When Your Dog Plays The Sport Of Weight Pulling

Before I begin to tell you my experience playing this sport for dogs there's a few things that I want to mention. To get the ball rolling (a little dog humour) I want to tell you that my name is "Orca" you can see me in the picture over to the left standing with my mom as we waited for my turn to come around.

Every dog owner knows that when a dog is bored they become unhappy and maybe even a little depressed which then causes them to do things that they shouldn't like you know chew the furniture, escape the yard or maybe even bark at every little thing to annoy our parents.

It's important to note that this particular sport isn't for all of my canine relatives, there's no point putting your dog in a sport he doesn't enjoy, that would be like putting your son in dance class when he wants to play football.

My mom searched the internet on that funny flat thing she calls a laptop (which I'm not allowed to touch apparently) looking for dog sports that were available in our area. I overheard her tell my dad that "Agility" was where a dog runs through an obstacle course as does the owner, which by the way my mom wanted no part of.

She mentioned "Flyball" but in order to compete in this sport you need a team with four dogs, she knew that wouldn't work because most dog owners shy away from letting me play with their beloved pets, you see I'm classified as a bully breed Presa Canario is the term they use for my breed and lets face it dogs like me have a bad rap.

I was a lucky canine when my adopted mom came across "Weight Pulling For Dogs" right here in our area where we live and the best part nobody would judge me about the type of breed I am or back away when I wanted to stop and say hello.

All the images are copyright to my mom: Shoputopian
"Do Not" use without her permission

What Is Weight Pulling?

It's a sport for medium to large dogs, although small dogs can participate

Weight pulling for dogs isn’t a new sport, dogs pulled heavy sleds back in the Klondike days during the gold rush and Bernese Mountain dogs are still pulling carts to this day. So really what did I have to lose I am a large and powerful breed and who knows I just might be good at this sport for dogs.

My mom got a little information from her niece who also has dogs competing (I’m terrible at minding my own business), what was I able to over hear.

The dog (that’s me) is hooked up to a sled or cart with a special harness, at the start of the event, the cart or sled is loaded with a minimum amount of weight, then the dog pulls it over carpet, dirt, or gravel. As the competition moves along more weight is added until either the dog can’t pull the cart with the new weight or the dog doesn’t want to play anymore.

No dog is forced to pull the cart or sled, either the dog wants too or they don’t, this sounded like the sport for me I enjoy a good challenge, and the best part my mom is with me every step of the way.

Let Me Know If You've Heard Of This Sport

Everyone is welcome to participate, you don't have to be a dog owner

Have you ever attended a weight pulling event?


Yes I actually have attended and watched dogs doing this

flycatcher says:

I had a friend with Newfoundland dogs who used to do carting, not quite the same as weightpulling per se but close enough that I will claim to have seen it. :)

No in fact to be honest I didn't even know this sport existed

Arachnea says:

No, I haven't. It's interesting that it has so wide a following, though.

FreshStart7 says:

No I am just hearing about it from you for the first time.

FlowerChick says:

I knew this sport existed after reading a book about a pitbull who was a flying disc champion. I would like to attend an event sometime!

DaisyDixon says:

I've never heard of it, looking forward to learning more though!

RinchenChodron says:

No, not yet, but I live in Denver and may come one of these days.

view all 10 comments

Sporting Event Rules

Like all sports rules have to be followed
This is the way humans protect the dogs competing

>>> All dogs must be no closer than four feet to each other
>>> Only dogs competing are allowed on the premises
>>> Every dog must be leashed at all times when not crated

Further along you will see more rules that need to be followed to ensure our protection

Weight Pull Training

It might be possible to find the weight pulling sport in your town or city

There is a weight pulling organization here where I live it is run by a police officer, he even invited me and my parents to his home where I could learn the right way to participate in this sport that way I’m not injured in any way. When we arrived at his home I remember my parents having a long conversation with him about the sport then I was fitted with a harness that was perfect for my size, not uncomfortable at all. It had to fit in such away that it didn’t rub anywhere on my body which could have caused sores if not the properly fit.

I was then hooked to a small sled (the size of a babies winter sled) with no weight added at this point, I walked around the yard for what seemed like maybe an hour getting used to pulling this sled behind me, it didn’t bother me that it was there I was a natural. Then I was allowed to have some weight added, which consisted of only one small concrete block that weighed a small amount something like ten pounds. Again I had to follow my parents around the yard, taking breaks to smell the flowers along the way, my parents never had to force me to try this sport.

After I spent a few hours getting used to the tiny sled with weight on it we went into the garage, inside was a cart set-up on rails, this is where the real training began. I learnt how to pull the cart empty to the end of the rails, this was to get me used to the noise of the cart rolling down the rails. There is a person standing behind the cart holding a rope so that when the cart reaches the end they pull the cart to a stop that way it doesn’t run me over when I reach the end.

My parents are not allowed to help me in any way, in fact they aren’t even allowed to touch me that would disqualify us in the competition. They can stand in front of me giving out words of encouragement, which must have worked because when the day was over I was pulling the cart with one hundred pounds added and still it felt like it was empty. We were given the harness to take home so that I could practice pulling a small sled or anything that we had where weight could be added. In the picture you can see me practicing with a water jug that my parents had laying around and when filled with water it weighed maybe ten pounds.

The first actual weight pulling event was only two months away, so we had a lot of practicing to do in order to be ready off we go to practice.

Mom Knows Best

You can't have enough knowledge about something you expect your dog to play at.

My mom always says it's best to do your homework and make sure that you research to the fullest.

Rule #2 Flat Collars Only

No choke chain style collars of any kind are allowed

An Actual Weight Pull

You'll be amazed at the strength this dog has for his size

It’s hard to believe that a dog who weighs only 56lbs can pull a cart that weighs 118x’s his body weight and yet he makes it look like it’s empty.

The Big Day Is Here

We are about to compete in our first weight pulling event
Will my mom stay cool and help me win!

The big day is here, and lucky for me that my mom ordered me a brand new harness with my name engraved right on it, and I was getting it today just in time for my first weight pulling competition. Now it’s off to get weighed, all dogs must be weighed and put in a class depending on their actual weight at the time of participating.

What Happens At The Event – While your waiting for your turn to pull the cart all owners must keep their dogs away from the actual pulling area, this is so the dog that is pulling is not distracted in any way. Dogs not entered in any of the competitions must stay at home, dogs waiting for their weight class to begin must be housed in a kennel. When it’s your turn you must remove the choke collar if your dog is wearing one, only flat collars are allowed to be on your dog.

Now It’s My Turn – I was happy to see it was a cart on rails just like the one I used to practice on, making it that much easier for me, since I was already used to the noise the cart made on the rails. I was nervous waiting for my turn because I had no idea how my mom was going to react, would she just stand there and freeze on the spot or would she ignore the crowd and help me win this competition.

I was hooked up to the cart with the first round having an empty one, but as each round came and went another hundred pounds was added to the cart making it more heavier. In the end when did I decide that I had enough and no longer wanted to play, keep reading below to see what I did next.

Guess Total Weight Pulled

Go ahead cast your vote then further down you'll learn the total amount of weight I actually pulled

How much weight do you think I was able to pull in the end?

  Show the poll results

Rule #3 Responsible Dog Owner

Most important thing you'll need to participate, nobody wants to clean up after your dog, be smart

Winner Takes All

That blue ribbon suits me

In the end on my last pull before I decided that I was too tired to continue, I had managed to pull “One Thousand Pounds” (yes you read it right), this was awesome for my very first weight pulling competition. I had beat out all of the other dogs that were in my weight class, I was now number one!

I didn’t have a chance earlier to tell you that there’s also a dog show at these events, you know that one where we all stand in a ring and the judges walk around making you open your mouth to show off your teeth, or walking and running along side your owners.

Heck I even got to show off the tricks that I was taught as a puppy, what do I know how to do. I can give five with my paw on command, I bark when I’m told to say please and of course the usual, sit, lay down and stay.

I prance around with my head held high because personally I’m proud to be the breed I am and the judges were so impressed by me that I won the dog show taking first place!

All in all it was a great day for both myself and my parents who now get to brag that I brought home two first place ribbons the day that I decided I wanted to try weight pulling for dogs.

If Dogs Could Have A Bucket List

Then this was taken off mine, I no longer participate in this sport, not as young as I used to be, but I gotta say I had a lot of fun and I was able to win first place!

Rule #4 Forget The Treats

These are my favourite liver treats after doing a job well done

At the time of your turn to do the pulling you are not allowed to be offered any treats of any kind, personally I don't like this rule.

But when the pull is over it's a whole new thing and I just wanted you to know my favourite is the liver treats yum yum!

Mom's Topics

My mom has many different interests so thought I'd add a few

She even wrote one about my brother and yes I know it's weird that he's a cat! There's an update on my brother below it was a sad day in our house one I will never forget.

What Are Your Thoughts On Weight Pulling

This sport isn’t for all breeds although they say there’s a class for even the smallest of my canine friends. But seriously I just couldn’t picture my aunt’s dog “Charlie” who is a tiny Chihuahua doing this type of sport or any sport for that matter.
  • Follow
    Share to:
    Alert message
  • Arachnea Feb 20, 2014 @ 9:29 pm
    I'm not much on sports at all, but I find it fascinating to know there's even a sport for dogs.
  • flycatcher Feb 19, 2014 @ 9:12 pm
    It's fantastic when a dog finds the right sport for them - you were lucky to have a local group to join and learn weight pulling!
  • FlowerChick Feb 18, 2014 @ 5:30 pm
    This sounds like a good sport for dogs with energy to burn and those who like to have a job to do. Orca is one cool & strong dog!
  • JasmineInNZ Feb 17, 2014 @ 7:56 pm
    What a great sport! If there's any competitions in our area, I might try this with my dog Chance. :)
  • DaisyDixon Feb 17, 2014 @ 3:38 pm
    That's great that you were able to win first place, bet you were very proud! I've never heard of this sport, but this was very informative.
  • RinchenChodron Feb 17, 2014 @ 10:24 am
    A great way to exercise your pup.
  • mayrain Feb 16, 2014 @ 4:41 am
    Such an awesome informative lens! Wow
  • Miratex Feb 16, 2014 @ 4:24 am
    I really do not like this kind of "sport". I think the dog should not be used for this kind of training. Let the dog be dog,.
  • Steve_Kaye Feb 15, 2014 @ 10:06 pm
    Wow! Congratulations on receiving the LOTD and for winning the weight pulling competition. I'll bet that deep down, your dog knows that it did something really incredible.
  • Feb 15, 2014 @ 9:31 pm
    Never knew this existed. Interesting sport. Congratulations on getting LotD!

See all comments


You may also like...

Lens of the Day

Applesauce Recipes - Delicious and Nutritious

Got apples? Whether it's fall and time for the apple harvest or if you just picked up a big bag of fruit...


Make your page on Squidoo!

Get started