Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Bored Carp
Joined
·
1,596 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
JMH and I have added a puppy to our list of riding buddies - an Australian shepherd girl named Preston (hey Idahoes, guess where we got her? :) ). We have a good system for training her, and she is picking up the basics really fast, so no problems there. She is super smart and very energetic.

What we still need to decide on is a set of trail-specific behaviors/commands - her bones need to grow more before she can go on rides or long hikes, but we can start teaching during our shorter snowshoe adventures, which she loves.


So - here are the questions:
1. what commands/behaviors do you use on the trail with your dog?
2. how did you teach them these things?


Ok, here are the gratuitous fuzzy puppy pics and video:

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3203245493/" title="Serious puppy by hukee, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3519/3203245493_40a860646e_b.jpg" width="768" height="1024" alt="Serious puppy" /></a>

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3172089464/" title="Preston_1.jpg by hukee, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3087/3172089464_876f08a27e_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="Preston_1.jpg" /></a>

 

·
******
Joined
·
528 Posts
1. My pups know 4 commands.
"COME"- Obvious, but is then followed by the occasional "HERE" to keep them near me.
"GET IN BACK"- Another obvious one. My male Vizsla thinks he is Alpha dog sometimes so I have to remind him that I'm head of the pack. This is probably my favorite command. I don't have to worry about running them over and makes for a better situation when other riders are coming head on. If I am climbing I have the right of way so they stick on my back tire and don't create a problem.
"GO PLAY"- Is the release command. This lets them go crazy, which I only use when visibility is good and know they won't trip up any other bikers or hikers.
"AROUND"- I use this command with some hand gesturing when I am descending and others have the ROW. I put them near my right foot so my bike is in between them and on coming traffic. It is usually followed by the "SIT" command to set others at easy when they are passing.

2. How did I do it? Patience. Good luck and that puppy is way too cute...
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
Chuky...that vid is crackin me up. Reminds me of my late male Lab when he was a pup....they are so great...I love dogs:D Your pup is awesome! And nmtim your dogs are really good lookin...they look like they could do a few laps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
398 Posts
Work on the heal command, its much better to have your dog trained to follow you rather than sprint ahead. Until I got this down Barney would run ahead and stop to check if I was still following him... Not good!

I found that I had alot less issues with other people on the trail when he was behind me too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
You are going to having some good riding with that aussie. My aussie is almost 2 years old and loves going riding. Aussies are great dogs for riding, like you said "super smart and very energetic."

I use the foloowing commands:

Right, Stop, Sit, Down, Stay

"Right" - I use this instead of heel, because I want my dog Hoss on my right side for the same reason nmtim mentioned - you want your bike between the dog and on coming traffic, whether it is hikers, bikers or equestrains. I typically give the on coming traffic right of way since I have my dog unleashed. If he is not already on the right side I say "right", when he gets to the right, I have him "stop", "sit", "down" and "stay". I usually turn my front wheel to block his path from going in front of me and my foot goes behind him to prevent him from going behind me.

I also use "back" or "stay behind". He knows what both those mean. I will let my dog wander in front (not to far) or behind me if we are going uphill. However, if sight distance is limited or there is a blind turn ahead, simply saying "right", "back" or "stay behind" brings him back to where it is safest for him. Going downhill he is just trying to stay with me.

If you take her to puppy training they will have you teach the dog to heel to your left. On your own work with the command "right" or whatever word you want to get her to your right. An Aussie should have no problem learning these commands quickly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,108 Posts
nmtim said:
1. My pups know 4 commands.
"COME"- Obvious, but is then followed by the occasional "HERE" to keep them near me.
"GET IN BACK"- Another obvious one. My male Vizsla thinks he is Alpha dog sometimes so I have to remind him that I'm head of the pack. This is probably my favorite command. I don't have to worry about running them over and makes for a better situation when other riders are coming head on. If I am climbing I have the right of way so they stick on my back tire and don't create a problem.
"GO PLAY"- Is the release command. This lets them go crazy, which I only use when visibility is good and know they won't trip up any other bikers or hikers.
"AROUND"- I use this command with some hand gesturing when I am descending and others have the ROW. I put them near my right foot so my bike is in between them and on coming traffic. It is usually followed by the "SIT" command to set others at easy when they are passing.

2. How did I do it? Patience. Good luck and that puppy is way too cute...

The dawg on the left needs an IMBA rules of the trail refresher course, I totally had right of way.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,673 Posts
Cute dog! I have two Australian Shepherds myself: a black tri and a blue merle. Very smart dogs. When they're puppies they can have too much energy sometimes! I still have a hard time getting them to ride behind me instead of in front of me though.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
538 Posts
I've the distinct honor of a gorgeous Irish Setter as my trail companion. he's been riding with me since he was 5 months. he'll celebrate his 2nd birthday on feb 8th.

i have few commands:

  • come - this is obvious if your dog doesn't know this one he doesn't belong out there
  • no - see above
  • yield - a command that requires the dog to immediately exit the trail to either side and allow a rider to pass
  • left and right - prior to moving to long island the dog would understand the directions and take the appropriate trail at an intersection.
  • go play - i also use this command as a release phonetically it is similar enough to OK that either will work.

i also use sit, lay down and stay when not moving.

the basic commands shold be learned and nearly instantaneous prior to the dog ever seeing the woods with a bike.

yield often comes as a reult of the dog being run over a time or two. understand you WILL do this, so BE WILLING to see it happen. take the dog out around the yard with the bike and get this part over with in as safe a manner as possible. on the trail at speed, it has put my pup out of commission for minutes on end while i held him and he cried. i find that the command must be used in an appropriate fear of god voice and in learning stages can be accompanied by a toe in the ribs to install the idea of leaving the trail. i begin every group ride informing the people of this command and its use. also include the reminder not to have other riders encourage the dog to come near them on a bike. people like to put their hands down and pet the dog which will encourage him to get run over some day.

left and right took weeks of walking the dog in the neighborhood and issuing the commands at each intersection. then allowing him to make the turn prior to you being there. the command is useless if the dog is behind you he'll just follow you then.

in the following video, aemon is only 6 months old and is obediently following. however once he reached a year in age i let him have free reign as he had learned left and right and had more energy than any of the riders.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1SyMxfQ6TY&feature=channel
 

·
Team Awesome
Joined
·
976 Posts
nmtim said:
1. My pups know 4 commands.
"COME"- Obvious, but is then followed by the occasional "HERE" to keep them near me.
"GET IN BACK"- Another obvious one. My male Vizsla thinks he is Alpha dog sometimes so I have to remind him that I'm head of the pack. This is probably my favorite command. I don't have to worry about running them over and makes for a better situation when other riders are coming head on. If I am climbing I have the right of way so they stick on my back tire and don't create a problem.
"GO PLAY"- Is the release command. This lets them go crazy, which I only use when visibility is good and know they won't trip up any other bikers or hikers.
"AROUND"- I use this command with some hand gesturing when I am descending and others have the ROW. I put them near my right foot so my bike is in between them and on coming traffic. It is usually followed by the "SIT" command to set others at easy when they are passing.

2. How did I do it? Patience. Good luck and that puppy is way too cute...
Those Vizsla's are gorgeous. How long did it take you to get them trained up?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
I have a jack russell that loves going for rides.
Key commands are: heal-follow behind and to the right
back- yields right of way if she is in front of a rider
left and right
I am usually in front and do not allow her to be the first on the trail, she does however, like to run behind the first person, hence where the back command comes in handy.

I always inform other riders of her commands at the beginning of the rides: if someone gives her a command she doesn't know she won't do it: that's pretty obvious.

As far as getting her to do what you want, patience and you must work with them every day.

Enjoy the process and that is a cutie!
 

·
******
Joined
·
528 Posts
AndyN said:
The dawg on the left needs an IMBA rules of the trail refresher course, I totally had right of way.
Chloe thinks you're an ass... because you refuse to pet her.

playpunk said:
Those Vizsla's are gorgeous. How long did it take you to get them trained up?
Well, the real issue was waiting until they were developed enough to put some miles in. You don't want to run them to hard to early. In the mean time they can be learning all the basics. So after about 10 months of waiting it took about 3-4 months until I was comfortable having them out. I'm sure it could have been shorter if I had them out as often as they would have liked.
 

·
Eat More Dirt
Joined
·
127 Posts
This thread makes me miss my riding buddy so much. Her limitless energy and intelligence made her a really easy trail dog to get along with.

My commands were pretty basic:
Come,
Sit,
Stay (for the top of the climb before a decent, that would get her behind me.)
And her favorite, Lets Go!, that is her race command because she hits the nitrous and looks for the hole shot to pass me on the climbs, she loves it.

I always thought sheep dogs would make good trail dogs because their herding mentality makes it naturally for them to stay close and attentive to you.

Congrats on your new cute fluffy babe magnet.:thumbsup:
 

·
saddlemeat
Joined
·
3,873 Posts
Teach her to heel to the right of the bike so you can ride a road with traffic if necessary, also to ignore other trail users.

Medium sized light boned sheep dog mixes make excellent mtb dogs as a rule. I would start them younger than 10 months, they should be quite accomplished by that age. I think they develop better musculature and also learn to conserve energy for long (eventually 20-30 mi or more) rides if started young. Most pups are ready for school at 10 weeks and learn very quickly then.

None of this applies to bigger (+50lbs) or heavier boned dogs, who tend to develop skeletal problems if run in this way.

Nutrition is important for athletic dogs to achieve their potential. I feed Wysong dry food with Joint Max supplement as a base diet.
 

·
sh*t eater
Joined
·
217 Posts

Calvin & Lucy

The only command I usually need to use with our dogs is "back". Calvin still loves to fight for dominance and wants to get out in front so he can go even faster. I use back and then an open palmed hand down at my side and he'll fall into line. Lucy just likes to be lazy so she usually plops herself in back of whoever is last in the train.

Other than that our basic commands are come, sit, stay, your free.

Anyone have any tips on getting a dog to drink more water? Lucy, our Weim, is a complete snob when it comes from drinking from anything other than her metal bowl at home. It actually makes it so that she's only good for about five miles before she starts to heat up. That means just one lap of the trail we take them to. If she's really thirsty she'll finally break down but usually till we are back at the trail head and she knows we are done.

<br /><a href="https://vimeo.com/1285901">Calvin at Salem Hills</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user583979">Scott Scott</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.​
 

·
amar la vida de dos niner
Joined
·
2,682 Posts
I'm more of a cat person, and all my training energy is devoted to my children. ;)

But GOOD GRIEF there are some great dog pics on this thread! Chuky, that little one is more adorable than I can say. And all the others are real beauties! I really like the shot of the Aussies leaping into the snow. :thumbsup:

Thanks, everybody, for making me smile!
 

·
Just roll it......
Joined
·
7,621 Posts
Holy cuteness, batman!!!!!

Wow, in that one first pic, it looks like I could use Preston to clean my ears.......just a little cotton ball right there!

My only advice is to remember that the first year, you should take it easy on them and build up on mileage. As they're growing during that time, too much running is hard on their joints. It's super easy to forget that because they've got so much energy and will easily run as long as they can.

Cheers,
EB
 

·
Bored Carp
Joined
·
1,596 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
as you requested:

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3172089706/" title="Preston_2.jpg by hukee, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3376/3172089706_70ec7a8a42_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="Preston_2.jpg" /></a>

Preston's "I've got this sheep handled" look:
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3218982058/" title="Consider this sheep thoroughly herded. by hukee, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3308/3218982058_66f615e12a_o.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Consider this sheep thoroughly herded." /></a>
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top