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Dogs and bikes

Okay, dog-and-bike-owners. Any of you bike with a leashed dog? I see this all the time, people whose dogs run nicely alongside them. I have a high-energy beauty named Maggie who could really use a long, long run now and again, but she insists on running at the length of the leash ahead of me, which puts her in front of the front tire and makes things very awkward and risky. And while I can get her to "slack the leash" when we're walking, she doesn't know "heel" and she won't slack the leash when I'm on the bike. (I've only tried this with her once.)

How do I train her!?

Tue. Apr 18, 10:16am

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Leashing animals while on a bike (Off topic)

I'll preface my remarks below by saying that I'm not a cat or dog owner....
Just making some observations...

This first part is off topic, but I saw a cat-owner with his cat on a leash while he was on a bike in Central Park in NYC a few summers ago. The owner was an idiot in my opinion....

1) it was a cat and not a dog, so I don't think it was used to being leashed.
2) the poor kitty was hissing and snarling and trying to sit still
3) the owner continued to "drag" the kitty and force it to "walk" along side the bike.
4) and the stupid owner had a BASKET on his bike, so it would have been very simple for him to pick up his kitty and put it in the basket!
5) had I been from NYC and had a cell phone, I would have called the humane society and reported him for animal cruelty!!!

My hubby and I don't have any furry pets, but even so we were appalled!!! I really felt like making that owner wear a leash and then dragging him along side a car to see how he felt about it!!


Dogs, on the other hand, tend to be used to a leash.. The thing I'd be worried about is what you said about getting tangled into the leash...I've taken a tumble off of a bike when something got caught in the front tire... Basically, I ejected over the handlebars and came crashing down. If you have your dog in front of you, I'm guessing you might have the same problem, only you might end up landing on the dog....

Like I said, I don't have a dog, but if I did, I think that would be my concern...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006, 10:32 AM

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I had a 25 pound dog that was very easy to train to run on a leash with me while I was riding my bike. However, I had a larger dog, even only 40 pounds, that I tried to train and she took me on a number of tumbles, and I finally gave up training her. I believe it depends on the dog, the weight of the dog, and a number of environmental factors (if a big truck comes by and scares the dog). They do have special leads that you can buy that balance your bike better and your dog can't get tangled up in them, I have never used them. They are at Petsmart.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006, 11:25 AM

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See the link below for exactly the tool you need. Although, I admit that even with this great tool, the whole idea of biking on a street with a dog makes me nervous. But tons of folks do it here where I live (every street has an extremely wide bike lane--about a car width and a half), and I guess it's probably okay. But I would stick to bike paths and trails myself, well out of the street. I'm also always alarmed at people biking on the street with small children in Burley carts or even on those seats attached to the back of their bikes. But then, I'm hyper-cautious (read: probably overly so) with any small creatures in my care. ;-) So having offered my nervous Nellie disclaimers, I say: Enjoy your bike rides with Maggie!


Wednesday, April 19, 2006, 2:57 AM

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I am a Dog Trainer

And to the OP- I would love to offer some advice regarding leash pulling and riding with your dog in tow....
You can email me at :
I would love to help you have a more enjoyable experience bike riding ;)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006, 12:05 PM

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Thanks, email on the way.

Thanks to everyone for the comments. Just to reassure, Mags and I wouldn't be biking on a street--it's about a mile of quiet side road to get to the bike trail. I'm an avid-minded cyclist and have been pulling kids in trailers for years. It's tricky, you gotta watch out for yourself and use some judgement. Right now my aim is to get a kayak trailer for my bike so I can pull my boat to the water! Well, that, and to get Maggie to understand that if she'd just lope alongside me we could both have a lot of fun biking, but if she insists on running ahead, she has to stay home (I've only tried it with her _once_).

Thursday, April 20, 2006, 10:34 AM

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I've tried this once with my Lab..she is better suited to the Ididirod race pulling a sled, than running along side a bike.

Saturday, May 20, 2006, 8:00 AM

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Trainer here................

Sorry for the delay girls- My compter issuses (hopfully) have been resloved. Can you email me your specific problems and what your dog already knows? I will get back to you as soon as i can!
My email is :

Saturday, May 20, 2006, 11:39 AM

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Dogs and bikes.

I have aa big lab mix, about 110 pounds, so she can definitely pull me off my bike if she's not paying attention! Proper preparation is key. First, have an adjustable leash, so you have more capacity to adjust to things like "the irresistible sniffing spot". Now that you have the leash, here's what worked for us: I took her out biking on our neighborhood street on garbage day, after the garbage had been picked up, but before most of the cans had been taken in. We started slowly, and if she lost track of where I was, the leash would go around an empty can and knock it over, making a loud noise and startling her. I'd pick it up and we'd keep going. Didn't take her long to figure out that she didn't want to have any object come between her leash and the bike and that she needed to stay close to keep that from happening! It's a little unorthodox, but if your dog responds well to sound training, it may work for you too.

Saturday, May 20, 2006, 5:38 PM

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i have 2 labs and would never even consider biking with them. the real issue isn't safety, it's that they feel the need to bark at every bike they see. we take them to the dog park, and when a biker goes by they chase it the whole length of the fence. when they ride in the car and we pass a biker (bicycle, motorcycle) they bark at it. the larger dog even cracked a window when he tried to jump through it after a bike.

Monday, May 22, 2006, 9:32 AM

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Garbage cans here are big and plastic. And Maggie's problem isn't moving too far sideways. It's that she wants to be right at the full length of the leash ahead of me, typically _in front of the wheel_, and for a 35-lb dog she is fast and strong. She can stay with a deer for short distances, she can run faster than I can bike, and she can _pull the bike_ even when I'm going full tilt. (Re: deer--they roam where I run but not where I bike! That was meant only as a comment on her speed. We think there's some sight-hound in her.)

Monday, May 22, 2006, 7:35 PM

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