German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,880 Posts
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 ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,164 Posts
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
667 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
856 Posts
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alyssa & Olivia

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
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!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,677 Posts
from what you describe, it sounds like your dog likes to tug? different from pulling. or am i interpreting the blanket example incorrectly?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
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/hh521/AlyssaFuzzyCupcake/Olivia/20190119_142553_zpsqlfs3jli.jpg

http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh521/AlyssaFuzzyCupcake/Olivia/20190119_142551_zpshxcs79zd.jpg

Here's a boxer for reference

https://i1250.photobucket.com/album...cake/Male_fawn_Boxer_undocked_zpsubmw0gsx.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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
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.
No snow at all where I live, got 2 inches one day this year and that's it. The mountains don't allow for dogs where I live unless you go really remote which I'm unsure if I can without trespassing.

I'll look into the bike version.

Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
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!
Thank you! I actually have looked into Alpine Outfitters before but was unsure if that would be good for this kind of thing.

I posted some pictures of her body type below which seems more boxer then anything. I wouldn't do competitively just 2-3 times a week maybe?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
from what you describe, it sounds like your dog likes to tug? different from pulling. or am i interpreting the blanket example incorrectly?
She likes to do both. The blanket example was just something she likes to do. If she had on a harness she would do the same thing but pulling the other way. I have a kurgo one but I don't know if that's evenly distributes weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
How about walking her with a backpack? I have heard that helps tire a dog out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,949 Posts
Along with training and since you had mentioned your dog has some reactivity issues you can always teach your dog sledding, weight pulling in remote areas -before you get the reactivity under control. I’m not sure how severe the reactivity issues are on the scale. With bikjoring you do want to make sure you reactivity issues as well as working through desire to chase deer, wildlife if high prey drive well under control. speeds on the bike are awfully fast and twisty trails can be dangerous if your dog does not listen. Weight pulling I would talk to people who do that sport for advise as I understand dogs are pulling large amounts of weight. I enjoy sledding and bikjoring on occasion it breaks up the monotony of training and is just fun for the entire family.(sledding - bikjoring with kids the speeds are to fast with some dogs) I use the wheelback harness for sled pulling which is also good for weight pulling - it keep pressure off hips and back and is good for gsd structures - longer back. I use the long distance harness for bikejoring - different harness for different inclines from harness. Both are from howling dog Alaska. Their is also carting which Iots is fun even though I had not the time to pursue that more. I would love to get the Sacco cart but expensive but looks like awfully fun. I don’t train for the Iditarod sledding race or for weight competitions but do have tons of fun and can incorporate my exercise and my dogs exercise at the same time. I started off when max was a pup pulling light plastic sleds. Teaching commands and then eventually adding a heavier sled with a little bit of weight at a time. It’s something to do with your dog. Your dog has to listen to you and know how to stop when to go make rights and lefts. I had no additional challenges teaching max and Luna to pull as pups and did not interfere with teaching them how to walk in a leash. Max learned how to pull some light sleds before he was taught how to heel. I taught this all unformely but there is a book if you want to learn more on sledding. Alpine outfitters has great harnesses as well!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003GGTQ50/#immersive-view_1550584763005
https://howlingdogalaska.com/products/wheel-dog-harness
https://howlingdogalaska.com/collections/harnesses/products/distance-harness

I want one of these one day have max and Luna my team lol! and definitely will get one if I ever have trouble walking in my older years and struggle to exercise my dogs. Sacco carts-
https://youtu.be/UYrqr-yE0wo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
513 Posts
If you wanted advice on Weight Pulling, I think your best bet would be to find a group that does it locally or in another city/state to ask questions. Facebook may be a good reference for this (Charm City Weight Pullers is my local club). A friend of mine does weight pull with her shepherd at the local weight pull club. At one point she told me what they start out with percentage of the dogs weight wise for drag work, but I cannot for the life of me remember what that number was.


Alpine Outfitters was the recommended company when I asked about it, though I never did actually try. You want an X-back dog harness with padding for weight distribution.


Good luck and be safe :smile2:
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sabis mom

·
Registered
Joined
·
667 Posts
Just thought of something you and your dog might enjoy-

Years back I had 2 little Bichons who loved to learn new stuff so I taught them to quasi-pull me on street roller skates.

We had loads of flat areas with sidewalks in town so it worked perfectly. We'd go zooming around this huge lake

on a sidewalk and had a blast. It doesn't really take a lot of strength in pulling on a sidewalk because the wheels

roll so easily. But it was super exercise for the little dogs and they "thought" they had a job and loved it.

I just used regular harness and long rope/leashes. If your knee can take a little roller skating, you might want

to consider this. It's pretty easy to teach the dog- go, whoah, yes, no etc. They learn it fast cause they love it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,164 Posts
A word about reactivity: it doesn't go away just because they're pulling. When my DH was young, he had an adolescent dog with boundless energy that he used to take roller-blading. He'd go to a flat area with a very long road with no traffic that was basically abandoned on weekends. He'd put the dog in a harness, put on his helmet and pads, crouch down, and let the dog tear down the road at a full run, pulling him on his roller blades.

It was loads of fun -- until the day a squirrel crossed in front of her while she was at top speed. She shifted into prey drive to turn and chase the squirrel, he had no way to stop her because he was on blades flying down the pavement, and she was in a harness, not a prong collar. He took a bad fall and was pretty banged up, but the pads and helmet kept him from serious injury. He decided that speed-skate game wasn't worth the fall risk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,949 Posts
I will also mention just walk the dog on the leash and allowing him to pull can be very dangerous. Gsds range in size but some are awfully large. My first gsd almost dragged me right in front of a car just because he wanted to pee on a stop sign across the road. If the car did not stop I would of been in big trouble as it was only centimeters away. He did not do that again and learned to not disregard his owner when on the leash. Listening to you is a must regardless of the rhyme or reason.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
513 Posts
A word about reactivity: it doesn't go away just because they're pulling. When my DH was young, he had an adolescent dog with boundless energy that he used to take roller-blading. He'd go to a flat area with a very long road with no traffic that was basically abandoned on weekends. He'd put the dog in a harness, put on his helmet and pads, crouch down, and let the dog tear down the road at a full run, pulling him on his roller blades.

It was loads of fun -- until the day a squirrel crossed in front of her while she was at top speed. She shifted into prey drive to turn and chase the squirrel, he had no way to stop her because he was on blades flying down the pavement, and she was in a harness, not a prong collar. He took a bad fall and was pretty banged up, but the pads and helmet kept him from serious injury. He decided that speed-skate game wasn't worth the fall risk.
Similar thing happened to me as a young kid with the family dog. I took her out in the morning to do a mile run while I was on my skateboard. One day, an older gentleman and his dog were in our path and my girl wanted so bad to meet this dog. Knowing I could either ride up to and crash into all 3 (my dog, the man and his dog) or jump off and use my body as a break to stop us from colliding, I chose the latter option and got banged up pretty bad (no broken bones) but road rash all over my knees and one arm/palm. That was the last time I went skateboarding with the family dog. Maybe solid obedience could have prevented it, but it was so long ago.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top