If you are lucky enough to live an area with plenty of snow, why not teach your pup to pull a sleigh? Maybe you could take a sleigh ride to work or have your pup haul the groceries for you. How about having your dog pull the kids or grandkids around on a "one dog open sleigh"? While there are some breeds such as Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, Samoyed, Chinooks, and Canadian Eskimo Dogs that have pulling in their blood, many others can be trained to do so.
Training your dog to pull can help calm him down, build muscle strength and endurance, and give you both something to do together that provides a ton of exercise. Before you begin training your dog to pull a sleigh, you should have your vet check him over and make sure he is physically up to the task. After that, the rest is on the two of you to work together and master this fun skill.
You can start training your dog to pull a sleigh at as young as 8 to 10 weeks of age, but you should not introduce him to heavy loads until he 2 years old and has been cleared by his vet to start "real" pulling. If you start heavyweight pulling before this, you put your pup at risk of serious injury to his bones, muscles, ligaments, and much more.
Imagine how cool it would be if your pup could haul your groceries home or move loads around the garden. With the right training and the desire from both of you to succeed, you would be amazed at how much weight you can train your pup to pull. And the best part? As long as you work your pup's weight moving capacity up slowly, there is very little, if any risk of injury. This is a fantastic and fun activity for you and your pup to share and a great way to bond.
It goes without saying that before you consider training your dog to pull a sleigh, he needs to have mastered at least the basics such as 'sit', 'come', 'stay', and 'down'. Responding to these commands ensures your pup knows his place in the pack. Beyond this, you will need a few supplies to help make the training go a little more smoothly. These include:
Beyond this, you will, of course, need plenty of training time and an endless supply of patience and treats. Be patient and have a great time, pulling a sleigh is supposed to be fun for both of you.