Getting Started

Training Guidelines

A Typical Event

Carting Champions







Guidelines for Training



There is no right or wrong way to teach your dog how to cart.You and your dog must find out what works best for you. Training should not be started too young. Take your time to learn each step so that the dog understands what you want from it. The dog should not carry a load in the cart until it has completed most of its growth. Keep your training positive and fun.


The Back-up

The most important exercise in carting is the back-up as this is worth 5 points in the Basic Handling and 10 points in the Maneuvering Course.

One of the easiest ways to teach a dog the back-up is in the cart and with food. Initially loop your lead, which is still attached to the collar, under the dog's stomach - thus avoiding it going into the sit position. Put the food directly in front of the dog's face low enough to avoid the dog sitting. Pull downwards and backwards on the lead near the collar while using the food to lure the dog at the same time giving the command "Back". This is the most difficult exercise to teach and requires lots of patience and lots of practice. Another helpful method is teaching the dog to back out of a space between a bed and a wall. Stand right in front of the dog and sort of shuffle towards it. The natural movement will be to go backwards. Remember to use the command "Back".

 The Recall

One of the biggest problems with the recall is that the dog wants to go too fast. Therefore start recalls for short distances and as the dog becomes more steady you can increase the distance to 10 metres.

The Back-up
The Recall

Figure-of-eight and turns

Your turns have to be tight so practice these. Your dog must work close to your side and the wheel of the cart must pass close around the obstacles. 

The Distraction
While practicing distraction control with your dog put out all sorts of obstacles like feather dusters, teddy bears, stuffed toys animals, even put the dog on a stay and roll a ball in front of it. The dog must be steady as it goes past the distraction. It is allowed a short bark or prolonged stare but it is not allowed to go across to the distraction, sniff it, shy clear of it or bite it.

Executing a Turn

The Distraction
In this instance, this tenacious Staffie grabbed the distraction and refused to release it.


Before the competition the course is walked and the judge will explain how he wants you to do the course.  This is the time to ask any questions i.e. can I click my fingers at my dog, can we leave the lead on when we leave the dog, must we walk to the left or right of the road, etc.

All work for the Novice handlers is done on lead.  Novice handlers may encourage the dog as much as they want to but must only say the dog's name and command once. i.e. "Fido, heel" and then "good dog, you are working well, let's go" etc.   The same with the Back up, you would say "Back" only once and the "good boy, keep going, clever dog" etc.