The Best Dog Breeds for Pulling Sports
Pulling sports are a form of dog sports in which dogs such as Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and Samoyeds pull vehicles or sleds over various terrain. These types of sports are great for both the dog and owner because it keeps you active while also strengthening the relationship with your dog. This is a fun activity to do during both winter and summer with your dog.
Some of the most popular pulling dog sports include:
- Dog scootering
- Sled dog racing
- Weight pulling
What are the Physical Characteristics of Pulling Sport Breeds?
Because pulling sports require an immense amount of power, speed, and endurance, you should look for a few specific characteristics in your next sled dog. One of the most important things to consider is strength; if your dog isn't strong enough to run long distances without tiring out it will be difficult for him or her to finish any race. While smaller breeds can join in on the fun, the rules of the sports are often altered slightly to accommodate their petite physiques.
The main characteristics for pulling dogs are:
- Strong mental faculties for endurance under tough conditions.
- Endurance, speed, and strength for lengthy runs over rough terrain.
- A high amount of attraction to movement.
- High pain tolerance.
- Intelligence - even if your dog is on lead they still need to be able to think for themselves on the course without getting distracted or lost. They also need to understand their job on the course and listen to commands.
- A high prey drive, meaning they instinctively chase moving objects like cars, cyclists, and other people.
- Eagerness and willingness to work with you on the course by following your lead when it comes to complex obstacles.
- Alertness - many pulling breeds are born guard dogs so they will be able to sense the tiniest changes in your body language and tone, which can help detect any hazards on the course before it's too late.
The Best Breeds for Pulling Sports
Alaskan Malamute - The Alaskan Malamute is a hardworking and tenacious breed of dog that hails from northwestern Alaska. They were originally bred for use as working dogs: hauling heavy loads, moving supplies, and protecting their owners from harm on the trail.
American Bulldog - The American Bulldog originated from the Old English Bulldog (mentioned below). They are characterized by their high tolerance for pain, aggression, and strong prey drive. This breed is not recommended for novice owners because they are very difficult to train. However, if you have experience with other large breeds of dogs then this may be a good fit for you.
American Bully - The American Bully was created from a combination of American Pit Bull Terriers and other types of dogs. They are very intelligent dogs but they can be aggressive if not trained early and well. With a strong prey drive and a high pain tolerance, this breed is perfect for pulling sports.
American Pit Bull Terrier - The American Pit Bull Terrier was developed by breeding Old English Bulldogs and terriers together. They are an incredibly intelligent, strong, and confident breed that has a high pain tolerance. This breed's prey drive is also very strong which makes them perfect for pulling sports.
American Staffordshire Terrier - The American Staffordshire Terrier is a pit bull type of dog that was bred for fighting and baiting animals such as bulls and bears. They are perfect for pull sports because they don't tire easily and also have an extremely high pain tolerance.
Bernese Mountain Dogs - The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large breed of dog that hails from Switzerland. They are very strong and have an incredible endurance level. With the perfect combination of strength, endurance, intelligence, and affection for their owners they are one of the best breeds for pulling sports.
Canadian Inuit Dog or Canadian Eskimo Dog - The Canadian Inuit Dog is a friendly and affectionate breed that was bred for companionship as well as pulling sleds. They are very strong, intelligent, and tireless which makes them ideal for any distance running or endurance competition.
Chinook - The Chinook is a domestic breed of dog that was created in New Hampshire. They were bred to assist fishermen with hauling nets, moving heavy loads, and pulling sleds. With their strength, they are perfect for the most demanding of pulls.
Eurohounds - The Eurohound (also known as the Eurodog or Scandanavian Hound) is a breed of dog that is a cross between husky and pointer breeds and was bred to hunt boar and deer. Like many other pulling breeds, they have very high pain tolerance and a strong prey drive, which makes them perfect for any type of pull and running competition.
Spanish Galgo - The Spanish Galgo is a breed of dog that hails from Spain. They are an ancient breed that was used for hunting and as guard dogs. This breed has a very high pain tolerance, a strong prey drive, and they have an incredible endurance level, as well.
German Shorthaired Pointers - The German Shorthaired Pointer is a hunting dog breed with drooping ears and short fur. This breed's perfect combination of strength, endurance, intelligence, and affection for its owners is a hallmark of the best pulling breeds.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs - The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a large, muscular breed that was bred for pulling carts and transporting heavy loads. They are extremely intelligent, strong, and very affectionate with their owners.
Greenland Dog - The Greenland Dog hails from Greenland and is believed to be the ancestor of all Nordic breeds. They are very strong, intelligent, and tireless which makes them ideal for pulling sleds.
Leonbergers - The Leonberger is a large and muscular breed of dog that comes from Germany. They are known to be calm and easy-going, but still very strong and tireless.
Malinois - The Malinois is a medium-sized breed of dog that hails from Belgium. They are known for being incredibly intelligent, loyal, and tireless which makes them perfect for running competitions.
Newfoundlands - The Newfoundland is a large, muscular breed that was bred to haul nets for fishermen in the 1700s. They have an impressive strength level and extreme pain tolerance.
Northern Inuit Dog - The Northern Inuit Dog is a large and muscular breed of dog that was bred for pulling sleds and hunting polar bears. They were created in the United Kingdom and are notable for their intelligence and incredible endurance.
Old English Bulldog - The Old English Bulldog is a breed that was originally created in England. They were bred for bull- and bear-baiting which gave them the strength, intelligence, pain tolerance, and high endurance needed to excel at any type of pull or running sport.
Saint Bernards - Saint Bernards are from Switzerland and are one of the best large breeds for pulling or sledding. With their strength and tolerance for pain, they are very suitable for this type of activity.
Samoyeds - The Samoyed is a breed of dog that hails from Russia. They are known to be extremely friendly, affectionate, and intelligent which makes them perfect for pulling sleds.
Siberian Husky - The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized working dog breed that hails from Russia. They have fantastic endurance levels as well as high intelligence. This makes them ideal for pulling and sledding dogs.