|Pit Bull Pull Demonstrates Positive Character of Unique Canines|
"The purpose of this event was to bring everyone together to show how amazing and strong-willed the pit bull breed is. It was to also introduce them to the wonderful sport of weight pulling," said Ken Flournoy, co-owner of Durty Red Kennels (www.durtyredkennels.com) in Ozark, who provided the weight pull track for the competition.
You are probably asking "What is weight pulling?"
At a weight pull show, your dog is harnessed and hooked to a cart (or sled in the snow) upon which increasing increments of weight are added and then it is required to pull the cart for 16 feet (15 feet for the American Dog Breeders Association, ADBA) in 60 seconds. If the dog hasn’t completed the distance in this time, the pull is over at a sanctioned ADBA pull. However, if the cart is still moving, the American Pulling Alliance (APA) allows the dog to finish the pull with assistance of the handler so it may succeed. But you do not score any points if the dog is helped.
The dog having the highest body pound percent according to its weight class, wins the class. Should there be a tie when two dogs pull the same weight and weigh the same, the fastest time wins. Using this system you will see big dogs lose to little dogs because the little dog pulled more weight compared to their size in open pulls. Some organizations offer pulls for a specific breed (which was the case of the pull in Selma). But with the APA, it is open to all breeds of dogs.
Also, different organizations have different rules. For example, the International Weight Pull Association (IWPA) and the UKC do not allow "baiting" while the ADBA does. Baiting is using something to lure the dog to you, like its favorite toy or treats. All three organizations state you cannot touch your dog in any manner while pulling and physical corrections are also penalized.
Some organizations allow the dog to pull on a platform of carpet and plywood 32 feet in length, while the cart rides on metal rails. This allows for much higher weights than when the cart and dog are on the same surface like a rubber wheeled cart on dirt or carpet. Because each pull offers a different surface and conditions, pull weights cannot be compared from pull to pull.
Weight pulls offer a great way to get outdoors and get some exercise with your dog while giving your dog a job to do. In the end, it’s a unique sport for unique canines and owners who enjoy the competition and excitement of a successful pull. (Sources: RealPitBulls.com, PitBullLovers.com)
"It takes a lot of hard work, long days and nights, and dedication to get a dog ready for the weight pull circuit," said Flournoy, who is a certified judge and an Alabama representative for the APA.
Flournoy said Durty Red Kennels strive to maintain, promote and better the image of this fine breed of canine.
Tim Wood, general manager of Central Alabama Farmers Co-op, commented, "We were excited to participate in an event showing pit bulls were not a vicious breed but loving animals ready to give their all for those they love."
"Although the weather was not great, a great time was still had with great people. It gave families in the area a chance to come out with their dogs and do something positive for the American Pit Bull Terrier," said Lisa Lockhart of Bullheaded Bullies and Twisted Whiskers Pet Spa in Jasper.
"This was a great way for families to bond and pass on to future generations the need to care for animals and not just Pit Bulls but all types. Everyone seemed to be smiling. And that is what it was all about," added Lockhart.