Cycling With Your Dog: Tips and Equipment

Is the weather nice and you want to enjoy the day with your doggie? Don’t want a simple stroll? Don’t feel like throwing his ball fifty times in a row? Do you want a change? Cycle together!

Cycling with your dog, is it possible?

Cyclists who have had their calves pinched on their bikes are not uncommon … Before getting on your “little queen”, make sure your dog is not allergic to cycling. If in the presence of a bicycle, he barks, rushes on it, tries to bite the front tire to prevent you from moving forward or catching your pants… this is a typical case of a big allergy! 

Where is she from? It is very likely that your dog did not ride a bicycle from an early age. It is very important, in the phase of socializing with the world around him, to quickly put him in contact with a bicycle. It will prevent him from allergies!  Before going for miles, you will have to make sure that your dog likes bikes.

Why ride a bike with your dog?

This is the opportunity to combine outing and sport for both of you. You can share your passion for cycling with your pooch. Dogs that are athletic and need a little workout will love running alongside you. The less athletic can also accompany you during your outing. It will be all the more sporty for you;) I’ll tell you everything, a little later in this article.

It is also the possibility of doing a few more kilometers. Be careful, for your dog, running alongside you for several kilometers requires a minimum of training! If the latter is not used to it, plan the first short outings and ride at walking pace. As you train, you can increase the distance or pace, if your dog enjoys the bike.

Cycling with your dog free

The easiest way to cycle with your dog is to let him run free with you. This means riding a bike in a safe place, without the risk of crossing a car for example, and that your dog has a great reminder and obeys your orders.

Musher often accompanies me in freedom. She’s a hell of a foodie: she never misses something cracra lying on the path. Not easy to intervene from my bike. By the time I turn around, pedal, get off my bike, trying to put it down as little as possible, the cracra thing is often already swallowed! I taught him to always stay to my left at my height, like walking on a leash. So if we meet a car, I go to the left of the road and am therefore between it and the car. It’s more secure. 

It also helps to avoid accidents because if your dog passes in front of your bike, you need to have very good reflexes to brake in time and not to stamp him (very very dangerous and traumatic for him). During such emergency braking, also be careful not to make a “sun” above your bike. Musher also learned to hitchhike, left, right and for you. 

Basic orders that allow us to share a good time together (which she learned thanks to cani-cross).

Cycling with your dog in a leash

Are you cycling in an area with a little traffic or passers-by? There is a very simple solution to keep your dog safe: the 30 ° pull-up bar and its draft line. Behind this somewhat strange name hides a clever tool that allows you to connect your dog to the bike. No question of wrapping the leash around your wrist; at the slightest deviation of your dog, it is the guaranteed fall! (and I know the case well, believe me)

The kit allows you to keep your dog on the left (or right side of your choice) side of your bike. This is a rigid attachment bar attached to which is attached a short leash. Thus attached, your dog will not be able to pass behind your bike or in front, it avoids falls or accidents. Your dog must be equipped with a harness. Impossible to tie him by his collar. If your dog pulls, if it deviates from its trajectory, if it stops suddenly, the collar would risk the stranger and seriously injure it.

I have not tested this 30 ° pull-up bar and its trait line with Musher. This accessory is perfect for dogs who love to tow. Which is not the case with Musher! Your dog will not be well positioned to run and he may be injured. If he has the “will to go” as the mushers say (not my dog, but the sled dog drivers!), It is better to go to the cani -mountain bike with him. 

The attachment system is at the front of the bike. It is studied for. If your dog is like Musher, choose the Dog Runner kit. In general, it attaches very easily to the bike. During a test with Musher, I placed it under my saddle, in 4 turns of the key 12 it was installed. For those who do not have a toolbox, it can be complicated because there is no tool provided in the kit. 

In the box there are 4 screws, the fixing bar on which is connected a short adjustable leash and a piece of rubber to ensure better adhesion between the bar and the seat post. I fixed the bar perpendicular to my bike but it bothered me; my left leg was rubbing against it. So I tilted it slightly towards the rear of the bike. I opted for a first walk on tracks between the vines…

The idea was average. I did not anticipate that the bike + the kit + Musher; we were wide enough and therefore needed wide paths. Musher does not tow so this kit played its role perfectly. She couldn’t eat any spitting stuff all the way …

Cycling with your dog in a bicycle basket

I’ll tell you right away, it’s only suitable for small dogs! No question of putting Musher in the basket in front of the bike… So I tested the dog basket with a “small” dog. My friend Naomi currently has a Landseer litter of 2 months. 10 puppies too crazy! I took Neiko onboard and off for the adventure. There are two types of dog baskets: the one that is attached to the back and the one that is attached to the handlebars.

The basket is in a kit but it is easy to assemble; just slide the 5 rigid boards into the compartments provided and form a sort of box. I admit that I had to ask my man for a hand to insert the last plate because it resisted me. The bottom plate is reinforced with a softer layer for the comfort of the dog. 

Then you have to fix the basket on the bike. Again, it’s super simple. In 2 turns of the screwdriver, it is settled. Small flat, the support comes to be pressed on the frame of the bike, below the handlebars. Given its positioning, it slightly stretched my brake cable and exerted pressure. It made my bike ride a little harder 🙂 It’s good for the calves. It surely depends on the bike …

To prevent the basket from jumping at each hole or bump, there are 2 clips which allow it to be strapped to the handlebars. Once the ride is over, all you have to do is remove the basket, the support remains in place for the next ones! Super practical.

At the bottom of the basket, there is an adjustable strap that allows you to attach the dog’s collar. This prevents the dog from being tempted to run away from the basket. This is very useful at least for the first walks because your dog is at a height, it may seem unstable, he may not be very reassured and have a bad reflex, that of jumping! …

On the practical side, there are plenty pockets all around the basket. Enough to store the leash, the purse, the dejection bags … Be careful not to put too much of it because it can quickly throw you off balance! The maximum weight accepted in the basket is 7 kilos! 

The first few meters, I was not very stable on the bike and when Neiko changed places in the basket, it was the same. But we get used to it quickly! Note that 7 kilos more to drag on the bike, it makes the calves!  

The dog bed  is ideal for growing puppies who cannot take long walks. Ideal for old small dogs who can no longer follow you, so you can share a fun activity together. And of course ideal for all small non-sporting dogs!

For large dogs, there is also a “basket” to take them for cycling. I hope to have the opportunity to test a dog trailer soon to tell you more and Musher too. Following the next episode …

For a successful cycling trip

Cycling is good but you have to prepare a minimum … Remember to take a bowl and water for your dog. Be careful, if he runs a lot, give him small sips even if he is very thirsty. Large dogs are prone to stomach upsets. A large amount of water ingested before, during, or just after a great effort can have serious consequences. 

Your dog is allowed to drink and needs to drink, but not three liters if he has made an intense effort! Also pay attention to the grounds of your course: running on asphalt, it quickly heats the pads! Go of course with your first aid kit and a bike repair kit. Also remember to take equipment in the event of a breakdown on the bike side.

And if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, there are many sports to discover:  Cani-cross or cani-trail – run with your dog ,  Test water hiking with your dog! …

I’m sure one of them matches you! In France we are fortunate to have very diverse territories, offering many possibilities to flourish with your dog! From the Jura massif , via the beaches of Brittany or the shores of Lake Bourget , these are just as many beautiful destinations to discover for a holiday with your dog! 

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