Table of Contents
- Steps to follow to train your dog to ride in a bike trailer
- Tips to make it easy for you to train your dog to ride in a bike trailer
Last updated on: September 26th, 2018
If you want to ride a bike with your pet, it’s a good idea to know how to train your dog to ride in a bike trailer. Bike riding with your dog will be fun, and it’s a great way to exercise together. It’s also a fantastic way to bond with your pet.
A dog bike trailer is a small buggy that you can hitch up to your bike. It allows you to carry your dog on it as you cycle. Your dog will enjoy the ride, and you will ride your bike with no worries knowing that your dog is safe in the bike trailer.
Although it’s common for people to ride bikes with dogs using bike leashes, it exposes the dogs to extreme exhaustion and injuries to their paws. It could also lead to accidents if the dogs run in front of their owner’s bikes. Using a best dog bike trailer is a great way to avoid such mishaps.
Just like any other doggy equipment such as a dog crate or wireless dog fence, you need to teach your dog to ride in a bike trailer. If you don’t train your dog, it may refuse to use the bike trailer, and there goes your chance to enjoy a bike ride with your pet.
Steps to follow to train your dog to ride in a bike trailer
Dogs are obedient creatures once they trust you as their owner. If you have a trusting relationship with your pet, it will be easy to teach it how to use the dog bike trailer. Here are a few quick steps you can follow:
1. Set up the bike trailer together
The first step of the training is to put together the dog bike trailer. Make sure your dog is present as you put the trailer together. It will make your dog feel like part of the process as opposed to bringing the trailer to it when complete as it might be suspicious of it.
It does not take long to put the bike trailer together. Make sure during this process you speak and act positively towards the dog, encouraging it and feeding it a treat or two as it watches. Once the trailer is fully set up, the dog will associate it with good times, and it will be easier for it to accept it and use it.
2. Invite your dog to enter the trailer
Once the trailer is ready, throw your dogs toys inside and let it go in. If it refuses, leave the toys and treats inside the bike trailer and let it go in at its own time. Most of the time, if the dog was with you when assembling the bike trailer, it will go in to explore without any problem.
Let the dog trailer stay there for a few days with you throwing in some treats now and again for the dog to go in and get used to it in there. Put in a blanket for the dog to feel comfy and help it build trust for the trailer. It will also deposit its scent there in the process, and that will make it feel familiar.
3. Hitch the trailer to the bike and ride
After a few days of familiarizing your dog with the trailer, it’s time to give it a ride. Hitch the dog trailer onto your bike and cycle around your compound or along your driveway. Your dog doesn’t have to be in it at this point. However, it has to be watching to see how it works. Make the bike ride look like a lot of fun to make it want to ride along.
After a short ride in the yard, get off and leave the trailer there for the dog to explore. The next day, follow the same routine. You must do this until you see your dog start to run alongside the bike and trailer. It is a sign that it is interested in a ride as well.
4. Trailer test ride with your dog
Once your dog shows you that it wants to join in the fun bike ride, you can let it enter the dog bike trailer. Harness it in, and continue riding around the yard. It may bark a bit in surprise, but keep cycling and give it lots of positive reinforcements.
Make sure your ride in the yard with the dog in the trailer is short and fun. It should not be more than 15 minutes after which you should stop and open the bike trailer for your dog to come out. It will likely come out excited, and you should give it some rubs and kind words with some treats for being brave.
5. First ride around the block
Repeat step 4 at least twice a day for about three days. It gives your dog a chance to accept the rides and the trailer.
After the third day, you can take your dog in the dog trailer for a bike ride around the block. Keep the trip short, on smooth roads, and take your time. It will allow your dog to see that you can have these fun rides even outside your compound safely.
Have the bike rides every other day increasing the time you spend on the road. You can change the route depending on how confident your dog is about the experience. Within a month, the dog will be used to the dog bike trailer, and you can extend your bike adventures to different areas.
Tips to make it easy for you to train your dog to ride in a bike trailer
Your dog’s temperament and your training technique and consistency will determine how fast your dog embraces the dog bike trailer. Here are other things you can do to hasten the process.
1. Patience and rewards
Like with any other new stuff, you need a lot of patience to train your dog to use a bike trailer. You also need to give it a lot of positive reinforcements and treats each time it does something new with the trailer.
Your patience will give it time to internalize this new toy. Treats and positive reinforcement will help it associate the trailer with good experiences.
2. Demonstrate and communicate
Dogs look at you and can translate your emotions. You should show it through facial expressions and actions that the bike riding is fun. Smile, and make a lot of fun sounds. It will want to join you for the fun ride.
Also, make use of words it understands to train it to love and use the trailer. Words like ” get in” or” out” said gently can convince it to enter or leave the trailer. Use words like it’s “time for a bike ride” each time you climb on the bike.
3. Comfort and security
Make the trailer comfortable, and you will not have a hard time training your dog to use it. Put in a comfy blanket and its favorite toy.
Once you start test rides in your yard, make sure you harness the dog always. It doesn’t matter if you are only biking in the yard. It shows the dog that it should be strapped in all the time when riding in the trailer.
4. Distractions and bumps
Your first few rides should be in relatively quiet areas with few distractions. However, it’s a good idea to start acclimatizing your dog to rough terrain and moderate noise, traffic or temptations once it fully gets used to riding in the trailer.
Each time you encounter these things, your role is to talk to it in a calm voice reassuring it of safety. You also have the option of stopping and giving your dog a treat and a few calming rubs through the flap when it gets over excited or scared.
After a couple of days or weeks of using the same road, your dog will get used to any noises, traffic, and road bumps. Once this happens, it is time to graduate to even more challenging bike rides.
Taking the time to train your dog to ride in a bike trailer is for your benefit. Do it right, and you will open up a whole new world of adventure for you and your dog.