Overview of a Pull
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If your dog already pulls, and you have a freight harness (has spreader bar behind dog); just show up at a pull. The fee is anywhere from $8 to $20 per day. It is set by the organizer to recover his cost. If you are a non-member, then there is an extra $5 per day fee levied per handler.
Checking It Out
Is weight pulling something in which you are interested? Find a pull near you and go observe. The organizers will be glad to answer any questions and provide you with literature. Take your dog. During a break, or after the pull, they "might" have time to loan you a harness and let you try your dog at pulling.
If they have offer novice pull, then enter it. This will give you a chance to see how your dog behaves and get first hand experience at the sport of pulling.
Also browse our Overview of a Pull to get a more detailed look of a weight pull event.
If you have any questions, please email us (Sean Hammell) and we will endeavor to get an answer to you.
The only equipment you really need to enter a sanctioned pull is a freight harness (has spreader bar behind dog). See the sources of equipment for acquiring a harness. It is important that you have a good collar (prong collars not allowed) and leash and that you keep good control of your dog (we have zero tolerance at dog fights; or apparent abuse of your dog). A dog that can "stay" is very important at a pull.
Weight Pulling - A Basic Introduction by Missy Kehler - an excellent article with many good tips
As said above, we DO NOT TOLERATE dog fights; nor any action toward your dog that might be construed as cruel or abusive. You need to train (not coerce) your dog to pull. During a pull, you will connect your dog to the cart/sled, then quickly go across the finish line; whereupon you will command your dog to pull.
For actual pulling, you need to condition your dog to pulling something. Very likely, they have been tethered by a chain to constrain them to some area. Put a harness on them and connect it to a heavy object, and their perception is not much different than being tethered. You need to teach them that this is something different.
A common training aid is an old tire. Go to your local tire store and they will be glad to give you some old tires. Get some I-bolts and washers; and some kind of chain link devises. Drill a hole through the tread of the tire and connect the I-bolt with a washer. This can be connected to the dog's harness to give him something to drag. You can also chain several tires together to increase the drag (weight) they are pulling.
You can train by pulling a light weight for long distances, or a heavy weight for very short distances.
Many people use chains to drag train. You can increase the number of chains to increase their muscle and endurance.
Another method is using a drag sled (see Equipment Resources). Drag sleds allow you to add weights to them to help build muscle and endurance.
Carts are another device for training. There are a few places you can buy carts (see Equipment Resources), or you can make your own. This is more akin to sledding. But, it can be more fun for your dog and it teaches him to pull. A sporting harness is more appropriate for cart pulling.
Never train on man made surfaces such as asphalt or concrete as this is bad for your dog's feet. Train on natural surfaces such as grass or dirt.
If you wish to join the IWPA, you may send the membership form and fee to our Membership Chairman. Membership entitles you to the 9 newsletters published; voting rights; admittance to sanctioned pulls (organizer pull fees are extra); and competition points accumulated towards season standings within your region and weight class.
Download into your browser the membership form (opens in a new window) that is in PDF format, fill it out, print, and mail it to the indicated membership chair with the appropriate fee payable to the I.W.P.A.
Family vs. Individual membership: If you are interested in the competition, points are only awarded to dogs owned by members and dogs handled by members. If someone else in your family might handle the dog at a pull, you need a family membership. Otherwise, the dog and handler are entered as "provisional" and the points do not count. Family memberships do not include children 18 years of age and over. 18 year olds (or older) must join as individual members.
For general questions please email Sean Hammell
Or please email or phone your Regional Representative
- Alaska, Yukon Territory Canada
- Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia (Sue Ferrari (509) 966-1133)
- Montana, Wyoming, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories (Sean Hammell (403) 619-0483)
- Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota,
Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Manitoba (John Podolak 573-915-5132)
- Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania,
Rhode Island, Vermont, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec,
Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island (Wendy Leister (717) 764-7052)
- Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio (Shirley Webber (231) 258-2358)
- Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina,
Tennessee; (Debbie Lee (252) 357-0942)
- Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas (Jenny Chen 512-981-7627)
- Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico (Robbie Reed (970) 339-9264 )
- Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah (Jim Galli (530) 873-7038 )
- Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia (Valarie Thawley 302-366-8660 )
- Hawaii (Susan Gallagher 802-728-6565 )
Address further questions about IWPA to:
or Membership questions to:
or Web site questions/comments to
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