How to Win the Dog Race in Harvest Moon: Back to Nature

To win the Dog Race, you must raise your dog’s affection and train him daily using the dog ball. Keep a constant distance between you and your dog during the race so he can catch up with you and not wander around.

How to Raise Your Dog’s Affection

Your dog's affection rising. | Harvest Moon Back to Nature
Your dog’s affection rising.

You can raise your dog’s affection by picking him up once a day. You can start doing this in the Spring of the first year. By the time the event happens on the 10th of Winter, your dog should already be an adult dog with a high level of affection. 

Things to Avoid

Don't hit your dog! | Harvest Moon Back to Nature
Don’t hit your dog!
  • Don’t leave your dog outside during bad weather. Check the weather forecast every day on the TV and put the dog inside your house if it is going to rain.
  • Avoid hitting animals and your dog with tools. It will reduce their affection towards you.

Training Your Dog

Use the ball to train your dog every day. | Harvest Moon Back to Nature
Use the ball to train your dog every day.

Your dog will stay as a puppy for two seasons. Once it is an adult, Won may visit your farm at random. He will try to sell you a ball for your dog for 100g. Buy the ball and use it to train your dog every day before the event.

You can also whistle to your dog every day using the L1 button.

Using the Dog Ball

The dog loves to play with the ball. | Harvest Moon Back to Nature
The dog loves to play with the ball.

Play fetch with your dog every day to raise its intelligence. Just equip the ball and throw it toward your dog. It will fetch the ball and return it to you. Once your dog barks, take the ball to avoid misplacing or losing it.

Dog Ball Tips

  • You only need to play with your dog once a day. Throwing the ball several times a day has no effect.
  • Do not throw the ball where you or your dog can’t reach. Examples of these places are:
    • The shipping bin
    • The basket
    • The pond
    • The doghouse
    • The Hot Spring
  • If you somehow lost your dog ball, wait for Won to come again and sell you another one for 100g.

The Winter Dog Race

The Dog Race is held every 10th of Winter. | Harvest Moon Back to Nature
The Dog Race is held every 10th of Winter.

On the 9th of Winter, Zack will come to your farm and invite you to join the upcoming Dog Race. After joining, head to the town square the following day at 10 AM to start the event. Talk to Zack to start the race.

How to Win

The Dog Race begins! | Harvest Moon Back to Nature
The Dog Race begins!

To win the race, you need to reach the finish line first. Your dog will chase you if it has high affection and has enough training with the ball.

If your dog has low affection and is not trained enough, it will start to wander off and stop running after you. Go back to your dog to make it run after you again.

The player and his dog wins the race. | Harvest Moon Back to Nature
The player and his dog wins the race.

The key to winning is to try and keep a constant and consistent distance between you and your dog. You can also pause running in small intervals so your dog can keep up with you.
The mayor will award you the Top Breeder title if you win the race, although it does nothing. If you lose, train your dog some more with the ball and try again next year.