Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How to Train My Pit Bull to Pull Weight

Descending from a line of terriers and bulldogs, the American Pit Bull Terrier is an affectionate, intelligent and highly versatile pet. Originally bred to fight bulls in a ring, the pit bull terrier is powerfully built with a stout, compact body. There is controversy in breeding circles as to whether the American Pit Bull Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier are the same breed. Though most breeds of canines have been selectively bred to perform specific tasks, with proper training most dogs, including pit bulls, can be trained pull weight.



    Choose a properly fitting harness designed for pulling. Many of the harnesses sold at pet shops have narrow leather straps designed for walking the dog on a leash. These types of harnesses will cut into the dog's skin, making pulling uncomfortable for the dog and discouraging the animal from exerting force against the harness. Instead, select a harness constructed with wide, soft, nylon straps. When fitted properly the harness will be snug to the dog's body, but loose enough so you can slip two fingers between the straps and the animal's skin. If the dog is still growing, select a harness that properly fits the animal at its current size, not a harness for the dog to grow into.


    Tie one end of a 6-foot piece of rope to the handle of a lightweight cart, such as a child's toy wagon or the center point of a sled. Tie the other end of the rope to the ring on the dog's harness.


    Walk the dog normally, with a leash attached to the dog's collar. If the dog shows resistance to puling, encourage the dog in a warm, friendly and gentle tone; never lose patience with the animal as it will only set back training. Praise the dog profusely for moving the cart or sled any distance.


    Begin gradually adding weight, such as bricks, rocks or sandbags, to the cart or sled when the dog is willing to pull without hesitation.


    Continue adding weight in 2- to 3-lb. increments until the dog begins to show indications that it can no longer easily handle the weight. Reduce the weight limit by 10 percent and use that number as the dog's upper weight limit. For example, if the dog begins struggling at the 50-lb. mark, use 45 lbs. as the animal's maximum weight limit (50 x .90 = 45).


    Teach the dog commands for go, stop and left or right turns. While you can use any commands you wish, traditionally the commands are "Hike" for go; "Gee" to turn right; "Haw" for left; and "Whoa" to stop. Continue to repeat the commands as you are leading the dog on the leash while executing maneuvers until the animal begins to follow the commands though voice instruction alone.

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