How to train a mtb trail dog?

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How to train a mtb trail dog?
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Posted: Mar 29, 2021 at 15:04 Quote
Hi, I was wondering if anyone has any tips for training a puppy as an mtb trail dog.
Please only post if you actually own a dog and take it mountain biking.

Posted: Mar 30, 2021 at 6:20 Quote
Don't run the dog at a biking pace until they are 18 months old. Their bones and joints aren't done growing until then, there is a reason why they don't do agility competitions until that age.

You can get the dog used to the bike by using a waist clip leash and riding around your driveway/parking lots. Slowly turn into them so they learn to yield to the bike. Lots of praise and treats for doing what you expect. Most dogs are pretty intuitive on the trail and know to keep out of the way of the bike.

Start slow and on low traffic trails. If your going to let your dog off leash I would recommend you have perfect recall before doing so, otherwise your dog will be a nuisance.

Posted: Mar 31, 2021 at 13:10 Quote
Okay, thanks for the tips!

Posted: Apr 4, 2021 at 23:29 Quote
Think about teaching your dog the "on" command. I use it to get her up and out of the way when we are stopped and riders are passing. "On!" And I point at a stump or a big rock. Up she jumps and waits for the command "off!" It also works wonders around the house. On! And point to the back of the car, On! And she's allowed on the couch, or on the bed. Or off the bed. Smile

Start by taking them hiking off leash. Then hiking offleash where there are riders. Then take her out with you on your bike but hopefully no other riders. Get her used to being around bikes. Occasionally bump (softly) into her to let he know what happens if she steps in front of a bike.

And don't let her pick up sticks while you're out in the woods. Those will end up in someone's spokes.

Posted: Apr 6, 2021 at 13:33 Quote
LargeMarge wrote:
Think about teaching your dog the "on" command. I use it to get her up and out of the way when we are stopped and riders are passing. "On!" And I point at a stump or a big rock. Up she jumps and waits for the command "off!" It also works wonders around the house. On! And point to the back of the car, On! And she's allowed on the couch, or on the bed. Or off the bed. Smile

Start by taking them hiking off leash. Then hiking offleash where there are riders. Then take her out with you on your bike but hopefully no other riders. Get her used to being around bikes. Occasionally bump (softly) into her to let he know what happens if she steps in front of a bike.

And don't let her pick up sticks while you're out in the woods. Those will end up in someone's spokes.
Okay thanks, though she is not allowed on beds or furniture.

Posted: Apr 6, 2021 at 14:56 Quote
Some breeds might be easier to manage as well.
I personally have a shepherd which I train a lot with (agility) and mostly listen very well.
I was used to take her on the trails with me for short tours until she was like 2 and a half. I don't really understand what happened at that age but as soon as I was in the forest, with the speed of the bike she kind of turned the hunting mode on and became unmanageable, never succeeded in completely correcting this strong hunting instinct since.
Nevertheless I still like to go for a ride with her but now it is more recreational and at relatively slow pace to keep her excitation level lower, she can stay free when the view is unobstructed but deep in the forest she goes on the leash next to me. I also use a toy to keep her entertained, she knows that if she follows well we make some small play breaks. It is not as fancy as some trail dog videos we see sometimes and I cannot really ride like I would do alone but at least I can still share some mtb moments with my dog.

In general, you also have to be careful for your dog because he will probably follows you until death with no boundaries. It is something you will learn while spending time with your dog, to pay attention when he needs to take a break or drink water, always take water with or plan a route where there is something to drink on the way. Pay attention to the conditions for him, for example if there are sleepy leafs on the ground, the dog will still go full speed and might slide and injure himself, mine already did some nice roll over. Also be careful with their paws, you can use some specific wax to rehydrate and keep the pads "flexible" and avoid cuts or cracks. If you ride where the rocks are really sharp you could even train the dog to wear dog shoes.



Posted: Apr 6, 2021 at 15:49 Quote
Brodybro29 wrote:
Some breeds might be easier to manage as well.
I personally have a shepherd which I train a lot with (agility) and mostly listen very well.
I was used to take her on the trails with me for short tours until she was like 2 and a half. I don't really understand what happened at that age but as soon as I was in the forest, with the speed of the bike she kind of turned the hunting mode on and became unmanageable, never succeeded in completely correcting this strong hunting instinct since.
Nevertheless I still like to go for a ride with her but now it is more recreational and at relatively slow pace to keep her excitation level lower, she can stay free when the view is unobstructed but deep in the forest she goes on the leash next to me. I also use a toy to keep her entertained, she knows that if she follows well we make some small play breaks. It is not as fancy as some trail dog videos we see sometimes and I cannot really ride like I would do alone but at least I can still share some mtb moments with my dog.

In general, you also have to be careful for your dog because he will probably follows you until death with no boundaries. It is something you will learn while spending time with your dog, to pay attention when he needs to take a break or drink water, always take water with or plan a route where there is something to drink on the way. Pay attention to the conditions for him, for example if there are sleepy leafs on the ground, the dog will still go full speed and might slide and injure himself, mine already did some nice roll over. Also be careful with their paws, you can use some specific wax to rehydrate and keep the pads "flexible" and avoid cuts or cracks. If you ride where the rocks are really sharp you could even train the dog to wear dog shoes.



Thanks, that's good to know about the hunting instinct the puppy I have is a Wirehaired Vizsla so she will have a strong prey drive.

Posted: May 4, 2021 at 11:03 Quote
I've had a couple of dogs that I ridden with. In addition to what has already been said--do some trial outings and lots of water. Probably best to start on a quiet trail without a lot of people to distract the dog. To some extent it is up to your dog. Some dogs want to stay close to you all the time, and are great for riding, some dogs are roamers, and can be difficult to ride with or train otherwise. Same with their fitness and foot pads, some can cut it, and others have a hard time. It also depends on your terrain. My dog and I ride a lot, but there still are downhills where I have to stop periodically to wait for my dog. On the flip side she waits for me on the uphills. I've never found riding with my dog on a leash as workable.

Top Tip: Get a bell and clip it to your dogs collar. You can then ride confidently knowing your dog is still behind your. The bell will also alert other trail users that you and your dog are coming.

Best, JYT

Posted: May 4, 2021 at 12:18 Quote
Thanks for the tips, my dog has no problem staying close by even in the woods and comes back as soon as I call her (she’s only 3 months old).

Posted: Jun 18, 2021 at 21:33 Quote
I would run a gps collar and be cautious on hot days. She might be pliable when she’s 3 months old but they tend to buck a bit in a couple months.

Posted: Jun 18, 2021 at 22:21 Quote
My collie naturally first time out ran behind me, got excited at other dogs/people but shes a chicken, now she knows the trails and runs ahead and waits at certain spots. typically collie that will get bored quickly when im recovering at top she wanders off but a whistle and comes running back.

i wouldve been more worried if where i normally bike was a big area but i like to ride shorter fast and hard trails so works for me, if you know someone else with a trail dog then use that dog to teach it, day or two.

Posted: Jun 19, 2021 at 13:58 Quote
Thanks for the tips!

Posted: Jun 30, 2021 at 23:14 Quote
Kamill1 wrote:
Don't run the dog at a biking pace until they are 18 months old. Their bones and joints aren't done growing until then, there is a reason why they don't do agility competitions until that age.

You can get the dog used to the bike by using a waist clip leash and riding around your driveway/parking lots. Slowly turn into them so they learn to yield to the bike. Lots of praise and treats for doing what you expect. Most dogs are pretty intuitive on the trail and know to keep out of the way of the bike.

Start slow and on low traffic trails. If your going to let your dog off leash I would recommend you have perfect recall before doing so, otherwise your dog will be a nuisance.

helpful tips
Thanks a lot.

Posted: Oct 13, 2021 at 15:05 Quote
Come on people we can't let this thread die!!! Madder
Where are all the dog owners?Facepalm

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