Weight pulling is a dog sport involving a dog pulling a cart or sled loaded with weight a short distance across dirt/gravel, grass, carpet, or snow. It is a modern adaptation of freighting, in which dogs were used as freight animals to move cargo. Many breeds participate in this sport, with dogs being separated into classes by weight. Sled dog and bull breeds excel within their respective weight classes, having been historically bred to pull sleds and carts as working dogs, respectively.
The dog is hitched to the cart or sled with a specially constructed harness designed to spread the weight and minimize the chance of injury. Since IWPA’s organization in 1984, no dogs have been hurt in competition.