The possibilities for abuse of the weighted vests are huge. Only a limited number of dogs compete by pulling weights in canine competitions. Skijorning and dog sledding are relatively rare and localized. Obviously, building excessive strength in a large dog that does not compete suggests dubious activities and bloated egos. But most of the weighted vests are used by dog owners who feel their dog has far too much energy- or at least more energy than the owner is willing to muster for walks and trips to the dog park. The weighted vests are said to calm dogs down.
Let me ask you… when you have to carry your brief case, a backpack and two bags of groceries for more than 2 city blocks, how calm does it make you feel? How much scenery do you see? Does carrying heavy weights make you want to walk further? Or do you begin to long for Sherpas?
Since the weights are not recommended for puppies under 2 years old, the weighted vests appear just at the point that most dogs are becoming less frenetic and more stable in energy level and output. This suggests that the weighted vests may not be so much about helping a dog stop leaping about, as for helping an unwilling owner walk less distance and commit less time to dog walks.
Considering how much every single dog I have ever met loves to take a walk, the use of the weighted vests to fatigue a healthy and perky young adult dog seems to be the lazy choice that takes away the best part of a dog’s day. And guess what, the lazy choice takes away one of the best parts of any dog owner’s day… taking a stroll in the fresh air with a pet.
So what do you think readers? Maybe the peppy dog and I are wrong… tell us about it.