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CARTING: next stop - Lowenhohle ( Part I )



    How many dog sports are  there in the world – 5? 10? 15?  We think much more.  And besides well-known as flyball  or hunting, surfing  or  weight pulling, there are  very rare but popular in some countries like   schutzhung or  hiking,   lure coursing or jockey. As for Leonbergers – the most popular sports   used with them are agility, carting or drafting and flyball. Together  with  such hobbies  as herding, tracking or  nosework, therapy, obedience and water work they are considered as Working qualities of Leonbergers.

Hinchingbrooke Leonberger  cartiing training

Southern Leonberger Carting Croup

Hinchingbrooke Leonberger cartiing training

  Step by step we will  try tell you about  all these wonderful qualities of leos. Probably you remember our first topic about water leos from Becky Belcher from UK at previous web, which was ruined. We promise to restart it in soon.   But today our subject is to speak about such working leo quality as carting or drafting.   We do not pretend for  any scientific research or  investigational approach as there are a lot of information mainly on USA, Canada, UK and Scandic  leo web-sites.  We simply  introduce  topic to awake interest in newcomers  and those who plan to start leonberger breed or  who finished their show-carrier and want new application for their activities.

 Dogs have often been used for carting, dating back to the early 1800's to pull small carts with milk, bread, ewady-to-drink lemonade or tea  etc. Newfoundlands   dragged ashore network of fishermen, the Swiss mountain dogs and Rottweilers carts transporting agricultural products to their owners. As well as the Leonbergers have a long history of use in the transport of goods, people and even just logs. Usually it is   large breed dogs  pull a dogcart   or sulky (sulky is a two wheeled lightweight cart    filled with supplies  such as farm goods or firewood, but sometimes pulling people).



It is said that some breeds (probably  Leonbergers either) were  used to pull ammunition carts and machines guns  to the front lines (dogs are harder to shoot than horses), and to pull reels of communication line and barbed wire during the world wars! But we did not find any photos or evidence with Leos YET!

              Wonderful old photos and comments at terriermandotcom web-site! Thanks a lot!


Dog-cart with milk in Bussels Dog-cart with amunition in Italy, 1917 Dog-cart in Canada

Dog-cart with bakery in Belgium Dog-cart with machine-guns in WWI Dog-cart with milk in Netherlands,1905
   Sometimes  carting is considered as compound of mushing  (mushing is a general term for a sport or  transport   method powered by dogs  and includes  carting, pulka, scootering, sled dog racing, skijoring, freighting and weight pulling).  More specifically, it implies the use of one or more dogs to pull a sled or snow or a rig on dry land. Many working breeds are happier when given a job or task, and carting / sulky driving can be a rewarding hobby for both dog and owner.
Chardy and timber Eremey also tried... Gandolf carting Hello Jenny! Fozzie Bear & Mojo Leon

John McRae

about cartin

knows all


       This  type of activity has three main varieties. What's the difference?“Drafting” refers to an activity where a dog is pulling something – a cart, a wagon,  a sled, or even a log.  “Carting” refers to an activity where the dog pulls a wheeled vehicle with the handler walking alongside the dog, and “Driving” refers to carting  activity where the person controlling the dog rides in the vehicle being pulled.




Wheelchair Mushing


     Today less and less animals are used as draft power for transportation of goods, more and more - as a kind of entertainment or a specific sport.  To teach your Leon to  haul truck, wagon, sled or skiers is not much of a problem or difficulty. You should follow several  main points in this case - the advice of a veterinarian, who must confirm that your Leon have no hidden defects, heart and other diseases, good physical strength and  correct dressing harness and attaching a shaft and installation of truck under the guidance of an experienced instructor -  important factor to avoid injury to your Leo,  having several styles and your personal time. And of course the goal you are pursuing ( depends on the choice of vehicle ) - to transport the  cargo or to ride along the lawn with the kids ...

      Remember that Leo can teach carting starting at 15 months. This will be a good help in the development of his chest !

 In USA and England, Scandic countries and Australia there are clubs and departments in Leo carting. There are not so many   carting societies as  probably we’d like to see. But…

    One of them –is Northwest Carting Club in UK. It was arranged by Susie  Jump  in 2010.  She is also the instructor and  owner of leonberger  kennel Lowenhohle in UK (  Lowenhohle means “den or lair of lion” ). Do not miss with Von Der Lowenhohle in Canada.

         Susie  has always owned GSD’s and took part in working trials, obedience and Schutzhund for many years. Her Leos take part in swimming, tracking, carting and complete at agility and registered  as PAT (therapy) dogs. Besides they have been used for advertising campaign and modeling works as well as their foray in the show ring. She has been a trainer with her local dog training school for many years and set up and run a carting club. But let her tell a few words about it.

     “I run NorthWest Wet Leos (Water training) and Northwest Carting Club (draught work).  The important thing is that this can be a very enjoyable and rewarding activity for both you and your dog. You can practice and train in your yard or a nearby park and simply enjoy working with your dog and enjoying their companionship. The general rule is that the total load (sulky and driver) should not exceed three times the weight of the dog doing the pulling.

     The carting started in 2010 after struggling to find any activities to do with my own dogs in the Northwest of Britain.  .  With several venues, we train every second Sunday, carting sessions run from Sept through to April, the cooler winter months, with occasional demos and fun days throughout summer.   Basic obedience is a must, and for this reason we run a lesson alongside our carting. We keep the groups small, and have equipment so that you can try it before you have to pay out yourselves. We don't limit our classes to giant breeds though, and have taught many others including Rottweilers, Afgans, and GSDs."

    We interrupt Susie for short  break and offer to our readers to see several short videos: hope their holders do not mind as these videos are public at Youtube.





 "After several years searching I have finally found a venue for water rescue, and on our third session we had a record number of 23 dogs in attendance!  Our first tests are due to run in September, quite an achievement for a group only starting in May!        Dogs never haul before the age of 15 months, and even then only lightly, however, it's never too early to get them used to a harness and learn the basic commands. We are one of several groups across the UK who are run in conjunction with The Leonberger Club of Great Britain.   UK Draught Regulations     Although we are asked to do many demos/processions etc during the summer months.  The days we train are largely based on my availability, I do so many other activities with my boys I work it around that, and try to set out some dates at the beginning of the season so everyone can get them in their diaries. Dogs of all ages can attend as we start everyone off with basic obedience and introductions to correct fitting of harnesses.  Dogs will only be introduced to a cart from 15 months.  Each session starts with a group obedience class, learning the common carting commands.  We break for lunch and a natter with friends, before resuming for the carting (young pups generally take a rest at this point, although we will do handling and harness work with adolescents).




 Equipment is minimal, the main things being harnesses.  I try to use natural obstacles where possible but I also have weave poles, steps, cones, ribbon rails, wind breaks, ramps, rumble strips etc.   I have a selection of carts, off-road vehicles with mountain bike tires, traditional antique carts, and modern brace vehicles suitable for 2 dogs.  Some of these are purchased, others are home made.


     Permission was requested and granted by both the Northern Newfoundland Club & The Newfoundland Club to use their Water Tests & Carting Tests as the basis to our current Test Regulations. As Leos have webbed feet our breed excels at water training and the water tests are almost exactly the same as the Newfoundland. 

      I have approximately 12 dogs who attend carting on a regular basis, and approximately 22 who attend water work.  I believe there are 4 or 5 Leo carting groups across the UK, although the Bernese and Newfoundland clubs are far higher in number”.

Story from Susie  will  be continued in Part II

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