Exercising your dog can be an exhausting chore. Big dogs are often hard to tire out with just an average walk, but with an e-bike, it is not only easy but fun!
Let us show you how to train your dog to run alongside your e-bike and a few gadgets to keep both of you safe and sound. Once properly trained, riding with your dog is a great way to exercise with your dog and have a blast doing it.
Why Ride with Your Dog?
Nearly all dogs love to run, and most actually need to in order to get the exercise they need. Just walking your dog rarely works off their excess energy and can leave your dog pent up and anxious, leading to destructive tendencies.
Unfortunately, most dog owners don’t feel quite the same way, and many people are not even capable of running their dogs. This can be quite a problem, but the solution is surprisingly simple.
Your e-bike can easily let you keep up with your pooch and make sure they get the workout they deserve. This is a great way for the both of you to get a workout that is within your means, and fun too!
Safety Considerations Before Training Your Dog To Follow You When Cycling
Before training your dog to run alongside your bike, there are a few things you should consider. These considerations are both for the safety and health of your dog and to ensure you can have them safely returned if something does go wrong.
Is your dog healthy enough to handle the high-intensity workout?
Generally, younger to middle-aged dogs can handle it just fine, but for older dogs or those with medical issues, this can be too much of a strain. Also, for smaller breeds, it is important to consider whether they can keep up with you when you are biking. For smaller breeds, this may be too much of a strain, especially if they are getting older.
Also, if the dog is not fully grown, its growth plates may not have fully hardened. If this is the case, running on a solid surface could damage their bones. Make sure to ask your vet if it is okay for your dog before attempting to train them.
Is your dog microchipped?
It is possible that your dog may panic if there is a loud noise or other unexpected event and try to get away. If this happens, a microchip will allow anyone who finds your dog to return them to you.
Is your dog up to date on vaccinations?
Before exposing your dog to the great outdoors and other dogs, make sure your dog is up to date on all vaccines. You should consider getting even non-core vaccines as well if you are taking them into wooded areas.
It is also important to make sure your dog is up to date with preventatives for parasites as well. Make sure they are up to date with preventatives for fleas, ticks, and heart-worms before letting them spend much time outside.
Helping Your Dog Adjust to Your E-Bike
Often times your dog will need a little help to adjust to bicycles before they start running alongside one. First, see if your dog demonstrates either of the following behaviors.
- Raises the hair on their neck or acts frightened when seeing someone ride a bike
- Growls, barks, or even tries to attack a bicycle when someone is riding
If your dog demonstrates either of these behaviors, it may take them longer to safely adjust to bicycles. However, it is still possible with time, so don’t lose hope.
Getting Your Dog Acquainted With Your E-Bike
In order to help your dog adjust, try taking your e-bike into your home near where your dog spends a lot of time. This will allow them to get used to its sight and smell. However, do not place it near their bed or food bowl because this can make it difficult for them to eat or sleep.
Try placing treats on your bike and giving your dog encouraging words while saying the word bike and standing near it. This will help your dog to make connections between these positive feelings and the e-bike. Try doing this for a few days until your dog seems completely comfortable around the bike.
If your dog seems to react badly when you are wearing a helmet, try presenting it to them and trying the same things as above. The techniques above can work just as well with helmets, so give it a few days and let your dog become comfortable.
To get started, first try sitting on your bike indoors and walk just a few steps forward. Then call your dog and wait for them to follow. If they do, praise them thoroughly and give them treats.
Next, put your dog in their harness and attach their leash to the bike seat’s post. If they seem comfortable, try a few steps and encourage them to follow again. Praise them when they do it and once you are confident, continue doing this outside for a few days.
Soon enough, you will be capable of slowly riding while your dog walks alongside you. Over the course of a few days, try making it harder as you go by adding in distractions. Try going through a puddle, over grass, and over a speed bump. If the dog reacts badly, stop and try it again the next day, but do it slowly and give them treats afterward.
Over time, try increasing the length of trips, your speed, and the distance between you and your dog. Remember that at your normal cycling speed, your dog should only have to trot in order to keep up, not run.
Keeping Your Dog Safe on The Road
In order to ride alongside the road, you will always need to be cautious. Since you will be on the right side of the road when you are biking, try training your dog to always run alongside the right side of your e-bike. This will keep him on the opposite side of other traffic.
Additionally, try training your dog commands, such as turn and slow, in order to let your dog know what you are going to do. This will be very important to prevent accidents. Also, if your dog doesn’t already know the command, stop. Now is the time to teach them.
Equipment to Bring
While you will obviously need some basic equipment, including your helmet, bicycle, some tools, and a leash, you will need a few other items to keep you and your dog safe and comfortable on the trip as well. These include:
- Water for you and your dog
- Tire repair kit and pump
- Reflective collar with an identification tag
- A spare tire tube
Your e-bike can be just the tool you need to give you and your dog a good healthy workout. By training your dog to run alongside your e-bike, you can ensure they are getting the exercise they need while you have fun together. This will be a great way to bond with your dog and enjoy a great time together.