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How to safely rollerblade/bike ride with your dog?

Colubridz
March 26th, 2007, 12:11 PM
I was curious how to go about safely bike riding/rollerblading with your dog on and offlesh ( in permitted areas) safely?

I would assume first and foremost your dog would need to be in good shape and used to moderate to long jogs to be able to keep up.

Duke and I have both started jogging as of one two weeks ago and started in slow spurts of jogging in between normal walking and have increased to about 10 minutes ( lol really needed to get back in shape). However he is only 8 months so we only do it occasionally as I do not want to stress his joints. At what age would it be safe to start bike riding/ rollerblading with him?

Next I'm guessing a good solid range of commands such as heel ( so they don't bolt in front of you and trip you), halt or stay ( so they stop when you need to stop) and of course good recall for offlesh biking.

Duke is halfway through completing basic obedience and is already used to heeling for 5-10 mins when we go jogging and I am now working on teaching him to stay/halt more abruptly so encase I needed to stop quickly while blading/biking he would immediately.

Lastly I'm wondering what type of equipment I should use from length and type of leash, to type of collar/harness ( he's used to a gentle leader right now) and so on.

Thanks
Kayla

Prin
March 28th, 2007, 06:36 PM
Not sure rollerblading (or anything on wheels) is a good idea until you have the 'heel' and walking on a leash 100%... Unless you don't mind the feeling of cement/asphalt against your chin... :o :D

H.P.
March 28th, 2007, 08:21 PM
I have never tried this, but here is a link to a page that has some links you may want to check out:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SEMushers/links/Biking_with_Your_Dog_001141944897/

Something else that people around here do when it is not to hot, is hook the dog up to the bike with a sledding harness, and let them do some pulling. Have FUN!

mafiaprincess
March 28th, 2007, 08:26 PM
If your dog knows the real meaning of heel, you'd then have to teach them another word to blade, or you'll ruin the meaning of heel.

If my dog was heeling beside me I'd kick them but good the first time my left foot came out to skate forward...

Cider and I blade together, but it's not for everyone. Never seen anyone else doing locally on the path I use it in a manner that wasn't looking like they were one wheel from death's door.

Only tip I really have is never loop the leash on your arm.. so if something terrible is going to happen you drop the dog for safety sake, and an excellent recall to call them back if you go splat.

Spirit
March 28th, 2007, 08:50 PM
The nice thing about blading/biking with your dog is that one oops on his part is all it takes. Since you've been jogging with him though, I'd just strap on the blades and go. Make sure you start off in an area of no distraction (go slow, stop often, etc), and also make sure that you have control of him... A buckle collar will work just fine in the end, but something like a halti might help for right now. You may only have to use it for 5 minutes (and never again), but once your dog knows that paying attention to you won't get his toes run over, it's easy sailing from there.

My dog will heel offleah just about everywhere (except in class, of course :rolleyes: ), but I keep him leashed anyway (for his own safety). A bike or blades aren't much different, you just have to start from the beginning. If he already knows how to heel or walk with a loose leash when you run, he should catch on quickly when you're on the bike.

My dog pays much more attention to me when I'm on my rollerblades (when I go faster), than when I walk at a normal pace. He loves the speed, but when I'm on the bike, I have to watch that he doesn't jump to play with the leash. So far so good, but with the bike I'm starting from the basics to make sure I set him up for success (he REALLY likes wheels...).

Excellent advice from mafiaprincess. :thumbs up

PS. Edited to add: Don't let the "oops" happen! :eek: I blade with my boy and he loves it, but like someone here said, it's not cut out for all dogs. :shrug:

Colubridz
March 28th, 2007, 11:09 PM
Thanks for all of the great advice guys, I tried out everyone’s advice a few days ago in the middle of the day when no one was really out ( less distractions plus didn't want to be embarrassed in front of the neighbours if I fell hahah).I looped Duke's lesh around my waste so encase he did pull i had a better center of gravity. The handle part of his lesh is adjustable and has a buckle so if worse comes to worse I can easily pop it off so he doesn’t fall with me or hit in to something.

We just went around the block to start and Duke did surprisingly well. I used the command "by me" which is my informal version of heel where I just want him to the left of me but not focusing and not glued to my hips so to speak. He kept up no problem and we practiced halt every 10 strides.

I did accidentally get his paw once but if anything he just remembered to stay out on his side for the rest of our little ride.

All in all it was a lot of fun however for now, like jogging I have to keep it to the very very minimum of 5-10 mins tops a day as he's still young and I don't want to stress his joints to badly. Maybe tomorrow i'll get a pic of me and duke all geared up so everyone can laugh:P

Cheers
Kayla

Smiley14
March 29th, 2007, 04:26 PM
That's awesome to hear!! This is something I've always wanted to try, but have been to chicken to actually do it. Good idea to try it first when no one was around. LOL! Have fun!!!! And it would be great to see pics! :)

Dracko
March 29th, 2007, 08:47 PM
All I can say is DO IT WHEN THEY ARE YOUNG. I got the bright idea to try it with Dracko when he was almost 4. Plus, he is a bike wheel chaser. Not cars or anything like that, but bike tires he will go after.

I was in a secluded area and thought, "I'll just get on the bike, start peddling and he'll run along side."

Um, lets just say my ass hit the ground so fast I didn't know what was going on. He took off like a bat outta hell and it wasn't in a straight line. :eek:

I do envy people I see rollerblading or bike riding with their dogs galloping along side. :p

SARAH
March 30th, 2007, 10:38 AM
I think with a bike, an idea is to start out walking both dog and bike, so he gets used to having those wheels so close to him. If he jumps them or bolts, you're still on the ground, even though you may still fall over, tripping over the fallen/falling bike, but you won't crash from any extra hight.

Also agree that starting with a young dog is much better than starting with an older one, unless you're an actual dog trainer!

mafiaprincess
March 30th, 2007, 01:16 PM
I wish we had more local trails that were nice for blading...
I don't really like the sidewalk, I prefer down by the lake, but that gets a little old..
On the GO train the other day, there seems to be a beautiful just paved trail by the rouge hill station though.

Spirit
March 30th, 2007, 04:31 PM
I just got from from blading with Ben (which I do often when it's not raining), and I realized something.

When I'm on my blades, I don't pay ANY attention to him. If he hits the end of the leash, I'll give it a quick little tug (snap and release), but as long as that leash is slack, I don't pay any attention to him. And as long as I'm moving forward, he doesn't run in heel position, but instead he runs beside me, or slightly behind me, a couple feet away, and ALWAYS with a loose leash. If he gets too close, I'll lift my skate and nudge him away with my leg (though I rarely have to do this anymore).

We were gone for about half an hour, and only once I had to snap the leash, and it was because he started to slow down and I didn't want to drag him. He sped up (because I asked him to), but when he did, I slowed down to give him a rest from running.

So thinking of this thread (as an experiment), I looked at him a couple times to see what he was doing. He wasn't looking at me, but when he did I said good boy (got slightly excited , and when his focus was COMPLETELY on me, I said "GOOD BOY!"... Yeah, don't do that. LOL! As we all know, "Good boy!!" creates excitement, and this is a time where we do NOT want our dogs to get excited. Praise comes after (stop often, and praise if he ran nicely beside you). If he doesn't run nicely, I use the "ah-ah" noise, and a quick leash snap. Or if he's really being a pest, I skid around so I'm facing him, and just say "no", then (with no other command), we go again.

When we rollerbade together, that smile just never leaves his face. But he doesn't have to pay attention to me ALL the time, so long as he knows where I am. He runs beside or behind me, sniffs the air, looks at the people sitting in front of their houses, etc... And every few seconds, he'll look at me to make sure he's still where he's supposed to me (but he doesn't watch me constantly like he would if he were heeling).

Anyway, the bottom line is that he LOVES to go blading with me (right now, even though he's tired because we just went, he's sitting beside my rollerblades crying), and even though he's not paying 100% attention to me, he still knows to keep watch of where I'm heading. He's very aware of me, and our speed.

I think the biggest factor is to remember that when you have to turn, to never turn into him to prevent a crash. Or if you have to turn into him, to make sure he's lagging behind a little (slow down your pace), then give him a command.

I use "heel" (on the left), and "Side" (on the right). When we're blading though, I never use "heel", but if I'm about to sharp turn to the right, I yell "SIDE!", then turn and swith hands (so he just went from left to right). This allows us both to make a sudden turn without crashing into each other. For a sharp left, I spin stop (to the left). This allows us both to stop and reposition, without a crash. For a wide left, I don't kick off... I just lean left and let my skates do the turning. It doesn't matter if he runs into me (he doesn't), because I'm leaning to the left, and there's no possible way for his foot to get run over. I can also then use the leash to reposition him if I need to.

Anyway, hope that helped some. Sorry it's so long. I'd better go put the blades away (Ben thinks we're going out again, I think... he's by the door now). Poor thing. :laughing:

Spirit
March 30th, 2007, 04:37 PM
I think with a bike, an idea is to start out walking both dog and bike, so he gets used to having those wheels so close to him. If he jumps them or bolts, you're still on the ground, even though you may still fall over, tripping over the fallen/falling bike, but you won't crash from any extra hight.

I'm not sure what I do... I just do it (I don't think about it). But Sarah is right about starting off slowly. I'll often get on the bike but ride it so he's at a slow trot to start, then pick up the pace. He's MUCH better on the blades than he is on the bike, but with the bike your worry is falling. On the blades, it's running over his poor little toesies... Plus blading is more like running, wheras the bike is this big thing that sort of gets in the way (handlebars and whatever).

I'm sure the bike is easier for most though... :shrug:

mummummum
March 31st, 2007, 02:10 PM
I use a specialized attachment to my bike and would never recommend just riding free-for-all with your dog. It's unsafe. There are just too many things that can happen to you and your dog ~ at least the attachment prevents most of them.

Puppyluv
March 31st, 2007, 02:30 PM
you shouldn't do it until his growth plates have fused. You'llsee it in his knees, they'll go from having a big lump in front of them,to nice and streamlined.
Not that you shouldn't but here's a little horror story for you:
My mom used to bike with our dalmation. Because bilaws say that dogs have to be on leash within 5 ft of bike paths, shewas always on leash, but shewas VERY good at her commands, so it wasn't much of a worry. One day my mom was biking with her when a car came flying around a corner and ran a stop sign,my mom had a choice; slam on her breaks or get hit by the car.She braked,but the dog didn't.My mom went flying over her handlebars and slammed face first into the ground. She broke her nose, her jaw, her front four top teeth and ripped up her face. Thousands upon thousands of dollars of reconstructive surgery later, she's scarless but would never even fathom biking with a dog again. It may not happen to you, but beware, no matter how many precautions you take, the unthinkable can always happen.
On another note, your dog can be seriously hurt by the bike. If your dog gets startled or worried, he may run towards you. Even if you don't run over your dog, he can still get injured. My dog got hit by a bike a year and a half ago.. she didn't get run over,but instead got her paw stuck between the spokes of the wheel.It kept turning and sliced right through her leg down to the bone. Not fun and not pretty. IMO,dogs and bikes don't mix.

Spirit
March 31st, 2007, 03:45 PM
Bikes are very different than blades. Neither is better or safer than the other, but they each have different sets of "rules".

Because of his age, ride SLOWLY (don't force him to run). My dog is 15 months and I still don't make him run when we go (even though the running is his favorite part). Stick to safe areas (away from main roads/intersections), and don't go for long periods of time.