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Touring with a Dog

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Old 03-03-09, 08:21 PM
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prairiegirl
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Touring with a Dog

Hi all!
I am looking to do a Western Canada tour with my Standard Poodle dog. He is about 70 pound dog and I'm looking at buying a bike trailer as well. I have found a few trailers, but if any of you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

I have toured quite a bit, but never with a dog. I already have a plan for the dog food: I'm going to send packages ahead to post offices in small towns to myself at General Delivery. I thought this was genius! So I don't have to carry all of the dog food with me. I am also going to have front and rear panniers. It is going to be one heavy ride, that's for sure! My dog will definitely be running up the hills!

I'll likely be touring with my road bike, which is a Devinci Apex. When I toured before I used a mountain bike, but I think that this will be much better.

Also, I'm a writer and am thinking that some publications might be interested in hearing about a prairie girl on a bike with a large dog and her adventure. Do any of you have any suggestions of publications?

Anyway, any ideas would be good for any and all of these ideas/situations! Thanks!
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Old 03-03-09, 09:28 PM
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I suggest you contact Hank Raines for info regarding touring with dog.

To me, touring with dog is problematic, esp. in AB BC (bears, esp griz).

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/direc...r=Airwick&v=vu
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Old 03-03-09, 09:55 PM
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Wouldn't it be easier to buy dog food as you go rather than mail it?
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Old 03-03-09, 10:03 PM
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Sounds like a fun adventure, but make sure you put a lot of care into planning. Western Canada is an awful lot of nothing, and you'll be hauling a lot o' dog along! How long a tour are you looking at?

The general delivery trick is pretty tried and true, but if it were me, I'd make sure I had a backup stash in case a delivery didn't come through.

The Apex I was able to find specs for has a carbon fork; mounting a rack on one isn't recommended, since carbon won't take the weight well. Do you need four panniers? If so, are you locked into this bike? Mountain bikes can be excellent pack mules, your old steed might yet be a good candidate.

If you can make this work with two panniers and the trailer, and maybe a big handlebar bag, you'll probably be a lot happier. I'm guessing you'll be camping, so that makes this pretty tight. What time of year will you be doing this? (Winter camping gear and a dog - yikes! Double-trailer rig, anyone?)
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Old 03-03-09, 10:04 PM
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I wouldn't want to tour with a dog in bear country. In fact, as a cycletourist, I will pick campsites as far away from those campsites with dogs as possible.

http://www.pc.gc.ca/docs/v-g/oursnoi...ar/page5_e.asp

http://www.pc.gc.ca/docs/v-g/oursnoi...ar/page2_e.asp


If you're already going to carry a 70 lb dog with you, why travel heavy in terms of panniers? If you're heading into the mountains, do yourself a favor and think about travelling as light as possible.

Also, you probably already know this if you're from the Canadian prairies, but post offices in small towns often have limited hours. Just something to keep in mind if you're planning to mail food. Also, the cost of mailing packages has gone up in the past year or so. A very small photo album cost about $10 to mail from Alberta to BC. It may actually be less expensive for you to buy the dog food along the way rather than mailing it.
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Old 03-03-09, 11:40 PM
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Kind of like hauling your own bear bait.

While you at it, make sure the fog is a female in heat and really add tp the fun!
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Old 03-04-09, 12:31 AM
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I'm going to be touring with a dog this warm season as well. I have a small male (45 lb) Siberian Husky.

Of course, I'm not heading off into any really wild areas this year (I think), so my main concern is mostly badgers, foxes, ticks and those unsocialized and loose country dogs. Also, I'm not planning any really long tours until probably next year. This year is just about cutting my teeth on this touring/camping thing.

Next year, I might be ranging far enough that I might have to worry about reindeer, wolves, moose, and bears.

I have a two wheeled Burley cargo trailer that can carry up to 100 pounds, but it's a semi-enclosed sort though you could leave the cover off. Not quite big enough for a dog that size to lay down comfortably I think. Burley also makes pet specfic trailers if that is the use you're planning for the trailer. http://www.burley.com/products/pets/tail_wagon.cfm
It only has a 75 lb capacity.

Fortunately, I won't have to drag Loke. He's a good solid runner and I probably couldn't keep him in the trailer if I wanted too. He's covered distances of over 30 miles in a day and still wanted more.

For my part, I'm interested to know how it will go and glad to hear that I'm not the only person who wants to take our furry ones along for the fun.
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Old 03-04-09, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by aenlaasu View Post
Next year, I might be ranging far enough that I might have to worry about reindeer
You're heading to the tundra of Scandinavia, northern Russia, Greenland, or northern Canada?
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Old 03-04-09, 01:28 AM
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I live in Sweden.

Depending on how ambitious I'm feeling I _might_ take the upper leg of the Sverigeleden (Sweden Cycle Path) which goes up into Sweden's northern most town, right through Lappland and into the northern most parts of Finland. We took a road tour up there a couple years ago and it was beautiful. Reindeer bulls trying to challenge our car for road rights. I might actually have to leave the husky at home for that.

I might save that part of the trip for year after next.
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Old 03-09-09, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
I suggest you contact Hank Raines for info regarding touring with dog.

To me, touring with dog is problematic, esp. in AB BC (bears, esp griz).

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/direc...r=Airwick&v=vu
I'll be going through the southern part of AB and BC (the Trans Canada is a death trap in interior BC) and have toured the interior of BC before. I, of course, have a healthy fear of bears, but I also do not plan to let my dog off his leash very often. Thanks for the link!
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Old 03-09-09, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ryker View Post
Wouldn't it be easier to buy dog food as you go rather than mail it?
It seems that way, but poodles are know for their sensitive stomachs and mine is no different. The food that I feed him is not available in just any store - small pet stores carry it for sure. Also, the towns I'll be going through are pretty small. They might not carry the particular food that I feed my dog.
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Old 03-09-09, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
Sounds like a fun adventure, but make sure you put a lot of care into planning. Western Canada is an awful lot of nothing, and you'll be hauling a lot o' dog along! How long a tour are you looking at?

The general delivery trick is pretty tried and true, but if it were me, I'd make sure I had a backup stash in case a delivery didn't come through.

The Apex I was able to find specs for has a carbon fork; mounting a rack on one isn't recommended, since carbon won't take the weight well. Do you need four panniers? If so, are you locked into this bike? Mountain bikes can be excellent pack mules, your old steed might yet be a good candidate.

If you can make this work with two panniers and the trailer, and maybe a big handlebar bag, you'll probably be a lot happier. I'm guessing you'll be camping, so that makes this pretty tight. What time of year will you be doing this? (Winter camping gear and a dog - yikes! Double-trailer rig, anyone?)
I am looking at a 4-week trip from Saskatoon to Tofino, BC. I biked to the east coat of Canada in 2001 and I want to "complete" the trip, even if it is several years later.

I will definitely be careful about having a back-up stash or plan. I'm an over-packer and a planner, so I will definitely be prepared for it. We will probably do some trial runs around home just to see how it goes. It'll be hard to find hills around here, though!

Thanks for the heads-up on the Apex carbon fork! I didn't realize that it was carbon! I bought the bike in 2004 and didn't realize it was carbon when I bought it. I'll be doing this in August/September... no winter camping for me! The double-rig trailer would be quite the set-up! I will probably do as you suggest: rear panniers, a handlebar bag, and hopefully be able to pack some gear into the bike trailer (I saw one bike trailer that had a "roof" rack). As I said before, a few trial runs will be necessary.
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Old 03-09-09, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I wouldn't want to tour with a dog in bear country. In fact, as a cycletourist, I will pick campsites as far away from those campsites with dogs as possible.

http://www.pc.gc.ca/docs/v-g/oursnoi...ar/page5_e.asp

http://www.pc.gc.ca/docs/v-g/oursnoi...ar/page2_e.asp


If you're already going to carry a 70 lb dog with you, why travel heavy in terms of panniers? If you're heading into the mountains, do yourself a favor and think about travelling as light as possible.

Also, you probably already know this if you're from the Canadian prairies, but post offices in small towns often have limited hours. Just something to keep in mind if you're planning to mail food. Also, the cost of mailing packages has gone up in the past year or so. A very small photo album cost about $10 to mail from Alberta to BC. It may actually be less expensive for you to buy the dog food along the way rather than mailing it.
I wish that I didn't have to travel with panniers. However, with food and gear, it seems pretty impossible to tour without them. I will definitely travel as light as possible. I replied to a previous comment about the dog food stuff. I think that mailing it to myself is the best way for me because finding the dog food my dog eats will be quite difficult.
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Old 03-09-09, 09:55 AM
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It sounds like this is going to be pretty unwieldy! I don't mean to throw cold water on this, but after reading the posts about bears, I'd think twice about going this alone. This is not meant to be a slight on you in any way, I promise! Two cyclists could do this far more easily. Have you considered looking for a touring partner?
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Old 03-09-09, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
It sounds like this is going to be pretty unwieldy! I don't mean to throw cold water on this, but after reading the posts about bears, I'd think twice about going this alone. This is not meant to be a slight on you in any way, I promise! Two cyclists could do this far more easily. Have you considered looking for a touring partner?
I have toured solo before in almost this same area and lived in the Rockies' bear country for one of the worst summers of bear attacks. My plan is to only stay in campgrounds, always cache my food, etc, and to have my dog on a leash. I figure we'll be in "bear" country for only a few days of the whole trip.

As for weight, it will be a tough slug, but I am an experienced cyclist and have toured alone before. I would be willing to tour with somebody, but I have plans along the way to sign up for Ironman Canada 2010 in Penticton (it will be my third Ironman) and have friends and family that I want to see. If something comes up, I am open to it, but I know that I will be fine doing this solo.

p.s. My friends and family have tried to "argue" with me about touring solo before. They know that I will do it no matter what, but they know that I will think things through and not take too many risks.
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Old 03-09-09, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by prairiegirl View Post
It seems that way, but poodles are know for their sensitive stomachs and mine is no different.
How does the dog travel now by bike?

If the dog is not familiar with the the outfit, food will be the least of your worries.

I have dogs as well, but would not consider riding with any of them unless they enjoyed and could be comfortable. The grandkids are funny enough, with granddaughter making me aware of each bump I did not miss, with a loud sigh. Able to strap the kids in place, the dog will have a little more freedom and the shifting weight on the trailer can cause some issues, including addition strain on the mounting system.

One grandson is 70#s, moved him from the trailer to tag-a-long, because when he shifted his weight, he would almost throw his dad off balance, that is a lot weight, that can move on its own. I know you do not want to sedate or tie the dog down for the ride.

I would suggest thinking this through and making several day rides as a trial before setting out on a tour.

All the best.
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Old 03-09-09, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by prairiegirl View Post
p.s. My friends and family have tried to "argue" with me about touring solo before. They know that I will do it no matter what, but they know that I will think things through and not take too many risks.
Tell me about it. Many non-cyclists find any sort of touring to be a dangerous activity, let alone touring in secluded areas.
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Old 03-09-09, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
This is not meant to be a slight on you in any way, I promise! Two cyclists could do this far more easily. Have you considered looking for a touring partner?
Maybe, but how many would want to kick in on a tour like prairiegirl is planning and go a a pace dictated by her priorities, let alone share the load? It sounds like a go it alone or forget it type of trip.

I would leave the dog home, but hope both prairiegirl and the dog have a fun safe trip.

Personally, if I was really set on taking my dog I would run/walk and carry my gear in a baby jogger.
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Old 03-09-09, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
I suggest you contact Hank Raines for info regarding touring with dog.
Hi prairiegirl!, (thanks for the referral, seeker333)
I'll be glad to help but only if you let Airwick and me tag along.
I can't advise on the area you'll be traveling but I can help with planning for your baby, trailers, etc.

We use a Xtracycle but have used a cycletote when our family was larger. As long as the roads you are cycling are very lite and I stress very low traffic, the cycletote doggy trailer is your answer.

I'll be home late tonight but feel free to contact us. Touring with a pet is fun and safe when you are prepared.

All the best,

Hank and Airwick

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Old 03-09-09, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post

Personally, if I was really set on taking my dog I would run/walk and carry my gear in a baby jogger.
Pete! This is the first time I've ever seen you give poor advice........ apologize to prariegirl.
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Old 03-09-09, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Airwick View Post
Pete! This is the first time I've ever seen you give poor advice........ apologize to prariegirl.
At least I said that I hope both prairiegirl and the dog have a fun safe trip.
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Old 03-09-09, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
At least I said that I hope both prairiegirl and the dog have a fun safe trip.
They will, as long as she doesn't take your advice

Let me handle advising for pets and you field questions for touring with beautiful ladies. Although, I'd like to think I can do both.

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Old 03-09-09, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Airwick View Post
They will, as long as she doesn't take your advice

Let me handle advising for pets and you field questions for touring with beautiful ladies. Although, I'd like to think I can do both.

Airwick
OK Hank.
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Old 03-09-09, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
OK Hank.
You know I was kidding,.... Some of the very best advice I've seen regarding touring, especially with family was given by you. Your journal is marvelous.

Thanks to Airwick, I've been blessed to learn about the joys of touring with a pet.

Hank
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Old 03-09-09, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Airwick View Post
You know I was kidding,.... Some of the very best advice I've seen regarding touring, especially with family was given by you. Your journal is marvelous.

Thanks to Airwick, I've been blessed to learn about the joys of touring with a pet.

Hank
Thanks for the complement.

Seriously Hank and Airwick have paid their touring dues. Nothing but good advice on touring with pets there.
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