Instructables

DIY dog pull cart made out of a folding bicycle trailer.

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Picture of DIY dog pull cart made out of a folding bicycle trailer.
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This is the trailer cart I made for my dog Thunder.
It's a folding bike trailer, I made a harness and rigging for him to pull it places.

Aside from the trailer and green dog harness, which I already had, I spent $18 total to make this rig. 

A lot of engineering went into this project. If loaded correctly this produces as little as 1kg of downward force on my dog. The poles are only for weight and steering. The upper leads pull the cart slightly forward and move the centre of gravity for propulsion. My dog also has breaks connecting underneath his body which allow him to stop the cart. Finally thanks to Archimedes; Even a completely unbalanced load of 10 pounds will only exert 4 pounds of force spread over a harness with over 3 ft square relative weight distribution contact in the rigging.

Step 1: The Supplies

Picture of The Supplies
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You'll Need:

- Folding Bike Trailer. I originally purchased mine for groceries and laundry.

- Dog Harness. Originally purchased to roller blade together. Most any decent harness will do. On mine, I added a metal loop to the bottom (for brake lines), and a pad to the top, and that's it.

- 2 poles. These serve two purposes; 1) They transfer weight to the animal, 2) They help the dog steer the cart and provide a "zone". The poles must be strong enough to transfer the weight, but light enough to not affect total mass. I chose 2" bamboo stalks.

- 8 leashes thick enough to be useful.

- 6 collars of the same size as leashes, to be used for their adjusting hardware.

- 2 eye screws, I chose PVC coated for comfort. The key to these is not just the size, they need a flange at the base of the hook

- Electrical / PVC tape

- matching yarn, Acrylic is best.

- liquid fabric glue

- Cheeky Licence Vanity Plate

- Finally, a happy dog.
 
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Litovcas3 months ago
poor dog
dbird1 (author)  Litovcas14 days ago

You should be more aware of the physical and intellectual needs of ananimal.

It is a pitty people make this assumption.

Do some Google'ng adn get yourself informed.

Hello! I love your rig!!!

I just purchased a kids wagon and I'm thinking to have my dog pull it with my son in it (she's a 77lb newfie/collie mix, I'm sure sure she'll love it!). There are some adjustments I will have to do for the 4 wheel wagon but the one step I didn't really understood is the brake part. Can you post more picture of the brake system or explain how it works a little better?

dbird1 (author)  giulia.denobili14 days ago

For me. I used a few ways to be certain.

There was a strap made between the poles. It connected to the white eye screws. I just had a loop in the harness where I could thread it through on the bottom. It used the harness to stop. Not the best way. But it's a good fail-safe. Simply because it tends to push the dog forward before the cart can collide with it. Its a little cruel, but dreadfully efficient.

Because of that; I also had only a certain length on the weight straps. I also had a collar to bring down on the weight strap when looped amount the pole.. that way the strap would grab the poles as they move forward and only allow a certain amount of forward travel before the cart stops.

Either way, I used both. The main key is to allow enough clearance between the dog and the cart. You never want it to be painful.

dbird1 (author) 6 months ago

Thank everybody for their supportive comments. Unfortunately, about two years later, the bicycle trailer frame rotted through. Its no longer safe for use. :(

Some advice, don't skimp on the trailer frame. give it an extra coat of rust paint before assembly. It was very frustrating to spend so much time on this project, just to have a weld rot through.

I'm currently working on a 4 wheel wagon. It will allow for more weight and steadier loads.

It has pneumatic turf tires and can hold 12 cu'ft of cargo.

dbird1 (author) 3 years ago
There is a video available on the Intro page.

It is a U-turn followed by a "wait" position.
Ragnarocker3 years ago
Your dog looks soooo cute!!!!
dbird1 (author)  Ragnarocker3 years ago
He's gonna get a little bigger before he can pull any real weight. But this winter, my nephew and him will both be big enough for this to be interesting.

That will be cute.
putty1cat3 years ago
That is one nice rig! Your pup looks well pleased with it too. I would really love to see a youtube video of it in action. I know a few rotties that would love the get a work out with one of these. Very well thought out and nicely made.
astral_mage9 months ago

no the dog is thinking. comere soos i can lick u now. aww why cant i get to the kids.

bobdude9 months ago
oh how i wish i had a dog...
jgoss33 years ago
A friend of mine is expecting twins and just got a labrador. Looks like the perfect project.
tfrenette3 years ago
I'm sure he's willing, but do you think a Border Collie could do this? He's 43lbs and 22.5". I'd like him to eventually pull ME.
dbird1 (author)  tfrenette3 years ago
You're looking for something called a 'sulky'.
There are many out there to Google.
Just remember, your dog should never be subject to more than three times it's own weight.
eg: 40lbs dog = 120 lbs max load and trailer weight.

You'll probably want two dogs for such a thing. It can be done with one,, Look into Scooter Mushing
Is that humane?
yes it is if you do not go overboard with it (too much weight for the dog, etc)

Most dogs are happy to have a job. If you have a puppy or dog that is destructive, it is usually because they are bored. If you give them a "job" something to do, it usually corrects the problem.

I have a service dog and he ears a backpack right now to help me carry groceries and my books at school. Soon he will have a cool new trailer for other jobs as well.
dbird1 (author)  ginamaybrown3 years ago
A service dog will take to this sort of thing very nicely. PM me and I'll help you make a single harness, minimal hookup for your ease. The Mk 1 I posed here was very much 'Stupid Puppy Proofed' and over designed. I'm in the process of fabricating an all in one harness / weight pad for sledding and carting.

Otherwise, just remember, it'll take about 12 months of training before you introduce anything weighing more than 5 pounds.

Your pooch needs to learn about how to deal with obstacles, poles and hangups without the burden of carrying weight. A dog in panic mode strapped to a trailer with weight is just no fun for either party to deal with.
Yes, it is a doggy, not a kid... y'know... now that I think about it.. this might be good for driving the extra energy off of 3-6 year olds as well...
dbird1 (author)  Beergnome3 years ago
LOL. Only one difference between kids and dogs.

Dogs Listen!
dbird1 (author)  ThaAWESOMEducttapeguy3 years ago
Believe it or not, there is actually a sport dedicated and sanctioned by the Kennel Clubs world wide.

Abuse or inhumane would be going for weight records..
He has the energy to pull me on rollerblades for 20 miles, so why not 4 with a small cart?
How long do the :
Bamboo pieces
Leashes
need to be?
dbird1 (author)  ginamaybrown3 years ago
All final measurements won't be known until all your major parts are assembled.

RULE OF THUMB FORMULAS:
Pole Length = (mounting length) + (dog length chest to tail tip) + 4 inches
I really just bought 2 6ft canes, $2 ea then cut to suit, keeping in mind that basic formula when measuring.

Leashes? Well they're all adjustable so make them as long as you think they need to be, then add 6 inches. All my hardware had long scrap tails until i cut them for the camera.

Well there's two answers; 1) Hardware, 1M (3ft) leashes will do fine, you're just cutting them up. All mine are sacrificed 1M leashes. A big chain dollar store ususally stocks it pet section with the same supplier across the board, so fining sacrificial hardware collars is very easy. 2) Tow Straps, these might need to be longer than you think depending on how easily a pulling point can be found on your trailer.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that the load straps bear the weight, and the tow straps pull. It's all about weight transfer and animal health.

Today I did make a neck bridal out of some more dollar store items. for $3.75 I bought a chihuahua harness and two 20ft 'training" leashes. I turned the harness for use at his neck level. I'm going to begin teaching him directional commands and need to control his movement from behind.

andy55 dbird13 years ago
for the directional control try using a gentle leader. as this works the same as a horse bridal but without the bit
exporteh dbird13 years ago
Thanks for the info.I have a Min-Pin about10 lbs.,and needs a job. As I'm not very good with formulas could you please help me with designing a cart for her?I would appreciate your help, and so would Dee-Oh- Gee.
Thanks,Wayne
dbird1 (author)  exporteh3 years ago
Ok, so. 10lb dog = 30 lb MAX weight, ever.

for you I recommended cutting apart a folding metal grocery buggy. it's light and about the right size. Strip it down to the wheels and handle frame. Zip tie a milk crate to it and your basically done. just make it look pretty.
Thank you very much for this information and for being so creative. I love this!
Lindie3 years ago
That's cool. I hope your dog enjoys it!
Nicely done! I've got a handicapped dog that frequently rides in a trailer. I could get a second dog to tow him around, if not for my city's pet limits.
dbird1 (author)  CatTrampoline3 years ago
I've seen such things on my readings over the past while. You could buy a good wagon, spend $20 in PVC pipe and have something much more suited to you.

Dogs of all sizes have pulled things, the wagon should just be of appropriate size so it doesn't offend people.
Archergal523 years ago
Nice! Love the tag. :)
iPodGuy3 years ago
Nice work!

I made a harness for my dog for when we go on extended hikes. It's made to fit two canteens and a water dish, so she packs her own water. She's kind of hyper, but having a "job" really helps her focus and calm down. I guess she feels important.