biking with your GSD - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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biking with your GSD

I tried a search, but didn't find anything. Can anybody recommend equipment/training methods for teaching a dog to run along a bike?

We've got a great bike path, fairly level, but it is paved and most of the path is surrounded by woods, so the dog would have to run on the pavement. Well, trot, really--is this horrible? With proper training and building up of endurance, is this okay?

How do folks prepare for the endurance portion of the AD?

~Kristin

and the Balakai Mesa Mutts + a GSD
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 07:04 PM
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Re: biking with your GSD

Yay! Another biker!

One of the first things we did when we brought Elsa home was teach her to bike. First, we came up with a word that would be similar to "heel" to teach her to stay close by on the leash. I didn't want to use heel, because she has a bit more freedom on the bike and I like her to stay farther away on the sid, and farther behind since the turns are more sudden than walking or running. Anyhow...we picked "match". I have no idea why...we were just thinking "match up" meant "stick close by."

Same concept as heel, but I'd work on the right side exclusively since you always go with traffic on a bike (and, if you're like me, grew up biking along roads and always thought you walked with traffic too...blonde moment there).

Started with walking her with the bike between us to get used to the wheels spinning and a big honking thing next to her. Correct just like you would for teaching to walk nicely. After she seemed unfazed by walking along, I tried getting on the bike on a nice, flat surface with low to no traffic. Same concept. If she nipped at my legs going round, she got a correction. Of course, trotting along nicely got lot of "good girls".

Elsa is pretty focused on the bike now and loves it. She gets quite excited when I make her sit at the door and wait while I go into the garage...she knows what's coming!

Oh, and ETA: I use a 4' leash so I can put the loop over the palm of my hand and grip the right handle bar without the leash getting the the way. I don't like to have folds in the leash while on the bike and I feel that the 6' leash is too long and cumbersome. I know there are elastic bike leash thingys...but figure don't fix something that isn't broken so we haven't invested in anything more than that.

J, mom to:
- Elsa - "Da Pookins"
- Medo - "The Beast From The East"
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 07:24 PM
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Re: biking with your GSD

I've got a Springer bike attachment and it has worked for me for 15 years. I know some people successfully train their dogs with no attachment, but I'd encourage you to buy something just to be safe. When you're holding the leash in your hand, it just takes one swerve from the dog to pull you suddenly off course. The Springer completely eliminates that risk which is nice.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: biking with your GSD

Hannah, glad to hear from someone who has used the Springer--that's what I was leaning towards, but I know that there are a couple of other attachments on the market.

~Kristin

and the Balakai Mesa Mutts + a GSD
Yoda, CATCH3 GM AAD AS ASA AJ TN-E TG-E OGC EJC EAC WV-O NADAC Nov/Open Vers TSAD TMAG
Darby, CL1 CL2-S CL2-F CL2-H TN-N L1-PLT
India, CL1-F CL2-H CL1-S
ATB: GSDs Baron, Duke, All American JD
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 08:23 AM
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Re: biking with your GSD

We ordered the Springer from the US website well over a month ago. To date the charge has not come off our credit card yet, and despite numerous telephone calls (voice mails) and emails, which haven't been responded to, it hasn't arrived yet

Suki (Bella vom Wofenhaus, born May 31, 2008)
Diva (Aphrodite de Domus Didacus, born December 4, 2009)
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 01:25 PM
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Re: biking with your GSD

I started training Nikon on vacation (my bike got stolen so I had to wait to use my dad's). I think for the AD they have to be on the right, so I put him on the right and then I started by walking the bike with me on the left. We walked up and down the long drive, getting him used to the bike and learning that "the bike bites!" when he tries to cut in front of it. Then I got on the bike and went slowly up and down. We haven't gotten to turning yet, just taking it slow b/c he is a young dog with a lot of energy and I need him to respect the bike before we take off.

When I bike Kenya, she wears a Ruffwear harness that clips on the back so she's not stepping or tripping over the leash. She won't pull or take off, so I don't have an attachment yet. I hold the leash on the handle bar, but it's not wrapped on my wrist or the bar so if I need to disconnect I just lift my hand and drop the line. I'll probably have to get the Springer thing for Nikon once we move to the actual road.
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