Last fall, I attended an event with my dogs. Among the vendors and activities, there was a weight pulling club. I was familiar with weight pulling, but hadn’t tried it. I have always been interested in canine sports and had even tried some, however, nothing competitive.
Growing up, I rode horses very competitively. That was all I did for years. Unfortunately, I sustained a back injury and though I still ride, the reconstructive surgery prevented me from continuing with competitions. In addition to that, my horse is 31 years old and probably not up for it anymore, either. Still, I’m an animal person and always looking for something to do with my animals. I dabbled in agility (a sport where the dog basically completes an obstacle course) with my shepherds, but hip dysplasia prevented up from going to far in the sport. I tried dock diving (dock diving is a sport where a dog dives off of a dock into a pool and is judged on distance) with my dog, Gus, but he just wasn’t that interested. So, when I came across the weight pulling exhibit, I was interested in learning more.
Weight pulling is a sport where the dog pulls a cart with weight on it. The dog is judged on the amount of weight pulled as well as the time that it takes to pull it. I did have concerns. After all, would this even be something that the dog would enjoy? I decided to let Jefferson give it a try. If he didn’t like it, we wouldn’t do it again. But, as it turned out, Jefferson loved it.
We joined a club. I was concerned about the possible effects this would have on Jefferson. I was worried about pushing him too hard and the possibility of him injuring himself. But he loved it! You could see it when he was done with a pull! He had a big happy smile on his face and he was full of energy!
So what did I do next? I had Gus and Gidget give it a try! Gus also loves it and is doing very well. Gidget, well, Gidget laid down on the course. She has not been back. It’s all about the dogs and if they aren’t enjoying it, well, then, we’re not going to have them do it!
We recently took Jefferson to his first competition. He was amazing!!! He won first in his division AND first in his weight group. But the real success is what happened off of the course. Many of the people there had dogs that they had purchased from a breeder specifically for weight pulling. But not Jefferson. Jefferson is a rescue dog from a shelter. Gus is also a rescue dog. They are not dogs who came from a breeder and were conditioned starting at an early age for this. I’m proud of my dogs for their accomplishments on the track, but I’m even more pleased that they are showing everyone that they are rescue dogs and winners!