Biking with your Dog
One of my favorite dog exercises is bike cycling with the dogs. I use this type of exercise often in the summer. Being located in the Northern part of the country it is really beautiful in the summer months. I generally bike in the morning hours before the heat of the day. Biking the dogs is a great way to condition them and give them that necessary exercise that they need. Having and training working dogs like our German Shepherds Dogs gives these high drive dogs a way to exert that energy. I have been biking dogs for about fourteen years now. Some things that work for our dogs is I never break a trot for them. By keeping an even speed and trotting it will not put over stress on them. Years ago I developed a harness for biking. This works so well because a dogs power is in thier chest and the harness has a padded chest plate and where I attach the bike to the dog is on the top middle of the harness. This makes the pressure evenly distributed over the harness. If you bike attaching your bike to the dogs collar it is too stressful on the dogs neck and the dog can get jerked around. The harness is much safer to use. I also have used many styles of bike attachments. I like the type that has a spring and keeps the dog running at the center of the bike rather than near the front wheels. I carry with me paw protection and swipe their feet with the Mushers secret paw protection. I learned this the hard way many years ago after having hot pavement burn a couple of my dog’s toes. Mushers secret paw protection was designed by sled dog users but also works great in the heat. The other item I use all the time is the bungee leash. This works so well because with the stretch in the bungee gives the dog a little room to start and when trotting it flows without jerking the dog. I don’t bike our puppies until they are almost a year old. Once in a while I even bike my mature stud dog and seems like I get more of a work out then he does. My advice is to wear good shoes and keep an eye open for dogs that may have gotten loose from their yards. I do carry pepper spray but thank God that I have never had to use it. I also carry in my basket a water bottle and a soft water dish. If the dog needs a drink never over water it as over watering can bloat the dog. Just give the dog a small drink and stop often if you are biking long distances. I generally am biking many dogs so I bike each only a half hour or so. So get out there enjoy summer and get some exercise for you and your working dog.