Class Outline for Dog Carts And Tourney Dogs

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Class Outline for Dog Carts And Tourney Dogs

Lady Rachel of Barony Bhakail,

Class Intentions: This class is an introduction to dog carts and an introduction to SCA period vehicle forms. Covers Cart and Wagon forms in the Middle Ages and Renaissance Reviews wagon plans Explains the breast harness and how it fits Introduction to dog draft training


Cart: 2-wheel vehicle Wagon: 4-wheel vehicle Dog Cart: For this class, a dog cart is any wheeled vehicle pulled by one or more dogs. There is a horse cart called a “dog cart” that was designed to carry hunting dogs under the seat in ventilated compartments.

Comparison of Horse Vehicles in the Middle Ages to Vintage Dog Carts Cart Picture Handout Fig 1: Horse Dump Cart and Horse Wagon Fig 2: Butcher Dog Cart or “Butcher’s Dray,” 1876 Fig 3: Horse cart, 15th century, Book of the Hunt, Gaston Phoebus Fig 4: Horse Cart Fig 6: Canadian Dog Cart Postcard, 1935 Fig 7: Belgium milk cart, WW1 Fig 8: Sicilian Dog Cart, circa 1910 Fig 9: Not SCA Period, Dog Sulky, 1890s. This sulky has too much iron in its construction as well as having hard rubber tires. Iron was expensive in period and thus used sparingly in cart and wagon construction.

Wagon Picture Handout Fig 10: Horse Wagon, note the wagon body sits between the wheels and just over the axels and the front axle pivots. Fig 11: Dog Wagon, circa 1910s Fig 12: Horse Wagon Fig 13: WW1 German Supply Wagon Fig 14: Covered Wagon Fig 15: Not SCA Period, circa 1890s. The front wheels need to be almost the same size as the back wheels. In period, the front axle was designed to swivel but the wheels were not designed to go under the wagon body.

Wagon Plans

Shaft Construction and function (Oak or ash should be used for the shafts. Do not use plywood)

Roman passenger wagon plan Note suspension system. Use of suspension was unusual in the Middle Ages. Shrunk on metal tires and other metal parts Felloes (wheel rims) are bent wood

Oseberg wagon plan Felloes (wheel rims) are not bent wood but are pieced/joined together. Iron was scarce and thus no iron tires. Iron tires were unusual in the early SCA period. Later they would have been nailed on in plates. On this wagon, the thick felloes allow for wear.


Brief look at Roman horse collar Breast Harness

Dog Draft Training

Basic manners on leash 4 Commands; Whoa, Left, Right, Back Introduce the dog to pulling Introduce the dog to the dog cart Practice: Both dog and owner need to practice.

Recommended Reading Handout

Sources for Dog Cart Items Handout