September 22, 2013
A unique competition in Crozet this weekend had both people and dogs barking with excitement.
The Central Virginia Swiss Bernese Mountain Dog Club held a drafting competition. The dogs and their handlers went through different courses to test how well they take command and their ability to pull their own weight.
The dogs come from Switzerland and were bred to be able to pull carts full of cheese or other goods down to the markets. They were often referred to as the poor man's draft horse.
"Not too many dogs are trained and have experience to know how to pull a wagon or a cart behind them," said Dan Lynn, the president of the competition. "But these are draft animals, so they are bred and trained to pull carts in competition."
The dogs also went on a freight haul, where they pulled their own weight for a half mile.