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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
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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!

  26. #26
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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.
    I think you need to empty your litter box.

  27. #27
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    Just an anecdote to add to the discussion:
    I joined a group ride one night, and one of the riders brought his dog. He was very considerate, and asked us all if we were comfortable with the dog running the trails with us, and everyone agreed it would be fine. The trails we were on were very technical, and based on the cars in the lot we knew we would be the only group on the trails that evening.

    The dog was amazing. It not only blew by me when I was heaving for air on climbs, it was wise enough to stay just to the left or right of the riders, and out of the way. I'd have to imagine this dog's behavior is rare, but that ride was so much fun. He added a new energy to the ride, and honestly he's welcome to run with the pack any time.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMook
    I'd have to imagine this dog's behavior is rare, but that ride was so much fun.

    Not rare at all.

  29. #29
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    wow, who pi$$ed in your cornflakes and all over the table.

    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.

  30. #30
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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.
    WTF? Do you even understand the context? Trained trail dog, in an area where trail dogs are common and welcomed. I love seeing all the happy dogs running with their owners in the pack up when we ride north of the border. I'd take mine out, but they are trail-stupid and would get killed in under 5 minutes on a Shore ride. I'm guessing you regularly engage in "serious confrontations" over a variety of topics...

  31. #31
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    I'm guessing that my dog is better at rippin the trails than some posters on this thread. But then again, she's only 14 and doesn't waste so much time ont he computer.


  32. #32
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    Nice shot there Johnny! That's what I'm saying, you better be able to bring it if you want to keep up with Kito! I ride with my dog all the time. I really can't imagine enjoying a ride without her, but she's my best friend and goes everywhere with me. She can put down a 30 mile day in Oakridge and look better than most of the riders when we get back to the lot. I do take LOTS of water and food and let her take breaks(Thats right, its my dog that needs a break climbing up rd 1910 ), but she is really fast. Everyone comments on how fast she is the first time they ride with her. She also knows to stay out of the way, but its a race so she only moves when you get behind her... you don't have to hit your brakes though she just dips out when you get close and then jumps right back in behind you and probably won't lose much ground. I also spent 12 weeks in obedience class with a really awesome trainer (and put in a lot of time outside of class) so she heels, comes, "slows", and "stops" as well. I also ride around town in the bike lane with her on a leash running curbside right beside my front wheel. When I say "slow" she turns her head and watches me to see if I'm going to turn or stop or whatever. I really wish i had some action shots of her running down some gnarly singletrack racing the bikers. Not every dog is a good trail dog, but if you get a good one they can add so much to the experience... if you're into that.

    Some very important points others have already made.

    1. Your dog must be under control. There is absolutely no reason for your dog to make physical contact with someone or force them to slam on brakes. All the trail dogs I know have gotten a front tire before and learned real quick. And like one of the above posters pointed out, dogs will act differently in a new environment, so don't be surprised if you see some new behaviors when you get out in the woods.

    2. The distance your dog will be able to run will vary based on genetics and current physical conditioning. Kito couldn't run 30 miles the first time we went out. I started running on foot with her at about 1 year, and slowly worked up to short mtb rides and then added distance over time. Now, if she sees me move the mtb or put on spandex or grab the camelbak, she goes fricken nuts! I digress... part of the reason she can run so far is just her build. She's a dalmation/pit bull mix and only weighs about 45 lbs. She has a lean, muscular body and she's light enough not to have joint problems. With an overweight dog, I would start with jogging and a proper diet.

    On a related note, my dog has some defensive aggression towards other dogs. Once she figures out they don't want to fight she's ok, but the first encounter can be tense. However, she seems to really get along with other mtb dogs she meets on the trail. I think its the fact that since both dogs are focused on the trail she has time to get used to them being around. On the other hand, hiker's dogs are less engaged because they are not running, and those tend to be the ones that want to run up in her face.

    Here's some pics of Kito on the trails, and one of her romping with Ella, another badass trail dog, at the top of one of our local haunts. Notice she's in front of me on the road? Thats 1910 in Oakridge.
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  33. #33
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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.
    Thats the difference between canada and the USA, around here, theres always dogs on the trails... and no one cares.

  34. #34
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    yeah smoke! I love it when my friends bring their dogs riding, plus it's always nice to have some defenders when in bear country, which is all the time around here.....

  35. #35
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    After reading all the replies, one thing remains constant....

    If I want to make a trail dog out of 'Kota I need to put in some serious time training him and work into it slowly.

    Open areas are good places to start and hikng the trails on a leash will help him get used to the environment.

    Sounds like a great new challenge and I am excited to begin working with him and see where it leads.

  36. #36
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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.
    What makes him an "inconsiderate ass"? Taking his dog out for exercise? I don't understand why you think this is a bad thing. I have met a lot of trail dogs and while some get in the way sometimes I have never had a bad experience with one....and they LOVE it.

    I am amazed when I see people carrying their little dogs....they are not built to sit at the house all day...they are pack animals and love to feel part of the group...and love the exercise as much as you or I do and need it as well.

    As others have said, most of the problems people have with dogs is not the dog itself...but the owner...as a dog owner it is your responsibility to train and to work/play with your dog...I feel sorry for you old salty....dogs are wonderful and can add to the experience of a good ride.

  37. #37
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    Sounds like Oldsalty has been out to sea for to long. Come on where is the Love.

  38. #38
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    I'm just wondering what "serious confrontations" are. Most of the asshats I knew growing up only ran their mouth until the first serious confrontation, when someone taught them to be quiet and respectful of others. My guess is you don't have the sack to run your mouth face to face, and your "serious confrontations" are the gripe-fests you have in your head after you ride off looking at the ground.
    Last edited by Dogbrain; 07-03-2008 at 01:51 PM.
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  39. #39
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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.

    You are not the type of person I would like to ride with. I am glad I don't live and ride near you.

    I don't ride with my dog, but I have ridden with dogs...no problems here.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagemann
    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.

    Had the dog been a "older" couple taking a hike or a family with a stroller, would you be just as
    mad at them?

    If you were going 25mph AFTER scrubbing speed you were going WAY too frickin fast in an
    area where there are other people (like a fire road).

    shame on you

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    Yes, I think that training and location are the key. I am currently working with our dog intensively so that we can take him on hikes off lead and rides off lead. The locations will be very low population as I don't want the hassle of running into people. He is a pretty high energy dog and needs exercise and lots of it. So, until we find a good trail without alot of people and he has been trained it is a no go. Also, I know not all people like dogs, and I have read many accounts of riders on trails coming around a corner and there is a dog. Usually with the I almost hit it deal. Please remember, these are multi-use trails and they also have the right to be there (not necessarily off lead). My dog and I have almost been creamed by bikers on trails going to fast and I zigged and the dog zagged with the lead in between us. The bikers fault not ours. Just be considerate of other trail users regardless of what they are ie. horses, bikes, motorbikes, runners, hikers ect.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weird Joe
    Yes, I think that training and location are the key. I am currently working with our dog intensively so that we can take him on hikes off lead and rides off lead. The locations will be very low population as I don't want the hassle of running into people. He is a pretty high energy dog and needs exercise and lots of it. So, until we find a good trail without alot of people and he has been trained it is a no go. Also, I know not all people like dogs, and I have read many accounts of riders on trails coming around a corner and there is a dog. Usually with the I almost hit it deal. Please remember, these are multi-use trails and they also have the right to be there (not necessarily off lead). My dog and I have almost been creamed by bikers on trails going to fast and I zigged and the dog zagged with the lead in between us. The bikers fault not ours. Just be considerate of other trail users regardless of what they are ie. horses, bikes, motorbikes, runners, hikers ect.
    I love dogs, I don't have one know because we are planning a big move (and we had to put
    our dog of 15 years to sleep).

    I don't mind riding with dogs. All he owners I've ridden with know that if I (or anyone else)
    hits the dog it's the dogs fault. They have always said that it's up to the dog to get out of
    the way. If you hit the dog it learns, and while I could hurt or even kill the dog, it's him or
    me and I win. Don't get me wrong, I'll do whatever I can to avoid it, but I won't get hurt doing
    it.

    When I get another dog, and if I take him/her on rides, it's under the assumption that my dog
    my get hurt by another rider, and it's my fault not the other riders. I would feel distraught if
    I ever hurt another dog or my own while riding, but I think you have to understand the possible
    down sides to that.


    *when I mean hitting I mean running into it*

  43. #43
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    for the dogs health keep it on a leash , i ride and i work at a vets office , see way to many dogs who are attacked by dogs on leash walking with owner when happy off lead dog comes up to dog on lead , and off lead dog gets his ass torn open due to dog on lead protecting owner. I love my dog and would like to take her with me on rides but love her 2 much to put her in danger. I walk her to keep her trim or she swims laps with me in the pool.
    A person who exhibits both positive and negative qualities, strengths and weaknesses is not flawed, but complete.

  44. #44
    Bikecurious
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    Props to you folks that were able to train your herders to take the trails with you. My family has had 2 aussies and I haven't been able to even really run with them because of their herding instincts. They just wanted to jump in front of me or run under my legs (always made going down the stairs interesting). I'd love to take my dogs out, but I think my greyhound would be gone before I even got clipped into my pedals (if I could even get him off the couch), and my little guy would be too busy trying to kill everything living we came across. I'm sure the dogs love it, but I just haven't quite worked out the logistics of avoiding the dog/tire/chainring/tree collisions.
    Howdy Doody's past the House of Aquarius

  45. #45
    Just roll it......
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    We regularly have 4-6 dogs on most rides with us. They've all learned to get out of the way or they're gonna get a tire up their rear.

    Tough love by the various owners means that fellow bikers don't have to deal with their dog's lack of trail training. There have been a few incidences over the past 7+ years where one got in the way, but I can count those on one hand and, thankfully, our riding posse is so used to them that those incidents were minor.

    Couple of other things that are important, imo, to keeping dogs welcome in the woods.
    1. Any crap on the trail, gets moved off to the side with a branch. My dog's "mostly" poop off trail, but if they do drop a load, I'm sure to get it off where no one will step or ride.

    2. Agressive behavior (towards dogs or humans) needs to be taken care of immediately and emphatically by the owners. One of our dogs is alpha and used to have a bunch of run ins with other dogs. We've been able to curtail it in recent years (knock wood) and our behavior has also helped in that.

    Cheers,
    EB

  46. #46
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    Tool for training dog's w/bike

    We got the bikerdog for our dog, it works great. It's a harness that attaches to the rear hub area. I wouldn't use it on singletrack, but on fire roads it would be easy.

    http://www.bikerdog.com/

    Because I'm a chick w/ weak arms, if I had him on a leash he could pull me right off. This thing works great, if he sees a squirrel, I ride faster and he has no choice but to go w/me. It's works really well for dogs that try to cross between the tires or switch sides...

    Just take it easy on him in the beginning, no more than 5-10" slow trot at a time.

    Happy Trails

  47. #47
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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.

    PFFT!! "Tool of the day". Your type will have "serious" confrontations with other trail users no matter what. Except of course your cop buddies handing out citations on the trails bikers have built and maintain. Dick.

  48. #48
    banned
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    you folks are inconsiderate cretins.

  49. #49
    slaving away in paradise
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldsalty
    you folks are inconsiderate cretins.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldsalty
    you folks are inconsiderate cretins.
    Man, we have got to party sometime! Your'e the lampshade on the head type aren't you? I can tell.

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