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Pep_Sounds
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Location: Fife, Scotland
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29-04-2013, 11:26 AM

Beginning cycling with Rhodesian Ridgeback - advice/guidance?

My girl is now 11 months old, had her first season and though I expect still has a little bit of slow growth until she's fully done/growth plates closed I would like to get her used to jogging/running along with my bike.

She's already fairly active, with long-ish, though not fast paced off-lead hikes and lots of free running play in addition to lead-walks forming part of her weekly exercise regime/fun time and general bonding.

I know it will take time, and she shouldn't be run right away, nor be expected to manage specific distances, but I'd be interested and grateful to know what people who bike with dogs (particularly large breeds) think of getting her acclimatised to the general concept at this age, and walking (her preferred pace tends to be a little faster than mine so would be ideal with a slow cycle), then trotting her along the cyclepaths and woodland paths etc for say 20 mins or so a couple of days a week to start with over the next few months and then build up more from about 18 months?

Also, we've just ordered the DogRunner cycle mount for safe leash attachment/distance keeping/shock absorbtion etc - she already happily wears and walks wonderfully on the dog games perfect fit harness - would this be suitable for our biking activities or would anyone recommend something else?
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tawneywolf
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29-04-2013, 12:37 PM
I didn't start my girls biking until they were 2, I wouldn't take the risk on such a young dog of a large breed.
I got the Walky dog attachment for my bike and use fleece harnesses.
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Pep_Sounds
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29-04-2013, 01:06 PM
I am concerned about not over doing it, but I wondered about gradually, and I do mean very gradually, building up from walking alongside to trotting short whiles etc before even thinking about working up to running.

She's smaller than most Ridgies her age (though perfectly proportioned and excellent condition), and her parents were on the smaller end of the standard, and while I know it's not all about height, I wondered if it might be something we'd be able to start in say 30min sessions fast-walking pace, maybe once a week to start with, in place of an on-lead walk? For say a couple of months, then build to 10 min walk, 5-10min trot, and remainder walking pace, again for several months, before building up longer trots and then eventually, from between 18months to 2yrs old build from trot to run?

I know a lot of people wait until at least 18 months but build up quicker, but I like to build diversity in our activities.
I know her body is too young to push her, particularly on paved paths etc so have no intention of doing anything that could impact her future health.
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tawneywolf
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29-04-2013, 01:25 PM
Its up to you, your dog, but it will also be you dealing with the fall out from it in her later years, which to me isn't worth it for the sake of a few months compared to the next 10-12 years, and maybe her suffering in her old age because you were in a rush.
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Pep_Sounds
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29-04-2013, 05:21 PM
No, I totally agree, I do not want to rush and at the moment I am obviously just thinking, considering, planning, preparing, etc, but as of yet have not even introduced her to being near bikes other than to sit calmly when they whizz past us on some walks and trails, and sniff and investigate "suspicious" stationary bikes propped against our neighbours garden walls.

Like most she would walk and run forever given the chance but I am diligent in my control of her exertion and manage our walks and hikes accordingly, with constant thought and awareness of future health.

I hope I am not misinterpreted as wanting to push ahead regardless or anything of the sort, I am just curious as to why 20 - 30 mins at a pace she would naturally walk at on lead would be much different alongside a bike?
Like I said though, at the moment I am thinking/planning - I have no intention to start her before I am certain she is ready and have confirmed with my vet regards her maturity and development.

Not a case of not hearing what I want, not that it was implied, as I do genuinely appreciate your response - you've always given me good advice and it is always appreciated. Can I ask though how you introduced yours to cycling? Am I perhaps just over-thinking it in terms of acclimatising her to having her lead connected to something that moves that isn't a person? I do know I am guilty of being a bit over zealous in my early planning of things, especially where my girl is concerned.
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tawneywolf
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29-04-2013, 05:55 PM
I too live I an area where there are bikes whizzing around, so they are familiar with them. However their first introduction to actually being on a harness trotting alongside was like a comedy, in fact I expected to see a neighbour filming and seeing it on You've Been Framed. Cariad came to terms with it reasonably well and got into pretty quickly. Lona doesn't like strange things or new ideas, the minute she was hitched to the bar coming from the saddle she shot off, dragging the bike along with her, which made her all the more frightened, so she ran even faster and the bike followed her even faster, we managed to catch up to her, but I was laughing too much at first.
With her I pushed the bike along holding her alongside, and then gradually let go of her as she relaxed ever so slightly, then I sat on the bike and slowly moved off and all of a sudden she got it and now she is the better one of the two - which is always the case, show her anything new and she hates it, then as she gains confidence she is like she has always done it.
They do tend to want to pull though, so that is one reason why I never did it till they were older. I had back packs on them from just before 2 years old and we went shopping up to the market and things, I have lost count of the number of times I was stopped and told how cruel I was 'making' them carry my shopping - they loved it!!!
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Pep_Sounds
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30-04-2013, 07:10 AM
Aww that sounds amazing. I've looked at backpacks for the future too - not needed now, but when she gets older and as our hikes get longer it would be handy her carrying her own water, etc. Even now, the best way to keep her focussed is to give her a job to do - even just carrying a dumbell in her mouth that is not played with otherwise - she takes great care in making sure it gets brought all the way home.

The pulling/running off with the bike thing though - I think that's why I'm keen to start planning early but take it very, very slow. We will wait, but I know she can sometimes be skitish at odd things, so I'd like to make sure she's pretty solid with it before attempting to begin in ernest.

Thanks again for the advice.
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moetmum
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30-04-2013, 07:18 AM
I regularly take my two younger dogs out on the bike and used to take the others when they were younger.

I use a springer attachment and find it very effective, I take the two out together.

I started by attaching them to the bike and just walking with them until they were used to the bike. I also use fleece harnesses. Mine took to it like ducks to water and love it.
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illinois Ridge
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15-08-2017, 07:03 PM
Originally Posted by Pep_Sounds View Post
My girl is now 11 months old, had her first season and though I expect still has a little bit of slow growth until she's fully done/growth plates closed I would like to get her used to jogging/running along with my bike.

She's already fairly active, with long-ish, though not fast paced off-lead hikes and lots of free running play in addition to lead-walks forming part of her weekly exercise regime/fun time and general bonding.

I know it will take time, and she shouldn't be run right away, nor be expected to manage specific distances, but I'd be interested and grateful to know what people who bike with dogs (particularly large breeds) think of getting her acclimatised to the general concept at this age, and walking (her preferred pace tends to be a little faster than mine so would be ideal with a slow cycle), then trotting her along the cyclepaths and woodland paths etc for say 20 mins or so a couple of days a week to start with over the next few months and then build up more from about 18 months?

Also, we've just ordered the DogRunner cycle mount for safe leash attachment/distance keeping/shock absorbtion etc - she already happily wears and walks wonderfully on the dog games perfect fit harness - would this be suitable for our biking activities or would anyone recommend something else?
I too have a Ridgeback that I want to train to run while I ride. How did your training go? Was it successful? Pointers?
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