Newfoundlands were bred to work as search and rescue dogs, so they are big, strong, trainable and able to work independently. All these traits make them very suitable to train to pull a cart. Newfoundlands are frequently taught this skill to give them a job, which working dog “Newfies” take to naturally, and to complete a useful task for their owners. A Newfoundland can pull small loads and even children in a cart. Dogs like Newfies can be trained to pull carts specifically designed for dogs, or ones that are homemade or adapted from wagons. A Newfoundland's ability to work independently is coupled with an independent nature; they do not respond well to harsh treatment, but they do respond well to positive, reward-based training, so keep this in mind when working with a Newfoundland dog.
You will want to get your Newfoundland familiar with basic obedience and directional commands prior to carting. Also, making sure your Newfoundland is used to the harness he will be using for pulling the cart prior to actually hooking your dog up to weight and pulling. Take your time so as not to overwhelm your dog. There are a variety of harnesses made for dogs to pull carts with a common popular style is a Siwash harness which has a padded “V” that comes over the shoulders and in front of the chest. This style allows for easy movement and distributes pulling weight. A proper harness hooks to cart shafts and does not put strain on the neck. Shafts run from the harness to the cart or wagon. Harnesses should have a way to prevent shafts from running through the harness and allowing the cart to ride up on your dog, hitting him in the back of his legs or bottom. When carting, always carry a water dish and water, and check equipment before proceeding to ensure everything is well fitted and in good repair to avoid injury.
How long should the tracers be when attached to cart
Hello Mary Alice, That depends on the size of your dog and your cart. Check out the pdf guide I have linked below for details on how everything should be put together to make pulling most efficient for your dog - your cart set up and your dog's size will effect how things should be spaced apart - which will determine how long you want it. https://www.ncanewfs.org/working/draft/pdfs/draftequipguide.pdf Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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