Weight Pulling, Weight Pulling Training

Weight Pulling Training

Weight pulling is growing more and more popular among other dogs sports. More and more canine organizations accept this activity. Pit bull, American bulldog, Staffordshire bull terrier fit for this sport splendidly. Though for the audience, weight pulling is spectacular performance thrilling with intrigue, it is impossible without numerous hard, stable and goal-seeking trainings. It is not only about the dog, it’s about the trainer who has to pick the right loads, nutrition etc.

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weight-pulling harness of Nylon

Amstaff is Trained with Our Dog Weight Pulling Harness UK on

Ways of Teaching Dog to Pull

You can teach your dog to weight-pull in several ways. Weight pulling used to be called “baited weight pulling”; this means that the dog pulls weight to get some bait. The trainers used to attract the dog with a toy for that. Advanced trainers think this method is not very suitable for weight pulling. It spells the dog backwards, because the dog barks, gets angry, sometimes its excitement communicates to the trainer, referee and the audience. Using baits is also extremely inefficient for achieving the main goal: weight removing. The dog wastes so much energy on jumps and jerks to get the bait that only a little part of these efforts is left to pull the weight. All professional dog trainers rejected this method of training and performance at weight pulling competitions.

Weight pulling at the trainer’s command is more effective. The dog is calm and concentrates only on the weight it has to move. Dogs removing weight at command can make many pulling sets, while dogs, attracted by bait, burn out quickly and are incapable of further work.

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Dog Weight Pulling Harness UK

Pitbull is Ready for Weight Pulling Training

Pitbull Weight Training Equipment

Equipment you need to do weight pulling is very simple and affordable for dog breeders. You need a 6 ft long dog leash, a dog pinch collar, a piece of chain to secure the load to the dog harness. The only special piece of equipment is a weight pulling dog harness. The specialized dog harness will protect your dog from injury and speed up its progress.

Stages of Dog Weight Pulling Training

You should start training with a light load but it is desirable, that the load your dog is going to pull make rather big noise. Be patient and don’t set any terms. When the dog is no more interested in the load making noise while pulling, it’s high time you proceed to the second training stage.

The principle of weight puling training is the same as that of obedience commands training. I make the dog move with the command “Go!” I do it with the help of a dog leash and a pinch collar. At the same time I make a light jerk with the leash, directing the dog forward. If the dog refuses to move, I make another jerk, you may as well use a series of light jerks.

Be persistent in your requirements, you must always have the last word. If the dog starts moving after the command and the jerk, give it generous praise and encourage the dog with a delicious thing. It is the same as e.g. teach the dog the “Sit” command. You make it sit down at your command, and when it is seated, you encourage it with something delicious and your praise.

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dog pulling harness

Pitbull Weight Harness

The pinch collar serves to correct the dog’s behaviour, you can surely do without it (if you think it is abusive), but in this case you have to dominate the dog fully, otherwise don’t count on good results. While training, you will have to increase the weight of the load, and if you can’t persuade the dog to pull it, it is going to back off the work. But you must never make your dog pull weight it can’t handle. Work with light weight till you see clearly, that it is not enough. It is time you increased the weight, do it step by step.

After the weight has been increased, the dog can refuse to work. Then you will have to bring certain pressure on it to make it pull the weight, this is where the pinch collar is needed. As soon as the dog starts pulling weight at your command so that you can’t correct it with a jerk, you encourage the dog and stop bringing pressure on it. Don’t lose your temper while working, be patient and fair to your dog.

As said above, you should start with low weight. First your dog pulls the weight on a distance of 30 - 40 steps. Little by little you have to increase the distance up to 1.5 - 3 miles. You should work with your dog every two days, otherwise it can get injured and have slow progress. You should alternate power and aerobic trainings. This is the most effective way to create molecules that give energy to your dog, the so called ATP molecules. This energy will be stored in the dog’s muscles and used during power trainings. The power trainings must take place according to a certain schedule. First you have to define the maximum weight your dog can pull on a special sledge or cart. The more accurate you define the weight, the more adjusted for your dog the weight increase stages will be.

To define the maximum weight your dog can pull start with light weight, you know your dog will certainly handle, increase weight little by little, until the dog can’t move it without your help. Every time your dog must pull the weight on a distance of 19 – 22 feet. When you reach the weight your dog can’t move without your assistance, it means the previous weight was the maximum.

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Dog Pinch Collar

Sometimes Prong Collar is Needed

Week Training Schedule

Day 1 Aerobic training

Day 2 Power training

Day 3 Aerobic training

Day 4 Power training

Day 5 Aerobic training

Day 6 Power training

Day 7 Rest (defining the new maximum weight, after two week of training according to the schedule).

At the beginning, while defining the maximum weight, the increase will be considerable. But in due course of time the increase will reduce, because the dog will be heading to its absolute maximum.

Power Training Plan

5 sets, weight - 70 % of the maximum.

2-5 sets,weight - 80 % of the maximum.

3-5 sets, weight - 90 % of the maximum.

Every set your dog has to pull weight on the distance of 19 – 22 feet. The first 5 sets are made so, that the dog pulls weight on the distance of 19 – 22 feet, your bring it to the initial point and make the next set. Don’t have rest for too long, otherwise the dog will start to cool off. This can slow down the progress. In the third set series, with 90% of the maximum, your dog will feel uncomfortable. You have to help it a little in the beginning, for it to handle the weight. Every hard but finished set will teach the dog to trust you.

If your dog refuses to pull the weight, use the pitch collar. If this should be of no effect, reduce the weight to 80% and make the planned number of sets. If you require of your dog to make a set, make sure, it can handle the weight.

Working on a high competitive level is preceded by a long time of hard training. If you don’t speed up, the results will satisfy you.

This is only one of the weight pulling training methods. I use it and I am sure it works 100%. With time, you will have more experience and develop your own training schedule suitable for your dogs. Main thing, they must constitute good theoretical basis and bring progress to your work. Good luck to you and your dogs in the wonderful sport named weight pulling!