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  1. #1
    Christoph NorCal
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    Training a dog to mountain bike with you

    Hi everyone,

    I am looking for good training tips to train a dog to go mountain biking. I do plan on taking the dog to obedient training. My plan is to rescue a Rhodesian Ridgeback. The type of trails I will be on will be Northern California fireroads and single track. I have read a few posts already in the General Discussion section and found some good training tips. Any suggestions or recommendation will be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by ccastro; 02-24-2012 at 09:22 AM.
    CC

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    It was simple for me because my dog always wants to be at my side and I can trust her off the leash when is just us. I find it easier than taking the pooch for a walk. My dog it always trying to keep up to my pace rather than walking with her and holding her energy back.

    Sent from my bulletproof Commando.

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    AZ
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    Clip less or flats?

  4. #4
    El Gato Malo
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    Your dog will have a hard time pedaling, their knees are backwards.

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    Big dog, he'll need a 9er fur sure.

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    If you figure out how to get a dog to learn enough balance and how to peddle, let us know. Training one to mountain bike could be tricky. Maybe taking him along to run with you first so he can see what biking is all about?

  7. #7
    R.I.P. Pugsley.
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    I suggest that you let him try it with a couple of trainer-wheels at first.
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    A ridgeback may be challenging to trail ride with, especially a young male. I'd think other animals will surely be the biggest task. Once you get to good on leash behavior your on your way. Then maybe some riding in an enclosed space, but either way get it used to the bike straight away.
    It will take some work, and IMO some dogs will never be good trail dogs just because of their genes, and also some trails just shouldn't have dogs, but when it works well it's great.
    Round and round we go

  9. #9
    Christoph NorCal
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    Ah... at last someone who gets the post. Thank Meat for your feedback. I'm looking at adopting a 3 year old female Rhodesian Ridgeback. I plan on working with the dog on voice commands and getting her use to the bike.
    CC

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  10. #10
    The Unaffiliated
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccastro View Post
    Ah... at last someone who gets the post. Thank Meat for your feedback. I'm looking at adopting a 3 year old female Rhodesian Ridgeback. I plan on working with the dog on voice commands and getting her use to the bike.
    I read an article somewhere that recommended walking your bike around an open area and purposefully bumping the dog with the front tire. Not hard enough to hurt the dog and not in a way that the dog thinks it is a game. They need to learn not to be in front of a bike when it is moving. Haven't tried it myself, yet, but seems logical.

    I think the biggest challenge will be how the dog handles other riders and other dogs, you will have to show some real "Dog Whisperer" leadership.

    Also, this might not effect you if you are rescuing a dog, but DO NOT run a puppy to hard or too far. It can negatively impact their development.

  11. #11
    R.I.P. Pugsley.
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    Someone who i saw regularly on our rounds with my dog, has a female Rhodesian Ridgeback as well.
    A really wonderfull and obediant dog that could get along with everybody and all other dogs.
    Butt...
    When she takes her for a run or a bikeride in the forrest, she always has to be aware of rabbits, squirrels etc, cause she had caught and shredded a few in the past.
    That was her only flaw.

    And since yours is already 3 years, it may be hard to get rid of some old bad habits.
    so i guess you would have to be extra carefull on and around the trails (anywhere else as well for that mather) cause you never know what she has done in the past in similar situations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt_Guy View Post
    It was simple for me because my dog always wants to be at my side and I can trust her off the leash when is just us. I find it easier than taking the pooch for a walk. My dog it always trying to keep up to my pace rather than walking with her and holding her energy back.

    Sent from my bulletproof Commando.
    Don't you have problems running over her if she's right next to you on the trial? It would seem better to have the dog learn to keep behind you on the bike.

    I'm glad you posted this thread, and I'd love to hear how other people have trained their dogs for riding. We're looking into getting a dog (a lab or golden, probably) and I'm curious as to what works.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
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    Do all mtbers a huge service and leave your mutts at home.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccastro View Post
    Ah... at last someone who gets the post. Thank Meat for your feedback. I'm looking at adopting a 3 year old female Rhodesian Ridgeback. I plan on working with the dog on voice commands and getting her use to the bike.
    Females are best. they listen and stay by your side better.

    I have a 4 year old Lab cross that I've had since a pup and she is a great trail companion. I didn't really 'train' her other than just figured out what works best. We are at the point where she knows exactly what I want from her regarding other trail users and I rarely have to so much as speak to her.

    My only real suggestion would be to treat her with an appropriate diet that will give her the energy to run with you and ensure she doesn't overheat by allowing her to cool off in creeks, etc. plus grab a drink when she needs it.

    Oh and I prefer the dog is in front of me. She acts as an alert if there are other trail users ahead of me plus I can keep an eye on her. She will quickly get out of my way when we hit techy or downhill stuff though. A few tire buzzes early in her career and she caught on quickly.

  15. #15
    Christoph NorCal
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rabies010 View Post
    Someone who i saw regularly on our rounds with my dog, has a female Rhodesian Ridgeback as well.
    A really wonderfull and obediant dog that could get along with everybody and all other dogs.
    Butt...
    When she takes her for a run or a bikeride in the forrest, she always has to be aware of rabbits, squirrels etc, cause she had caught and shredded a few in the past.
    That was her only flaw.

    And since yours is already 3 years, it may be hard to get rid of some old bad habits.
    so i guess you would have to be extra carefull on and around the trails (anywhere else as well for that mather) cause you never know what she has done in the past in similar situations.
    Rhodesian Ridgebacks are sight hounds that do have the instinct to go after small game. That will be something I will need to look out for. Lots of ground squirrels in the East Bay Regional park system.
    CC

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  16. #16
    Christoph NorCal
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slowup View Post
    Females are best. they listen and stay by your side better.

    I have a 4 year old Lab cross that I've had since a pup and she is a great trail companion. I didn't really 'train' her other than just figured out what works best. We are at the point where she knows exactly what I want from her regarding other trail users and I rarely have to so much as speak to her.

    My only real suggestion would be to treat her with an appropriate diet that will give her the energy to run with you and ensure she doesn't overheat by allowing her to cool off in creeks, etc. plus grab a drink when she needs it.

    Oh and I prefer the dog is in front of me. She acts as an alert if there are other trail users ahead of me plus I can keep an eye on her. She will quickly get out of my way when we hit techy or downhill stuff though. A few tire buzzes early in her career and she caught on quickly.
    Good suggestion on the diet. I will need to do some research on that. I do plan on carrying extra water for the dog. Some of the parks do have ponds.
    CC

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  17. #17
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    Ridgebacks where bred for taking down large game in packs. There also needed to be element of surprise so they had to listen silently, quickly. A sight hound yes, partly, but should be fearless in a pack setting, so small animals may not be the only concern. They're also able to go long distances without food or water, do well with big fast temp swings, and are nearly impervious to bugs.
    Think this breed shows alot of great "trail dog" potential, but if it has aggresive tendencies, and/or doesn't have a clear firm leader if needed, it may never be trail worthy.
    My .02

    Oh, and how exactly does riding trails with a leash work? some kinda magic leash, or just plain magic? lol
    Last edited by theMeat; 02-25-2012 at 01:14 PM.
    Round and round we go

  18. #18
    Sweep the leg!
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    I sincerely hope your dog never causes a crash or another to be injured. If you live in the US you are liable for your dogs actions regardless of leash laws.

    I wouldn't ride with anyone that tried to bring a dog along. Please leave it at home.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  19. #19
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    I've taken my Standard Poodle for runs around the neighborhood to burn off energy with an expanding leash. It has worked out pretty good and now he run along side me on the bike when I get it out but I haven't taken him on the trails yet. He's just turned a year and is finally getting out of the puppy stage enough to pay attention.

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    Just what we need, more flea bitten hounds to get in the way causing accidents, biting people and crapping on the trails. At least the bears and mountain lions will thin them out.

  21. #21
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    Riding with dogs is awesome, but I hope you have a suitable place to take it, and train it well..... because as you can see, many people can't seem to control themselves or their bike, nor can they comprehend sharing "their" trail. so they get all bent, when a dog (runner, child, deer, tree) "makes" them wreck, or simply inconveniences them in the slightest....

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    Quote Originally Posted by d365 View Post
    Riding with dogs is awesome, but I hope you have a suitable place to take it, and train it well..... because as you can see, many people can't seem to control themselves or their bike, nor can they comprehend sharing "their" trail. so they get all bent, when a dog (runner, child, deer, tree) "makes" them wreck, or simply inconveniences them in the slightest....


    Running over a dog is more than an inconvenience, it is a needless endangerment, all because some simple sob can't think of anyone but themselves. And thanks for the sanctimonious reply in your feeble attempt to inflame the thread.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadie scum View Post
    Running over a dog is more than an inconvenience, it is a needless endangerment, all because some simple sob can't think of anyone but themselves. And thanks for the sanctimonious reply in your feeble attempt to inflame the thread.
    edit: sorry RS. bad day, over the top response. my apologies. read AZ's quote if you want to see how I respond before counting to 10.

    running over a dog, is you not controlling yourself or your bike.... I like sharing, and have no problem watching out for other trail users, even the most minimally trained dog, kid, runner.
    Last edited by d365; 02-24-2012 at 05:39 PM. Reason: to be the kinder, gentler me....

  24. #24
    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by d365 View Post
    running over a dog, is you not controlling yourself or your bike.... I say, you are a feeble, needless endangerment, who can't think of anyone else but yourself.... how's that for inflamed db?



    Wow. How do you really feel?

  25. #25
    Iko
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    Biking with the dog is a blast!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Training a dog to mountain bike with you-432005_265877486818857_100001898236963_677000_1517146322_n.jpg  


  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iko View Post
    Biking with the dog is a blast!
    drop in to first divide?

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    To the OP.

    it depends on where you plan on taking your dog and what type of trails.

    If you are going to be riding single track - you want your dog to stay away from wheels, but on the trail.

    if you are going to be on fire road, you want your dog away from other trail users, especially oncoming traffic.

    I use treats and ride along my dog (a 3 year old weim) and constantly ride with one arm out, holding a treat.

    I snap my finger and hold out a treat.

    She associates the sound to the treat.

    I say good dog.

    Do this away from others for a while.

    keep a leash with you just in case.

    Carry LOTS of extra water. A folder dog bowl is good, so you dont waste as much water.

  28. #28
    Iko
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    drop in to first divide?

    trail goes behind the tree towards the river.

  29. #29
    AZ
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    I trained my dog to drink water from a water bottle, just squirt it in her mouth. I don't have an opinion on trail dogs by the way. Mine runs with me, on a leash.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    I trained my dog to drink water from a water bottle, just squirt it in her mouth. I don't have an opinion on trail dogs by the way. Mine runs with me, on a leash.
    most dogs will drink from a bottle or camelbak, but they're messy. On longer rides, you can run out of water pretty easily.

    Folding dog bowls are less likely to waste water and they're small.

  31. #31
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    My dogs are messy drinking out of a bowl, makes no diffreance. I won't let them touch my Camelbak though, especially after they have been licking themselves.

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    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadie scum View Post
    especially after they have been licking themselves.


    Your just jealous.

  33. #33
    Iko
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    Your just jealous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    Your just jealous.



    Dude.

  35. #35
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    Here's a video of Chris Akrigg and his trail dog:

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/35502958?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="400" height="225" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/35502958">Step by step</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user1089639">chris akrigg</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregg View Post
    Here's a video of Chris Akrigg and his trail dog:
    Thank's for posting that !
    A very well edited video and a great story.

  37. #37
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    I really lucked out with my newest mixed-mutt rescue dog. Training this guy for trail doggin' consisted of taking him to the woods the first time and saying "Jett, follow me".

    This is the result....

    <object width="400" height="225"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=34492455&amp;server=vimeo.co m&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_port rait=0&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autop lay=0&amp;loop=0" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=34492455&amp;server=vimeo.co m&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_port rait=0&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autop lay=0&amp;loop=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="225"></embed></object><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/34492455">Cruisin' with my Doggie</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/morgan48">Clay Morgan</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
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    This is the ultimate trail dog right here. If you watch this video and still think dogs belong off trails, you got a screw loose.

    Lily at Trailside - YouTube!

    Lily at Trailside - YouTube

    edit - still cant figure out how to embed.

  39. #39
    R.I.P. Pugsley.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    This is the ultimate trail dog right here. If you watch this video and still think dogs belong off trails, you got a screw loose.

    edit - still cant figure out how to embed.
    No problem...
    I was actually looking for the same video when you posted it !
    Thank's for saving me the effort.
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/bim01gFuvNE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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    Unfortunately most dogs that are encountered on multiple use trails are not nearly as obiedient or well behaved.

  41. #41
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    Yeah i have to admit that most of the dogs I have encountered have not been all that trail friendly. It would be something entirely different if they were all like the couple of excellent examples that have been posted, but alas they are the exception rather than the rule.

  42. #42
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    Jett's a trooper. He just runs right by other dogs and hikers, as long as we're moving. I always bring a leash, but never have to use it except around the parking lot area.

    On his second time out, still a little guy, he followed me on this little wall ledge that has about a two foot drop off the end. I had no idea he was following me.

    <object width="400" height="225"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=27092246&amp;server=vimeo.co m&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_port rait=0&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autop lay=0&amp;loop=0" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=27092246&amp;server=vimeo.co m&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_port rait=0&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autop lay=0&amp;loop=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="225"></embed></object><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/27092246">Jett's second ride</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/morgan48">Clay Morgan</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by floydlippencott View Post
    Unfortunately most dogs that are encountered on multiple use trails are not nearly as obiedient or well behaved.
    The problem I have is with hikers and walkers not controlling their dogs especially when they come towards you.
    I've often had to swerve out of the way while someone's dog crosses in front of me to check out my dog, who mostly ignores them and continues on her way obediently on my right hand side.

    I've found - and take this for what it's worth - mountain bikers tend to have better behaved dogs.

  44. #44
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    My dog (God rest his soul) was a lab/shepherd mix and he just figured it out on is own after a few rides. He would run just in front of me (and never bother anyone) and at intersections I would say "left" or "right" to tell him which way to go. On the rare occasion that he went the wrong way I would yell "other" and he would turn around and catch up. He was very rare though. I rescued him from the streets, no training needed, and so loyal that he had no desire to bother or chase others (human or animal) - he just wanted to ride (run) with me.

    HOWEVER - Be VERY careful about overheating the dog - even when it's not that hot out. Take LOTS of water, take fairly frequent breaks, and be extremely aware of how the dog is doing. Read up on it. Unfortunately my brother-in-law's dog died from overheating on a mtn bike ride. It was a horrible situation.

  45. #45
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    [QUOTE=d365;9037011
    running over a dog, is you not controlling yourself or your bike.... I like sharing, and have no problem watching out for other trail users, even the most minimally trained dog, kid, runner.[/QUOTE]

    While your dog may be the perfect companion on the trail, many dogs aren't. I see more dogs being held back by their people on trails and MUT's than not. I've also seen a handful of riders go down because the dog was dumb enough to run into the rider despite the rider's best efforts to avoid the damn things. I've personally been bit by a herding dog because I wasn't going with the flow of the other riders.

    If you intentionally bring a dog to a trail you're inviting trouble.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

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    Dogs in a high traffic, multi use, public area. Should be on a leash at all times. Owners should also clean up after thier dog.

    Riding in the backcountry you tend to meet more like minded people. The further you get out. Thier dogs are usual decent minding. Does'nt bother me a bit to cross paths on ocassion with a dog off leash in the backcountry.

    I will not ride with anyone that has thier dog with them. Mtn biking is my time to relax and get away from it all. Have no desire to hear an owner barking commands every ten seconds.Stopping often to cool, water the dog.

    Just because you love your dog. Does'nt mean everyone else does.

  47. #47
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    I have encountered several badly behaved dogs out there, who definitely were an endangerment to other trail users. Seems no one will fess up to their own trail mutt being less that perfectly behaved tho.
    I used to have 4 Ridgebacks, but wouldn't dream of taking them riding with me, I do not see the point, I want to concentrate on my riding.
    I am trying to train my cat to come along tho, that would be a blast!
    It's all Here. Now.

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    I would tell you they make a dog leash that attaches to your bike. I put one on my old Trek Navigator to train my lab to stay with me when I ride. I pull any bike out and he gets wound up knowing he is going for a run. Now that he is trained, depending where I am road biking I keep a training collar on him. Dogs are built for endurance and short bursts. I do a lot of bird and duck hunting. If I walk 5 miles he has covered every bit of 50-60 miles. Getting energy out of your best friend makes your wife a much happier person.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo Troll View Post
    Dogs in a high traffic, multi use, public area. Should be on a leash at all times. Owners should also clean up after thier dog.

    Riding in the you tend to meet more like minded people. The further you get out. Thier dogs are usual decent minding. Does'nt bother me a bit to cross paths on ocassion with a dog off leash in the .

    I will not ride with anyone that has thier dog with them. Mtn biking is my time to relax and get away from it all. Have no desire to hear an owner barking commands every ten seconds.Stopping often to cool, water the dog.

    Just because you love your dog. Does'nt mean everyone else does.
    Thats OK, that is why I prefer to ride with my dog then any other bikers. Tired of riding with other people that slow me down, always waiting at the top of climbs and descents, can't make a rock garden, can't ride a skinny, can't pick a line at 25 mph, can't hit a jump, always fixing their bikes mid ride, always complaining about everything while riding.

    The dog on the other hand always challenges me to go faster, always takes the best line, always keeps up, always wants to go longer, never complains and gives me warning from bears and other animals.

    I race CAT 1 and have yet to find someone I can ride with on a consistent basis that pushes me to be faster, but the dog pushes me every time

    I just think you have not ridden with someone that has a dog that is well trained for MT biking. I rarely talk to my dog while riding, if she is out climbing me I will call out the right or left so she can go the correct direction at the top of the hill if there is a turn. And for water breaks she usually races ahead to get into the river or creek so she can catch the rear wheel as I go by. She knows every single spot for water on our local trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinning Lizard View Post

    I just think you have not ridden with someone that has a dog that is well trained for MT biking.



    That is the problem, almost all dogs encountered on the trails aren't well trained. If they were we wouldn't be on the second page of this discussion.

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