Riding with a dog
Getting out on a mountain bike ride with your dog is fun way for you and your pup to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors. Many dogs have a natural instinct to follow (or chase in our case) and getting your furry friend to follow is pretty simple. My lil’ buddy has a tendency to sprint ahead of me for the first mile while she burns off the puppy energy, but after that she typically falls in line and follows right on my tire. I did pick up an electronic collar for her that I use for recall since she can be pretty stubborn. I also put a bell around her collar so that I can always hear her in the event that she does run off after a squirrel, the bell is also really helpful letting other people know that she’s there.
Bring treats for your dog to entice him/her to stay close to you. It is important to keep your dog well hydrated so be careful riding in high temps, and make sure your dog is getting plenty of water. A collapsible bowl with a carabiner works well and is easy to carry.
The first few rides you take your dog on should be a time and place where the trails won’t see much traffic, and preferably somewhere they are familiar with before-hand. You’ll be able to see how well the dog handles being off leash without the added stressors of other dogs, bikes, or horses. Be sure to pay close attention to your dog to make sure they aren’t getting too hot, dogs can get heat stroke just like people.
- Flea and tick prevention is a must. Here in Southeast PA the ticks are really bad and lymes disease is no joke. Also consider a lymes disease vaccination.
- Orange. During hunting season it is especially important to be seen. We picked up an orange jacket for our dog and it gives us a better piece of mind while in the woods.
- Treats. Bring lots of treats to entice your dog to stay close by. Praise them when they are doing well and following right on your tire.
- Noise. Put a bell around your dogs collar so you can tell where they are all the time.
These are just a few tips to riding with your dog, unfortunately not all trails allow dogs off leash, so make sure you check before-hand.
Get out there and have fun!
by: Jamie Ball