Dog Training Article: Rollerblading & Cycling with a Dog

Have you ever wanted to exercise your dog by jogging, rollerblading or cycling with them? Today, Sit Means Sit shows you how to do just that! Check out the dog training video below and be sure to leave a comment below with any questions you may have.

Before you begin…

There are a few key points to keep in mind to ensure success on your dog’s part and in turn success working towards your goal of cycling or rollerblading with your dog.

Firstly, your dog should have some basic obedience training. This can be done with either a leash or with a Sit Means Sit dog training collar. Your dog should be familiar with sitting or downing while they are away from you (remotely). You can watch this dog training video to learn more about how to teach your dog to down remotely from you. Once you are able to successfully stop your dog while they are in motion, then you are able to progress to the next step.

The goal key to teaching your dog to successfully walk or run beside you as you are jogging, running or cycling is to teach them how to give you space while at the same time matching your speed and direction. Safety is of utmost concern during training as it can be very easy to trip over your dog as you begin doing this exercise, especially if you are a little unsure of yourself on a bicycle or rollerblades. We are able to teach the dog to give you space by teaching them to remain behind a boundary. One of the easiest boundaries to teach with is a sidewalk with a raised curb.

If your dog is already familiar with the concept of ‘place’ on a board, box, training cot or bed, then teaching them to keep their paws on a sidewalk will be fairly straightforward. If you dog doesn’t yet know this concept, then we suggest you watch this dog training video to learn more about introducing your dog to the concept of ‘place’. It begins by walking your dog with a leash back and forth along a curb by your side. Tell the dog ‘sidewalk’ as you move forward, and any time he steps off the curb. If he steps off the curb, you can re-direct him back onto the curb as your command ‘sidewalk’ with either your leash or Sit Means Sit dog training collar. The leash will be necessary until your dog comprehends the exercise more thoroughly. Once he understands where to keep his feet, the leash can be phased out slowly.

You will want to move the dog up and down the sidewalk, reminding him to keep his feet on the sidewalk anytime to start moving, change directions or stop moving. This instills the habit of paying attention to you, but at the same time keeping his feet behind the boundary.

As the dog is moving with you up and down the sidewalk with you near him, begin to move further back from the sidewalk but continue moving in a parallel line to the curb, up and down, starting and stopping. When you are about four to five feet from the curb you will find your dog will start leaving the sidewalk more frequently to get to your side. This is normal, and is very good time to really impress upon him that staying on the curb is required.

When the dog is moving successfully with you, don’t forget to return to him periodically to reward him with a treat, toy or praise for staying on the curb. Ensure that you are rewarding him while he is on the curb, and don’t reward him if he steps off. You want to ensure that he is connecting the idea of staying with getting his rewards.

When you get to the point where you are able to move the dog up and down the sidewalk at a distance of about 15 feet you are well on your way. The real training starts here where your dog is now required to stay on the curb at a distance and stay their through the distraction of you being further away, as well you can begin to introduce more distraction by changing your pace as you walk, jog or run. Now would also be a great time to introduce the bicycle or rollerblades.

At this time, when your dog breaks off the curb, you goal should be to stop him before he gets to your side using either a sit or down command. Once you’ve successfully stopped him, you can then send him back to the curb. Obviously, it really helps if your dog is very familiar with the concept of staying on an object and returning to the object on command.

Our dog training video below shows the proofing stages of getting the dog in the habit of staying away from you while rollerblading along a curb. The dog makes some mistakes in the video and you will get to see the problem solving approach of stopping the dog and re-directing him.

Do you have a dog training video showing your dog jogging, rollerblading or cycling with you? We’d love to see it! Please leave a comment below with a link to your video.

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