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Bicycle Dog

Updated on March 8, 2013

The Trials and Tribulations of Training a Hyper Border Collie into a Bicycle Dog!

In a sweet nutshell, this is a tale of how I helped train my hyper dog into running beside me while on a bicycle-- all the things I did wrong, and all the things I did right. My goal was to give my dog exercise. All the crazy gear, leashes, reflective jacket trials I went through to figure out how to ride safely with my dog and still have fun training her. How I saved my house from being torn apart by the revved up, high energy border collie cross puppy. How bicycling her helped me train her for taking her out for casual walks.

But most of all, how I regained my sanity living with a hyper dog! (Did I mention she was hyper? *laughing*)

If you're looking to exercise your dog with your bicycle, whether your dog is hyper, high energy, or just happy, it's truly a unique approach to exercising dogs! I'll be going through all the gear experiments I tried as well as a sampling of what's out on the market, how to approach introducing your dog to exercising with a bike, and things you as a rider need to be aware of while riding with your dog.

In the end, it's a great way to move at the same speed as your dog, have a great time exercising, and your high energy dog is happier being a bicycle dog out in the big wide world!

Photo Credit: Myself and my hyper (but lovable) border collie cross!

In the beginning . . .

. . . I found myself in a subdivision lot, less that 100' in depth, and a width that usually makes my family walk like scuttling lobsters through the house. Originally we had moved into the house with an older golden retriever, and while there was at least a yard for her to go into behind the house, it was severely lacking in space. In five strides she was across the whole yard. So plenty of walks and tennis ball playing in the park ensued. Those were quite literally, the golden years, the pains of training a dog muted in memory as my golden retriever came from a country lot and was a senior dog when we moved in the 'burbs. There really was no "some training assembly required" with her in this subdivision house, it was more "Have fun taking the dog out for a walk!"

Some years after my golden had passed away, a little black fuzzball re-entered our lives. My delusions about having a happy, smooth transition into our household dog lasted about an hour . . .

Icy was 9 months when we got her, and she was a border collie cross. Black as ink, with brown eyes that got lost in that mischievous little twinkle. Cute as a button. But bolted out of any open doors to the wide world outside. She'd probably even jump through windows given the chance in those early days . . . I'm sure the neighbours found it hilarious to watch this black shadow blur across their yard in a blink, followed by this lumbering and frazzled owner calling out desperately (to a dog that was quite oblivious to her owner's concerns), to "Come Icy! Come!! COME HERE!!!" The tour de force was assuredly the breath puffing out of this owner like a steam engine in the cold winter air, while she sloshed through snow banks with the finesse of a shire horse, the picture complete with pink poke-a-dot wellies and a coat half on and unzipped, while the dog was about half a mile away since the timing of the initial blink.

Icy was caught only because she chose to stop to smell something, and a frazzled owner vowed "Never, ever, EVER again!"

Of course, that "never ever EVER again" resulted in three more bolting episodes followed by sprinting humans-- she gave both my brother, myself, and even a passing-but-game-for-it bystander a great sprint set work out. However, the worse bolting episode triggered the end of this particular pattern-- while visiting friends, Icy bolted out of their front door in a flash, ran right across a busy road, oblivious to what danger cars presented, and giving me a near heart attack. Luckily no one was hurt, no liability to stress about, but my trust levels with her went from knife edge to utterly shattered.

So draconian law ensued-- she was contained only to our fenced backyard, never to be off leash outside of the fenced yard until I could trust her to come back when called. Come that spring, when I walked into the backyard, envisioning the flowering tulips and tiny crocuses, lush spring grass and newly budding tree leaves-- I was treated to a giant mud-pit, where it looked like a battle between the chipmunks, squirrels, and one hyper black border collie, had taken a very long toll on the ground. And I knew with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, that all my built up reserves of grass seed in the world wouldn't be able to help me.

It was training time.

The Culprit . . . - (of the mud pit now located in the backyard, as well as mud tracks into the house . . .)

The Culprit Icy
The Culprit Icy

When dog walking was a torment . . .

It was established quite early on that walking Icy was not going to be enjoyable. We tried it once in the early days of owning her-- a 3 hour walk where she pulled the whole time, disregarded all attempts to get her to heel and relieve pressure off of the leash-- it was a tug of war walk that left us feeling not refreshed from the outdoor air but fairly stressed. The problem was she had never been introduced to walking with people in a calm manner, or even regarding being in a "pack" of sorts. Her previous owners had put her outside to run in a yard, but didn't do a lot of interaction with her in the outside world. To Icy, the outside world meant "Go nuts and run like crazy-- it's a great world out there with all of those smells and rustling movements in the horizon!!!" not "I'll travel with my family, be a happy dog running on the trails with them, but keeping within a certain radius of them."

During those critical moments as a really young pup elements like training her to heel, come when called, or even being spacially aware of the people around her-- she had never been introduced to such concepts from 4 to 9 months, or if she had, they hadn't been repeated. (To this day, she still stays underfoot and is constantly a tripping source to both her and human detriment!) Unfortunately that singular border collie focus that the breed is known for and used for in sheep herding situations-- her focus was not harnessed in that critical window, making it dangerous to let her loose. All she had to see was a squirrel on the other side of the road, and that border collie focus would shut out the rest of the world, including my commands to stop her from running into a danger zone. On top of that her focus turned into obsession levels-- if left alone, she would sit for hours under a tree that she had sighted a squirrel frolicking in the previous day.

And given the state of the backyard, walking was definitely not her pace for her level of energy.

Poll Time! How do you keep you and your dog happy?

How do you exercise your dog?

See results

Enter the bicycle . . . Bicycle dog begins!

Since letting her run loose wasn't an option, and the nearest dog park was miles away, the bicycle became the best option. Thus began the journey of the bicycle dog!

I started bicycling a now year old Icy in the spring-- that was my first mistake!

Spring and Fall have a ton of distractions for dogs-- at least in my area, the spring is rife with young robins and kamikaze squirrels-- some I'm sure who have a personal vendetta with my dog. And yes, I did have a fall exercising my dog with my bike in those beginning stages, and yes, it was due to a flock of fledgling robins and my border collie going ballistic! She went one way, I went the other-- lesson learnt with scraped knees (ouch!)

However, if you do have an option of starting in the beginning of summer, (I'm located in Ontario, if that provides some geographical and weather related reference!) providing it isn't crazy in temperature, the fledgling and young squirrels season tends to wind down and things are a little calmer during the summer months. Of course, depending on where you are, use your best judgement as to what the animal conditions will be!

You want to introduce exercising your dog to the bicycle in a quiet area with as few distractions as possible-- I chose a park that luckily happens to be close by. However, parks tend to have quite a bit of animal distractions, but compared to tangoing with active cars and SUV's on the road, the park was by far the safer choice for Icy and I.

The Most Important Thing

Make sure you introduce your dog to running with you on a bicycle in a SAFE place, with MINIMAL DISTRACTIONS. A park is preferable, but if you don't have access to one, find a quiet area with zero traffic-- an empty parking lot, an empty walkway, & only if necessary-- a very quiet road.

Bicycling on a sidewalk tends to be a safer route as well, but watch out for bylaws. A bicycle is technically a vehicle, and on sidewalks, pedestrians have the right of way first and foremost. Use common sen

Shedrow K9 Winter Dog Jacket and Dog Leashes
Shedrow K9 Winter Dog Jacket and Dog Leashes

The Bicycle Dog's Gear

Basic Tools you'll need to get started!

I went through a few trials with equipment, but in the end the starting cost isn't too expensive. I prefer to attach my dog to my waist with the following equipment:

1) Metal chain leash (acts as a belt on you-- don't try to use regular belts as Icy snapped through two of mine during our biking excursions as they weren't designed for the force a dog can pull on it from say oh, when a squirrel happens to frolic causally by.)

2) Choke collar (or whatever collar you'd like to use) There should be no pressure from the collar at stand or run, you only apply pressure when you're correcting the dog during bicycling.

3) Nylon leash (I've just rolled it to make it a length I'd like to use while I'm on the bike)

4) Reflective Dog Jacket (optional) I hunted around for a Reflective Dog Jacket-- managed to find one made by Shedrow K9 brand. It is an insulated one which is a bit heavy in the fall for Icy, but there are non-insulated reflective dog jackets out there. I've linked the image to the place I bought mine from, but reflective dog gear is out there!

Bicycle Helmet, reflective vest, and reflective work gloves!
Bicycle Helmet, reflective vest, and reflective work gloves!

The Human Cyclist's Gear

Keep your head safe and body visible!

Basic Tools are as follows:

1. Reflective Vest

2. Strongly Recommend: Bicycle Helmet (check your local laws if you have to by law wear one, although I wear one regardless as it has saved my head before!)

3. Reflective Pant tie (Velcro and wraps up the pants leg in the fall from getting tangled into your bicycle gears)

4. Gloves (These ones are winter construction gloves, but below are summer gloves I'd recommend wearing to protect your hands from falls!)

Breathable summer riding gloves
Breathable summer riding gloves

Why Gloves?

Summer Gloves

Protecting your hands is certainly important for those falls and spills that will unfortunately occur (it's part of the training experience with a high energy dog . . .or at least it's been part of MY experience!) Gloves have saved my hands quite a few times, so they've proven their merit with me!

However, you must make sure whether winter gloves or summer gloves alike, that you can ACCESS YOUR BRAKES UNIMPEDED with your gloves. If they are too thick, they will not do the job. If you can't change gears or grab your dog's leash, then you need to find a pair of gloves slim enough around the fingers but durable for hard work that can do the job.

In my second life I work with horses and do a lot of riding, and I have found that a lot of horse back riding gear lends itself well to training a bicycle dog. The prices for a good pair of horse gloves vary, and honestly, for exercising a dog with a bicycle you don't need anything fancy. At the same time, my summer riding gloves have lasted for years, and take a lot of abuse. I use the Elation Crochet Back gloves (pictured here) myself when bicycling Icy, and they're great in warmer weather-- I have great grip, but my hands can breathe.

You don't need to be a horseback rider to appreciate good equipment, but I'll let you make your own judgement :)

Up The Walkway!
Up The Walkway!

Introducing your Bicycle to your Dog

The Routine Rundown

I was lucky in the fact that Icy took to the bicycle right away, but I also didn't make a big fuss about her in that initial introduction to the bike. I should note too that my experience is with a young, healthy medium sized dog-- if your dog is overweight, or unhealthy, then you should talk with a vet before looking at this exercise. If your dog is a really small hyper dog (like a jack russell) some of the difficulties I experienced as well as the training tools may not be compatible from a medium sized dog to a small dog. Same goes for a really big dog (Irish wolfhound for example). Check out the "Help!" section for some ideas on introducing a difficult large dog to the world of bicycles!

Without further adieu, here is a basic break down of how I approach taking Icy out for a bicycle ride!

1) BICYCLE TIRES: Check the bicycle's tires to make sure they are not flat. Do this BEFORE bringing your dog to the bicycle.

2) BICYCLE BRAKES: Check the bicycle's brakes to make sure they are in good working order WITHOUT the dog. Remember, if you're wearing gloves, make sure they don't impede your brake use or gear changing. Safety first people!

3) BATHROOM ROUTINE: If you can, establish a routine where the dog goes to the bathroom before hitching up to the bicycle. That way there are no "sudden stops" midstride the ride, which can be dangerous to the dog and you alike! In the beginning it took up to 15 minutes of waiting for Icy to figure out the routine, but now I don't even have to ask her to go-- as soon as the bike come's out she's doing her business! If you can't get your dog into a bathroom routine, make sure you have pooper scooper bags with you!

4) SAFE ZONE: In a calm manner, attach the dog to you (or your bicycle hitch). If your dog is really stressed about the bicycle, it would be better to not attach the dog to the bicycle, and have the dog walk along side you and the bicycle. You want your dog in a heel position which may be hard at first if your dog is not trained in it. (I keep my dog on my left side at heel, and have my bicycle on my right.) INTRODUCE THIS IN A SAFE, MINIMAL DISTRACTION AREA. Not in the middle of a busy subdivision road please! A quiet off-peak hours park is preferable. A quiet parking lot can work too, or if your driveway is long enough, that can be a good starting point.

5) THE BICYCLE ALWAYS LEADS. That means the dog is never in front of the front tire, nor dragging behind the back tire. If you're having great difficulties in getting your dog to heel, try walking in circles (dismounted) with the bicycle and your dog in both directions to get your dog used to the fact that there is a third party in this little outing. If walking goes okay, try pedaling, turning with the dog on the outside of the circle (harder to pull you off balance.)

6) PATIENCE. REPETITION. CALM MANNER. The ultimate goal is to have the dog running in tandem and anticipating the bicycle's directional movement. THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT. I've been training Icy now for over a year with the bicycle, and she's about 70% there. If your dog is really stressed about the bicycle, you may have to break the goal down into smaller leaps and bounds-- so if the dog is stressed walking with you and the bicycle, keep repeating just walking the dog with you and your bicycle every day until your dog gets used to the bicycle's presence. Don't make a big deal or fuss over the dog's anxiety, otherwise you're training the dog to react with concern over the bicycle. Remember, just stay calm and ask the dog to go forward with the both of you. Repetition is the key to all of this as well as keeping a calm, level head, especially in dog training. Make sure to PRAISE your dog's positive behavior and movements when they start to catch onto what you're asking for!

7) SMALL DISTANCES AND WARM UPS: Start with small distances first! You wouldn't go out and expect to run 5km in less than 18 minutes right? Just like humans, you need to approach exercising your dog wisely especially if you're looking at bicycling some distances. Start your dog with light jog warm up (this will be hard if your dog is hyper as heck, as Icy was, but you want to minimize exercise injury and warm up both of your muscles). This warm up benefits both of you especially if you want to do some sudden "sprints" with your dog and yourself bicycle wise! Choose either time goals or small distance goals: Ie. I'll bike the dog for 10 minutes and see how he's doing. Or, I'll bicycle for a kilometer and check on how both of us are doing! As time goes on, you can gradually lengthen your distances with your dog-- but always keep note of how your dog is doing and looking. It's okay to stop and walk if your dog is looking really tired (or in my case, I have to dismount and catch my breath from trying to beat Icy in a bicycle sprint!)

8) HYDRATION AND COMMON SENSE: Dogs do not sweat, so you really need to keep in mind dehydration especially in the summer months. Morning and evenings tend to be appropriate temperatures to head out with a bicycle dog, but you'll know best depending on your region! Also, a good indicator is listening to their breath while they're running beside your bike-- if they are panting like crazy, bring the speed back down, or come to a full stop if heat exhaustion is a concern. Just like humans in endurance running, you want to hear a nice even pacing to your dog's breathing (as well as your own!)

9) COOL DOWN: A cool down helps afterwards! Walk your dog either with you on or off your bicycle-- they should be tired enough but have a happy tail wag by the end for you to stay on your bike if you're cooling down. Cool down will help both you and your dog's muscles, rather than stiffening up like crazy if you just full sprint home then collapse in your house. Not that I've done that at all . . . *whistling into the air* *laughing*

A rare photo pose opportunity!
A rare photo pose opportunity!

What am I trying to achieve with my dog?

The goal of bicycling with a dog!

The end goal is to have a dog hitched up to you or your bicycle with no tension or pressure on the leash and choke collar. How do you achieve that? I use pressure training-- when I'm correcting the dog, I'm applying pressure. As soon as the dog heads toward the desired behavior/ action, I release pressure. I usually combine the pressure on the leash with a vocal command, so in the future, after you've repeated the same correction with the gentle pressure on the leash so many times with the vocal command, you'll find the vocal command will suffice without any use of the leash (or have to use it very little). Yay accomplished training!

For example, in the beginning, Icy wanted to run up to every dog she saw, especially when she was already running full tilt with a bicycle. But the goal for me was to bicycle past dog owners walking their dogs, so I would grab onto the leash and correspond with pressure tugs (tug and release) along with saying "FORWARD." At first, she would strain like crazy against the leash, and I would have to counter with pressure tug when she fought against the direction of the bicycle and I. I would release the pressure on her leash the minute she started running parallel again with the bicycle, saying "FORWARD" every time. In the early days of the bicycle dog endeavor I'd have to correct her 5-6 times. Her pulling movement also was so strong I'd have to counter with my own body balance on the bicycle (hence helpful to have the leash tied around my waist!). However, gradually over time she caught on quickly that if she continued to run forward with me rather than against the pressure of the leash and the direction of the bicycle, there were no pressure corrections. The pressure corrections with "FORWARD" went down to 2-3 times, and then gradually 1-0 times. She soon started to run by other dogs with minimal fuss. The curiosity was still there for her regarding approaching other dogs (no problem with that!) but Icy soon figured out that when she was with the bicycle we were going to run, and not stop to check out every dog!

This same technique also helped her in "letting go" of squirrel obsessions-- and that very same "FORWARD" command helped surprisingly when I started walking her on a leash after bicycling her for about 3 months.

But really, the best sensation is pedaling through the summer air, wind in your hair, glancing down for a moment, and realize that for once, you are running at the same speed as your dog. Your dog is on par with your tempo, and you are on par with your dog's rhythm. And you both feel like free spirits while doing it!

Chain Leash around waist with Nylon leash looped
Chain Leash around waist with Nylon leash looped

Why tie the dog to my waist?

Or what if I don't want to exercise my dog attached to my waist?

There are a couple of reasons why I tie my dog with a leash to my waist to exercise her with a bicycle:

1) I never researched online what products were out there that dealt in the exercising dogs with bicycles realm. Thankfully, you my fine reader, do have some choices if you don't want to go with my bicycling option. I've listed them below thanks to the marvels of Amazon!

2) With the leash around my waist, if my dog decided to pull to chase something while we're at top bicycling speed, the leash is pulling from my body's center of gravity. It is a lot easier to counter her pull from my waist rather than if I was holding the leash with my hand, which will most assuredly cause me to lose my balance and potentially pull me off.

3) With the dog attached to my body, if I have to ditch the bicycle, she is following me, and not getting entangled up in a now riderless bicycle. You have no idea how many unexpected flying dismounts I've done thanks to poor pavement conditions in my subdivision-- but thankfully, both myself and my dog have been none the worse for wear, and the bicycle has been safely recollected and remounted, bicycle dog back at the ready!

4) I can be hands free with the leash, but I can also easily reach down and grab it to ask for corrections from her! I find it a great way to have a "hands on but hands off" training ability!

If you don't have a super hyper dog and a dog that is already very well trained, or will just happily follow you to the ends of the earth (that was my golden retriever in a nutshell!) then there are some great bicycle attachments for dogs that you may want to look into! These bike attachments let you have a very pleasurable ride with a bicycle dog!

What if I don't want to tie my dog to my waist? - I don't have a bicycle dog prone to squirrel chasing!

If you're comfortable that your dog won't be a handful to handle when exercising him or her with your bicycle, there are some interesting tools out there to help both exercise dogs and yourself!

Sunlite Bicycle Dog Leash
Sunlite Bicycle Dog Leash

Attaches and runs a dog behind a bicycle. If you've got a very easy going dog this is a great tool-- if you have a dog prone to try to run after small animals, keeping your bike balanced may be difficult.

 
Bike Balance Dog Jogger Kit
Bike Balance Dog Jogger Kit

Great leash flexibility in this design, allowing the dog some give while running!

 
Solvit 62331 Tagalong Wicker Bicycle Basket
Solvit 62331 Tagalong Wicker Bicycle Basket

This is for the luckiest dog owner that doesn't have to worry about exercising your dog-- your dog gets to ride shotgun in a bicycle basket!

 
Snoozer Buddy Bike Basket, Grey and Black
Snoozer Buddy Bike Basket, Grey and Black

Another lucky dog owner that wants to take their dog for a ride! This basket comes with a harness for your little friend, to help prevent sudden adventurous parachuting out of the basket!

 
WalkyDogPlus
WalkyDogPlus

Another Interesting Way to Train Your Bicycle Dog-- The Walky Dog Bike Leash

Another Tool Option That Hitches to Your Bike, and Not You.

This interesting option was brought to my attention by a few fellow readers in the guestbook log down below, and I have to admit it has caught my attention. A few of the fellow hyper border-collie owners have used the Walky Dog Bike Leash successfully to help train and exercise their bicycle dog. I've added the company's own product video which shows in a casual way how the dogs are hitched up to the bicycle and enjoy running with the bike. For those who aren't interested in attaching their dog to their waist, this could be a very powerful solution in bicycle dog attachments.

Thanks to the enthusiasm of the readers I've checked into the company a little bit and the strengths of the Walky Dog Bike Leash. It definitely has some very apparent strengths that I am very intrigued to try with Icy.

For one, it attaches to below the seat of your bicycle-- again, more in line with your core balance (as opposed to attaching to your wheel behind, which could be really hard to counter balance if your dog decides to run another direction!). This attachment place on the bicycle also keeps your dog behind your front wheel, which cuts out possible accident variations with the front bicycle wheel and your dog!

Two: The Walky Dog leash has great "stretchy give" and looks like it can attach to a harness or choke collar. I'm on the fence about harnesses for dogs (well, at least for Icy) because I've found they tend to encourage "sled dog" tendencies in hyper dogs rather than pressure release with leashes, but again use the tool that best works for you and your dog! With Icy she's had harnesses slide right off of her at a walk, so definitely test any harness you get with your dog first in a controlled area before the bicycle. Be sure there isn't any chafing or rubbing happening on your dog's body from the harness, especially since it will be exasperated while running a bicycle dog.

Three: The Walky Dog leash attachment appears to keep the dog at a reasonable distance away from the bicycle, but not so far out that it would be dangerous.

Anyways, check out their video, and if you're interested in trying their product with your bicycle dog excursions, this is just another possibly powerful tool to help facilitate you and your pet dog! Please let me know if you've had some great experiences with it in the comments below!

As of yet I can't throw my two cents in on the debate (as I'm writing this Icy and I are holed up watching the amazing power of snow storms and the winter winds play havoc outside the window) but I am intrigued by its apparent strengths that I'm planning try this tool with Icy when the spring/summer finally rolls in and the bicycle wheels can come out again. I'll update on that little "bicycle experience" when the time comes! (Hopefully with new knee pads too *laughing*)

Walky Dog Bike Leash Video

Looks like fun doesn't it? I'm waiting for summer to come before I can test this with Icy :)

LED Keychain or Collar Light
LED Keychain or Collar Light

Bicycling your dog in the evening

Be Visible!

A serious element you should consider is if you're exercising your dog during dusk or dark hours, how are drivers going to see you and your dog? Whether it is predawn or dusk, vehicles are rarely anticipating a cyclist let alone one exercising a dog. A lot of times I've been taking Icy out around 6pm and it is dark-- and with her being low to the ground and owning a pitch black coat on top of it, cars don't anticipate her at all. While the reflective jacket has been the best option, in warmer temperatures I've found key chain LED lights to be another good solution.

I typically go for a red colour because red catches my attention when driving, but there are other pet light models out there that have coloured light flashing sequences. Check your local pet store, or if you're Canadian, check out my "Searching for Gear in Canada" List.

Reflective Jackets Available - Jackets vary in insulation-- from summer weather to winter

The best thing to do is to look at your dog, and see what kind of coat they have. Then take into account what that coat is like during the winter, and the summer. Your dog may only need a light insulated dog jacket for his fur may be thick enough to take the cold. Likewise, in the summer time, that thick furred dog may only need a reflective jacket. Keep in mind most of these jackets are serving two purposes-- visibility, and insulation. Choose accordingly to your dog's needs and your climate's patterns.

Petflect Reflective Dog Vest, Large
Petflect Reflective Dog Vest, Large

Lightweight and bright orange-- many dog owners have used this jacket to help keep their dogs visible during hunting season!

 
Ruffwear Track Jacket Safety Vest for Dogs, Blaze Orange, Medium
Ruffwear Track Jacket Safety Vest for Dogs, Blaze Orange, Medium

A great jacket for both dog durability and visibility-- can take a romp through the woods, or a casual trot beside a bike!

 
Casual Canine Fleece-Lined Reflective Dog Jacket for Safety
Casual Canine Fleece-Lined Reflective Dog Jacket for Safety

A lightly lined reflective jacket with water resistance.

 
Casual Canine Puppy Love Tank - XL Red
Casual Canine Puppy Love Tank - XL Red

The same as the Casual Canine post as above, just a holiday red edition colour instead!

 

Searching for Gear in Canada?

Here are some of the stores I managed to find both my human gear and dog gear for Icy. Since I live in Canada, some of these stores may only be Canadian based, although a lot of them are based in both Canada and USA.

If I could do it again . . . (knowing that I will with the next dog!) - Protecting for bicycle falls while dog exercising!

Fox Launch Pro Knee Guards
Fox Launch Pro Knee Guards

One thing I'd strongly recommend is investing into some mountain bike knee and elbow pads. (My brother mountain bikes and asked me after my third spill with bicycle Icy why didn't I get some knee and elbow padding? I aptly told him "shut up!" in that great sisterly come back way, but I hugged him for the suggestion!)

My "unexpected ejection" experiences off of my bicycle while biking the dog have resulted in the same pattern injuries-- bruised knees and scraped hands and elbows. Solving the hands were easy-- I invested in construction grade winter gloves (which happened to be reflective, yay!) for colder weather, and for hot weather I used my elation crochet back leather riding gloves (I ride horses, and found a lot of my riding gear lent itself well to the trials of bicycling a dog!) Check my "Searching for Gear in Canada" heading for the links.

However, for my knees, and for yours my dear reader, I would strongly recommend mountain biking knee guards WITH PADDING ON THE SIDES. Yes, having the harder knee cap guards are wanted to protect your bone knee cap, but all of my spills have hit my knee on the side. Not the front, though I'm sure it's waiting for me in a future ride!

This isn't surprising if you consider a bicycle's lateral movement isn't great, and attaching a dog to you or your bike will test it's lateral line! (Hence, bruises on the side of your knee!)

Plus, mountain bike knee guards and elbow guards are designed for bicycle movements, meaning your limbs are protected but not impeded by the guards while peddling! Thank you!

The following sites carry a vast array of mountain biking guards and gear, but I'm partial to the Fox Launch Pro guards. Make sure you find something both comfortable and protective for your bicycle dog excursions!

Mountain Bike Elbow and Knee Guard Sites - And body armor available if you're that concerned! ;)

Some options to lessen the sting of falling while exercising your dog on the bike!

Happy Pumpkin Pup
Happy Pumpkin Pup

Help! I'm going through such trouble with training my dog with a bicycle! - Squidoo Lens that compliment and give tips for approaching dog training!

If you're still having great trouble exercising your dog with a bicycle, then it may be time to look at how you're approaching training and interacting with your dog. My experience with horses and dogs have very similar approaches, and repetition with these animals tends to be the biggest key. That can take time, and can be frustrating, but remember you need to keep the calm head. You are building a good relationship with your dog; exercise is definitely one of the biggest things that can help that communication!

As I'll touch base on below, one of the unexpected bonuses to working with Icy on a bicycle is that it helped out tremendously with training her on how to walk with me. Two years later walks are still mini-training exercises with her and I, but we've made great progress.

Perhaps your dog is too big and powerful for you to feel comfortable tying to your waist or attaching to your bicycle at full energy level. If you're really dedicated to bicycling with your dog (and trust me, it is amazing pedaling full speed through the streets with this happy bullet dog beside you!) you can look at tiring and warming up your dog by exercising him/her on a treadmill first to bring down that crazy pent up energy in your dog. Then immediately afterwards, warm up yourself, and introduce your hopefully a little calmer, and a little less energy high dog to the bicycle.

If the exercise is just disastrous, go back to basics, and look at how you are interacting with your dog. Start in an enclosed yard and work on basics-- sit, stay, come, fetch, heel! Dogs have an great aptitude for changing into a balanced dog, if you know how to set up some basic rules and interaction repetition.

Remember, in the end, it's a huge learning experience, and my experience is just one perception that took many different little approaches and used a learning curve over time. Your dog may have no issues with a bicycle, or it could be the hardest hurdle you overcome! Keep it fun, use small achievements as huge mileposts, and in the end, you'll have a great bicycle dog, and two very happy minds-- you and your dog!

BicycleDog_IntoTheSunset!
BicycleDog_IntoTheSunset!

The Unexpected Benefits of Training a Bicycle Dog

Some perks from working with my dog with a bicycle!

One of the perks I got from working with Icy with a bicycle was that it actually made other training exercises easier-- primarily because I was "burning off" that high level of energy. But the real unexpected bonus I got from training a bicycle dog was that commands and trained behavior I instilled with Icy while I was on the bicycle with her actually overlapped to when I was handling her during a walk.

The bicycle helped me train her in the heel command-- through repetition and pressure corrections she learned to run beside me while I was on the bicycle, and that translated to coming beside me when I was walking her with a vocal command of "HEEL."

The bicycle also helped a lot with breaking her from obsession modes (total border collie unfortunately!) that could get her into trouble if she didn't listen. For example, she goes ballistic when she sees a squirrel. No problem, that's natural behavior. But when she's running across a busy road to get it, then we have a severe safety issue, not to mention a heart attack for the owner and incredible stress and serious accidents for drivers! Thanks to the "FORWARD" command I worked with her, she learnt that she had to let go of trying to stare and chase squirrels we had zoomed by while running full tilt with the bicycle. She figured out that it was either keep running forward, or get dragged (which she never let happen.) The same principle worked for other dogs we'd pass. Now at a walk with Icy I only have to say "FORWARD" and she passes other dog walkers with minimal fuss. I wouldn't say she's perfect every time, but it's a tremendous step forward from when I first got her!

Overall, the bicycle has been a great tool for both Icy and I to have better communication, and quite frankly, move at Icy's pace with a great deal of fun. There's no better exhilaration than zooming down an empty street, hearing your dog gallop happily beside you, pumping the oxygen through your lungs, grinning with exultation as both you and your dog keep in perfect balanced stride.

Remember, take it day by day, keep it light and calm, but most of all, have fun with your bicycle dog!

I'd love to hear from anyone who has also embarked on the task of enjoying riding their bicycle with their dog! Any tips? Suggestions? Problems? Happy moments? Feel free to drop a line :)

Your voice! Your Thoughts! Your Dog! - Guestbook Comments

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    • catkid123 profile image

      catkid123 4 years ago

      Very nice lense. I wish I had a dog I could do this with.

    • Rosanna Grace profile image

      Rosanna Grace 4 years ago

      I have never combined a dog and a bicycle as I am not very well co-ordinated and one of those variables is enough for me ;) Border Collies are gorgeous dogs. Thanks for making me smile today! :)

    • XpectMore profile image

      XpectMore 4 years ago

      What a wonderful life your dog has. I am so glad you have him. It shows how important he is to you. You both have a hobby that you do together. What lifelong friends you are. I never new all of this about bicycling with a dog. Man, it is a niche. You gave important advice and information. Thank you.

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      greytdogz 4 years ago

      Great lens. Very thorough and interesting. Years ago, I had a border collie mix and she used to run for miles beside (or near) us when I rode our dirt bike. She loved it. We would come home, she would take a five minute rest, then be ready to go again. She was so much fun. These days, I have couch potatoes, which suits my lifestyle perfectly.

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @PNWtravels: Thank you! I've had a few readers inform me about the Walky-dog bike attachment; I admit I'm curious about it, but I'm unsure if I trust countering my balance with Icy attached to the bicycle rather than myself (especially the squirrel encounters! But it sounds like you know with Skye :) I'll see if I'm brave enough to try this summer!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @briancdrury: Thank you very much! It took awhile to write, but I learnt so much from bicycling with Icy that I thought there had to be others out there interested in trying with their dogs! :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @lewisgirl: I can completely relate to that sentiment-- spring is starting to open its sleepy eyes here, and Icy is just ready to run! I hope you have some great rides with Barni :)

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      wetnosedogs 4 years ago

      My youngest dog, Jenny, is like your Icy. Anything that moves is for that dog! Jenny, however, did not like walking with the bike.

      I do find a wealth of information here. This is a great lens.

    • lewisgirl profile image

      lewisgirl 4 years ago

      I too have a hyper border collie mix, Barni. This is a great lens! I would love it if I could take her biking. I may need full body padding though.

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      briancdrury 4 years ago

      Your dog is adorable, with a cute dog and a killer lens you can't lose!

    • profile image

      rd1102 4 years ago

      a wealth of info. Great lens!

    • wishgood profile image

      wishgood 4 years ago

      Great lens! loaded by very useful information ...

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Love the lens, great photos that you attributed to your own from the start, along with your informative, personal content, this is sure a winner! Congrats on purple star and LOTD!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      i was always afraid to try this but very informative. thanks for your sharing

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 4 years ago

      Congrats on your LOTD. Looks like fun.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 4 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      I really enjoyed your lens! Icy sounds so much like our border collie mix, Skye - it brought back fond memories. My husband was actually better suited for biking with her because he is heavier and could more easily withstand one of her attempts to dash after a squirrel without crashing. We got a Walky-dog for running her with the bike which works pretty well. Congrats on LOTD!!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @WeaselPuppy: Thank you very much-- also, for mentioning the walky dog bike leash and a harness. They are actually the first tools I've seen to attach to underneath the bike seat which makes a world of sense from a center of gravity point. I'm definitely going to have to check this out with Icy! Your border collies are really lucky they have a bicycle exercise owner ;) Out of curiousity, do you ride short distances with them, or do they enjoy longer stretches of running? (Icy's a mix of border collie and german shepard, and I think the shepard part of her lets her do more pacing runs.) A few dogs ago I had a border collie x lab cross, but he definitely did more sprint/stop runs-- definitely not a bicycle dog. Anyways, just curious to hear from a fellow border collie owner! Thanks again for taking the time to read my article.

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @CampingmanNW: I'm glad so many people are finding it helpful! Thank you very much for your kind words :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @gadgetbuff: Thank you! It was a very pleasant surprise for me :) But thank you most of all for reading my lens!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @Random thoughts2: Thank you very much :)

    • Random thoughts2 profile image

      Random thoughts2 4 years ago

      Very informative.......good job.

    • weakbond profile image

      Nnadi bonaventure Chima 4 years ago from Johanesburg

      Highly informative lens ,thanks for sharing

    • gadgetbuff profile image

      gadgetbuff 4 years ago

      great lens!!! yes, congrats on lens of the day and purple star award.

    • CampingmanNW profile image

      CampingmanNW 4 years ago

      Excellent lens and great information. Congratulations on lens of the day and the Purple Star award!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @anonymous: If I had a puppy, as soon as I would be looking at starting to take the puppy for short walks, I would also work immediately with desensitizing the pup to the bicycle, but only at a walk and dismounted. These wouldn't be long hikes, more like 2 to 10 minute max exposure once a day, or 3 times a week. Basically I would want the puppy to think the bicycle was a normal element in it's life.

      I wouldn't look at exercising a dog with a bicycle until they hit at least 1 year old, and even then you'd have to use common sense with the exercise expectations since they're still filling out muscle structures to about 2 years old (or 3 with some of the larger breed dogs). However, I would strongly recommend connecting with a vet you feel comfortable with when you feel that you and your young dog/pup is ready to try the bicycle exercise route-- I worked with a vet in the beginning to make sure Icy was okay with the bicycle work from a professional's opinion. A vet can notice things that as an owner I might not recognize with my dog, because I'm not exposed to it over and over again with many different dogs like a vet may be, or I don't have the knowledge base like a vet would!

      Thanks though for reading, I'm glad it was enjoyable! I wish you great luck if you decide to try the bicycle dog route-- it is worth it :)

    • Sherry B19 profile image

      Sherry B19 4 years ago

      Great Lens! I've always had dogs, but was always afraid to try this. I always worry if I am going to end up running my dog over or the dog would end up pulling me off balance. That is so awesome that you are successful at training your dog, Icy, to do this! Love all the great advice here! Thank you for sharing your experiences and tips! Hmm, I should give this a try with our dogs this summer.

      Oh, and congrats on Lens of the Day!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Awesome! Congratulations.

    • Keith J Winter profile image

      Keith Winter 4 years ago from Spain

      Great lens and congrats on LOTD. I would love to try with my Dalmatian, but he has the attention span of a goldfish, and just when I think I have finally trained him, he proves me wrong. The first sign of a rabbit and he'd be off like a streak of lightning!! I've spent so much time walking him in circles to get him to heel, that's the only time he does it now! As soon as I walk in a straight line, he's off. Even the dog trainer gave up on him. Wouldn't change him for the world though :-)

    • LilyBird profile image

      LilyBird 4 years ago

      Great info. Thank you for sharing your story and instructions. Awesome!

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 4 years ago

      This is an excellent lens with a great story and with a lot of helpful tips for do owners who want to find a new, fun way to walk their pet. Sounds great! Thank you so much for sharing! And angel blessed*** Congrats on LOTD

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      What an interesting process! Love bike riding and love dogs so putting them together is fabulous! :>)

    • WeaselPuppy profile image

      WeaselPuppy 4 years ago

      I have a couple of border collies myself, and they love the bicycle thing. Personally, I prefer the walky dog bike leash and a harness. It has the elasticity to absorb small shocks of disagreements regarding speed or direction, and any pull is right under the seat, where it was easiest to compensate for.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I greatly admire what you've achieved in training your dog to run with the bicycle. You've turned the experience into an informative and entertaining page here.

    • sue826 lm profile image

      sue826 lm 4 years ago

      Great topic. I see people on my walks that are riding with their dogs. I didn't realize there was specialized gear if you wanted to exercise them in that way. Learn something new every day!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Excellent lens; this will definitely help people that are thinking about cycling with their dog...you left nothing out! If you had a puppy, at what age do you think you could start training them to walk alongside a bicycle?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @LauraHofman: hey can you help i try to get my dog exersize even tenesball but she sits ther all day the vet said she is ok and healthy what can i do im worried??

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 4 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Well done lens! Great for border collies and other mid-to-large high energy breeds. Our dogs are hounds so not a good mix when they are controlled by their noses. I would be in too many sudden stop bike accidents. Only long walks work for us!

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      soaringsis 4 years ago

      This is a very interesting method for both you and the pup getting exercise, safely. I would love to give it a try. Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on your LotD.

    • BestForTheMoneyz profile image

      BestForTheMoneyz 4 years ago

      Very nice and interesting lens. Would never have taught of tieing the dog to my waist.

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      The-Quirky-Banana 4 years ago

      Very interesting and informative! Congrats on Lens of the day! :D

    • Thomo85 profile image

      Thomo85 4 years ago

      I have thought about it many times with our little hyperactive pomeranian. I have always been worried thinking that if the little guy strayed in front of my wheel things would end badly. I like some of the tools featured on this page that would help me with that problem.

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @SteveKaye: You should definitely make a lens about your cat on a skateboard-- it sounds like quite a future adventure *grinning* Thank you for reading my lens, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @JeffSawyer: Thank you!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @rattie lm: *laughing* It is an excellent reason not to have one isn't it? *grinning*

      Thanks for your support! :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @DebW07: I never did in the beginning, but for the springtime I'm definitely investing into a pair!

      I'm glad you enjoyed the lens, thank you for your comment :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @john9229: Thank you very much for your support! I'm really amazed by people's kind response to my lens :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @fyresite: Thank you! I hope the "bicycle Dog" idea works well for both you and your dog-- it is really a lot of fun :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @getmoreinfo: Thank you! :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @Allison Whitehead: Thank you very much for your kind words and support! I'm very flattered by the squidoo community overall from their strong positive response to my lens :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @Camp April: I'm glad you enjoyed reading it! I've had a few people interested in using the leash around one's waist, and others interested in attaching gear to the bike. I figure whatever works for you and your dog can't be wrong in the end :) I hope your next biking endeavor with your dog is successful and fun!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @WriterJanis2: Thank you for the support! :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you! I'm very lucky to have received it when I'm such a newbie to squidoo! I appreciate your congratulations!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @MooshkaDaisy: Thanks very much, I'm really overwhelmed and flattered by the Purple Star and LotD attention to my lens! I didn't expect such a spotlight so early *laughing* I look forward to reading your articles too-- I love sharing and reading creative writing approaches, and the squidoo community has amazed me with their creative accounts of their knowledge! :) Thank you again for your kind words!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @hmommers: Thank you for your praise! I'm glad so many have enjoyed reading it :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @Holly22: Thanks you two Welsh-landers! I'm really amazed by the spotlight on my little lens (well, it's long, not really little *laughing*) I really enjoyed telling the story of training Icy in this! All the best to you both, and thanks for the support!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @anntag: I hope it goes well for you! It is a lot of fun :) Thank you!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @Tim Bader: I'm glad it gave you a smile! Thank you for your kind words :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @Ninche: Thank you! I'm glad you found it helpful :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you! I enjoyed writing it, and I'm glad so many people are enjoying reading it :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you very much for your kind comments! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @Deborah Swain: Wow, that is really humbling from a writer's point of view. I'm so happy you connected to my lens, I couldn't ask for more! Thank you for taking the time to read it :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @Alessandro Zambon: Sounds great! Thank you for taking the time to read my lens. :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @JerryWojo: Thank you! The leash options work for some people, and not for others :) To each their own, it's all about finding innovative solutions. I'm glad you enjoyed the lens, thank you for your comment :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @gottaloveit2: You're completely right, daily training never stops! You Australian shepard sounds amazing :) I'm glad he found you-- Icy sort of found me too-- got her out of a tricky situation too :) Glad you enjoyed the lens!

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      Mickie Goad 4 years ago

      I always wanted to ride bikes with my dog. I was afraid to try it, but you have given some very good information on this page. Excellent article about training a dog to mind you while riding.

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @teaperspective: That's great! I hope you have great success with it-- it's definitely worth it!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @BGrimes: Thank you! Icy knows it too-- she tries to pull the cute card all the time *laughing* I'm glad you enjoyed it, I enjoyed writing it!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @Jogalog: Thank you! I'm lucky so many people enjoyed the lens :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @shahedashaikh: Thank you! I'm happy you enjoyed it :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @pauly99 lm: Thank you! My fitness levels have definitely benefited from Icy's energy *laughing*

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @Margot_C: I'm glad you enjoyed it! It was fun to write :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @aka-rms: Thank you, I'm amazed and humbled!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @randomthings lm: Glad the common sense and learnt experience was noted! *laughing* Thank you!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @poldepc lm: Thank you! :)

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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @myspace9: Thank you!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @Diana Wenzel: Thank you very much! It's interesting to hear your experience with Babe especially with long distance running. I've been toying with that idea with Icy, because I would like to get back into running. It's good to hear you've been successful with it with your boxer :)

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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @Elaine Chen: Thank you very much, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'm very lucky to have received this attention being very new to squidoo-- it's an amazing community!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @chi kung: *laughing* This far in with Icy, I can't say I blame you! Thank you for your comments, I appreciate it :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @mrdata: Thank you, I'm happy people enjoyed the information as well as my trials! *laughing*

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @Gypzeerose: Thank you very much! I appreciate the support :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @NewUsedCarsSacramento: Thank you very much-- I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @Ruthi: Icy was exactly the same in the beginning-- constant pulling. A sled dog could be an interesting challenge *laughing* but I think if I attempted that with Icy, I'd end up at the base of a tree where the latest squirrel ran up ;) Thank you for your support, and best of luck with Scratch :)

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      Fasttrail 4 years ago

      Congratulations on the Lens of the Day. You deserve it. It's an amazing collection of articles. No dog at present but if I did again I would certainly try your system.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I had a border collie mix for 7 years and her personality was almost identical to Icy. Unfortunately had to say goodbye last year, but this would have been perfect for her in her younger days. A dog I rescued a while back would be a perfect candidate as well, if I am ever able to take her in and she's still available, will be coming back here to re-read your tips!

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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @katiecolette: I was interested in it too, it looked like a great tool especially with the give it had in the leash attachment. I'll have to wait for the bicycle dog season to start again before trying it here anyways! *laughing* Thanks for reading, I appreciate the comment! :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @DebMartin: Thank you! The patience is worth the amazing and happy dog I get in return. :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @Fox Music: Thank you very much, I appreciate your kind words! :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @pyngthyngs: Thank you very much! I'm glad you enjoyed it-- and I hope you enjoy your little dogs even without a bicycle in the picture! :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @Dressage Husband: Hello! Thanks for the comments, they are very valid! I think you are correct, technically bicycling a dog is a very grey zone legally-- probably along the same lines as being a cyclist on a sidewalk-- it is illegal (at least where I live anyways!) However, for the sake of safety, a lot of people bicycle on the sidewalks, even past the parked police. And as you've pointed out, no, I definitely would not try to do this in a very busy city such as New York, or London, I would look for a sedimentary breed instead given the chance. However, like many people, life doesn't always work out in an easy line-- we actually saved Icy from a tricky situation, and brought her into a subdivision environment fully well knowing how high energy border collies are. We had expected to move to a 5 acre country lot immediately-- two years later, still in progress-- where handling Icy would have been a lot different and (hopefully) a lot easier to train. I think you are exceptionally lucky to now have an indoor riding arena in order to work with your animals, but unfortunately for me, I had to find a solution in a suburban environment. I especially like your suggestions regarding the lunge line and frisbee, but ironically I did try those methods with Icy before the bicycle, and they didn't work as training tools. She doesn't really focus in the outside world because she's too busy trying to look at everything (and ends up seeing nothing at all.) The tennis ball surprisingly does not hold her attention outside, because she is too busy looking for rabbits or squirrel movement, which always ends up getting her into possibly dangerous situations in an urban environment.

      However, regarding having her in an urban environment, I use common sense-- it doesn't make sense to bicycle on a busy road with a dog, or bike during the suburban's "rush hour," but there are a lot of subdivision roads which are very quiet (not the main arteries) for example during off-peak hours. The best case is having dedicated bicycle paths-- the city I live in does have some of that, but they are not accessible to me. Unless society designs it into their living plans, as a (hyper) dog owner you're somewhat screwed. This lack of design for dog owners (like availability of trails, separate bike paths, or even greater number of dog parks) has baffled me as North Americans own incredibly high numbers of dogs. However, that's a different matter all together.

      So what does this mean for me legally then? I have to accept the legal ramifications-- yes, I could get charged. But it isn't my intent to put myself nor my dog into dangerous situations, nor endanger drivers on the road either. My intention is to exercise my high energy dog in a difficult living area. However, as you've pointed out the law regarding having a dog running beside a car is illegal, and it could very well be the same for a bicycle considering it is classed as a vehicle. There isn't much I can do about that aside from accept that if something happens, I have to take responsibility for my decision to bicycle Icy with this method. Icy hasn't had any ill effects from this form of exercise (in fact I've gotten a dog with really well balanced energy levels from it), but I do have to accept that other people may not view it that way.

      I know dragging a dog has been raised by a couple of posters too-- again, common sense. I'm not out on a bicycle trying to kill my dog-- I pay close attention to her breathing and ease of pace. With Icy I approach exercising her like an athlete. Warmups, build up gradually the running distances over time, and cool downs. Yes, this could be a concern for people if they don't have any athletic training. If someone was really worried about exercising their dog, working with a professional dog trainer would be a better route. I work with Icy as if it was an endurance run training program-- very small steps over a gradual time. However, I've taken her to a vet several times in the early days to make sure there were no problems, and basically the vet has told me she's in great physical shape as well as healthy.

      Having the dog dash in front of my bicycle: I actually keep the leash a short length tethered to my waist so it's not physically possible for Icy to run in front of the bicycle. I mention not having the dog in front of the bicycle because I have seen people bike their dog with them in front, and yes, I agree with you, I find think it's dangerous. However, in regards to breaking one's neck-- you mention you own horses-- do you accept the risk riding them or working with them? As long as you accept the risk, then you accept the decisions and possible good or bad consequences from life.

      Overall I really enjoyed your comments-- hope you didn't find my counter comments sounding scathing, that wasn't my intention. I truly love a good debate, and I thank you for that (feel free to counter again anything I've mentioned!).

      I think the true point here is to avoid having hyper breeds in urban environments as you've pointed out; society isn't really set up for it, nor are the houses with the lot sizes either (at least in my area in Ontario!) However, I'm sure like a few other people with hyper dogs, it wasn't a situation I chose, but I had to find a workable solution. If I had someone come up to me living in this suburban environment and ask me if they should buy a border collie, I would definitely would do my best to steer them away from it. Buy a senior dog with low laid back energy levels. But unfortunately I think there are a lot of dog owners out there similar to me, trying to do the best they can with the tools they've been given!

      Thank you again, I appreciate the points you've raised, and I hope other readers consider these important factors you've raised as well :)

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      makorip lm 4 years ago

      You persevered and everybody won. Congratulations on LOTD!

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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @Ursel001: Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @SusanDeppner: Thank you very much-- I admit I've been surprise at the response I received over my Bicycle Dog lens! I'm happy people are enjoying it-- it was fun to write and share the crazy antics of training Icy :)

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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @esimps: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @TheLittleCardShop: It may take a little bit of time, but it is definitely a lot of fun :)

    • MulberryTree profile image
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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @TheLittleCardShop: Thanks very much! :)

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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @ShariBerry: Thank you very much! I have never encountered a dog that "hates" squirrels before-- it sounds intriguing! For Icy, I've named the squirrels that frequent around our yard, thinking that if they had names I wouldn't get a reaction if I happened to say the "Squirrel" word (which she definitely goes ballistic over!) Problem is, she now knows their names too!! *laughing*

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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @anonymous: What you have written here is a very valid point. No responsible dog owner ever wants to harm their dog even through exercise-- and if you're going to bicycle your dog you definitely need to approach it with common sense. My background is in endurance running, and my work with horseback riding lends itself to responcible approaches to working and exercising Icy. And you're right, if bicycling concerns you, throwing a ball or a frisbee are good possible exercise regimes for your dog, given an owner has access to an area to do that in! However, thanks for raising this important counter point!

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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @dimitry168: Thank you very much for your kind comment!

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      MulberryTree 4 years ago

      @ConnieGreen LM: Oh how I envy you-- I wish I could fit Icy into a basket! *grinning* Thank you for your comments :)