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© 2012 Laura Turner

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Click to read Laura's article "Weight Pulling - Another Activity for the Versatile Poodle"
published in Poodle Variety AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2013

*Information on UKC Weight Pulling
Weight Pull Wheels - Score Sheet PDF
Weight Pull Wheels - Score Sheet word
Weight Pull Snow - Score Sheets word
Weight Pull Snow - Score Sheets PDF


                   UWP - Wheels - 8x the dog's body weight 16 feet within 60 seconds. Do this 3x
                  UWPCH - dog must earn 100 championship points
                  UWPCHX - dog must then 250 additional championship points each on two different types of weighted vehicles.
                  UGWPCH - dog must then earn 500 additional championship points
                  UGWPC1 - dog must earn 1,000 additional championship points
                  UWPV - dog must then earn an additional 100 points on one weighted vehicle and an additional 100 points, which may be earned on any combination of at least two types of weighted vehicles.
                  UWPO - dog must then earn 100 additional championship points each on two different types of weighted vehicles
                  UWPS - dog must then earn 100 additional championship points on each type of weighted vehicle (rail cart, sled, wheeled cart).


We have tried harnesses from the following Companies:
CD Pits
Brown Dogs Harnesses
Lakeview Harnesses (formerly Harness for less)
We have not tried this company:
The Working K9 Dog Harness

*Video on how to select a Weight Pulling Harness

How to put on a weight pulling harness


... ...

Start simple without spending a fortune.
This sport is not enjoyed by all dogs, so spend little until you know if you will enjoy it.
We use heavy duty webbing similar to a seat belt or the kind found on ratchet sets
I loop it through the cart axel so that the dog can change direction of the cart so the cart
will follow the dog and not be stuck in a fixed position, causing problems in training.
I also use a mountain climbing strong carabiner as will secure the webbing and
is easy to clip on the weight pulling harness and is strong enough to support 350+ lbs of weight.
For weight I use bags of dog food just because I always have plenty of those and I know how much they weigh.
However Beau and Aero's owner used bags of cement powder and we have also used tire rims or cement blocks.
Main thing is that you know how much the items weigh so that you can start off low weight to not overwhelm your dog
and can build up the weight your dog will pull as the weeks progress.



We use a heavy duty garden cart with axel and with rubber wheels we got from Home Depot called
Gorilla Carts 1200 lb. Heavy Duty Poly Dump Cart priced at $129.00
We have had people use plastic wagons (kids toy type) with plastic wheels and found the noise too scary
for new dogs to be comfortable in pulling. As well as noise, these wheels do not have the needed traction.
Beau and Aero's owner also suggested that with heavy duty rubber wheels that the air level could be lowered
to lesson the speed that the cart will go and also provide more resistance for training.

Millside Industries

If $129.00 is over your budget you can usually find wagons or garden carts used in online classifieds
Ashlea Bea's owner also sent me the above link suggesting this wagon might work well and is priced around $80.00.

This was how we started training until we realized that without webbing from harness to wagon,
there was not enough time or distance to stop the cart from running into the dog when the dog stopped.
I found I needed at least 2' of distance from the dog to the cart to be able to 'control stop' the cart before it hit the dog.
NEVER EVER let the cart hit your dog, either work with 2 people (one holding/controlling the cart from behind the cart)
or you will have to be quick to reach and stop the cart yourself.
NEVER stop, or jar the cart, while your dog is pulling. Just think how you would feel if this happened to you.
Not only risking injury (whiplash type) but we want the dog to believe he can pull anything.
A sudden stop will defeat this training.

This is how we train now using a carabiner and length of heavy duty webbing.
When the dog stops, I"m able to stand beside them and put my arm out to stop the cart
before the cart catches up to them and hits them from behind.
Always train with a collar and leash on so that you have total control over your dog.


Poodle's first day of wearing a harness and pulling something behind them
Truffle First day of WP training
Ember First day of WP Training

Poodle's second pull of the first day
Ember's Second Pull of the day

Poodle's third pull of the day
Ember's third pull of the day

Using a Jackpot of treats to train a Poodle to pull for a purpose
We have also used a "trail" of treats to the jackpot to motivate and get our kids pulling


When you first arrive you will need to have an official weigh your dog. There is an official "weigh in time" to do this listed on your premium list.
Your dog's weight that day will determine what weight class you are in and also what weight your dog will need to pull to qualify.
Write down your dogs weight and the qualifying weight on your Score Sheet.
Next find out the weight of the empty cart and write that on your Score Sheet.
Next find out how much the blocks weigh as each club is different, and write that weight down on your score sheet.
The next part I always find tricky... you need to mathematically figure out the least amount of pulls it will take
to get to your qualifying weight, as you don't want your new dog to get bored or too tired or pull way more than they need to.
I did up this Sample Score Sheet to aid in explaining it.
One competitor told me that she takes the qualifying weight, subtracts the cart weight and divides the remainder by the block weight
to quickly figure out the blocks (called "increments") that would be best for her dog to reach their qualifying weight.
I suck at math so this is the best help I can provide on that subject.


There is a set time for the Handler's meeting usually listed on the Premium List
Do not bring your dog(s)
The judge or official will explain the rules. After you can ask any questions your may have.
Some of the most basics are to not touch your dog once you "release" them to pull.
Touching your dog with your hair, skirt, tie, basically any body part or object will result in a fault.
You are allowed 1 fault during your pull.
You can redo the pull 1x
You are allowed 3 faults during the entire trial before you are disqualified.
There are no treats, toys, basically any incentives or lures allowed in the "chute" area.
You can have family, friends, treats and toys just outside of the chute area and most people do have rewards set up there.
You can only "pass" (skip a weight to pull) up to 3x
You can pass 1 pull (weight increase), 2 pulls (2 weight increases), 3 pulls (3 weight increases)


Weight class  ......  Min weight   ...... Max weight
20 lbs   ...... No minimum   ...... under 21 lbs
30 lbs   ...... 21 lbs   ......  under 31 lbs
40 lbs   ...... 31 lbs   ......  under 41 lbs
50 lbs   ......  41 lbs   ......  under 51 lbs
60 lbs  ......  51 lbs  ......  under 61 lbs
70 lbs  ......  61 lbs   ......  under 71 lbs
80 lbs   ......  71 lbs   ......  under 81 lbs
90 lbs   ......  81 lbs   ......  under 91 lbs
100 lbs   ......  91 lbs  ......  under 101 lbs
Unlimited   ...  101 lbs   ......  no maximum


Each weight class will vote on how many "increments" (number of blocks) they wish to go up each pull.
UKC people will usually vote for 2-3 blocks
You have already figured out what "increments" will work best for your dog so you will vote for that.
Majority rules.
Once this has been established, you will go back to your score sheet and fill it out all the way to your qualifying weight.
Then you will need to figure out if you will have any passes between any of the weight pulls.
After your dog pulls a weight, you will be asked "are you passing or pulling" so you need to know in advance.
Most people with new dogs will start with the empty cart and then pass 1-2 pulls, then pull the weight below
their qualifying weight and then the qualifying weight, so their dog is not too bored or fatigued.
The most common mistake people make is "passing" the weight their dog needed to qualify or pull for points !!
Figure all your pull weights and passing weights in advance to avoid this common mistake.
Using your UKC Weight Pulling Score Sheet should aid you in avoiding any mistakes.


Only you and your dog and the cart operator are allowed in the chute (Weight Pulling area).
The latch that hooks your harness to the cart "must" be touching the ground. If it is not, you will be asked to back your dog up.
Remove collar and leash outside of the Chute area (save you getting tangled up) and keep a hand on the dog until you are told to release.
Once the dog is released by you, you are not allowed to touch the dog again until the judge yells out "PULL" which means you finished
The judge is on the outside watching you and your dog with a stop watch as you only have 60 seconds to pass the finish line 16 feet away
IF your dog does not qualify, you may repeat the run later or right away. Most people find repeating right away is the best thing to do.
In UKC the dogs compete for points and not for placements
To encourage your dog you can pretend to have treats, lay on the ground, pretend to be leaving, get animated
reach over the top of your dogs head to pretend to help them, basically do what ever will get them to move forward.
Some people get VERY loud and very obnoxious to get their dogs riled up to do it.
Ideally you want your dog's head low so make sure to train that way and always try to get them to start from a standing position.
IF your dog gets tangled you may ask the judge if it is "ok" to continue or not. Usually they want you to keep going unless injury is a risk
We keep treats just outside the chute area to treat our dogs ASAP as soon as they complete a Pull
If your dog does not complete a run, you can help them, but you will be called a "foul".
Then you can repeat the pull and hopefully your dog will believe they can do it the second time.
You are only allowed 1 foul before you are excused from weight pulling for the day.


UKC Weight Pulling Rules
UKC Entry Form
UKC weight pulling information
UKC Weight Pulling Wheels - Score Sheet (pdf file)
UKC Weight Pulling Wheels - Score Sheet (word file)
Weight Pull Snow - Score Sheets word
Weight Pull Snow - Score Sheets PDF

How do I figure out the Weight Pull Score Sheet ? (pdf file)

Entering a UKC Weight Pulling Show Dummied Up

1. Arrive early
2. Bring snacks, drinks, chairs, pen, score sheets, clip board, calculator, cage to put in staging area, treats, dish for water, harness, dog
3. Get your dog weighed in as soon as possible, so you can figure out your minimum weight needed to qualify (has to be 8x your dog's body weight)
4. Next figure out what is the best starting weight is for you dog keeping in mind that you want to probaby only have your dog
do 4 or 5 pulls to reach their qualifying weight. This is where your weight pulling score sheet will assist you (save you doing math)
5. we start out with a light weight to get them adjusted, then I only want them to have to do no more than 4 pulls to reach qualifying weight/pull
I find any more than this, they get too tired, bored or defeated feeling.
6. Find out what the blocks weigh. Increments are based on blocks. Find out what incriments will be best for you
to reach your minimum weight to qualify (without going way over what you need to) most blocks will weigh 20 - 40 lbs.
Incriments means "Blocks"... so bigger more experienced pullers may suggest incriments of 4 !
Keep an ear open and voice what you want, which will probaby be incriments of "2".
So do the math starting with your qualifying weight, deduct the starting weight then figure out
how many pulls/incriments you will need to reach your qualifying weight.
(if you cant figure it out .. email me and I will walk you through the score sheet)
7. You are only able to do 2 passes during a pull. A pass means you are skipping a pull of a certain weight.
8. You must keep touching your dog once you enter the Weight pull area and once you release your dog you can not touch them.
if you touch your dog you will fault. This can mean a Disqualification and you are done, but double check with your association.
9. Remove your leash prior to entering the weight pulling area as this way you wont be tempted to let go of your dog and "fault".
10. You may motivate your dog by any means neccessary. You can lay on the floor, act creepy, pretend to have treats, yell,
you can't have treats or toys in the weight pull area but you can give treats and or toys outside of the area and most people will.


UKC Weight Pull
International Weight Pull Association
National Working Dog Association


Ruby earning her UKC Weight Pulling Title

Truffle earning her UKC Weight Pulling Title

Dream is earning his UKC Weight Pulling Title and Weight Pulling Championship

Pepper earning her UKC Weight Pulling Title

Razz earning his UKC Weight Pulling Title and weight pulling Championship

Glory earning her UKC Weight Pulling Title and Weight Pulling Championship
AND after 1 year of not pulling and at 6 years of age, Glory also earned
MOST WEIGHT PULLED BY BODY % beating everyone for all 4 Trials !!!

Dare earning her UKC Weight Pulling Title

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Razz earning his National Working Dog Association Title
This association offers placements 1st, 2nd and 3rd place
Points are awarded based on percentage of body weight
This means a Chihuahua could win over a Great Dane.
Or in our case a Standard Poodle winning over Pitbulls

Dream gets his NWDA weight Pulling Title and places 4th !

Pepper competes without qualifying for her NWDA but places 4th for her class

Sultan gets his NWDA weight Pulling Title and places 2nd !


Dream weight pulling

Razz weight pulling starting weight

Sultan weight pulling

Pepper weight pulling

Finnegan gets his NWDA weight Pulling Title

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