Have you read my article on How to Bike with your Dog – Part 1? In it I outlined things you need to consider before taking the plunge and going for a cycle with your dog. In this article I will be looking at the nitty-gritty details of how to bike comfortably with a dog attached and running beside you…….
Because your dog may pull at some stage during your bike ride it’s important to use a harness instead of a neck collar for attachment. This way weight can be distributed more evenly and the leash will sit in a better position for cycling purposes (towards the back of the dog rather than near its neckline). I prefer the EzyDog Quickfit harness because of the way the attachment ring allows the leash to move to either side without pulling the whole harness over to one side. I’ve found this often happens with other styles of harnesses.
For the leash I use another EzyDog accessory – the Mutley leash 25” (64cm) and attach it to the harness and bike. This leash is good because although it is a standard length it has shock absorbing ability which allows for a little bit of give (but not too much) when the dog does pull. A short leash is preferable as this stops the dog drifting too far ahead and in the way of your front bike tyre. The leash still needs to be long enough for the dog to run confidently beside the bike without getting in the way of your bicycle’s actions.
I’ve learnt that the best place to attach the leash is underneath my bike seat. This appears to be the closest to my centre of gravity and enables me to maintain balance if my dog pulls or does anything unusual. To attach the leash onto the bike I use another EzyDog accessory – the car restraint. By taking my bike’s seat off I slip the belt part onto my seatpost and make it sit above my rear reflector. You need to keep this part high on the seatpost because if the attachment slips down the leash can become entangled with the back tyre. My leg and body remain in front of the leash once attached. I find that my leg acts as a brace if my dog pulls and keeps my dog enough distance away from my bike.
Do not attempt to bike with your dog’s leash in your hand. If you’re not willing to attach the lead to your bike then do some more research and buy a specialized attachment that will detach in emergency. There are plenty out there on the market these days.
Another thing I’ve learnt is that its important that people notice that you’re travelling with a dog attached. Keeping your dog to one side away from the traffic is important but also ensure your dog is wearing a bright coloured lead or harness to alert everyone of its presence.
Got everything ready and going for a bike ride with your dog? Keep your dog mainly trotting beside you for the best workout and to prevent overheating issues. Use simple commands to let your dog know you are turning or slowing down. Try going off-road if you can – it will give you a better workout and be softer on your dog’s paws. And finally, carry a saddlebag with treats to help focus your dog’s attention back onto you.
Have you tried cycling with your dog? Are you more willing to give it a try now?
This post is also part of the Fit Dog Friday Blog hop.