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Biking with your dog

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Old 04-20-08, 12:52 PM
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Carissa111
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Biking with your dog

Does anyone go biking with their dog? I'm hoping to have a bike within the next couple of weeks and I would like to be able to bring my dog on some dirt roads/trails away from traffic for exercise. I don't dare let her off leash, if she saw another dog or animal she would be gone like a flash. However she walks fine on a leash especially if I use her harness. I was thinking I could get a sort of long bungee cord to attach to her harness and clip it to my belt, that way if she did happen to run off or I stopped and she kept going, instead of bringing up suddenly at the end of the leash and launching me into orbit, it would be a bit more of a gradual pull. She's a pretty well trained dog, not wild or all over the place pulling on the leash when we walk or anything like that. The other issue is that she's afraid of large moving objects...it could take a while to get her used to walking next to a bike. Anybody have any experience with this?
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Old 04-20-08, 01:22 PM
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I would not take my dog biking with me if I had to keep him leashed. I could see that being dangerous for you and your dog, even with a bungee.

I take my dog with me, but he's fine off a leash. If yours must be leashed, maybe trail running would be better?
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Old 04-20-08, 02:12 PM
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Here's an option: http://www.springerusa.com/

Easier than training your dog I suppose.
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Old 04-20-08, 03:43 PM
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I'd be afraid of my dog running under my tires
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Old 04-20-08, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by gastro View Post
Here's an option: http://www.springerusa.com/

Easier than training your dog I suppose.
That thing looks very interesting. I'd love to take my dog with me on my bike, but he's not so well-trained that he would stay close to me at tall times. He's easily distracted by other animals. The price is cheap for this Springer thing. Does anyone have any experience with this or something similar?
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Old 04-21-08, 08:52 AM
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Oh boy! I can here the Looney Tunes theme now. This just has bad idea written all over it. Dog on a lead; that is frightened of moving objects that likes to chase woodland creatures… which will be tethered to you. Look, I love my dog too. He goes a lot of places with me. I even take him along on “recovery rides”. But when I do this he is off of the leash. He is also very well trained and obeys both voice and hand commands and does not chase other animals, well, most of the time. On the rare occasion that he does he is quickly corrected with a quick command or a sharp “NO”.

I like riding with him but keep a few things in mind. No matter how much of a teddy bear my dog is, most people get a little unnerved seeing a 125 pound German Shepherd bounding down the trail towards them. Also, you have to remember to bring extra water. A running dog will need quite a bit of water and that can get heavy.
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Old 04-21-08, 09:24 AM
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I bike with my dog on a leash, and he does pretty well. He's not quite two years old, so he's still pretty easily distracted and really hyper. At the beginning of our rides he's always so full of energy that he's really easily distracted by other dogs, and would run off if not on a leash. He just needs to sprint for a mile or so to calm down, and he doesn't get distracted by anything when he's running all out. I've seen people with those springer things, and they seem to work really well. I've been thinking about getting one because as it is now I hold the leash with one hand while I ride.

My dog got used to the bike pretty quickly, but he was never really afraid of it to start with. He has a healthy respect for the pedals, though. The only problems we have is if the bike trail is crowded and we have to go slowly at the beginning of the ride, when he just wants to run. That's really only bad if there are a lot of other dogs out. It hasn't happened so far this year, but last year (when he was first learning) he pulled me down twice for that reason. Dogs also don't have a good way of letting you know if they need to squat while you're biking, either. I watch Sprocket very closely for the first mile or so and he gets his business done. After that there usually are no problems. He's gotten good enough running with me that I can ride my fixie now (don't worry, it has both front and rear brakes). We put on about five miles a day right now.

Nothing gets my dog worked up like the prospect of a bike ride. I don't know how I'd ever wear him out without them.
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Old 04-21-08, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Carissa111 View Post
Does anyone go biking with their dog? I'm hoping to have a bike within the next couple of weeks and I would like to be able to bring my dog on some dirt roads/trails away from traffic for exercise. I don't dare let her off leash, if she saw another dog or animal she would be gone like a flash. However she walks fine on a leash especially if I use her harness. I was thinking I could get a sort of long bungee cord to attach to her harness and clip it to my belt, that way if she did happen to run off or I stopped and she kept going, instead of bringing up suddenly at the end of the leash and launching me into orbit, it would be a bit more of a gradual pull. She's a pretty well trained dog, not wild or all over the place pulling on the leash when we walk or anything like that. The other issue is that she's afraid of large moving objects...it could take a while to get her used to walking next to a bike. Anybody have any experience with this?
If the dog pulls you the same direction you are leaning, be prepared to fall.

A lady in my bike club last year broke her jaw and had it wired shut for a few weeks
after her dog pulled her to the ground off a coasting scooter. (she thought it would be safer than the bike)
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Old 04-21-08, 10:36 AM
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Well obviously I would have to work with her while walking to get her used to the bike so that I was confident that she wouldn't be freaked out walking next to it. I found one suggestion to tether the dog to the seat post, that way if the dog pulls for some reason it's right at your center of gravity so it's not likely to pull the bike over. I'm not sure if this is better than attaching her to my belt or not. She's a very stable minded non-hyper type of dog, once she has it in her mind that we're walking forward she kind of sticks in that state of mind and I think if she was trotting she would be even less likely to be distracted. The only thing would be if we came across an animal suddenly, but I guess I can take one step at a time, see if I can get her walking next to the bike first. I wouldn't be going on public bike trails where other people would be, it would be on dirt roads where we might meet an occasional 4-wheeler and that's about it.
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Old 04-21-08, 01:45 PM
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I make my dog (****tzu) run around the block where I live with the leash hooked onto my endbars...I treat her like a horse pretty much/ she is full of energy (the kind that wants to rip out some of the little kids heads off / 2 ft children) > I basically use to run her but shed tire me out before she does...so I though Id strap her on my bikes endbars and just let her catch up and lead...I usually have to tell her "cmon" or "eeyah" to run faster...after 1km (with rest of course coz shes gotta doodoo) shes panting hard ...just started doing this 2 weeks ago...but if you were on trails I doubt its anything but safe...coz 1 slip of the hand and youll crash-so many distractions / people /other dogs...etc...hard to control external factors...but definitely fun I would say coz I havent crashed yet...
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Old 04-21-08, 03:23 PM
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I used to many years ago. That was till the day that my dog turned her head backwards to notice a pack of dogs a block behind us, and then she ran sideways under my bike.

That upset things a bit. After I picked myself up off the street, I saw that she was about 2 blocks away heading for home.

All in all we came out well. No bones broken. But I wouldn't do it.

Caesar Millan rides his bike with a dog, but then there is always a disclaimer about don't try this without a trained professional on his shows.
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Old 04-21-08, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by XC Froot Loops View Post
I'd be afraid of my dog running under my tires
Just buzz em with your tire. They will learn quick. I take mine with me on cooler days and she loves it, she geys so excited when I get my bike down and wheel it to the front door.

These are the only pics I have of her riding, I took there at a flatwoods park. Where I take her to ride most of the time is advanced trails and I could never get a pic of her. Its so cool riding some crazy stuff and she jumping off all the jumps and clearing gaps right with you.

http://jonhertel.com/main.php?g2_itemId=1171
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Old 04-21-08, 04:25 PM
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Nice!!!
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Old 04-21-08, 05:29 PM
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I've run into a guy a few times on the trails around here that bikes with his dog. It looks like a dalmation/aus. shepherd mix. It's never leashed and always absolutely covered in mud but that thing looks like it's having the time of his life. If I had a dog that wouldn't chase down every animal in the woods (I've got two jack russells) I'd love to take my dog biking. With a little training, I think most mid-sized dogs would do fine on trails, especially fire roads.
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Old 04-21-08, 05:51 PM
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My vet told me that it was bad for my dog. I guess if I had half a brain I would have slowed down a bit for her but he said dogs were not meant to average 12-15 miles an hour for more than a few minutes at a time. He said it would put a bunch of stress on her heart as she doesn't know when to quit.
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Old 04-22-08, 09:26 AM
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I don't think I would have trouble with her running under or into my bike. My biggest problem will be getting her to run within 10 feet of my bike. She's way too big to ever fit under a bike.
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Old 04-22-08, 10:29 AM
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(****zu)? The profanity filters need tweaking a bit.

My wife want me to ride with our greyhounds. I refuse. These are ex-racers. They can average 42-44 mph over 550 meters from a standing start, then collapse exhausted. Talk about a Looney Toon moment....... And they weigh in at 80 & 90 lbs.

I tried just running with one. She looked up at me, smiled, and coiled up like a spring & took off at full race speed. I plowed a furrow in the turf for about 10 feet. Used my formerly handsome face to do it.

Know the breed. Some dogs can trot along all day at bicycle paces, other are just too squirrely. Have a friend with a pair of Russian wolfhounds that would be perfect bike dogs. Not going to happen.
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Old 04-22-08, 10:52 AM
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Mine's a pointer mix. He'll outrun me all day long.

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Old 04-22-08, 11:57 AM
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If you bike with your dog on a leash your gonna get hurt, or worse your dog who has no choice is gonna get hurt.
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Old 04-22-08, 05:35 PM
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Holy crap!!! Whatta bunch of mother hens.

If you can't ride a MB and hold a dog leash successfully perhaps you should get one of those special helmets in case you start bangin your head or or seizuring or fall over or somethin?

I've had numerous dogs we bike and run with, always herding breeds. Obviously, be careful, start out slow and be patient as their fitness level increases.

We have an Aussie Cattle Dog cross that can do 15-20 km/h all day long -- like a freekin machine.

Here's a puppy pic.


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Old 04-22-08, 06:39 PM
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That's funny, I was just thinking today how an ACD mixed with some sort of galloping breed (pointer, setter, wolfhound, etc) would be a fun and easy dog to bike with. My sister works at the SPCA and there is a english pointer/springer spaniel mix that has been there a while that she's been thinking of getting... I feel like that thing would be a fantastic riding partner.
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Old 04-22-08, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by taos biker View Post
My vet told me that it was bad for my dog. I guess if I had half a brain I would have slowed down a bit for her but he said dogs were not meant to average 12-15 miles an hour for more than a few minutes at a time. He said it would put a bunch of stress on her heart as she doesn't know when to quit.
I guess he's never heard of dog sledding! These dogs average 10 to 12 miles/hour for 8 hours at a stretch - pulling a sled. It's all about conditioning, weather, and breed. Dogs are the fastest mammal on earth over distance and are born with more endurance than most people can imagine. Obviously, it has to be a fit dog of at least medium size, with plenty of water (or snow.) I don't run my dogs if it is hotter than 80 F or colder than -15 F.
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Old 04-23-08, 07:47 AM
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^^ Exactly, apparently that vet has never seen coyotes or wolves in the wild either. Coyotes run at a quick trot for miles and miles.
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Old 04-23-08, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by taos biker View Post
My vet told me that it was bad for my dog. I guess if I had half a brain I would have slowed down a bit for her but he said dogs were not meant to average 12-15 miles an hour for more than a few minutes at a time. He said it would put a bunch of stress on her heart as she doesn't know when to quit.
The right breed can and will run all day. And love it.
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Old 04-23-08, 09:39 AM
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"I've had numerous dogs we bike and run with, always herding breeds.I've had numerous dogs we bike and run with, always herding breeds."
This is very true, IMHO. The herding breeds will usually run right along side you and not stray. Hunting breeds and retrievers have a built in chase instinct that can take some work to override. The herding breads also are usually good runners.

Just remember, that when dogs run they generate a lot of heat and need a lot of water. Just be mind full of the temperature and the terrain. Rocks and thorns are bad for bike tires, but can be even worse on a dog’s paws.
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