shafts – Roman Reign Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs and Lowchens

Determining the height of bend in your shafts.

The height of bend in your shafts should be determined by the height of the axle, height of the attachment of the shafts to the cart, and the height of your dog at the point of shoulder.

Advantages of having a bend in the shafts include being able to roll the shafts in or out to adjust height and width for the multiple dogs sharing the same cart set up.  The bigger the bend, the more leeway you have to adjust.  The less bend, the less adjustability but more stability.

The angle of the bend is not important as long as the ending height is the same. I typically stick with 30 degree bends.  For questions: jennie@romanreign.com
 

Lesson: Turns, Side Stepping, 360s, and 90 degree turns

Lessons: Turns, Spirals, Side Step, 360s, and Navigating a 90 degree turn

Teaching a dog to turn in cart is a long process, and I urge you take your time with this.  Pushing a dog further than it is comfortable may cause the dog to lose confidence or spook in cart.  I start teaching turns by making large spirals in the cart.  Sometimes the radius of such spirals begin at 50 yards.  Once the dog is comfortable doing smaller circles (~20 ft in radius), I will start to teach a dog to turn and to perform side steps.  Once a dog can side step, I teach the dog how to do 360 turns.  Here’s two videos demonstrating how to teach a turn and how to navigate a 90 degree turn.

Teaching a dog to turn and perform 360s

Navigating a 90 degree turn

Shaft height and length fine tuning

Here’s some photos showing correct shaft height and length.  Shaft height and balance of the cart are very important.  The height of the shaft should come the point of shoulder of the dog and should not extend more than a few inches past the shoulder.  Length of the shafts, while not a safety issue, can affect maneuvering.  The longer the shafts, the wider the turning radius.  Shorter shafts have a shorter turning radius.

If you do shorten the shafts, make sure you also tighten those traces and move your brakes to the appropriate location. The shafts and cart should be parallel to the ground. Click on photos below for bigger version.