Weight pulling

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Weight pulling
Dog weight pull.jpg
A dog pulls a cart loaded with concrete weights as its owner coaxes him forward in a weight pulling event.

Weight pulling is a dog sport involving a dog pulling a cart or sled loaded with weight a short distance across dirt/gravel, grass, carpet, or snow.[1] It is a modern adaptation of freighting, in which dogs were used as freight animals to move cargo. Many breeds participate in this sport, with dogs being separated into classes by weight.[2] Sled dog and bull breeds excel within their respective weight classes, having been historically bred to pull sleds and carts as working dogs, respectively.

The dog is hitched to the cart or sled with a specially constructed harness designed to spread the weight and minimize the chance of injury.[3] Since IWPA's organization in 1984, no dogs have been hurt in competition.[4]

Dog weight pulling competitions are sanctioned by various non-profit organizations. In North America the International Sled Dog Racing Association has sanctioned contests in association with their races. The International Weight Pulling Association was organized in 1984 to promote the heritage of the working dog.[4] IWPA operates in North America.

Since 2000, the American Pulling Alliance [5] has also offered sanctioned competitions in North America as well as Europe. The United Kennel Club[6] also includes Weight Pull as one of their dog sports. Alaskan Malamute Clubs in the UK,[7] and Australia [8] offer sanctioned weight pull competitions based on the Alaskan Malamute Club of America's weight pull rules.[9] Other breed clubs also offer weight pull, such as American Dog Breeders Association.[10] In the 2010s other organizations started offering sanctioned competitions, such as National Working Dog Association.[11] In 2012, GPA (Global Pulling Alliance) was formed to focus on educating the general public about the sport of weight pulling as a positive outlet for active canines across the globe. GPA holds competitions in 6 countries; United Kingdom, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Ireland, and the United States, and continues to add to their list as the sport grows in popularity. Other organizations are springing up in Europe and Asia as the sport becomes increasingly more popular. Bulgaria also has started to promote the sport by a club called Weight Pulling & Sporting Dogs Bulgaria. Since 2014 Lithuania has a dog weight pulling club called "Weight Pulling Lithuania".[12]


The activity has been criticised for cruel or harmful by animal rights activists.[13][14][15][16][17][18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "This Secret from the World's Strongest Dogs Can Improve Your Dog's Fitness". American Kennel Club. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  2. ^ "IWPA - International Weight Pull Association - Rules". Iwpa.net. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  3. ^ "IWPA - International Weight Pull Association - Equipment Resources". Iwpa.net. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b "IWPA - International Weight Pull Association - About Us". Iwpa.net. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  5. ^ "APA Home". Weightpull.com. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Home - United Kennel Club (UKC)". Ukcdogs.com. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  7. ^ "The Alaskan Malamute Club of the UK". Alaskanmalamute.org.uk. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Alaskan Malamute Club, Victoria Inc". Amcv.org.au. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Alaskan Malamute Club of America – The American Kennel Club (AKC) National Breed Club for the Alaskan Malamute". Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  10. ^ "American Dog Breeders Association American Pit Bull Terrier Registry". American Dog Breeders Association. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  11. ^ "NWDA". Nwdak9.com. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Sveiki atvykę!". Weightpulling.lt. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Poll: Is "Dog Pulling" Cruel or a Legitimate Sport for Working Dogs?". News.orvis.com. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  14. ^ "SPOTLIGHT: Club formed for weight pulling for dogs". DeseretNews.com. 1 December 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  16. ^ "Weight pulling: cool or cruel? - IOL News". Iol.co.za. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  17. ^ "Pounds and controversy stack up at dog weight-pulling competitions". America.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Danish dog owner threatened for participating in weight-pulling competition – The Post". Cphpost.dk. Retrieved 7 February 2019.