Why Not Build a Dog Cart?
The Benefits of Building a Dog Cart
Teaching your dog to pull a cart can be both fun and practical. It’s certainly going to give your dog a nice workout but it’s also giving him a job to do. It’s a dog sport that’s also referred to as urban mushing – which is any sport that involves dogs pulling such as sledding and carting.
Imagine how fun it would be to have your dog pulling you around the neighborhood, and now imagine the look on your neighbors faces. You could even have him haul groceries, firewood or a basket full of kittens if you so desire. Here’s the benefits of dog carting, and some DIY dog cart plans you can use to get started.
Dog Carting Isn’t Just For Big Dogs
Newfoundlands, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Huskies, and many other breeds have been pulling carts for centuries, but small dogs can get in on the action as well. The general rule is that any dog that weighs about 30 pounds or more can pull a cart — as long as you get a cart that is the right size.
Any dog that likes to pull can certainly have fun doing so. Generally dogs can pull 2-3 times their body weight. If you’re going to be going uphill or on some rough terrain reduce the load as needed.
Each dog is different so finding the right balance for your dog will take a bit of patience. If your dog has any mobility issues or back problems I recommend sticking to lower impact exercises.
How to Teach Your Dog to Pull a Cart
Although some breeds like Huskies might know how to pull naturally it’s important to teach them how to properly pull a cart. Dogs need to get comfortable with turning and it can be somewhat intimidating starting out.
Most of the commands used when carting are simple obedience commands with a few specific ones added in. For more information check out these articles on how to train your dog to pull a cart & urban mushing: a solution for high energy dogs.
Purchasing or Making Your Dog Cart
After choosing which sort of cart, wagon or scooter you’re going to build you need to invest in the proper pulling harness. I suggest Ultra Paws because they’re well padded and they’re easily adjustable; these harnesses also work great for hiking and sledding with your dog. (not to mention they’re perfect for teaching your dog to walk nicely on a leash)
Carting can be a fun way to exercise with your dog. It’s mentally stimulating and physically demanding for him. Some dogs are naturals at it while others may want nothing to do with it.
7 DIY Dog Cart Plans
Looking to build a dog cart? Here’s 7 DIY dog cart plans to choose from:
- PVC Dog Cart
- Another PVC Dog Cart
- Tandem Dog Cart Plans
- Box Style Cart Plans
- Cart From An Old Stroller
- Folding Bike Trailer Cart
- Cart Box or Wagon
Here’s a Great Step by Step Video
How Fun Is This?
photo credit: Tundra Ice