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South African Dog Carting

ShibaSports would like to thank Joan Saward-Dumbris of Port Elizabeth, South Africa for providing us with the following information about South African Dog Carting. For more information about South African Dog Carting, please visit the Carting Corner website.

"According to the Hutchinson's Popular & Illustrated Dog Encyclopaedia, published I suspect in 1935 - dog carting had been in progress for years. There are some superb photos in these books taken from the 1914 - 1918 great war where French, Austria and Belgian had complete Canine Corps and these dogs hauled massive carts and took machine guns, amunition and provisions to the front.

Many of the large breeds of dog were used as draft animals at some point in their histories. The Rottweiler was particularly utilized as he was not only strong enough to pull the carts loaded with milk or meat to sell, but the money bags were tied around his neck and no one 'messed with him'. This is one of the reasons that there is a DISTRACTION as part of the course, obviously if a dog was stopped while it's owner off loaded produce, if a chicken or rat ran in front of it, it had to stay still.

Carting was introduced into South Africa in 1988 and our first Carting Champion was a Saint Bernard, Thorberg Anesta made up in March 1990. Obviously carting was for the big dogs, but small dog people also wanted to take part and so a couple of years ago Mini Carting was introduced by the Kennel Union in January 2000 and courses have to be adapted for the Mini Dogs. Since then several Mini dogs have been made into Champions, a long haired Daschund, toy poodle etc. Not easy to become a champion as the Carter is only allowed to lose maximum points of 5 out of 100." - Joan Saward-Dumbris

The photograph on the left is of Lois Wilson's Sibra Fire & Frost (Frosty) now a Senior Carting dog.

Carting competition in South Africa is based on the following : Novice dogs do all work on lead, other than the recall - and Seniors all work off lead.

Harnessing and Hitching. - Handler is normally told to place the cart in a specific area and the harness could be in the cart. The dog and handler would stand approximately a metre or metre and a half away from the cart. The Steward would then tell the handler to leave the dog and fetch the harness, put the harness on the dog, and then either take the dog to the cart or bring the cart to the dog and hitch up. The dog then must stand for inspection and be steady. This exercise is worth 5 points.

Basic Handling - Handler, dog and cart must do a normal pace, a fast pace, a slow pace, an about turn and halt and a backup, all without load. This exercise is to make sure the dog can cope with all the exercises without being skittish. It also gives the Judge a chance to have a good look at how the cart travels and how the dog is. This exercise is worth 20 points.

Maneuvering - The disciplines involved include loading and unloading, going through a gate, through a broad curve, over a narrow bridge, doing a figure of eigth around two objects, doing a backup, recalling over a 10 metre distance, going passed a distraction (the dog is allowed a prolonged look or short bark but no deviation from the course is allowed) an about turn and at least 2 lefts/right turns and 1 in the opposition direction. This is worth 65 points.

Finally the dogs have to do a stay. Novice dogs 1 minute in sight, Senior dogs 3 minutes in or out of sight. Worth 10 points. Novice dogs qualify with 90 points, Seniors with 95 points.

Here is a photograph of Sibra Hot Attraction (Sheeba) learning to do her 'Stay".
Sheeba is owned by Joan Saward-Dumbris