• What is weight pulling? Weight pulling for dogs is a sport similar to tractor pulls, only instead of a tractor your dog provides the pull power.
  • Can my dog compete in weight pulls? With the right attitude, any dog can participate in weight pulling. Pulling requires strength and stamina, which means your dog must be healthy and well-conditioned. Have your dog checked by your veterinarian before starting to train or compete. Weight pulling is open to all breeds of dogs including mixed breeds.
  • Why do weight pulling? Weight pulling is fun for both you and your dog and you can earn titles, championships, and who knows maybe your dog could be the next world record holder!
  • What is the object of weigh pulling? Dogs are broken down into weight categories so that they are pulling against similar size and weight dogs. They pull to see who can move the most weight the required distance in the shortest amount of time.
  • What do I need to get started? All you need is a weight pull harness (This is a freight harness with a wooden spreader bar at the back of the harness), a 6 foot long leash, and collar and an old tire to get started.


     Once you have obtained your weight pull harness practice putting it on and taking it off of your dog while they stand or sit quietly, trying to harness a moving dog is very difficult and can result in frustration for you and your dog. With their harness on, hook your leash to your dogs collar and just walk them around with the harness on, letting them get use to the feel of the harness, and the spreader bar on their rear legs.
     Next, you want to hook a light drag on to the back of the harness. We like to use a 1 gallon milk bottle with  some rocks in it. (We tape the cap on to keep the rocks inside.) With the light drag hooked on to the dog’s harness we just take a walk. BE SURE that you keep your dog on leash so that you can control them should the noise of the drag frighten them. As you walk let them stop and sniff at the drag if they want, they are just trying to figure out what is behind them.

     Once your dog can walk with the light drag and pay no attention to it, it is time to move up to a little heavier weight. we like to use a small tire, depending on the size of your dog anything from as small as a trailer tire to a 15” car tire, without the rim. Teach your dog a command to pull, We like to use “work”, so each time we take the dog for a walk with their harness and weight on as we step forward we give the dog a little pop and the command to work.
     Now that your dog is use to pulling a little heavier drag along side of you it is time to teach them to pull their load to you. If your dog knows the command to wait or stay you are ahead of the game, if not you need to teach your dog that command. With your dog at a wait or stay step out to the front of your dog at the end of your leash. Give them a little collar pop and give them your pull command (i.e. Work). As your dog starts to move towards you, you MUST praise your dog. You want your dog to pull for you for praise, as you can not use treats, toys or bait to get your dog to pull to you in a competition.
     When your dog is pulling consistently to you when you ask them use a longer line or a flex lead so that you can get out 10 or 12 feet away from your dog and call them to work. Okay, your dog is now ready for you to take them off of their leash and try to work them off leash. Leave your dog at a weight or stay, go out in front of them about 6 or 7 feet and call them. As they start to come to you back up another 10 feet or so and keep praising them. Once they reach you REALLY praise them verbally and with touch.

     When the dog is pulling reliably off leash it is time to start increasing your drag by either a larger tire, or hook 2 or  more tires together, or drag l tire for long distances. Always have your dog pull to you at least 20 feet so that when they have to pull the normal course of 15 or 16 feet it will seem easy to them.

Remember that your dog needs to have good cardio recovery along with strength, so be sure that your dog gets plenty of aerobic exercise. We usually pull weights twice a week, and try to run the dogs 3 times a week. 
keep it fun and don’t drill your dog, you want to keep their drive and enthusiasm up for pulling.

KC Pulls 5220. LBS!! New SBCA Record.


NECK: Measure from the withers at the base of the neck to the top of the breast bone.  Be sure to measure the dog, not the fur. Measure one side only., not all the way around.

LENGTH: Measure from the top of the breastbone  between the front legs and following the rib cage come out to the dog’s side and straight back to the back of the rear leg .

WEIGHT: It is important that you know your dog’s weight. DO NOT just guess, take your dog to the vet to get an actual weight. It will make a big difference on how your dog’s harness fits.

(It should be noted that these are the normal measurements most of the harness makers want, but it is advisable to go to their web site and do the measurements that they require.)

  Are you in terested in getting your dog started in weight pulling?  You can contact me directly. We have a weight pull class in Shakopee usually about twice a month, and we can help you get started. Their are harnesses of various sizes for you to borrow to give it a try.  The cost is $5.00 for the first dog and $1.00 for each additional dog you have.

We practice on designated Sundays from 3 to 6 pm.
The location is Gage and Gage Whse at 600 Industrial Blvd, Shakopee, MN

Check our events callendar for future practice dates.