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-   -   Anyone ever use dogs to pull? (https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1250474-anyone-ever-use-dogs-pull.html)

JessyMathers 04-21-22 03:54 PM

Anyone ever use dogs to pull?
 
Hi guys.
I'm new here, and also new to bike touring. I've been planning for a long time to go out on a bike tour, but my situation is entirely different than most everyone's, and in fact I've never seen anyone do what I plan on doing, which is why I wanted to ask if anyone ever has, and hopefully get some helpful information.

First off, I have 2 large wolfdogs, and I plan on using them to help pull our camper with gear. I'm a 100 pound woman with little muscle and quite a few health issues, but my dogs are young strong healthy males. I figure together we could all do it, but at the same time I'm worried about our weight, because the camper itself empty might end up being around 80-100 pounds once built, and there are 3 of us with a lot of clothing and survival gear. My dogs eat raw meat, so I'm hoping to just feed them at the end of each daily travel so we don't have to haul it around. But the other issue is I plan on doing this perminantely, as in LIVE on a bike tour for the rest of our lives possibly. It's just a calling God has for me, and unless something changes then this is what I plan to do. I've never really heard of anyone living on a bike tour, except maybe for a few years, but I've definitely never seen anyone go on a bike tour with 2 big dogs and have them help do the work during travel. I don't want us to suffer each time we go out, I want us to have a good time travelling around and seeing stuff, but idk if I'll be able to cut down the weight enough because I'd also like to have plenty of herbal/natural remedies for my health issues and emergencies, and a fair amount of clothing and supplies to look nice and enjoy life wherever we are from day to day.

I'd just like to hear some advice or opinions, and maybe even meet some people who have done similar, mainly with 2 big dogs. Thanks!

Polaris OBark 04-21-22 03:57 PM

There was this time I had to get Diphtheria Antitoxin to Nome, Alaska...

JessyMathers 04-21-22 04:19 PM


Originally Posted by Polaris OBark (Post 22479851)
There was this time I had to get Diphtheria Antitoxin to Nome, Alaska...

Idk if you're making fun of me or just trying to be funny, or what. But my thread has nothing to do with that. I guess I should have mentioned where I am and where I plan to be going. I'm in southern Alabama and plan to stay mostly on the eastern side of the USA, north and south as the seasons change. Obviously I plan to avoid snow, and obviously I'm on a bike not a sled.

FBOATSB 04-21-22 04:32 PM

Please consider if your dogs are expected to walk or pull your camping rig on blistering hot asphalt in hot weather this could be very dangerous for your dogs. I wish you well though.

JessyMathers 04-21-22 04:37 PM


Originally Posted by FBOATSB (Post 22479892)
Please consider if your dogs are expected to walk or pull your camping rig on blistering hot asphalt in hot weather this could be very dangerous for your dogs. I wish you well though.

I've already considered that. I have "Musher's Secret" foot cream and just got booties for them too. And of course they also have professional race/weight pulling harnesses. And I'm doing everything possible to make all of us as visible as possible to cars. Thanks though.

CAT7RDR 04-21-22 05:00 PM

Yours is a unique quest.
Just a quick look on the web and I see wolves can trot at 5 mph up to 30 miles in one day on a hunt.
They are not pulling weight of course.

The bike touring videos I have watched were of much smaller dogs weighing about 40 lbs and they needed frequent rests and water breaks without pulling.
You would have to account for carrying large amounts of water or know with certainty how to obtain water for two dogs working hard.

Raw meat at the end of a day might not be enough to sustain your pups on a long day and you would need to supplement their diet.
https://iditarod.com/edu/food/
I would investigate the needs of dogs pulling sleds as a close match for what you are planning.

indyfabz 04-21-22 05:48 PM

What bike do you plan on using?

Chuck M 04-21-22 05:56 PM

I'm sure these are large, strong, and healthy dogs. But what you are asking of them in terms of physical stress and calorie needs I think will be very hard on the dogs. I'm trying to be as tactful as I can because I think you are being sincere, but this could be abusive to the dogs. These dogs will need to be fit for the task. Would you ride a century if you didn't train for it?

kstephens 04-21-22 06:31 PM

I can't imagine working two dogs that much. Even if large healthy dogs - the daily wear on them combined with keeping up with their caloric needs and caring for health in general would be a big task. Even dogs bred and specificaly trained to pull sleds usually only successfully do so for a portion of their life. I truly get the allure of a nomadic lifestyle - it does sound wonderful. But as a pet owner, dog and all animal lover - I would be looking for a way to pull my animals along to enjoy their company rather than expecting them to pull me along. Really - I have a trailer for my two dogs for training and fun rides. (They aren't 100 pounds each though). Just my thoughts on the well being of the animals. I've never met you or your dogs so I may be way off on yours and their capabilities.

JessyMathers 04-21-22 06:38 PM

I know what wolves do, and I understand that mine will not be able to do 30-40 miles a day because of the weight. Mine are also not pure wolves, nor have they toned their bodies their entire lives like a wild wolf because they don't have to travel or hunt. I'm hoping mine won't have to pull that much weight. I'll be on bike and pedalling to help them pull the weight, so we will all be sharing the weight as much as possible. And I also understand that I'm on wheels which doesn't impact my body like being on foot for my dogs does. Just so much to factor in, and I just don't know how else for us to travel around in a way that could be better and/or safer. It's either by foot or by bike, and I think the bike is the better option considering my dogs usually like to get moving at a pace much faster than I can keep up. And considering their food, their raw meat diet is probably enough, because I also incorporate other stuff in their food from time to time also, and we won't be doing anything nearly as strenuous as the Iditarod. I'm guessing we can make at least 5 miles a day minimum, and max might be 8-10 in an emergency (ex: we need to get somewhere for food ect), with preferably a day or two off each week to rest. Never did a bike tour before, so I have no idea how this is gonna go, and it's so much harder to figure out with my rare situation. I want to do I trial run sometime if I ever get the chance, but idk how to even do that really without going a good distance.

JessyMathers 04-21-22 06:40 PM


Originally Posted by indyfabz (Post 22479949)
What bike do you plan on using?

Idk, it's just a kids Mongoose Kong fat bike. That's what I got, and that's what I plan on using. Idk anything about bikes really.

indyfabz 04-21-22 06:42 PM

Have fun!

saddlesores 04-21-22 07:54 PM


Originally Posted by JessyMathers (Post 22479846)
Hi guys....!

well, hello dere!
and welcome to the forum!

congradulations!
it's not often a new troll can manage to hit so many hot buttons items in the very first post.
they usually start off discussing normal bike stuff before going full on flat earf' reptiliod fantasy.

impressive.
but you forgot one thing.
what about entertainment in the evenings when you're sitting around
the bonfire? i'd suggest some soothing accordion music......

Russ Roth 04-21-22 08:59 PM


Originally Posted by JessyMathers (Post 22480006)
Idk, it's just a kids Mongoose Kong fat bike. That's what I got, and that's what I plan on using. Idk anything about bikes really.

First, check out bikejoring for ideas of what your dogs might or might not be able to do, bikejoring involves the dogs pulling bicycles instead of a sled and the people who do this will have a better idea of what your dogs may become capable of.

You say you're light, weak and have health issues but want to tour. Unfortunately this means you need to put some money and attention into your bike and the one you've got is a lousy option. I would tend to think you're the perfect candidate for an electric bike, as much as I hate them. Trying to tour with dogs will be rough on the dogs especially as already mentioned, when it comes to hot pavement; and having them pull you 10 maybe 20 miles on a good day isn't enough to get you to the next campground, or really anywhere. Having an electric bike that can make a 40 mile trip with a modest amount of effort on your part will get you a lot further and much more enjoyably. You can probably pull a very small trailer and make sure to carry an extra battery pack in it in case you get stuck, just make sure you charge up at the campground. Might cost you a lot more money in the short term but in the long term its a lot less stressing over where you and the dogs can stay, much longer tour distances, and even though you're pulling the trailer and pedaling the bike, much less energy input on your part.

mtnbud 04-21-22 09:35 PM


Originally Posted by JessyMathers (Post 22480004)
I'm guessing we can make at least 5 miles a day minimum, and max might be 8-10

To get an idea of what you're thinking, take a look at some maps and plan out a month or so of traveling. I know where I live it can be 30 to 80 miles between towns where you'd be able to buy real groceries. There are some places where it can be over 100 miles between towns. I'd be worried about raw meat spoiling if left out in the summer heat for long. If you're wanting to travel 5 - 10 miles a day on a permanent basis, you'll going to be very limited on your route.

You're going to be at risk of finding yourself without a legal place to camp. Most places won't arrest people for camping illegally, but some towns come down very hard on illegal camping. If you're thinking of traveling 5 miles per day, there will be days there will be no places to camp legally.

If you're thinking about having your dogs pull a trailer, the connections between the dogs and trailer will need to be solid rods. What's going to happen when they're pulling the trailer downhill? They can't be tethered to the trailer by a rope, because they trailer could speed up and run into them or pass them, dragging them along. Even with a solid rod, the trailer could still come along beside them and pass them up. You'll need something like this:https://happydoginstitute.com/weight-pulling/

Financially, unexpected expenses can occur at anytime. You need to consider weather events - days of rain, wind, hail storms. What about being in the wrong place at the wrong time during tornado and hurricane season?

I recommend you plan and do an overnight out and back trip to a campground 5 or so miles from your house. Include a bailout plan and find someone willing to come and pick you up if it's not working out for yourself or your dogs. You'll learn tons from a short trip or two before you decided if or how to do an extended trip.

Polaris OBark 04-21-22 10:09 PM

cf: https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1...e-touring.html

John N 04-22-22 06:24 AM

I would strongly consider an electric cargo bike. Look into what dogs need as the pavement will wear them down quickly. Where do you plan to camp each night? The southeast is not that welcoming to stealth camping and trying to camp stealthily with two large dogs will be difficult. You most likely will have to carry food with you since you plan to only do 5-10 miles per day since a lot of grocery stores are more than 10 miles apart in the rural areas.

indyfabz 04-22-22 06:44 AM


Originally Posted by saddlesores (Post 22480087)

impressive.
but you forgot one thing.
what about entertainment in the evenings when you're sitting around
the bonfire? i'd suggest some soothing accordion music......

I was thinking more along the lines of a job as a carnival worker to earn money, if you catch my drift.

sloppy12 04-22-22 06:49 AM


Originally Posted by JessyMathers (Post 22480004)
I know what wolves do, and I understand that mine will not be able to do 30-40 miles a day because of the weight. Mine are also not pure wolves, nor have they toned their bodies their entire lives like a wild wolf because they don't have to travel or hunt. I'm hoping mine won't have to pull that much weight. I'll be on bike and pedalling to help them pull the weight, so we will all be sharing the weight as much as possible. And I also understand that I'm on wheels which doesn't impact my body like being on foot for my dogs does. Just so much to factor in, and I just don't know how else for us to travel around in a way that could be better and/or safer. It's either by foot or by bike, and I think the bike is the better option considering my dogs usually like to get moving at a pace much faster than I can keep up. And considering their food, their raw meat diet is probably enough, because I also incorporate other stuff in their food from time to time also, and we won't be doing anything nearly as strenuous as the Iditarod. I'm guessing we can make at least 5 miles a day minimum, and max might be 8-10 in an emergency (ex: we need to get somewhere for food ect), with preferably a day or two off each week to rest. Never did a bike tour before, so I have no idea how this is gonna go, and it's so much harder to figure out with my rare situation. I want to do I trial run sometime if I ever get the chance, but idk how to even do that really without going a good distance.

Have you even ridden a bike with the dogs? Generally people teach their dogs to run with them on a bike not to pull them... Its not really safe for a dog to pull you(like for you mostly) pulling a sled across a snow wasteland is way different than dragging a bike down a interstate.

Doesnt sound like you really have a grasp on distance that can be traveled on a bike, you dont need a bike for 10 miles a day, you can do that walking with two dogs and a stolen shopping cart from walmart. Where do you plan on sleeping everynight? under bridges?

Originally Posted by JessyMathers (Post 22480006)
Idk, it's just a kids Mongoose Kong fat bike. That's what I got, and that's what I plan on using. Idk anything about bikes really.

Probably should learn a little bit about bikes if you plan to live on one for the rest of your life.

Originally Posted by John N (Post 22480331)
I would strongly consider an electric cargo bike. Look into what dogs need as the pavement will wear them down quickly. Where do you plan to camp each night? The southeast is not that welcoming to stealth camping and trying to camp stealthily with two large dogs will be difficult. You most likely will have to carry food with you since you plan to only do 5-10 miles per day since a lot of grocery stores are more than 10 miles apart in the rural areas.

A ebike seems like a terrible Idea. now the poor dogs will have to drag that weight to when in runs out of power...

John N 04-22-22 06:53 AM


Originally Posted by sloppy12 (Post 22480365)
A ebike seems like a terrible Idea. now the poor dogs will have to drag that weight to when in runs out of power...

My thought was just the opposite. She would need a cargo electric bike so the bike could carry all the gear and propel her so the dogs would not have to pull her or carry any (or little) gear themselves so they can last longer. She only plans to do 10 miles per day so the e-bike should be able to handle that.

Chuck M 04-22-22 06:58 AM


Originally Posted by saddlesores (Post 22480087)
it's not often a new troll can manage to hit so many hot buttons items in the very first post.

When I first read the post title, I expected that it was another Larry post. But I think this is someone that actually thinks this is going to work out. Although I agree it would be better to be a trolling than someone actually contemplating doing this to their dogs.

sloppy12 04-22-22 07:33 AM


Originally Posted by John N (Post 22480371)
My thought was just the opposite. She would need a cargo electric bike so the bike could carry all the gear and propel her so the dogs would not have to pull her or carry any (or little) gear themselves so they can last longer. She only plans to do 10 miles per day so the e-bike should be able to handle that.

Thats still not really a plan. at some point the electrical outlets that are "free" will dry up... Now its a 60 to 80lb bike plus gear and a "dead" body that the dogs will have to drag.

Lets be honest this is not a plan its a fantasy. or a troll.

tcs 04-22-22 07:46 AM

Bikejoring. It's a thing.

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/tr...-and-your-dog/

https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...7956a183c6.png

staehpj1 04-22-22 07:49 AM

Given your comments I have to ask. Why not just skip the bike and walk? It seems like at 5-10 miles per day that would make more sense. Actually you ought to be able to make better mileage than that even walking. You could pack your gear in a baby jogger. I met a guy running across the country who did that and another walking across the country who used one. Your dogs could help pull or not. It would be easier to manage that than with a bike.

Finding places to stay every 5-10 miles seems unlikely anywhere I'd want to travel, but you may be able to find places to travel where that would work for short trips. Generally distance between services dictates the length of the day's mileage at least some of the time. Sometimes that is going to mean much longer days unless you are very selective in where you travel. I've never traveled anywhere that it would be convenient to do 5-10 mile days.

By the way where there are long hills the dogs will be pretty taxed going up and of no use going down. I have trail run and mountain biked with a young healthy dog and our paces were incompatible enough that it required a lot of patience. A rider is slower going up and a dog is much slower going down on the hills. Leaving the bike home and running made us much more compatible. It was kinder to the dog. She would turn herself inside out to stay with me on the downhills, but it would be cruel to expect it. I think she'd have run until she dropped dead if I asked her to when she was young. We have to use good judgement with our 4 legged friends because they will do whatever we ask.

tcs 04-22-22 07:51 AM


Originally Posted by JessyMathers (Post 22479846)
I've never really heard of anyone living on a bike tour, except maybe for a few years...

Heinz Stücke was on the road for over 50 years. His book "Home is Elsewhere" is interesting.


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