This article was written by Mark Schuette from Bend, Oregon, USA.
Have you ever seen people having their dog pull them on sleds, carts, bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, etc. and question the controllability and safety of the method, due to fact that the dog is out in front on a line and only under voice command?
Now a more safe product exists: dog pulling rigs
These new designs are different in that your dog is harnessed into the side/rear of a kick scooter and or ‘tadpole’ trike design (with 2 wheels in front for powerful steering and braking). As your dog is clipped into a bar at each side, he (or she) can only go forward and has to follow the rig thru the turns and is subject to its braking and steering.
This gives you the directional and speed control to make ‘mushing’ appropriate on urban/congested sidewalks, bike paths, dirt trails and eliminates the extensive dog training need with the traditional ‘dog out front’ pulling methods.
It allows your dog to get all the exercise they want/need yet keeps him under complete control (the rigging/bar will only let him go forward, he cannot turn the shoulders and pull to the side) even better and easier than a leash.
The location and the way the dog is harnessed into the rig was designed to be neutral to the units handling, and place no weight on the dog, and is very easy to ride by young and old. Yet requires some skill and offers enough excitement and exercise for the rider (you do need to help the dog up the hills and can do all or any percentage of the work) that it’s a real sport.
The care of the dog (canine motivation, rider/dog weight ratio limits, hydration, paw inspection, etc.) gives this sport further depth and satisfaction.
Most healthy, confident, young and driven dogs get over the ‘fear’ of being next to wheels and the restricted side to side movement in one session-but some may be more spooked and take repeated sessions. This is a relatively quick and straightforward task compared to teaching the voice commands necessary with the ‘dog out front’ method, which even then doesn’t compare to the precision steering offered with these designs.
The system is vertically adjustable for a range of canines and a ‘tall’ outrigger is available for giant breeds as well. Your furry friend can also sit while hooked into the trike and scooter- and even lie down while in the scooter. It’s a great way to get to the dog park or trailhead where you can let your doggy out of the system to free play, swim, etc.
For more information about scooters and trikes visit: DogPoweredScooter