Pooch pull proves popular despite cold weather
JANESVILLE—While their owners donned coats, hats and scarves to brave the cold after a stretch of warm weather, malamute dogs from all over the state got to participate in a weight-pull competition in conditions a little more favorable to them.
The Alaskan Malamute Club of Wisconsin held its annual weight pull competition Saturday at the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin Saturday.
Malamute dogs sat excitedly awaiting their turn to pull a weighted cart across a finish line, some leaped up and down after their harnesses were fastened.
The dogs can pull a lot of weight, some of them are just getting started at 1,000 pounds, said Alaskan Malamute Club co-chairman Scott Bell.
Some of the dogs pull up to 2000 pounds, he said.
The dogs are divided into three classes: C class, B class and A class, Bell said. Class C is dogs between 61 and 80 pounds, class B is dogs between 81 and 100 pounds and class A is dogs between 101 and 120 pounds, Bell said.
The dogs begin pulling the weighted cart at 200 pounds. Each class goes, then another 200 pounds is added to the cart and the process starts over. The dogs must pull the carts 16 feet, Bell said.
When dogs can no longer pull the weight they are eliminated from the bracket. The remaining dogs compete for the fastest time, Bell said.
There are first, second and third place gift baskets from the shelter for each division, Bell said.
Matt Sautbine was at the event with a few of his malamutes.
Gordon, a 2-year-old, 64-pound malamute was competing in the C class.
Gordon handled the first few rounds with no issues, but needed a little extra encouragement to cross the finish line.
Gordon was so excited he got distracted before the finish line.
Sautbine has been attending these events every year for the past 10 years, and it's always a good bit of fun, he said.
“It's fun for the dogs, I should say,” Sautbine said jokingly.
Dalton Roadruck, a shelter employee, helped coordinate the inside portion of the event, where attendees could come inside and warm up with chili and baked goods.
“It is to raise money, but it's just a fun event,” Roadruck said.
The shelter employees love it. Brexton Capello, a shelter employee for about a year, watched the dogs while taking a quick break from work.
“I'm a big husky and malamute person,” Capello said.
It's not just fun for employees, but unsuspecting shelter visitors got to witness the pooch pull as well.
Elliot Samuel-Lamm and Betsy Atwell were coming to the shelter to adopt a dog and just happened to come on the day of the competition.
They're not ready for the commitment a malamute requires, but they got some unexpected entertainment as they sought to adopt a dog, they said.