Commuting with your dog?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Commuting with your dog?

    So I have a weird question. I commute year around just about every day, however I'm getting a new puppy. Until the puppy is properly trained I am going to bring it to work with me every day. However, I don't want to stop commuting on my bike, anyone had any experience commuting with a dog trailer?

    I will be adjusting my route to avoid busy streets if I go this route, however I cannot avoid streets all together. That is my other concern is how the puppy will handle it, which may be a deciding factor even if I work out all the other issues.

  2. #2
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    I haven't, but one of my co-workers used to trailer their dog all the time. Dog loved it, apparently. I think if you start while the puppy is young, it'll get used to it right quick.

    Heck, trailers are easy. I once saw a guy on the back deck of his whitewater kayak. Dog would bail out before each rapid, run down the bank and load back on in the eddy below.

    Go for it and let us know how it goes!

  3. #3
    jfk
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    yep



    As for getting your dog used to it, do several short rides, trying to be a smooth as possible in acceleration, stopping, and turning. Avoid as many obstacles/debris in the road as you can and ride with relatively low tire pressure on the trailer tires. The objective to make the ride as smooth as you can for your dog so they get comfortable and lie down. If they feel insecure they'll stand up to get their balance and the trailer will become much less stable as the center of gravity is higher and the dog moves around.

    I'd seriously think about pre-riding any path you want to take. My trailer is just wide enough to ride is a bike lane (don't worry, cars usually give you a lot more space). Riding up and down the sidewalk junctions causes a lot of disturbances in the trailer and agitated my dog. When riding on the road, look specifically for area in which the asphalt does not smoothly transition to cement curb. I hit a particular bad place doing about 15 mph and nearly flipped the trailer and me in the process. (I actually got the city to fix that particular issue for me).

    I think I pulled that dog trailer nearly 300 miles so far, taking my 35 lb border collie mix to agility training. Its a "croozer" brand trailer and seems to work pretty well, though I think the Burely trailers would be far superior (at twice the cost it should be). I've taken both my dogs in the trailer once or twice, together they'd weigh about 60 lbs.

    The hitch system on the croozer is pretty primitive, but it works. Its basically a spring which allows leaning of the bike and is attached to the quick release of the rear wheel. The spring caused a lot of issues during acceleration as the trailer modulated until an equilibrium was established. The trailer was rated for a very slow speed, about 15kph. In a straight line theres no issue going much faster (I might have kissed 20 mph, but no more), but you need to slow way down for turns (I flipped the trailer once). I should note that trailer behaves much better with a load then empty as it tends to hop around unloaded.

    I have a pretty big gripe about most trailer hitch systems as they attach to quick release skewer. I bent three skewers pretty badly. I eventually moved to Burley "classic" hitch system that fit between the seat and chain stays, but this system can't be used with disc brakes. Its pretty easy to retrofit to any single arm trailer.

    Stopping distance is an issue, obviously. I thought a lot about designing an auto-brake system to slow the trailer down faster and correct for the spring modulation (pre Burley hitch). This fell on the large pile of unfinished cool projects I want to work on.

    I typically took my dog to agility training in the evening, so making the trailer visible was a big deal. I eventually had two blinky lights on the back and stitched on mail box reflectors from Lowes.

    Hope this helps and let me know if there is anything I can help with.

  4. #4
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    I have a 15 pound dog. I don't use a trailer. I have a rear rack with a basket strapped to it. The dog is comfortable with the rides and there was a little training done. He was not a puppy when i first put him in the basket. I first called him and fed him treats around the bike. Then I put him in the basket and gave him treats in the set-up. Then i walked the bike with him in the basket and stopped any jumping. I gave him treats when he was calm. I practiced walking the bike with him in it before riding with him in the bike basket.

    After about an hour of rewarding calm behavior and correcting jumps I rode with him in it and went real slow. He jumped out twice the first day. Since it was a slow speed ride, he landed on his feet. I don't strap him in because the second time he was strapped in and was hung from the basket. I thought it was worse than him falling to the ground.

    He rides in the basket with out jumping out and i have taken him miles to destinations. His weight sometimes does throw off my balance, but it's not bad. When I was looking for a dog, i chose a smaller one because of the ease of transporting them.

    I did crash with him in the basket and felt real bad. He was not injured, but there are risks involved in transporting a dog by bicycle. My dog by nature is on the mellow side, but dogs are adaptable by nature. Training a puppy to ride in a bike should be easy. Dogs love going places.

  5. #5
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    My dog does not work with me. He's not allowed. I take him to coffee shops, the bank, and errands in my bicycle basket. Sometimes for fun too. The basket is tied tightly to a rack that supports his weight and has a towel on the bottom for padding. The basket also is lined with a small dog crate bed for the round soft edges.

    Somebody took the picture of my dog in my basket. I don't have permission to repost it, but it's a picture of myself with my dog, so whatever. Little dogs in baskets draw a lot of attention from people, especially when strapped to a steezy bicycles. People take pictures of my set-up occasionally cause it's eccentric and interesting to look at.
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    Last edited by RidersofDslum; 09-13-2010 at 09:34 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biker1980
    When your dog goes into office,how do you colleague feel?And can you focus on your job?I wanna try some fresh things,but I always will think about to much.Because we are living in the mass.
    We have a simple pet policy in the office, any pet is allowed, if there are two complaints about it then you can no longer bring it in. I work in a small team of six people, three of use bring our dogs into the office, so far no complaints. I've actually considered putting largish baby gates at both ends of our cubicle row to allow the dogs more space to run around (I can't take credit for the idea, some other group in the building did the same thing).

    As for focusing on work, it's no more distracting then complete access to the internet, or the arcade games in the cafe, or chatting with coworkers. So no problems for me.

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