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Old 07-07-08, 06:12 PM   #1
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Taking a dog along while you cycle

I have seen a man and his wife on their hybrid bikes going up and down our street with their dog in tow. Our street is 1/3 mile long and is fairly flat. This is a black medium small sized dog that they have on what I call a yo yo string lease. I have seen them running the dog in 85+ weather up and down the street several times. The dog gets further and further behind each time they turn around and go back down the street. My husband and I were walking down our street one time and finally my husband told the guy "your going to kill that dog". The man's reply was "he loves it". His wife said "we are trying to wear him out". Finally they stopped and the dog laid on a lawn panting extremely heavily. We haven't seen them do it since, but if we do, I'm tempted to find out where they live and call the humane society. I feel like telling the guy, why don't you let your wife make you run up and down the street several times and see how you like it. Should I just mind my own business???
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Old 07-07-08, 06:15 PM   #2
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Perhaps the dog will run into the front wheel of the other bike and cause a nice pileup?
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Old 07-07-08, 07:17 PM   #3
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I have seen a man and his wife on their hybrid bikes going up and down our street with their dog in tow. Our street is 1/3 mile long and is fairly flat. This is a black medium small sized dog that they have on what I call a yo yo string lease. I have seen them running the dog in 85+ weather up and down the street several times. The dog gets further and further behind each time they turn around and go back down the street. My husband and I were walking down our street one time and finally my husband told the guy "your going to kill that dog". The man's reply was "he loves it". His wife said "we are trying to wear him out". Finally they stopped and the dog laid on a lawn panting extremely heavily. We haven't seen them do it since, but if we do, I'm tempted to find out where they live and call the humane society. I feel like telling the guy, why don't you let your wife make you run up and down the street several times and see how you like it. Should I just mind my own business???
I see nothing to worry about, dogs do love to run and need exercise. I'm sure far more dogs are killed by lack of exercise than by too much. Besides, if they are really taking it past it's limits, it will get the squirts and poo all over their house. - TF
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Old 07-07-08, 07:27 PM   #4
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I see nothing to worry about, dogs do love to run and need exercise. I'm sure far more dogs are killed by lack of exercise than by too much. Besides, if they are really taking it past it's limits, it will get the squirts and poo all over their house. - TF
From what I've read, that's not true. What I've seen says that you can severely injure a dog that way. A person has more endurance than the dog, particularly when the person is riding a bike. And the dog will keep trying very hard to keep up with its pack leader, the person. Because dogs don't sweat like people do, a person can push a dog to the point where it's overheated.
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Old 07-07-08, 07:36 PM   #5
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They're trying to wear him out?
If you feel they are abusing the animal then you should report it...
Way to many animals go continually abused because people that witness it 'mind their own business'
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Old 07-07-08, 07:44 PM   #6
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Dogs are man's favourite companion animals, but they are loyal to a fault. They will die to please us. Literally. In my opinion, the dog owners are completely wrong and they are being extremely cruel. Dogs should not be made to run in hot weather.
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Old 07-07-08, 07:59 PM   #7
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It really depends if they cross the line from exercise to abuse. I've seen a number of people riding with a dog on a leash. Some people have a hard time walking far enough to give their dog a decent exercise.
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Old 07-07-08, 09:26 PM   #8
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Dogs easily overheat and can die. They only sweat through the mouth and the paws.

I have heard of hunting dogs who died from their own enthusiasm in the fields and the stupidity of the owners who didn't make sure their dog had enough water and rest.

I've heard of goldens who played fetch until they collapsed and died.

I'd scare those people to death with examples of dogs worked too hard.

The bike thing really* makes me mad. I have a "springer" on a bike, but I never* go faster than a slow trot. How slow that trot is depends on the dog. My husky mix had a pretty fast "slow" trot. But I know experienced dog people who do the stupidest things with bikes.

First off, dogs don't do a sustained run. They run, stop, run stop. Or they have a certain pace which is like a fast walk but many breeds can do it all day. But not all breeds. My berners were just not made for any distance whatsoever. I got my springer for my husky and I'll use it again for my springer spaniel.

Secondly, dogs are not made for pavement. It rips their pads up. Dirt roads, or a situation where the dog can run on the meridian of grass is best.

Thirdly, people don't condition their dogs. Of course injuries are going to occur.

Fourth... the dog should be able to indicate it has to stop and pee/poop, which it will certainly need to do during prolonged exercise. I have a friend who does not allow her dogs to eliminate while on a walk or on a bike, and I think that's insane. How would you like to be made to run when you had to poop?

Also, dogs should be in a harness, not a collar. Dog necks are remarkably easy to damage by sideways yanks, even though they seem so sturdy.

I saw people jogging in 90 degree sun with a puppy about 4 months old and I stopped and told them they were going to kill the puppy. You're not supposed to do any* exercise like that with a dog whose plates aren't closed yet. They were setting that dog up for years of joint pain. And then there's the heat, the pace, the distance....it was totally cruel.

Slow trot. Let the dog stop when he wants to. Give a little* water all the time. Seek shade and soft surfaces. Don't let the dog charge in the beginning...teach him to start out slow and warm up. Dog should ride on the right side of the bike. Condition the dog slowly. Check the dog's pads after every ride for pad wear and tears. Check the dogs gums during the ride to make sure they're not too light or dark.
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Old 07-07-08, 09:27 PM   #9
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I see nothing to worry about, dogs do love to run and need exercise. I'm sure far more dogs are killed by lack of exercise than by too much. Besides, if they are really taking it past it's limits, it will get the squirts and poo all over their house. - TF
No. The dog will literally drop dead.
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Old 07-07-08, 11:08 PM   #10
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Dogs easily overheat and can die. They only sweat through the mouth and the paws.

I've heard of goldens who played fetch until they collapsed and died.

My husky mix had a pretty fast "slow" trot. But I know experienced dog people who do the stupidest things with bikes.
When I lived in "The City", I would ride slowly 4 blocks up the hill with my Husky/Shepherd to the reservoir (which took up one square block), go once or twice around and back home again.
I stopped at the corners and never over a trot.
The dog was in shape, believe me, but I kept the pace sane because, well, I was on a bike and she wasn't.

My last Golden most definitely would run herself to death.
I know my little Roxie would now, given the chance.

I love dogs more than I do people because the are blindly loyal and yes they will die to please us.
That's just the way they're wired... the aren't smart that way but we are.

If I even have a hint that someone is abusing or jeopardizing their dog, I would turn them in in a heartbeat. Better them than the dog.
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Old 07-08-08, 12:39 AM   #11
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It does seem like they are running the dog a bit too hard. I have to admit that I'm very biased against mixing dogs and bikes. As a teen, I was cycling with my dog. She heard a pack a block behind us and turned around to look and ran under the rear wheel of my bike. Fortunately she survived with no apparent damage and she ran all the way home. But dogs and bikes are a very dangerous combination in my eyes.

In this case, I think them running with the dog instead of cycling would be perfect. I might ask the local animal authorities about the situation.
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Old 07-08-08, 05:17 AM   #12
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I don't like any part of it!

Shoot the people, save the dog!

Maybe find something on the net about dogs over heating and show it to them.
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Old 07-08-08, 06:24 AM   #13
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Dogs easily overheat and can die. They only sweat through the mouth and the paws.

I have heard of hunting dogs who died from their own enthusiasm in the fields and the stupidity of the owners who didn't make sure their dog had enough water and rest.

I've heard of goldens who played fetch until they collapsed and died.

I'd scare those people to death with examples of dogs worked too hard.

The bike thing really* makes me mad. I have a "springer" on a bike, but I never* go faster than a slow trot. How slow that trot is depends on the dog. My husky mix had a pretty fast "slow" trot. But I know experienced dog people who do the stupidest things with bikes.

First off, dogs don't do a sustained run. They run, stop, run stop. Or they have a certain pace which is like a fast walk but many breeds can do it all day. But not all breeds. My berners were just not made for any distance whatsoever. I got my springer for my husky and I'll use it again for my springer spaniel.

Secondly, dogs are not made for pavement. It rips their pads up. Dirt roads, or a situation where the dog can run on the meridian of grass is best.

Thirdly, people don't condition their dogs. Of course injuries are going to occur.

Fourth... the dog should be able to indicate it has to stop and pee/poop, which it will certainly need to do during prolonged exercise. I have a friend who does not allow her dogs to eliminate while on a walk or on a bike, and I think that's insane. How would you like to be made to run when you had to poop?

Also, dogs should be in a harness, not a collar. Dog necks are remarkably easy to damage by sideways yanks, even though they seem so sturdy.

I saw people jogging in 90 degree sun with a puppy about 4 months old and I stopped and told them they were going to kill the puppy. You're not supposed to do any* exercise like that with a dog whose plates aren't closed yet. They were setting that dog up for years of joint pain. And then there's the heat, the pace, the distance....it was totally cruel.

Slow trot. Let the dog stop when he wants to. Give a little* water all the time. Seek shade and soft surfaces. Don't let the dog charge in the beginning...teach him to start out slow and warm up. Dog should ride on the right side of the bike. Condition the dog slowly. Check the dog's pads after every ride for pad wear and tears. Check the dogs gums during the ride to make sure they're not too light or dark.
Great information. solveg, can you explain more about the color of the gums? I never heard about that.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Keep an eye out for these people, they may have just started to go to another location. If they have not stopped, report them now. Some humans do very well in the heat and don't realize how different it can be for others.
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Old 07-08-08, 07:09 AM   #14
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Great information. solveg, can you explain more about the color of the gums? I never heard about that.
Pale gums mean shock. This can be caused by many things, so if your dog ever seems in distress and his gums are pale, take him to the vet immediately. Large dogs especially, as it's a key indicator of bloat. Dark gums just mean that something is not right with the dog's system. In eastern medicine it means they're carrying heat somewhere. This is not as critical as the pale gums, but you should mention it to your vet if it persists or if it occurs regularly during a specific activity.

Here's the springer I use on the bike. It keeps the dog away from the bike, removes all the jarring for both you and your dog, and lets the dog lag a bit to show you he's tired or has to poop. This photo shows the dog really* cranking on the springer, but they usually NEVER do that. It would take a prancing hot dog blowing a dog whistle to do that to my dogs. Usually they just trot along with no tension on it, so they're about a foot and a half from the bike. That "U" thing is the actual springer, and really is a large, firm, heavy duty spring. There's also a safety release on it that I hope people actually use, because if your dog goes on the other side of a mailbox he's going to be hurting if the thing doesn't break away.

If you go to the website and go to "see it in action" you'll see that the dogs are pretty much all walking, and the ones that are moving fast are on grass.

Oh! One more thing. Dogs with short muzzles should never be exercised on a bike. They can't breathe....it can be really dangerous. Short as in pugs, bulldogs, etc.

http://www.springerusa.com/

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Old 07-08-08, 07:20 AM   #15
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Hey, Litespeed! Maybe you should print out this thread and give it to them?
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Old 07-08-08, 07:21 AM   #16
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I am a life long dog owner and dog lover. As much fun as it sounds like to have a dog along on a bike ride, it just seems far too dangerous for the dog and for me. We have dogs that are in physically challenging competitive events and that hunt in extreme conditions. Conditioning is a major consideration for our dogs. A healthy diet and weight, plenty of fresh water, shade and plenty of free time in our fenced yard and regular strenuous running chasing a lure on a string tied to a long bamboo pole is what we do. No way is taking a dog on a strenuous run a couple of times a week and otherwise having the dog lead a sedentary life a good idea.

Solveg is dead on with her comments. Pink gums = good circulation, pale or even worse, grayish gums = trouble. Hydration is an issue for dogs just like it is for us. Picking up the skin at the scruff is a good test for dehydration, if the skin stays loose and in a wrinkle = dehydrated dog. If skin returns to normal as soon as released = well hydrated dog.

Dogs can overheat easily in this weather. Cool pools are great for them, wetting down their belly with cool water is helpful if there is nothing around to actually get them into.

Dogs are tough but they are not invincible.
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Old 07-08-08, 07:47 AM   #17
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Dogs easily overheat and can die. They only sweat through the mouth and the paws.

I have heard of hunting dogs who died from their own enthusiasm in the fields and the stupidity of the owners who didn't make sure their dog had enough water and rest.
When I lived on the farm my dog wanted to follow me and the tractor in the fields. It wasn't too bad when I was spreading manure as this was a short trip to one of the pastures. During planting season it was a real problem as I would be out in the fields all day. My step-dad built a wooden box and attached it beside the tractor seat for the dog. She could then stay with me and not kill herself running beside the tractor. She never missed a work day
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Old 07-08-08, 07:49 AM   #18
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One more thing... I've always had large dogs until this springer spaniel, but I think I'd have a tough time riding a bike slow enough for your average medium sized or small dog. Some medium sized dogs have a fast "fast walk" pace....like a border collie or kelpie. But most of them would just be too slow. I've seen small dogs moving at a good clip just to keep up with the owners walking.

If you ever watch a conformation show, like westminster, you'll see the people showing the large dogs actually have to run in order for the dog to step out. The people showing small dogs don't have to.

Even with my husky, who I trained as a lead sled dog, I'd say I was going 3-4 miles per hour, and she was fast.
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Old 07-08-08, 07:50 AM   #19
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When I lived on the farm my dog wanted to follow me and the tractor in the fields. It wasn't too bad when I was spreading manure as this was a short trip to one of the pastures. During planting season it was a real problem as I would be out in the fields all day. My step-dad built a wooden box and attached it beside the tractor seat for the dog. She could then stay with me and not kill herself running beside the tractor. She never missed a work day
Awwwwww.... I like that story.
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Old 07-08-08, 05:29 PM   #20
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Ya, me too.

I hope you have pictures!
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Old 07-08-08, 11:59 PM   #21
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.. A person has more endurance than the dog, particularly when the person is riding a bike. .
Absolutely False. Where did you read such a thing?

Canines - as a rule - have so much more endurance than a human. Now, fat old Fluffy might need to be eased into it, but exercising a dog is good for it, and much more humane than the way most people treat their dogs - obese and out of shape. It is unbelieveable the amount of exercise a dog can do with enthusiasm and joy.

I used to swim my lab by putting around the lake in my little boat w/ kicker. The dog would "chase" me for an hour or more if given the opportunity. We'd usually go 30-45 minutes. The neighbor who didn't know squat about it criticised me just like OP did the guy on his bike. I just ignored her because she had no idea how my dog enjoyed it, would always want to do it, and how much healthier, happier and more manageable he was because of it.

When I ran with that dog, I'd run for 40-60 minutes and for every mile I ran, the dog would run at least 3-5 times as far- out and back, across and back, etc. etc.

When I had sled dogs, we'd regularly go out for 3-4 hours and I went hundreds of miles over several days on several occasions. The dogs were extremely happy and enthusiastic about everything we did and never balked.

Dogs thrive on exercise and the worst thing you can do is not give them enough.

Now, I do agree very much that you have to be very aware of the dog's tolerance of temperature - whether it be hot or cold. I have no idea whether the dog described in teh OP was being abused in this regard. A 'few' times up and down a 1/3 mile flat street doesn't seem like much to me. A couple of miles. I would be very sensitive to my dog's heat in this case and make sure he drank and I'd probably hose him down when I got home. We have absolutely no idea if OP described an abusive situation or not.

I also personally dont' exercise my dog with my bike because he's not disciplined enough to do it safely - plus, even though he's in shape, I'd have to limit my speed to 4-5 mph to go at his pace. If the riders in the OP were poking along at that pace, and only did it a few times, even at 85 F, I don't think it's necessarily abusive - could be, but my guess is not.

Of course we also have to be aware of any dog's tolerance and conditioning and not over do it. But as a rule, dogs can do - and thrive on - much more exercise than most of us can give them.

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Old 07-09-08, 12:13 AM   #22
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Old 07-09-08, 06:14 AM   #23
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Absolutely False. Where did you read such a thing?

Canines - as a rule - have so much more endurance than a human. Now, fat old Fluffy might need to be eased into it, but exercising a dog is good for it, and much more humane than the way most people treat their dogs - obese and out of shape. It is unbelieveable the amount of exercise a dog can do with enthusiasm and joy.
Camilo, it is very* much breed specific. I don't think the general public knows enough about their dog to know how exercise tolerant they are. My springer, if she is conditioned properly, can probably go for a 6 mile trot when she grows up. Now, she can run more than that ON HER OWN, but 6 miles is about all I'll be willing to do with her on the end of a leash. Just because it's my* pace, pavement and temperature and if she wants to run more it will be when she has more control over the situation.

A conditioned Bernese can go for a 3 mile WALK. No sustained jogging is recommended. I know some berners which do a lot more, but there is great risk to the joints. The examples you gave were entirely appropriate for a conditioned lab or husky. But would you do the same thing to a pug?

I'm one of the rare dog people who like Cesar Milan a lot. But he made me furious when he ran* a newfie on pavement in the hot california sun and then let him jump in a pool and drink as much as he wanted. Cesar is not big on breed differences. That was too tough on the newfie's joints, and Cesar is lucky he didn't bloat.

Plus it's all in the conditioning and the pace. The average owner does not* get that the dog cannot go from lying around to running for an hour the first day. So it's kind of dangerous to get on an internet forum and say, "Poppycock! my dogs can run 40 miles a day!!!! They can chase my boat for an hour in the middle of the lake!" You really want to give people ideas next time they decide to give their clumber spaniel their yearly dose of exercise?

But the big issue is the heat. People in general aren't real good at reading signs of stress in a dog. Mostly because dogs are so stoic that the signs are small sometimes. It's a smart dog that lays down and refuses to go any farther like a tired kid does.

Right now I'm conditioning my dogs with water work...it's easier on the joints. Plus the berners are doing light weight pulls with water jugs with increasing amount of water in them. I don't see the point of biking with a dog unless you have a dog which has already been conditioned to the point where he needs to move out faster than you can and is putting on more miles than you can give them off leash. Out of all my dogs, it's only been my sibes which have needed the bike, and probably the springer will, too.
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Old 07-09-08, 06:33 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by solveg View Post
No. The dog will literally drop dead.
That's an absurd statement. Obviously the dog didn't "drop dead". Over-exercise, especially in the heat, can be dangerous, but you have way, way over-extrapolated from one side of the story. Far more common abuse is dogs that weigh 1 1/2 times their standard weight and get a 30 minute walk once a week. - TF
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Old 07-09-08, 06:39 AM   #25
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Head poking out the back, she loves it.

I guess i should photograph that.
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