Video: Balu's All-time Trail Dog Shred in 'Paws & Wheels'

Nov 18, 2018
by Oli Dorn  

A Traildog movie about Oli Dorn and his faithful friend Balu. Filmed and produced by Say Mahalo.

PAWS & WHEELS shows how much fun you can have not only on two wheels but also on 4 paws while surfing the trails. Unique shots, emotions and a whole lot of fun are waiting for you. Therefore “Start filming”.

Anyone who knows Oli Dorn personally, probably only knows him as being in the company of his dog Balu. The Australian Shepherd follows him all over the place and has been present at every activity since he was a puppy. Being a herding dog, there is nothing worse than being left home alone, which is why Oli decided to train Balu into being a trail dog. Ever since it has been a vision of his to make a trail dog video. In 2018 he finally managed to take this vision, together with Susanna Kosa of Say Mahalo, and make it a reality. In making this wonderful movie, Susanna succeeded to portray the friendship between the two, making it a masterpiece.






Some Screenhots from our movie




164 Comments

  • + 113
 This is one of the best vids I’ve seen on PB. It captures everything that’s cool about the bond between man and dog and the spirit of shredding trails. Honestly a MTB and a trail dog is the only way that a human can experience even a little bit of the feeling of “running with the pack”. I think it’s primordial and goes way back to the time on our ancestral history when we first bonded with wolves. I’m sure the “hairless apes” looked with longing upon the fleet footed wolves that could tear through the forest many times faster than we could ever run. Now we can finally experience a little of that ability on our bikes. MTB and dogs! Really awesome. Now if you throw in some beer into the mix.... you’d have the greatest vid ever!!!
  • + 23
 man my trail dog brightens the darkest day and you're right, it's the closest feeling to running with the pack, your dog will make you forget about strava times and bullshit like that, she'll take you back to your roots!!!!! beautiful video, brought tears to my eyes!!
  • + 16
 1000,000% agree!

Screw it, yeah it's Monday, but it's sunny out and I'm bailing the desk to go ride with my dogs!
  • + 6
 Plus: These 4 minutes have more love involved than all "Twilights" together
  • + 2
 LOVE riding with my dog! So good! Awesome video!!!!!
  • - 2
 I’ve had dogs for 20 yrs. I love dogs.

Riding with dogs is annoying and dangerous, especially when you let them lead.
  • + 16
 @rglasser: I often feel that way while riding with other humans.
  • + 7
 I have 2 English Staffies who are THE WORST trail dogs. Malcolm wants to shred but has a tendency to become an impromptu speed bump because he has to stop suddenly and turn around to look lovingly at me every 50 metres. And Jersey has to smell every drop of animal urine or shit on the side of the trail. They mean well, but daaaayummmm!!!
  • + 1
 100% true, best partner in trails!
  • + 2
 @CRAFTY-P: ha! Yeah not ideal. My guy is great when we are solo. If there’s going to be more than one other guy I’ll leave him at home because shit can happen. But when its just us we have an understanding of how things work. No Strava B.S. no clock... just kickin it in the woods with my homie doin our thing as fast or slow as we care to on any given day. And his stoke level is palpable.
  • + 64
 She: so what do you do?
He: I work with animals
She: Oooh that’s so admirable, sooo rad!
He: I never looked at it this way

Andrew, 32 years old. Butcher
  • + 3
 Kinda like CV writing..
Embelishing the job title..

Bike sales guy :cycling experience advisor...
Can't argue with that..
  • + 29
 Did PB hire an editor for Buzzfeed or something? I 100% dig the content, but these titles have been pretty nuts lately
  • + 8
 Agreed, find it lame that there's been quite a few click bait style articles
  • + 31
 Next one up; This Is Our Top Ten Trails In North America, Number 8 Will Blow Your Mind!

Or; This Pro Quit Riding Ten Years Ago, You Won't Believe What He's Up To Now!
  • + 10
 @kevin267:
This company came up with a new axle standard, the stiffness benefit will make you shat your mind.
  • + 7
 Ha! They changed the article title!
  • + 5
 @kevin267: It started like any other ride. You won't believe what happened next!
  • + 3
 @PeteHall: yeah, now I can't remember what the original was haha
  • + 1
 @kevin267: Nailed it.
  • + 1
 It’s amazing how ‘films’ these days have credits that take up 25%+/- of the edit.

Well done video though, for sure.
  • + 15
 Shepherds are natural trail dogs. My Border Collie really changes his face whenever he's running in front of my bike. I mean, you can actually see him smiling. I'm the one in charge of making him stop every now and then to allow him to catch is breath and hydrate. If it was up to him, he'd just run all day long.
  • + 9
 My aussie is the same way. I just stop when we cross creeks and she will lay down in them and drink. When shes ready to go she stands in the middle of the trail looking at me and whimpers. Nothing id rather be doing at any given time.
  • + 5
 @NebulousNate: My aussie's taunt me if they get even or ahead...
"common human, pedal harder!"
  • + 14
 Love the fact that Balu has to look over his shoulder every now and then as if to say "hurry the pheck up!"
  • + 9
 First world problem of the week:
"There are too many animals in the forest! When I go out into nature to ride my bike, I MUST have complete right of way!"

Share the trails. Be it advanced riders, beginner riders, dogs, etc.

This video was awesome. Beautifully made, great story & great riding!
  • + 8
 I enjoyed watching this video, my trail dog has got a belly full of puppies that are about a week away from popping out. It reminded me of the good times with her. Cannot wait to have my best riding mate back with me on the trails soon
  • + 4
 your doggo and its offspring out on the trails will be the cutest stampede ever Big Grin just remember to wait at least a year to take your pups out for a spin so their joints and bones don't suffer
  • + 2
 @wowbagger: they are going to be so cute I cannot wait. Father was a traildog too so they will be rippers
  • + 12
 Look at that floofer fly!
  • - 2
 Top comment in this thread.
  • + 7
 It's a lovely albeit slightly saccharine video and I'd love to be able to do the same with my dog.

Given the internet's persuasive powers with product placement, I worry about the impact of this sorta video.
People will pay way too much for bike and gear just to have the right look, it stands to reason they'll do the same with certain brands/breeds of dog.

Stupid people: nothing to see here.

Also where the trail cat vids at?
  • + 6
 Would love a trail cat vid complete with spraying of your gear while you hydrate, ninja pouncing from the brush, startled cat leaps at blind corners, and plenty of oblivious cat blocking of skinnies followed by purring and rubbing against your loam covered corpse. Cats...just get a dog.
  • + 5
 I was raised in a bike and dog world. It's an unspoken rule that our dogs always come with wherever we go. Especially when trail riding. Not just because they are our best friends but because of the isolated wilderness we ride/hike/adventure. Where humans are not the top of the food chain or the apex predator. Every dog I've owned has been my top trail companion. I wouldn't have it any other way. Those who don't like trail dogs it speaks volumes of the type of personality they truly hold. Thankfully I don't know or ride with those type of folk. I love showing up for a ride and there is a pack of hounds along with their humans ready for the good times.
  • + 6
 So awesome. I lost my Boston, Louis, to cancer earlier this year and couldn't help but tear up a bit watching this. A dog's Love is one of the best kind there is. Truly unconditional. Miss you always, Louis.
  • + 1
 so sorry for your loss! Thats the hardest thing for dog owners...
  • + 5
 Ohh man right in the feels. My retired trail pup is sitting under my work desk as I watched this great video. At 17 his trail days are a distant memory, but I like to think he still dreams of chasing my rear tire. The excitement he portrayed when I grabbed a mt biking jersey was amazing. And the barks as we approached the trail head ensured I would never miss the turnoff.
  • + 2
 From what I have seen of trail dogs, are you sure it isn't you chasing his tail? No offense.......
  • + 5
 This makes me want a doggie pal even more than I have thus far! I help out at my local dog rescue, which as far as I can go unfortunately, I live in a tiny flat, and I don't think it would be fair on a dog to have to cope with such small living conditions. Maybe one day I'll get the bigger place with a garden, and the husky I dream of giving a home, so we can both rip into our local woods.
  • + 4
 If you can get him/her out running a couple times a day, it might be fine. My dog surfs the couch between rides and walks. Might be more about work schedule than anything.
  • + 4
 Hold in there. Someday the opportunity will come. Wait till you can give that dogo all the outside time it deserves.
  • + 3
 It's nice to always have this video as a memory of the time you spent with your best friend. I had lots of video and pictures with my dogs during my wedding. Really that's the most valuable footage I have from the wedding and my wife agrees lol.
  • + 6
 "Balu! To the back! Balu! Back! Behind! ah god damn it"
  • + 2
 So, it this just a trailer for a longer movie, or is that all of the movie? I'd watch a longer one.

Most trails in areas with heavier use likely have leash laws -- please obey your local laws and trail rules! And just be courteous and respectful to other trail users.

I have a bike setup with a Walky Dog, but those don't do well on MTB trails. Good for training your dog to keep pace with your bike, though. My dogs would not be good trail dogs, they shouldn't be off leash, but I have no issues with well-trained dogs on the trail as long as they stay close to the owner and will get out of the way if necessary. While it doesn't bother me personally, some people (with good reason) get a bit frightened coming up on a loose dog that they don't know with no owner in sight.
  • + 2
 It seems lots of people here have trail doggo's, I'd love to know how you cope with the wear on their paw pads. I'm currently training our German Shepherd but I'm concerned about her wearing these out. We've seen trail boots in the local pet shop, does anyone use these please?

Loved the vid, it's what I'm aspiring to get our girl to.
  • + 8
 Boots are not ideal since the pups lose a lot of traction and natural feeling. Best bet is to start slow/short and consistently on trail. Give them time to get their muscles and pads in shape. My vizsla and I do over 60 miles per week and his paws are like supple thick baseball gloves at this point. Never has any issues! And that's in super rocky AZ.
  • + 5
 i don't think the paws should pose too big a problem. however, German Shepherds are known to have hip problems so best gather some information first on how much running is good for your doggo and as @ILLMATIC said, go gentle and work your way up.
Remember: your dog views you as the one who knows what's up and what to do. he won't rest until you make him and will exhaust himself too much and drink too little just to keep up with you and be a good boy. take good care of him and stay safe.
  • + 2
 A few things...
I make sure the calluses have built up on their pads (via shorter low impact rides, etc) before taking them on longer rides.
I only take them on trails where the surface and conditions are soft to moderate.
I limit rides to situations where the descent is 100% trail, hard surface, fire/logging road climbs are OK.
I keep an eye on surface temps during Summer months.

Another variable is the size and breed of the dog, mine are small/medium sized working/herding types.
  • + 2
 The best advice would be start shorter than you think and pay attention to how your dog acts the next day. My adventure buddy is a German Shepherd too. They will legit run with you until they are dead so you need to make sure and control the length of rides. My little girl is 100 pounds so I have my go to trails that don't have rocks. Shepherds arent quite like border collies or the dogs that will do 20 miles and still have energy. 4-6 miles is perfect for my dog and I always check her paws and make sure to not overdo it. When she was a pup she had to get her paws wrapped at the vet a couple times. She is 9 now and finally will slow down when she is tired.
  • + 4
 Agreed with the other comments, boots are not the way. Let her pads toughen up by increasing distance on off road terrain. It's your responsibility to check her pads as she will run and run and run regardless as I found out with my doberman after couple of days at Afan and she had torn a pad. That was her weekend over and mine and they do not heal quickly and I felt terrible I'd not noticed. I do not take her to trail centres she comes with me around my local woods and short loops but 10-20km rides with fast steep descents are not for dogs it's too much for them.
  • + 2
 In case others have experienced it....my American Bulldog/Boxer is a beast and has:

1. Split his claws which can easily lead to infection in the paw.
2. Gets friction blisters up in between the pads that aren't visible unless you separate the pads and look in between.
3. Slices in his pad that aren't jagged tears and hard to see.

In other words, if he's limping or during clean up, get out the headlamp and give 'em the once over. Follow it with a treat and they'll put up with undercarriage inspection.
  • + 2
 I have hunting dogs, so in my experience if you get your dog used to biking by short rides they should be fine. Keeping their nails trimmed properly also helps a lot, if you can hear them on hard floors they are too long. For really long days or really rocky areas you can buy Lewis Boots or make boots out of old inner tubes. They work surprisingly well.
  • + 2
 Torn paw pads are inevitable. On the upside, they heal really fast!
  • + 2
 Start slow. Mushers secret is a paw pad cream that I've heard helps paws heal up too
  • + 2
 I've tried trail boots, but they just fall off and if you do them tighter they dig in to the ankle (or whatever it is!) and dew claw.

As others have said, just avoid hard gritty surfaces which act like sandpaper on you dogs feet, and especially avoid hot tarmac. Don't forget dogs regulate heat through their paws.
  • + 5
 Awesome!
Also are Defender 110s just way more affordable in Europe? That is my ultimate family/camp/bike vehicle.
  • + 2
 I priced some out here in the US, and damn.
  • + 1
 I may have made this up, but I think Defenders fall a long way short of North American safety requirements, so would need to be heavily modified to comply. Land Rover stopped exporting to the US years ago as it wasn't worth the bother making them up to spec for the small amount needed for the American market. Which is basically why they stopped making them altogether - increasingly strict EU regs made them obsolete. I've had a few and regret getting rid of all of them. Only a matter of time until I get another one If you can have a bike, a dog, and a Land Rover you can't have too much to complain about in life!
  • + 2
 actually, I've just realised how silly that sounds - if you have a Land Rover in your life you'll have plenty to complain about!
  • + 1
 @whistlingcoyote: I developed a soft spot for the Defender after a deployment to Afghanistan with the British Army. Then, like I said, I came home and learned that scarcity was definitely driving prices... many of the ones in the best conditions (and many with customizations) are $100k-200k USD. Crazy.
  • + 1
 They were (relatively) expensive for JLR to make (same goes for the Merc G-wagon) so they've always had a big sticker price for what you get but since production has stopped second hand prices have risen a fair bit over here.
  • + 3
 So rad, I have a critter I ride with a lot, she loves riding as much as I do and has proper doggie trail etiquette. Thanks for this PB!
  • + 1
 Great, another person bemoaning that riding with your healthy, well trained dog, and letting it do, what it was naturally designed to do responsibly, is not ok.
Somewhat amazingly, dogs have this odd thing called a brain, when said dog gets tried of running a trail, its brain tells it to stop and rest, and guess what? it obeys it's brain and does exactly that. much like humans dogs don't do things outside of there comfort zone, if they can very much help it.
Your dog will do this LONG after your lungs feel like there outside your chest, from attempting to keep up, thus you both will have had a fair few breaks, whereupon your dog will be looking at you with total disgust thinking "pathetic human, c'mon, lets GO!"
Same when it is in need of water, or food, it's brain tells it, to tell you "hey I need a little water here human, and a snack wouldn't go amiss either" it will do this by way of body language, and its physical wellbeing, if your not aware when your dog, is telling you this, then it's time for your brain, to brush up on it's doggie ownership skills.
  • + 3
 Different breeds are predisposed to joint issues, and some dogs will run beyond their natural limits, developing injuries over the long term. (know any ultramarathoners with knee problems? that kind of thing...)
The best thing you can do for your dog is to do is know your dog's limitations and stay within them so they can enjoy the trail as long as they live.
  • + 5
 Damn dog chopping corners STAY ON THE TRAIL, DOG.
  • + 3
 Dog Strava is ruining trail dogs. On the other hand this was shot near France so French Lines are legit.
  • + 2
 we rescued a 2 year old german shepard last year, we are moving to a place with a big yard soon so we have room to practice so my goal is to turn him into a trail dog, we will see how it works out.
  • + 2
 In a similar boat myself with a rescue pup. I think she’s ready but I’m having a hard time finding a dog park that allows bikes so it’s a challenge. I’m definitely making sure she’s trained well, though, because I hate obnoxious poorly behaved trail dogs as much as I love the well-trained, well-behaved ones.
  • + 1
 @DrPete: Thanks for raising them right...though I have to say I do about 30 miles a week just in my neighborhood when we're not riding trails and I've run into WAY more unruly dogs in yards, parks, and streets than on the trail (maybe two times...more obnoxious than dangerous).

Literally had to fight off dogs trying to attack my boy who could've wrecked these dogs but trusted me to handle it. Even had a pitbull try to jump through the passenger car window into my truck...my dog was like...uh Dad.
  • + 4
 Trail dogs in Europe are apparently much cleaner than ours here in North America! (movie make up for sure).
  • + 2
 Big Grin thx for th laugh!! Smile
  • + 3
 So true! Mine is in every stream, pond, mudhole or puddle he can find. Frickin' labs LOL!
  • + 1
 I got to ride with the best trail dog in Utah recently. She would jump off the trail if you called "trail" but was always out of the way anyways. It did make me nervous when I'd get close to her, but she'd hop out of the way so it was never sketchy
  • + 4
 That's it! Shutting off my computer now and taking my dog out.
  • + 1
 Yeah! Go for it!
  • + 0
 Queue overzealous pinkbike dog experts to chiming in with all their knowledge on exactly what you should or shouldn't do with your dog despite no knowledge of the dog, the breed, or the riding you do.

Thanks for putting this together, thoroughly enjoyed the video. Makes me miss our border collie/aussie mix that we recently had to say goodbye to after 15.5 years even more. Such amazing dogs, on trail and off.
  • + 4
 I would die of guilt if I accidentally hit my dog.
  • + 1
 Great vid! Riding with a dog is the ultimate. I would love to strap a Gopro on my girl just to see it from her POV. Training a dog to ride with manners only takes a bit of time and brightens everyones day out on the trails.
  • + 1
 This ^
I'm constantly amazed at what my dog runs as I'm looking back behind me trying not to crash myself. I've thought about the dog harness with a gopro on a gimbal.
  • + 3
 Too notch vid. They both can rip! A little heavy on the cheese but hey, once in a while, a little cheese don’t hurt.
  • + 1
 @murfio if I see you charging down a footpath where you shouldn’t be riding. Does that give me the right to smash your face in?
  • + 1
 I'd say it would be a complete unnecessary over reaction if you were to try it.
  • + 3
 Balu taking some sick Strava lines in there. Looking fast Smile .
  • + 2
 was that an ad for something, lol. if you turn off the sound it's a great vid
  • + 2
 best video on Pinkbike to date. A quick rush of all the dog ride memories from my life.
  • + 1
 WOW...thats a great compliment! Thx!
  • + 3
 I wanna see one of these vids with a Malamute or a Husky!
  • + 3
 @1m11s Balu knows how to squash a jump.
  • + 2
 Few short stories can encompass the relationships that travelers have with their trail dogs. This shit fucken nailed it.
  • + 1
 Thank you so much for your kind words! Makes me superhappy to read comments like this one!
  • + 3
 So does the dog come in carbon or what?
  • + 3
 Yes but no room for a water bottle unfortunately.
  • + 1
 @rellinger: actually they come with two. One on each side of the dog pack. Even loading for a good fit
  • + 1
 I only wish. I have two 30 lb standard dachshunds. The only thing they can do as shown in this video is lick themselves down below then kiss you.......
  • + 3
 WOW...dude and dog that shred...Awesome Video!!
  • + 4
 Bit of dust in my eye...
  • + 4
 yeah, seems like someone is cutting up an onion near me.
  • + 2
 Love this movie so much. Friendship, happiness, good times. Joy. Well done all involved!!
  • + 2
 I'm not crying, you're crying
  • + 1
 haha...funny
  • + 2
 Yeahh Oli, my friend this video was awesome Wink
  • + 1
 thank you!!!
  • + 2
 love me an aussie with a tail (any aussie outside the US)
  • + 2
 Didn't know that was a US (North American?) thing. What's up with that? One of the pleasures of being around a dog is seeing its tail wag -- don't know why you'd want to cut it off.

That is one beautiful dog, by the way.
  • + 2
 He found a better line than you at 1:50!
  • + 0
 Best riding partner you'll ever have is a trail dog. Always down to ride and never complains about the climb. Just happy to be out
  • + 3
 They never complain cause they have all wheel drive!!!
  • + 1
 @NRZ: Do traildogs climb like a mountain goat?
  • + 1
 @gibbon-on-an-orange: They do, I've seen it!! I've also seen my dog eat it on some wet leaves in fall. Never missed a beat smiling ear to ear!
  • + 2
 So sugary sweet.... I flipping love it!
  • + 2
 The best riding partners have four legs!!
  • + 0
 Dogs that are out on trails - are friendly dogs. They won't hurt or attack you - but apparently it can't be said for people like you.
  • - 7
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 19, 2018 at 7:53) (Below Threshold)
 Oh How I would love such an animal lover like you to come upon a Wolf on a trial... tell me, as it would be running towards you with those giant teeth out, would you go: I crossed his territory, it is me who don’t belong here, I give myself to the ways of mother nature! Take me!
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: Would be very rare to even see a wolf on a trail, let alone attack you
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: First off, let me say what a pleasure it is to have you respond to one of my posts - It's my first time! - this is said non-sarcastically btw - I support you on many fronts. We have no wolves in my part of the country. And yes I would see myself as a user of their territory if I came upon one. I would not give myself up - I would fight my life or bolt if I could (my preferred method of preservation) - but these domestic trail dogs - nah. Kicking a dog if he approaches you is just cruelty.
  • + 2
 @neimbc:: That was my shitty way of saying: I am on team people. Some are a*sholes like me but don’t let 10% or less ruin your vision of others.
@VNIMAL let’s make it into a bear or a wild bore, or a man bear pig. Half man, half bear and half pig. The argument is just as valid.
  • + 2
 man! the dog can shred a trail!
  • + 2
 No feeling quite like this one. Good content.
  • + 1
 getting straight sideways in those berms dog!
  • + 2
 So cool great video Smile
  • + 1
 thanks a lot!
  • + 2
 Nice????
  • + 1
 Dogs cannot operate MRIs Catscan!
  • - 3
 Taking your dog with you while you are mountain biking should be banned. Dogs will run until they literally die in order to be with the rider. Dog's paws get hurt, bloody, swollen, and the dog, in its frantic effort to not be left behind, will not stop even if it is getting injured. Dog's hips, wrists, and knees will eventually get injured and then you end up having a cripple dog after a few years of trail riding. I know of cases of dogs dying during or right after a bike ride. Please, if you love your dog, if you appreciate having a healthy, injure-free dog, don't take it mountain biking.
  • + 4
 I pulled my knife on a pit bull that was snapping at me the other day and the owner looked like he was contemplating letting it go at me. In Whole Foods
  • + 2
 My dog is smart. So am I. We do just fine. So do the other 99.5% of dogs and riders we see. Worry about something else that's actually important.
  • + 1
 I feel the same way, thank god dogs are not allowed on the trails I ride on. Dog owners live in a dream world where everyone loves their smelly mutt as much as they do. That delusion clouds their judgment, “my dog loves riding with me”, dogs love everything! It is that line of reasoning that causes trouble. Keep your dog on a leash or live on a farm.
  • + 4
 @Flatlanderic: maybe some of us dog owners are responsible adults? Scared of dogs is fine, I always ask to make sure everyone is cool with the dog before I bring him, there has been a couple times where someone showed that wasn't expected that wasn't a fan and we rode alone. 90% of his rides are solo with me at places that aren't very popular at those times of day. I call it being a responsible dog owner.
  • + 2
 WHO'S A GOOD BOY
  • + 1
 Too many onions in my room. Fantastic video.
  • + 1
 epic
  • + 1
 Strava cheat
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