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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    305

    Exercising for me AND my dog

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    hello - I would love to be able to exercise with my dog more often, but sometimes it's a struggle. Has anyone had good experience training their pooch to be more exercise friendly (ie stop walking like a drunk person in platform heels). He's all over the sidewalk, one side to the other.
    My wrist and shoulder joints get a good workout, but that's about it.

    Feel free to attach pics - here is a pic of my boy - Biggie Smalls...http://www.flickr.com/photos/52127842@N00/227536123/
    Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
    John Lennon, "Beautiful Boy"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    467

    Wink

    Hi Cheri

    Totally understandable about you wanting to get some exercise for your dog. I used to have two Alaskan Malamutes and tried all manner of things. In time I found some things that worked (at least for us).

    First and foremost - hello obedience training! Without that, it is just a struggle and definitely not fun. Once I got my dogs to heel (so important), sit, and stay on command, the rest fell into place.

    My favorite things to do with them were hiking/backpacking (they had doggie packs which you can get from a neat place called Black Ice - they have a website). I found the dogs got plenty of a workout, plus they were quite fascinated with all the neat, novel smells on the trail which are largely invisible to us! Other than that, I did have some luck inline skating with one of them. At the time I was doing a lot of skating and was pretty decent at it. Otherwise that could have been real dangerous! Running was easier than skating and it worked well. The caveat was I always had to be very careful with the heat as dogs don't deal with it as well as we do.

    Good luck with this

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    when i had a dog we did obedience training. Took classses with the pooch,
    had a weekly event, (the class, i mean) and the dog liked it and we liked it.
    got certificates when we were done, and worked all week to be ready for the next class. I enrolled one dog in obedience when he broke one of my fingers lunging at a flying duck while on the leash.

    works wonders. No more pain, enjoy your dog..
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    7

    bike attachment

    I have a 4 yr. old Siberian Husky (strong desire to run) and when she was about 18 months old, I purchased an attachment for my bike that my LBS ordered for me. She has not once become entangled in the bike, made me fall, or run into anything. I even bought one for my 12 yr. old daughters bike, and again they have never had ANY issues with it. At first she could only go a few miles, then she built up to several miles. I always bring her own water bottle for her, and try not to go out when it's over 80 so she won't get overheated. During the winter months when I am not riding nearly as much, she tends to get back out of shape so we have to rebuild miles back up come spring. I often do my long run by myself, then come back to the house to get her for a doggy sized run...she waits for me at the gate and when she sees my bike she knows exactly where she is going! I think it was a great invention, and we've had a lot of comments on it.

    ~J in Oregon

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by cherinyc
    hello - I would love to be able to exercise with my dog more often, but sometimes it's a struggle. Has anyone had good experience training their pooch to be more exercise friendly (ie stop walking like a drunk person in platform heels). He's all over the sidewalk, one side to the other.
    My wrist and shoulder joints get a good workout, but that's about it.

    Feel free to attach pics - here is a pic of my boy - Biggie Smalls...http://www.flickr.com/photos/52127842@N00/227536123/
    Just looked at the pic of your doggy, how cute! He would probably be very happy with a short bike ride, at the end of your own ride...since he is a smaller dog and will likely wear out fast at first, it could be your cool down ride. You'd be surprised at how well the dog attachment works. You will need a harness for your dog to use it, I forgot to mention. However, my dog is so trained to use it we can put it on her collar if we don't feel like putting her harness on...she runs next to the bike as if their is some magnetic force field holding her in place LOL..it never pulls on her neck...she's probably run hundreds upon hundreds of miles next to the bike (she is 4 now).

    ~J

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    ha, we had something like that for our dog and hooked him up to my bike.
    he almost killed me... we lasted 500 feet.

    I guess i didn't know how to translate the obedience training to while riding the bike.
    glad it works for you.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    467
    Cheri - If you want to have you dog run alongside you as you bike then have a look at this, it is from black ice, the company I mentioned. They have a very good reputation in the dog sledding world...



    The url is: http://www.blackicedogsledding.com/page13.html#springer

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    8,975
    big shout to obedience training, good for you, good for the dog, also find a good dog walker to work on the skills. My dog has too much of a "rabbit factor" ("ooh, let's go see THAT! Right now!") to do the bike thing and I also feel strongly that it can put you....or your dog in traffic or danger.

    but with a lot of work, and treats she walks very well on a loose leash now.
    Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on the road ~ Motobecane Mixte
    N+1 new bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Commuter ~ Soma Buena Vista Mixte

    http://madeinusareviews.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    az
    Posts
    40
    Another option is the Walky dog http://www.sitstay.com/store/equip/eq6.shtml . I use this with my dalmatian on the unpaved rails to trails where there aren't a lot of people. It is very easy to install. My dog is obedience trained but if he sees a critter sometimes he can't contain himself. I used to just hold the leash until he decided to stop and pee one day and the leash caught on my finger. Since I installed the Walky dog everything has been fine, even if he tries to stop or sees a squirrel. I attach the Walky Dog to a harness and still hold a leash attached to his collar for extra control when we stop.

    Kathy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,576
    I worked a lot with my dog to understand the difference between going out for a dog-walk and going out for a exercise walk.

    He has specific commands for running and serious walking and for changing from a serious walk to a sniff-around walk.

    It has made a huge difference in both our attitudes! And he knows he gets a sniff-around as a reward for being good during my exercise, so he doesn't fret over it.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    254
    I rollerblade with my dogs (except the one who hates it) and I use a "gentle leader" head halter - no dog liked it at first - but they got used to it and they LOVE running so they get all excited when I get the gentle leaders out now. They can open their mouths, drink, bite, etc - but I can control them on rollerblades without fear of getting hurt. ALso - all have gone to training classes with me.


    I had disasterous results with both the springer dog leash and the bicycle dog leash - but it was about 8 years ago so perhaps the designs are better. On the springer - hound lab mix would just snap the safety snap and go off so we tried something called the bicycle dog leash. WIth bicycle dog leash - no safety release - dog took bike after a squirrell and I flew into a tree. Dog was fine. Bike and I were not as lucky. My collies have not been as tough to handle as the lab/hound who had a very high pain tolerance (I mean he did not seem to mind dragging a bike that weighed almost as much as he did), was quite strong for a 50lb dog and had no sense whatsoever.
    Last edited by farrellcollie; 09-11-2006 at 09:24 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    1,104
    Quote Originally Posted by farrellcollie
    I rollerblade with my dogs (except the one who hates it) and I use a "gentle leader" head halter - no dog liked it at first - but they got used to it and they LOVE running so they get all excited when I get the gentle leaders out now. They can open their mouths, drink, bite, etc - but I can control them on rollerblades without fear of getting hurt. ALso - all have gone to training classes with me.
    I used a gentle leader on my Boxer years ago, and it is an amazing tool! In about 15 minutes, he went from being headstrong and impossible to control to easily controlled by even a four year old. It was quite a sight to see him try to get it off those first few minutes, but once he adjusted, he was very easy to coax into following my lead. We had some issues, since gentle leaders aren't really designed for Boxer heads. The "nose strap" was pretty close to his eyes, and sometimes that would bother him if we were out for a long time (kind of like a not quite perfect bike seat!)

    I don't have one for Khan and don't know why. I think I did have, but it's been missing for a very long time. He probably hid it and knows where it is. What has worked best for him is a very short leash while he gets the initial excitement of being out together worked out of his system. You would think that by six and a half, he would have settled down some, but noooooooooo, he still gets mighty excited when something he likes happens or is about to happen. After a half mile or so, he settles down and I can let him have his head a bit. It's also helpful if I behave unpredictably for a bit, since it gets his attention when I do things like walk around in a tight circle, turn and go back the way I came, etc. He's not sure what to expect, so he pays better attention to what I'm doing than if I just take off and walk in a long straight line. If we go long enough, he comes up with this brilliant idea that I should carry him home. I've never given into that, but I do check his paws for thorns or abrasions when he begs for up, just in case.

    Despite having been neutered when he was about five months old, he likes to mark things as we go, and I do put up with a little of that, since he seems to think it's fun. His walks should be fun for him too, right? But, yeah, Cheri, I know just what you're talking about: drunken sailor walk is pretty accurate if I'm not a very firm mom-dog!

    Karen in Boise

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Washington, D.C.
    Posts
    12
    After lurking for months, I'll emerge on this subject because it's why I bought my first mountain bike this spring. My Samoyed (4 years old) had been pulling me on a scooter for two years when I decided to get a mountain bike to take the pulling load off her when the weather warmed.

    Gidget's parents pull sleds in the Rockies (Colorado) and her mom is a competitive weight puller (over 800 lbs) and this is the best I could do for her exercise regimen in DC.

    The mountain bike has been terrific! She stays in front just as she does with the scooter. Gidget's no obedience dog (she is a certified therapy dog so not completely out of control) but she's an inate puller so from the very first moment she was hooked up to the scooter -- she was off and running. She knows exactly how to get to the Lincoln Memorial and back to our home on Capitol Hill -- 6 miles.

    Her best buddy, Raven, is a Belgian Sheepdog and being the herder she is always walks in a zigzag. Until we hooked Raven up to a scooter and she figured out that the only way she'd catch Gidget was to run straight. First time out, they did 10 miles racing neck-and-neck on the C&O. Both have strong lead dog tendencies.

    Whether pulling the mountain bike or scooter, Gidget is always clocked going 16 mph past the Washington Monument -- 30 minutes into her run on the Mall. We also frequent the C&O Canal in cooler weather.

    Gidget's principal distractions are tourists and squirrels but she mostly ignores them when she's focused on running. Fortunately, when enticed she gradually slows for both rather than darting off to the side.

    Here's a pic of her taking a break after pulling me up a hill in Shenandoah National Park. Need to get some mountain bike pics. For pulling, I have a Novara Bonita outfitted with an aerobar lowered to keep the towline off the front tire. For rides without Gidget (and sometimes commuting) I bought a Rocky Mountain Vertex 30. For friends to borrow I have a K2 Zed 3.0

    For those interested in dogs pulling, I recommend www.dogscooter.com and for a custom harness ($27) and shock-corded towline ($25) I highly recommend www.alpineoutfitters.net which is located near Seattle.

    The bell on her collar is to give pedestrians fair warning before she brushes by their legs -- ala NASCAR. She does not give a wide berth.


    For me, biking is all about the Gidg.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    8,975
    oh, lookit that smile happy Gidget
    Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on the road ~ Motobecane Mixte
    N+1 new bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Commuter ~ Soma Buena Vista Mixte

    http://madeinusareviews.blogspot.com/

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,050
    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet
    I worked a lot with my dog to understand the difference between going out for a dog-walk and going out for a exercise walk.

    He has specific commands for running and serious walking and for changing from a serious walk to a sniff-around walk.

    It has made a huge difference in both our attitudes! And he knows he gets a sniff-around as a reward for being good during my exercise, so he doesn't fret over it.

    I totally agree. My last dog was trained to know the difference between a walk (or run) for exercise and a walk for sniffing/doggie-business. It makes a HUGE difference.

    We are in the process of training our new puppies and they are slowly getting it. One of them is so crazy with energy that the only way we can keep her focused on the 'walk/run' is by going really fast. Then she is forced to pay attention to me! It's scary, but it works. I just hold her leash while I bike (not clipped in) around the neighborhood. The other dog is learning by running with us...he just doesn't have the energy/speed to work with a bike.

    Either way, obedience training will also help. It's no fun to walk a dog that is out of control...and if its not fun to walk, you both lose out!

 

 

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