Tell you the truth, I’ve had mixed feelings about weight pull for a long time. Until recently.
When I was a kid, weight pulls were basically just legal venues for all the guys that fought dogs to gather publicly and check out everyone’s competition. Kind of a meathead gathering of guys living vicariously through their dogs. I was turned off by weight pull around the same time I began railing against dog fighting. So for about the 25 years I kind of disregarded it.
Until recently. I was re-exposed to weight pull in the spring of 2012. And you know what….. It was cool. The tough guy wannabe’s were noticeably absent. People were very friendly. Not a dog fighting supporter in the bunch.
That was when I was able to look at the sport with an open mind.
And what I found was, one of the most awesome training modalities ever!
Weight pull takes a dog/handler team that is in perfect sync. It totally appeals to the coach in me! You have to know your dogs mindset perfectly. You have to be able to tell when they’re into it and when they’re flagging. You have to push them, without it ever becoming a bad experience. You have to spend time in training, developing in them the DESIRE to pull FOR YOU.
That’s the cool part, I think. In competitions (and for most in training), you can’t use anything except praise to motivate your dog. Think about that. Not a toy. Not a hot dog. Not cause you’re yelling and they are scared not to pull. They have to pull this absurd weight…… Just to get to you for a hug.
Wow. The first time I saw it, I almost cried. You can really see the true nature of the love, and determination in a handler/dog relationship when that cart gets heavy. It really is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen done with a dog.
Aside from the relationship building aspects of weight pulling, there are a ton of reasons to do it. It’s a tremendous workout. It’s like Powerlifting for your dog. VERY TIRING! It’s also very environmentally challenging for some dogs. Huge harnesses. Sleds, carts, and drag weight clanging around behind you. Not to mention spectators and so forth if you compete.
As I say with most of these sports, if you want to do them with your dog…… Find a trainer and jump in.
If you don’t have the ability to do it with them, call us! We’ll be your dogs very own weightlifting coach.
Let us come give your dog an amazing workout!