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 how much weight can a dog pull?

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
lisark_aussies Posted - 11/11/2007 : 3:48:15 PM
Just wondering if you guys could tell me a little bit about how much weight a dog can pull. I realize there are differences when it comes to size, breed etc, but is there some sort of "formula" that can be used?

I have two Australian Shepherds. One weighs 40 pounds, the other 55. Both pull hard. How much weight could they pull on good snow for a couple of hours? I want to do some winter camping and I am trying to figure out whether it's possible with just these two and my 22 lb sled, or if I need to go with skis and a pulk instead.

Lisa G
10   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
odaroloc Posted - 11/14/2007 : 1:48:11 PM
We just "competed" in our first NADSR weight pull event this weekend with Liam, a 4-yr-old 55-lb Sibe Husky who has pretty much only carried his snap in the years we have had him on the sled team. He was able to pull a 500-lb cart up a 3% incline a distance of 15 feet.

I don't think he would/could do that for a camping trip, but he did do that for some raw meat!!!

When we were getting started, someone told me that a rule of thumb is 25 lbs/dog if you are going any sort of distance. At least until you know what your dogs are capable of and they are conditioned. Not sure how scientific that is, but you certainly would not want to do joint or tendon damage to a dog by having him pull too much.

My $0.02
Mushingsweetheart Posted - 11/14/2007 : 12:32:13 PM
This is an interesting topic. I would like to learn a little more about weight pulling myself. I have a 55 pound alaskan husky ...took more after the siberian...very strong and i would like to train him for this. I would like to know however how i would come about training him for this. Is there any stuff that one doesnt use that could be converted into training equipment for this? Do I have to wait until there is snow? Or could I start now? Im glad this topic came up. It never hit my mind to come here and ask. DUHHHH!!!!! LoL.
swanny Posted - 11/13/2007 : 09:36:08 AM
Oh Gawd, Willy's, I just had a vision of a vindictive pit pull harnessed to a flaming Ford Pinto, dragging it into the attached garage while he (the dog) escapes through the doggie-door in back. (snicker). You'd have to rename the dog "Arson".

Swanny

p.s. - for those too young to remember, the Ford Pinto was notorious for bursting into a ball of flame in rear-end collisions and was ultimately discontinued after some messy and expensive legal battles. - S
Willys Dad Posted - 11/12/2007 : 10:59:52 PM
quote:
Originally posted by THZSteele

i've seen some pit bull type breeds pull in excess of 5000 lbs in competitions



When I was a kid I chained one of our fighting dogs to a Ford Pinto. He pulled the car up our drive way for about 8 ft. on a 15 degree incline. Against the parking brake. My dad was not happy with me. The dog weighed about 50 lbs. I don't know what the car weighed.
Gail Posted - 11/12/2007 : 10:13:29 PM
quote:
Originally posted by lisark_aussies

I have two Australian Shepherds. One weighs 40 pounds, the other 55. Both pull hard. How much weight could they pull on good snow for a couple of hours? I want to do some winter camping and I am trying to figure out whether it's possible with just these two and my 22 lb sled, or if I need to go with skis and a pulk instead.
Lisa G


Let me first say that I'm not an expert by any means, but I think you'd be fine with your 2 dogs and the sled. I'm also using just 2 dogs with a sled about the same weight (or my training rig this time of year) and they do fine. Actually, one dog does a lot of the work alone on the way out, and the other guy helps him out more on the way home. Mine are a border collie/lab mix and a mixed breed rescue (that may be some mix of aussie or catahoula leopard dog, and maybe german shepherd? not really sure. something merley coloured with a sort of shepherd conformation) My 2 boys are now 62 and 64 pounds, but they've muscled up from working. They both used to be around 58-60. I'm going to continue working these 2 together for this season, while lightly starting my 2 border collie puppies and then hopefully have a 4 dog team ready for next season. I think that you'll do fine with your 2 provided you're prepared to help them out when necessary by pedalling and running along when the going gets tougher (i.e. uphill). I used to go out for short distances with just one dog and he was fine working alone with me, but I did help him lots.
THZSteele Posted - 11/12/2007 : 3:58:56 PM
That would depend on several Factors...the breed, the weight being pulled, the distance being pulled, surface being pulled on...for training my mals have pulled upwards of 100lbs per dog or more...in weight pull competitions (IWPA) I have Mals that have pulled 2000-4000lbs on wheels and 1000+ in snow...but that's only for 16 feet...i've seen some pit bull type breeds pull in excess of 5000 lbs in competitions


swanny Posted - 11/12/2007 : 09:20:12 AM
On December 21st, 1801 North West Company fur trader Daniel Harmon recorded, “Each man had a Sledge drawn by two Dogs loaded with one hundred & fifty pounds wight (weight) of Furs, and Provisions, for man & beasts to perform the trip.” On December 13th, 1812 he elaborated on capabilities of the Company’s dogs. “Our goods are drawn on sledges by dogs. Each pair of dogs drew a load of from two hundred, to two hundred and fifty pounds, besides provisions for themselves and their driver, which would make the whole load about three hundred pounds. I have seen many dogs, two of which would draw on a sledge, five hundred pounds, twenty miles, in five hours. For a short distance, two of our stoutest dogs will draw more than a thousand pounds weight.” (Harmon 40 & 147)

By the middle of the nineteenth century larger teams (as many as 4 dogs) were becoming more common. H.M. Robinson noted that, “An average train of four dogs will trot briskly along with three hundred pounds’ weight without difficulty. Trains loaded to travel short distances with a barrel of liquor and two sacks of flour, or about six hundred and eighty pounds avoirdupois, are not an uncommon sight.”(Robinson 228) In 1862 missionary John McDougall used a team of four dogs to haul “about 250 pounds of a load, consisting of ammunition and tobacco.” (McDougall)

References & full article at http://www.tworiversak.com/sleddoghx1.htm
Doug R. Posted - 11/11/2007 : 8:57:19 PM
the old time freighters, using Indian dogs or early Malamutes, figured that a dog should be able to pull 1 1/2 times its own weight in a freighting situation.
PRT Posted - 11/11/2007 : 8:15:43 PM
I also depends on how fast you want to go. Two dogs can pull a light weight faster and farther than a heavy weight.
Woofy Posted - 11/11/2007 : 7:14:30 PM
I think that it depends on how well your dogs are conditioned. So I would set a certain weight to train them up to (that isn't too much). I don't think there is a big difference in weight between a 22 pound sled and a pulka/ski set up, is there?

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