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 My Bikejoring journey.

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Teenager
Teenager


Male Join date : 2013-03-24

PostSubject: Re: My Bikejoring journey.    Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:10 am

OK, a little time now.

3 things I noticed:

It looks like you're connecting your dogs directly to your bike. When I was a newbie, I tried that, and FAILED miserably. The dogs were so powerful that they were able to pull the bike right out from under me when I needed to brake. Once I joined my local sled dog club, it was recommended that I attach the dogs to a skijoring waistbelt so I'd have better control. It worked for me, and I have not had any issues since. Some people will tell you to connect to the bike, so you have to do what works best for you. Being that the dogs should be doing all of the pulling, I rarely have to pedal. You can see in the pic I posted above how taught the line is. I've never had issues with the line getting caught up in my front tire. If the dogs slow down, I ease on the brakes and slow with them. The key is to keep the line taught so the dogs don't forget what their job is: to pull!

The other thing was your harnesses. Again, if they work, keep them. But the X-back harnesses distribute the weight they're pulling more evenly across their back and body. I feel safer with the X-back since that's what real sled dogs use for pulling weight for distance. I don't want to damage my dogs bodies. Also, the X-back connects near the tail and I don't have to worry about the tugline rubbing or chaffing up against their body.

Any time you have any questions, please ask. I don't mind helping others out, and I'm also understanding enough to realize that what works for me isn't necessarily meant to be for everyone else. Each individual needs to figure out what works best for themself and their dog team.

I watched one of your videos and you were good on your commands. Just stick with the GEE, HAW, ON BY, and WHOA. I also use STRAIGHT when I don't want them to turn, just in case they get confused. When I run multiple dogs, I blend in my obedience training, and will use the dog's name first before the command, so that particular dog knows I'm talking only to him/her, so PAW PAW ON BY or ON BY PAW PAW. If they veer off the trail (like yours was doing in the video), I will say STAY ON THE TRAIL or THIS SIDE, and if they're veering left, I'll steer right and pull them back on the trail. The steering right, coupled with the commands to STAY ON THE TRAIL or THIS SIDE will help to train them as to what I want and expect them to do. I want them focused on the run. This is not time to be distracted, sniffing, marking/peeing, or anything else. They will have time to do all that after we're finished.

Hope that helps a bit. Keep up the great work!
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Teenager
Teenager


Male Join date : 2013-03-24

PostSubject: Re: My Bikejoring journey.    Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:16 am

Another thing quick, and then I'm going to bed:

I just posted in 2 raw feeding threads about the supplement I use since we exercise so often. I tried to copy/paste it over, but with all of the weird codes, it got lost in transfer and didn't look like what was originally found in those 2 threads. Please go read about the Holistic Canine Complete Joint Mobility powder I wrote about. I provided a pic and in-depth breakdown/description of what's in it and what each ingrediant does for a dog's body. This is geared mainly towards working dogs and dogs that do high levels of exercise regularly. We use this, combined with the salmon oil.
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SLB
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Female Join date : 2013-02-21
Location : Nottingham, UK

PostSubject: Re: My Bikejoring journey.    Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:20 pm

Thanks for the advice.

I think we're doing OK. Also, my dogs have a range of commands - I am just teaching on by - but need them to connect it with Leave. So I use both and will fade out the leave as they get the on by.

Also we're using left and turn. "Right" has a negative affect on both my gundogs as it's quiet often my interrupter word. So for example; they're misbehaving "RIGHT" and they come back. So I don't want to shout right and have them veer back to the bike.

And as for where the attachment is - it's fine. I am making something to stop the line catching but allowing free movement too. Pennie pup is still in training with distractions so I think she is allowed a few mistakes. She is only 14 months.

Also - they are getting x backs, the lady who made the trail harnesses wasn't happy with how they weren't stretching properly when on so is exchanging them for me.

And - my dogs are trained to a whistle. If I need to stop them I can do so using the whistle - this prompts a sit. So if I need them to stop, all I have to do is blow my whistle, cue the slowing down then the sit. Also they have a stop word too Wink Being trained as gundogs first and foremost, obedience dogs second and this as a way of exercising I'm sure their commands will click on soon Smile
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SLB
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Female Join date : 2013-02-21
Location : Nottingham, UK

PostSubject: Re: My Bikejoring journey.    Sat May 18, 2013 5:08 am

Long time since I replied to this. So here's whats been going off. We ended up having to have x-backs made as the trail harnesses just were not geling with my dogs bodies. I made a scooter noodle - but it terrified Pennie.

We met new friends who now practice with us. Picture courtesy of a friend of mine (L.W)



Lou gets to run with their Husky - who normally plays bitey face but doesn't with Louie.

Pen got spayed last week so is out of action.

I prepared for the summer months. For me and the dogs.



Of course we will only be running early/late and on cool days.

I bought a windog bike attachment but at first I had to tweak it a little as it didn't fit on my bike properly. A broken camera mount and newspaper fixed it though.


And their harnesses (yes Lou's is twisted at the back - he was being a twonk and refusing to stand still)






You can't see on the pictures but on the harnesses there is a sewn in I.D tag - just in case.

Oh and a friend and I seem to have bought a scooter too. However she'll be using it more than me as I have no where to put it!
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SLB
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Female Join date : 2013-02-21
Location : Nottingham, UK

PostSubject: Re: My Bikejoring journey.    Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:32 pm

Hey,

It's been a long time since I've been on here. I thought I'd let you know how we've been doing. We took some time off end of 2013/beginning of 2014. We picked back up again in September 2014. I bought a scooter. It's a good little scooter and the dogs were fab on it.

I changed their harnesses to short ones as they were more comfortable with the attachment point in shorts than they were in their x-backs. My bitch had an injury so I decided to hook my older dog up with my other boy and see how they did - it turns out he enjoys pulling too. So I have a 3 dog team - only recreationally.

In November 2014, I took a corner on our regular training route a little too quick. The track leads down a turnip field (there is a sand path in the middle) unfortunately there had been someone up the field during the night stealing the turnips and they'd left one behind in the middle of the path. I came off the scooter at speed, got dragged about 6ft. I bruised all my collar bone and shoulder blades. Grazed all one side of my face and ended up with torn tendons in my left shoulder.

Not to be scared away - I got on with it. With the help from my Mother In Law who is a physiotherapist, I could still scooter - as long as I didn't fall off. I decided I needed a new scooter. I'd only had mine a short time, but it didn't have suspension, had v-brakes and was good for training but I needed better. Then on a facebook exchange group, a Gravity M10 came up for sale. I bought it.

In December last year I decided to go ahead and enter our first competition race. I began training with a lady nearby who had also entered - secretly I wanted to see if we'd beat her but our dogs got on, her training route was longer and it was good.

2 weeks ago we entered that first race. We entered novice wheels which was 4km. The terrain was awful.. no clear paths, frosty grass in some places, muddy slippy mud in others, the course went across slopes and up and down them too.

On the day - we placed 2nd. My pups did 4km in 14:28! They over took other dogs without any trouble, they listened impeccably - they had to trust me since they couldn't see the horse tape used to mark out the course. We only got a finishers rosette as we didn't do both days.

I have now signed up to two days in February.

Here's some photos.















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simplify
Senior
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Female Join date : 2012-08-02
Location : Louisiana

PostSubject: Re: My Bikejoring journey.    Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:06 pm

Congratulations! Glad to see that injury didn't keep you down but glad you are doing well after that.

It looks like so much fun! I wish we had something like that here, but dryland mushing in Louisiana isn't a very big sport.

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TwistedTale
Puppy
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Female Join date : 2014-07-26
Location : Michigan

PostSubject: Re: My Bikejoring journey.    Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:36 am

Glad to hear you are doing well! And I am just starting my pup on the commands he needs so when i finally get a bike/scooter I can have him do the same thing! (here is where I am going to hijack for a second) Any advice on the training of the mush commands? (for the general husky crowd y'all will get this) He has little to no attention span when I don't have a treat and I am worried that if train him not to pull on his harness, he will not pull later when I want him too. He knows leave it but how does On By work? or Gee and Haw? He doesn't seem to understand what I want him to do... and when we get going he doesn't want to stop, which is a problem. Any tips?
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SLB
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Female Join date : 2013-02-21
Location : Nottingham, UK

PostSubject: Re: My Bikejoring journey.    Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:55 am

TwistedTale wrote:
Glad to hear you are doing well! And I am just starting my pup on the commands he needs so when i finally get a bike/scooter I can have him do the same thing! (here is where I am going to hijack for a second) Any advice on the training of the mush commands? (for the general husky crowd y'all will get this) He has little to no attention span when I don't have a treat and I am worried that if train him not to pull on his harness, he will not pull later when I want him too. He knows leave it but how does On By work? or Gee and Haw? He doesn't seem to understand what I want him to do... and when we get going he doesn't want to stop, which is a problem. Any tips?

Hey,

I started out by adapting their gundog training, they knew hand signals already and stops.

To get them going, I just said "hup, hup" whilst they were on lead and started running.. my dogs are terrible on lead so I knew they'd pull, then I'd apply gentle pressure whilst saying "steady" and then finally, a lot of pressure "Stop" If they started to slow to the pressure before I said the cue word then I'd tell them to "hup hup" again.

Left and rights were easy, I simply took them out on a walk where there were a lot of left and rights and said "left" if we were turning left and "turn" if we were going right.. ("Right" is a warning word in this house, if they're doing something naughty or not listening out in the fields, I just say it and they come back straight away or stop what they're doing)

You could have two harnesses. Mine are terrible on walks anyway but if you pair one harness to walking only, then one to with the bike/scooter or running - eventually he will pick that up. I took mine out in their running harnesses without the scooter - I was going for a bit of canicross and they were ever so confused and refused to run in front at first.. kept looking for the scooter.

"On by" is an adaptation of "leave it" so all you do is use your normal leave it followed by your move word, so "Leave it, Hike on". You don't have to use the correct mushing words for it, no one judges you on what commands you use. I know of someone who knows a woman who uses "Turbo" to get some extra speed. She trained that in with suicidal squirrels. Everytime her dogs saw a squirrel, she'd let them go and shout "turbo" so now, when she says it, they think there's a squirrel and they run faster.. can't say I'd try it mind, mine aren't ones for not trying to get up the tree after them.

Canicross (running with your dog attached up front) is a great way to teach commands safely and also gets them focused on the task at hand.

I'm still a novice, but learning every day. I said that I didn't care if we came last in competitions - as long as we got around the course, the dogs had fun and I had fun.

Hope that helps.
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