A dog cart refers to two different kinds of carriages pulled by either a dog or a horse. Even though the name mostly suggests a dog drawn vehicle, it isn’t the only connotation.
A dog cart refers to a cart pulled by a specific number of dogs. These exist in different varieties.
Peddlers used dog carts that were pulled usually by single dogs. In Belgium and The Netherlands, dog carts pulled by two or more dogs were used to deliver milk, bread and other small trades.
Dog Carts – A History
In the 1900s, on the basis of animal welfare, dog carts were banned from operation. For reasons of novelty though, some still exist in France and parts of Belgium to transport small quantities of milk from local farms to nearby dairies.
Dog carts were also used during the First World War as draught animals to shift and move small field guns.
In the present day, dog carts are pulled by large dogs as means of entertainment and the sport is called carting, dryland mushing or sulky driving.
The dog cart in this case is filled with farm goods, supplies and sometimes also to pull people. During the off season, this sport helps dogs to remain healthy and competent as it provides both discipline and exercise.
A dog with approximately 15kg body weight and above is capable of pulling an adult.
The other kind of dog cart is not in any way related to a dog. It is, in fact a vehicle that is horse drawn.
There are many variations of the dog cart. A carriage pulled by one horse, with two high wheels and two seats set back to back was known in British slang as a ‘bounder’.
It was referred to as ‘tumtum’ in India and might possible be an altered version of the word ‘tandem’.
A dos-à-dos, which refers to back to back in French is a dog cart with four wheels and seats placed back to back. A different variety was also called a ‘game cart’. The one who rode the dog cart was called a ‘tiger’, who usually stood at the rear, on a platform.
Many Victorian writers refer to dog carts in books and novels as it was a frequent sight of those times. One of the prominent writers include Sir Arthur Canon Doyle who wrote the series on a fictional detective called ‘Sherlock Holmes’ where frequent references were made to dog carts.
Dog carts also often refer to hot dog carts. Here’s some tips on how to choose a good hot dog cart:
The nineteenth century saw even more variations of the dog cart and each was identified with unique names. The phaeton was a light, sporty looking carriage drawn by a single horse.
The curricle was also a light, smart vehicle that could help commute only the driver and passenger, but was drawn by two horses.
The chaise or shay was a two wheeled version and could accommodate one or two people but also had a chair and a movable hood.The fashionable cabriolet was a dog cart with two wheels and was drawn by a single horse, along with a folding hood that covered both commuters.