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Dogs seen dragging tires on walks, owner says it is exercise

'Sultan' attached to a tire harness - KATU photo

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KATU) -- An exercise method involving dogs dragging tires was called into question by a passerby who sent a video of the training technique to the KATU Newsroom.

The video shows a man and his young son walking their dogs Thursday evening on NW Cornell Road in Beaverton.

The dogs are seen dragging tires behind them, attached by a harness. The person who recorded the video feared that man may have been abusing his dogs.

Denes Balazs is the man in the video. He met with KATU Sunday afternoon to explain what was going on, something he says he often has to do. Balazs brought his two dogs, the tires, and the harnesses to show how it works in person.

Jasmine and Sultan are both four-year-old Dogo Argentinos, a large, big-game, hunting breed. Balazs says they are very friendly and great around his kids, part of the reason they chose that breed.

“They’re awesome dogs, we've had them since they were puppies,” said Balazs. “Very energetic, very well trained, very well trainable.”

Balazs says they pull tires behind them on walks for exercise.

“It's just an awesome form of exercise. As a runner, I pulled tires myself in my training, it's sort of weighted running. That's all it is. It helps develop their muscles and maintain it,” said Balazs.

The harnesses he uses are made for weight pulling competitions for dogs. Balazs says Jasmine and Sultan have never competed in a weight pulling event, and likely will never do so, but he says pulling the tires help keep his dogs healthy. According to the American Kennel Club's description of the Dogo Argentino breed, "Dogos require vigorous exercise to stay at their physical and temperamental best."

“It’s an awesome way to add extra benefit for the walk. If you took them out for a half mile, mile walk, they'd be rather disappointed,” said the owner.

One of the tires weights approximately five pounds, the other tire weights around 10 to 15 pounds.

Balazs says he is often asked about the tires, but Thursday was a first for him.

“We've had maybe 50 people talk to us over the years about what they were doing, this is the first time somebody attacked us for it,” said Balazs.

The person who recorded the video says they do not think someone should be training their dogs like that. She also worried about the dogs dragging the tires while it was nearly 90 degrees outside.

Balazs says he was close to home where the dogs have 24-hour access to water. He Is more worried about the temperature of the asphalt, which he says was fine that day.

“There is absolutely nothing illegal, or damaging, or abusing to the dogs,” said Balazs.

Beaverton Police say no crime was committed. Considering the dogs look healthy and uninjured, the tire-pulling appears to be perfectly legal under Oregon law.

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