Puppies and weight pulling

Weight pull, Protection, Agility, Flyball... you name it!

Postby Pitcrew » March 19th, 2006, 12:53 pm

I have a new pup who is a really good weight pull prospect. I am mainly an agility and obedience competitor and know how to train and condition a dog appropriatly and safely for those sports.
However my experience in weight pulling is limmitted since I have only trained 1 adult dog and starting an 18 month old now... but what about safe early training for puppies?
He is 4 months old now.

Dont worry people... I am not going to push it. But I know alot about training and I want to start teaching him HOW to use his body for this sport safely, before I add weight... but what is too young?
I always start agility by this age and teach them how to use their body safely and wait til 10 mos. or so to start adding height. Would this be simmilar? Anyone into it enough to have experience with pups?
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Postby mnp13 » March 19th, 2006, 4:15 pm

I'm not experienced with puppies, but I know with human children who want to lift weights the best thing to do is go extremely extra super slow and keep weights extremely extra super light.

I'd guess that getting the puppy used to the harness and the noise of something behind her would be a good start. then maybe a plastic sled with a gallon jug of water?
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Postby Patch O' Pits » March 20th, 2006, 2:18 pm

IMO i wouldn't do anything except get the pup used to different noises and socializing first then add the harness in with no weight at all

Then gradually as the pup matures maybe some really really light things just to get the feel for it

I honestly wouldn't do any serious weight training until the joints are developed and you know that the dog is physically sound.

I'm sure others with more experience in this area will chime in and give more info

Post some picts of the pup? What is his name?
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Postby Sarah » March 20th, 2006, 4:03 pm

I don't personally like to do much training in physical sports until my dog is at least 18 months. (this includes jumping & weight pull). I'll do a little light pulling after maybe a year, and I'll admit that I competed with Tully for the first time when she was 17 months, but it was on rails, and I withdrew her when it started to require an effort. Safest just to let those joints set before they do any real work, IMO.
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Postby Romanwild » March 20th, 2006, 4:36 pm

I agree with 18 months.

Some weight pull people have shown me pics of what pulling too early does to a dog.
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Postby Pitcrew » March 20th, 2006, 9:07 pm

I see what your sayin guys...

but as long as its low impact and no real weight for a while, I think 18 mos. is rather extreme.

Thats like not getting a child into physical sports that may reqire strength or jumping until they are done growing. 18ish? Do any really good athletes wait that long? Or parents? I am very carefull at conditioning my dogs that compete. Or my dogs that dont. I think they are healthier.

Just because I only compete in a sport once a month or so and have whole seasons off, doesnt mean they are an 'armchair cowboy' in-between. (they EARN their space on that chair... and the couch... and in my bed... :rolleyes2: )

I compete with a lot of people who wait to train their dog until they are mature, go to classes once a week, compete 3-5 times a year, and thats it. I dont believe that is really preparing a dog physically and mentally for the sport. If thats how you train you SHOULD wait until they are older. Because their bodies probably wont take it. At least with most breeds. Just because these dogs can take it, I dont think thats enough for them. But I still see the dogs that train that way break down more often than the dogs who started young and phsically conditioned regularly for their sport.
I condition my dogs for obedience and agility. And I have done it for schutzhund and tracking.

I would like to know how you do it for pulling.

I dont plan to do too much too fast... But I want to know what other people are doing.
I appreciate and welcome any and all opinions. I just want you to know (who dont know me already) that I am not a 'weekend warrior'.
"Pedigree indicates what the animal should be;
Conformation indicates what the animal appears to be;
But, Performance indicates what the animal actually is."
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Postby Blitzkrieg Staffords » March 21st, 2006, 8:09 am

Lisa wrote:I see what your sayin guys...

but as long as its low impact and no real weight for a while, I think 18 mos. is rather extreme.

Thats like not getting a child into physical sports that may reqire strength or jumping until they are done growing. 18ish? Do any really good athletes wait that long? Or parents? I am very carefull at conditioning my dogs that compete. Or my dogs that dont. I think they are healthier.

Just because I only compete in a sport once a month or so and have whole seasons off, doesnt mean they are an 'armchair cowboy' in-between. (they EARN their space on that chair... and the couch... and in my bed... :rolleyes2: )

I compete with a lot of people who wait to train their dog until they are mature, go to classes once a week, compete 3-5 times a year, and thats it. I dont believe that is really preparing a dog physically and mentally for the sport. If thats how you train you SHOULD wait until they are older. Because their bodies probably wont take it. At least with most breeds. Just because these dogs can take it, I dont think thats enough for them. But I still see the dogs that train that way break down more often than the dogs who started young and phsically conditioned regularly for their sport.
I condition my dogs for obedience and agility. And I have done it for schutzhund and tracking.

I would like to know how you do it for pulling.

I dont plan to do too much too fast... But I want to know what other people are doing.
I appreciate and welcome any and all opinions. I just want you to know (who dont know me already) that I am not a 'weekend warrior'.


Why ask for others advice if you're not going to listen to it? :|
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Postby Romanwild » March 21st, 2006, 8:27 am

Pulling a jug with rocks is fine. Big weights are a no no.
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Postby Pitcrew » March 21st, 2006, 10:06 am

Hey guys... I DO appreciate ANY and ALL information.

I will certainly NOT be starting real weights with him for a while.

I was just hoping to find out if there are any special considerations or training techniques besides the obvious, which would be important for someone who has serious goals towards competing in the higher levels.

I just wanted you to know where I was coming from.

I would NEVER intend to disregard anyone's advice. I was just giving a history in what I do and what I know.

Agility has a lot more to it than people realize. Many techniques and skills just aren't really that important until/unless you get to the higher levels. It kind of stinks to find that out once you get there, and wish you had done that all along. Especially if you have a dog with potential.
I find people have the same problem with obedience. People wish they had started the retrieve and article training as a pup, but often don't start until after they completed the novice level. That's hard.

I would rather know some of the hurdles, prepare for them, and never use them... than wish I had. I would like to start a pulling group in the area eventually. I just don't want to think this sport is easier than it is. But I don't know anyone seriously working their dog, safely, in the higher levels.

Especially when I know there is such a wealth of untapped knowledge out there. It might take a while to find it all. Thought I would start now.

There must be techniques to teach a dog cues to rock a cart when it starts to get heavy enough to be hard to start rolling. I have seen a lot of dogs quit once it gets hard to start. Even with a weight they can easily pull.
I have only trained and competed thru the WD (novice) level. It wasn't that hard, but I went on to other sports. Now I want to really get involved, and I am sure there is a lot more to it than I know.

I talked to a guy once who thought it was too easy, for even a mediocre dog, to make it to the higher levels, and that people weren't training and conditioning their dogs properly. He was trying to get the organizations to make the highest levels harder. Of course I wish I had picked his brain more back then.
I am hoping the input all of you guys give will help other people reading these posts. There is really helpful information on this board on a lot of sports from some really knowledgeable people. Like the bite work sport stuff from Chris and Dick.

Just trying to collect more info. It can help a lot of people. We have to remember what we post is here for everyone who reads it. Not just the ones who inquire and reply.
"Pedigree indicates what the animal should be;
Conformation indicates what the animal appears to be;
But, Performance indicates what the animal actually is."
- author unknown
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Postby Romanwild » March 21st, 2006, 10:39 am

The two ways, as I see it, is short down and backs and long distance training.

Down and backs are more like sprint. simulate the actual pull. Use different weight amounts with a near 100% pull once a week. I would train this way 3 days a week.

I think the long distance pulls are also important for endurance. It seems that often a dog will pull many times in a day in competition. This way they won't run out of gas. I'm thinking twice a week would be good for this training. Basically have a small sled, load it up and walk them for a couple of miles in grass. Gradually increase the weight over time.

This will be my approach.
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Postby Pitcrew » March 21st, 2006, 1:56 pm

Thanks Charles, that is helpful.
I hope to have Vega in good shape for the Bull-ympics, to start off the season right.
Jamee will be introduced and socialized to it, but I dont expect he will be ready before next year.
"Pedigree indicates what the animal should be;
Conformation indicates what the animal appears to be;
But, Performance indicates what the animal actually is."
- author unknown
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