Biking with small dogs?
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Thread: Biking with small dogs?

  1. #1
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    Biking with small dogs?

    Although it is currently -5 C where I live, and we are buried in 3 feet of snow, I have started to get the spring time itch where I'm very eager to get outside and enjoy the warm weather with my dog in the next couple months (hopefully!).
    Levi is a 2 year old Norfolk Terrier. He weighs about 13-14 lbs. This summer, I would really like to begin biking with him. It's been a few years since I've spent any solid amount of time on a bike but last summer I tried a just kind of rolling down the street on my bike with his leash in my hand and he was very good about staying to one side. He is well trained to walk on my right side on a loose leash, so I guess that helps. But being short legged I worry that he may not be able to keep up. He can run really fast in short bursts (bred to hunt) but i'm not sure about long distance. I worry that because he's short, even if I bike slow enough for a big dog to just trot, that he would have to sprint.
    I started looking online for info about biking with dogs, but a few places mentioned that this should never be done with dogs under 20 lbs, and I'm not sure if thats why? He's small, but stocky. If you're not familiar with the breed, think more along the lines of westie/cairn/jack russell rather than like yorkie or whatever. I'd likely but him on an easy walk harness just to be extra safe in terms of lunging/pulling and he has boots he can wear to protect the pads of his feet.
    I'd like to help him to lose a pound or two and to build some muscle. And my knees would sure benefit from some biking.
    Has anyone ever biked with a little dog? What are some things I could do with him in the mean time to help him build stamina? Any advice?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member RabbleFox's Avatar
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    Re: Biking with small dogs?

    Id be worried about him keeping up too. I've kind of considered biking with Merlin but I dunno if it's a good idea either.

    If I do, I wouldn't use an easy walk harness though. I don't think it would be comfortable enough.

    UKC Ch Ratitatt's Warp Speed, "Merlin"
    AKC Wyntr Cardigan's *To Be Announced*, "Eren"
    AKC Countrywood's Pepper Brenen, "Pepper"

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    Senior Member caykuu's Avatar
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    Re: Biking with small dogs?

    I wouldn't feel safe biking with a dog under 20 lbs, for two reasons..

    Accidents DO happen, and you never know when there is an obstacle or situation where he trips a little too close to the wheels.

    The other is not keeping up and being forced to keep up, having no other choice since he is on a leash, and injuring his muscles or joints from overwork. A lot of dogs won't realize their physical limits when they're having fun. But saying that, if you carefully moderate the amount of exercise he is getting and paying attention to how tired he is (like a 5 minute break every 3 minutes of biking), because he IS going to be sprinting next to a moderate speed bike, then this worry won't matter. :P And terrier bodies aren't built for long-distance consistent running like some breeds are. I'd start very small and moderate very carefully.

    Also, losing a pound or two for a 20 lb dog takes a lot less than running next to a bike. Small dogs have fast metabolism, and gain and lose weight easily. A little diet, a bit less food each meal, and going on a walk every day for half an hour would do it.

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    Senior Member Kayota's Avatar
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    Re: Biking with small dogs?

    Roxie and I bike across town and back regularly in the spring/summer. That equates to about 3 miles which is her max. We usually make two stops along the way--one for me to pee and buy a bottle of water and one to rest and maybe have a treat. She weighs about 12 lbs and is about 12-13 inches tall. The trick is to bike at THEIR pace--a bike ride that could take me 30-45 minutes can take me up to two hours with Roxie along. She absolutely LOVES it and I say go for it. We've been doing it for 3 or 4 years and only had one accident and no injuries. I simply use a regular leash tied on the base of the bike seat and a step-in harness and it works well. If you're using this method though it's EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to teach your dog directional cues and commands to get closer to the bike. That's where the accident comes in--her leash got caught on a telephone pole and I didn't see it, causing her to be smashed into said pole. After that I made a point of teaching her to get closer on command and we haven't had a problem since. However, I wouldn't bike with a dog much smaller than Roxie, or a dog with short legs. I do get the bike down to where she can trot if she chooses, though she does like to sprint on occasion but I try to keep that to the grass.
    Last edited by Kayota; 02-01-2014 at 05:22 PM.

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    Senior Member Avery's Avatar
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    Re: Biking with small dogs?

    I take my dog on bike rides sometimes.



    Did the same with my Westie back in the day.

    Mumble could probably trot beside a bike (with some training) and keep up no problem, he has long legs. My Westie wouldn't have.

    Mumble! Born 1/14/11

  7. #6
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    Re: Biking with small dogs?

    Haha!!! love it!
    I actually have one of those sling carrier things but Levi HATES it! I think mostly because he's too big for it, and also because i've strongly raised him with the mindset of "you're a dog and you have 4 legs for a reason. you will come everywhere with me, but you will WALK!" haha. i bring him into almost every store and am gutsy enough that i just walk him in like NBD. so he feels weird about being carried around.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Kayota's Avatar
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    Re: Biking with small dogs?

    ^...stores that don't allow dogs?

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    Senior Member RabbleFox's Avatar
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    Re: Biking with small dogs?

    Good to hear it can be done! I plan on running with Mer once it warms up as its too cold for him right now. He is a wussy and won't wear a jacket or boots for very long.

    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleIsStoked View Post
    i bring him into almost every store and am gutsy enough that i just walk him in like NBD. so he feels weird about being carried around.
    Whyyyyyyyy

    UKC Ch Ratitatt's Warp Speed, "Merlin"
    AKC Wyntr Cardigan's *To Be Announced*, "Eren"
    AKC Countrywood's Pepper Brenen, "Pepper"

  10. #9
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    Re: Biking with small dogs?

    Not stores with food. Places like hardware stores, my mechanic, bed bath and beyond, book stores, etc. it's wonderful for socialization and he doesn't bother anybody. I've never once been asked not to bring him in.

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