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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm well aware that my 12 lb Chihuahua mix can't pull 200 lbs of human plus a bike, but could she at least run ahead of me without being in danger, and pull as much as she can manage anyway? Of course I'd be doing most of the work LOL, bu I was just wondering if it's possible! Right now she runs alongside me on a leash and that works out pretty well. If it helps any it would be mostly urban biking, there aren't too many trails nearby. So it wouldn't be hardcore, just kind of casual... Once a week at the most, and not too far.
 

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Why not just get a springer attachment and have her run along side you? Then you wouldn't need to hold a leash.
 

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I prefer having the dog in front of me so I can see it. With a dog next to me I can't tell if it's limping, if the harness is sliding or something needs adjusting, etc. and though in this case it's urban, on singletrack trails there is no room to have a dog next to you. They gotta be in front.

That said, I'd be wary of having such a small dog run in front. If she suddenly stops you may accidentally run her over. I've had my dogs stop before and I've bumped them- not full force, but a solid bump with the tire. It's one thing when that happens to a fluffy leg of a 40 lb husky, but a 12 lb chi mix may get fully run over or seriously hurt. Be VERY careful. I think my suggestion would be to use a long flexi lead. That way she can be 15-20ft in front of you which gives you lots of stopping room. The line can handle a 12 lb dog pulling. And since it's a flexi lead there is no risk of the line getting tangled or anything. You can reel her in if you need to, like coming up to intersections or other dogs. I'd probably attach the flexi lead directly to the bike if it was me (duct tape through the handle and around the head tube of the bike maybe?), as if you hold it it will jerk the handlebars when she pulls. But since she won't be pulling super hard, and you can just bike at her pace, you might be fine just holding it.
 

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I'm with Sibe on this. Kaki has taken a couple good hits from the front bike tire but she's 45lbs. I can't imagine how much damage could be done to a 12lb dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Why not just get a springer attachment and have her run along side you? Then you wouldn't need to hold a leash.
I don't hold it, she already runs alongside me. I found a relatively safe way to attach the leash to the bike. I do want to get an attachment though for added safety. But I thought that bikejoring would give her more of a "job" to do so to speak.

And yeah, that was my main concern--her being hit. I'll stick to having her next to me ^^ She does already seem to get into a "working" mode when we bike so maybe she's fine next to me. Maybe if I ever get a big dog I can bikejor with them!

EDIT: I bought her a harness today, and when she was next to me she was so intent on pulling in the harness that I ended up deciding to give it a shot anyway, the way Sibe said with a flexi lead and duct tape... And well... It went surprisingly, amazingly well! Much better than running at my side even, and a whole lot safer since the lead couldn't get tangled at all. She never tried to stop in front of me at all--clearly she's too smart for that LOL! I ride pretty slow anyway though so it shouldn't be much of a problem, I can definitely react quickly enough at my usual pace. And she picked up on the new commands I was teaching her VERY quickly! I'm working on "center" to get her in front of me and "on by" to get her to ignore things. The only real problem we had was when she stopped to bark at a cat, and then when I got her calmed down the cat attacked her right as I was mounting my bike to move on... She was okay though. I think I like this a lot more than I thought I would ^^ Though she hardly pulled at all so I wouldn't exactly call it bikejoring... Maybe pseudo-bikejoring? Either way, though, thanks Sibe!
 

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Sweet! I'm glad it worked! Most dogs seem to pick up on it really quickly, the toughest part being to ignore distractions. Typically the dogs don't stop unless it's something like a cat, rabbit, other dog, or something like that. My way of handling it depends on the distraction and where exactly we are. If we're passing someone on a narrow sidewalk that is walking their 2 dogs then I get off the bike and reel in the dogs and hold the line and walk past the person. I use the bike to block the dogs from each other. If they see a rabbit dart into a bush up ahead, we just keep going and I tell them to leave it. If they try to stop to investigate, well, too bad! I keep going and end up giving them a tug that pulls them along. Obviously the idea is not to yank them off their feet, but the point is that they can't stop and even if they try to they get pulled along anyway lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's the middle of the night here--my favorite time to ride, barely any cars or people--so it was almost completely distraction free, aside from the aforementioned cat, and a couple of cars. We're going to ride again in the day tomorrow though, maybe to my parents' house? So we'll get a little more distraction practice in I think. Do you have any suggestions for getting her to pull a little more? I can't just not pedal since she can't pull my full weight, but I would like her to get more than a brisk jog out of it maybe. She did seem to be in more of a working mode at least like I thought she would be.
 

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There is a saying "go slower to go faster" which basically means that if you go slower it will force her to pull more to keep going, and ultimately that will mean you'll go faster because she'll figure out that pulling is the key to going, so she'll pull harder and harder. (Basically it's the opposite of loose leash walking, where with training loose-leash walking you stop when the dog pulls to teach it that pulling means you go nowhere. In this case you want to teach that pulling is good). Another idea, do you have someone who could ride with you? Sometimes it helps if you have someone in front that she can chase and follow. Other than that, you could practice and train her to pull. She's a bit small for tire pulling though! Hmm. You'd have to find something that she could pull and then reward her for pulling.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I'm actually interested in weight pulling with her anyway (seen JRTs do crazy stuff, I was inspired!) so I might have to look into getting her started with conditioning this summer. I have to get the right kind of harness first though, and obviously start (very) small. But I just keep imagining a muscle-y Roxie... For now I'll try the go slower to go faster idea and see how that works, since I don't have anyone to ride with. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
She was VERY distracted today just by the grass, and I think it's honestly because I didn't walk her beforehand. She got to potty and all, but last night I walked her first and today I didn't, so she was by my side sniffing the grass a lot more. I also gave up trying to get her to pull as she just wasn't into that idea, but that's okay with me, we can work on it :) I think it would help to have some real equipment vs. a duct-taped flexi and a step-in harness. And thanks for the link! That's amazing! Now I'm even more interested in weight pull lol! It wouldn't be competitive, just casual, but I'm still really into the idea. Is there anyone here who could give me some pointers?
 

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I have been biking with my dogs for years. The best way to do it is with them by your side. That way they can only run off in one direction. You can pass other dogs and people using your bike to block them. With the dog if front there is more chance to hit then then to stop them to run off in an unexpected direction. Less control with a dog in front. When they are by your Side you can have more slack in the leash and much more control.

Don't use a retractable leash. You will have no control. Teach your dog to heel by your side always have slack in the leash
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah after trying that for maybe two days I went back to the leash by my side instead. Interesting experiment but it's not working for me, so back to my side it is! We've also been biking for a couple years but I wanted to at least attempt bikejor... No dice!
 
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