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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, I have a silly question for those of you who bicycle with their dogs. I've been running Abby next to my bike about three times a week since the weather cleared up and she's been doing really well with it and having fun. The problem is that our run tends to get her bowels going, even if I run her around playing ball in the yard before we go on our ride. She'll pee on command but she won't poop on command.

The fact that she needs to go while we bicycle isn't a problem. I figure when she needs to go, she needs to go. The problem is that she won't let me know she needs to go, she's just stop dead. As you can imagine, the sudden stop isn't necessarily compatible with a bicycle that is moving forward.

Any way of teaching her to give me a warning if she needs to go? Or getting her to go before we head out?
 

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not a way to teach her to tell you, but if it helps, when i go for a run w/luc he often has to go twice during the run. he doesn't give me warnings but i'll notice he seems uneasy or nervous, and then i know he has to go (he gets nervous if he thinks he has to go and we aren't in his 'potty place). does abby do anything similar?
 

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Unfortunately, she does not give any indication before she needs to go. She doesn't whine, whimper, look for a spot, or sniff around for a spot. She just stops and poops. She'll do it in the middle of the road, the middle of a sidewalk, the beach, anywhere.

She does only poop once while we're out unless she does a lot of running. Normally when we go somewhere, she'll go within a few minutes after getting out of the car. When we bike, we start at the house and I make it a point to run her around the yard for a bit before we start out, in an attempt to get her to go. Apparently, that hasn't been working...
 

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Chris, I would suggest that you approach bicycling with Abby as an obedience exercise. Basically, she has to heel, until you release her. Even is she was giving you indications that she needs to go, I'd work on developing the discipline and focus for her to keep up with you until you decide to stop and let her relieve herself.

Keeta would get a prong correction and a solid HEEL!!! is she got out of position, or tried to stop suddenly to investigate a smell or wanting to mark. It was a training issue. Heel by the bike means you stay in position and keep up. This is also a safety issue, as you have discovered. Normally, I stop after the first five minutes to let Keeta pee and evacuate, because getting going does get them going, and biking should be fun for them. But I decide when and where we stop. Depending on how long a ride I'm doing, I may stop every 15-20 minutes, but choose intervals that work for you. When I was training for the AD, I worked hard on developing her focus and continuous trotting for up to an hour at a time, no stopping, too bad if you have to poop, we'll do it later.

If Abby stops suddenly, I'd correct her and make her heel on by the bike, even if you have to get off and walk. Just a few steps at first, reward and release. I think that with continued work this way, there may be a point were she may just hesitate for a split second because she needs to go, but then will continue on because she has developed the self-discipline and understanding not to stop. The hesitation would be your cue right there if you need a cue, but by that time, she may just soldier on bravely without a break in her stride. Then you can decide to stop at a time and place that is convenient for both of you.

This is a bit different way of looking at the issue, a change in expectations, but I think this would be the best way to ensure safety and control.
 

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I basically agree with Castlemaid. When out walking along familiar routes, my girl has learned when/where it's OK to poop, and then only if we stop. If it's a new route, I stop at good/safe spots, allow her to sniff around and decide whether she needs to, then go on. If it's going to be her only or last chance, or I'm in a hurry, I tell her to poop, and she will if she needs to at all. I would imagine it's even more important to teach some discipline while the dog is attached to a moving bike, on a street or sidewalk.

My foster collie is even better. He'll give it a good try when told to poop, even if he doesn't need to, and nothing comes out. The GSD knows it's optional, only if she needs to. (The collie is a very quick learner, and I probably trained this too well!)
 

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I'm curious... For those of you that allow your dogs to poop while out on a bike ride... Do you pick it up, and if so, Do you just carry it until you get home?
I personally do everything in my power to try and keep Freyja from going poop away from home, just so I don't have to balance the bike while holding onto a full poop bag in one hand and a leash in the other. But if there is a better way, I would love to hear it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
There are some ideas on this thread that I'm not entirely comfortable with.

The whole notion that I should force or require my dog to "hold it" when we're out having fun on a walk, run, or bicycle ride doesn't work for me. Those activities are for fun. What fun is it for her if she is uncomfortable the entire way until I "allow" her to relieve herself?

If she needs to go, she should be able to go so that we can continue on and enjoy our time together. All I want and need is a way of teaching her to "notify" me before she stops to potty.

I always bring along poop bags when we go out, regardless of what activity we're doing, and I always pick it up. I would never just leave poop by the side of the road, in someone's yard, or on a trail in the woods. I usually drop the bag in the next trash bin I pass, or take it back home.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Betty - that's a very good question and a good point as well. I try to have her go in the yard before we set out on a bike ride by spending some time running her in the yard (throwing a ball and such). Then I make another stop at the end of the road where we have a wide open field that goes down to the water.

I think since we're new to bicycling together, I need to get her used to having a stop in specific places along our route so she knows it's coming up and that she doesn't need to suddenly stop. I'm sure a routine will be very helpful for her to get used to it - great idea!
 

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Originally Posted By: HistorianThere are some ideas on this thread that I'm not entirely comfortable with.
The whole notion that I should force or require my dog to "hold it" when we're out having fun on a walk, run, or bicycle ride doesn't work for me. Those activities are for fun. What fun is it for her if she is uncomfortable the entire way until I "allow" her to relieve herself?
You don't have to make her hold it the entire route, that wasn't my point, and I agree, biking is for fun! I stop after five, ten minutes into our ride and give Keeta a break, so she can do her potty thing. I want her to be comfortable too. For the type of training that I do with Keeta, it was important to me that I developed her focus and self-discipline, not just when bicycling but overall, by NOT stopping for a relatively long time. For her the challenge wasn't so much stopping for a potty break, but stopping to investigate different smells or sights. But if we weren't going to stop to check out a dead toad, then we weren't stopping for any other reason either, including going potty.

I would just like to stress that even though I trained Keeta to keep up and NOT stop, I DO let her stop and take breaks regulary.

I was just giving examples about setting training and behavioural goals to fit our own individual needs and expectations. If you are not training for an AD, then I agree, what is the point of making your dog go non-stop for an hour without a break? But there may be some ideas that could be used and adapted to fit your needs or help out others that are reading the thread. If you can get Abby to keep up with you without sudden stops, there may still be some hesitation, or a slowing down, or a confused looking around that would be a signal to you that she needs to go. That may be the warning you need from her, and you can find a safe spot to stop.
 

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Originally Posted By: RLWolf
I personally do everything in my power to try and keep Freyja from going poop away from home
I feel I should further explain myself. I'm not forcing Freyja to hold it. I don't go for long bike rides. Usually its just around 1 mile, and I always have her go before we leave. And if she doesn't need to go right away, then I stick really close to home so that I don't have to carry the full poop bag for too long.
 
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