Today marks the start of the Tour De Yorkshire, a 3-day, 3 stage bike race held across Yorkshire. If you like going out on your bike and are thinking about taking your dog along for a run while you cycle take a look at our tips for biking with your dog.
First things first, make sure you get your dog checked by the vet to make sure there are no underlying conditions that could be affected by strenuous exercise. You also need to make sure your dog is the kind of breed able to endure a long run, not all dog breeds are able to run for long periods of time due to physical characteristics which could even cause harm.
Take your time, you can’t just decide one day you are off on a bike ride with your dog there is lots of training to be done first. You need to get your dog use to the bike by giving them a positive relationship with it. Lay the bike on the ground so your dog can explore every inch of it, always remember to praise your dog and pet them reassuring them they are being very good and brave and there is nothing to be scared of.
Once your dog has explored the bike and is used to it, take the bike with you on your next walk. By walking them next to the bike you will show them there is nothing to fear, it allows them to get used to the sounds and movement of the bike. Once they are comfortable it is time to go a little faster. While out on a walk pick up the pace while holding the bike and the dog go for a light jog, this will allow the dog to hear and see the bike getting faster so they are used to the sound and look of it when you finally go for a bike ride.
You need to teach your dog some important commands for when you are out on your bike. The most important things you need your dog to do whilst out on a bike ride are to stop, slow down, turn and leave, you may find that there are more commands you will need during your bike ride so be aware you may have more training to do after your first few bike rides with your dog.
Before you go out on your bike ride make sure you have everything thing you need for you and your dog!
Things to take with you:
- Poo bags
- Helmet and reflective gear for nighttime
- Fully charged mobile phone and money for emergencies
- Suitable lead and collar or harness
- Any equipment to help you ride – bike attachment to hold leads are a great idea as you can keep your hands free for bike control.
- Plenty of water for you and your dog – collapsible bowl or doggy water bottle
- Planned route
- Wet weather clothing just in case
Before heading off on your bike ride make sure you have given your dog plenty of time to sniff and look around the new area before heading off, this gives them chance to go to the toilet and calm down.
Plan your route carefully to avoid restricted areas or roads and print a copy so you can check along the way. Make sure to take lots of rest stops for your dog providing water and shade as needed, also remember to keep a steady pace through the trip and not overdo it.
Whilst out riding always be aware of your dogs behavior, if they become lazy or unenthusiastic slow down, turn around and head home if necessary. Always pay attention to your dog and how they are feeling you can always head back out for another bike ride when you have dropped your dog home.
And finally remember to have fun and take lots of photos to share your journey with friends!
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