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Bikejoring: Biking With Your Dog

Bikejoring: Biking With Your Dog

Discovering the Joys of Bikejoring Together

As a lifelong dog lover, I’ve always been on the lookout for new and exciting ways to bond with my canine companions. That’s why, a few years ago, I stumbled upon the adrenaline-inducing sport of bikejoring – and let me tell you, it’s been a game-changer for me and my furry best friends.

You see, I’ve had the privilege of rescuing not one, but two incredible pups over the years – Ash and Leo. Ash, my first rescue, was the perfect city dog, happily joining me on short commutes and daily runs while leashed beside my trusty bike. But when Leo, a husky-malamute mix, came into our lives, I knew it was time to take our biking adventures to the next level.

Preparing for the Bikejoring Journey

Now, I’ll admit, integrating a new dog into our home wasn’t without its challenges. Leo came with some behavioral issues that we had to work through before he was ready to take on the thrill of bikejoring. But with patience, dedicated training, and plenty of bonding time, we were able to get him to a place where he was not only comfortable with the idea, but downright eager to give it a try.

The first step was teaching Leo the essential commands he’d need to know – “left,” “right,” and the all-important “leave it” (or as they say in the mushing world, “on by”). We practiced these cues on our daily walks and hikes, reinforcing them until they became second nature. And let me tell you, once Leo had these commands down, he was a natural at the sport.

Gearing Up for the Adventure

Of course, no bikejoring journey is complete without the right gear. We started with a high-quality, adjustable X-style harness – the kind traditionally used in sled dog mushing. This evenly distributes the load across Leo’s body, keeping him comfortable and supported as he pulls the bike. And to prevent any risk of tangles, we also invested in a bikejoring antenna – a flexible attachment that keeps the line from getting caught in the front wheel.

But the real game-changer was the addition of those trusty dog booties. You wouldn’t believe the number of times Leo has stepped on something sharp out there on the trails, and those little paw protectors have been a lifesaver. Plus, they just make him look so darn adorable, I can’t help but snap a few photos every time we head out.

Conquering the Trails

With Leo’s training and our gear all dialed in, it was time to hit the trails. And let me tell you, the first few sessions were a bit of a learning curve. Leo was a little confused at first, unsure of what exactly he was supposed to do with this strange contraption attached to the front of the bike. But once he saw another team of dogs in action, it was as if a lightbulb went off in his head.

From that moment on, there was no stopping him. Leo lives for the thrill of the chase, eagerly pulling me along the winding trails, his tongue hanging out in pure doggy bliss. And let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like the adrenaline rush of speeding through the woods, the wind in your hair and your furry co-pilot leading the way.

The Rewards of Bikejoring

Of course, the benefits of bikejoring extend far beyond the sheer fun factor. This sport has been a game-changer for Leo’s physical and mental well-being. I’ve Dogs has always been a big proponent of engaging our four-legged friends in enriching activities, and bikejoring is the perfect way to do just that.

Not only does it provide Leo with an outlet for his boundless energy, but it also keeps his mind sharp and engaged as he navigates the twists and turns of the trail. And let’s not forget the pure joy he exudes every time we suit up and head out – it’s truly infectious, and I find myself grinning from ear to ear right alongside him.

The Competitive Spirit

As we’ve honed our bikejoring skills over the past year, Leo and I have even started to dip our toes into the competitive world of the sport. While we’re still very much beginners, the thrill of lining up at the starting line, surrounded by other enthusiastic pups and their humans, is something I wouldn’t trade for anything.

The American Kennel Club has been a valuable resource in helping us prepare for our first few races, and I’m excited to see how far we can go as we continue to hone our skills.

Looking Ahead to the Future

As we move forward, I can’t wait to see what other adventures await Leo and me on the bikejoring trail. Maybe we’ll even try our hand at skijoring this winter, or explore some more technical mountain bike routes as we grow in confidence. The possibilities are endless, and I’m just grateful to have such a dedicated and enthusiastic partner by my side.

So, if you’re like me and you’re always on the lookout for new ways to bond with your furry friend, I highly encourage you to give bikejoring a try. It’s a sport that’s as exhilarating as it is rewarding, and with the right preparation and equipment, you and your pup can embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Who knows – maybe I’ll even see you and your four-legged co-pilot at the starting line of our next race!

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