I've seen a handful of folks mountain biking with their dogs lately (on dog friendly trails of course!). Does anyone in the community take their dog biking? What tips do you have for biking with your dog?
@REI-LizH I have a Border Collie who loves to run (and chase balls, squirrels, frisbees - loves life). The hard part mountain biking with her is she does not stop. She will now drink out of CamelBak when I squeeze the end, so water is vital and not too hot or too long. When I take her on bike path I tow an old Burley, so runs a bit and rides a bit. I did this with my previous dog and as we rode past a family the young girl, observing my dog in the trailer, turned to her mother and said. "You know, you can put babies in there." I believed my dog and I blushed
@howaussie So cool! My pup is a Blue Heeler! I'm also worried that she might not stop! We took her backpacking last summer and she had so much fun drinking out of the CamelBak too! I love the idea of towing the trailer! We've still got some training to work on, but I can't wait until she can run with me on the bike! I'd love to see some photos!
@REI-LizH I have a 3 year old black field lab, Charlie, who loves running with me on rides. My tips are: Bring extra water and a collapsible bowl, like Ruffwear Trail Runner. Bring nutrition if your going over 15 miles (I share my granola bars). Carry a hands-free leash just in case, I like the Iron Doggy Runner's Choice. I don't recommend boots because they're finicky and often twist or fall off, but I'm in Michigan and the trails are pretty soft - we just warmed up to long rides and his paws have grown tough. I also got a cooling vest that we never use, instead we have lakes and I'll stop so he can jump in if it's hot. Probably everyone has a different opinion, but I let Charlie run in front of me about 15 yards and he doesn't get in my way. I get a better sense of how tired/hot he is by watching him (and it's really fun to watch him run). He's pretty good at slowing down for me when I call, so we can cross roads together. Finally, I up his food amount afterwards and the following day. I'm guessing he burns crazy calories on a 20 mile bike ride. Lastly, if you don't already have a dog there's a huge range of capabilities from breed to breed, and even within the breed. I've had English Labs and Field Labs, my English Lab was an awesome dog, but he couldn't hang with the speed and distance of mountain bike rides. Lean dogs will fare much better than stocky dogs. We have an awesome time together and really bond - I wish you luck!
I just started training my dog, Ben, to ride in my BoB trailer. This was our first day. I started by putting the bike in a stand and teaching him how to get in and out of the trailer. We did this over and over until I was confident he understood the command. Then I straddled the bike while giving the command. This was confusing for him because I was no longer facing him while giving the command, even though my hand signal was the same. He figured it out after a few tries. Once in the trailer, we worked on sitting, then lying down and staying. We got as far as him allowing me to walk the bike while he was lying in the trailer. He bailed when I tried to pedal, but I am extremely proud of the progress we made in just one day. I am going to ease him into riding while I pedal, and eventually I would like to teach him how to load/unload while traveling at slow speeds. He is a smart boy, and I think he will figure it all out eventually.