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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My father just got himself a new German Short Hair for hunting who loves to go out on runs and of course my first thought is that I've found myself a new riding partner. The guy who trained her used to have her follow when he was on his road bike but I think trails are something that would be new to her. She listens to commands pretty well so Im only a little concerned about her running off in the woods and I've been looking at high visibility vests so that I can keep track of her. Any tips on riding with a dog?
 

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WTB 29 allmountain wheels
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I'd try a few hikes or slow rides of the area without a leash first so that the dog learns your intended route and how to get to the end if something did happen and separate you. You'll be able to tell very quickly if she likes to follow the trail itself.
 

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I have a lab and a German shepherd, and they both follow the bike. They love bikes. If I am walking and a cyclist rides by the go nuts because they want to chase it. I took my friend's dog biking once and he got the bug too. I think that as long as she can keep up and you don't leave her in the dust she'll love it. I think dogs instinctively want to "run with the pack." Just make sure to keep her hydrated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Get a Garmin dog tracker and you won't need to worry about the dog running off.
Those things are sweet, maybe next year.

I have a lab and a German shepherd, and they both follow the bike. They love bikes. If I am walking and a cyclist rides by the go nuts because they want to chase it. I took my friend's dog biking once and he got the bug too. I think that as long as she can keep up and you don't leave her in the dust she'll love it. I think dogs instinctively want to "run with the pack." Just make sure to keep her hydrated.
If anything Ill have a hard time keeping up with her, she is crazy fast and has a ton of puppy left in her so she has lots of energy. Im really excited to get her out to the trails now, I hate riding with other people so this will be the first time Ill have a companion.
 

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i go out with my border collie often. she's nearly 3, loves going out in a group, very obviously prefers trail to pavement, and will easily manage 40km (spread over 6 to 8 hours, with copious breaks) if the terrain is good (soft forest flloor). but ...

she gets a big meal the evening before, not just before
i carry food and water for her too
we break often for games, and that motivates her to run on to the next 'games stop'
we don't go too fast at the start nor for a long stretch
when it gets rough and descending, she knows to go behind
i get her to drink or even swim at *every* opportunity
i check the paws frequently for wear and tear (esp. in rocky areas or on paved road)
we avoid tours with long transfers and lots of pavement (boring anyway ;o)
i carry superglue for quick 'paw tear' repairs (climbers' trick, even her vet said 'fine').

we go out for proper alpine tours, which means i have to choose routing carefully and that i can't always go along with my pals' suggestions. some don't mind her coming along, others do. the net result is that i have to accommodate her needs too, and that means some sacrifices ...

if you just want to do local loops with which she will become very familiar, your life will be a lot easier, your sacrifices less.
 

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My daughter had a German Shorthaired Pointer and that thing would run forever. The only problem will be getting the dog to stop. My buddies Jack Russell can keep up with us for 10 miles every day.

I take my Lab/Husky mix out in cool weather and she does well. She can avg 8mph for an hour when she's in top condition (usually 1-2 months into the cool weather season). She drinks more of my camelbak than I do. I have a gallon of water and a bowl in the car that she laps up before and after the ride.

I take her only on private trails, not in public. Too many distractions and chances of conflicts.
Be aware of others and know that not all people are dog people and some will freak out at overly excited/ freindly dogs.

Start slow, 1-3 miles. Keep it to 8-10 miles MAX once the dog is conditioned for it. Be willing to go slow when they slow down. Stop and rest every few miles depending on avg speed.

Leave them home on hot days. I don't take my dog out in any weather thats warmer than 60 degrees F. The colder the better in my opinion.

Keep track of them and keep tabs on their condition. There was a thread this summer by some poor guy who after only a few miles of riding, lost his riding buddy, who had done plenty of rides before and wasn't too old. It still hurts my heart, for both of them when I think about it. Dogs will literally run themselves to death to please you.

My Trail Dog after 5 miles last weekend. She was happy but tired. She needed a nap.
 

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My lab mix has a great vocabulary. One of his favorite phrases is "bike ride". He gets all excited when he sees lycra:thumbsup:

We have a Dogtra training collar that has an audible locator on it. The range is about 2 miles. He hates the beep and comes back to us when he hears it. It also lets us know generally where he is. He gets zapped if he is heading for a road and ignores the beep.

Now that he is properly trail trained, we rarely use it. Mostly only when we ride new unfamiliar trails.
 

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Here is a tip that nobody really ever talks about. I love dogs, but don't currently have one. It's awesome to bring them out on the trail, but just remember they are like kids....not everyone in the world thinks they are as cute and awesome as you do.

I've ridden with poeple who's dogs are great. I have also ridden with people who's dogs would stop dead in the middle of a technical descent. Same goes for sticking around. A dog that hangs out for the whole ride is killer, but I have had a few valuable days wasted searching for the dog who never runs away.
 

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Bike dogs need to be taught trail commands. Go means run. Go go go means run fast. Back means backup. Ours loves to be in the lead and rarely stops but the go go go command gets him moving fast. Everyone in our group knows his trail manners and commands. Never a problem.
 

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Agreed with the comment above about teaching bike specific commands. Once I taught those to my dog, riding became much easier with him.
 

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i have a mini pincher who has been my riding partner for a year now..i started slow with him and gave him treats every 20 mins and after a few times of that he would just followed...lots of water...i also had to watch him at first when other bikers passed he would chase them at first so watch out for that lol...good luck man
 

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I have read that many vets don't recommend running/riding with your dog until they are at least 2 years old. The reason is that their bones/joints are still growing and that extended non-stop exercise can lead to arthritus later on. This is not saying don't exercise your dogs, but spending time playing fetch or running around the yard is different, your dog gets tired and takes breaks. On the trail or running, a dog will will run to the point of exhaustion to keep up. My last lab had severe arthritus in her later years and I wouldn't wish that on any living creature, she had bad hips from genetics though, not running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
All great advice, thanks a lot. What are you guys using in your cars to keep a dirty dog from covering your seats in mud? My Jeep is in good enough condition that I don't want the pup ruining my seats. I've been looking at the different car "hammocks" that sling across the back seat and am thinking of making my own since I don't have headrests on the back bench. What are you guys using?
 

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Big Mac
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All great advice, thanks a lot. What are you guys using in your cars to keep a dirty dog from covering your seats in mud? My Jeep is in good enough condition that I don't want the pup ruining my seats. I've been looking at the different car "hammocks" that sling across the back seat and am thinking of making my own since I don't have headrests on the back bench. What are you guys using?
Me, I use a dirty truck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I do what I can to keep the dirt on the outside of mine, the interior is in great condition for an 11 year old Jeep and Ill be keeping it a while longer so protecting what I've got is a priority.
 

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I just cover my back seat with a sheet. It protects it just fine and I remove it when my dog is done with his "ride".
As far as dog's running with you while MTBing I do it all the time. But it does matter on the dog and his personality. I'm lucky enough to have a very behaved and mellow dog. Who stays on the trail twenty feet ahead or behind depending on the trail and where I want him. Normally he is in front but if I need to kick up the speed for a section I just say "watch out buddy" he always moves to the right and I pass on the left. He stays back until the trail changes to where he can go ahead of me. I then move to the right and say "go ahead buddy" he then passes on my left. He doesn't bother hikers,bikers or other dogs. And always gives all of them the right of way, by stopping and letting them by. Many stop and complement on how well behaved he is. Even when another dog is leashed up and barking and dragging the owner down trail. My dog ignores him and continues on minding his own business.

As I said I am lucky to have such a smart dog. All of this came natural to him with very little training. He is almost 13 years old and loves to trot for miles with me as I ride. Some thing's I do that I think is important. We always go to less traveled trails on off peak tines. And,I try to take him on trails with a close water source. If not he gets his own water bottle and I work the Camelbak. And also whenever we happen on any other trail user I always verbally tell them "don't worry he's nice". They usually thank me and stop to pet him but Bandit is more into the trail and a short petting is replaced with a look at my,and,a short whine saying "let's go dad". Yes he is almost 13 and would rather keep going than take a
break. He is half Doberman half Border Collie, I call him a Borderman. And I have no way of uploading a picture so if interested check out my profile he is in there.
 
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