The Administrator from the Great White North, eh?
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Northern British Columbia
When I started conditioning myself and Keeta for the AD, I pretty much went about the same way as the article describes. I just went by some general feel as to what I needed to do, and it turns out to be almost the same as the link. I only once did the whole 20 km in training, out of curiousity, but agree that it should not be neccessary to train that distance - it only puts more wear and tear on dog and person alike.
I hadn't bicycled in well over 10 years when I started, and at first, even a five minute ride was killing me!! So I did a few rides just on my own to get used to being on a bike again before taking my dog with me. You should be fine: I'm a middle-aged, overweight, sedentary office-worker, and had no issues with the conditioning. (Cute bike by the way!!! I'm jealous!)
I trained with a prong collar and a leash - but I would not reccommend this for most people - you really have to know your dog, and that is what I needed for mine.
A few people in my club decided to do the AD at the last minute. They got a Springer and away they went, no issues or problems at all. I'm not sure if harnesses are allowed - can't remember now if anyone used one. We all completed the course and had a great time. I had asked the judge about acceptable collars, he said only fursavers are allowed.
I made of point of running Keeta on a variety of surfaces when I was conditioning her: pavement, grass, dirt roads, gravel shoulders - she did fine with it and did not have any issues with bleeding paws.
One thing I would recommend is to get a basic bicycle computer to measure your speed and distance - it will help a lot in your conditioning program.
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Keeta BH, OB1, TR1, AD
Rottweiler/Hairy Dog mix?? 2004-2015