Carting is a large part of the Rottweiler's history. Many MHRC members are involved in carting for fun and for competition. There are usually a couple of MHRC teams in ARC's top 10 for carting.
The American Rottweiler Club (ARC) recognizes three levels of carting - Carting Started (on leash), Carting Intermediate (off leash) and Carting Excellent (driving). The carting rules and scoresheet may be downloaded from ARC's website - http://amrottclub.org/carting.
What's required of a good carting dog? A great attitude, enthusiasm and good obedience! What's required of a good carting handler? Patience, patience, patience! Some dogs will take to the cart immediately, without a twinkle of concern in their eye. Other dogs may require a very slow approach, taking several training sessions before being ready to hook up to a cart.
MHRC members form the core of one of the most active Rottweiler carting groups in the country. Members cart with their Rottweilers for fun around their own neighborhoods and in parades and other demonstrations. MHRC also hosts carting competitions under American Rottweiler Club rules, and several Colorado Rottweilers have distinguished themselves in draft tests held by other breeds which allow other breeds to participate.
If you attend a Rottweiler carting test, you will see Rottweilers pulling everything from homemade wooden or PVC carts to professionally made carts and sulkies. The important thing is that the cart is well made, sturdy, and the right size for the dog. The same can be said for harness. There are several types of harness, each with pros and cons, but the important thing is that the harness fits your dog and that it is properly adjusted to the dog and to the cart.
Your dog should be full grown before you consider carting, sound, and able to perform the work. While the difficulty of carting depends on the load and terrain, carting and drafting are work. Your dog also needs to walk well on a leash and know basic commands. A dog with experience at the type of moves required by Rally competition is ahead of the game for carting training.
When it comes to actually teaching the dog to pull a cart, experienced MHRC members advise that this is not something you should try alone. MHRC carters are happy to help newcomers to the sport, and in the months before carting tests, we hold regular practice and training sessions in the area.