Fan of mountain biking but not a fan of leaving your dog behind? We get it! So if you're looking for a way to include your furry friend in your favorite outdoor activity, mountain biking with dogs just might be the solution.
After all, what's more fun than hitting the trails with your best friend by your side? Let's take a look at how to make it happen.
Can I Mountain Bike with My Dog?
Although mountain biking with your dog might conjure images of having your pup in your basket while you dodge trees and bushes, that's usually not how it works.
Many people love taking their dog with them while biking. However, usually the dog stays on the ground, running behind the bike.
Mountain biking with dogs is definitely doable, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
First and foremost, you'll want to make sure that your pup is comfortable around a bike.
If they're not used to being around bikes, it might be best to start by taking them for walks or runs on the trails before trying to take them mountain biking.
Bikes can spit up debris and can be dangerous for your pup, if they aren't familiar with them. You'll want to make sure that your dog is trained to stay a safe distance behind the bike.
Once you feel your dog is ready, it's time to hit the trails! Just be sure to keep an eye on your pup at all times and stay within their abilities.
Remember, this is their first time mountain biking, so don't expect them to keep up with you on the most challenging trails. And last but not least, don't forget the snacks and water!
After all, a tired pup is a happy pup.
What Are The Ultimate Dont's of Mountain Biking with Dogs?
Just like anything else, there are a few things you'll want to avoid when mountain biking with dogs.
1. Don't ride too far.
Like humans, it's essential to build up endurance when mountain biking.
Start off slow and gradually increase the distance as your pup gets more comfortable.
It's critical to understand your dog's capabilities and remember that dogs can't coast down hills.
They're constantly working and have tiny legs that aren't nearly as efficient as a bike's.
Keep in mind your dog's physical characteristics and fitness level when selecting a ride route. Some dog breeds are better suited for long trips, so consider this when choosing a trail.
2. Don't ride on congested trails.
Not everyone is a fan of dogs, and not everyone knows how to properly interact with them.
For this reason, it's best to avoid congested trails and instead stick to those that are less traveled.
There is still the potential for conflict, even if your dog will be under strict voice command.
Not everyone on the path would probably be delighted to discover your dog racing through, so avoid locations where there are a lot of other trail users.
3. Don't subject your dog to extreme weather conditions.
Just like you wouldn't go for a run in the middle of summer, you shouldn't take your dog mountain biking when it's too hot or too cold outside.
Dogs can suffer from heatstroke and hypothermia just as quickly as humans, so be sure to keep an eye on the weather conditions before heading out.
Try to stick to shaded trails and avoid the midday sun if it's too hot.
And if it's too cold, consider a shorter trip or one with less elevation gain.
4. Don't leash your dog to your bike.
This one is a no-brainer.
This is not only harmful to the rider but also to your dog. If you come to an abrupt stop, your dog could be thrown off balance and get injured.
You could also lose control of your bike if your dog pulls on the leash.
Instead of leashing your pup to your bike, invest in a canine backpack or trailer. This will allow them to ride safely while still enjoying the experience.
Bikes have many moving parts, making any type of tether, such as a leash, a significant safety risk.
5. Don't let your dog run ahead of you.
This is a common mistake that many dog owners make. They think that since their dog is off the leash, they can run ahead and explore.
However, this could put you in danger if your dog happens to run into another cyclist or animal.
It's essential to keep your dog close by so you can maintain control over them. Not to mention, it's much more enjoyable to have your furry friend by your side.
Don't forget to bring water and snacks on your ride!
What Are The Best Trail Dog Breeds For Mountain Biking?
When it comes to mountain biking with dogs, not all breeds are created equal.
Here are a few of the best trail dog breeds that are perfect for mountain biking:
1. Labrador Retriever
Labradors are a great option for mountain biking because they're bred to be active and have a lot of energy.
They also have an incredibly high pain tolerance, meaning they can handle a long ride without getting too tired.
The fact that it's an excellent trail dog just adds to its allure.
The Lab is a methodical and eager learner that wants to satisfy its master. As a result, incorporating trail techniques into its training is less complicated than other dogs.
The Weimaraner is another breed that was bred for physical activity.
This dog has a lot of energy and loves to run, making it the perfect companion for mountain biking.
If the Weimaraner hasn't had its time outside, it is not an excellent housemate.
This huge-sized breed with a short gray coat will pursue anything that resembles food, including cats, squirrels, and birds.
Because Weimaraners are clever, obedient yet self-reliant, and mentally active, they enjoy learning new activities, such as mountain biking!
3. Border Collie
The Border Collie is a herding dog bred to work all day.
It's incredibly intelligent and has boundless energy, making it the perfect candidate for mountain biking.
Border Collies are also very loyal and will stick by your side no matter what.
The border collie is a brilliant, highly trainable dog that excels in physical and mental activities.
It has a strong herding instinct and may try to herd people, animals, and bicycles. On the other hand, they are wary of strangers.
4. Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog is an excellent option for mountain biking because it's rugged, agile, and has incredible stamina.
The ACD will become bored and restless after a few walks each day, which is when mischief begins. Their endurance enables them to accompany you on long mountain bike rides.
Compared to other dogs, the ACD has a better heat tolerance.
This breed may nip at the heels of livestock (or your feet) while on a bike ride, so be sure to keep them under control!
Vizslas are clever, obedient, and athletic golden, short-haired dogs.
With their tall legs and slender build, a person seeing them in action would certainly believe that's what a trail dog looks like. They're also very trainable!
The Vizsla is a beautiful breed. They are loving dogs that enjoy attention and get along well with other canines, as well as children and strangers.
TheVizslaa is not your breed if you want an independent dog or if you wish to leave your dog alone for lengthy periods of time during the day regularly.
They enjoy being close to you and require lots and lots of exercise!
Mountain biking with dogs can be a great way to bond with your furry friend and get some exercise. Just be sure to choose the right breed and take the necessary precautions to keep your dog safe.
Most importantly, have lots and lots of fun.