Sheryl's Alaskan Malamutes - Activities - Weight Pulling - UKC - Bel Air, MD - May 16/17, 2009
Alaskan Malamute Lovefest
Weight Pulling

May 16, 2009 - UKC - Bel Air, MD
Foggy drive in. Weird weather. Started cool, humid. Changed to misty rain, hot humid. Then hot, then cool breeze. Sweatshirts were on and off for the humans :)

We had 30 dogs pulling. Pitties, American Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniel, Doberman, Pressas, Staffies, St. Bernard and Malamutes.

The cart weighed 365 and the increments were 124 lbs for our classes. 30lb & 45lb classes pulled together. 60lb class pulled alone. Weight classes 80lbs thru Unlimited pulled together. I helped on weigh ins (oh, yeah, Sebastian whined getting into the sling) and worked the cart with Tana on the 30lb/45lb classes.

Cinnabar weighed in at 115 (120lb class), and Sebastian at 144 (unlimited class).

I started Sebastian at 861lbs and Cinnabar at 985.

We pull in an open pavilion on carpet over asphalt. They setup the chute next to the side of the pavilion, so that was our barrier on that side. Normally at this pull there is no barrier on the other side, which has always proven tricky. This day, a makeshift barrier of a plank, held by weights gave us a barrier.

On Sebastian's first pull he was curious about the barrier and the people sitting at the judges picnic bench. He was being a goofball and wasn't focused on me. I blew in his face and he remembered that I was there and pulled it for me. Thought for a second he was going to be out before it began. I didn't pass him for a while.

Cinnabar of course, was all business and I was able to pass rounds with him.

In the past this cart has pulled towards the judges table, but this year, it pulled the other way. The cart is awful, very stiff with huge 8 inch tires. When the weights get higher, it gets incrementally higher by many factors, so we never see high weights at this pull.

The last four dogs standing were Dave's Harley (St. Bernard), Tana's Deuce (American Bulldog), Cinnabar and Sebastian.

Cinnabar topped out at 1853lbs, 16.11 times his body weight. I was very proud of him he was really digging in and working.

Deuce topped out after that, leaving Harley and Sebastian.

Sebastian was the surprise this day. After his initial bout of being a goofball, he was pretty focused. Even Beth (a judge, along with Missy), asked me if this was the same dog she saw last year who was mouthy with me in the chute. She couldn't believe it, giving him lots of mom time before a pull has made the world of difference.

Harley made the 2101lb pull. On Sebastian's turn on that pull, I though I'd lost him because he just stood there. I talked to him, laughed with him and he had that goofball look with the tongue hanging out, but he eventually dug in, started the cart and finished it in 53.31 seconds. I withdrew him because I knew his attention span was done, I was really proud of him. He lost Most Weight Pulled to Harley by about 15 seconds. I am very proud of this boy, the horses in the show ring about 200 yards away were no distraction at all.

I had taken my camera because I wanted to get shots of some of my agility classmates who are getting into the sport (the Cocker & Dobe). I made a big deal out of making sure the battery was charged, but silly me left it in the charger at home. So no shots this day. The cool news is that the Cocker got a qualify in Weightpull by pulling 8.25 times his body weight, and won group in conformation, so he went home with a UKC Total Dog Title! The Dobe did well, not concerned that something was behind him, just focusing on his mom.

May 17, 2009 - UKC - Bel Air, MD
Rainy drive in. Very cool, in the 50s and overcast the whole day. The sweatshirt selling business was booming as some folks weren't expected the coolness.

We lost some dogs from the day before, but gained new ones. We had 30 dogs pulling. Pitties, American Bulldogs, German Shepherds, Pressas, Staffies, St. Bernard and Malamutes.

The cart weighed 365 and the increments were 124 lbs for our classes. 30lb & 45lb classes pulled together. 60lb class pulled alone. Weight classes 80lbs thru Unlimited pulled together.

We got a real barrier this day! First time ever at this pull, coolness!

They day before, Cinnabar weighed in at 115 (120lb class), and Sebastian at 144 (unlimited class).

I worked the cart on the 30lb/45lb classes with Vader's mom and again on the 60lb class with Frank. At the beginning of the 60lb class, more horse trailers were showing up. There were horses walking by the end of the chute quite frequently (about 40 feet from the end of the chute), and this day, horses were stabled in the building next to the pavilion. The stabled horses could be heard and smelled by the dogs, but not seen.

If all those horses weren't there, I would've started my boys at higher weights this day, but I decided to go with what worked the day before so I started Sebastian at 861lbs and Cinnabar at 985.

I did double pass both of them early on.

I thought that Cinnabar decided to be Sebastian on this day. He kept going over to the side of the pavilion and looking out, then would pull. It was very weird, as he's usually so focused.

Sebastian was fairly focused for me, but was still a goofball on a couple of his pulls. "Oh, you want it ALL the way over the line, ha ha" :)

The German Shepherds (both gorgeous dogs, that look like the GSDs of old, no over angulation, their backends were up were they should be) were in the last group standing. In fact, we had the GSDs, Harley, Homer (Malamute), Congo (American Bulldog) and my boys as the last pulling the higher weights.

Cinnabar continued with his odd behavior, and someone mentioned that he was looking at my car. That morning a ton of folks got there before me and I was parked outside the pavilion, quite viewable to him. Duh, that's what the problem was. I moved it, but the damage was done, he was still looking for my car. I'm not used to be ignored by him, but that was my fault. Live and learn, but the boy did pull more than the day before 1977 lbs or 17.19 times his body weight. Very good given this very hard cart!

Cinnabar UKC Weight Pull
Cinnabar pulling
see that car outside, just to his right
that's what drew his attention

It eventually came down to Harley, Congo and Sebastian.

I was fortunate that the horses weren't walking by on any of Sebastian's pulls, they were certainly still within his viewing range, both in the show ring, and those tethered in the field in front of his viewing area.

All 3 dogs pulled 2349 pounds. On the next pull of 2473 lbs, all 3 dogs took their first foul. (UKC allows you one foul before you're out). On your first foul, you can either take your dog right back in (an excellent thing to do if you're correcting behavior) or come back in at the end of that round. We all elected to go back in at the end of the round.

Harley then made the 2473 pull and Dave withdrew him without knowing what Congo or Sebastian were going to do. He knew Harley was done. Congo didn't make the pull. That left Sebastian, and even with the mom time when it was time to go in the chute his mind had left the building. He was resisting even going in the chute, I leashed him and got him in there. He just stood there, then he sat down, then he stood up and looked at me with that goofy smile and gave it a little try. Then he just stood there, then he started again then someone walked by with a big dog on the side of the pavilion which he spotted and he was all attention on that dog. He spotted the dog the instant that Missy did and she was trying to tell the guy to get out of there but he was oblivious. I sort of got his attention back, but we were running out of time and had them push the cart as soon as he gave a minimal effort. I would've crabbed about that dog had I known that Sebastian was focused and trying at this weight, but I knew his mind was not on working any more.

He finished with 2349, 16.31 times his body weight. An excellent effort on this tough cart. As was pointed out many times by others, he'll really be something once he decides to work. It wasn't hard for him to start this tough cart at the high weights, he's still just walking it off and hum-de-dumming it. I'm extremely pleased with his progress

Sebastian UKC Weight Pull
Sebastian pulling
hum-de-dumming it

The folks attending that have seen them both over the last couple years, were very complementary in how well they're both doing and how far they've come. The best compliment was from Dave who said he got goose bumps watching Sebastian as he believes it just a matter of time before he beats Harley. High praise, as the old man Harley is really something!!

Cinnabar got 10 points each day towards his next level title in UKC! If my count is right, he's got 65 out of 100 needed points.

Sebastian got 5 points on Saturday and 10 points on Sunday. If my count is right, he's got 35 out of 100 needed points.

Shot I took of Vader for her mom:

Vader UKC Weight Pull

10 month old Sebastian - down/stay with hand signals only
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