Perfect for bully and sledding breeds or any dog who likes to "put their back into it". Because it is strenuous work, dogs should be vet-checked to make sure they are healthy enough for sports, then be conditioned and trained how to safely pull to avoid strained muscles or mental burnout. Training starts with having the dog drag very light weights with a well-made harness, giving lots of praise for effort. In competitive weight pulling, the dogs pull a wheeled cart, either on ground or tracks, loaded with heavy weights: In competition dogs have pulled over 12,000lbs!

Don't make the mistake of teaching the dog to pull frantically and throw themselves into the harness. This can cause injury and is mentally stressful. Dogs should be taught to pull at a steady pace. Many owners “bait” the dogs to pull, getting the dogs to pull by enticing them with a toy or food reward. This is not the best way to go about it, as baited dogs can become frustrated and desperate to reach the item which can cause physical injuries as well as mental strain. Some dogs will lash out when frustrated. A food or toy reward is okay, but should be given to the dog after they perform the pull. Dogs are judged on most Weight Pulled and most Weight Pulled Per Pound so dogs of any size can participate, from Toy Poodles to English Mastiffs.

Efforts have been made to introduce competitive weight-pulling to inner-city youth as a humane alternative to deadly dog-fighting matches. Because this sport is very popular with bully breeds, some public bias against the “macho” image is unfortunately to be expected.  There is nothing about the sport performed according to international rules that involves force or cruelty. It's possible for individuals to treat their own participating dogs cruelly, but if so the individuals-- not the sport-- are at fault.

NorCal Weight Pulling Club Facebook Page

The information above is provided as a public service. Shasta Dogs does not receive financial benefit in exchange for advertising any service or product on this page or linked pages.