More pulling fun!!! :)
Remember my enthusiastic canicross post this past winter, when we got our first Non-stop harnesses, running belt and bungee leash?!? 8 months later and I'm even more enthusiastic (and stocked up!) ha ha!
It all started when one of my graduate students (thank you Lara and Pino!!!) suggested pulling for conditioning of Ta who always had problems building muscle... I immediately liked the idea because I guess Ta was trying to suggest that from the day I got her as she would pull always and constantly, on whatever collar, in whatever direction... - nothing would stop her! It can be an annoying habit... - or your favorite sport!!! 🙂 We chose the 2nd option afterall! 🙂 When you get the right equipment, pulling all of the sudden becomes really pleasant for both you and the dog! Pulling equipment is nowadays the one dog gear that I use the most - pretty much daily!
I use it two different ways, one is canicross as such, so having her pull me when we go jogging - such a great resistance training for the dog and so much more fun as unassisted running for me ha ha - sooo much faster!!! Ta is a real natural at it - she will pull constantly, in whatever direction and as strong as 11kg can pull - I love it!!!
This type of pulling is great cardio training for both you and the dog, because of the constant speed and duration you can maintain. It also requires the strength of course.
For strengthening, another way I use the pulling is walking slowly and having them pull me in a slow walk. We do this just for maybe 10min per walk as it really tires them quickly and requires a lot of strength. I love this as I can really see how much it improved Ta's posture - pulling was where I first saw her lower her head and tail and extend her rear feet behind her - what is definitely helping with her jumping form as well as she used to always tuck her rear feet before!
We do this daily, on every walk, and also when hiking - I love it especially when going uphill! My other dogs are not natural pullers like Ta though, so for them, I actually set two static toys and walk them from one to another. Not just as cool as my extra uphill hiking power, but really great, fun and easy to do 10min strength training! - Great cross-training for agility dogs and a great addition to other strengthening tricks we do! I love it as it's such a safe and natural way of conditioning - and real fun for the one who gets pulled around too (- if using a good belt)!!!
In my first pulling tryouts, I was simply using a 2nd leash tied around my waist, but oh my, it's sooo much nicer with a nice running belt that sits much lower as a line around your waist can! I have this one and use it both for running and walking. It's sooo much nicer to your back and really helps with better running posture as well!
Also, a bungee leash is a must that makes pulling way more comfortable for both you and your dog! I love this one for strong pulling dogs and I also just got this one that stretches more easily, so I'll be using this one for my other dogs who still need some encouragement to pull and for Le who is too light for the stronger bungee. And yeah, Freemotion harness for smaller dogs is available now as well!
So yes, the 3rd thing you need is a nice, long pulling harness that attaches at the tail base (don't use short harnesses that attach in the middle of the back for pulling! - they're good for walking, but not for pulling) and of course allows the shoulders to move freely. That also means it needs to be of appropriate size as a too loose nonrestrictive harness can still slide over the shoulder and act as a restrictive harness! So get one that fits quite tightly around the neck - you can adjust the length and width with Non-stop Freemotion harness then for a really perfect fit. - VERY useful when using it for agility dogs that might have a bit different proportions as other dogs!
That's really all you need! Just find a nice woods, hill or beach and you're all set for the fitter, happier and stronger dog AND handler! 🙂
And oh, my dogs' favorite after a good run, agility training or conditioning tricks: Mamut Recovery Drink!
All photos by one and only Maja Rokavec 🙂
Really happy to read your post !! We will buy a new harness on weekend because Pino‘s is getting too small because of much more muscles!! Love it
Yeah, it’s so much fun!!! Thank you so much for the idea, we love it! Good luck for the next weekend! GO Pino!!!
Ta sure sounds like Tin hahaha. She is a master puller as well (at 6 months..). How did you manage to teach Ta to walk normally on leash? 🙂
Since pulling all the time and during growth can’t be good for them, right..
I didn’t, ha ha! I just don’t need leashes where I live… And when I need a leash, I just take it as a pulling opportunity… Never had a puller like this before! I didn’t know you have a new puppy -- yay!!!
Oh lucky you!!
Yes, a daughter from Narnia from Imke :D!
We will join foundations class in April ^^
Ah, that’s great! Can’t wait to see her run!!!
Oh I love canicross, too!!! We paused during summer when it was way too hot, but now as the temperature lowers we will start again 🙂 I too believe in it´s great conditioning and strengthening benefits and we also want to start at Camp Canis 10k next year 😉
I already have special pulling equipment for my dogs and me but I´m not thoroughly happy with the harnesses and think of buying the Non-Stop Free Motion especially for Dinky. Can you please tell me what sizes you have for Le and Ta? Unfortunately I have no opportunities to try it on because there are no shops available here…
I have size 3 for Ta and To (size 4 for Bi) -- and Le doesn’t have one yet because size 2 was released just now, but I think that will be a good fit for her -- size 3 is too big for Le, but she is really tiny (7kg) -- it might be just right for Dinky. If you measure her neck circumference and then follow the size chart, that always gave me the correct size as everything else can be adjusted anyway. It was VERY weird to get size 3 for Ta as description says it’s for Miniature Schnauzers and Parsons 🙂 -- and for Border Collie they say size 5… But she has 29cm around the neck and size 3 is indeed a perfect fit for her!
Thank you very much!
At which position did you measure the neck? Directly below the throat or more towards the shoulders? Depending on where I measure her neck Dinky is size 3 or size 4…
I measure it in the middle, where it’s the thinnest. But I just remembered Dinky has a bit wider head, so you might have problems getting the harness over her head (and even more in the other direction…) as it’s a tight fit for mine… Try to slip something of 33cm over her head. If it works, then I think size 3 should be fine. If not, I would go for size 4…
Thank you so much for your help!
Silvia -- this seems like a fantastic sport to try! at what age do you start?
With my next puppy, I will start really soon (like 5 months) since it can be hard to get the pulling later on once they know not to pull… But will keep it super short of course. And then up it gradually, so they’re ready for the real muscle building and longer sessions around 1 year.
What a beautiful lake! I should try this harness with Proton. She is the reason there is a crazy lady screaming OFF / DROP IT in the woods in the morning because she always finds dead things and rolls in some stinky dead things when we run. The only problem is I don’t run as fast as she in the woods and she covers Km area and never staying on the trail.
Ahhh, yes, I hate bathing smelly dogs!!! 🙂 I normally let them free part of the run, so they can run at their own speed some as well. And then part of it, they can run as fast as they can pull me 🙂
I am afraid she pulls me into the bushes! It took 45min today to clean out all the burrs stuck on her ears. But I am going to try it out for sure 🙂
Yeah, we know that problem as well… -- burrs LOVE PyrShep hair!!!
Unable to find the non-stop dog wear in US or Amazon.
1. Are they European based?
2. What are the features of this harness that I may look for in another?
3. Which Leash do you use and how do you attach it to you?
1. Yes -- in Norway. But I see many resellers here: https://www.non-stopdogwear.com/stores/
2. The most important thing is that it’s a long harness that attaches at the tail base. And that it’s a good fit -- not that lose that it would move and affect shoulder range of motion.
3. I use bungee leash that I linked in the article and attach it to the running belt that I also linked + you can see it in the pictures.
I got really inspired to try this with my Niki, she is also an impossible puller, and I have not managed to get her to stop pull on leach, even though she’s soon four years old. She has a lovely coat texture, and I think the harness wont mess up her coat either. With Kalila are harnesses totally out as long as I wish to keep her in coat, her coat quality is really bad, and would mat in an eye blink. Minos could also very well wear a harness, but he is not so much of a puller. But he could go for the from toy to toy trick.
Yes, it’s sooo cool for natural born pullers!!! -- I never thought I’ll be glad to have one of those! 🙂 But yes, no idea how much it can mess up with their coat…
In the US this website has some awesome pull harnesses, bungee leashes and belts for the entire set up. Seems fairly priced. I have one of their regular fleece harness and love it.
Looks good yes, I just don’t like the belt -- looks like pulling force is around your waist? Not so good for your back and running form…
I really enjoy running with my dogs as well have you tried dry land mushing? Not much of a workout for the handler but my BC, River loves it!
Yes, I would love to try that -- it looks super fun and fast!!! I just need to find a safe and flat road like this… I live in rather hilly part…
What beautiful photos ! Maja Rokavec is truly one of the best photographers ! I also loved the photos from last winter where you introduced us to your canicross fun!!
You are having so much fun, that I want to join in! Mari is a natural born puller, so I inticipate that she will love it !
For anyone in the US, I ordered from Non-stop Dogwear North America . The shop is in Alaska , but there is free shipping and it came to me in four days !
Thank you Sylvia for the info on the sport and on fitting to get the correct size harness . Can’t wait to get started !
Yeah, it’s sooo much fun with natural pullers! I find it really hard to get my other dogs pull just as nicely and constantly, but Ta is a real pro from the 1st try on!