Does your dog drag you down the street? Does it sometimes feel like your arm will be pulled out of the socket because he is pulling so hard? If yes, your dog may be an ideal candidate for dog scootering. This is a new sport that has your dog pulling you on a wheeled scooter. You can help out by kicking alongside or let him do the work, depending on your dog’s size. Medium to large breeds can easily pull the scooter and you can have more than one dog in harness pulling.
The dog wears a sledding harness that is designed to distribute the weight of the scooter evenly so it doesn’t cause a strain to any part of the body. The scooter is just a non-motorized wheeled vehicle that you can stand on. Most are suitable for wooded trails as well as running on pavement. There’s a brake pedal to allow you to slow the vehicle when going downhill so you don’t clip your dog and you can use your own feet to help with uphill and more difficult terrain.
While most dogs will naturally pull, they can easily be trained to do so as well. Start by having them in harness, dragging a log while you go one walks. This is also a good time to introduce gee (right) and haw (left) commands if your dog is unfamiliar with these concepts. You’ll want your dog to know some basic commands including gee, haw, whoa, go, and on by (which means to pass whatever is going on without stopping). This makes the ride much more pleasurable and safer for you and your dogs.
Once your dog is comfortable pulling the log, you can move him to the scooter. Pairing him with an experienced dog is a great way to introduce the sport but you can also have him follow another scooter, someone on a bike, etc.
Scooters are fairly narrow making them ideal for trails and narrower areas that a traditional cart cannot negotiate. If you have well-behaved dogs you can even use your scooter in town to run errands. Always make sure you have full control when going in town since you will need to factor pedestrians and traffic into the equation.
Be aware of the temperature and avoid working your dog in the hottest hours of the day. Avoid running on hot pavement in the summer as well. Bring water and a portable bowl with you for when your dog needs a break.
Scootering can be great exercise for your dog and for you. It is a wonderful way to ensure that the extra active canines get enough exercise to satisfy their needs. Give it a try!