Almost every other individual loves to ride a bike or a bicycle, and taking your pet dog along is a different experience altogether. Some dogs require regular physical activities or a specific task for their physical and mental stimulation.
Taking them outdoors and indulging in activities helps them release excess energy in the body and calm them down. A lot of them enjoy the company of their pet owners, and thus, accompanying them through a ride in a bicycle can help serve multiple functions.
What is the procedure of training a dog to run beside a bicycle?
Before taking your pet on a running spree, ensure that his physical capabilities allow him to undertake such an intense activity. Proper training, safety measures, and necessary gear will help to incur better training and enhance his running procedure. Maintaining secured running practices is of the utmost necessity.
Training your pet dog to run along with you while you ride a bicycle is an excellent alternative to regular physical activities. However, it is also essential to have a thorough understanding of his physical needs as well as limitations.
Every breed of dog is different from one another, so identifying their basic needs in terms of physical activities is crucial, or else it may have specific adverse effects on their health.
Secondly, providing them with the safety gear and equipment, securing, and monitoring their activities is a must. The most crucial task is training and then utilizing it on a practical and regular basis.
Below mentioned are the details of the necessary actions that, as a pet parent, you must follow if you are training your dog for a new activity of running by your side while you ride a bicycle.
Determining Physical abilities
First and foremost, a new dog parent’s task is to analyze the needs and demands of their new furry friend from the aspect of their physical health.
Attaining maturity is very important before you involve your pet puppy in such an intense activity. Newborn puppies until they attain the age of at least one year, tend to remain in a vulnerable stage. Their bones and muscles are still in the developing stage and will not be able to withstand heavy physical labor.
Similarly, those in their old age will also find it challenging to gain momentum while you are riding a bicycle. They won’t be able to match up with your speed. However, involving young and adult dogs in your bike rides is an appropriate age. They will easily understand and cope up with the training and will respond well.
Those dogs who have a flat nose and short head are called brachycephalic dogs. For instance, although the French Bulldogs like spending time with their companions, long-running activities often cause them breathing problems due to narrow airway passage.
Short walks and brisk running in the neighborhood are excellent for them. They might mind it challenging to match up with the speed of a bicycle for a long time.
If your pet is already suffering from any severe health issues or has a muscular or skeletal injury, you mustn’t force them more than their body permits. Those who presently do not have any physical problems can accompany you in your bike rides and enhance their overall growth and development.
Size and weight:
Pet dogs who belong to a toy or small breeds may be good running companions, but running along the side of a bicycle is quite dangerous for them. Medium-sized and large breeds will find it more comfortable and safer. Similarly, those weighing more than 25 pounds are suitable for long-distance and speed running.
Introducing your dog to bike rides requires a slow and steady introduction to the procedure. Small and straightforward training sessions will be useful in the initial stage.
Phase 1: Command training
You must train your dog to respond to commands and orders that you give him. Early training of a puppy will help to learn control faster and will yield results by the time they attain maturity. It will also help during bicycle training.
Simple commands like go, fetch, come, sit, and heel to start with. In case you do not teach them command training, there are higher risks of accidents in such activities, which can cause severe or fatal injuries.
Phase 2: Outdoor walks
Take your bet for short outdoor walks and limit it around the neighborhood in the initial stage. After being familiar with the surroundings, let him walk along with your bicycle while riding on it.
Take it very slow for the first few weeks. It will allow your pet to understand the functions and how to control his walk with the bicycle. Do not miss the speed breakers, and glide through it naturally but at a slow pace.
Phase 3: Different location
After several days of outdoor walks, you may now relocate the training sessions. Select a place that does not have traffic. A field or any other open space with the least population is ideal for training sessions.
Those areas where people hardly visit, and neither there is the availability of other dogs, is preferable. Such regions will not distract your pet and will help in focus on the respected training session.
Phase 4: Dog harness and leashes
Next time you go out on a ride with your canine, slide the harness in his neck and attach a leash with it. Since it is a new addition in the process, you may again walk along with your bicycle and your pet.
After a specific interval, get on the cycle and start riding slowly and keep a check if your pet is comfortable enough with the leash and pace of your ride.
Phase 5: Ride faster
Once you are sure enough that your pet is well-accustomed to a dog leash and walking beside your bicycle, you may increase your riding speed in uniform intervals. Do not speed up to the maximum level at the first go. Take time, move slowly and steadily, and keep on increasing your speed gradually.
Phase 6: Relocate
After a regular practice session of your dog running by your side while you ride a bicycle, relocate them to common areas like the busy streets and roads.
Let them face the traffic and the distracting environments on their own. However, you must check on him at frequent intervals and make sure that he is not nervous.
Various equipment and gears
Below mentioned are a few essential items that you must invest in before training your pet to run along with your bicycle.
- A bicycle in perfect condition and all parts are intact and properly placed. No accessories should be pointing outwards so that there are the least chances of getting injured. It should also have tires in good condition to avoid mishaps in unfavorable street conditions.
- Ensure that your pet dog and yourself have your helmets on while setting outdoors, especially for a bike ride.
- Since you will control the dog leash while riding on the bicycle, you must wear bright clothes so that you are visible to other people amidst the traffic.
- Use branded and commercially useful leashes that are long-lasting and durable.
- If you are using a dog collar for your pet, use the one that is of appropriate size and one that does not choke him.
- You may also use a dog harness in place of dog collars as these are more comfortable on the neck during such activities and will also minimize any chances of injury.
- Ensure providing your dog with an ID card with the necessary basic details, so that others can help him find his way back home if he gets separated from you due to particular incidents.
- Make him wear reflective jackets so that he is visible by other riders and passers-by on the road.
Tips for a successful ride with your pet dog
Below are a few tips that may be useful for parents looking forward to taking their pets to an adventurous outdoor activity, especially to run along with the bicycle while they ride on it.
- Training in unpopulated areas is essential.
- Keep the training sessions short and treat him on completing each session successfully for encouragement.
- Use the training equipment even during the training sessions so that he can adjust to them.
- Make sure to monitor his activities and do not force him to exceed his limits. Any anomaly in his behavior or heavy breathing may indicate that he is tired of the day or cannot cope with the speed. Monitoring at regular intervals is essential.
- Keep your dog hydrated during each training session, carry a bottle of water, and feed him.
- Do not punish him if he did not do well in a day’s activity. Let him relax and enjoy the ride back home.
- After returning home, give him sufficient time and space to relax. Ample amount of sleep will help him stretch his muscles and rejuvenate for the next day.
- Ensure to provide him with his balanced and nutritious meal for a healthy body and proper development.
- Take your pet for regular check-ups to the veterinarian so that you are aware of his physical conditions.
While introducing a new activity to your faithful friend, make sure the sessions are as per his physical abilities. Make each session enjoyable so that instead of getting frightened, he looks forward to every day. Fulfilling his fundamental requirements and taking care of his physical and mental needs is the utmost priority of a responsible pet parent.