It took a lot of practice and training, but I have mastered riding a road bike on paved trails with my weimaraner. I would like to share my perception of how I did it. I’ll first start by admitting that I understand that all dogs, especially Weimaraners, have very different personalities and how they respond to activities. For example, my four-year-old weimaraner listens and responds when I call him outside and/or on the trails, but when we’re at the dog park, he’s all about playing, not much responding to my instructions. Another thing about my four-legged friend that’s different from other dogs I’ve ever owned is that when I come into the house, even if he’s only gone for ten minutes, his strong, nervous personality is manifested by the fact that he howls. and he jumps around being very hard to calm down for at least five minutes. And lastly, before training he got really nervous the first time I took my bike of the year out and rolled it up the driveway around him. He always seemed to run ahead of the tire. It got to the point where I would have to stop or slow down. Getting him to pay attention and listen to instructions was impossible while he was on the bike. With a lot of determination, I am able to hold on to his leash as he runs alongside my bike.
Starting out slow, I walked the bike to the side of me, my left hand holding the bike upright and its three-foot leash in my right hand, with him walking at my right side. We walked together for forty-five minutes three non-consecutive days a week. Within that same week, two of the other days I did intervals with him of walking two minutes and running two minutes for an hour. For the past two non-consecutive days I have taken him to the dog park to work on coming back to me when directed. The dog park is supposed to be a fun place, so I still let him run and play in five-minute intervals, having him walk the path next to me again for the next five minutes, then run and play again for another five minutes. , all this with a duration of one hour. My dog responded well to this training and he wasn’t so afraid of being next to the bike or getting ahead of it on our rides; therefore, he was not throwing me off balance. I was consistent with this training routine for two weeks.
My next step was to be a little more aggressive. I started riding the bike with its strap in my right hand for five minute intervals. The next five minutes I got off the bike and walked like we had done with the first training set. This type of interval training also went on for five non-consecutive days over the next two weeks. The other two days I took him to the dog park and continued his training of running and playing for five minutes and coming back to my side for the next five minutes to walk, on leash, again lasting an hour straight.
My last step, which was the most aggressive tactic, was to ride the bike for ten minutes with his leash in my right hand, get off and have the bike by my side as I walked with him on my right side. The bike would be between me and my weimaraner for five non-consecutive days. The other two days would again be our training at the dog park, where he could play and walk, all in an hour. Splitting up the training but being consistent I think kept him focused and assertive. Keeping his mind and body busy and thinking was also the way I could keep him interested and excited to do the training. I have learned from others that Weimaraners need to be challenged most of the time. This was my challenge to him.
My weimaraner is great with consistency but needs to be reinforced at the same time. I admit that it was very hard work and I didn’t really keep my mind and body in our routine every day. The progress we’ve made together definitely has to do with training. It’s amazing what a wonderful feeling it is to have my four year old weimaraner burning off energy and enjoying our time together. There are still times when he’s eager to top the speed I’m riding the bike, but I just reinforce him and the smooth ride from him.
Now he gets excited about putting the bike in the rack and getting in the vehicle, knowing that we are going on a trail to burn off energy and have fun. I have been able to enjoy another physical activity with my favorite four-legged friend.