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Old 12-24-2009, 06:53 AM   #1
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Default Biking with difficulties?

hello all,
I have a 6month old lab mix, and he of course has alot of energy. i'd love to bike with him along side me, as i can not seem to jog long enough to get hime tired! here's my problem. my puppy is completely blind in his left eye. he always walks on my left so his good eye can see me at all times, but if we apply that to biking, he wont be able to see anything but the bike and a little area in front of him, as the bike will block most of his view and i think this might make him nervous. i also have concerns about him drifting into the bike as he sometimes gets under my feet alittle while jogging.

should i attempt this, or is it too risky?

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Old 12-24-2009, 09:17 AM   #2
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Over the last 15 years of biking with dogs I have tried most ways of doing it, but I am still learning. I run my dogs out in front of the bike and not at the side. I find it much easier to have them out front, attached via harness to bungee line and then to frame of bike, not only do they pull in a straight line but they don't suddenly rush around the front of the bike or even worse behind it if something grabs their attention. Having said that it takes a confident dog to run out front all the time and not all dogs will do it. To start you could attach to a bike and get someone to be in front to encourage dog maybe on another bike. Mine love to chase anything moving in front of them. My 2 weigh 210lbs and I am 182lbs and I am able to control them pretty well most of the time. As your dog has eye problems I would think he would cope much better out front with free head movement if the confidence is there. If I can help more please ask.
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:10 AM   #3
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Good for you to want to bike with your dog. It's a lot of fun.

First, with your dog only being 6 months, it really is too young to do road work. Some breeds can easily begin road work at a young age, most cannot. The wear and tear on young developing bones can cause more damage than benefit. I don't begin road work with my dogs until they are at least 15 months old.

You might be interested in obtaining a springer attachment for your bike. It attaches to the side (either) of the bike and doesn't allow for the dog to come in contact with the wheels. In your dog's case, I would use it and begin with the dog on the right, and just walk the dog and the bike so the dog gets use to it. Then move the springer to the right side of the bike, repeating the walking the bike so the dog gets use to to being on that side of the bike without the visual stability. It shouldn't take long for the dog to become secure, and you can begin riding with the dog on your right.

I also begin treating my dogs' pads with musher's secret at about 10 months of age so that the pads begin to become a little tougher, as we do road work on tar and/or gravel roads.
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:57 AM   #4
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First, with your dog only being 6 months, it really is too young to do road work.

This is really good advice, sorry I forgot as mine are a bit older.
I have seen springers in action and they seem to work for smaller dogs, like yours. The reason I wouldn't run my dogs at the side is their size. Ray shot back on me once and ran round the back of me and he span me in a complete 360. If they are out front I can see what they are doing better.

Haus, I know its off topic but does mushers secret build up a coating? I have got some but haven't used it as I thought it was to help prevent cracked pads etc and my 2 always have really good feet even though Ray won't run off tarmac unless he has to.
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:18 AM   #5
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Yes, musher's secret does work for cracked pads and such, but it also helps to toughen the pads so the repeated contact doesn't cause pad injury. All of my GSDs are house dogs. They aren't out in concrete runs at all, this means that they don't build rough pads. I road work dogs in prep for the AD (an endurance test where the dog runs along side a bike for 12.8 miles), I also road work my dogs in prep for regional conformation and sieger shows. Most of the road work is done on dirt and gravel roads, and some tar roads. I have found that if I begin the treatment of musher's a couple months ahead of time it helps the pads a lot. Additionally, in the winter, some friends and I work our dogs doing sled pulling. We don't always have soft fluffy snow, and the treatment of musher's before and after sled pulling helps decrease pad injury.
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:14 PM   #6
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Thanks for that, I will give it a try and see if it makes a difference.
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