Our beloved dogs need regular exercise to stay healthy and happy, and so do we. One of the ways to achieve this goal is to train them so that dogs and humans can share the same activity that also helps strengthen this relationship. Among the activities that are gaining popularity is bikejoring. But, what exactly is bikejoring?
Bikejoring is a sport practiced by dogs and humans that comes from mushing or sled dog sport. In bikejoring, one or more dogs pull the bike or scooter and the rider who drives it. Bikejoring is gaining popularity due to its combination of exercise and excitement.
Bikejoring is ideal for the most energetic and active dog breeds. The practice of bikejoring begins with training the dog. So if you want a unique activity to share and enjoy with your best friend, bikejoring can satisfy that desire. Continue reading, and we will give you more information in the following sections.
What Is Bikejoring?
A simple way to define bikejoring is to say that it is the perfect formula to do sport with our dog while enjoying a nice ride. Unlike mushing, you can do bikejoring without snow. The way to practice it is practically the same; however, this modality has the advantage of not needing a specific weather condition to do it to the fullest.
Bikejoring is an activity that, over the years, has gained a lot of popularity in Europe and the United States. Initially, Scandinavians did bikejoring to train draft dogs in spring and summer, when there was no more snow. Nowadays, many countries hold all kinds of activities related to bikejoring, such as sporting events and competitions of different levels.
Knowing The Origin And Other Characteristics Of Bikejoring
The starting point or exact date of the beginning of bikejoring is uncertain. But what we do know is that bikejoring was born from mushing.
Mushing is a winter sport where one or more dogs pull a sled with a person on it. Mushing is essentially a sport where the dog and the human form a single team to achieve a common goal.
In contrast to mushing, people practice bikejoring on the ground. The person can attach one or two dogs to the bike. The owner or trainer leads the bike through a trail.
There are two main ways to get the dog to pull the bike. One way is to hitch the dog to the front of the bike. However, some people prefer to have the dogs run alongside the bike rather than in front of it.
Although mushing is the primary ancestor of mushing, it is also likely that the birth of bikejoring is due to another well-known dog sport, skijoring. People do skijoring on trails that wind through forests and mountains. It is an activity usually done in rugged and complex terrain; for this reason, the mountain bike is the one that people use in this modality.
Getting Started With Bikejoring
Suppose you are thinking of starting this exciting activity with your dog. In that case, it is essential to consider some factors before starting.
- You have to train your dog. If you do not dedicate time to this task, the dog will take you anywhere but the road you want to travel. In addition, this training will allow your pet to behave well with other dogs. You do not need your dog to drag you behind another runner because he wants to play with another dog.
- You should know if your dog likes to run. If the answer is yes, then it is a good candidate for bikejoring.
- The dog must be in exceptional physical condition. If your dog does not exercise frequently, you should take a preliminary step. You have to work on its physical shape to raise it to an adequate fitness level.
- Training for bikejoring starts with regular walks with your dog. If the dog tends to move from side to side when you walk in, it is likely to do the same when you are running. The problem is that you and the dog will be together. For this reason, you must first train it to walk the way you want him to walk.
- When the dog has demonstrated its ability to obey commands and can walk correctly, you can increase the level of its physical condition.
- It would help if you got the dog used to wearing a harness and pulling its weight.
- You can train the dog with canicross, that is, tie the dog to get it used to towing.
- You can also tie the dog to different weights to drag it to a certain point.
What Equipment Do We Need To Do Bikejoring?
If you want to start in the world of bikejoring, you must have the following equipment:
- It is essential to have a mountain bike. The bike must be sturdy and can withstand shocks and impacts.
- You must have a helmet, safety glasses, elbow, and knee pads to absorb shocks due to possible falls. This practice must wear a helmet every time you go bikejoring. The goggles should also resist impacts since it is quite feasible that a lot of gravel will fall on your body and face.
- Experts recommend wearing gloves.
- The bike should have side mirrors to see everything that is going on behind you.
- Although it is not indispensable, it is a good idea for the bicycle to have side bags. These bags allow you to store your equipment and emergency items. Also, inside these bags, you can carry plenty of water for both you and your dog.
- You always must carry a first aid kit in these bags.
- The bike will likely need a quick repair in the middle of the road at some point. For that reason, it is a great idea to have a spare kit and essential tools to solve any incident that may arise.
- You should have a rope to attach the dog to the bike. If you plan to practice bikejoring with more than one dog, you will need a collar line. This line keeps the dogs tied and to the bicycle.
- Harnesses are another essential piece of equipment for bikejoring. Harnesses are indispensable for the dog to be able to practice this activity. You will need a harness that fits perfectly with your dog’s anatomy.
- Booties are another essential equipment for your dog when practicing on complex terrains.
What Are The Ideal Dog Breeds That Can Practice Bikejoring?
It is entirely natural to wonder what would be the best breeds for bikejoring. There are no restrictions as to the breeds that can practice this sport.
However, some breeds might be more suitable than others when it comes to mushing and bikejoring. Everybody knows that one of the favorite breeds for mushing and bikejoring is the Husky. These dogs know mushing well, are excellent team players, and are also very easy to train. They are strong and robust dogs that love to run and have impressive endurance capacity.
Another very popular dog breed for bikejoring is the Pitbull. These dogs are powerful and willingly accept training from their owners. You should make sure that the Pitbull is comfortable with other humans and dogs.
Another Husky-like breed that is ideal for bikejoring is the Alaskan Malamute. These dogs are stocky, intelligent, and have a long history of mushing.
Finally, we have the Samoyed as another of the breeds suitable for bikejoring, mainly because they are very resistant dogs in extreme conditions and love to run at full speed.
A Final Thought About Bikejoring
Bikejoring is a sport where one or more dogs pull a bicycle driven by their owner or instructor. Bikejoring is a physical exercise that provides physical and emotional health, balance, and bonding between dog and person.
Although there are no limitations to the breeds that can practice it, there is no doubt that it will bring out the best in Husky, Pitbull, and Malamute. If you and your dog meet the necessary conditions for bikejoring, do not think twice and start this activity that will surely change your life.