Converting a Child's Wagon to a Cart

This page tries to quickly show how a child's wagon can be converted to a cart to be pulled by your dog. There are conversion kits available from Dog Works and Nordkun, among others. See the Vendors page for a list of vendors.

Blossom with Dog Works shafts This picture shows Blossom pulling her wagon, which was converted using a Dog Works kit, including the shafts. We have since modified the setup to include new shafts that I bent up from EMT conduit from Home Depot.

Here's a close up shot of the connector that Dog Works sells. It was actually wider than the tongue part on my wagon, so I take up the space with three 1/4 inch washers on either side. I fasten the bolt with a lock washer and wing nut. I once had the wing nut fall off when there was no lock washer - about 7 blocks from home. Not a fun time, because I lost the wing nut. Now I ALWAYS use the lock washer, and I ALWAYS take spare locks washers, 1/4 inch washers, and wing nuts.

I never want to put extra holes in my stuff, so everything here is bolted together. The Dog Works connector fits around 1/2 inch EMT conduit nicely.

The brakes are needed to prevent your shafts from sliding past the dog when your dog slows, left brakeor is going downhill. Here are the brakes I have. It's strictly a hose clamp tightened around a conduit holder. Cheap, cheap, cheap. This is nice because it is also easy to adjust the position properly.

Bending conduit to make shafts is something that requires a bit of skill, and a bit of luck. I always buy several pieces of the ten foot long 1/2 inch EMT conduit. I rent a pipe bender for 1/2 inch pipe from a local rental shop for about $6 per day. I then figure out what I want, and try to sort out the measurements to account for thing like height of the dog, width of shafts that I want, etc. In my case, with the Dog Works shafts, Blossom didn't like the way they sloped down straight. When she turned, the shafts would bump her, and it put her off. She would not pull the wagon. The shafts were 16 inches apart. I bent up the conduit shafts to do two things. The first was to slope up quicker, so that they ran down her sides parallel to the ground. The second thing was to make the back end 20 inches wide, and then tapered them to 16 inches by her mid-section so that the shafts would go into the harness loops. Took a couple of tries to get these bent up properly. I ended up with the shafts in the picture below. Blossom's quite happy to pull with this configuration.

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