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I got a new bicycle (after 8 yrs of no-biking) and am thinking of taking Jedi with me when I go. I go slowly (I also have a 6 yr old son with training wheels on his bike), and it wouldn't be too far. How do I get Jedi used to the bike? Any suggestions?

Thanks!
 

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Definitely use a Springer or some other type of bicycle attachment designed for running dogs. Just holding the leash in your hand is a recipe for disaster since a relatively small tug by your dog can turn your handlebars and send you into the pavement.

Beyond that, I would let him spend some time with the bike, sniff it, get comfortable with it while you do things like spin the wheels or pedals. You can have someone walk him next to you while you walk the bike and then someone walk him next to you while you ride the bike slowly. By that point, if he feels comfortable, I'd hitch him up and start slow and easy with lots of praise. Dogs vary in their reaction to bikes. I've had dogs who were fine with it and caught right on and others who needed more adjustment.

Have fun!
 

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I use to love to ride a bike. Haven't in years as we have no places out in my area. Maybe I'll invite myself over and go riding sometime with you guys.
 

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We have been going slow, but so far, so good. She may stop to bark hi to another dog, but she saw some squirrels and looked at me instead of trying to chase them. Yay! Just up the street and back so far, until she gets used to it. But she likes the quicker pace as opposed to the (much) slower pace of walking.
 

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That sounds great! Jedi is smart! I started Bicycling with Keeta last year, this after not being on a bike for something like 7 or 8 years, and we both love it! I live in a rural area, so the good news, lots of quiet roads and dirt roads easy on her joints.

The bad news, loose dogs harrassing us, and the occasional moose blocking the road.

But once in a while, I really rev up the pedals and we fly! Keeta just can't get enough of it!

The hardest thing to teach her was to ignore smells and sights and (like dead toads on the road), but she eventually got it.
 

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I highly recommend a bike attachment. I started my dog biking without one, but I hooked him up to his prong. Not the best way to go, but the prong barely phases him as it is and it allowed me very good control. I also am VERY vigilant and if I see something that could possibly get him going, I warn him with a stern "leave it." We do go speedily enough that he's too focused on trotting/running to do much else. If I have to slow down, I "whooooooooaaaaa" him with a low, slow voice and if I have to, I'll check him lightly with the prong. Yes, I tried him on the buckle first, and yes, it was like hitching up a sled dog. Wear your helmet and always be mindful of how to bail and always be READY to bail! When we first started, I just took out the bike, let him sniff it, let him see me with it, then I walked him with the bike to the front door, locked it, then started on my way. I gave him time to see that I didn't really "care" about the bike and that it was just another silly human thing, but I didn't give him much time to think about whether to be worried or not. Know your dog and know how s/he reacts to new and novel situations.

Before starting, note the condition of your dog (fat, thin, muscled, little muscle) and especially its paws (pads, nails). If your dog is young enough where jogs are an issue, don't bike yet or only do a very very short trip (down the block and back or just a couple minute) solely for training purposes and fun. Don't want to hurt those joints! If your dog's pads are really soft, bike on a softer surface or walk on pavement more often before starting so the pads have a chance to toughen. If the nails are long, biking on a rough surface will wear down the nails, but if they're way too long they could interfere with gait and could lead to pain. Judge your dog's stamina to judge how far to go. It's good to get the dog nice and exhausted, but not to the point of keeling over or even harm. Make sure your dog is well hydrated before and after the exercise, but refrain from feeding until well after the exercise (or well before, I prefer feeding after). Check pads frequently during biking, especially during the first several runs. Make sure to get between the toes and note if your dog acts anxious about a paw! Watch the dog closely and let him tell you how he feels about the speed. I'll set it at first to make sure Renji doesn't overdo himself, but once I know he's got all his spazzies out, I'll look to him. If he's enjoying himself and wanting to go, I'll keep the speed up within reason. If he starts to fall behind even a teeny bit, I'll decrease speed until he's satisfied. Watch the dog's tongue and also keep an eye on the gums (watch for over-exhaustion and heat exhaustion). On warm days, especially here in Florida, be aware that heat and humidity gets to them a lot quicker and harder, especially if they live the Air-Conditioned life!

Things I would do differently: I would start with a Springer attachment but even before that, on walks I would teach slow down and directional commands, especially if I planned on using a front hitch so he could pull me AND the bike. I would also have found a better surface, but here the only bike trails that are currently open are on asphalt.
Renji's pads are pretty solid though, and he was doing great until the VERY end- I think he hit a little rock or something. Came to find out his right forepaw is nicked; not enough to bleed but enough to probably be annoying. Even if I did got a springer, I think I would still have him on the prong for control purposes. One thing I worry with the bike attachments is the safety breakaway- it's fantastic if you take a spill or happen to put a tree between dog and bike, but if your dog's strong enough to bust it to go after a cat, the dog could be gone before you know it. Even the best training can go unheeded (dogs are dogs), and all it takes is a split-second, so I'd prefer to have a backup of some sort. I was also pondering about an e-collar being a good backup as it eliminates the leash that could still pull you over, but we're not there yet.

Oh, be a VERY proficient biker as well, enough that the usual biking operations is second nature, that way you can focus more on the dog than on biking (be safe, of course). And HAVE FUN! If you're worried about a fall, bike on grass for a little while so a spill will be less painful. Watch for burrs and other spikey goodies (we have lots of those here).
 

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I have hurt my knee, correction: dog charged into me, and I have been told to avoid doing lots of walking but try biking. I have been looking at bike/dog leashes and have only found one that attaches to the side of the bike, making the dog run behind you, I don't like it very much. There is no 'spring' if she does try to pull, she would just pull and off I would fall. I had a dog run along side me before just using a regular leash, so I am going again with that, until I find something better.
 

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http://www.springerusa.com/
Springer bike attachment! I like the look of this. It works with the center of gravity as well. Looks like it'd be really hard to get pulled over. Still have to get one.

I still would want a prong or e-collar as backup, just in case, but that's little ol' paranoid me.
 

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It really does work well and it's very difficult to be pulled over.

My concern about biking without something like that is that it can work really well every time until the one time it doesn't, and then you can be seriously hurt, as could the dog if you or the bike falls on him. Wouldn't even have to be a training breakdown - Something spooks the dog and he shys sideways, and down you go!

We use the springer and then I attach a leash to the collar which I hold slack in my hand so that if something happens with the springer, the dog is still attached to me.

Knock on wood, but we've never had a problem, even with totally untrained spazzy dogs.

We also scooter, but we use a mushing set up for that, and that does take more training to get right since the dog is out in front.
 
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