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Biking with a dog

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Not bikejoring, just biking (or rollerblading) with the dog running on leash beside you. I would love to be able to do it with Aed, but as soon as he realizes I'm actually moving quickly he gets excited and wants to go as-fast-as-he-possibly-can, aka basically pulling the whole bike whether I want him to or not. It's like he only has two speeds: walking and sprinting. Has anyone navigated this problem before? Did you approach it the same way as loose leash walking or in a different way?

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I had this problem too, and we got over it. (I haven't biked in so long, maybe this weekend I need to pull it out, hmmmmm)

 

I did what you said, I described it like loose leash walking. I also did my best to set him up for success, I never tried biking with him before he had blown off some steam with other activities. I worked out more practical things before adding speed, and I think it helped create a workmanlike approach to biking. We worked on stopping and going, speeding up and slowly down, turns in both directions, and really just having respect for the bike. I had to intentionally bump him (NOT run him over!!) to get him to focus on the bike and whatever I was asking him to do. He'd see something, turn to look, and start drifting. But anyway, I made sure these cues were 100% on verbal only before ever introducing real speed.

 

Have you tried working him in circles and serpentines? I have Keeper on the left side, so a circle to the left would mean he had to back off and yield to the bike. I did this a fair bit to get him to figure out that he can't just bolt up and pull. And riding "drunkenly" left and right meant my behavior was never predictable enough for him to try to pull. Eventually he just decided to watch his crazy driver and be in a position (not pulling) to react to whatever crazy stunt I pulled next. :)

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I have Keeper on the left side...

 

Just a thought. When we walk along a road, it makes sense to keep the dog on the left, because you should walk facing traffic and this keeps you between the dog and oncoming vehicles.

 

But since you should be obeying traffic laws when biking (i.e. in the right hand lane [in North America] heading in the same direction as vehicles), wouldn't it make more sense to have the dog on the right, so you're keeping you and the bike between the dog and any vehicles approaching from behind you?

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Dogs run on the right with a bike to keep them away from the road.

 

Always use a bike attachment. They absorb shock so the dog can't pull you over and they keep your hands free.

 

Start by walking next to the bike with the dog, reinforcing no pulling and staying calm. If you are transitioning to riding, stop the second the dog puts any pressure on the bike attachment and correct.

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I use a walky dog attachment to minimize the pulling effect.

I keep Spillo to the right as I feel more secure this way. I introduced him first to basic direction commands, walking with him attached to the bike. then I progressed with me on the bike going slow,changing directions, and going in circle.

I would also love to be able rollerblading with him at my side, but I would need to perfect my rollerblading skills first ;-)

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I should have mentioned, I was riding on a college campus. Totally different than riding on the roads. I don't trust my knowledge of bike laws enough to ride the roads by myself, let alone with a dog!

 

But if I ever get the urge, I'll be sure to do it correctly!

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I haven't done any road or street biking with a dog, but I do a TON of mountain biking with my parents dog, named Jude, and will be planning to mountain bike with Kira once she's older. That said, when mountain biking we never have the dog on a lead and they're always off leash as it's safer for all parties as there is no cars. But, training is similar I imagine to stop the pulling.

 

Jude is a Kelpie, so has a ton of energy and similar herding issues with a bike (aka chasing/biting tires trying to herd it) or just sprinting in general. We started him off by having 1 person walk with the bike down our road and another walk with Jude on a leash treating him whenever he didn't try and bite the tires or pull or sprint. After he was OK with the bike movement (this took a while!), we started having 1 person ride the bike (super slowly) while another walked with Jude next to it. We worked on this for weeks while slowly bringing the bike+Jude closer together without reaction. Now he knows that he needs to stay within a certain distance of the bike, while also a certain distance away from it.

 

After that, we took Jude to some mountain bike trails during off hours when it wasn't crowed with other bikers. He picked it up very quickly and we now can't even grab our bike helmets without him losing his marbles. He's also really good at jumping out of the way for other riders. Depending upon where we ride, he's either told to stay in front of us (climbing up trails or mellow cross country) or he's been trained to stay behind the bikes on downhill trails where we might hit him due to speed or blind corners.

 

That said, I actually just wrote a piece about mountain biking with dogs and there are a few incredible border collie bike dog videos that I found.

 

Here's like link if you want to watch some awesome border collie bike dogs for inspiration: Trail Dogs- Singletrack Slayin' Pups. I cannot get over the video of Bryan and Kaia... such a happy duo!

 

Good luck. Biking with a dog is hands down my favorite activity. They LOVE it.

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I don't trust my knowledge of bike laws enough to ride the roads by myself, let alone with a dog!

 

Anywhere I've lived (several locations in PA and a couple in upstate NY), bicyclists have to adhere to the same laws that motorists do, although they're usually expected to stay to the sides of the roads or in designated bike lanes.

 

It may be different in others places, so definitely best to make sure you know the rules. ;)

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I will start on these suggestions and post back with an update in a few weeks. Thankfully he has no problems running near/avoiding the bike while off-leash so I just need to teach him how to slow down. Thanks everyone. :)

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Dear Chene,

How is the biking going with your BC?

 

Have you tried attaching a "Springer" onto your bike? They have a big spring that the strongest of dogs can't shake you off your bike. They also keep yr dog safe and away from the wheels. There is also a safety mechanism that breaks if the dog decided to go around a pole or object and yr on the opp side.

Personally I removed this as my dog never did this. We can't ride anymore due to his BCC, yet the Springer was a fabulous investment for riding.

There are clips on YouTube showing you how they work if your interested.

 

Suzy

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Ps,

Personally I would be wary of riding off leash even if your dog is well trained.

A girlfriend was walking her 8 yr old well trained dog recently , who never ran onto the road, always stayed by her side, yet one afternoon walking from her house a young girl texting on her phone was doing over 100km down her street and my friends dog ran out as she was passing and killed her dog.

We never know how a distraction can effect our dogs even when they are trained.

My friends dog had never done this before. It would be a tragedy if this happened to your baby.

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Pardon me, I do not mean to hijack this thread however since it is about biking with your dog I have a few questions.

 

We do not have any wooded mountain bike trails in the area (all wooded trails are for foot traffic only) but we do have miles of paved bike trails very close by. We've been hesitant to take Jack riding with us because it is paved. He's somewhere between three and four, so I know his joints and muscles are fully developed.

 

I'm not talking about taking him out and riding for miles and miles, heck we're not able to do that, but what would be a safe distance? We're concerned about the wear and tear on his paws and joints, we want to take him out with us and let him get some good exercise.

 

I know to start slow and work our way up, I'm just curious if anyone has an idea of safe distances. Also, its not something we would do every day just three or four times a week.

 

Thanks!

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Personally I would be concerned if it's a hot day and the pavements are hot.as for times if he doesn't have BCC a border collie can run for an hour with short slow down breaks when he starts to breath heavily. I imagine you have allowed him to run off leash? Sounds like he is a refuge border collie or re homed ?

 

His fitness level and the weather as well as making sure his claws are well maintained is what you need to consider. ( as I understand from books they shouldn't touch the ground when he is in stand, if they are they can start to interrupt the metatarsals and then the feet.)

 

Perhaps start with short rides so you can see how he fares passing other dogs and being around noises and other distractions.

You will know if he has BCC ( border collie collapse ) if his back legs collapse as soon as he gets hot which can take only a few minutes of flat out running. If he does have BCC I've found that running him in water is the best solution to keep his fitness up.

If your just walking, an hour or more morning and night is a requirement to keep your BC happy, they need a lot of excersise and a lot of mind stimulation, ie trick training, herding etc this can tire them out faster than a run or walk.

Hope that helps.

Suzy

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When I lived near paved bike trails, I would take a dog 12 to 16 miles 3 to 4 times a week. I tried to "force" the dog onto the grass on the side of the trails as much as possible, but I know they did run miles on pavement. I think the longest distance we ever went on pavement alone was 7 miles. They were worked up to those distances slowly. I never rode with them in extreme heat. I only ever had trouble with one dog ripping pads, but she insisted on a funky gait instead of a nice, efficient lope.

 

Use common sense.

 

Build up the dog over time, both to work on fitness and strengthen pads.

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"Funky gait", I wonder if the dogs psoas was going into spasm from the lower spine being out of alignment??

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Ps you can get lovely natural pad waxes to help with the pads getting dried out and prevent splitting.

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"Funky gait", I wonder if the dogs psoas was going into spasm from the lower spine being out of alignment??

 

 

No, just the way the dog is built.

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Hey Liz.P,

 

Urge to Herd told me that you posted some info on PTSD. I searched the forum and couldn't find it.

My boy is starting to come out of his PTSD from us being attacked 6 times by pitbulls and staffys. Can you offer some more suggestions on PTSD training rehab please? He will attack dogs that get in his face and won't back off from his warning growls.

 

At the moment I have been using positive training clicker methods along with "downing" him whenever a possible threat approaches, this has been working for the past 2 x weeks, yet we still have a long journey ahead. He will also attack puppies, I think it's because they approach too quickly, Elwood won't warn puppies he just attacks them so now I have to leash him if I see one coming and warn the owner to keep them away. He is nolonger a socaible dogs with those he doesn't know.

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My parents often had collies when they were young. My dad would point out a monument 20 miles away from his home and talk about the time he and the dog went there for the day, via bicycle when he was about 11, and came back at the night. They did this all the time, temperate climate, with careful conditioning of the dog beforehand. Not suggesting it's something everyone should do, they didn't exactly have all this research on joints etc. at their fingertips, but it is amazing the physical feats these dogs are capable of.

 

He is still someone who always makes sure his dogs have enough exercise, off-leash, every day.

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First and foremost, no dog should EVER get in his face. Period. If you want to rehab him, it's your job to prevent that from happening. Trust is key. If he trusts that you will defend him, he will feel safe and therefore will not need to growl, snap or attack. A relationship based on real trust can take years to develop and seconds to ruin.

If you can't stop dogs from getting in his face in certain situations, dog parks for example, do NOT take him to those places. It took years for me to be able to take my dog in public again, and even now I am very careful about where he goes. I will never take him to a venue where John Q Public is running amuck with rude, untrained dogs.

 

Do not lay him down when a possible threat approaches. This puts him in a vulnerable position. Instead, retreat and stay calm. Always keep him below threshold. This means staying far enough away from a threat that he does not panic. Praise for relaxing and obeying commands. Try to associate the scary things with praise and rewards.

OK, so he doesn't like puppies that are rude. I can't stand rude children. Keep the puppies away from your dog. In the mean time, praise if he stays relaxed when puppies are nearby, but do not force interactions on him. He might change his mind if he associates puppies with good feelings, or he may not.

 

Read the article "He Just Wants to Say Hi."

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Liz P,

Thank you for your feedback, that article is so powerful and has totally altered my understanding of how Elwood has been feeling. I took it for granted that he was always going to be a sociable dog before the attacks. Yet looking back he never got into other dogs faces as they do to him now. Admittedly I did train him to be polite when saying hi to other dogs when he was a puppy, yet I had hoped when he started to feel comfortable around other dogs he would start to play again so I could faze the ball or frisbee out.

 

Now I have a totally different outlook.

Thanks Liz P.

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Merlin is two now and we started trail biking five months back.  We started slowly, short distances at first.  He has a sidecar that he rides in going to, and between, the four to seven parks.  He always rides in his sidecar on the roads.  When on the park trails he sets the pace, the colder the faster it seems.  I prefer him out in front where he can alert me to oncoming traffic and I can see what mischief (rare) he is getting into.  By breaking the route into one km up to three km segments, Merlin runs up to 15 km on a ride that will cover 20-30 km.  While he does slow down towards the end of rides, he shows no sign of 'quitting'.

My question is how far is too far?  One post refers to travelling 20 miles out, then back (~60 km).

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Levi (bc) is just 11 months old, so we are working on distance.  But when my Australian shepherd Brenden was 2, we regularly did rides of more than 20 km.  Of course we took breaks and usually rode near a lake so it was easy for Brenden to cool off.  He was still eager to go farther when we finished.

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I have a 8 month BC, Auzzie.  She is just great.  We walk her every day in the hills and let her go off leash 100% of the time.  One trick I taught her from the start was to understand "GIT".  It means get out of my way on the trail.  She learned real quick to get going if I said GIT.

.  I used that word while mountain biking and she stays out of my way. I have taken her about 8 times and she has been perfect.  When going downhill i just yell out  GIT, GIT.  She gets it.

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