Kristina with Brutus & Argo
As a naive and amateur dog owner, I made the mistake of rescuing a second dog without really understanding the first. Within 4 months, I had two young, male dogs in my house with more energy than I could handle. Although feeling like I had made a huge mistake, I couldn’t imagine sending a pup back to the shelter.
Then comes in Mutt Magic….
Aja evaluated my crew and told me that I needed to gain control of my dogs and give them an outlet for their energy. I remember her saying, “that energy has to go somewhere and right now they are negatively directing it towards each other”. With Aja’s help, she taught me how gain control through obedience work and loose-leash walking.
However, once I had the basics, our regular exercise routine was not enough; my dogs still yearned for more.
Aja introduces weight pull…..What is weight pull, you ask?
It is a physical activity where a dog wears a full body harness to pull weight. The harness is crafted to fit across the dog’s chest which is a canine’s powerhouse for pulling. It also crosses along the back to distribute the weight evenly. The dog is not harmed in any way because the harness is supporting the dog’s natural strength. Any breed is capable of weight pull as long as they have a properly fitted harness. In fact, weight pull is an international competitive sport. However, I practice for conditioning.
What are the benefits and why do I say weight pull saved my dog-life?
1. Burn off the energy: Aja said I needed to see physical fatigue during our walks not just panting dogs. When we get home, my dogs sprawl out on the floor with a look of satisfaction. All their energy has been exerted leaving them calm and free from mental anxiety giving me more control in the house.
2. Walking with a purpose: my dogs know that when it comes time to pull we are on a mission and no one is stopping us! They walk looking straight ahead, they know our path and where we are going. They also know that they will be rewarded with K9 Kraving for dinner.
3. Fully body workout: dogs by nature are always on the move even though we’ve turned them into couch potatoes. My dogs pull 30 – 40lbs and walk between 2-3 miles. This is known as drag weight pull. By keeping them active with regular exercise it promotes good health and longevity.
4. More bonding time: Obviously, I get to spend GOOD QUALITY time with my dogs during their walk. In addition, my dogs stay separated from each other most of the day but after our training we all get to spend time together.
It’s been 9 months since we took in our second rescue and about 8 months since we started working with Aja. Had it not been for her help in obedience training in combination with adequate exercise, we might not have been able to keep both of our pups. So if you’re looking for a way to train, bond, or exercise, weight pull may be for you. Just make sure that you get the right equipment, learn the right way to start the training, and always use a leash when drag weight pulling!