SAFSS Code of Conduct

Governing All SAFSS Sled Dog Event Competitors

  1. All contestants will treat all Event officials with courtesy and respect.
  2. All contestants agree to abide by any decision made by the Event marshal for purposes of that Event. An opportunity to appeal the decision at a later date is recognized.
  3. Every contestant will display a high degree of sportsmanship at all times.
  4. All contestants will conduct themselves at all times in a manner which demonstrates a caring attitude for the welfare of their teams. Abuse of a dog, with or without an implement, is prohibited.
  5. All contestants confirm by entering the Event that each of their dogs is trained and fit to run the distance demanded by the Event entered.
  6. All contestants confirm that they put the physical well being of each dog ahead of any other consideration.
  7. All contestants agree to report to the Event marshal the actions of other drivers, or team handlers, which they feel reflects negatively on the sport of sled dog Event.
  8. All contestants agree to allow the Event marshal, or named designee, to inspect their dogs before and/or after any Event entered. No contestant will try to hide, or ignore, any injury which might disqualify a dog from competing.
  9. All contestants agree not to carry whips or noise makers or any other punitive implements during an Event.
  10. All contestants should do their utmost to demonstrate their pride in their teams by the general appearance of the dogs and equipment.

Social Code of Conduct

The way we conduct ourselves today influences sled-dog access tomorrow. Do your part to enhance our sports' image by following these guidelines.

Traverse open trails only.

- Respect road and trail closures [ask if unsure]
- Avoid trespassing on private lands
- Obtain permission or other authorisation as required
- Leave gates as you found them or as marked
- National Parks are closed to all dogs without special permission
- The way you approach your activity will influence trail access and land management
decisions and policies

Leave no trace.

- Be sensitive in the areas you traverse
- Stay on existing trails and don't create unauthorised tracks
- Don't damage trackside vegetation and avoid wet, muddy areas which are more vulnerable to damage
- Stop! And pick up your dog waste and pack it out with you
- Control your dogs.
- Regardless of the sled-dog sport you are engaged in, always maintain control of your dog/s or team/s, and always have a tethering / securing mechanism in place if needed
- Yield the trail.
- Trails are used by many different recreationalists, and field workers
- Anticipate other trail users around corners and in blind spots
- Show respect when passing others by slowing down and/or stopping your dog/s or team/s
- Yield the trail to all whether on foot, bike, horseback, motorbike or vehicle
- Establish communication in order to pass safely – good trail etiquette
- Avoid conflict with other users by observing these guidelines

Respect wildlife / animals.

- All animals are startled by unannounced approach, sudden movement or loud noise
- This can be dangerous for you, the dogs, others and wildlife
- Give wildlife extra time to adjust to your presence
- When encountering horses, dismount from your rig and keep your dogs under control
- Always keep yourself between the horse and your dogs so the horse focuses on you
- Encourage equestrians to stay on the trail, and talk in soothing tones to horses as they pass


Transporting dogs to and from a race/event will be in a safe compartment (Space for the dog to stand up and turn around comfortably), soft flooring (not an open steel floor) and well ventilated.

Dogs will be regularly watered and taken out of the dog boxes/trailer to relieve themselves.

At a race/event dogs will be staked-out before and after the race, in such a way that they have ample space to “warm up”, have water and relieve themselves.

Dogs will never be left in dog boxes/trailer for longer periods than an hour at a time, except when boxed for the night.

When the dogs spend the night in their dog boxes/trailer, they will be protected from all elements throughout the night.

Plan ahead.

- Know your ability, your equipment and the area you are traversing
- Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear, take with you all necessary equipment for the situation and carry neck lines, snub lines water, etc
- Don't forget the dog waste bags!
- Be self sufficient
- Select your times carefully to suit the weather conditions and to avoid or limit conflict with other trail users
- We will always attempt to profile our sports in a professional manner to the wider community.
- We will encourage the development of activities and events that expand the profile of sled-dogs sports in South Africa, and internationally.
- We will act in a responsible manner at all times when conducting our sports.
- We will display good sportsmanship at all sled-dog sports activities.
- We will encourage all interested parties to become members or affiliates of SAFSS
- We will attempt to stay well informed in sled-dog sports.
- We will always promote the best care of the sled-dog.
- We will acknowledge our environmental responsibilities and will promote any environmental guidelines relevant to our sports.

To support and promote all forms of sled-dog sports South Africa wide.

- To increase awareness and acceptance of our sports amongst the general, media, business and tourism communities, and across all levels of government.
- To advocate to governments, their agencies, corporate bodies and others on responsible access to areas in which to conduct our sports.
- To provide support to all individuals, groups, breed clubs and sled-dog clubs in the promotion of activities, events and competitions which help the development and growth of our sports within South Africa.
- To support the enjoyment of sled-dog sports by participants, and to encourage participation by all members of the community.
- To develop and coordinate any state and / or national competition programs.
- To coordinate and protect the common interests of the association, it's members and affiliates.
- To acquire and distribute information relevant to our sports amongst the association, it's members and affiliates.
- To promote the education of association members and affiliates on general canine health, welfare and veterinary care.
- To provide for non-discrimination of any dog or team due to breed status.
- To support those individual members who wish to promote and extend the sport internationally.

Aim and Objectives

- To uphold the SAFSS of Ethics and SAFSS Social Code of Conduct.