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  1. #1
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    Best Dog for Mountain Biking?

    Looking into a dog that can go on mountain biking adventures (up to 15-20 miles). Any thoughts or experiences on the best breeds? I have some friends with Border Collies that are great, but the energy level may be a bit high for me...
    "Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?"

  2. #2
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    I've got a Border Collie... he's amazing... if you like a dog that's smarter than you (of course, mine watches Sportscenter and probably knows more about sports than I ever will). They're explosive as puppies... but you have to be careful, because the dog will not stop working until it drops dead.

    Right now my border collie is, I want to say nine, and he's starting to get arthritic... not a big deal, it just means the activity has to be tapered off and less strenuous. Lately I've been taking slow rides along a creekside trail with him just to keep him limber and in shape.

    But collies in general are great, smart, and willing to do some serious running.

  3. #3
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    get a mutt from the pound

    I have a border collie / lab cross that can run all day - just make sure to bring extra water along for the dog and take it a little slower on the downhills.
    Also - you should really save a dog from the pound - there are already too many animals that have to get put down every year and when you buy from breeders it just adds to the problem. On top of that you'll save money if you don't get a purebred AND you'll get a healthier dog.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipedream
    I've got a Border Collie... he's amazing... if you like a dog that's smarter than you (of course, mine watches Sportscenter and probably knows more about sports than I ever will). They're explosive as puppies... but you have to be careful, because the dog will not stop working until it drops dead.

    Right now my border collie is, I want to say nine, and he's starting to get arthritic... not a big deal, it just means the activity has to be tapered off and less strenuous. Lately I've been taking slow rides along a creekside trail with him just to keep him limber and in shape.

    But collies in general are great, smart, and willing to do some serious running.

    This is a bit off topic, have you started to give your dog glucosamine? Google the topic. It's been shown to do wonders for dog's joints.
    [SIZE=1]* Disclaimer: The author of the above post is not liable for his views and opinions... especially when written under the influence of beer.
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  5. #5
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    Labs...

    Quote Originally Posted by crankpuller
    I have a border collie / lab cross that can run all day - just make sure to bring extra water along for the dog and take it a little slower on the downhills.
    Also - you should really save a dog from the pound - there are already too many animals that have to get put down every year and when you buy from breeders it just adds to the problem. On top of that you'll save money if you don't get a purebred AND you'll get a healthier dog.
    I have a chocolate lab that can run for days but they are definitely hyper as pups.

    I agree with crankpuller that you should save a dog from the pound, purebreds from a breeder can end up having a lot of problems as they get older.

    Either way, just make sure you take a lot of extra water....

  6. #6
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    keep them coming

    Thanks for the thoughts. I wouldn't even consider getting a dog from anywhere but the Humane Society. I volunteer there once in a while walking the dogs. And I use a camelback, so plenty of water to go around.

    Anybody with a goldie? There is a nice goldie pup as well as a lab/chow mix that I really like as well.....

    Do you guys ride with your dogs off the leash? How did you train the dog to stay with you?
    "Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?"

  7. #7
    I already rode that
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    Quote Originally Posted by zurC atnaS
    Looking into a dog that can go on mountain biking adventures (up to 15-20 miles). Any thoughts or experiences on the best breeds? I have some friends with Border Collies that are great, but the energy level may be a bit high for me...
    I had a border collie too (died at 12 years) and she loved to come riding with me. Very hyper cause even though she would be dead tired the next day she would still get excited if she saw me taking out the bike. I only took her out on easy ride days though and on trails that had alot of ups and down and stream crossings.

    My sister had a pitbull/mutt thing ( I forget what else it had init besides pit) and that dog although clumsier then my border collie liked running along side of us and got used to running beside me and the bike alot easier wise then my dog ever did.

    My dog was pretty well always off the leash too. Only onit when I took her along the streets to the park which was 1 min away and the trailhead was 7 mins away along this bike/running path.

    Watching my dog run down the park hill was funny too, watching her lil legs move so fast trying to keep up with me.

  8. #8
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    Personally, all my pets come directly from breeders,(I don't like supporting puppy farms...). However, you should check out adoption first. I know, practice what I preach,but I show my dog, and I used to show my parrot before he got so old, so I had reasons for going thru a breeder.
    As for what breed of dog, I'm gonna agree again with the previous posts. Border Collie, or Lab. Both of these dogs have ample energy, and are easily trained in obedience. Make sure you start any dog off slow, maybe only 3 or 4 miles until they are more than comfortable with that distance. You don't want to be 4 miles from your car/house/camp, when the dogs legs become too sore and stiff to continue and the mutt just lays down and ignores you,(been there done that). Also you want to give their paws time to toughen up, watchin a dog try to walk with blisters is fairly pitiful. Make sure to bring plenty of extra water, and try to keep the dog from leavin mines on the singletrack!
    Good luck finding your new puppy!
    Previously known as: Norco

  9. #9
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    almost any large healthy dog can work

    the key is conditioning the dog, start gradual and build up. As a previous poster noted, many dogs will just keep going until they drop dead - so pay close attention for signs of stress and don't suddenly increase the duration or speed of your rides.

    Both shelters and reputable breeders can be sources of great dogs, but stay away from puppy farms and pet stores that sell dogs.

    I ride with my Alaskan Malamute (pictured in the Avatar). I actually place her in her sledding harness and attach her to the front of the bike with a long shock line. She loves it and absolutely goes nuts anytime I drag the harness out! She will pull me faster than I can sprint and would probably run herself into the ground if I let her. With a breed like this, heat exhaustion is a big concern and I never take her out when it is warm.

    LOL. Dogs truly are the best people you will ever know.

  10. #10
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    We have an Australian cattle dog (female) and a border collie (male). Both are great dogs for taking on mountain biking rides. Both (breeds) were bred to work all day in all conditions and, if fit, can handle very long rides. Both can be a handfull too, requiring lots of daily exercise and mental stimulation. At the worst, the ACD can be snotty, stubborn, and tough, while the BC can be hyper and easilly distracted. On the other hand, the ACD is one of the most reliable, loyal, and efficient dogs out there. The BC has amazing athleticism and learns things very quickly. We do agility and some limited herding with both dogs as well. Great breeds both, for the right people.

    Lots of breeds can be good dogs for mountain biking. Personally I would prefer medium size dogs over larger breeds for regular mountain biking. Big dogs just aren't built for that kind of stuff, IMO. Regardless of the breed, it is important to know your dog and his/her limits (the don't won't know them). Make sure the dog has water on rides and make sure you check pads, etc. Rember too that dogs can get out of shape. Also, some of the larger breeds like labs and goldens have a higher tendancy toward hip and knee problems. We had a lab/golden mix who had 2 knee surgeries and ended up with serious hip problems. Expensive. Just like with people, regular activity and a good diet are important (avoid crapy foods like IAMS and other grocery store brands). BARF (bones and raw food) is one of the best diets out there. And I would not take a dog mountain biking until age 1 at the very minimum. Just because they can doesn't mean they should. Things that happen early on can end up big problems years down the road.

    cowdog loves dogs...

  11. #11
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    I have been thinking about getting a dog from the humane society, but am unsure about the costs that are associated with it. Assuming the dog is healthy, what expenses are there other than dog food. So, how much are shots, trips to the vet, etc...?
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  12. #12
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    the best one IMO

    Quote Originally Posted by zurC atnaS
    Looking into a dog that can go on mountain biking adventures (up to 15-20 miles). Any thoughts or experiences on the best breeds? I have some friends with Border Collies that are great, but the energy level may be a bit high for me...

    is a dead dog whose memories ride along with you in the trail.

    I've had some problems with live dogs in bike trails.

  13. #13
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    No, a dead dog is the best one, they don't get in the way.
    Your bike can take you anywhere, anytime, over any terrain but, you have to force it to GK 2004. BB1, who started it?

  14. #14
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    How about a dalmation?

    Quote Originally Posted by zurC atnaS
    Looking into a dog that can go on mountain biking adventures (up to 15-20 miles). Any thoughts or experiences on the best breeds? I have some friends with Border Collies that are great, but the energy level may be a bit high for me...
    After all, dalmations are bred to be coach dogs - running alongside horses & carriages. I haven't taken our girl (5.5 years old) on any trails, but she'll chase/follow me on my bike. And, holy cow, does she love to run!

    Most areas have a dalmation rescue organization of some sort. Due to the popularity of the Disney movies, kids clamor for dalmations and parents run out and get one. Problem is, dals make for crazy puppies, probably along the lines of a border collies and labs, or worse. The unwitting parents had no idea what they were getting themselves into, are completely unprepared for the commitment it takes to raise a dal puppy, and off goes the dog to the humane society (if they're lucky).

    We got Hannah when she was 2, so she wasn't quite as crazy (but still high energy). Supposedly, they can turn into couch potatoes at around 5 years, but we haven't seen any signs of that. Dals are big sweethearts and love to be with their families. They're nice, big dogs, and have great endurance. And did I mention they love to run? Congenital deafness is probably the most common breeding-related health problem, but they either have it or they don't - it's not something that will later develop in a seemingly healthy dog. Oh, and they shed all year long, but at least it's a short coat.


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  15. #15
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    All dogs do is F-up the trails for other users. KEEP THEM AT HOME WHERE THEY BELONG!
    Your bike can take you anywhere, anytime, over any terrain but, you have to force it to GK 2004. BB1, who started it?

  16. #16
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    "Bout the first time your dog darts in front of me and causes me to crash, you'll wish you'd brought a gun.
    Your fear of looking stupid is holding you back.

  17. #17
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    golden owner chiming in- . They do not make great trail dogs. They are more like "oh, oh, oh, maybe that guy coming straight at me on his bike wants to stop and PET ME!!". They are sweet as pie, but a little lacking in the common sense department. Plus, you'd want to clip them to keep them from picking up every sticker within a 10 mile radius.

    That being said, I'm with the leave the dog at home folks. It's the rare owner that does an excellent jog of training the dog to have impecaable trail manners, picks up the crap, waters the dog, checks it's feet for damage etc. If the dog is a pain, it is always the owner's fault.

    formica

  18. #18
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    Dal Pal

    My dal love to go biking and, after a brief warmup, does a good job of hanging out with me and the bike. He likes to lead out and set the tempo. The thing I have to watch is to keep a moderate pace, esp. on the long downhills. On our desert trails, his feet start to wear at about 8 miles.

    To minimize interaction with un-dog-ho trail users, I go to trails that are less frequented. I find that on Friday evenings especially I'll have the trails all to myself. I guess everyone else is hitting the happy hour.

    .d.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Blue
    After all, dalmations are bred to be coach dogs - running alongside horses & carriages. I haven't taken our girl (5.5 years old) on any trails, but she'll chase/follow me on my bike. And, holy cow, does she love to run!

    Most areas have a dalmation rescue organization of some sort. Due to the popularity of the Disney movies, kids clamor for dalmations and parents run out and get one. Problem is, dals make for crazy puppies, probably along the lines of a border collies and labs, or worse. The unwitting parents had no idea what they were getting themselves into, are completely unprepared for the commitment it takes to raise a dal puppy, and off goes the dog to the humane society (if they're lucky).

    We got Hannah when she was 2, so she wasn't quite as crazy (but still high energy). Supposedly, they can turn into couch potatoes at around 5 years, but we haven't seen any signs of that. Dals are big sweethearts and love to be with their families. They're nice, big dogs, and have great endurance. And did I mention they love to run? Congenital deafness is probably the most common breeding-related health problem, but they either have it or they don't - it's not something that will later develop in a seemingly healthy dog. Oh, and they shed all year long, but at least it's a short coat.


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  19. #19
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    Aussie Shepard

    My Puppy has been mtn biking with me for years...she goes a pace and forever. Just be careful in rocky places, she did cut her foot once.


    Quote Originally Posted by LCdaveH
    My dal love to go biking and, after a brief warmup, does a good job of hanging out with me and the bike. He likes to lead out and set the tempo. The thing I have to watch is to keep a moderate pace, esp. on the long downhills. On our desert trails, his feet start to wear at about 8 miles.

    To minimize interaction with un-dog-ho trail users, I go to trails that are less frequented. I find that on Friday evenings especially I'll have the trails all to myself. I guess everyone else is hitting the happy hour.

    .d.

  20. #20
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    The best dog for bikin'? Any dog that can run (most of them) and listens. The second part is important. The dog haters on here wouldn't have a problem with my dog- he gets out of the way when the pace picks up, he tends to run off the trail anyway, and one word- move- gets him the hell off the trail if necissary.

    The important thing was to train him first. First thing, your dog must listen to your commands, no if ands or buts. Don't take him anywhere near a trail or other people until he does. Then "girlfriend" rides. You know ones where the pace can be totally nmessed up and there is now-one there to complain. Once he's flawless with you, take him out with some buddies that like him for a tester. Make sure they know the command that gets him the hell out of the way. In Brisco's case "MOVE" is the ticket 'cause that's what I tought him. I've been lucky 'cause the B-dogg has spent a huge amount of time on trails, running, hiking and biking so it was fairly easy. Some friends dogs have not been so good and it's been intolerable. A little training would have gome a long way for those dogs, but now they have to stay at home.

    A dog should also be at least a year old until strenous exercise or you risk permanent physical damage. A pup will also be a friggin' hastle in the woods 'cause he'll be super dumb and not trained yet. I sacrificed a bunch of rides to hike and train the pup brfore he was old and trained enough but it was worth it and I wouldn't dream of touching rubber to dirt without him, and a bunch of my riding buddies probably like Brisco more than me by now.

    As with almost any dog "issue" it's the owner, not the dog. His behaviour is your responsibility, so make sure his trail behaviour is flawless.

    Dog on!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonlong
    I have been thinking about getting a dog from the humane society, but am unsure about the costs that are associated with it. Assuming the dog is healthy, what expenses are there other than dog food. So, how much are shots, trips to the vet, etc...?
    If you are asking about costs... don't get a dog. They are like children...

  22. #22
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    "Bout the first time your dog darts in front of me and causes me to crash, you'll wish you'd brought a gun
    No, a dead dog is the best one, they don't get in the way.

    Unbelievable. What the hell is wrong with some of you people. You know, its possible for any small or large animal to "dart" in front of you on the trail, cause your riding through their living room. Maybe you should just try to control yourself and your bike, and respect other trail users, including dogs. It's a DOG for chrissake! Now I know why some people DO ride with guns.

  23. #23
    Always Learning
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    Quote Originally Posted by zurC atnaS
    Looking into a dog that can go on mountain biking adventures (up to 15-20 miles). Any thoughts or experiences on the best breeds? I have some friends with Border Collies that are great, but the energy level may be a bit high for me...
    I ride from time to time with 2 labs (both are sub 70 pounds). They are trained and respond to commands. When training dogs that are more "stubborn", use of a remote control shock collar does wonders and the canine responds to it quite well. You can purchase these at a good hunting store. You will want to train your dog to stay over on the right, to not go meet and greet hikers on the trail and to avoid wandering too far off the trail while chasing wildlife. Once training is in place - you have to find trails that allow pets without a leash to be on them. Those are few and far between - so make sure you are riding legally on such a trail.

    As has been mentioned, you have to start slow and with short distances to train them and then work your way up to longer distances. Keep distance in mind based on the conditions. The hotter it is, the slower and less distance you should cover. Have snacks and water for them. Best of all - ride where they are able to jump in some water and cool off. Stop every now and then to give them a rest. It may take you a few a while to train the dogs to ride 15 - 20 miles. I would keep it below 5 miles until the dog is at least a year old.

    BB

  24. #24
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    Some great, some not so great input

    Thanks to those of you with positive input.

    Those of you with negative or criminal input can keep it to yourself. Humans do not own this world or the trails. It is people like you (anynomous and Minkhiller) that usually lead to trail closer, not dogs. Take your aggresions out on the trail not in this forum or on dogs.

    peace
    "Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?"

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by toad
    Unbelievable. What the hell is wrong with some of you people. You know, its possible for any small or large animal to "dart" in front of you on the trail, cause your riding through their living room. Maybe you should just try to control yourself and your bike, and respect other trail users, including dogs. It's a DOG for chrissake! Now I know why some people DO ride with guns.
    Yeah that's it, we all need guns on the trail. Brilliant!
    Your bike can take you anywhere, anytime, over any terrain but, you have to force it to GK 2004. BB1, who started it?

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