What is "weight pulling"?
Weight pulling is a sport for dogs which some confuse with sledding events like the Iditerod sled dog race. Sledding is a hobby or sport which is often associated with Nordic breeds like the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Alaskan Husky and similar Nordic breeds. Sledding is generally competed in as a speed or endurance event such as similar human footrace events.
Weightpulling can also be confused with Carting. Carting is also referred to as Drafting. That is when the dog pulls a wheeled cart to assist in moving things from one place to another. As a competition sport it is mainly an obedience discipline where the dog shows his ability to maneuver the cart according to the handlers directions. Weight is not increased, and it is not a speed, strength, or endurance event. One large breed developed specifically for this purpose is the Swiss Mountain Dog. But many other breeds have been used for this such as Great Pyrenees and the Rottweiler.
Canine culture has a weight pull club in central New York!
If you have a strong dog, maybe one who even drags you down the street... you and your dog might have fun getting involved in weight pull!
Any breed or mix, large or small, can have fun weight pulling. It is not only good exercise, and great for draining excess energy and physical rehabilitation, but is does not require a lot of time, space, or money to train or compete.
We have regular, informal training sessions once a month, year round where you will learn more about safe equipment and training, introduce your dog to pulling, and how to have fun doing it. You will also learn proper stretching and conditioning techniques as well as how to effectively reinforce good pulling style in your dog.
At any practices and fun-pulls we hold once a month any beginner can join our regulars. We also hold sanctioned competition events where you can earn working titles, and earn points for regional and international rankings. The sanctioned events we will be holding will be with the International Weight Pull Association (IWPA). This organization allows all breeds and mixes to compete.
We have many pullers who started for the purpose for rehabilitating behavioral problems and fear issues, who have benefited considerably in many ways. Please see our testimonial page to see a few of their success stories!
If you are interested in finding out more about training sessions, fun pulls or sanctioned events...
Check out these sites for rules and regulations... :
Practices, Fun-Pulls, and sanctioned events
All pulling training sessions $10 per dog.
Please check back regularly and note changes!
For our pulling die-hards... with the exception of sanctioned competitions, if the temperature outside is below 20 degrees or above 85 degrees we will not have the scheduled practice or fun-pull. This is for the dogs comfort (as well as our own).
Upcoming practices and fun pulls are always on Sundays at 12 noon at Canine Culture. We will be starting the small dogs (under 40 pounds) and the Beginner (inexperienced) dogs at 12 noon and large dogs (over 40 pounds) at 1 P.M. The dates are as follows...
November 17th (practice)
December 15th (fun-pull)
December 28th, 29th (IWPA) Pullin' in the New Year
January 26th (practice)
February 23rd (fun-pull)
March 8th, 9th (IWPA) Spring Fling
March 23rd (practice)
April 20th (fun-pull)
Other practice dates will be listed soon.
All dates in black or red are held by Canine Culture...
... at Canine Culture Training Center, Oneida, NY 13421 unless otherwise noted. for directions.
Dates listed in orange are hosted by Steve and Joan Albro and held at our Oneida location.
All events shown in green are held by other clubs at other central New York locations.
See the APDA website for educational information on weightpull training and use in physical abd behavioral therapy. See the IWPA site and the NWDA site for more information on events in your area, results and point standings!
Keep checking back!
The pulling dogs pictured on this page are all dogs that have practiced, trained or competed here.
***Novice dogs in weight pull are essentially beginner dogs that have either never pulled or are inexperienced pullers either in age, time, skill or condition.
What we want you to know about attending our practices or Fun-Pulls is that the dogs are not allowed to visit each other. They need to be on a collar they cannot slip out of, on a 4 or 6 foot leash (no Flexi leashes).
We do have a variety of sizes of pulling harnesses to borrow until you decide to have your own custom made.
What we also recommend (require) that you bring what we call a HIGH value food reward. Not biscuits, balls, toys, cookies, kibble.... but GOOD stuff. Like chicken, cheese, hotdogs, etc. Yes, I even use french toast and pizza!
We need to use it as a placable target, and as a high value reinforcement that does not interrupt focus.
We want to pay them well for this fun and rewarding work. Its all about motivation.
Alaskan Huskies sled dog racing
Swiss Mountain Dog performing modern drafting (carting) through obstacles.
Harley, a Saint Bernard, pulling
over 3000 pounds at one of our events! (on wheels)
If you have been spending years trying to teach your dog NOT to pull on the leash... try weightpulling and LET him do something in his nature, safely (with the right equipment). Give him a job AND drain excess energy in the easiest, most effective way... and have fun doing it.
Libby, Boston Terrier mix
Vegas' top weight pulled in competition 1575# from the 60# class. 29 times her bodyweight!
Beacon, a Norfolk Terrier
Banner, a Shetland Sheepdog
This is Starbuck, an Alaskan Husky. He is a well known competitor in region 5 who was retired in the 2012 season at the age of 12 years. He has competed since the age of one year and qualified and taken metals in In the IWPA National Championships every year except for the 2011 and 2012 seasons in which he was only beaten by his sons.
He is a testimonial to how, when properly trained and conditioned, these dogs can have an extremely long, healthy careers. This is not uncommon for dogs in the sport of agility and other sports as well.
There are many such dogs competing into older age today. Most of these dogs you would NEVER guess their age, and their owners attribute their good health to keeping them active and working throughout their lives.
Wyatt, Border Terrier, just cant WAIT to pull!
Weight pulling harnesses are much different than either the harnesses used to walk your dog or tracking harnesses. For your dogs safety you should get a properly fitted pulling harness to prevent injury to your dog.
We have a talented local seamstress who is making custom harnesses, coats, and other quality training equipment for your dog. Canine Culture recommends both of these.
Sewing By Darlene
315-264-0298 in Oneida NY
Expert alterations, repairs, custom work, zippers, harnesses, dog coats, and more!
Missy in Pennsylvania at
Benson, Old English Sheepdog
If you want to introduce your dog to pulling so you can safely exercise him at home, or to build his confidence, or skill... you can take private classes!
Please call for appointment availability.
Half an hour private session is $25.
James, a Pit Bull Terrier
Weightpull is a sport for dogs. It is also a healthy JOB which can give your dog something to do that can be helpful around the house. Just think how he might actually be able to help. All breeds of any size or mixed heritage can have fun, be helpful, and be helped, by weightpulling.
You may have spent years trying to teach your dog not to pull you down the street. Why not LET HIM or HER satisfy that strong desire by letting him do it constructively and give your arm a rest? You might find a dog that can walk or even run, for miles, with very little effect as far as calming, tiring, or satisfying his activity level would be much more easily satisfied with a short "drag" with a light weight. And this requires no more time and energy on your part than putting on the harness and taking him for a normal walk a few times a week.
Weightpulling has also been a VERY helpful rehabilitation tool for dogs who have excess energy as well as nervous or fearful temperaments, to calm and build confidence. Even aggression issues have been helped by draining excess energy this way. You will notice several of the owners on the testimonials page have shown a significant benefit to their dogs behavior credited to weightpulling.
The dogs wear a special padded harness made to fit that dog properly. These are NOT the type of harness you can purchase at local pet stores! Those are not safe for this purpose.
Pulling can be done at competition events with a cart or sled meeting specific regulations... or around your house and neighborhood with a plastic sled or toboggan and various types of weights.
We DO NOT recommend conditioning or training a dog at home with a wheeled cart! We recommend drag sleds of various types. This is for 2 main reasons.
1. You need much more weight available to create the same drag resistance on a wheeled cart. Why use hundreds of pounds with a cart when you can use 20-50 pounds with a sled.
2. When a dog stops dragging a sled on flat ground it stops. This is often not so on wheels. Should your cart run up and bump your dog in the back of his legs or rump you may startle him and cause future issues with him that may take some time to train out, as well as potentially injure him.
Because of the very old jobs dogs have had over the centuries that include pulling, competitions were often spontaneously "organized" by owners of pulling dogs. They often challenged their friends and co-workers that their dog was a better or stronger puller. Some may remember this type of event in the books or movies Call Of The Wild or White Fang. Eventually this was turned into an organized sport in which the cart or sled is pulled a short distance with increasing weight each round, until the dog would no longer pull the weight.
See APDAsports.com for additional weightpulling educational information!