Dog Biking for Beginners

Dog Biking for Beginners
Dog Biking for Beginners
Save time + give your dog the exercise he needs: Go for a bike ride with your dog instead of a long walk!

17

Timber, trotting happily beside the bike, glances up at me. He is giving me a look I know well, a look that says, “I want to run!” In response, I start to pedal faster and say, “Let’s go!” As we approach a long, flat section of the bike path, Timber increases his stride, his long legs stretching into a graceful lope. His face breaks out into an enormous smile: an expression of complete pleasure. A grin starts to curl up on my face as well; seeing Timber so full of joy, I can only feel that way myself. 

Learning how to bike with Timber has been a blessing. A Husky/Malamute cross, he is a strong and powerful dog. Like many high-energy dogs, a walk was simply not enough of a workout for him. For Timber, a Northern dog bred to pull a sled for long distances over snow-covered terrain, a walk was only a warm-up. What Timber wanted and needed was to run. Taking him for a bike ride set him free: beside the bike, he could run like the wind. 

Biking with Timber instead of taking him for a walk had another huge advantage. Since trotting beside a bike is much more strenuous for a dog than walking, cycling gave my sturdy Malamute a much better workout in a much shorter time. I could take him for a half-hour bike ride and then he would be content to head home, put his paws up and take a snooze. 

Best breeds for biking

Could dog biking work for you? This sport is ideal for dogs with plenty of energy such as the Border Collie and Siberian Husky. Smaller, lively dogs such as the Jack Russell Terrier can also make enthusiastic cycling partners. Of course, your dog doesn’t have to be a purebred to benefit from biking. Any mutt who has lots of get-up-and go can enjoy the sport. 

Aside from energy level, age is a factor in determining whether biking is a fitting activity for your pooch. Puppies and juvenile dogs—particularly large or giant breeds—must wait until their musculoskeletal development is complete before running beside a bike because the impact can injure their delicate growing bones and joints. This generally occurs at about the age of two for large dogs and around 18 months for most medium and small dogs. And senior canines who lack enthusiasm for vigorous activity or suffer from degenerative joint diseases such as arthritis will take more pleasure from a gentle walk than a strenuous bike ride. Check with your vet to see if she thinks cycling is appropriate for your pooch. 

But is it dangerous? Will my dog pull me off my bike?

Once your vet gives you a “paws up,” the next step is to find a dog-biking leash that works for you and your favourite canine. These devices are different from regular dog walking leashes; they are designed to keep your dog at the side or slightly behind your bike, enabling you to keep both hands on the handlebars and maintain control of the ride. Most of these special leashes also have a mechanism such as a coil spring that absorbs much of the shock if something suddenly catches your dog’s interest and he gives the leash a tug. There are many dog biking leashes out on the market and which one is best for you and your dog really depends on your needs. Is your dog large or small? Will he trot obediently along beside you or try to chase every leaf that blows across his path? Do you need a leash with great shock absorption or will a basic dog biking leash work for you? I’ve tried both the Springer bike attachment (springeramerica.com) and the Bike Tow Leash (biketowleash.com) and both of them worked well for my large, powerful dogs.

Familiarizing your dog with biking 

Once you obtain your dog biking leash, give your pooch a chance to become familiar with it. Attach the leash to your bike and let him give it a thorough sniff. Once he becomes accustomed to seeing the leash on your bike, fasten him to it and take him for a short walk while he is attached to the bike. Since dogs sense people’s emotions, stay relaxed and act as though this walk is just the same as any other walk. 

When your dog is comfortable walking beside the bike, get on the bike and start pedalling slowly but steadily, ideally in an area with little car traffic. This will encourage your dog to increase his pace to a fast walk or easy trot. As your dog jogs along beside you, praise him for being such a good cycling partner. Avoid making any sudden movements that might spook your dog and cause him to fear the bike. If you turn, make it wide.

Continue cycling in this way for a short time, perhaps 10 or 15 minutes, and then make your way back towards where you started. Slow down, get off your bike and walk your dog back the last little way. When you unfasten him from the bike, praise your pooch for being such a good dog. Do not drop your bike or make any harsh clanging noises with it that might jar your dog. 

This simple routine—a walk to warm up, a trot alongside the bike, and then a walk to cool down—is the basis of your dog biking program. As you both become more familiar with biking, you can go for longer rides (my energetic Malamute Timber can handle 30 minutes, max) but do it gradually and take a day off to rest between rides. Remember that your bike allows you to cruise along without much effort; your dog, on the other hand, cannot coast. He must work to keep up with you on the bike so you need to pedal at a pace that is comfortable for him. For most of the ride, pedal at a speed that enables your dog to travel at a fast walk or leisurely trot—this is likely a fair bit slower than you are used to pedalling so mind that your speed doesn’t creep up. Keep an eye on your dog at all times to ensure he is jogging along without any strain or struggle. If your dog shows any sign of tiredness or lack of enthusiasm—his head drops down, he begins to pant heavily, he starts to drag his paws—stop pedalling, get off the bike and walk for awhile. Stop from time to time to give him a chance to take a sniff or sip some water. 

If you start your dog-biking program in the summer, go early in the morning or late in the evening when it is cool since it is easy for your dog to overheat. Choose paw-friendly surfaces to ride on such as an old dirt road, grassy field or earthen bike path—a dark asphalt road can become quite toasty on sizzling summer days and scorch your dog’s pads. Explore quiet residential areas with little motor vehicle traffic instead of congested, smoggy streets. 

Working as a team 

As you and your dog get more accustomed to biking, you can start training him in directional commands. For example, when you want to slow down, say “easy” while gently applying the brakes and then say “whoa” as you come to a complete stop. As your dog learns what you want him to do, he will become more confident and you will work together as a team. For me, this is one of the most rewarding aspects of biking with my dog; it does not involve me taking my dog for a ride; it is the two of us, working in harmony, savoring every second of our shared experience. 

J. Leslie Johnson is the author of Bike With Your Dog: How to Stay Safe and Have Fun. This comprehensive guide tells you everything you need to know about dog-biking from conditioning your dog to the special challenges of cycling in winter. Check it out a friesenpress.com/bookstore.

Add a comment

Comments (17)

I exercised my overly energized Greyhound via bicycle and bicycle leash about five years ago when they first appeared on the market. Because Greyhounds are built for running and speed, she loved it.
Thu, 08/07/2014 - 10:45
I intended to post you this tiny word so as to give thanks as
before considering the striking opinions you've provided here.
It has been quite surprisingly open-handed with you to present unreservedly what exactly
many of us could possibly have marketed for an e-book in making some profit on their own, most notably seeing that you might have tried it if you ever desired.
These inspiring ideas also worked to be a great way to recognize that the
rest have the same dreams just as my own to find out much more with regard to this issue.
I am certain there are millions of more fun periods
ahead for individuals that go through your blog
post. http://hosting.risp.ru/phpinfo.php?a%5B%5D=%3Ca+href%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fnobodysproperty.com%2Fwiki%2Findex.php%3Ftitle%3DChoosing_Incredibly_Best_Skin_Maintenance_Systems_-_Without_Having_To_Know%3ENew+Age+Skin+Serum+Reviews%3C%2Fa%3E
Sun, 07/01/2018 - 07:39
Thank you for the good writeup. It if truth be told was once a
amusement account it. Glance complicated to more brought
agreeable from you! However, how could we keep up a correspondence? http://ptiturl.com/?id=d9d7a8
Sat, 07/28/2018 - 00:20
Adored tһe photos, i actualⅼʏ like tһe among this image,
perfect. http://Btsite.us/
Tue, 08/14/2018 - 00:20
I do not know whether it's just me or if perhaps everyone else encountering
issues with your site. It seems like some of the written text on your posts are
running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment
and let me know if this is happening to them as well?

This could be a problem with my browser because I've had this happen previously.
Thank you https://v.gd/upVevv
Sun, 10/14/2018 - 03:13
I am glad to be one of several visitors on this outstanding internet site
(:, thank you for posting. http://www.gallery-ryna.net/jump.php?url=http://www.helimsg3.org/UserProfile/tabid/1808/UserID/11049344/Default.aspx
Mon, 07/16/2018 - 19:53
Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have truly
loved browsing your blog posts. In any case I'll be subscribing in your
feed and I hope you write once more soon! http://nobodysproperty.com/wiki/index.php?title=Is_Hca_The_Long_Awaited_Means_To_Fat_Loss
Wed, 07/18/2018 - 16:22
Hiya very cool blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing ..

I'll bookmark your site and take the feeds also?I'm glad
to search out so many helpful info right here in the
put up, we'd like work out extra techniques on this regard,
thank you for sharing. http://diamond-erp.com/index.php?title=Five_Diets_That_Can_Knock_Off_20_Pounds_Fast
Wed, 08/01/2018 - 03:26
Hi my loved one! I wish to say that this article is amazing, great written and include approximately all significant infos.
I would like to see more posts like this . http://www.qsoko.com/?qa=1755&qa_1=hydroxycut-a-weight-reduction-and-diet-program
Wed, 08/15/2018 - 04:16
Thus, the gambling can try and amusement without eliminating the profitable
contributing factor. The time you save from travel could be money typically the bank,
far too. It is vital how the live feature works. https://www.lionking96.net/contact-us
Thu, 10/25/2018 - 07:40
What could be compared to sipping an ice cold smoothie on a sweltering summer
day? French Lick Springs Resort Brings Wish to Orange County, Indiana - Also from September of 2007.
It isn't difficult to do right and takes not much time. https://jom.fun/
Fri, 11/09/2018 - 11:24
Hi, Neat post. There's an issue with your site in internet explorer, could test this?
IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a huge section of folks will
leave out your excellent writing due to this problem. http://extraedge.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Muscle_Building_%22Tip_Of_Your_Day%22
Fri, 10/05/2018 - 16:33
Appreciate this post. Will try it out. http://lvl.vn/Fit_Cleanse_Premium_UK_3294375
Thu, 09/20/2018 - 02:29
Well, online casino malaysia allows one to reduce those House importance.

You skirt the travel costs for one, which is money are able to reinvest using the tables
for more information fun. https://Www.lionking96.net/contact-us
Fri, 10/12/2018 - 04:33
Look at it as a square, with each corner being a website as well as the lines being links.
Make absolutely certain do investigation thoroughly before launching acquire website.

So give them some useful information that they could use. https://Jom.fun/
Mon, 11/19/2018 - 06:44
You have made some good points there. I looked on the internet to learn more about the issue
and found most individuals will go along with your views
on this site. http://www.ria-stk.ru/bitrix/redirect.php?event1=tuv-sud&event2=&event3=&goto=https://wiki.outermarches.com/index.php%3Ftitle=Unique_Dog_Birthday_Gift_Ideas
Wed, 07/25/2018 - 21:38
I'm really enjoying the theme/design of your weblog.
Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility
problems? A few of my blog audience have complained about my site not working correctly in Explorer but looks great
in Opera. Do you have any suggestions to help fix this problem? http://www.123athens.gr/redirect.php?url=http://support.radioboxplayer.net/wiki/index.php/Get_A_Toned_Stomach_-_Secret_To_Burning_Off_Belly_Fat_That_s_Easy_Fast_And_Safe
Mon, 10/08/2018 - 17:51

Pages

Dog of the Week!