Dog Care 101 Tip #181 - Dog Sports: Bikejoring
Bikejoring: it’s a funny word, but it’s an exciting and fun way for you and your dog to exercise and enjoy the outdoors together. If you don’t know anything about bikejoring, the first part of the word should clue you in to this great dog sport. Best Bully Sticks actually stumped Google when searching for a better understanding of “joring” but from what we can understand you can “jor” with pretty much any combination of “leading” animal and across-land vehicle. You can skijor, which is a dog or horse pulling a person on ski’s or even scooterjor, which is another dog-mushing sport with a non-motorized scooter. Just like the word, these sports may seem weird, but they are becoming increasingly popular across the U.S. and not to forget, dogs love it! Let’s talk more about Bikejoring!
Bikerjoring is similar to dog sled mushing, but instead of a sled, a singular dog or team of 2 to 3 dogs is helping propel a person on a bike. This sport is sometimes used to train sled dogs out of season. The dog/dogs are attached to the front of the bike by a length of leash and a then a harness on the dog. As the dogs run in front of the bike, the cyclist pedals. Bikejoring is best for Fall and Winter seasons because dogs run best during the cool weather months. Bikejoring takes place on soft, dirt trails. Generally, dogs used for this sport are American Pit Bulls, Huskies, Malamutes and Pointers, but really any dog over 30-35 pounds can be a good fit. But is Bikejoring right for you and your dog? Consider:
A Bike – Nothing too special, but your bike does need good brakes and good tires.
A Harness – Most Bikejorers suggest an x-back harness. Never use a standard collar for this sport. Comfort and safety is key.
Bike Attachment – If your dog is going to pull you and your bike, you’ve got find a safe way to attach your dog to your bike. A length of climbing rope about 5 feet long is a good place to start. A swivel snap is needed where the rope attaches to your dog’s harness. This allows the rope move unhindered at the dog’s end of the leash.
Another important thing to consider is the way the rope will interact with the front of your bike; namely, making sure the line doesn’t get caught in the gears or wheel. Many bikejorers have different ways to control this by using plastic piping, antennas or bayonet-type fixtures, which help suspend the rope at a safe distance outside the wheel or gears. Read more