This summer we began a new training adventure in Dog Carting.
What is carting?
Carting, also called drafting, is an activity that involves a dog pulling a cart or wagon.
The sport of drafting or carting can be done by just about any dog but dogs that are commonly part of the working breed class are often known for doing this.
Before beginning training for dog carting, your dog needs to have basic obedience. Dog Carting in many ways is an advanced form of obedience.
t’s recommended that a dog be at least 2 years of age before they start pulling a cart and must be in good physical condition that is determined by a physical exam performed by a veterinarian.
It’s recommended to start with the harness first for a few days, then attach the traces, and then attach a few empty milk jugs for the dog to pull and get used to the sound and weight.
After that get the dog used to pulling just an empty cart and very slowly add weight. Some dogs may spook easily when they are hooked into the cart for the first time so it’s important to take these steps very slowly.
Equipment needed for carting/draft work.
Along with a regular collar and leash, a dog also needs special carting equipment
Harness. There’s a small handful of harnesses that are made to use with carting.
One of the most popular and recommended is a Siwash harness. This is what we use for our dogs. This harness has a padded “V” that crosses from the shoulders down to the front chest and then back down to underneath the dog.
We have begun training 4 dogs in dog carting. Our two labs are different sizes, while our spaniels are very close in size. This means that we currently have 3 different sizes of custom made harnesses. Our Field Spaniel, Fergus, is only 1, so he is not finished growing. We have only introduced him to the harness and pulling a "dead tree". When he is 2 we will re-measure him and order a new harness custom to his full grown size. Until Fergus is 2 he will not do any real dog carting, just some easy, non-weight bearing training.