Weight Pull Dogs
How to Make
How to Make a Drag Sled for Weight Pull Training.
We get a lot of e-mails asking us how to make a drag sled or where to buy one. Building a weight pull sled is as easier than making a Bird box. You dont have to use a drag sled for training or drag walking many use chains, the top of a wheelbarrow, window weights or just about any pull able object. With the cost of metal on the rise chain can get pricey and it is next to impossible to find window weight let alone what you might have to pay for them. The Wooden drag sled has always worked for me and is pretty cheap and easy to make.
The nice thing about a sled is you can build it to use just about anything for weight Bricks, Metal or Concrete Lifting Weights, Concrete Block, Jugs of Sand, Kids or whatever your mind comes up with. Please do not start any dog at a heavy weight and let them learn how to pull before trying to make them fail. If you are making a sled for smaller dogs you obviously wont need to make it to hold 8 Concrete blocks so a smaller sled with a few weights will do fine, if you are pulling a larger Mastiff, Bulldog or Malamute you may need a larger size that can haul a bunch of bricks once your dog has some training.
The one picture above is 29" long and 15" wide. It is best to make sure it is long enough compared to its width so that it will drag strait. If you do not have a saw to cut the plywood or don't have any small pieces around you can buy small precut plywood at hardware stores and lumber yards. On this one we used 1/2 Plywood but 3/4 will work and makes it heavier for big dogs.
The Deck of ours is attached with liquid nail and flooring nails. Drywall Screws will also work well, you can use what you got it doesn't have to be fancy it just needs to work. I probably didn't need to use the liquid nail but I had it so I used some. If you have a big dog you may also want to brace the runners and sure it up more for heavier weight.
Our dogs are not large breed and what we use for added weight is basic cheap Steele weights from Wally world. Now if you are going to use Block, Sand Bags, Buckets or Jugs you need a back stop, a 2x4 will do if your dog pulls smooth if the jerk or bang the sled a 2x8 may be a wiser choice. If your going to use rocks or just whatever is laying around you can always make a box out of the 2X8 or attach a Milk crate or 2.
The Runners on this one are made with 2x4's that are 32" long with the front cut at a 45 degree angle to keep it from getting caught up on roots or holes. you can also use 4x4 or landscape timbers cut in the same fashion. The wider the rail dragging on the ground the more friction it will cause and less weight will need to be applied. You want to make sure it does have enough ground clearance to keep from getting hung up on anything so if you are reinforcing it for heavier weight you might want to use 2x6 so your still up 4" above the ground.
This sled we you can see we added some D-Rings to make some noise and simulate cart or track noise. They are attached with plumbing strap (available at any hardware store) cut a few inches long to allow movement and jingle of the rings. you can use keys or whatever if you even want to add simulated noise. If you do have a few pieces of chain you can use that to add friction ad a little noise.
To attach our sled to the dogs harness we used a piece of 1" nylon, you can use rope or chain even a leash will do. Before we attached our nylon to the sled we slid on a basic leash clasp and then nailed the nylon down onto the front of the 2x4 runner. Allowing it to freely slide freely on the nylon help to keep the sled pulling even and centered. If you attach you connection directly to just the center it will not pull strait as it will when attached allowing it to pull from each side evenly.
There you go a basic and simple way to make a drag sled to train your dog how to pull. The nice thing about pulling drag weight is your dog will get fantastic cardio on longer lighter pulls or build strong muscle with shorter heavier pulls. It is pretty simple and the easiest most inexpensive way to train your dog for competition weight pull or just keep it in great shape. A nice thing about drag walking is that a dog that drags weight for a mile might have to walk 15 to get the same amount of exercise and I don't know many people who can spend that much time each day walking 15 miles.
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