Video: Casey Brown & R-Dog Shred Trails with Chee the Trail Dog

Nov 30, 2020
by Sam Needham  

'I love scrubbing, roosting, boosting and maybe BBQ' - Big Chee






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Film & Photos: Steel City Media
Dog: Chee
Dawgs: Ryan 'Rdog' Howard & Casey Brown


55 Comments

  • 33 1
 So am I the only one who notices that trail dogs develop really bad shoulders and hips earlier in life and can barely walk way sooner than other dogs?
I had a dog built for it who I just stopped taking at about 5 because they destroy themselves keeping up with a bike. Pavement, gravel, boulder fields, diving psychotically in roots and scree to keep up. They don't use much in the way of common sense or take care of themselves on our heels.

Sure, they love it. But at the same time, just curious to see if others have had trail dogs that deteriorated from miles behind their owners?
  • 5 0
 Almost forget. Big Chee is definitely #DaBoss Beer
  • 5 0
 My heeler mix ran with me from age of 4 till 11 or so years old. Never took her on faster days, just mainly tooling around at moderate speeds. She did fine. I stopped taking her when she acted a little arthritic after a ride.
  • 26 0
 you bet. my golden doodle could run like the wind - and did. ran down crazy rock faces, did all the drops even when I tried to get him to not do so. Now I don't take him on more than a few km rides. He's sore and slow. But I like to think in the short time dogs live, they would rather give all than have an extra year or two at the end. He lived (and still does) for running with the bikes.
  • 2 0
 Glad you got your dog out for some fun though!
  • 5 0
 I've heard this confirmed from a friend who works in a shop of a MTB destination, lots of former "trail dogs" come in of middle age, barely able to walk. Hips blown out, knees stiff, no longer able to take on rides. After seeing them, she does not ride with her dogs at all.

The dogs love to chase on the trail, but minus a few field breeds, I don't think there are many who can make it on high mileage rides for more than a few years before loosing mobility, which seems like a damn shame to rip years from a dog's active life.

A couple friends with old dogs leave them in the cool van during the long day ride, then take them out for a walk-ride when we get back. One of those dogs was kicking it and still living it chasing AT skis in the snow at 16(nearly 17), up until a month before she died. That dog lived a long healthy life, better than most of these 'trail dogs' will get.
  • 2 0
 Yeah I learned the hard way. Ran my previous English pointer into the ground. Retired him from the trails at around 8 due to shoulder arthritis. He had a wonderful retirement and got spoiled. But evertyime I got my mountain bike out for a ride he wanted to go.
  • 3 0
 Like humans moderation is key and picking the right trails. Also know you that going slower with the dog is likely needed...they will run themselves into the ground.
  • 3 0
 I noticed this with my last dog. She was a hard charging Lab. Started as a trail dog at 1 and retired by 7. She went hard 100% of the time in some pretty harsh desert conditions where we lived in Nevada. Recovery time for her got longer and she was getting creaky. Had to slow her down and stick to hiking. The best dog I will probably ever have. My current dog is pretty rad, but mtb trail dogs aren't really a thing where we live now.
  • 2 0
 Would you trade all your fun giving er on the trials for an arthritis free retirement? Neither would the dogs...they are living their best lives out there. Just gotta know when to call it a career.
  • 1 0
 @freeinpg: exactly. As a matter of fact - I do have bad arthritis in my knee from years of skateboarding and snowboarding and I'm only 47. Wouldn't trade it back either.
  • 2 0
 I had husky malmute mutts that where trail dogs. Dogs that where born to run, basically sled dogs. But moderation and not always biking with them kept them going longer. They both died at 15 only one had joint issues for the last year of his life. The girl ran strong up till the end when a stroke took her in her sleep. They grew up in Utah and ran the slick rock trail with me a few times. I think the key was I wouldnt take them on every trial ride. Some days we would hike together. When I did long miles, (>15) I did it without them. If we went to Moab, I would not ride with them the week before or after to let them rest before and recover after. They always wanted to run with me when I rode, but the key was not to over do them. Just switched to hikes with them. Somedays that meant a few mile walk/hike before a ride but it kept them happy and going. Moderation is key. Dogs are the best trail partner ever, they never say no, aways on time, and happy no matter what.
  • 27 1
 I'm a veterinarian, I ride w my dogs as often as possible. They love it. Activities like this are great for the mental health of your dog. I urge my clients to be extremely active w their dogs. This is all assuming that the dog is in shape for this kind of activity and doesn't have any preexisting conditions (don't take your 10 year old lab with congestive heart failure out on a 10 mile ride!). Start off w shorter, slower rides and eventually your dog will totally rock out on 10-20 mile rides and want more. Big things to watch for are heat. I tend to leave my dogs once it's in the lower eighties. They can over heat quicker than us. They don't have the ability to sweat and if riding near rivers the tend to drink tons of water and can easily bloat while panting while they run.
Like active humans, you will see arthritis in more active dogs the key is keeping them thin and well muscled. They will be prone to injuries, they will follow you off jumps and drops so keep that in mind!
  • 1 0
 Those are great advice! Cheers Smile
  • 8 0
 My dog was stupid competitive and would just blow through everything from chunky rocks to scree and pebbles like his life depended on it. Would jack himself up almost every ride. I've seen places in the PNW like in this video where there is lots of juicy soil for the dogs, but my dog always just hucked himself into wood piles, short cutted briar patches, sliced his pads on rocks and roots other dogs had a logical approach to.

We'd do a ride and people would always say the same thing "Oh yeah, our dog is a great trail dog and this and that and "fast" and blah blah blah. Then they'd go ride with me and my dog and he'd cut their front wheel to make the turn first, try to gap over big boulders, cartwheel across a pile of leaves and do twice as many miles as us riding going ahead and coming back.

They'd all say the same thing..."That dog is insane!". When he died at 14, it was really hard for me to admit I'd miss him. But I do. Big Grin
  • 4 1
 I‘m a vet as well, and I totally agree. I work in a orthopedic clinic and have a lot of experience with the musculoskeletal system. Also it‘s important not to start with to much activity when dogs are still growing. And keep in mind, not every dog is a good candidate to be a traildog, especially if the dog has for example elbow or hip displasia, or when he has breathing issues because of brachycephalic syndrome. If you are not sure, ask your local vet for advice. Keeping your dog thin is the best prevention...
Have fun with your best friends, I love dogs, and yes, I have a traildog as well and he is with his 10 years of age still an passionate trail runner!
  • 4 0
 @blowmyfuse: The toughest part having a dog is they do not live long enough. They become one of the family and are so much a part of our daily life's. It's so hard to lose one of these furry loving creatures, and many times it's our best friend...Long live the trail dogs!
  • 3 0
 Not a Vet, but I love riding with my old arthritic dog and she loves it too! We keep it slow nowadays. but there are some definite things that help her:

1. Dogs need a warm up too! Take it slow to start and let their muscles etc warm up. We cant always hammer right out of the gate and neither can they.
2. Watch out for their paw pads. These can get cut up on rocks etc easily. They also only sweat through thier pawpads so they can tear easier on hot humid days ( at least from my experience)
3. A dog wont usually tell you they are hurt or tired until its too late. Be mindful of them and keep an eye. Be prepared to bandage them up or carry them home if need be.
4. SUPPLEMENTS! there are supplements that are great for sore old doggies and help with their joints!
a. Fish Oil and Glucosomine are great. But there are also complete supplements like NuPro Joint Support and
Dasuquin.
b. There are safe pain killers for doggies. Meloxicam and Carpofen are two i am familiar with and they seem to help
my old dog when she is stiff after a long hike or ride. They are NSAIDs that help reduce swelling and stiffness.
Dont try and give your dog ibuprofen or acetominaphen!
5. If you ride in the snow or ice cold, Try some booties on your pup. At the least, make sure you trim their toe fur so that ice doesnt collect painfully between their paw pads.
6. Frequent running can help naturally wear your dogs nails down, but make sure you are trimming them if not, too long nails can cause problems for a dog and.
7. Take care of your pups paw pads with a salve or try coconut oil on their pads. My dog loves licking the coconut oil off too.
8. Dogs need water and electrolytes too! NUPRO and K9 Power make dog specific Electrolytes mixes. But make sure they are getting shade, rest and water on hot days!

Love your trail dog!
  • 2 0
 @Questlove967: Great comments and good tips!
  • 14 2
 I have a 3 y/o boxer. HOW did you teach it to be a trail dog??? Mine has ADD of note, and gets distracted by everything and anything. I can still see my labby following my wheel - but not the boxer Big Grin

Volume 2 please!
  • 24 0
 I have some experience as a dog trainer. It takes time and Boxers do take more work for sure. Always bring treats and reward everytime you tell your dog to stay by your side. At the beginning, it is easier to train your dog on walks to do this. Bring treats and do this for both rides and walks and make sure when you give a command to" always" follow up. It is "very important" to always follow up with your command w/o fail, as many dogs will not listen or follow your commands if they think you don't really mean it. Also do not continuously say the same command over and over as dogs will think they don't need to listen until you've exhausted yourself using multiple commands.

Dogs are like kids but most want to please you and treats always help. After a while, your dog will then understand what you want and will not go running off. When 1st training your dog have a leash ready to leash your dog as this is easier for them to understand and then slowly you can drop the leash and then the treats. Still good to have some treats available when on a bike ride or walk, as you still want your dog to think it will be rewarded sometimes for not running off.

Another thing you can maybe do is when on a walk and your young dog is not paying attention to you is hide (behind a tree, etc) and after doing this many times your dog will start to keep an eye on you more and not try and run off afraid they may lose you. I have done this with a few dogs and after doing this I noticed they would always keep an eye on me more not wanting to venture away too far. Also when riding by others if your dog stops, just keep riding and call your dog's name and after a while, your furry best friend will follow afraid it could get left behind...

Be patient and very clear on your instructions and always follow up with your commands and use treats for training as all dogs love treats. Even use your dogs favourite treats just for training and when you reward them. A well trained trail dog is loved even by other riders, but if not trained well, a dog can get in the way and cause problems when on a ride. I also always teach my trail dogs to get out of the way when out riding. I did this when taking my dogs for a walk and when they stop in front of you, they learned "LOOKOUT" means get out of the way. This comes in real handy when out riding in the trails so your dog knows to not stop in the middle of the trail and possibly cause problems or a serious crash for you or other riders.

I have a 4 year old Blue Heeler that was a rescue dog and was abused by some idiot guy (she previously had 2 owners). When I got her she would not even go near a male and had no training whatsoever. She did not even know what a leash or ball was. When I got her 2 years ago, she would chase everything and even went after people. I definitely took some time to get her trust and then train her. She is now full trained, very happy and does not leave my side and always comes with bike rides with me. Having your dog trained well makes for both a happier dog and owner. Just last week a black bear ran across the trail only 30ft in front of us and due to the training she now has, I was able to command her to stay by my side, although she really wanted to chase that bear as Blue Heelers can be very protective.

The most important thing is to gain your dogs's trust and give it lot's of love and attention and a safe home. When you do this, your dog will love you and want to always please you. I hope some of this helps others as the unconditional love a dog brings is priceless and why they are called man's best friend...Happy trails everyone!
  • 15 1
 QUICK TIP: Dogs love to know they make us happy, so always praise your dog more than discipline it. When telling your dog they have done wrong, be just strong enough so your dog knows they did wrong and make sure this is done during the bad act, not after, or they maybe confused on what they did wrong. It never hurts to praise your dog for the even the small stuff, to help keep them positive and that tail always wagging...

FACT: There are no bad dogs, just bad owners. If all people were good dog owners and understood the basics of dog training, there would be no bad dogs. When dog trainers are asked to help train a dog, it's mainly the dog owners that need the training, not the dogs.

RIDE ON. PAW PRINTS FOREVER!
  • 4 0
 @RowdyAirTime: I have a PB APBT that my family adopted almost 2 years ago. She is so into being near us that having her off lead in the woods has not been an issue. However, since I enlisted a trainer to help with dog reactivity and prey drive, I became adept at using a remote collar at very low settings (6 & 11 out of 100 stim) to communicate with her from afar. She will turn back when I call her even if she is chasing deer, but she may not listen when squirrels and chipmunks are around. We also have a parkway behind our house so when we're hiking or riding back in the woods there, I put it on her for a few months until I could see that she has no interest in the roadway, but it is a nice safety net.

Our girl has learned to live harmoniously with our 2 old cats, but she is still reactive with certain dogs so I do not take her off leash on populated trails. Hundreds of years of genetics and selective breeding is hard to overcome despite training I suppose. But her speed and power is just awesome to see and experience, and I reward her like R-Dog and CB do post-ride. Cool vid!!!
  • 1 0
 @Staktup: I have never used a zap or remote collar, but when I got my Blue Heeler (abused rescue dog) 2 years ago I was very worried about her as she would chase everything. After having to put down my male Heeler (over 16 years old) I did not have a dog for a while and deer took over my yard (even sleeping here and up to 8 of them at one time). Not having a fence I was so worried anytime she was in the yard that she would chase the deer onto the road. She is extremely fast and 2x had a deer cornered in the yard and had to call her off. Everyday I worked on her training to make sure she clearly understood to never go on the road. After doing this she would chase the deer right up to the sidewalk and stop and turn around w/o ever going on the road. Both my neighbours have seen her do this (stop at the road when chasing deer) and asked if I had her on a perimeter zap collar. Now we don't have any deer in the yard and the local deer here even run anytime they see or smell her on our walks as they want nothing to do with her.

When I 1st got her I wondered if I could ever let her off the leash on a walk let alone train her for bike riding. By continuosly training her everyday when I got her I can now bike ride with her and even walk her off leash. She is a very curious dog and sometimes when we get close to some dogs (that she really wants to meet) I do have to put her on the leash to walk by. When bike riding and we come up on some dog walkers, she will slow down and maybe even stop for a second as I think she does not want the other dog(s) to think she is scared and running away. When this happens, I just call her and she starts following me again on the bike. When I first got her, I always rewarded her with great treats and lot's of love and praise everytime she would run back to me. This paid off and she now always runs back to me with tons of enthusiasm.

Squirrels were also a big problem for my dog as she just loves to chase them more than anything. She once saw me shake a squirrel out of a tree in our yard and now she tries to shake trees and jumps up to shake branches to get the squirrels out of the tree. She is one smart doggie and smarter than any dogs I've ever had, just way too emotional (mainly from being abused). When I 1st started her bike riding she could not help herself from chasing squirrels and then tire herself out going 100% running into the bush. The problem is she can spot squirrels a large distance away so this was hard to break. I was finally able to train her to leave it for squirrels too, but this took awhile. The big thing is to catch them just before or the start of the act (just before they start chasing) when training. By playing hide and seek when I got her helped her to always keep an eye on me and I would also keep riding and made it seem like she would get left behind if she started chasing squirrels.

For sure, some dogs are definitely more trainable than others and some dogs make much better trail dogs than others. The biggest point is to do some research for best trail dogs as some breeds are just not great for bike riding (too heavy, too small, etc). No matter what, any dog needs time to adjust to pacing themselves which is needed for bike rides, as most dogs want to run too fast at first. Never push your dog too much as many will run themselves to complete exhaustion trying to keep up to their beloved owner. The problem is dogs only sweat through their paws and tongue and can overheat easily. Try wearing a big heavy fur coat when you got for a ride and see how hot you get, which is especially true in hot weather or the summer. Always bring lot's of water.

Having such a smart dog and also being a working dog (cattle dog) has helped with my training as she was a real challenge when I got her at 2 years old with no training at all. She just loves to know she is doing the right thing and can do almost any trick in the book now, Always be patient and make sure you are clear on what you want from your dog and they will obey.

Always remember, the stronger the bond between an owner and their dog, the better and happier your dog will be. I could never introduce any cats into my household, as even the tough neighborhood cat will not come into our yard to chase birds anymore as any animals are terrified to come into my yard now...lol. If you have a dog breed that really likes to chase, it is always better to have the cat's first before getting the dog and then the dog will have a much better chance to learn and even respect they must get along in order to live in the same house.
  • 2 0
 @Staktup: have the exact same issue. is an amstaff. dog is great with people but losses it with other dogs or animals. I take him on rouge trails that aren't very popular. still feel like I am rolling the dice though. I ended up building a trail just to ride with him but it only lasted about a year till it got put on strava. it sucks because ridding is his favorite thing. after a close call we decided to limit his off leash trail rides very hidden trails. with that breed if anything happens you will get blamed regardless of whos fault it is.. and yeah there are some things you cant train out of those dogs. is a shame because he is so good with people. sounds like your girl has a good home and gets outside. a lot cheers
  • 2 0
 @bgobeske: Yes, we are in the same club! Is yours a rescue or did you raise it as a puppy? The adoption place said our Penny played with other dogs, and I have observed it myself on our frozen lake one day when my neighbor's dog got out and I was 50 yards away when I thought a canicide would occur, but the other dog is a goldendoodle city dog from Brooklyn who played at dog parks all her life, so she was great in being submissive which let Penny relax and play.

Her two reliable hiking friends happen to also be old male Pomeranians, one is deaf, and both are a bit cranky but don't really pay much attention to Penny or get in her face so they can hike off leash together. There are certain dogs in the neighborhood which she just seems to hate and some others that she ignores, so there is definitely a doggie vibe that I cannot fathom.

I tried muzzle-training her for weeks and she despises it, so I just keep her away from other dogs.

She is very ball-fixated, and despite what trainers advise me, if I want to redirect her from another dog I can show her a ball and walk by the dog without any more issue too, but she is not going to learn that she is being reactive and naughty this way.

The important thing is that typical of her breed she is extremely friendly with people and even strangers but a good guard dog in the house. One of the smartest dogs I know and have ever met. And very gentle with our cats and my 12 y.o. son. I accept this one single dog-reactivity flaw of hers since she accepts the laundry list of flaws that I have.
  • 8 0
 "Ride bikes. Have fun. Feel good!" Yup.
  • 4 0
 My Boxer mix LOVES riding, however she has no ability to pace herself. She's a massive 85 pound bowling ball that sprints for 2-3 miles and blows up. Our other dog is a Coon Hound/Boarder Collie mix and he's pretty much the perfect trail dog. He's not the fastest dog, but he can pace himself and handle 8-12 mile ride. Dogs are great.
  • 7 0
 Canadians in Santa Cruz? This must have been filmed last year.

Remember when we used to be able to cross borders? Sigh...
  • 4 0
 I'm trying to place the dog's accent and drawing a blank. At the end he says "Someone get me a Boston sub, wouldya?" so is it supposed to be a Boston accent? I'm confused. Especially since in Boston a long sandwich is a grindah!
  • 5 0
 100% rad, my dog is giving it two paws up by roosting around the apartment and boosting off the furniture as I type this Razz
  • 2 0
 From an owner of an ex-trail dog (Haley). She was a mini-aussie shepherd who totally went bonkers when she knew we were heading out...from age 1-12ish+ yrs. she logged in thousands of miles (no-exaggeration). As someone stated earlier, be patient, award the pooch, foster good behavior (ex. pooping off of the trail, not stopping in front of rider, etc.) and be mindful that we "roll" downhill and our pooches will tear themselves apart to stay with us, it is not a race when we are bonding with our pups. No better experience than having your home companion come give "kisses" after you take a digger, they are not there to judge your skills, they only want to run freely and make memories with you. BTW, be patient with the delivery flow of your hydration hose, a water bottle will be a thing of the past....godspeed!
  • 2 0
 How can you go wrong with this video, Big Chee tearing up the trails and some really great riding by Casey and R-Dog! Now this looks like a true MTB family right done to the bone...lol
  • 3 1
 Not going to lie, I am usually super sketched out by trail dogs and am no lover of dogs in general. However, this edit was super creative and original. I now strangely want more dog voiceover edits in my life. Cheers!
  • 3 0
 one of the few trail dog edits I find funny to watch - maybe volume 2 soon?
  • 4 2
 Love riding with my dogs!

But I’m curious, how did you get Chee to speak for the video?

My dogs don’t say nothing except “hey, hey, hey!”
  • 3 0
 Best dog voice-over ever. Bring on Episode 2!
  • 1 0
 who would have thought that a pooch could be related to BatDad. I mean, they have the same voice. Coincidence, I don't think so!!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lQ3FGxpEU0
  • 2 0
 Love it, put a smile on my face on a bleak Monday morning. Well done guys and girls and pouch!
  • 3 0
 That was great, loved the whole thing!
  • 3 0
 I’m a Boxer but my parents ride with a Lyrik...
  • 2 0
 best video in a while. great riding, amazingly built trails, and a stoked pup. thanks for sharing this
  • 4 1
 that was fucking awesome
  • 2 0
 “Ride bikes, have fun, feel good” enough said
  • 1 0
 Someone should combine all these comments and make a guidebook "how to train a sendy trail dog"
  • 1 0
 Whats his top speed Casey?
  • 1 0
 Nice, short, sweet and enjoyable content. Bikes + Dogs = win every time.
  • 1 0
 Nice one Smile
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