If you love biking and you have a canine companion at home, having your dog accompany you on your cycling journey is definitely one of the most wonderful things to do. Dogs definitely adore the fresh strong winds and the outdoors. And because they love physical activities, they are unable to stop walking, jumping, playing, and running around. Though there will be times where the distances you cover using your bike would be more than what your dog can handle and sometimes, we have to cut the adventure short. The good news is, a large dog bike trailer can help you solve that. When running becomes too exhausting for them, they can easily hop in the bike trailer and continue accompanying you along the rest of the way and while enjoying the wonderful outdoors together.
Dog trailers and How to Acclimatize Your Dog to Them
Having a dog bike trailer gives your pet the opportunity to enjoy long bike rides with you, but using them requires training. Today, we did a short step by step guide and some tips on how to train your dog to ride a bike trailer.
Introduction to the Bike and the Trailer
Give your canine companion a chance to get to know the bike trailer at his own pace. It is important not to force your dog as it will only make him feel nervous. Firstly, we suggest that you lead your canine companion in getting in the bike trailer while it is still detached from the bike. An effective way to do it is to lure them with food to get on it, and then you let them get down from the trailer after a few seconds.
Repeat this process over and over until the dog can go in and out of the trailer comfortably. If an assembled bike trailer is too much for them, it is an option that you have the dog familiarize with it indoors first. You can take off the wheels of the trailer and replace their sleeping bed with the trailer without wheels and have them use it as a bed for a while.
Familiarizing Your Dog with the Trailer
The moment you feel that your dog is used to the trailer, hook the trailer to the bike and let your dog walk around and explore them. Let your canine partner be used to the combination. You can try to put his toys and some treats inside the bike trailer to help him in getting familiarized with the combination. Try doing that for a few days and make sure to praise your dog and give it treats every time it goes inside the bike trailer. Dogs have a soft spot for treats and motivating them with it is guaranteed to work.
Familiarization of Your Dog and the Bike Trailer Outdoors
Now that your dog is properly introduced and familiarized with the bike and trailer, you will now want to get your pet into the bike trailer outdoors. Get your dog in front of the combination and ask it to get into the bike trailer. If they are doubtful or uncertain about climbing into it, you can reinforce your canine companion with treats. Repeat this process several times until they master the reflex of going in and out at your command. Once you feel that your dog is complacent, relaxed, and ready to travel, you can now try to connect the internal loop fastener to its leash and see if there is any resistance. If there is none, make sure to reward your canine companion with treats and praise. Always make sure to keep a positive tone as dogs are very sensitive to it. Be sure that all screened windows and vents are fully open, this is also for your dog to avoid any panic attacks or any them to be upset. This is also for your pup to get a lot of fresh air.
Moving with the Bike Trailer
Once your dog is familiarized with the trailer, it can be tempting to give in to the tendency of fastening them in, hopping in, and riding like hell. It is not advised as it would just make your canine companion feel agitated. Instead, what you can initially do is that you can try walking with them while the bike and trailer are going at a very slow pace. This should be done while giving your dog a lot of praise for a job well done. It is also important to stay as close to the trailer as possible when moving. This is for the reason that you need to give your dog a feeling of security by having your presence nearby.
As for the initial stages of having your dog using the bike trailer, it is very important to avoid any type of bumps in rough terrain. It is also suggested to avoid crowded places and to keep your travels short. This is to give your dog the impression that being in the bike trailer is short, exciting, and enjoyable. Always choose the fastest and smoothest route until your dog is comfortable with the setup.
Improving Duration and Confidence with the Bike Trailer
Once your canine companion is comfortable in riding the small or large bike trailer, you may now try to add some miles to your ride. You can try to add a mile or two in a day to prevent your dog from feeling uncomfortable with the sudden changes. You can also slowly build up the riding speed and add a few obstacles along the way. You can go for curbs and potholes and even up to a point where you and your canine companion are able to go anywhere comfortably using the bike trailer.
Dogs love being with their owners especially out in spaces with open air. As a dog owner, taking your pup companion with you on your adventures can be one of the most thrilling and unforgettable moments you can have. With a dog bike trailer, you can let your canine companion join you in those long biking trips. Hopefully, our short guide was able to help you understand the basics of training and making your dog feel comfortable riding a bike trailer.