Like skiing, mountain biking is a great way to spend some quality time with your dog. It doesn't work with our Molly because I rediscovered a passion for mountain biking when she was around 10 years old with chronic inflammation in her forearms. Nonetheless, you might be in a great position to mountain bike with your pup. Below the video are some things to consider.
Below are some photos of parts of the Whitefish Trial in Montana that we explored. Exploring with Molly is so much fun. To check out mountain biking videos of Montana & Washington state, visit MTBradley YouTube Channel.
Make sure the trail is dog friendly
Be mindful of trail regulations on your local trailhead. Respect land manager policies as they have the ability to forever close recreation opportunities with your dog. Respecting their policies will keep access open to different user groups and pets.
Be respectful of other users
As I said in my last blog, we all love our dogs, but not everybody loves our dog. Remember this, respect other peoples space and their opinions about your dog being near them or their family and you will have more positive experiences out with your dog.
Where is your dog squatting?
Where is your dog pooping? Cleanup is necessary on most trails. Sure, it's easy to leave it because you're in nature. At least kick it off the trail and into the woods. Better yet, just pick up and pack it out.
Your dog gets hot too
Bring water for your dog. He or she needs water just like you. Dogs will run until they drop so it's important for us to monitor their exercise and water intake. Bring a water bottle or two full of water just for them.
Your dog needs snacks and water, just like you
Your dog burns calories running along side you. If you're out for a long ride, your dog will need calories to replenish the ones they are using to run, walk and keep up with you.
You're on a bicycle and your dog is running to keep up
Remember that you are rolling over ground with ease compared to your dog who is running to keep up. This means they have to work a lot harder to stay with you and therefore, may not be able to make the 10 mile ride you have planned. Start your time together with shorter rides and increase your mileage as appropriate for your dog. Remember, they will work as hard as they can to keep up with you so it's your job to keep an eye on them and look for signs of dehydration & exhaustion. You then need to adjust your ride accordingly.
Have fun and be playful
I said it before, but your dog likes to socialize with you. Having fun and being playful will deepen your connection and they will look forward to spending this time with you.
Dogs are wonderful companions and they have needs and desires too. They want to be loved, cared for and played with. While playing often looks different for each dog, they want to play with you. Interact with your dog while biking and they will view it as quality time spent together. Remember that your dog wants to please you and will run themselves to exhaustion. Please look after them.