Dog Weight Pulling Training

How To Train A Dog To Pull Weight?

dog weight pulling trainingDog weight pulling training may be held in two ways.
Previously weight pulling was called "baited weight pulling" when a dog pulls a track to get some reward. For this a trainer excited a dog by a toy.
But nowadays this way of training is considered to be not appropriate for weight pulling. A dog gets angry trying to get the toy, barks, and sometimes his anger readdresses to the trainer, judge and spectators. All serious dog trainers got rid of this way of training and trials.

A more efficient way of weight pulling dog training and sports is when a dog pulls weight by a command of a trainer. In this case a dog is calm and pointed on weight only, that he is to pull. In this way a dog is able to pull more weights constantly while a longer time period, whereas dogs who work for a treat or a toy get demotivated and tired quickly and are not able to pull any more.


Dog Weight Pulling Equipment

The equipment required for weight pulling exercises is quite simple and easily available for dog owners. You will need a dog lead of about 6.5 ft (2 m), a chain for fastening weight to a weight pulling dog harness.

nylon dog leash for training
The only special dog weight pulling equipment of these is a harness for dog weight pulling sport. Special weight pull dog harness will save your dog from injures and will grow the result of your efforts in training. But take into account, that when a dog gets used to a definite weight pulling harness, he may not feel so good and show as good results in another one. Even slightly readjusting a harness for dog weight pulling you change the loading and a dog will need time to get used to the new conditions.

The most difficult part of dog weight pulling competition is to move a track from the starting point. Further a dog pulls it by inertia. Sometimes it happens that a track with weights stops in the middle of the route and it is difficult for a dog to move it from a dead point again. As the result the competition is lost. It may be a result of lack in training where a dog is trained for too light weights or too long distances. The reasons may be various.

You may use very easy weights for dog training to pull: old iron batteries, tires. These items have no inertia and a dog learns to pull them from dead point easily. Then he will show better results at weight pulling competition that dogs that are trained to pull tracks on wheels only.
As for the assessment of maximal power of your dog you may come once a fortnight to a dog training field for weight pulling exercises and define how much does your dog grow in pulling of maximal weights.

Weight Pulling Training for Dogs

So how to train a dog to weight pulling competition?
First of all you have to get a weight pulling dog harness and train your dog to get used to it. A dog is not able to pull weights by a collar, it is required to control a dog only. Get your dog used to a weight pull harness from a puppy age. Use simple harness construction made of straps that end on his back under tail. The weight should be light. At first use wood, several metal chains, a tire of a small wheel.
Mark Johnson, the founder of weight pulling competition in Colorado, tells: "Your puppy is to get used to wear a pulling dog harness, without chewing the straps, and understand, that at once he gets it on a jolly game starts."

Weight Pulling Dog Harness

A real pulling of heavy weight starts with a professional dog weight pulling harness that distributes loading on dog's shoulders and chest. The end of its straps are fixed by a special stick-distributor that does not allow a dog to get entangled and tightened by the straps of harness while he is pulling weights.

Do not allow a dog to pull heavy weights until he is fully grown in muscular and bone built, approximately from one to two years for various dog breeds.

The first weight pulling training stage should start at about 6-8 weeks old. Get him gradually used for people around in training to make him feel easy in competition with many spectators. Usually they are very loud at the trials. At 4 months old a puppy should know basic commands, especially "Wait" and "Go". Train a dog to be calm in the company of many other dogs. It is very important for a dog to stay concentrated on the task while it is loud and crowded around in competition. It is a very important point for a weight pulling dog.
Of course, it is very important also to keep your dog fit. That's why spend a lot of time and attention for his physical training and nutrition. This way you will get a dog with a good physical shape and a long life span. By the way, having a trained and physically developed dog you will get a healthy and even more endurable breed.

Weight Pulling Exercises
A perfect way of dog weight pulling training is pulling sledge on snow. As an alternative a running beside a bike is possible. Jogging with a dog is also useful, especially if a dog pulls a tire or some other weight.
It is not recommended to train a dog to pull weights only. It may become boring for your pet. You should have a field for training. You need an even field of 16-20 feet. You may use some diy track on wheels to put weights on. The size of track depends on the size of the dog you train. It is very important that a track should not hurt a dog when he stops. If your dog will be afraid to get such a hit in back will not get good results in weight pulling dog sport. That's why you will need a helper to stop the track when a dog stops to avoid his hitting.
Weight Pulling ExercisesIt is not easy to define the right weight and how to grow it in training. Usually they use bricks, logs and bags. Start dog training from a light weight just to make a dog to feel the resistance. First of all your dog should already know basic commands. Make it harnessed attaching a definite weight and give a command "Stay". Go from him about 5-10 feet and sit down on all fours and then call him. To encourage your dog to pull when he feels weight use a long leash. Pull on it while giving the command "Go". When a dog follows your command, praise him and give a treat. A trainer should sit down on all fours to show a dog that he is to stand steady on all four legs when pulls a track/weight. At first it is difficult for a dog to pull the weight in a right way. He jumps, pulls by jerks, but they all are not efficient. that's why if a dog jumps trying to pull weight out of the dead point stop him with a command "No". A dog should pull standing on all four paws. You may make the weight a little lighter to make it easier for a dog to make the first steps at the beginning.
4-5 pulls are enough for one training. Make your training with a dog interesting and joyful. A dog should not be bored. Make the weight heavier gradually. Never let a dog to feel loose. If he needs a help, pull a tack behind. Gradually make the distance longer from which you call a dog to make it finally 20-15 feet. Try to achieve the result when a dog pulls a track/weight without stops on the whole distance. But make breaks in training and avoid negative reaction of a dog. If you use the same weight for several trainings, make him go trough the distance faster.
It is also important for dog motivation to pull that the weight should make noise. Be patient and remember that it may take time to get success. Do not define any time frames. Go to another stage of training when a dog looses interest to the noise of the weight he pulls.

Your Position
In weight pulling competition you may call your dog in the finish or to follow him behind. Some dogs work better when they feel the handler behind.
Weight pulling dogs may become good helpers in household or to help invalid people in wheel-chairs.
The main use of these exercises is a strong bound between a dog and a handler.

Obedience Is Important

The principle of weight pulling dog training is the same as basic commands of obedience. You make a dog move by a command "Go" with the help of a leash and a prong collar. At the same time you make a slight pull on a leash pointing your dog forward. If a dog resists to move, repeat the action. Be persistent and show your dominance. If a dog follows your command praise him and give a treat.
A prong dog collars serves to correct his behavior. You may not use it if you consider it cruel. But in this case your should be a strong dominant leader for a dog. In other case you will get no success.
weight pull training harnessNever make your dog pull weight he is not able to move. Work with light weight until you see that he does well and is ready to raise the loading gradually.
After raising weights a dog may deny to pull a heavier track. He you should show your dominance and make your dog obey. Here is the point where you may need a prong dog collar. When a dogs starts pulling at once on your command you may stop using the pull on a leash and a prong collar. Praise your dog for right actions.
Work with a dog each second day. He should have time to restore. Change power building exercises with aerobic exercises. It is the most efficient way of dog training that give strength to a dog and make him raise his power and endurance.

How to define maximal weight for your dog pulling?

First of all start from weight that your dog will definitely pull out without your help. Gradually make it heavier in training. When a dog will not be able to move weight without your help, consider the previous one as maximal.
Timetable for dog training for a week:
Day 1 Aerobic exercises.
Day 2 Work with weights.
Day 3 Aerobic exercises.
Day 4 Work with weights.
Day 5 Aerobic exercises.
Day 6 Work with weights.
Day 7 Rest (define a new maximal weight after two weeks of work by a schedule).
A handler should feel his dog. If he needs a rest - let him rest. If a dog is tired and exhausted he will not show good results.
A good relationship of a dog and an owner is very important. First of all your dog should be obedient and feel your complete dominance. It is indispensable part of weight pulling dog sport.

Special Feeding and Supplements for Weight Pulling Dogs

You may hear that dogs are trained for weight pulling with the help of some stimulants. very often these gossips are spread by owners that do not want to accept their loss in competition and find such an excuse. But to use stimulants one is to know the question seriously. Otherwise the result will be opposite from expected.
It is reasonable to use amino acids only as supplements that are available at any vet store. Also add such nutrients as glucosamine etc.
As any dog sports weight pulling makes great loading on dog joints and these supplements will help to protect them. Also a balanced dog feeding is the ground for success. There are special dog food for sport dogs with supplement of glucosamine. Just choose quality food and one that will suit your dog.