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Thread: Dog Trailer

  1. #1
    The Martian
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    Dog Trailer

    I know there's some people here that carry their furry friends along on rides in one way or another and I'd like some opinions from you.

    I'm in the market for a bike trailer for general cargo hauling (groceries mainly) and to pull a dog when I get one in August. The dog will be medium sized, likely a 40-60lb, Aussie or Border Collie mix.

    I'll be hauling it with my two "work horse" bikes, both of which are hardtails with rack mounts and quick release skewers, so attachment shouldn't be an issue.

    I don't have a car (YAY) so the trailer will be used fairly frequently for trips to trailheads for hikes, to the vet, to agility class or dog parks, etc. I want it to hold up. I don't see offroading with it though (nothing more than rare gravel or dirt fireroad types).

    With some patience I could probably get a used child carrier off craigslist at a decent price. I'm guessing I'd have to modify one of these to some extent to comfortably hold and restrain the dog.

    I've also been looking at the pet specific trailers that look quite nice as well, but I'm not going to find one of those used even here in Boulder so they are more expensive than the child trailer option.

    I suppose I could also modify a cargo trailer, but I'm not that handy nor do I have that many tools. I want something that will discourage jumping out (even though I will train the dog to ride in the trailer) and I feel this may be a significant modification on most cargo trailers (as compared to child or pet trailers that are enclosed).

    So, my question is, have any of you done something similar? What worked for you? Is a child trailer (that I can get much cheaper than either of the other options) easily modified to work for a fairly big dog? Or are the pet specific trailers worth the extra $$ I'm going to pay for them? What attachment works best in your experience (I think I want to avoid attaching directly to seat or chainstays)?

  2. #2
    Sweat is just fat crying.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CougarTrek
    I know there's some people here that carry their furry friends along on rides in one way or another and I'd like some opinions from you.
    Here's my (ex) dog Pepper, in his first ride in my BOB trailer. As you can see, he was tethered in, but after a while, he seemed to be more confident, enough to look around & check out the sights. I'm sure had he lived (he was hit by a car crossing the road in front of my house not long after this vid), he would have been cool enough in the BOB that I could have just told him to jump in & he would ridden along w/out the leash.

    The major prob I can see is that when you stop suddenly, the dog has no recourse except to hit the tire w/ his nose. Seems to me, that needs to be addressed.

    Good luck!



    Edit: Looks like I'm not the only one!

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  3. #3
    pedal pusher
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    I think a plexi screen might help keep the dog's nose away from tire burn. He'd then smack his nose on plexiglas, but it might be a whole lot better than a rear tire.

    R.I.P. Pepper.

  4. #4
    Sweat is just fat crying.
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    Quote Originally Posted by f3rg
    I think a plexi screen might help keep the dog's nose away from tire burn. He'd then smack his nose on plexiglas, but it might be a whole lot better than a rear tire.

    R.I.P. Pepper.
    Or a rope, tied around his giblets, tied to the back of the trailer.
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  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    I have an Australian Shepherd and I tried a child carrier that I borrowed and since I ride with her off road I have not had very good luck training her to stay in. It has a cover that hooks at each corner but it leaves the flaps open enough that she sticks her nose out and will jump out of the 15 to 20 mph trailer to run with me so that project is on hold. I would like one with zippers that close everything off. Good luck.

  6. #6
    frejwilk
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    We have a Rhode Gear child trailer similar to popular models from Burley, etc.. Lots of this style around. Two wheels with a frame supporting a 'roof' canopy. We use it mainly for cargo, but have tried it out for one of our dogs.

    First thing we did was remove the seat. It was easy - just nylon. Our dog didn't like standing on the fabric bottom so we put a board across the bottom. You could bolt (or even zip tie) it to the frame. In our trailer a piece of plywood cut to fit stays put really well without bolting it. A blanket or padding of some kind is nice. This trailer came with a cover which can be run partially open, with screens, or not installed at all.

    Our dog (aussie mix) never really wanted to ride in the trailer. But stability (two wheels), a solid floor, and not being closed in all seemed like important features to him. We have friends whose dogs do like and ride in similar setups though. The trailer also hauls cargo really well. My wife used it often to deliver bread.

    Good luck,

    FW

  7. #7
    The Martian
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    Thanks Finch and F3rg for the BOB trailer options. I'd definitely be concerned about nose vs. tire incidents as well as the lack of debris protection and the potential lashing from PETA representatives (Unfortunately, I will be using this primarily in traffic). I am considering getting a cargo trailer with a wide enough base to secure a standard crate, however. I'll have to break out the tape measurer to see if a typical BOB will fit this need or not.

    Thanks sdf for your review of the child carrier option. I'll look for flaps that zip or are otherwise secure from prying noses though I hope eventually I will be successful enough in training to leave the flaps at least partway open. You never know though!

    Frejwilk, it's good to know it is easy to remove the seat in at least your model. I knew I'd likely have to get rid of it (though it would be nice to be able to run a harness seatbelt using them as a restraint). The modifications you made seem well within my meager abilities though I agree that the stability of 2 wheels is likely preferable in my application than the maneuverability of a BOB since I won't be doing any trail riding.

  8. #8
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Burley makes one, called the Tail Wagon.... only the best of puns there

    I'd own one already, but it has a 75lb weight rating. Most dogs I know weigh more, so I'm not too sure what they were thinking.

    That said, it looks well thought out, and answers most of the concerns expressed here. I have yet to call them on the weight thing, but a 150 range seems a bit more realistic, since putting say, 2 Corgis in it would be over the line, even though they'd fit fine, let alone one of my guys....

    Do they really think the whole world owns Jack Russels and Puggles?

    http://www.burley.com/products/pets/tail_wagon.cfm
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  9. #9
    You down with entropy?
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    I have a croozer dog trailer. I also resemble the jack Russel comment as that is what I have

    I picked up mine at rei a few years back. Our dog likes it and he gets to come around town or on rail trails. I have also used the trailer to go to the store and haul stuff over to the recycling center. According to the specs it has a 100 lb load rating. Oh ya one thing that made it nicer was getting a fuzzy pad for the inside, it gives our dog a bit more traction than the rubberized floor.

    a few links with some reviews
    http://www.rei.com/search?query=croo...x=0&button.y=0
    http://www.bicycletrailers.com/Croozer-Dog-Trailer.pro

  10. #10
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    Idea! An alternative

    I'm using a product called the "k9 cruiser" with my 55lb hound/pointer mix. Instead of riding in a trailer, she runs behind me with a leash that is attached to the rear quick release.

    We average about 40 miles a week on it, and it works astoundingly well!

    The upside is that because of the way it attaches, even if she lunges for a squirrel, it doesn't affect the rider much. The downside is that it doesn't work with disc brakes. She also has trouble keeping up if I go "big chainring speeds."

    She loves it, and I recommend it wholeheartedly for energetic dogs. Offhand, I can't think of a circumstance where I'd prefer a trailer to the k9 cruiser.

  11. #11
    Big Mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    Burley makes one, called the Tail Wagon.... only the best of puns there

    I'd own one already, but it has a 75lb weight rating. Most dogs I know weigh more, so I'm not too sure what they were thinking.

    That said, it looks well thought out, and answers most of the concerns expressed here. I have yet to call them on the weight thing, but a 150 range seems a bit more realistic, since putting say, 2 Corgis in it would be over the line, even though they'd fit fine, let alone one of my guys....

    Do they really think the whole world owns Jack Russels and Puggles?

    http://www.burley.com/products/pets/tail_wagon.cfm
    Seriously, what kind of dogs do you roll with? My Pit Bull weighs maybe 40 lbs. She's four. My beloved Dobbie/Lab mix was 60 lbs. I guess it must be the bigger dogs that NEED a trailer! 2 Corgis might make 60, I dunno. I'd say 75lbs. would equal about 7 Jack Russels! You must live in a land of giant dogs! Anyway, why not let the dog run?

  12. #12
    The Martian
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economer
    Offhand, I can't think of a circumstance where I'd prefer a trailer to the k9 cruiser.
    Not a viable option for my circumstances. Traffic is a huge concern as whatever the solution it MUST be road worthy. Distance is also an issue; I can forsee needing to travel 10 miles or more and still have a fresh happy dog. Also I MUST have a plan that works if the dog is injured or sick. The bike is my primary and only transport; I can't just throw the dog in the car if something goes wrong.

    Not looking for an exercise or "spend time with the dog" solution, but a viable transportation option that will work in all foreseeable circumstances.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CougarTrek
    Not a viable option for my circumstances. Traffic is a huge concern as whatever the solution it MUST be road worthy. Distance is also an issue; I can forsee needing to travel 10 miles or more and still have a fresh happy dog. Also I MUST have a plan that works if the dog is injured or sick. The bike is my primary and only transport; I can't just throw the dog in the car if something goes wrong.

    Not looking for an exercise or "spend time with the dog" solution, but a viable transportation option that will work in all foreseeable circumstances.

    Go by bike I'll avoid owning a car for as long as I can. Those are some neat dog trailers.
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  14. #14
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    Aussie or Border Collie mix are pretty skitish dogs. Of all the dog breeds they are among the least likely to like "bouncing around in the back".

  15. #15
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    Quick response

    Quote Originally Posted by CougarTrek
    Traffic is a huge concern as whatever the solution it MUST be road worthy.
    I'm just as comfortable using the k9 cruiser on roads as I would be with a trailer... perhaps your more comfortable with the trailer than I would be... but I get around a smallish town fine with this setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by CougarTrek
    Distance is also an issue; I can forsee needing to travel 10 miles or more and still have a fresh happy dog.
    Just got back from 15 mile mtb ride using k9 cruiser. Dog isn't "fresh," but she'd be thrilled if I pulled out the bike again in half an hour.

    Quote Originally Posted by CougarTrek
    Also I MUST have a plan that works if the dog is injured or sick.
    I hadn't thought of that. That's a circumstance where the trailer obviously has a big advantage over the k9 cruiser.

    Quote Originally Posted by CougarTrek
    Not looking for an exercise or "spend time with the dog" solution, but a viable transportation option that will work in all foreseeable circumstances.
    Fair enough. I haven't used a trailer, but I'm honestly skeptical the trailer would be as versatile for me (especially if I have to pull it up and down my apartment stairs every time I go out).

    I don't have any commercial interest in the k9 cruiser, but it may be the best $50 I've ever spent. It may even be worth trying both and seeing what works best when. You can tell which I think will get the most use.

  16. #16
    i also unicycle
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    at that (likely) weight, i'd seriously look into the burley tail wagon. i've sold a few and they are much better put together for an animal that one that's supposed to hold kids.
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  17. #17
    The Martian
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    Quote Originally Posted by markf
    at that (likely) weight, i'd seriously look into the burley tail wagon. i've sold a few and they are much better put together for an animal that one that's supposed to hold kids.
    Good info. Since people seem to want what they paid out of their 5yr old kid trailer it sounds like going ahead and splurging on the dog trailer may be worth it. They aren't that much more than a used kid trailer I'm finding.

  18. #18
    The Martian
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yogii
    Aussie or Border Collie mix are pretty skitish dogs. Of all the dog breeds they are among the least likely to like "bouncing around in the back".
    Skittish? What? I like how you just used one of the most severe faults for both breeds to describe them...

  19. #19
    The Martian
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    Quote Originally Posted by lampy29
    Go by bike I'll avoid owning a car for as long as I can. Those are some neat dog trailers.

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