Make Resistance Training Great Again
I was having a great discussion the other day with someone from Australia who was trying to breakthrough into weight pull. During our exchange, she stated that she had no prior experience but to get started, she did the next best thing--she improvised. What she said to me during our discussion, really shed light on another interesting phenomenon that is occurring. She stated, " Weight Pull really isn't a thing over here".
My response to her, also needs to be said as a blanket statement for anyone else intrigued with wanting to get started in training. I answered three emails this morning alone from potential students, wanting to get their dogs into "weight pull" with no prior experience (and THAT is the key). You see, these people were looking for a place to bring their dog on a weekday/weekend evening, hook them up to a cart, and see how much they can pull.... but there is potential problems associated with that approach.
Weight Pull doesn't need to be a big deal---- that is a sport. That is a competitive arena that focuses on max effort work in high level dogs. If you don't know what max effort work means or is----then you have no business putting your dog on a cart. You gotta work em' up to that!! ( and sometimes that can take years!)
You don't need a weight pull club, until you want to get competitive. You and your dog can do MOST of your training on your own, as long as you know what to do. If you have no clue, how to get started--- this is why I made this programming and online education!
Resistance training needs to be the bigger deal... not "weight pull". I am a lover of the sport, I have competed in it myself with my dog, Mya... so I am not trying to put down the sport of weight pull---but training does not need to begin there. Here is another example.... maybe this will make some sense and put things into perspective.
Owners wouldn't dare enter their dog into IPO trials, without ever working them on a sleeve. You start with a tug in hand, working your "outs", targeting, drive expression, heeling... all of that. BEFORE a trial! why?
I power lift myself so I can speak to this example first hand. I've spent over a year now of consistent training, submaximal effort work. I am just now entering myself into a competition to test my potential. In dogs and competitive weight pull--- we need to start carrying this concept through. You need to start sub maximal work. You need to begin creating the "picture" of what max effort work will look like, but you do that, by starting at the beginning. I wouldn't go into this power lifting meet if I had never experienced dead lifting 200lbs, before I attempt 250lbs. But I didn't just walk into a gym and pick up 200lbs..... I worked up to it! I started with an empty bar!
Now, one might argue... " well ya, I only put my dog on an empty cart, I don't add weight"....but see, you actually do. The empty cart itself WEIGHS anywhere from 200-300lbs. I get it, it's on wheels.... but wheels make it easier.... you aren't actually doing any physical conditioning or training.
Resistance training is the beginning... and many people aren't getting creative with it. They follow virtually NO programming. They don't touch upon duration effort, let alone dynamic effort work. Just jump straight into max effort work--and you will burn dogs out.
Make resistance training the bigger deal. If you then decide that your dog loves it enough to entertain the idea of getting involved in a club and move into max effort work----make one if you dont' have access locally! I direct all of my students and followers to GRC Dogsports, which combines the trilogy of gameness, relationship, and control. There are many sports within that organization you and your dog can participate in, including weight pull.
But weight pull doesnt need to be a big deal---resistance training does.