Last week my dog Ranger and I started the shed hunting season with a bang. For those who haven’t heard of shed hunting it’s basically the process of hiking through the woods looking for antlers that have fallen from deer and elk. Every year in the winter and spring these animals shed their antlers and begin to grow knew ones. Found antlers are know in certain circles as “white gold”. Every year these are sold by the pound to dealers who visit small towns on their yearly routes.
This brings us to the ATV Dog Carrier. I’ve trained Ranger to sniff out these fallen shed antlers and she really enjoys it. The problem is that many of these areas that we hunt are miles away and by the time we get their the poor dog is already dog tired. With this ATV Dog Carrier I hope to alleviate this problem. Plus, Ranger really loves riding on the back.
Here’s how I did it:
The first requirement is to already have a rack on the back of your ATV. I didn’t so I ordered one on ebay for about $50. Since I have a 1983 3-wheeler it didn’t fit. I did cut the legs off with a grinder and re-welded them to fit my application.
Once this was done I procured 3 2x4s, 4 u-bolts, 3 2×2’s, a handful of screws, a 27 X 39 piece of 1/2 plywood (for my application) and a piece of carpet.
I cut the 2×4’s the length of the rack and affixed them using the u-bolts. This forms the base of the dog carrier.
Once this was secure and sturdy I cut 13 2×2’s 10 inches long. These will form the rails of the carrier. I screwed these into 2×2 pieces that matched the width and length of the rack. This created a rail 13 inches in height. Once these rails were finished I then secured them all to the 1/2 piece of plywood mentioned above. This makes the platform for the carrier.
Once this is done screw it all down to the plywood base until it’s secure and add apiece of carpet so your dog has some traction to hold on to. I used staples on the carpet but, screws would work fine as well I would imagine. I cut a half moon in mine for more seating room. Ranger didn’t seem to mind a little less room. The size of the carrier seemed more than adequate for my 70 lb Belgian Sheepdog. I finally got around to painting it to protect it from the elements. All in all it took a couple of hours from planning to finish for me and I found it to be pretty simple to make. Not to mention a carrier the same size was running about $200 plus shipping on several websites.
This probably won’t last as long but it works for us.
I trained Ranger to get into the carrier pretty easily by using treats and the “Hup” command. The first couple of times I had to help her up but, after that she got the idea and was chomping at the bit to go. I found that by adding additional weight to the front to offset the extra weight made steering much easier.
If this works for you I’d love to hear about how you did it and if you made any improvements. Thanks