Weight pulling is an
activity that many breeds of dog enjoy and most events welcome any
breed of dog as long as they are fit, healthy, non-agressive and
comply with age requirements. Bitches in season may not participate
as this may prove a distraction to other dogs.
All that you need to compete
in a weight pull event is a correctly fitted weight-pull harness. Some
clubs may have a range of harnesses available for participants to borrow for
the competition – please ask the organisers if you need to have your dog
fitted for a harness as good fit is critical.
Malamute breed is renowned for possessing great strength and natural
instinct to pull. It is recommended that they be trained to weightpull
using the correct technique so as to minimise injury and to maximise pulling
power. Your Malamute’s ability to pull heavier weight will depend more on
technique than individual strength. It is highly recommended your Malamute
be well trained to act on voice command as this is the only assistance the
handler may provide in encouraging your Malamute to pull weight in
of your Malamute must be maintained when weightpulling. Pulling heavy loads
can place unnecessary strain and lead to injury if you do not maintain sound
physical condition of your Mal.
Before the competition
commences, dogs must be weighed to determine which class they will be
competing in. The club holding the event will usually have a set of
scales suitable for weighing dogs at the event for this purpose.
are generally called into the weight pull chute in order of their weight so
competitors need to listen for their dog to be called.
The results of the
competition are based on the overall weight that the dog pulled within the
class, as well as weight to weight ratio, i.e. how much the dog pulled
relative to its body weight.
Pull Event Rules
competition rules will vary
from club to club, so ask the event officials if you have any questions
about the conduct of the competition or if you would like a copy of the
Some rules will not allow
dogs to be baited with food or toys in any way, some do not even allow the
handler to have any food on them. This is to ensure that the dog is
pulling on command only and not to get to the bait.
The dog must first qualify
for the event which is usually achieved by by pulling the empty trolley a
required distance within a time limit. Most weight pull rules dictate that
the distance required for the pull is around 16 feet (5.4 metres).
After each dog has attempted
the pull, the trolley is loaded with more weight. Dogs that successfully
pulled the previous weight then attempt to pull the next highest weight.
A dog is out of the
competition if it fails to pull the loaded trolley within the allocated
time, and the dog's result is recorded at the highest weight successfully
When the weight being pulled
is under 500 kg, the dog is allowed two attempts to pull the trolley. Once
over 500 kg, dogs are only allowed one attempt. In some competitions the dog
may be allowed two chances to pull the weight, some only allow one pull
The handler may either stand in front of the dog behind the designated line,
or stand behind the trolley and must be in position before commanding the
dog to pull.
In most competitions, dogs
must pull on voice command only and handlers may not touch a dog during a
In most competitions handlers may be permitted to pass one or two pulls if
they feel confident that their dog will pull the next highest weight.
In most weight pull events, if a dog attempts to leave the chute, becomes
tangled in its harness or lines, or moves behind the front of the trolley
this is deemed a "tangle" and the pull is stopped until the situation is
rectified. The trolley is then repositioned at the starting point and the
pull is recommenced. A dog may be disqualified if a “tangle” is declared
twice within one pulling attempt, however this may vary depending on the
rules the event is being conducted under.
Handler & Spectator Conduct
So as not to interfere or
distract dogs in the chute from pulling, the following rules often apply:
Dogs that are not pulling
should be kept well away from the weight pull chute and should not be in
sight of dogs that are in the chute.
Spectators should stand back
from the chute and must not have any food near the chute.
The only person who may call
or signal to a dog during a pull is the handler – “double-handling” is
generally not permitted.
Officials have the right to
disqualify a dog from the competition if the dog’s wellbeing is being
jeopardised. Physical or verbal dog abuse is not tolerated. Aggressive
dogs may be refused entry or be disqualified from the competition.
Please look after your
dogs and make sure they have water and shelter.
If you feel your dog is struggling please withdraw them from the event.