We are looking for new ways to get Hudson exercise. Does anyone out there ride their bike and have their lab run beside them? I of course have to have him on a leash and am just wondering how big of a chore this could be? We have tons of trails around here and are kind of tired of just walking them. Looking for some comments before I get brave enough to try!!
I know someone who does this on a small bike, she is very small, with a small sog. She stops every so often so he can rest, and she carries water for him. He runs along quite happily beside her on his leash and does not get caught up. I know it took some time to train him but he seems to relly like it. They do this on a black top 1.75 mile 'track' around a huge county park.
I've been wanting to do this with Wriggley but not brave enough yet... I've seen the "Walky Dog" attachment (and SitStay gives it a pretty good review) that I've been thinking of getting and trying. I'ts supposed to keep the dog away from the bike and the leash is such that it can't get tangled. Very curious to see other comments.
I thought about this very briefly. I really like to bike and saw the product that allows the leash to hook to a bar extended from the rear wheel hub. Then I thought about a 90+ lb. lab deciding to change directions when he sees a bunny and taking the back end of my bike with him. I think it would be great excercise for an adult dog if you believe they won't pull hard to go their own way.
I would love to see some pics if you give this a try.
I have biked before with my dog, he is about 80 lbs. We have only been through our city streets biking as I am a beginner with this excercise as well. I don't know how well I would do on trail roads. I run him with a pinch collar to give me more control but basically he just trots along my bike and we both get excercise. He is a high energy dog and I can't walk fast enough to make him tired so I decided to try the bike. We can't bike right now because of snow but once the snow melts I plan on biking with him again.
Scout almost went under last summer trying to swim to me at the lake. I was on a raft out in our bay. Her will said "I want to get to you" but her body was running out of gas. She had already been walking with my son, ran down to the water and just jumped in. Very quickly she was going under - he jumped in after her and I scrambled to get to her from my raft. Our first lab would run after a ball until her feet bled. First time that happened I realized labs are not really good at self monitoring - they'll try to keep going even when a pad is split and bleeding or they're too tired from a long walk.
Me personally, I'd be very reluctant to ride a bike with Scout on a lead so she can run beside me. She would will herself to keep going long after we should have stopped.
Scout had joint problems that required surgery. My breeder told me this, and it was my experience - labs have very high pain thresholds, they won't show pain until it's very intense. If they show any signs of pain, you can be sure they've been feeling pain for a while.
Be especially careful with a young lab. They're still growing until @ 2 years old. To burn off energy when Scout was young, I threw a bumper in the fenced backyard. Soft grass to run on, and I could watch for when she was slowing down. Time to stop then.
Hudson is 19 months old now and weighs about 90 pounds. He gets walked atleast 2 miles a day, but up to 4 miles. This seems to be the perfect amount for him. I wouldn't expect him to run that far though. Heck, I don't know if I could ride a bike that far! From the comments posted so far, I think by the time it warms up I will be willing to give it a try. I have seen the device tht others are talking about that attaches to the bike. I might try that when the time comes.
At 19 months he is not quite old enough to start biking with you. I would wait until he is 2 years old just to be on the safe side. When the time IS right, it is crucial that you build up slowly to condition him to the new form of exercise. Start building up the time in 5 minute blocks; 5 minutes for a week, 10 minutes for a week, 15 minutes for a week, etc. You probably don't want to ride any longer than that without stopping. Off leash is different because he is able to stop and move at his own pace. ON leash he is being forced to keep up with you. Bearing in mind that continuous movement over long stretches is not a natural behavior for a canine (they like to stop to sniff/mark/etc.) breaks are very important.
Biking on hard surfaces should not be an every day thing. Even for a fit adult dog, pounding the pavements can be hard on the joints. A couple of times a week should be sufficient.