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Discussion Starter #1
My DH surprised me with a new bicycle today.
I've been wanting to get a bike for awhile, especially now that we live in an area where it's not all busy main roads. I plan on doing a lot of my shopping and stuff on the bike, rather than in the car, since everything is pretty close by (distances less than 5 miles for all major stores except Wal Mart).

I'm a bit out of practice, not having been on a bike in about 15 years, but I took it for a spin around the yard and did just fine. I guess you really don't forget how to ride a bike. *laughs* Still have to get a helmet and a bike lock, and go on a couple practice rides...

I would love to teach Abby to run alongside the bike so that we can do bike rides rather than walks a couple of times a week (walks on the days we don't ride). I think she would benefit from the extra exercise a run will get her, but I've never trained a dog to run alongside a bike.

What's the best way of going about it?
 

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I'm wanting to start road working Kenya too. My plan was to start by walking her alongside the bike, with me in the middle. Then walk her alongside the bike with the bike in the middle. Then try riding in an area with LOTS of space and no traffic. I guess I need one of those Springer things first...
 

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I like my Springer. I hook the line to my dog's collar and then have another leash hooked to the pinch that I hold on to. You could also just run her on the pinch (this is for safety). I ran my bike around the dogs a bit in the yard, then hooked them up and away we went. For best conditioning you want to keep her in a trot at a nice steady pace around 7-10 mph. You can do sprints at a run too, but the trot is the best gait to work in for long distance rides.

Keep an eye on her pads. If you are biking her on gravel or pavement her feet will need to toughen up a bit. Also, don't over do it at first. She needs to build up her muscles just like you do.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the information. We have a big pet store near us (Care A Lot Pets) that carries the Springer attachments, I think, so I will go check them out.

Since moving, our normal exercise routine consists of an hour's play time in the yard (usually "soccer") and a 3+ mile walk. We walk down to the fire station, spend about 20 to 30 minutes on training, and then walk the long way back to the house. We have a beach within walking distance for the time being (they're building a new community and it looks like they beach may end up being part of that and not accessible to people who don't live there), so we also go to the beach for her to swim and play in the sand.

We'd probably do the same route with the bike at first - house to fire station to beach back to house, rather than doing longer distances, although that's something we'll definitely work on.

I've been thinking about her pads as well. Maybe I'll embarrass her and make her wear her dog boots for running. (They're the RuffWear ones with the rubber soles.)
 

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Originally Posted By: MoesfoxSorry to be stupid but what is a springer attachment?
No such thing as a stupid question:

http://www.springerusa.com/index.html

I haven't used one myself, I bicycle with Keeta on a short leash and a prong. I wouldn't reccommend using a prong on a softer dog, though, my girl needs a prong for thecontrol and the reminder that I'm in charge, even on a bike.

The member of my Schutzhund club all use the Springer, but they all have replaced the safety attachment with solid attachments. The safety attachment sometimes comes loose with the dog just running alongside.
 

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I just tried Kenya on the bike. One thing I love about my Kenya is that she is never phased by anything like cars, kids running, loud motorcycles, bikes, etc. She has never shown any reactivity or urge to chase them, she simply doesn't care about anyone but me. I started walking her with the bike, and she paid zero attention to the bike. Once we got in a area with less traffic on the sidewalks, I got on the bike. I had to encourage her at first, probably b/c it's hot for her, but I didn't go fast at all. We went about three blocks and turned back. She was trotting or gaiting, no full out sprinting yet. She stayed alongside the bike level with me or just behind. I was holding a 6' leash attached to her Ruffwear harness. I think I prefer the harness b/c then the leash falls over her back, rather than hanging down in front where she's always stepping and tripping over it. She was very good about paying attention to my vocal commands, so she stayed on pace in the correct position. I was holding the leash against the handle bar, but didn't loop it over the bar or my wrist. I want to be able to drop it and release her if I have to.
 

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Good girl Kenya! Lies, you may want to try a four foot leash. I found that a six foot, as you have experienced, is an accident waiting to happen.

I have a hard time holding Keeta back when we start out. For the first km or two, she just wants to run full out. Usually I let her, and after that she settles into a steady trot.
 

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For most of the time I had it looped over b/c it was dragging on the ground alongside me. She's very good about not walking out in front of me unless I say so and she seemed to translate that into not running in front of the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Good job, Kenya!


I took my new bike out for a spin without my Abby tonight and realized that, while you don't forget how to ride a bike, I need a little more practice before I attempt biking while holding a dog leash. *laughs* I don't think I've been on a bike since about 5th grade, so I have a bit of catching up to do.

DH took the bike for a spin around the yard to check it out, and Abby was following along beside it (she was loose in the yard). I think she had fun trying to figure out this new thing, and hopefully she'll do just as well when I get to take her out alongside it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It finally stopped raining today, so I took the bike and Abby out for a test run to see how it would work and what work I need to do with her.

As everyone here suggested, I put her on the prong and a shorter leash. I held the leash between my hand and the left grip so she would be on my left, told her to "heel" and started pedaling

She immediately got what I wanted from her and trotted along nicely on a loose leash. If she started getting faster or I was slowing down, I used the "slow" command, which she already knows, and she would slow down. If I was getting ready to stop, I would tell her slow and then, when I actually stopped, sit, so that she would stay in place.

She paid really good attention to the bike when I was turning toward her or away from her to make turns and seemed to have a lot of fun. I had to tell her "leave it" a couple of times when we passed squirrels (for some reason, these dumb squirrels just sit there and watch, they don't scamper off) and when I spooked a rabbit. She did really great with that.

So, yay for the bike and biking with Abby.
Like the Staples commercial says, "That was easy."
 

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Wow, that is great news. Looks as if you just adapted what Abby already knew to this situation, which made the tradition from leash to bike travel a lot easier - well done! Yay for you both
 
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