Weight Pulling - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Question Weight Pulling

Little disclaimer -

I'm aware that pulling probably isn't good on the joints, however my dog has shown she is incredibly interested in pulling things. I'm pretty sure a good part of her is husky as well which doesn't help.

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Does anyone know a proper and balanced harness for pulling weights? I want to buy the best product to minimize injuries.

What is a safe weight for my dog to pull, even if she can I don't want to overdue her. She is 62 pounds for reference probably will top out at 65. Probably has some pitbull as well as she is incredible strong, but has minimal muscles so unsure.

By the time I get all the equipment she'll probably be 2 years old, this is the minimum for hard exercise recommendation correct?
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I'm pretty set on having her do pulling, because I can't have her off leash (great recall, not good with people/dogs though) pulling would be a good outlet outside of walks, mental training, and her running.

I was trying to avoid doing pulling for fear of her joints but she gets so excited when she pulls my brother (with her mouth on a blanket) she gets really into it. If I was in Alaska I'd make her a sled dog but I live where we get snow once a year so that's not really a good option.

Bikejoring may be in the future but as of now she's a bit to reactive that I fear I'd fall down easily. Jogging is a struggle since she is incredible fast and it's all or nothing with her.

I'm in the process of training her to sniff things out and she does digging on command. Agility on makeshift equipment is being done but diy more complex ones are on the way.

She has so much energy even with mental training and the above mentioned. She literally is a go go go dog.

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Thank you!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 05:59 PM
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Gear is important but knowing how to build her up to the weight that is safe for her is more important.. UT, since you are looking for an outlet for her, try nose work or tracking/trailing. It is done on a line and would be much easier on her joint wise, however, would give her the same physical exertion and add mental to it as well...

That being said, if you pursue weight pulling, be safe about it and enjoy 🙂
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 06:37 PM
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GSD spines are very fragile -- so you really need some vet guidance on whether she has husky/terrier structure or GSD structure. GSD spines are easily injured and hard to fix. Elbows are also wickedly hard to fix after injury.



Have you x-rayed the joints to see if the dog is structurally sound to begin with? If there's a spinal or elbow injury, or something along those lines, can you handle a multi-thousand dollar surgery from an injury? I just want you to be very realistic about the down-side.



How about doing some more leash work and OB classes so that the dog learns to jog at your pace? She goes all out on-leash because she hasn't learned not to...but if she learns not to, you might have a great jogging buddy, right?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 12:13 PM
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If that's your dog in your avatar, she's adorably cute.

I understand you're wanting to teach her to pull but honestly I think your time would be better spent right now in

teaching her basic obedience and work toward getting her to mentally engage with you so she's not so reactive

with people and dogs. There's lots of youtubes online that may help you in training her. And maybe see if there's

any obedience clubs/classes in your area.

Good Luck with her. She looks a lot like my recent rescue that I suspect is part Husky and was a wild child when

I first brought her home. She's calmed down a lot and is listening and obeying much better now but she's a work

in progress. The more you work on obedience, the calmer they become.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 05:36 PM
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Have you considered Skijoring? I don't know where you live, but here it's winter almost 8 months out of the year. My breeder does it with her dogs, and it's great personal exercise and an awesome way for you and your dog to enjoy the colder months together. You can also do Skijoring with bikes in the summer time, too. I believe we have a few members that actively compete in the sport.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 07:26 PM
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My shepsky and I don't Pull...
but we have absorbed some knowledge from other husky owners, which I will attempt to pass on...

- No serious training at Pulling until the growth plates are closed

- Harness needs to be heavily padded in shoulders and chest

- Harness needs to distribute weight evenly across body (some like an X-back style?)

- Husky owners like "Alpine Outfitters" as a source for harnesses

It's a good point that GSDs are built differently than the typical pulling breeds (husky/malamute etc) so I think I'd stay really conservative on the weight! Like, pull just enough for fun, and without competitive or definite goals...don't want her to get hurt!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hineni7 View Post
Gear is important but knowing how to build her up to the weight that is safe for her is more important.. UT, since you are looking for an outlet for her, try nose work or tracking/trailing. It is done on a line and would be much easier on her joint wise, however, would give her the same physical exertion and add mental to it as well...

That being said, if you pursue weight pulling, be safe about it and enjoy 🙂
That's why I asked. I'd hate to buy something that isn't sound and ends up injuring her in the long run.

We do nosework training at home which she so far is doing pretty good with. I can't do a class because we don't have any nearby unfortunately. People around here don't like keeping dogs on leash so I can't risk having a long line for fear a dog running up may set back our progress in her being less reactive.

Seems like no matter how much we work mental/physical she just wants to go go go. I've been told they settle around 2 years old and are less hyper but I have no idea if that'll be the case since she isn't pure gsd.

Thank you!
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 11:28 PM
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from what you describe, it sounds like your dog likes to tug? different from pulling. or am i interpreting the blanket example incorrectly?

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magwart View Post
GSD spines are very fragile -- so you really need some vet guidance on whether she has husky/terrier structure or GSD structure. GSD spines are easily injured and hard to fix. Elbows are also wickedly hard to fix after injury.



Have you x-rayed the joints to see if the dog is structurally sound to begin with? If there's a spinal or elbow injury, or something along those lines, can you handle a multi-thousand dollar surgery from an injury? I just want you to be very realistic about the down-side.



How about doing some more leash work and OB classes so that the dog learns to jog at your pace? She goes all out on-leash because she hasn't learned not to...but if she learns not to, you might have a great jogging buddy, right?
Our vets isn't very interested in my dog so I doubt he'd be able to tell me. He's good with cats but not great with dogs at all. Looking to find a new vet who is actually nice to my dog but I can ask.

I suppose I could get her x-rayed sometime. I doubt she'd hold still but I can see. My vet offers a payment plan so yes I technically could afford it if something happened to her.

I looked up her structure and it doesn't look like either to be honest. Looks identical to a boxer in my opinion. I'll link some Photobucket pictures.

https://i1250.photobucket.com/albums...psqlfs3jli.jpg

http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/...pshxcs79zd.jpg

Here's a boxer for reference

https://i1250.photobucket.com/albums...psubmw0gsx.jpg

(From Wiki)

She even has the divets on the back legs.

As for jogging she does know how to walk properly and jog at my pace. The bigger issue which I didn't mention is that I have a bad knee. Supposedly it's supposed to heal and fix itself but it's been like this for years but I am 16 so maybe it'll fix itself still. It makes it a bit hard to jog because of this which is why I wanted to do bikejoring initially.

Thank you!
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orphan Heidi View Post
If that's your dog in your avatar, she's adorably cute.

I understand you're wanting to teach her to pull but honestly I think your time would be better spent right now in

teaching her basic obedience and work toward getting her to mentally engage with you so she's not so reactive

with people and dogs. There's lots of youtubes online that may help you in training her. And maybe see if there's

any obedience clubs/classes in your area.

Good Luck with her. She looks a lot like my recent rescue that I suspect is part Husky and was a wild child when

I first brought her home. She's calmed down a lot and is listening and obeying much better now but she's a work

in progress. The more you work on obedience, the calmer they become.
We do obedience constantly and she's getting to the point where she's bored of it. She knows tons of commands at this point consistently. I'm at the point where she's learned all commands I can come up with. So we just do a set of them each day to remember them.

She's fine with people and dogs as long as they don't mess with her. I suppose maybe it's more being low tolerance then reactive at this point. Like we can go on hikes and people can walk past her by one inch and talk to me but as soon as they go to pet her she barks.

She used to be horribly reactive and would bark at any person she could see even 100 feet away at 2 months old. I've worked my butt off getting her desensitized but I honestly don't trust her on a long line because if something happens it might set her back more instead of forward.

I feel like no matter how much obedience I do she just is still super hyper. Less hyper then when I initially got her but still very much hyper. She'll lay down for an hour then be back up ready to go like no tomorrow. Bikejoring and pulling are the only things I have yet to try. I'm just nervous about bikejoring since I won't have as much control as I would normally.

I suppose I could just give it a shot for bikejoring. Worst comes to worst I fall down and she drags the bike away.

Thank you!
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