On Labor Day, Tank and I competed in the first weight pull of the IWPA season here in Middle Tennessee. It was a beautiful day and a great pull.

Setbacks and Challenges

As I mentioned in my last post, a brown recluse spider bite had me down for most of the summer. I had a plan for training and conditioning my dogs, but it never happened.

Poor Tank started the weight pull season 9 pounds overweight. Last year, we had to move off a raw diet. We just couldn’t afford it for two giant dogs and a large dog.

It took us a few tries to get their diets right, and in the process, Tank gained 20 pounds, which killed me. He certainly didn’t look fat, but with his large size and level of activity, it really slowed him down.

We’ve taken 11 off, but it was hard to keep up the weight loss without structured exercise and conditioning.

All of this left him not fully fit for his first pull, so my plan was to really listen to him and not push him for the first pull.

Weight Pull Season Opener
Easy pull at 720 pounds

A Successful Weight Pull

During the handler’s meeting, the group decided we would increase the weight for each pull by 105 pounds. We usually pull in 70 pound increments.

We started with an empty cart to gauge where Tank was and allow him ample warm up at the lower weights before pulling substantial weight. (You can pass twice and move to a higher weight.)

He was excited to be there and did very well for his second pro pull given his lack of physical conditioning.

His official weight was only 825, but he actually pulled 930 pounds, which was his most weight pulled. It didn’t count, because I had to step in and encourage him through that last pull.

His first pro pull he pulled 860 pounds, which was high highest weight to date. This was only his 4th pull, so I was very happy with his performance. He still has to learn to dig in, but he had fun and did a great job.

Weight Pull Season Opener
Last pull with assistant at 930 pounds

We had a great day. As expected, our lazy summer hurt us. But Tank and I are getting back on track together to get fit for the season.

Thinking about getting involved in weight pull with your rescue dog? Drop me a comment, and let’s chat!

Tanya Garrett

Tanya is an avid supporter of dog rescues. She has had adopted dogs her entire adult life and can think of nothing more fulfilling than helping a rescue dog become a good citizen. She competes in AKC Rally Obedience and IWPA Weight Pull with two of her All American Dogs (registered with the AKC Canine Partners Program). She hopes to add AKC Scent Work and Tracking to that list too!

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