdown of the rules for organisations here.
Otherwise, we’ve shared the basics of Puller jumping below.
Puller jumping zone dimensions
Competitive Puller Jumping takes place inside a 10x10m performance area which can be marked out using flags, cones, or non-toxic grass paint.
Two identical Puller rings must be used as the capture objects and only one dog and one handler perform at any given time and each game lasts 90 seconds.
The start of the game and the countdown clock is indicated by the handler clapping the two Puller rings together twice.
The intention is for the dog to alternate between catching the left and right Puller ring, therefore there must be a clearly visible change in direction by the dog before each capture.
It should be noted that there are also specific rules that safeguard the dogs from any potential injuries. These include:
- Dogs are to jump in a horizontal direction behind the Puller ring. Jumping up vertically can cause damage to the dogs legs and joints when landing.
- Rings should not be used to turn a dog in the air. To prevent the possibility of neck or spin damage, the handler should move the ring with the dog during a capture and land.
- Dogs should only play Puller sports with the correct size of Puller Rings.
Errors, Violations and Disqualification
Just like in other competitive games there can be points deducted or competitors disqualified if specific rules are broken. Here we outline a few error scenarios to consider as well as what to avoid.
- A handler is allowed to replace a Puller ring if damage occurs during a game. However, the time of the performance does not stop while a change is taking place.
- As a sport aimed at all abilities, handlers can alter the play to suit themselves and their dog. Kneeling or sitting to play puller jumping with a small dog is acceptable, but the dog must not use any part of the handler as a barrier, obstacle or step. If this occurs, overall points won during the game can be halved or it can result in the participants being disqualified.
- As with other agility sports, it’s prohibited to reward dogs with food during a performance as any dropped pieces can act as a distraction to following teams.
- And finally, but hopefully not surprisingly, any aggressive behaviour observed between handlers and their dogs or dogs acting towards other dogs is not acceptable and will result in disqualification.
World record in puller jumping
The first ever Dog Puller Championship was held in Prague on the 7th October 2018. Since then, 3 more Championship events have taken place, plus a few online versions during the global pandemic!
There has been a huge increase in popularity every year since the games first started, with athletes from over 10 countries now taking part.
The Puller Federation has kept track of all the top scoring teams from each category over the years and there is already an impressive Hall of Fame for the top scorers.
The top score for Puller Jumping is held by a Drive category contestant who wracked-up an incredible 238 points in their 90 second game! That’s 119 perfect captures! Incredible!
But just to show the games really are for everyone, the World Champion contestant from the Mini category won 196 points during their performance! Very impressive!
So there you have it, a rundown of the points and scoring system set out in the fascinating canine sport of Puller Jumping. Whether you are aiming for world champion or not, the Puller sports are definitely a brilliant way to build up fitness as well as building bonds between you and your 4 legged friend.
Get prepared to learn a brilliantly fun way to use up every last drop of your dog’s energy!