Carting with collies is an exhilerating experience, both for the dogs and their owners. With training, collies become expert at pulling balanced carts (2-wheeled) or wagons (4-wheeled). The design of the cart or wagon determines its use and ride-ability; all are built to balance the load so that the weight is on the wheels, – NOT on the dog. Whether cart or wagon, the dog is connected to the vehicle by side shafts that attach to its harness. The emphasis in carting is not on the weight collies can pull, but how well they can move their carts without upsetting the cargo, bumping into obstacles, or losing control during unexpected distractions. Excellence in carting requires calm precision and a happy, willing, and patient execution of the required movements of the cart.
The Collie Carting Program includes a heeling pattern, a figure 8, a pivot in a tight circle, an 8 – 10 foot reverse, and a 40 ft. recall between two markers. As the team gains experience and covers greater distances, carting gets to be more and more fun! At that level of training, the dog follows commands given from behind and the owner can ride in the cart, assuming it is designed for passengers. Such carts and wagons are available to all carting enthusiasts.
Carting is an offshoot of draft work, a time-honored job for several large breeds: Bernese Mountain Dogs, Saint Bernards, Rottweilers, Newfoundlands, and Giant Schnauzers. Unlike heavy draft work, carting involves light vehicles, great maneuverability, excellent spatial perception by the dog, and effective communication by the owner. Tone of voice, verbal direction, and reins are the main tools of carting. The intuitive, agile, and intelligent collies learn quickly to respond to their owners’ wishes. They relish the ongoing close personal relationship with their owners and happily assume responsibility for the safety of their cargo. They appreciate the public’s admiration in the stimulating environment of shopping malls and parks and thrive on the family’s praise for carting the firewood or hauling in the groceries. Their self -assured attitude and attentiveness reflect the pride and pleasure they take in their work. Collies do it all with great flair!
Questions about carting, training, and carting harnesses? Contact us!