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  1. #1
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    Riding with your dog

    Does anyone have any experience riding with their dog on a leash?
    I'm not thinking about riding single track this way but fire roads, neighborhoods, etc.

    I've got a puggle that needs to lose some weight and he has to be on a lease when he goes for a walk or he takes off.

    I've tried this a little bit before but I am always afraid of getting tangle in the leash.

    Any thoughts/experience?

  2. #2
    RXL
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    I ride with my dog on one of those retractable leashes.(Flexi3)

    The handle is small enough to hold while grabbing the bars and the thumb brake comes in handy when the dog makes a break for it. You can slow him/her down without getting your arm ripped from its socket.

    I bought the 15' model, which seems to be a good length. Long enough that I'm not running her over, but short enough to not become a tangled mess.

    EDIT:
    Let me add that this is a well trained dog that loves to run. She would pull me at a full speed if I let her.

    We ride on secluded trails, rarely seeing other bikes/hikers. When we do run across someone, I'll shorten the leash up and pull off the trail.

    Singletracks are entirely possible with the dog out in front of you. Just give plenty of room and be ready on the brakes. They will stop on a dime to sniff something trailside.
    Last edited by RXL; 03-31-2008 at 10:27 AM.

  3. #3
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    Not a good idea....

    the primary danger as you've noted is getting tangled up with the leash. I've seen some pretty low speed crashes caused by a dog on a leash simply crossing over in front of the bike to try and check something out. I've also seen some pretty ugly injuries to the dog that gets a little curious about the moving wheel of the bike too. I would really suggest a bit of cross training for you, and a bit of consideration for your little friend. A good brisk walk daily is safer and better for both you and the pooch. Riding with dogs can be fun and good for both of you. But the two of you being technically attached to each other while you're riding isn't really safe for you or the dog. Especially the dog. Isn't a Puggle a mini mutt? If you were to accidentally run over him/her with the bike, you'd do some serious damage to your bud! Just my thoughts, having trie it before, I wouldn't.

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  4. #4
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    I've got a golden retriever riding buddy. He's an experienced leash walker, well mannered and very responsive to commands.

    I tried the leash thing with him up and down the street while I was training him for the trail. No mishaps, but I didn't feel comfortable with it. We did end up rolling down some fire roads with the leash while I established some commands for turning, etc.

    In a very controlled training environment, I think this method is okay for training. That is, if your dog has already been trained to never stray from one side. However, in the neighborhood where so many things are out of your control and with the added factor of speed, something is too likely to go wrong for my comfort level.

    Dogs can be good trail buddies once you train them enough to turn them loose, though. My guy has around 10" of front and rear travel; you can't beat that. ;-)

  5. #5
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    No Disrepect...

    Puggle's aren't the sportiest of dogs. I can't imagine one keeping pace with a bike for more than 10-15 mins. I would suggest a brisk walk to begin with. Just imagine yourself being out of shape and then chained to a bike for your first workout. It's not going to be good.

    Personally, I have a German Shorthaired pointer. He's high energy and gets a one hour run each day. He really enjoys going on rides. I don't leash him and only take him where I know he won't bother anybody else. Even as a good a shape as he is in...he can't keep pace more than 30-40 mins of hard riding. If I take it easy, he can go an hour or more. Overheating is always a danger so I ride with a water bottle and usually around a lake or creek where he can take a dip to cool off.

  6. #6
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    It can be done (I ride with my German Shorthaired quite often) but getting started is risky for both of you. First challenge is that the wheel movement spooks most dogs and they want to get away. This usually pulls you off balance to the side (made for a couple ugly crashes). The next challenge is getting past other animals. It is amazing just how much a dog loves to investigate other animals. Cars present a problem, not because the dog wants to give chase but they want to get away from them and wrap you up in the leash. The other problem I have had has been with my dog wanting to lead. If your dog wants to lead instead of running beside or behind you then you end up running him/her over whenever it decided to check on your progress. Then you have a bike control issue, to keep the dog out of traffic you need it to be on your right, controlling the leash with your right hand leaves you controlling your brakes with your left and you know haw that goes. If you start with a young dog it is not much of a problem since they learn quickly, older dogs tend to take longer to adapt. You also have concerns about not exceeding your dog’s fitness level. The dog can adapt to any amount of running, but like a runner it needs to develop its stamina over time. Be careful not to run your dog till its paws drop out from under it, a short easy ride for you may be a marathon for a couch potato puppy. My personal recommendation for an under-exercised pup just starting out would be to walk/run (consider bringing you bike along so the dog gets used to the bike and its spinning wheels) to develop is fitness level. If you still want to train it for leash riding then start in a park or trail that is wide and has little traffic. Go slow, in the early stages of training speed is you enemy and in most cases you will take the lumps. Once you and your dog learn the finer points of biking together you will not be permitted to ride without him. They become as addicted to the sport as we do.

  7. #7
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    I'm an old grounch...

    Especially when it comes to dogs on trails or rides....

    I love dogs. I think they're great. I also love singletrack dogs who are well trained and part of the group ride. But the reality is there are far less of those than there are dog rider combinations that aren't well trained. So in general, I hate having dogs on rides. It's not the dogs fault and they're having fun but they're also biting at wheels, cutting across the trail, nipping at heals, chasing animals (getting lost) and generally not well behaved.

    I've been bitten on rides from "well behaved, nice dogs". I've seen a adolecent dog meet its maker at the front end of a train while on a ride. I've seen dog fights on rides.

    With very few exceptions, most people have a jaded view of their kids (pets). There are a few owners who have taken responsibility for their dogs and trained them to run singletrack and participate in group rides. And those dogs are great to have along on rides or to meet them coming in opposite directions. But those owners who haven't taken the time to train their dogs piss me off.

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    Ken definitely has a good point. Untrained and uncontrolled (either physically with a leash or electronically) dogs on the trail can be a real menace. Properly training and socializing of you four legged friends make a world of difference for everyone on the trail.

  9. #9
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    Dogs can also run themselves to death on leashes. They will keep running to keep up. Especially with a dog that is part Pug which is by no means any type of athlete. Please from my peace of mind don't try it with this animal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jivarie
    Puggle's aren't the sportiest of dogs. I can't imagine one keeping pace with a bike for more than 10-15 mins. I would suggest a brisk walk to begin with. Just imagine yourself being out of shape and then chained to a bike for your first workout. It's not going to be good.
    quoted for truth.

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    Something else that's a PITA....

    Quote Originally Posted by rydog9991
    Dogs can also run themselves to death on leashes. They will keep running to keep up. Especially with a dog that is part Pug which is by no means any type of athlete. Please from my peace of mind don't try it with this animal.
    Another problem with dogs on trails is rocks. If they're not used to running or running on trails, their pads will get ripped up. Even if they are used to running on trails, if they cut their pad on a sharp rock, you're ride is done. May not be an issue where you live but in KC, all we have are limestone with pronounced edges. Even experienced trail running dogs need to build up their pads at the beginning of the season.

  12. #12
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    Pad Hardener

    If you're planning on having a trail dog it would be wise to have a pad hardener. It's a spray and in neccessary for anybody who has a dog that they run a lot. A split pad is quite dangerous for dogs.

  13. #13
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    I've seen a well behaved lab on the singletrack and it did great. It ran ahead of it's owner, jumped in the lake, and when the owner caught up it tagged along. The dog wasn't biting at my heels or chasing things off in the woods. It is possible to have a singletrack companion, but it needs to be trained well early on. I'm sure there have been many many bad experiences compared to my good one. I wouldn't try riding with my dog on a leash though. There's just too many things that could go wrong.
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  14. #14
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    tried that once in the back yard and i think i was on the ground...alot!

    as for trails...dogs don't bother me...as long as we can ride!
    I just like riding my mountain bike.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jivarie
    If you're planning on having a trail dog it would be wise to have a pad hardener. It's a spray and in neccessary for anybody who has a dog that they run a lot. A split pad is quite dangerous for dogs.
    Where do you get that pad hardener? I have a trail Dalmatian that has tore up his pads in the past. Even stopping to check every so often once they are starting to get sensitive he will tear them up getting back to the trailhead.

    I rode with him on a leash for the first time last week. Usually he is on trails with me, this time we were doing a trip around the neighborhood. It worked out great. I have to put a control/choke collar on him just to walk him. He is a puller. The key to remember is to keep the dog at a speed where he is focused on running and not his surroundings.

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  16. #16
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    Hmm I imagine with enough practice it can be done, but if something goes wrong it won't be pretty. Plus there's not too many dogs that can run for a long time where it's not doing damage to their hips.
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  17. #17
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    if you do a lot of hiking/biking with your dog on lots of rocky terrain, these might be a good option. even have vibram soles.

    http://www.backcountryoutlet.com/out...009&mv_pc=r126

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcwindell
    Does anyone have any experience riding with their dog on a leash?
    I'm not thinking about riding single track this way but fire roads, neighborhoods, etc.

    I've got a puggle that needs to lose some weight and he has to be on a lease when he goes for a walk or he takes off.

    I've tried this a little bit before but I am always afraid of getting tangle in the leash.

    Any thoughts/experience?

    i would not do it..... i've tried with my and it was not pretty. this was going slow in front of the house.
    they darted after squirrles, other dogs and made me fall off.

    now...I have seen some well behaved dogs that run with their owners without a leash ...wish mine could do that. but having their leash attached to your bikes is dangerous for you and them

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC
    Especially when it comes to dogs on trails or rides....

    I love dogs. I think they're great. I also love singletrack dogs who are well trained and part of the group ride. But the reality is there are far less of those than there are dog rider combinations that aren't well trained. So in general, I hate having dogs on rides. It's not the dogs fault and they're having fun but they're also biting at wheels, cutting across the trail, nipping at heals, chasing animals (getting lost) and generally not well behaved.

    I've been bitten on rides from "well behaved, nice dogs". I've seen a adolecent dog meet its maker at the front end of a train while on a ride. I've seen dog fights on rides.

    With very few exceptions, most people have a jaded view of their kids (pets). There are a few owners who have taken responsibility for their dogs and trained them to run singletrack and participate in group rides. And those dogs are great to have along on rides or to meet them coming in opposite directions. But those owners who haven't taken the time to train their dogs piss me off.
    Amen brother!!!!!
    I love doggies, but 90% of the time they are a total danger on trails. Especially bike paths. I hate it when the owner doesn't put themselves between the riders and the dog. They let it wander all over the trail towards the rider. Had that happen today. Almost killed myself because of it. I should have made the lady buy me new tires I had to skid so bad on the pavement to stop because of her negligence.Prolly flat spotted my brand new nevegals.$50 a pop!!!!!
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  20. #20
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    bike paths are one thing, but out in the hills actually riding is another. many, many of us ride out here with our dogs. maybe it's a montana thing.

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    Yea, the thing that bugs me whether on a path or a trail is when other people are walking their dogs and don't see the danger in letting the dog wander when there are riders approaching.Thats what I'm talking about.
    As long as the dog responds well to commands, i don't see a problem taking the pup along for a ride. It can be very cool, unless they run off or get in the way.

    Most of the trails around here are shared with alot of hikers and dog walkers horses etc. I just wish the dog walkers could put themselves between the dog and the riders, rather than let it wander and pose a threat.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueTrain
    if you do a lot of hiking/biking with your dog on lots of rocky terrain, these might be a good option. even have vibram soles.

    http://www.backcountryoutlet.com/out...009&mv_pc=r126


    Hahaha, my buddy got those for his dog, and loves them. The dog got used to them after wearing them a couple times out. No more bloddy pads!!!!!! Wait, that didn't sound right.......
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagemann
    Yea, the thing that bugs me whether on a path or a trail is when other people are walking their dogs and don't see the danger in letting the dog wander when there are riders approaching.Thats what I'm talking about.
    As long as the dog responds well to commands, i don't see a problem taking the pup along for a ride. It can be very cool, unless they run off or get in the way.

    Most of the trails around here are shared with alot of hikers and dog walkers horses etc. I just wish the dog walkers could put themselves between the dog and the riders, rather than let it wander and pose a threat.
    Amen! I'd settle for the dogs being trained and on real leashes. Rode two weekends ago and got run off the trail by a pit bull "controlled" by some well-to-do soccer mom type. In reality the dog was under no such control since the entire leash was out basically trip lining the trail and the lady wasn't paying any attention. I HATE retractible leashes. I guess they are ok for walking your shitzu around the neighborhood, but a pit bull in the woods?!?

    Now, before I get hammered on by pit bull lovers I have nothing against the dogs, only their ignorant owners. ANY 60+lb dog heading straight for your front tire unrestrained does not inspire confidence....

  24. #24
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    what you need is one of these things.

    http://www.springerusa.com

    I see them used here all the time and they seem to work. Might take a bit of training to get the dog used to it, but seems to work and keep them out from under your wheels

  25. #25
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    You can probably pick it up at PetSmart or some store of that nature. If have any sporting goods stores that specialize in hunting and hunting dogs...you'll be able to get it there. That stuff is fantastic.

  26. #26
    RXL
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    For me, it's more about being able to ride my bike on a "dog walk". Not really taking my dog out for an epic "ride".

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by RXL
    For me, it's more about being able to ride my bike on a "dog walk". Not really taking my dog out for an epic "ride".
    Yeah that is what I was doing too. Your Puggle shouldn't be so strong and heavy to pull you over so you should be ok as long as he doesn't tangle you up in the bike.

    It is a way more fun way to walk the dog than just walking......
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    lol, a puggle on a bike ride. maybe a 5 minute campground bike ride.

    I take my dogs rollerblading.

  29. #29
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    Whoa, trying to ride a bike with a dog on a leash is asking for a trip to the Vet or the Emergency Dept or both. A dog on a leash, especially one the size of a Pug can be under your wheels in an instant, don't do it. We have two French Brittanys that we exercise with our bicycles, but we use attachment devices designed especially for this. We looked at the "Springer" which one poster mentioned above, which looks like it would work very well, but it is designed for a road bike as it has to be clamped high on the seat tube, very difficult to do with the low top tube design of most mountain bikes. Also I would not be comfortable clamping anything tightly to a thin aluminum frame tube, too much risk of crushing it. If you have a mountain bike with a very large steel frame it might work.
    What we use instead is a "Biker-Set" on one bike, In use here:

    http://www.animalsource.co.uk/biker-...eads-729-p.asp

    and a better look at the device itself here:

    http://www.leboncoin.fr/vi/8831057.htm

    On the other bike we use a "WalkyDog". More info here:

    http://www.walkydogusa.com/dog-biking-product.htm

    Both of these devices clamp to the seat post rather than the seat tube so what we did was buy a couple of cheap heavy aluminum seat posts and an extra seat each, which allows us to simply leave the device attached to the seat posts and just swap out the whole seat assembly as needed. The WalkyDog does have a nifty quick-release that you could pop apart and leave the bracket attached to your bike too, if you didn't want the extra cost of another seat/seat post. The Biker-Set detaches too, but it unscrews, a bit more tedious.

    Both of these were about $40.00 US, we bought the Biker-Set at a pet shop and the WalkyDog on Ebay.

    In my opinion, the Biker-Set has a better dog attachment as it has a swivel and a velcro emergency release, We used it last season and it worked great (the Biker-Set, not the emergency release, haven't needed that yet).
    The WalkyDog is built stronger and detaches more easily, but is heavier and has no emergency release. It looks like it should work well, but we haven't used it yet. (Hurry up Spring).

    One caution I would add, the pictures show dogs hooked up to these things with collars. I would never use a collar, there would be far too much danger of damaging your dog's neck in a mis-hap. We use a harness which goes on around the dog's chest, with the attaching loop just behind the dog's shoulders. These are available at any pet supply store.

    Most of our dog running/biking is done on gravel roads so the possibility pad injury is a concern, we have tried a few cheap dog booties which have not worked well. This year we will try a couple sets of the Ruff Wear dog boots as someone mentioned in an earlier post.

    If the dog pulls to the side with these, you are definitely aware of it, but we have never needed more than a minor correction. Something real big, like a St. Bernard might be different.

    Our male is about 19" tall and 30 lbs and will pull my wife at 20 km/hr without pedaling until he slows down and runs alongside. I call that cheating.

    I guess if you really want to cheat, you could try a Dog-Scooter, great exercise for the dog, pretty slack for the owner. Check out these videos. These are what you use for the big dogs.

    http://www.dogscooter.com/Videos.htm

    As for the Pug, I would be cautious as a lot of Pug's have breathing difficulties because of their extremely short noses, vigorous sustained exercise where the Pug is not in control of when to quit, may be hazardous for them. But if you have a medium-sized vigorous dog that lives to run, and you want to take it biking under control, these might be the answer for you.

  30. #30
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    i bike my dog everyday here is how to do it.

    1st of all, go rent some of those dog wisperer vids form netflix. It will realy help you. I run my dog every day. I have an Austrailian Shepard (i think) was a rescued dog that someone dupmped or got lost. He is totaly a great dog.

    This is how I trained him. I use a rope about 7 feet long. Make a knot in it and make a loop. Light rope works great because it doesn't weigh much. You want to position the rope leash right below the ears and above the collar. When you start keep a routine. I bike my dog and walk him on the right side of my bike because I'm right handed and when you pass people on left you are a barrior. That seems to work out best for me.

    I make him sit and stay. Then I get my bike. Then we start off. 1st thing is you want to do is keep the leash high, hold it up high. This makes your dog keep his head up, dont worry you wont choke him. It also keeps him from getting behind or infront of you which causes you to wreck. Start off fast enough so you wont fall. Your dog will run next to you and keep up as long as you keep the leash high, hold it like a torch. It will feel really aqward at first but you will be surprised how fast your dog will catch on.

    Once your dog is kind of getting it, then give him some more slack. If he gets ahead of you say "heal" and give him a tug back as soon as he goes to far forward. And same for to far back. I like my dog at about 4 oclock position, slightly behind me. But he always tries to run forward. After some time he has learned. If they protest just make them do it.

    Also, don't obsess about watching him, keep your weight off your right hand so he wont wipe you out, and just bike. I have found the more you just do your thing the better they follow. I go out for rides and I dont even really notice hes there all that much. After they get it you can really cruze..

    On turning, you need to keep him at 4 to 5 oclock position. Practice making both right and left turns. When your dog sees other dogs or people, and he starts to pull, give him a tug and switch his focus back onto you.

    1st and formost if your dog wont sit, stay and come. Learn that 1st. Work on that. Biking is really next. I take my dog out on singletrack with freinds and he loves it, for him its like a pack run in the wild. They will figure out what position to run in no matter how fast you go. So normally I put my dog behind me or at end of the pack of bikes. He does a pretty good job off staying in position.

    If you do singletrack with your dog be curtious. Other people don't know your dog. Keep between them. I keep a rope leash with me in pocket so I can slip it on or off as needed when we get close to others, and if we are just breaking and other bikers approach. Bring water and rest after long downhills. It's really fun. You can have a great time with a dog with some basic training.

    Also practice in the street going really slow, turning back and forth, round and round, they learn to follow your bike.

    And after you get the nack of it, if you go on single track keep the leash on until you are alone with your group. And get those dog wisper vids, they really help.

    I'm thinking about getting a dog pack, wondering if anyone has experiance with them and how well they can run in them? Thanks!

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    I used to ride with my dog leashed but after a few painful "squirrel chasing" moments I have since switched to an electronic training collar ( that's the PC way of saying shock collar) it has a tone you can activate to get his attention if they start getting off the trail to much. other than that I love my dog and for the most part he does well other than once or twice he has jumped out in front at bad times causing me to brake hard.

  32. #32
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    I love riding with my dog.

    Where I live, I only have to have him on a lead at the start of hunting season so I dont take him out on the bike during that time (soon )

    We are normaly out for a couple of hours and it only took a couple of rides to get used to getting out the way of the bike. He even knows my lines now so he runs pretty close to me without getting in the way.

    After we come home and scrub up, you can just tell that he loves it as much as me. (well, he mostly sleeps like a baby)



    To start off I went out on a few short trips with my wife running with us. Now we are happy its become a boys thing. Getting away from the wife and kids is my kind of biking.

    I suppose I`m lucky but Dalmations as a rule dont run off and when I stop he "heels" at the bike as not to interfere or frighten the odd jogger.

    @ 35kg`s I would hate to have to have him tied to the bike esspecialy on our type of terrain.
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    Accidently ran my dog over once,the dog and bike were not hurt. Now he just runs perfectly by myside. I keep the speed low though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wizard22
    Whoa, trying to ride a bike with a dog on a leash is asking for a trip to the Vet or the Emergency Dept or both. A dog on a leash, especially one the size of a Pug can be under your wheels in an instant, don't do it. We have two French Brittanys that we exercise with our bicycles, but we use attachment devices designed especially for this. We looked at the "Springer" which one poster mentioned above, which looks like it would work very well, but it is designed for a road bike as it has to be clamped high on the seat tube, very difficult to do with the low top tube design of most mountain bikes. Also I would not be comfortable clamping anything tightly to a thin aluminum frame tube, too much risk of crushing it. If you have a mountain bike with a very large steel frame it might work.
    What we use instead is a "Biker-Set" on one bike, In use here:
    .
    I picked up a springer on ebay last night. I ride a Gary Fisher Mullet and it clamped to the seat post quite readily. I didn't clamp it down hard. Instead, I wrapped my seatpost in athletic tape, followed by double sided tape for some adheasive. Then I attached the springer. I have a fit 70lb GSP. He's NEVER ridden on a leash by the bike and had ZERO troubles with this. Best 25$ I've spent in a while.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
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    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    13
    It all comes down to training. Master a walking heal first and work up to it. I've been training my Lab since she was 9 weeks old and just recently started her on less crowded trails (she's 6 months now). She stays right by my side the whole time unless the trail is too narrow. Make sure the dog comes on the FIRST call and pays attention to YOU at all times. I suggest a basic obiedience course to get started. Trust me, it's well worth it. I ride her around the neighborhood on a leash sometimes when I can't get her out on a trail and she's just happy to be running...nose up!

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