A safe and adequate holding area shall be provided for all pulls. All competing dogs shall remain in a marked or designated holding area. The holding area shall adequately and safely hold the number of dogs in competition. All dogs in the holding area shall be secured in a crate when they are not competing

The dimensions of the track are 10 feet wide by 35 feet long minimum and 15 feet by 45 feet maximum. The track shall be as level and firm as conditions permit. Acceptable surfaces shall be grass, hard packed dirt, carpet or snow. Dogs shall achieve traction on the same surface as that on which the cart rides, with the exception being a rail system.


It must be capable of safely carrying a minimum load of 4000 lbs. The cart must have four (4) pneumatic tires, which must all have the same air pressure prior to the event. The tires shall not be less than eight (8) inches in height and no more than eighteen (18) inches in height. The bridle shall be made of rope or nylon. Chains or cable will not be allowed. The cart bridle shall not be tied. The snap should be able to slide freely from side to side. This bridle will look like a long V. 


Rails can be angle (v-grove), round or flat. The rail must be adjustable to allow for the track to be leveled or installed on an incline. The rails may be at an incline of no greater than 8”. The rails shall have stops at each end of the track to ensure the cart is not pulled of the rails. It is the judge’s responsibility to inspect the rails to ensure they are safe for use.

The clear width of the pulling surface shall be a minimum of 24” and maximum of 48” between the rails. Length of the pulling surface shall be a minimum of 30’ from the start line to the end of the track. Pulling surface shall be of sufficient length so that all dogs competing finish the pull with all four legs on the pulling surface. The start and finish line shall be clearly marked with a distance of 16’ between them. No marking shall be made on the rails which may hinder the carts movement. The start and finish line will be shown on the pulling surface itself. If the pulling surface is more than 8” above surrounding grade, provisions (i.e.ramp) will be provided to allow dog and handler access to the pulling surface. It is the judges responsibility to inspect the pulling surface to ensure it is safe for use.

The cart shall ride on rails along the outside edge of the pulling surface. The cart shall have a minimum of 4 casters which ride uniformly on the rails. Casters are to be between 4” and 6” in diameter and are to mirror the form of the rails (i.e. angle rails shall have cart with V-notched casters). The carts capacity shall not exceeded and is defined by the strength of the casters (i.e. if four casters are used, each with a 1,000 lb rating, the cart capacity is 4,000 lbs). The cart shall not overhang the rails by more than 1’ on any one side. There shall be a single trace connected to the center of the cart. Trace length shall be between 4’ and 6’. A rear trace shall be attached to the cart to stop the cart after pull is complete. Weight shall be stacked uniformly on the cart, and shall not extend past the frame of the cart. It is the judge’s responsibility to inspect the cart to ensure it is safe for use.


The sled shall be constructed of materials with the capability to safely handle an excess of 4,000 lbs. The sled will have two runners that are no smaller than 2” in width, but no larger than 4” of contact surface with each runner curving up in the direction in which you will be pulling. The runners shall be between 6’ and 7’ in length for contact surface. The decking size shall be between 30” and 48” in width. The chief judge has the discretion to allow the waxing of runners between weight classes.


Snow: Any packed frozen water provided by natural or machine made.

The pulling surface shall be sufficient in length so that all dogs competing finish the pull with all four legs on the same surface. The chute barriers should be made of a material that allows the sled to bounce off freely. It is recommended to have small pieces of plywood attached to the chute to allow the sled to bounce freely without getting tangled in the chute. It is also recommended that the lines be marked onto the chute material due to the lines placed on the snow will bleed over the duration of the pull.  


An adequate supply of pre-weighted, inert material suitable for safe, stable stacking shall be provided. 

The track barrier shall be a minimum of three feet high and long enough so that dogs are being driven from the rear will complete their pull within the barrier. The barrier shall be located at the very edge of the pulling pad, within the track area. The best possible barriers shall be encouraged, but any one material shall not be mandatory. The following would be considered appropriate barriers: plywood, snow fence, wood planks, hog panels and other materials that possess a bouncing-off or glancing ability when struck by the cart. (If the cart becomes stuck or lodged on a barrier, it would then be considered a tangle IF the dog is at risk -- see Tangle Rule) a crowd barrier is required to separate the spectators a minimum distance of three feet from the pulling chute. A rope barrier is considered adequate for this purpose

1. The Chief Judge shall supervise the over-all event. He/She shall make all final decisions in any protest or dispute, before, during, and after the event. The Chief Judge has the right to disqualify any dog or handler for any violation of the rules or unsportsmanlike conduct, before, during, and after the event. 

2. The Chief judge of the event shall be responsible for the completion of all forms, and information required by the NWDA and a statement verifying that all NWDA rules were adhered to. 

3. The Chief Judge shall be responsible for the safe and proper stacking of weight on the cart, proper positioning of the cart, hooking up of the dogs to the cart, and maintenance of the pulling course. 

4. A qualified timer shall time each pull and report that time directly to the official recorder. The recorder shall post the weight pulled and the time required to the official score sheet. (The Chief Judge shall supervise the timer and recorder). 
Timer and recorder may be the same person if judge gives permission. 

5. The Chief Judge may compete. For the Chief Judge to compete there must be another judge or apprentice at the event that will fill the chief judge’s responsibilities while competing. The Chief Judge may pull one dog, unless the weight classes can be split so the Chief Judge is only pulling one dog at a time. The Chief Judge may pull no more than two dogs, at any one event.  



1. All breeds are eligible. 

2. All dogs must be at least one year of age to compete in any NWDA event. The physical condition of the dog should always be taken into consideration and the Chief Judge may disqualify any dog they feel will be in danger of injury. 

3. No bitch in season shall be allowed to compete or allowed to be on the premises. 

4. No pregnant bitch shall be allowed to compete in a NWDA event. 

5. For the safety and protection of the dog, all dogs shall be fitted properly with a weight pull type harness. 
6. No dog may participate in more than 4 NWDA pulls in a 7 day period.  

All entrants shall be responsible for the conduct of their dogs and handler before, during and after the event. Vicious or unmanageable dogs shall be barred from competition. Unsportsmanlike conduct toward animals, officials, handlers or spectators will be cause for disciplinary action and/or disqualification. All dogs shall be under physical control, on a short lead, while in the pull area, except when hooked to the cart. All handlers shall be responsible for the cleaning up after their own dogs. Abusive or inhumane treatment of a dog shall be strictly prohibited and shall be cause for disqualification. Abusive or inhumane behavior to be determined by the presiding judge. 


0 to 20 lbs 81 to 100 lbs
21 to 40 lbs 101 to 125 lbs
41 to 60 lbs 126 to 150 lbs
61 to 80 lbs 151 lbs and up 

All weights shall be rounded off to the lowest whole pound. 

( EXAMPLE: A dog weighing 60 3/4 lbs. would be recorded as 60 lbs. )

All dogs shall be weighed prior to each NWDA sanctioned weight pull (multiple or consecutive day pulls by the same organization require only one weigh-in). 
All dogs must be weighed at the pull site by a NWDA approved scale and supervised by the presiding judge.
All recorded dog weights shall be rounded to the lowest whole pound. 
Dogs shall wear only a standard collar during weigh-in. 



The  judge has the option to run the weight pull event class by class or in conjunction with another class or to run the event concurrently (one class at a time). 


The dog that wins its weight class shall not be allowed to compete in the next weight class. However the winning dog shall be allowed to pull as many times as it wants to establish a top percentage pull. These percentage pulls shall be at the established load increment or more. 


1.Each dog shall be required to pull a loaded cart a measured distance of 16 ft . Time begins when the handler calls or gestures to the dog , or the dog attempts to move the weight. The dog has 60 seconds to move the weight. If the dog is moving the weight and the 60 seconds expire the dog will be allowed to complete the pull as long as the cart keeps continues moving in a continuous motion, when the pull is complete the total time will be recorded.

2. Handler will not have to cross the finish line before instructing the dog to pull nor will the handler be required to go across the line while the dog is pulling, handler can remain with the dog. Handler shall NOT touch any part of equipment or the dog until the front wheel of the cart has crossed the finish line and Judge has called pull, doing so will be cause for disqualification. Threatening gestures toward the dog will not be tolerated and will be cause for disqualification from the pull and the handler will be subject to further disciplinary action by the NWDA.
In the case of a tangle or equipment failure the judge will direct the handler to physically reposition the dog. Two tangles during the same weight increment will result in a disqualification.

3.Only one handler is allowed to communicate with the dog. It is permissible that spectators cheer or encourage the competitors through clapping or cheering.

4. The handler shall be allowed to position his/her dog anywhere in front of the starting line at the end of the extended tug line. The dog shall be positioned with enough slack in the tug line to prevent the dog from inadvertently moving the cart. There shall not be so much slack as to allow a "sling shot start”. A sling shot start is a fault and grounds for disqualification.

5. The handler may pass one or two turns but must pull on the third turn. Once the dog is hooked up to the cart the handler may not pass in that round. 

6. It is the responsibility of the handler to select a weight to begin pulling. The handler shall notify the judge of the weight.

7. The time will start once the handler is in the proper position and instructs the dog to pull, or the dog starts to pull. 

8. The front wheels of the cart shall be positioned at the break line. The Chief Judge shall then direct the following sequence: 

A. The cart to be positioned at the start line with the wheels perpendicular to the start line, as directed by the handler. 

B. The pulling pad to be cleared (unless the handler requests assistance in hooking up the dog). 

C. The handler to leave the on deck circle; hook up the dog and the pull to commence. 

9. The handler has the option of having the cart placed anywhere on the starting line as long as the wheels are perpendicular to the start line. The handler has the option to reposition the cart. No test rolling of the cart shall be allowed. 

10. In the event of a tangle, at the judges’ discretion the judge will stop the clock and the handler must realign the dog and harness before the pull is resumed. Two tangles on the same turn will constitute the dog's removal from the competition. 

11. If the cart becomes stuck on a barrier of the pulling pad it shall be considered a tangle if the dog is at risk, per the tangle rule. The clock would be stopped and the cart would then be freed of the barrier at the point of which it was stuck. The dog would be allowed to continue the pull with the remaining time left on the clock. Two tangles on the barrier on the same turn shall constitute the dog's removal from the competition.

12. Tangles are called at the Chief Judge's discretion. The judge shall call a tangle only if the dog or any of the equipment in use becomes entangled putting the dog, handler or bystander at risk.

13. If any part of the harness or other equipment breaks, the handler shall have 60 seconds to repeat the pull after repairs. He/she may choose to accept this interrupted pull as a pass. 

14. Food treats and water will be allowed in the holding area. Any type of liquid other than plain water, tug toys, or anything other than food treats are not allowed. Anyone found having bait of any kind on his or her person will be swiftly removed from competition and will receive no refund. No whips, pinch collars, noisemakers or muzzles will be permitted at any time during competition. 


15. No dogs, including those not entered in competition shall be allowed in the area ahead of the starting line, except the dog that is pulling. Spectators also will not be allowed in the area ahead of the starting line. 

16. There shall be a marked "on deck" area behind, but near the starting end of the pull chute. This marked area shall house only the next dog to pull. 

17. Load increments shall be determined by the Chief Judge and a simple majority of the handlers. The Chief Judge shall recommend the load increments to the handlers, considering the pulling conditions and the welfare of the dogs. 

18. The dog pulling the most weight in its class is declared the winner. Each successive dog pulling a lower weight is placed second, third, etc. If two or more dogs pull the same weight the required distance and can pull no more weight the full distance, the winner is determined by the fastest time in the previous pull. 

19. If the dog is competing for the best percentage pull, after all other dogs in the class have been eliminated from the competition; the dog may continue to pull heavier weights. The weight increments shall be at least the designated increment but can be more. 



In order for a weight pull to be recognized and points recorded, It shall be the responsibility of the hosting organization to properly report the weight pull results to the NWDA.

All dogs pulling 12 times their body weight will be titled as 
Weight Pulling Dog I =WPT 1 

All dogs pulling 18 times their body weight will be titled as
Weight Pulling Dog II =WPT 2 

All dogs pulling 23 times their body weight will be titled as
Weight Pulling Dog III =WPT 3 

NWDA WP Champion-
Any dog pulling 23 times its body weight 3 times

NWDA WP Grand Champion- 
Any dog pulling 23 times its body weight 5 times

NWDA WP Supreme Grand Champion-
Any dog pulling 23 times its body weight 7 times

All forms must be completed with appropriate signatures and
 postmarked no later than 10 days following the event. 
Weight Pull Event results should be sent to: 
Joan Albro
3041 Rt 11
 LaFayette, New York 13084

Payment in the form of Money order or check postmarked no later than 10 days following the event should be sent to:

9170 Highway 90  Longs, SC 29568


Any entrant protesting a violation of the rules shall do so immediately following the round. The protest may be verbal but shall be followed by a written statement directed to the Chief Judge within one hour after the end of the contest. A hearing shall be scheduled and a decision rendered. The decisions of the Chief Judge are final. 

~REVISED 2/6/14~

1st Place dog in each weight class - 3 points
2nd Place dog in each weight class - 2 points
3rd Place dog in each weight class - 1 point

Dog that wins most weight pulled – 5 points
Dog that wins most weight pulled per pound – 5 points

Plus 1 (one) point for each dog placing behind you in your class that makes a successful pull.

5 dogs in a class
1st Place dog -3 points + 4 = 7 points
2nd Place dog -2 points + 3 = 5 points
3rd Place dog -1 point + 2 = 3 points
4th Place dog -1 point
5th Place dog- 0 points

If there is only one dog in a weight class, he/she must make a successful pull to earn points.


​1. Pull season will begin the first scheduled show after the Nationals which will be held in either October or November of each year.
2. Any dog that completes 3 pulls during the season qualifies to compete in the NWDA Nationals.
3. Nationals will be a double pointed event.
4. Points will be tallied at the end of the Nationals, and the top point holder in each class will be named National Champion for their respective classes.

​1. Pull season will begin the first scheduled show after the Nationals which will be held in either October or November of each year.
2. Any dog that completes 3 pulls during the season qualifies to compete in the NWDA Nationals.
3. Nationals will be a double pointed event.
4. Points will be tallied at the end of the Nationals, and the top point holder in each class will be named National Champion for their respective classes.