Getting in shape, pulling a tire (long)

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pittiepride

Getting in shape, pulling a tire (long)

Postby pittiepride » Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:31 am

Logan, 3 year old rescue, about 70 lbs. Currently walk 4-5 times per week about 45 min at a time. Lots of play time in the yard. Two hours obedience/agility on weekends. Feeding 3 cups dry kibble a day.

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I took logan out today and he pulled a car tire no problem. He is a very confident dog and not much phases him. I put him in a sled harness and tied a rope to the tire. I walked him beside me while I pulled the tire on the gravel. No problems. I hooked him to the tire and let him walk while I took the weight from the tire. No problems. So I know against everything I read I decided to let him pull it. I put him in a wait and walked 10 feet in front of him and told him to 'hup' 'come' and he happily lunged forward and came to me. Lots of praise and a little treat. We worked 3 short stops and gos without a problem he was very happy and willing and didn't really seem to care to much. Then we did a good 50 feet of pull at a trot (a medium walk pace for me) He started to huff and put his head down so I unhooked him and we did a short walk in the bush. After about 10 min I hooked him up again and did about another 30 feet in 3 sections and called it quits.

So do you guys think this is okay? I was thinking of doing this 3 days a week building up to about 5 minutes trotting down the road and walk no wieght for about half way back and then 1 or 2 short pulls at the end before a cool down. Is trotting with the weight too much?? Should I only do short sections? What kind of muscles would he be working, mostly front end or back end...?
I'm just looking to get him into shape and build his stamina. He is a large dog and I want to start doing agility with him but I am worried because he is so heavy, I want to make sure his muscles are strong enough to support him if he's to be doing any jumping, sharp corners and such. I'm not looking to do anything too serious. I just know walking at my pace doesn't cut it. So I thought if he walked with some wieghts it would a) give him something to think about instead of being abnoxious b) tire him out faster and c) get him into better shape (maybe loose a few inches of fat)

What do you think? Thanks in advance. Any more info you need??
kara

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bahamutt99
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Postby bahamutt99 » Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:00 am

My girl is 2 years old, and I *try* to work her at least 5 days a week. She pulls 40-55 pounds on a drag sled, and we do anywhere from 25-40 repetitions of about 10-20 feet. When your dog puts his head down, it means he's really working to keep that weight moving. If you look, a lot of pro pulling dogs work like that. Example:

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As long as he has a good attitude about the work, you could definitely keep it up. Trotting with a light drag behind him is a good way to exercise, IMO. Doing the short reps will build up his muscles, or so I've been told. Also, with the kind of work you're doing with him, you're training him for weight pull without even realizing it. If you get him to the point where he'll reliably pull that tire to you, you might want to take him out to the pulls. :)

As for muscle groups, the first thing I noticed when I started that kind of training with my girl is that her thigh muscles got very toned. The dogs do most of the pulling work from their rears. His shoulders will probably gain definition, too. Loki has all kinds of muscles, and the primary way I exercise her is by doing weight pull exercises. I like to mix it up with some fetch, flirtpole, frisbee, etc., but hardest work she does is pulling that little sled around.

Just make sure you do it in different parts of the yard. Dragging is hard on grass. I've got a nice little track around the perimeter of my yard from drag sledding. :)

pittiepride

Postby pittiepride » Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:43 am

Thanks. I want him to build a little more definition. He has a bit of chunky barrel shape to him, might be the lab, who knows. He just needs to loose a layer of fat he carries all over. He is so eager to please and each time I told him to 'hup' he pulled that tire no problems. I never once had to show him what to do or coax him, just a simple hup, logan come and off he came galloping.

I don't think weight pull is very popular here so it's not really something i think i want to compete in since i'm not big on travelling. Agility is what I'm aiming for. My other dog is starting to compete this year and should do fairly well.

pittiepride

Postby pittiepride » Thu Feb 02, 2006 8:38 pm

Took logan out again today and pulled the tire about 15 times no problems again. Easy going dog he is. Should I try a larger weight? Or just stick with the light reps?

Kara

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Postby bahamutt99 » Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:44 pm

That's up to you. I can only offer advice from a weight pull standpoint. As was suggested to me, if you are 6 or so feet away from the dog, it shouldn't take them longer than 5 seconds to pull it to you. If he pulls it very fast, you might want to up the weight. But you don't want to make it so heavy that he's going to get discouraged easily.

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Postby NatX » Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:48 am

I would stay with the lighter weight for a little longer to help build tolerance to pulling weight before increasing it. I would alternate the loads throughout the training sessions during the week. So, One day pulling light weight for long distances, next session increase the weight and shorten the distance, increase the load more and shorten the distance more. This will allow the dogs body to adapt to the loading ranges. Resulting in the working of multiple muscle fiber types, which I believe to be important to any sporting activity. You mentioned a possible future in agility, so I would think this would be ideal for your situation. The dog would both muscle fiber during an agility contest.

I can get more specific if you really want to know and it may be benifical for everyone here to be aware of it as well.

I do have my dogs pull weight and on a side note, I also pull weight (trucks, fire engines, etc) preparing for strongman events.

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Postby NatX » Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:50 am

Also, depending on how much the dog pulls on a leash you could have your dog run while your on a bike. This is the only way I get my dogs to burnoff enough energy on walks. This allows you to go twice as far allowing the dog(s) to work longer without wearing yourself out to much.

pittiepride

Postby pittiepride » Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:57 am

Ha, just thinking of me on my bike veering off into the bushes as Logan pulls me after a cat or squirrel....No, not a good idea for him. He's too unpredictable (and i''m not that good on a bike.)

I would like any information and tips you have for me. I am new to this and not the best shape myself. Logan does tend to get bored easily, it is a lot of work to keep things positive. I don't know how someone can do 20 reps of anything. If i ask any of my dogs to do something 20 times they'd think i was nuts. I'd say we could pull 200-300 feet about 8-10 times, doing small sections. Then he's tired and bored. Well I wouldn't say he's tired, but he's getting a workout, tongue hangin.

What other reccomendations do you guys have? Should I feed him the same amount of food? or decrease, increase it? add supplements or something?

kara

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Postby NatX » Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:44 am

20 of anything is alot for a dog. 10 to 12 is a good number for pulling long distances because the weight is lighter making it easier to pull, hence you can perform the same exercise multiple times. For what I consider medium weight a good number is 5 to six times. For heavy weight I would say 2 to 3.

So on a heavy day you could go for a walk (sometime that day) and do some heavy pulling. Same with medium weight pulling days. On light days you could skip the walk since you would doing multiple reps for longer distances. I'm not sure how you plan to increase the weight for the heavy days. I have two size tires and just add sand or a sandbag depending on the surface pulling on. Keep the weights (light, medium, & heavy days) consistant for a period of time before increasing.

What surface are you pulling on?

I already feed my dogs a raw food diet which allows me to change macronutrient ratios to compensate for activity levels. I would say since your trying to lean your dog up a bite, feed your normal food at the same amount with the addition of some olive oil (1-2tbs) on light and medium pulling days. On heavy days feed about 1hr after pulling with 1/c can of mackrel tail, which you could find at any food store, and store the rest for another day. Its kept with the tuna and its cheap ($0.76/can). The mackrel tail has scales and bones in it, its fine for them. Its a special treat for a job well done. The fish is high in fat and protein, which unlike humans, dogs us fat as a primary energy source instead of carbs.

Try this for a month and see how she reacts to the exercise and diet. Let me know and we can make adjustments in weights and diet to achieve more success.

pittiepride

Postby pittiepride » Sat Feb 04, 2006 2:43 pm

We pull on gravel. my neighbour has a conveniently long gravel driveway. I was thinking of getting just a larger tire to increase the wieght.

I will try logan on some canned fish, i've not seen the mackeral but will look. He is pretty intolerant of anything raw...he can't chew raw bones, or eat raw foot without puking, he can't even chew pork hide, hooves, bully sticks without puking. I think he is a typical 'kibble' raised dog. Too bad since I always give my other dogs the odd meal a couple days a week of chicken, beef, or eggs, tuna or whatever is around.

I also picked up a manual treadmill yesterday, so we will start training on it too. Thank you for the replies. Much appreciated.

kara

nwo

Postby nwo » Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:00 pm

I've been meaning to ask this, and seeing that weight pull picture reminded me, do any of you know of any online (ie, downloadable) clips of weight pulling?

I've searched high and low and can't find any.

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Postby NatX » Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:29 am

Kara:
I guess gravel is better than concrete or pavement. Grass or dirt would be ideal. Pulling on gravel for three different days per week with medium or heavy weight is okay, but wouldn't go more than three days. Pad wear could become an issue on gravel. I think of it this way when I take my dogs pulling. How would I feel if I was going to pull on this surface. Just my thoughts.

Are you using the treadmill as a substitution for walking or in addition to?

pittiepride

Postby pittiepride » Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:54 am

I never thought of that about the gravel. It should be okay for now since we are only pulling light weights. But I will look for a grassy area as we move up. His feet are pretty used to gravel since that is all we walk on.

The treadmill, well I'm not sure when I'll get a box built but it will be a substitute for walking at first. Since to walk my dogs I need to do 3 seperate walks...and it can get tiring when it's blowing 50-70km/hr outside


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