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Dogs are active animals that require regular physical activity to maintain their health in optimal condition. The specific needs of the dogs vary by breed, but they may include up to two hours of exercise per day, including 30 minutes of active work. If you like to ride a bicycle, but you have difficulty in picking up a dog with such physical activity that would make her heart beat more actively, then cycling may be your solution. However, in order to ride a bike safely with your walking dog, you need to be thoroughly prepared.
Some dogs are not designed for running. Some small dogs, dogs with short faces (such as bulldogs or pugs), older dogs, and intolerable dogs fall into this category. If you still want to take your dog on a bike, you should get a bike trailer or pet basket. Be sure to choose a trailer or basket that is large enough to give your dog a place to move. Your dog should not jump or fall out, but should also have adequate ventilation. Think of something like a Burley Tail Wagon for a trailer or Snoozer dog basket for an installed basket.
Be sure to present your dog in a basket or trailer using positive reinforcement. Make sure the first few rides are slow and gentle.
High speed and bumpy ride can really scare your dog. Also, make sure that the basket or trailer is firmly attached to your bike.
While you are traveling together, do not forget to stop and give the dog the opportunity to eliminate, stretch his legs and drink some water.
Choose a place for walking
Before you start walking with a dog on a bicycle, you should choose a suitable place for training. Preference should be given to a route on which there are no obstacles, few pedestrians and other cyclists. The best soil will be asphalt, grass or gravel. Avoid traveling on concrete pavements and sandy paths.
Train your dog to move nearby
Learning how to ride a bike with a dog, start training with straight lines. For movement, you should choose a flat section of the road with a length of at least 0.5 km.
- Command "Forward" (or "Bicycle!") And move away, moving at minimum speed and encouraging the pet to run next to the bicycle. If he leaps forward too much, say “Hush” and slow down the vehicle. Attempts of the animal to move to the side are regulated by a leash, constantly commanding “Forward” and encouraging him for the successful completion of the task.
- As soon as the animal learns to move smoothly next to the vehicle, you can increase the pace of the trip.
- When the animal lags behind the two-wheeled vehicle, you need to pull it with a leash, adjusting the necessary position next.
Practice a stop motion
The first stop is carried out after overcoming at least 0.3 km of track. You can go a longer distance so that the dog realizes your basic requirement - to move near the transport.
- To accustom the animal to stops, you should give the command "Stand". At the same time, brake the bike slightly and do not remove your hand from the brake until the pet stops completely.
- After that, without getting off the seat, rest your feet on the ground and praise the dog. Repeat the words “Stand, good!”, Give a treat. If the animal tries to move further on its own, adjust the leash so that your furry friend is standing next to the vehicle.
Practice the left turn technique
Cornering starts with your walking around the bike.
- Bring the dog to the vehicle and with a slightly taut leash give the command "Left!".
- Turn the steering wheel to the left with your left hand, and with your right lead, pull the pet to the left with a leash. Make sure that he follows the front wheel of the vehicle.
- If the animal obediently executes the command, praise it with the words "Good."
- Try not to make sudden movements - you should turn smoothly and slowly.
Keep track of traffic
The speed and duration of the walk are selected individually. To develop jogging skills next to the bike, Do not forget to praise the animal and encourage treats.
- Start with short trips, gradually increasing in intensity. To begin with, it is enough to spend a few minutes walking. Do not let the dog gallop - trotting is preferable.
- It is better to take short walks with the puppy, and from about 1.5 years old you can overcome 3-4 km, but not in the heat and with stops for rest. In any case, choose the distance and speed based on the characteristics of the pet.
Conclusion. This kind of activity is good in every sense. If you patiently and gradually learn to ride a bicycle with a dog, then over time you can achieve excellent results and get joint pleasure from walking with your pet.
Running with a bike
If you decide to start a dog next to your bike, you will need to remember a few things.
First of all, determine whether this activity is suitable for your dog. Remember that while you ride a bicycle, your dog must run through all the time. Consider recommendations for working with your dog. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my dog a puppy? If so, you should wait until it grows to avoid injuries.
- Has my vet cleared my dog of running? Your dog should see a veterinarian before starting any new exercise regimen.
- Is my dog physically fit for running? Dogs with short faces (such as bulldogs or pugs), older dogs, intolerant dog exercises and some small dogs are simply not cut for running. May overheat or suffer from exhaustion, illness, or injury.
- Is my dog mentally fit for running? Your dog must be well trained and socialized in order to run along with your bike without incident. Make sure your dog can walk on a free leash and knows how to behave properly while walking.
Getting to know your dog on a bike
If you decide that running is right for your dog, you need to introduce your dog on a bicycle. Some dogs will be fine with a moving bike, while others will be scared. If your dog seems hesitant, keep in mind that it may take from several days to several weeks before your dog walks next to you while you are riding a bicycle.
Start with your dog on a leash and on a bike that is parked. Bring your dog to the bike and reward him if he seems comfortable and detached. If he seems to be afraid, get away from the bike and reward him when he stops showing signs of fear. You will need to make him get used to the bike, gradually bringing it closer, but avoiding a terrible reaction.
Once your dog is comfortable with the bike, you can easily move the bike. Work as slowly as necessary until your dog comes near you on a leash while you are cycling. Reward him for being calm and not paying attention to you. Then slowly start cycling, holding a dog leash.
Once it's time to go cycling with your dog for the first time, start at 10 minutes at a slow and moderate pace. Control your dog’s reaction to increased exercise.
Add 5-10 minutes to the trip every few days if he tolerates it well. If your dog slows down on its own or starts to limp, it's time to take a break. Take a break and then go through home. Increase the pace as your dog can tolerate this. When in doubt, go on short and slow trips until your dog withstands stamina for more.
Avoid high speeds and sharp turns. This is best on your dog if you always keep a moderate pace that allows him to rummage or jog. Too fast and he could get hurt!
It is important that your dog is on a leash when you are running next to a bicycle. Think of a bike leash such as the Springer Dog Leash to help both of you.
Make sure your dog has access to plenty of cool, fresh water while running. If you cannot bring water with you or run away in a public place where water is available for people and dogs. Remember, your dog is working and may need even more water than you.
It is important to know that dogs do not cool themselves effectively. On hot days, leave the dog at home. In the warmer months, think about early morning dog rides before a hot day. If your dog shows signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, contact your veterinarian immediately. Also, do not ride on hot asphalt with your dog. If the earth is too hot for you, it is too hot for your dog's paws!