Most people I know use drafting and carting interchangeably. Drafting or
carting is usually pulling a cart, wagon, or travois. These apparatuses have
shafts and brakes so that the rig can be maneuvered through turns. IMO,
drafting or carting (whichever term one prefers to use) is not about sheer
weight, but rather about how well the dog and handler can maneuver a cart to do
everyday farm activities.
Weight pull is the activity that involves heavy duty pulling. During weight
pull competitions there are no shafts, and the goals is to test how much weight
a dog can pull. The weight can be either on a cart(wheels or rails) or on a
sled on snow. Weight pull carts and sleds do not have shafts as the goal is not
about maneuverability, but about weight pull only. For people who do use their
dogs on the farm to do work, I usually hear the terms hauling or pulling. I
only hear the specific term weight pull when speaking about the sport.
Just to make things confusing, it is common to cross train dogs in both sports
to improve both sports. My dogs are active in both drafting/carting and weight
pull. I might have my dog pull a 100 lb load in his draft cart to train for
weight pull for a miles to build endurance. Or I might have might dog
participate in weight pull to build up strength and confidence.
To make things even more confusing, if you look through breed club rules and
titles, most all carting/drafting titles are called Draft titles or Draft tests,
even though people refer to it as carting. ND stands for novice draft. DD
stands for draft dog (the open title in GSMD). There's also team draft which is
sometimes referred to as brace.
Lessons in working your dog in Carting with your Dog
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
| Tackling hills in drafting is serious business. While it seems like a simple task, taking a dog up or down a hill in a cart can pose many risks.|
To protect against these problems, hills should always be tacked. This concept is not new nor is used only in dog drafting. The concept of tacking, sometimes called switchbacks, is used in sailing, windsurfing, biking, skating, and driving. In sailing and windsurfing, the operator sails or surfs at an angle towards the wind, not directly towards it. In biking, skating, or driving, it is easiest to go up a hill at 45 degree angles instead of dead up the hill. That method reduces the steepness of the hill and makes it easier to go up or town. If you want to test this theory, just grab a pair of skates and try to go straight up or down a steep hill. Make sure you wear a helmet and protective gear first. You'll quickly learn that you can bleed off speed by tacking down the hill or ease the steepness by tacking up the hill. In driving, cars with short clearances that need to make it up or down a steep incline should approach at an angle either way. Here's some photos to illustrate the concept.
If you're familiar with Lombard Street, here's a photo of cars tacking down this 27% grade hill. Read more details here.
Tacking a hill (up or down) is pretty self-explanatory and straight forward. You traverse a hill by going up diagonally at a comfortable angle. You will be traveling more distance to go up the hill, and it will be at a less steep slope. More importantly, it will be safer! I also go up curbs and small hills with my own dogs at angles. When leaving your harnessed and hitched dog or cart (without the dog) on a hill, make sure that they are positioned perpendicular to the hill. You don't want the cart or dog to be overcome by the weight of the cart when on a steep hill to cause a runaway.
Here's a photos of some cars parked perpendicular to the slope (correct). If you don't do this in San Francisco on some extremely steep hills, you'll have some runaway cars.