Everyone knows dogs have energy. Many times they have much more energy than we slow humans can keep up with. Ask any dog professional how important exercise is to the health and well-being of your pet and they will tell you it is one of the most important things we can do for them. There are a few options we have to offer our dogs exercise, the most common of which is going for run with them. We all know we should but there are times that we are just unable to. Most of us can, however, hop on a bike. Riding bike is great exercise for us, it is much easier on our joints and we do not get worn out as quickly as when we go running. We can also go much faster on a bike than we can while running. The best part of riding bike? We can take our hyper pups with us so they can get that all too important exercise. This is simple to teach and dogs love it. All you will needed is a bike, a leash, a well fitting collar, and your very best friend.
1. Start in a quiet, familiar area where there are minimal distractions such as your back yard. Begin by simply introducing your dog to the bike by allowing him to sniff the bike and become familiar with the look, smell, and sound of it. You may want to place treats on and around the bike and reward him anytime he approaches the bike.
2. The next step is to go for a walk. Walk with your dog one side of you and the bike on the other side. The sound and size of the bike may scare him at first but ignore any fear and encourage him to continue.
3. Once he is comfortable move the bike in between you and your dog so your dog is walking right to next to the bike. Take it slow and do not force your dog to stay right next to the bike. Forcing your dog may cause him to have negative associations with the bike. That is the last thing we want.
4. When he is comfortable walking next to the bike it is time to get on. Start out slowly and do not try to get them up to speed the first time, it may even take a week or two before you and your dog are comfortable enough to hit the bike trail but in time you will both be enjoying the great outdoors together.
There are even bars you can attach to your bike that keep the leash at a distance so it doesn’t get wrapped in the wheels as well as enabling you to keep your hands leash free and on your bike handle bars. The Walky Dog Hands Free Bicycle Leash or the Springer Bicycle Jogger are both available on amazon.com. Be sure your dog is reliable around other dogs, cars, and people before you take him on longer bike rides or around distractions because a dog jerking on the leash can be dangerous for both you and your pet. Once comfortable and reliable, bike riding can be very enjoyable for you both.