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Thread: My 8-year old daughter's first time bikejoring with Nara, our GSD! Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-18-2014 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear L View Post
This is very very cool. My GSD will enjoy doing this. And I will too... if this means less labor for me.

How did you learn the commands for it? The command words you listed sound so foreign.
Good question. You can google "sled dog commands" and there are plenty of sites with the various words and their meanings/usage/pronounciations. You can also make up some of your own if you don't like the ones predominantly used already. I'm pretty sure these commands are mostly the same commands horseback riders have been using throughout their history. When the European explorers met up with the Eskimo mushers, they probably just adapted their horse terminology into dog commands. Not 100% sure, but it seems to make sense. Hope that helps! I still get GEE (turn right) and HAW (turn left) confused sometimes. Lol!
05-16-2014 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikelia View Post
That looks like so much fun!
So basically, it is skijoring with the person on a bike? From the pictures it looks like you have a skijor belt on, with the gangline attached to that? And do you have a bungee on your gangline? The ones I have are standard non bouncy ones.
I want to try this out, I can rollerblade in the city with two dogs, and got a dog sled that we went out with a few times this past winter. But I just moved to the country and am looking into ways to practise the mushing in the off season so we are ready for the real thing this winter! The off season carts are super expensive. My only issue is that I have always biked with the dogs, but in the city I've always trained them to stay beside or behind the bike. But I'm sure they can learn.
Yup, I think they took bikejoring from skijoring. And yes, I wear a skijoring belt when I bike them. I joined the Cascade Sled Dog Club when we lived in Oregon, and that's what they recommended. When I was a newbie, I tried attaching the dogs to my mountain bike, but after enough accidents I switched to connecting them to my body. I have a lot more control over them that way. Some people choose to connect to the bike or scooter instead. The gangline has a bungee, and they're attached to me at the waist. You are dead on!

I really want to get the Diggler dog scooter to use in place of the bike this fall. Here's what they look like:

If you search google images or youtube for vids, there are tons! So much fun, and much closer to the experience of standing on a sled versus sitting on a bike, and you kick to help the dogs instead of pedalling.
05-16-2014 05:09 PM
Bear L This is very very cool. My GSD will enjoy doing this. And I will too... if this means less labor for me.

How did you learn the commands for it? The command words you listed sound so foreign.
05-16-2014 04:10 PM
Mikelia That looks like so much fun!
So basically, it is skijoring with the person on a bike? From the pictures it looks like you have a skijor belt on, with the gangline attached to that? And do you have a bungee on your gangline? The ones I have are standard non bouncy ones.
I want to try this out, I can rollerblade in the city with two dogs, and got a dog sled that we went out with a few times this past winter. But I just moved to the country and am looking into ways to practise the mushing in the off season so we are ready for the real thing this winter! The off season carts are super expensive. My only issue is that I have always biked with the dogs, but in the city I've always trained them to stay beside or behind the bike. But I'm sure they can learn.
05-16-2014 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorihd@comcast.net View Post
well I cant help but worry if the dog gets side tracked, ie, a cat or deer and pulls her down. Call me an anxious neurotic mother, lol
I was running right next to Nara with a leash in hand just in case she misbehaved and ignored the commands. She did run slightly off the road once because she smelled a critter, but my daughter braked as I taught her, and Nara stopped right away. I reconnected the leash for a bit until my daughter felt comfortable enough to have Nara off leash again. We have done this run twice now without any further incidents. Our next run we're going to try this with Beowulf, and eventually work our way up to Beowulf and Nara together, and then maybe Paw Paw or Kaze, who are our strongest, fastest dogs. My wife will take pics of each session so we can post them on here. Would love to get a sled one day and head up into the mountains with the kiddos to try real sled dog mushing!
05-15-2014 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaRen616 View Post
You are a very brave man!!!!

I am thinking about rollerblading with Sinister and I am nervous about that, I can't imagine riding a bike with 4 large dogs!
I tested each dog one at a time. Then when I trusted that they had it down, which only took about 5 minutes, I put 2 of them together, starting with my 2 huskies. Later I added Nara to see if she could "hang with the boys" and she did great! Now that we've adopted Kaze, he's our biggest and strongest (and youngest) dog, and he's taken over the entire team. He does 90% of the pulling all by himself! He's an amazing GSD. I love him.

But at least on a mountain bike I have brakes. I would never try this on roller blades, just like I'll never skijor. No brakes! The dogs are trained to understand the WHOA command, but like recall (especially in Sibes), it's never fullproof, at least not yet. I'm still a newbie and I've been doing this for 4 years now. I love my time spent biking the dogs, and they go crazy when they know it's time for their bike ride, so they must love it too!
05-14-2014 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabledog3 View Post
What equipment do you need for that? It looks fun!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Athena'sMom View Post
where did you get all your gear?!?!? So would love to take my pooches out when I ride!!


This all started when my dogs were younger. I had Nara first, and eventually rescued Paw Paw, our Siberian Husky. I was walking them as pups, and doing the dog park thing (which turned bad with dog fights), and started looking for newer and better ways to exercise, train and work the dogs. Both breeds are working breeds, so I was looking into search & rescue for Nara and sled dog stuff for Paw Paw. I found out about dog sports like carting, skijoring, bikejoring, dog scootering, etc. When there's no snow, you still have to run your huskies, so they call it dryland mushing. Diggler (www.digglerstore.com/) is the company that makes the really nice dog scooters, but the one I want is almost $800. When I was looking into carting, all of the carts were really expensive too. I already owned a good quality mountain bike, so I went the bikejoring route, as I don't ski and didn't live in an area with enough snow at the time for sledding. Eventually I'll get that Diggler dog scooter I've been eyeing for 4 years, but until then, the mountain bike works just fine. Once I got my second husky, Beowulf, I joined the Cascade Sled Dog Club in Oregon (there are similar clubs all over the US) and met with more experienced sled dog people. One of them had their own business of selling and distributing gear, and they helped me match the dogs to the correct sizes and taught me what I needed to know to get started. Here's the first pic of me bikejoring with Paw Paw and Beowulf from about 3 years ago:



Anyways, I found that any dog with a desire to pull would be alright bikejoring or carting, etc. Medium to larger dogs would do better than smaller dogs, but any breed along with huskies can do it. That's when I tried out Nara and now Kaze, my 2 GSDs. I want them to stay in shape and get a lot of exercise. Can they keep up with my Sibes? Kaze can, yes, but he's also the youngest of my 4 dogs. Nara can hang in there, but she's obviously not on the same level as my 3 boys, as she's the oldest and the only one fixed. Still, she sticks with us the entire way trotting alongside and not really pulling anymore like she did back in her younger years. When I outfitted my Sibes with the proper sled dog gear, I also bought everything for Nara and now Kaze too. They have X-back harnesses (just like what the Iditarod dogs normally wear), tug lines, gang lines, neck lines, and they all connect to my skijoring belt/harness with a bungee line. I've taught them all of the commands, like gee, haw, hike, on by, whoa, etc. 99% of the time, they're great. Every now and then I have to correct them when a coyote passes too close to us, or we encounter some other new distraction. But we've been doing this for years now and the dogs have it all figured out.

As for where to get the gear, there are a lot of places online. I prefer my local connection, but a lot of people go through Alpine Outfitters (www.alpineoutfitters.net) because they can make custom-sized harnesses to fit your particular dog. I think the best thing is to find other sled dog people in your area who can meet with you and your dog personally to size them up and assist with training in the beginning until you figure things out and get comfortable. I would love to help anyone in Idaho!

Bikejoring is a lot of fun. The dogs love to run and pull and be given a job to do! I love the entire experience. Anything that has to do with me being with my dogs out in nature is a win-win for everyone involved! And now my children are getting old enough that I can start passing down my skills to them so they can start experiencing this special time being out there with our dogs that I've been holding so close to my heart all these years.

Hope that helps. I feel like I've been rambling and going off on tangents. I started typing this up last night and completed it today. I hope it all jibes together.
05-14-2014 07:59 PM
lorihd@comcast.net well I cant help but worry if the dog gets side tracked, ie, a cat or deer and pulls her down. Call me an anxious neurotic mother, lol
05-14-2014 01:55 PM
KathrynApril Very cool! Love the last picture. Your daughter & dog both look very happy!
05-14-2014 01:42 PM
counter Thanks for the replies, everyone! I will respond to those of you who asked questions as soon as I find the time.
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