1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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  1. #1
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    Riding with my dog

    I recently added a nice yard to my home and so my 6 year old lab who is quite overweight can come and live with me. (He's been at my parents house for the last few years which is close by and a good place for dogs).

    I was thinking that I could get him back into shape by taking him with me on rides near my home. Usually not crowded and its a mix of logging road, fire trails, and singletrack.

    My question is about weather or not to ride with him on the leash or maybe some good techniques to teach him to stay close to me. He's a very strong dog and I am sure he can and will pull me right off the bike if I try to leash him.

    I really want to save this dog's health and I know that eventually he'd be a great riding partner.

    Any good tips to get started?

  2. #2
    25-yr old Retrogrouch
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    I dunno, i'd be really careful. I'm not a big fan of dogs on singletrack as I think it's dangerous to both approaching riders and the dog although if you stuck to fireroads it wouldn't be as bad.

    Does the dog obey commands?

    Does he try to escape alot?

  3. #3
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    He obeys pretty well I guess. Like I said, he's been at the parents for a few years so honestly he hasn't gotten the everyday attention from me he deserves. Don't get me wrong, my parents have 2 other dogs and he has been livin' the good life.

    I don't think he would try to escape, maybe I should hike the trails with him on the leash first until he gets familiar with the program, then try the bike.

  4. #4
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    I hear ya about dogs on singletrack but I literally see zero other riders when I am out there. It's an area near my home that is primarily a motorcycle trail but there are lots of little singletrack tight trails that are great on the mtb. I don't think I would even attempt to bring a dog where he would get in the way of anyone else.

  5. #5
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    Yea, I would try hiking with him alot first.
    Dogs can be very dangerous on the trails. Even fireroads. To themse;lves, as well as other riders.
    Several times I was almost taken out by someones dog on a fireroad, leashed or not. And they were only hiking.
    The last time it happened was one of my last rides recently. Some guy had his dog off leash, and I was coming through a blind corner, the dog was just standing in the trail. I slammed on my brakes to scrub some speed, but there was no way I was gonna stop before it was too late. The dog would have been seriously injured or dead had I hit it, but due to some keen manuvering I made my way around by whipping my rear end to the right to avoid him, and my pedal almost hit his nose. I swear I felt his snout lightly brush my foot as well. I was going about 25mph after scrubbing some speed as I passed the dog.
    Funny thing was, the dog started chasing me and the owner did nothing.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  6. #6
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    I am the type that I definately wouldn't want to ruin someone else's day because of something I've done.

    That's why I posted this... To see if mtb and dogs can work.

    Can a dog be trained to minimize the danger on trails?

  7. #7
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    i highly recommend you not try this. One the dog can get caught in the bike. There might be other riders. But the biggest thing is that labs are not supposed to run for long stretches, they're hips will give out, especially if he's over weight. Just take the bugger for walks daily.
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  8. #8
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    Don't take your dog biking. Dogs aren't really built to run long distances. I see people out running with their dogs all the time and think they are crazy. Since they don't sweat, dogs can get really overheated. Especially since your dog is overweight. I would just start taking him for walks and slowly increase the distance.

    My $.02

  9. #9
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    I have a border collie that I take with me on shorter rides (under 3 hours), but you do have to be careful.

    I spent a few months working with her before I took her on trails where I knew there would be other people. You really need to be careful of equestians. I took Amber (my dog) out to a field with my bike and a bag of treats. I would have her heal next to the bike as I rode along and feed her a treat with some encouragement. Then I started training her to stop when I stopped, then had a friend ride his bike around the field with us worked with her as she was distracted. I also taught her to get out of the way when a bike was behind her. It took time, but it was worth it. She is pretty good on the trails and I usually get compliments on her behavior from other bikers. Make sure when you see/hear equestians you grab your dog. It's pretty dangerous if your dog scares the horses and the horse bucks the riders.

    If you don't want to put in the work or don't think your dog could handle it, I would stay on the safe side and not bring him/her.

    The work is well worth it though, I love riding with my dog. I wouldn't love it so much if she was ill behaved and bothering others.

  10. #10
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    OH, and I forgot...

    Bring a collapsable bowl and water. I bring collapsable water bottle too. Make sure to take plenty of rest breaks and give your dog water and a treat. Just like you, they need fuel to keep going. Any time I take Amber I make sure it is a leisurely ride that she will have no trouble keeping up on and I won't mind stopping any time she seems tired. Don't bother taking your dog if you want to bust a$$ through the trails on an epic ride. I go on these type of rides too, but I leave her at home.

    I hope this helps you out.

  11. #11
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    Thanks so much for the input.

    I will take 'Kota for walks to start. I hadn't thought of the fact that he would tire so easy.

    Even though he's overweight, he's always played hard and ran hard. I am new to biking and I have been suprised at the distance that I can cover in a short amount of time compared to running so that would be an issue.

    Thanks for shedding some light on the subject.

  12. #12
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    you will want to start slow, if the dog is not used to the exercise it can hurt him if you do not allow him to become conditioned to the effort. Another thing to consider is training, using a leash while riding can be dangerous for you both and riding without the leash can be dangerous for you, the dog, and everything you pass, training him is important for you both. At 6 this will take time but it is worth while. The dog will naturally want to investigate everything (people, animals, smells, and sounds). A dog that is trained to stay out of the way of other bikes, to leave others alone, and to not chase wildlife is a pleasure to ride with but if you do not have that control they can be a real nuisance to others.

  13. #13
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    I take my aussie all the time. He's a herding dog so very aware of bikes etc. Also very obedient. My neighbors golden retarded is a nightmare on the trail though, completely clueless (and huge). Start hiking with treats. Call, give treat, command give treat until you get the dogs attention immediately every time. I have voice signals to command the dog. Come, sit, stay, but most importantly a loud 'HUT' tells the dog to give room (move off the trail or speed up). Start with shorter rides. I also have specific rides that have plenty of water on the route (no problem in VT this year).

  14. #14
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    I began training my lab/mutt on a leash with the bike... that lasted about as long as the first squirrel. I then purchased a training collar (read shock collar). worked wonders, turned a good dog into a great dog. he rarely strays more than a couple of feet (although he did chase a deer last weekend) behind me. i don't take him if I am going to be riding particularly fast, crowded or long rides. and you do need to take a water bowl with you. the main thing is make sure he's having fun and not ruining anyone else's. nothing sucks more than being at a crucial moment of a climb trying to maintain momentum and having a dog decide he wants to stop right in front of you.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woozle
    I take my aussie all the time. He's a herding dog so very aware of bikes etc. Also very obedient. My neighbors golden retarded is a nightmare on the trail though, completely clueless (and huge).
    Off topic but the goldens owner is the moron not the dog.

  16. #16
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    My bulldog goes for a 2 mile jog next to my bike nearly every day. She has a good heel comand and I keep her on a leash. I live on a dead end gravel road, so I just take her down to the end of the road a back after I get back from my daily rides. It is a good chance for me to cool down and she seems to enjoy it. I let her set the pace. I don't think I would take her on singletrack yet (I've only had her for two months), because it is hot in Texas right now and she is pretty gamey.

    If your dog will heel at a jog without taking slack out of the lead, then I don't see much harm in trying, just practice in the backyard to get both of you comfortable with what has to happen to stop, turn..... I teach them to heel next to me when horseback before the bike first. They tend to learn to stay out of the way after they get underneath the horses feet a time or two.

  17. #17
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    dehydration........pissing off other riders, these are the concerns, came across a guy that ran his dog to death, dog was comatose and shitting/pissing himself cause the guy did not take it easy going downhill, you ride in remote areas with your dog? no problem otherwise leave him home, not letting him run free is not a good idea..no leash..cheers mate!

  18. #18
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    Riding with dogs can be a good experiance. But like anything else it takes training. Just about everyone I ride with has a dog, sometimes there's upwards of four of them in our group.

    Here is Tom and Sasha ripping it at one of the local DH trails.


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetta_mike
    Riding with dogs can be a good experiance. But like anything else it takes training. Just about everyone I ride with has a dog, sometimes there's upwards of four of them in our group.

    Here is Tom and Sasha ripping it at one of the local DH trails.

    you are an inconsiderate ass and the type of trail dork I have had some serious confrontations with....keep it up moron, in my area dogs are about to be banned and police on bikes are going to be handing out citations to losers like you.

  20. #20
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    if you have to ask..it's probably not a good idea.
    I tried it ONCE on the street. My dog saw a rabbit and and literally tried to bolt UNDER the bike. I hit the brakes and she tore off around me pulling my bars around and I fell over into the gutter. I hit my ass and head so hard I saw stars and felt it in my spine. 5 minutes prior I debated if I needed my helmet since it was just a flat ride. Sprained wrist and limp in my walk for a week. Don't do it.

  21. #21
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    great trail dogs are few and far between.

    came across one this past weekend. it was a westy mix of some kind. little bugger was fast. stayed right behind his owners bike about 4-5 feet back.

    owner was ahead of me, and heard me coming up on him fairly quick. he stepped on it and matched my speed. and his dog did the same thing. stopped and chatted with him at few different spots on the trail while he gave the dog a rest and the dog stayed within a few feet of him.
    Brian <---- that would be me.

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldsalty
    you are an inconsiderate ass and the type of trail dork I have had some serious confrontations with....keep it up moron, in my area dogs are about to be banned and police on bikes are going to be handing out citations to losers like you.

    LOL trail dork!!! Glade I don't live in your area. I'm assuming you're the guy in the neighborhood that everyone "loves".

    In my "area" we are not too pretentious and don't take this kind of stuff so seriously. Everyone is out to have a good time and thats the way its all ways been.


    Thanks,

    Trail Dork Mike, AKA the Moron.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldsalty
    you are an inconsiderate ass and the type of trail dork I have had some serious confrontations with....keep it up moron, in my area dogs are about to be banned and police on bikes are going to be handing out citations to losers like you.

    sweet, We're trying to ban old and salty guys on our trails, no citations though, just 1 fingered salutation.

  24. #24
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    I have to admit that I was torn on this issue until this morning. I was riding on a fire road and was rounding a corner with some good speed when I noticed two Yellow Labs that were about 100ft in front of their owner (who was hiking). I was slowing down to not scare the dogs and as I did one of them lunged at me and tried to bite me. (Yes a Yellow Lab was actually trying to attack someone). I almost had to kick the dog in order to keep him off. Of course the owner said, "sorry my dog is not normally aggressive". The owner did not seem to realize that when a dog is in a trail setting surrounded by rabbits, squirrels, coyotes, etc...they are more on edge than normal. My point being that regardless of the breed, dogs can still react in a way you would not expect when they are out of their normal environment.

  25. #25
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    if your dog is trained properly there should be no issues. the key is training your dog tho, and that takes time. it might be a while before you're ready to take your dog on the trails and even then the surroundings may cause them to act differently. once you know you have 100% control of your dog, then you can consider taking him on the trail. for now you could try practicing in a large open grassy area so you can focus on working with you dog. dogs are working animals and respond well if given the right training.

    good luck!

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