Pets are always a pleasure to have as you can do various activities with them and take them with you for sports and other fun filled activities. However, if you are a dog owner and look forward to having some active time with your dog in a suitable sport, you should consider bikejoring.
Can A Dog Pull A Bicycle?
Your dog can pull a bicycle if the right bikejoring equipment is used. Moreover, you should focus on a few things and learn how to train a dog to pull a bike and use the most comfortable harness to avoid any injuries and discomfort to the dogs.
If you are looking forward to learning more about bikejoring, let’s read below.
Definition and Origin of Bikejoring
Bikejoring is a dog sport where dogs pull a bike by running in front of it using bikejoring equipment. The dogs are attached to the bike with the help of bikejoring equipment, and you need a special bikejoring harness to ensure that the dog remains comfortable.
This activity of bikejoring offers a means of fitness for a dog and keeps them active and happy. It is a safe sport if the proper equipment is used.
Bikejoring originated from sled dog mushing, in which a group of dogs used to pull a sled. Also, the bikejoring activity assists the dogs in transportation during snowy conditions. When bikes became popular, people started bikejoring as a sport for dogs.
The Thrill of Bikejoring: Why It’s Gaining Popularity
There are many reasons why bikejoring is gaining popularity; it comprises various aspects and offers outdoor adventure and pleasure filled activity for dogs. Some of these reasons are:
- Dog pulling bicycle is an activity that offers a perfect outlet for the dogs as well as their owners to have some physical activity. A dog’s energy levels are always very high, but when they are engaged in bikejoring, they also have fun and gain some energy. Moreover, cardiovascular workouts are offered to cyclists.
- It helps explore the outdoors and enjoy nature with dogs because bikejoring is usually carried out in forest trailers or snow-covered areas for an excellent adventure.
- The owner and the dog may have a strong bond through bikejoring because this activity has two roots: cooperation and communication, which develop between humans and animals.
- Bikejoring is an activity that offers versatility because it can be enjoyed anytime and anywhere. Irrespective of summer or winter, a trail or snow-covered mountain, the activity is highly accessible.
- Various events have been organized where people participate in bikejoring competitions with their dogs.
Getting Started with Bikejoring
1. Choosing the Right Breed: Best Dogs for Bikejoring
The best part about starting with bikejoring is choosing the suitable bikejoring dog breeds; dogs like Siberian huskies, Samoyeds, and Alaskan malamutes have a history of pulling and hence are suitable for bikejoring. Moreover, certain dog breeds famous for their sporty nature, like German shorthaired pointers are also suitable.
Along with the breed, their size and strength are also essential to consider and should be compared to your size and strength. You should look for a size dog that can comfortably pull the bike when you are on it.
Essential Training for Dogs and Riders
The second important aspect of bikejoring is training the dogs and the bike riders, and the two essential aspects of training include the following considerations.
Commands and Communication
You must ensure that your dog understands your basic commands, like stay, come, and sit, so you can easily communicate with your dog during bikejoring. Also, you should look forward to introducing your dog to the bikejoring equipment and allow them to become familiar with the bike, harness, and other attachments.
Also, tell them about the trail manners and that they should stay on one side of the path and ignore other distractions while bikejoring. Some important terms for communications or essential commands must be a part of your training.
The basic commands comprise “hike,” which means move forward, “gee,” turn right, “whoa,” stop, and “haw,” turn left. When you take your dog for walks, try to use these commands and introduce them to the bikejoring equipment.
Bikejoring is a safe sport, but there are certain precautions that you must take to ensure your dog’s and your safety; these precautions include the following:
- The bikejoring equipment you invest in should be of high quality, this to ensure the safety of both you and your dog.
- Make sure to wear protective gear while you ride with your dog. It comprises gloves and a helmet, ensuring the rider’s safety.
- You must check the trail condition beforehand. You should familiarize yourself with the trail beforehand to ensure safety.
- Keep your dog and yourself hydrated, take short breaks, and choose the time of day and year that is not harsh regarding temperature.
- The dog must be checked for fitness now and then, and it should be physically fit for bikejoring.
Selecting the Perfect Bike and Gear
The selection of bike and gear is also a consideration to have when starting with bikejoring; the factors to consider when choosing the right bike and gears are featured below:
The bikes suitable for bikejoring comprise the following:
- Mountain bikes are popularly chosen for their versatility and strength; they have durable construction and can adapt to various speeds and gears without hassle.
- Fat bikes, on the other hand, have wide tires and hence offer traction and stability; these bikes are suitable for biking in snow, and due to the large tires that absorb shocks well, offer a very smooth ride.
- Hybrid bikes also prove to be a better choice because they are between mountain and road bikes, and if the trail comprises a combination of paved and unpaved paths, these bikes prove to be suitable.
- Touring bikes, on the other hand, are designed for rides covered over a long distance and have a very stable ride to offer.
Properly Fitted Harness for Dogs
The harness you choose for the dogs while bikejoring is also essential, and you must maintain this. If you are looking for a suitable harness check this out, also you can go through the options shared below:
- The x-back harness is the pen of the most common harness suitable for pulling sports, and it helps distribute the force of pulling uniformly on the dog’s body.
- The h-back harness is suitable for dogs that have a body structure with an upright build, and they distribute the force evenly.
- You must ensure that the harness you choose is adjustable, which helps to ensure the dog’s comfort level.
- The harness must have sufficient padding so the dog doesn’t feel discomfort when pulling.
The bungee lines for the bikejoring also need some factors to be considered, as suggested below:
- The length of the bungee lines is usually 6 to 8 feet in bikejoring; the shorter lines ensure control, but a longer one gives the dog some extra freedom.
- Make sure the bungee section in the line is capable of absorbing shocks and ensures a smooth ride.
- The material opted for the bungee line must be durable enough to withstand the dog’s force.
- A swivel attachment should be on both ends of the bungee line to prevent tanglings and twisting and reduce the industry risk.
- Also, if you are concerned about the best bungee line that comprises bright colors or has reflective elements so that it helps during dark times you can also consider this.
If you are concerned about the dog’s safety, you must opt for the best towlines. Some essential aspects of the right towlines are as follows:
- The length of the towline should be appropriate so that the pulling part for the dog is easier, and the usual length may vary between 8 to 10 feet.
- The materials used for making the towlines should be strong and durable, for instance, synthetic material capable of resisting abrasion.
- The towline should be flexible to reduce the strains and sudden jolts for the rider and the dog.
- The attachment points of the towlines should be secure enough to attach with strength to the bike as well as the harness of the dog.
- The towlines that have a quick-release feature are also essential in case of emergency and offer safety and if you are also concerned about the safety of your dog click here.
Bikejoring Antenna for Added Safety
To ensure safety during the bikejoring process, using a bikejoring antenna may play a vital role. It helps to alert the presence of others and improve visibility. It comprises a bendable pole with a bright and reflective flag. It alerts the motorists and pedestrians of the bikejoring scooter presence.
The bikejoring antenna should be chosen considering flexibility, height, reflective features, and attachment strength. It is not mandatory to choose a bikejoring antenna, but it offers more safety.
Basic Bikejoring Stance and Riding Skills
When specializing in the bikejoring technique, you can start with a solid riding stance; in this technique, you must keep your knees slightly bent, and your elbows must be relaxed and centered over the bike.
Make sure you hold the handlebars of the bikejoring bike and maintain balance by shifting your weight between your feet. When the dog pulls, do not lean too much backward or forward, and maintain a stable posture.
Navigating Trails and Terrains
While navigating terrains and trails, your riding technique should be sufficient to keep you and your dog safe. Try to indicate some turns and shifts in terrain and maintain a balanced position leaning into curves. Adjust your speed based on the trail, communicate with your dog using voice commands, and guide them through the obstacles.
Building Endurance for Both Rider and Dog
Endurance is essential for a successful bikejoring experience; opt for a long-distance bikejoring experience, take breaks, and keep yourself and your dog hydrated. Also, keep an eye on your dog’s energy level based on the weather conditions, and longer rides are achieved when shorter ones are consistently taken. So, build this endurance gradually.
Common Bikejoring Challenges
Dealing with Distractions on the Trail
The trails may have some distractions like wildlife, stimuli you may not be familiar with, and other dogs that disturb your dog. You should train your dog to focus on your commands so it doesn’t get distracted. Consistently give them commands so that their attention is redirected.
Addressing Behavioral Issues
During bikejoring, the dog may develop behavioral issues like pulling too much or stubborn behavior, which causes a problem. Hence, make sure to carry out consistent training and address such issues.
Try to incorporate some basic commands for obedience for the dog so that they may control their behavior. Being patient and clear is very important to overcome these challenges.
Handling Equipment Malfunctions
The bikejoring equipment may cause some malfunctions like the towline may break or the harness getting loose, which causes a safety issue during the bikejoring. Inspect the equipment before every ride and have spare towlines and harnesses in case of any emergency.
As you have gone through the guide above, you must know everything about bikejoring. However, if you are concerned about your dog’s safety and looking forward to a splendid bikejoring experience, you must look at the best towlines here.
Yes, huskies are commonly used for bikejoring due to their strength and energy.
Yes, bikejoring is suitable for dogs as it offers mental stimulation and significant physical activity and ensures a good bond between dogs and owners.
Bikejoring consists of having a dog pull the cyclist, whereas, in canicross, the owner runs with the dog with the help of an attached waist belt.
Breeds like Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, and sporting breeds are suitable for bikejoring.
Bikejoring evolved from a traditional trend of transporting things using dogs in snowy conditions.
Dogs are taught bikejoring commands using consistent training, and different commands like hike, whoa, and gee are used for start, stop, and right turn, respectively.
If proper equipment is available, you can cycle with a dog.
The best method for training a dog is rewarding them for their excellent behavior, also known as positive reinforcement.
Dog pulling a bike is a sport called bikejoring.
Yes, riding a bike with a dog is safe with proper training, equipment, and precautions.