Sunday, July 8, 2012

Dog Exercise

Okay, so maybe this is me, but there's something I find cruel about dog exercising.
Not the kind of thing where you take your dog to the park, run around, play fetch and have fun kind of exercise. That's all joy and wonder.

No, what I'm talking about is something like dog training.

I was walking through the park and I saw this big, brawny guy with his pet Staffy. The dog had a harness on and a number of heavy weights attached to it by a cord. The man would them call the dog over, getting it to run - lopsided because the weights wouldn't trail directly behind it - and he would time how long it took the dog to run to him each time.

Now, I know there are probably some good reasons for dog training, though the only one I could think of is Police Dog stuff, and this sure as hell wasn't that. This was just some guy who wanted his Staffy to have that really bulked up front look. Maybe to be a guard dog, maybe because he wanted a dog as bulky as him.

Either way, it seemed cruel to me to watch this dog hauling these weights behind it, clearly encumbered and uncomfortable, lopsided and pulling everything with its neck.



  1. Hi Jordan,

    I am a Canine Fitness Trainer (yes, seriously) so my entire life revolves around exercising dogs, so I found your post interesting. I can tell you many dogs (especially the bully breeds and the working group dogs)love the feel of pulling weight and many dogs were born to do just that, so I don't think there is anything inherently cruel about it. But just like with human workouts, there is a right way to do it and a wrong way, and what you describe sounds like the wrong way and could cause serious injury to the dog. There are harnesses and carts and backpacks designed specifically for this sort of exercise but it sounds like the guy just jerry-rigged something on his own; the dog should NEVER be lopsided. Anyway, I just thought I would throw my 2 cents in.

    1. Hi Sean,

      Thank you for your input! I'm glad to hear that generally it's quite alright for the dogs for them to pull the weights. I mean, if people like it, why can't dogs, right?

      But yeah, it seemed like this guy had made his own harness with a road trailing behind pulling circular weights. The Staffy seemed to be running lopsided and pulling it a bit more with its neck. Seemed uncomfortable for it is all.

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