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I was hoping to get tips on training my dog for trail riding with me this summer. I adopted her last June from a pound. She's a 3yr old Samoyed/ Pyrenees mix. My fiance and I have been working towards this goal since we got her. By last fall, we were already in pretty good voice control of her and started taking her off leash on less crowded trails. We've even taken her backountry skiing. Shes really good hiking with us now, but I was wondering if there is anything special we need to worry about training her around bikes?

We will only take her on more secluded trails to avoid crowds, and we know to take it easy on steep downhills to protect her hips. Any training tips from others that ride with their dogs or book recommendations are welcome.
 

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Having a dog on the ride can be great fun, and even better when you want to ride solo but might feel safe having the dog with you.

Start with small rides and see what speed your dog is comfortable with.

Always bring lots of extra water and a container for them to drink with. As well bring a good first aid kit so you could patch up a cut pad "it will happen at some point"

And before/after every ride make sure you clean the paws and rub in a good amount of Vaseline. It will keep the pads from drying out and toughen them up.

Thats all I do with my dog and he can rip for 6 hours with no problems.
 

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Whambat said:
I was hoping to get tips on training my dog for trail riding with me this summer. I adopted her last June from a pound. She's a 3yr old Samoyed/ Pyrenees mix. My fiance and I have been working towards this goal since we got her. By last fall, we were already in pretty good voice control of her and started taking her off leash on less crowded trails. We've even taken her backountry skiing. Shes really good hiking with us now, but I was wondering if there is anything special we need to worry about training her around bikes?

We will only take her on more secluded trails to avoid crowds, and we know to take it easy on steep downhills to protect her hips. Any training tips from others that ride with their dogs or book recommendations are welcome.
I think you have it mostly covered... Just make sure that:
1. Your dog knows the basic obedience commands (Sit, Stay, Heel and Stop) and obeys it 100% of the time.
2. Always have a leash with you to corral your dog in case there are people out there with dogs that are not in control or are freaked out by dogs.

Some extra commands I taught my dog:
- Stay close- she used to run "big" but I taught her this command so she stays within 15 feet of me. This is pretty important in trails where there are blind corners or are busy.
- "Back"- a variation of heel except she is behind my wheel.
- A different release command (we used to use "OK" until we realized how many times we use that word in regular conversation).
- "Right"- when runners, hikers or other bikers are coming, I taught my dog to heel to the right on command to get her out of the way.
- When encountering hikers or runners, I taught her to go off trail and sit and wait (we also do this when we encounter bikers that have the right of way).
- I also taught her corresponding hand signals so I don't have to yell like a madman when she's far away...

Here she is after a good morning run. A tired dog is a good dog...
Good luck!
 

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remember to provide water. Sounds like a big dog, which may not make for a good long distance runner. I've never heard of the vaseline paw pad treatment and have never done it with our three dogs. I would keep the rides short until you determine how long of a ride the dog is capable of and what kind of fitness it is in. And be hyper-sensitive about other people you encounter on the trail. Assume that everyone dislikes dogs until you actually hear out of their mouth that they like dogs and don't mind the doggy attention.

Tough love is OK. I mean if the dog isn't getting the idea that it can't trod right infront of your wheel, then buzz it a little with the tire while using a command for get out of the way. I say "whatchout!" or "go on"! They all know that if I say that to yield the trail.

Make sure he/she can heel, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ewarnerusa said:
. Sounds like a big dog, which may not make for a good long distance runner.
She's 70lbs, but Samoyeds are good sled dogs, close relative to the Husky, just a little less hyper. But my goal for the start of the summer is short 3-5 mile loops, just enough to tire her out so she's not bummed when she's stuck inside when I go on 6hr epics. Luckily we got good singletrack a 1/2 mile from our place in Frisco, and I can take her on a short loop before taking off for the day. By the way, does anyone have any tips riding with the dog on a leash while I get through town? Her only weak point right now, which we are working on, is to pull hard on the leash when she sees a squirrel. She doesn't chase them off leash, but I'm worried she'd pull me down if she saw one. It's mostly a training issue I'm sure, but if you got a solution I'm all ears.
 

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Be careful what they eat...

Have to be careful about what they can find in the woods.



kidding of course, my dog found one of the kid's toys and wouldn't let it go.

John
 

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Whambat said:
She's 70lbs...
That's not so big, then. I read pyrenees and though of a 150lb white mammoth. My dogs are two golden retriever crosses and a dalmation cross. All around 70-80 lbs. 3-5 miles loops are barely a warmup for the younger ones, but the oldest I won't take further than that. In fact, I think her biking days are sadly done. The younger dogs are well exercised at 10 miles and I rarely take them more than 15. I would never take them on a 6 hr epic, and they are in great shape. That just seems too far to me. I would say 15 miles or 2 hours riding time for their limit. Assuming, of course, that the trail had plenty of access to all the water they needed and that the days aren't too hot.
 

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Useful this, as I do intend to get a dog at some point, and being able to kill two birds with one stone is always good!

When I was riding DH at Cwm Carn (National Points Series course) here in Wales, a group of guys were riding with the dog bombing it down behind (and occasionally in front (!) of them, then at the bottom of the hill, he jumped into the uplift wagon with them. I just thought it was pretty awesome to see these guys all tooled up in armour etc, but with pooch!
 

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Two words "Gentle leader", think of it as a kind of dogie bridle. Excellent as a way to keep your very happy trail-dog from pulling you down.

Also, if there is any way you can do it ride near a creek, any dog can over heat incredibly easily. I don't think that this can be stressed enough, a human can walk or jog a dog to death, let alone riding. I don't want to discourage you from taking your dog, just remember that they're wearing fur coats, and have to do all of their cooling through their tongue.
 

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one cool dog product i found was a dog bowl made of nylon with a waterproof lining, that way we can share the water bottles and the dog bowl fits into a cargo pocket or a hydration pack. how many of you started by training your dog on a leash while riding? I'm finally at a point with jogging and walking my dog on the leash that I think he could handle some bike training. He's three years old, we got him when he was just about a year old from the shelter with absolutely no training. He's great but we've had to work through some issues. little ball of energy though loves to run, thats my main problem i don't think he would stop.
 

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Choosing the right dog would have to be top priority as many dogs simply don't have the stamina for mtnbiking.I have a border collie that burns me on the trail,even epic rides.
I've never brought water for him as i've yet to see a trail that did'nt cross a stream but i do carry a remote controlled shock collar when i'm biking close to camp grounds where there may be other trail users,all he needs is a warning beep from the collar and he comes running to me and sits by my side.
He has been a great biking companion and often does 10-20mi rides in stride but i must admit,Mtbiking is not that popular where i live and the trails are endless so we may never come in contact with anybody for months.
 

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RT,
Don't be so grumpy. It's winter and some of us are sick with the flu and some of us can't get on the trails because of the weather so let us ramble on.
It's Great to be Alive!
YetiBear
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
*rt* said:
on this forum. this topic has been covered several times recently

rt
I was lazy and didn't run one, but I will check it out. Although, I was inspired by the worst dog owner thread, and well, i figured I didn't want to be one of those. Thanks to everyone for their feedback, I'm sure it will be helpful. I am kinda in a wishful thinking stage looking out at the 30+ inches of snow in my yard and asking about riding with my dog. But I figured I might as well work on the last bits of dog training since I got quite a few months left before i can even make a trip to moab. At least the skiing has been good.
 

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YetiBear said:
RT,
Don't be so grumpy. It's winter and some of us are sick with the flu and some of us can't get on the trails because of the weather so let us ramble on.
It's Great to be Alive!
YetiBear
sorry. didn't mean for that to come off as grumpy. just seemed that there's lots of info already out there on the board and rather than rehash i'd suggest a search.

feel better soon. oh, and i got enough riding in for both of us this weekend so once you feel better i'll donate some ride time to ya. :D

rt
 

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Whambat said:
I was lazy and didn't run one, but I will check it out. Although, I was inspired by the worst dog owner thread, and well, i figured I didn't want to be one of those. Thanks to everyone for their feedback, I'm sure it will be helpful. I am kinda in a wishful thinking stage looking out at the 30+ inches of snow in my yard and asking about riding with my dog. But I figured I might as well work on the last bits of dog training since I got quite a few months left before i can even make a trip to moab. At least the skiing has been good.
enjoy the skiing and run that search. there's been a ton of really helpful info posted about training a dog to do trails. i read a lot of the threads after i got my dog and again as i was getting ready to take her out with me the first time. sounds like you are doing all the right things so that when the snow is finally gone you should be ready to take your pup out with you.



cheers.

rt
 

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I second the gentle leader. My non-trail dog is a bassett hound. Very stuborn and wants to chase everything small and furry. IF we saw a squirrel or rabit she would lunge forward with all her strength, choking herself on the chain. The gentle leader stopped all this immediately. Now the leash is slack 95% of the time and not pulling hard at all the other 5%. It doesn't hurt at all, it just kind of squeezes on the base of their snout, the harder they pull the harder it squeezes.
 

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I'd advise against it. I love dogs and have had one all my life, but they don't belong on trails unless you're diligent about picking up after & manage to magically have it on a leash when encountering others on the trail.

Dog pooh splattered up my back or meeting up with the teeth snapping, snarling dogs while the distant and hapless owners call out .."oh, she doesn't bite" just pisses me off. Both have happened to me multiple times and my state (as do some others) has a leash law.

My last encounter ended with me dropping the hammer on my bike and just getting away as the dog tried to bite. I swore I would get some bear repellent pepper spray for the next time, but instead avoid trails where people tend to bring their dogs.

(sorry to rain on this threads parade)
 
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