Riding A Bike With A Dog

Riding a bike with a dog

When I first contemplated the idea of riding a bike with a dog, it conjured up scary images such as my dog pulling my bike over, juggling a leash while holding onto the handle bars, and a leash getting stuck in the spokes of my bike wheels (you can imagine where that leads).

But, alas, none of these fears came to be! I’ve now discovered the existence of dog bike leashes, created solely for the purpose of safely riding a bike with a dog.

Dog Bike Leashes

There are multiple manufacturers of dog bike leashes, and they have their differences in how they attach to your bike, but all of them stabilize your center of gravity making it more difficult for your dog to pull you off balance. Ah, fear #1 eliminated!

A properly manufactured dog bike leash will attach somewhere on the frame of your bike, such as the seat post, or near the rear wheel, which is the case with the leash that I use. They also consist of a coil spring which allows for a bit of pulling on your dogs part, but not on you as the rider.

Will My Dog Pull My Bike Over While We’re Riding?

I wish I could say that riding a bike with a properly attached dog leash was full-proof, with absolutely no risk, or danger. However, I can say, the risk is very minimal. A good dog bike leash will keep your dog in the “safety zone” beside your bike which provides the necessary stability for safety. In addition, if you have a dog that relentlessly tugs, and pulls you in every direction during walks, he most likely will NOT do that while leashed to a bike. Why? When a dog is running they are in a completely different state of mind than when they are walking. During a walk you aren’t able to go the speed that your dog prefers, therefore, your dog impatiently tugs and pulls, or decides to stop and sniff everything in sight. But, when a dog is in motion they are no longer bored, and their behavior changes.

Getting Started

You should slowly expose your dog to leash riding so that he doesn’t fear the bike, and so he understands how to run safely beside you. To do this, you can first start out by attaching your dog with the lead, and walking beside your bike. As he gets used to it, you can hop on and ride slowly, and then gradually adjust your speed accordingly. I’m happy to report that my dog took to bike riding almost immediately, without much instruction at all. Consider the following:

  • Never rig your own leash to the handle bars of your bike. Doing so will create a danger to both you and your dog, and commercially sold leashes are made with safety in mind.
  • Always consider wearing a bike helmet.

Safety For Your Dog

I adore riding my bike on the trails around our house, and I was so excited at the prospect of including my dog on my long bike rides. That thought was quickly cut short when I realized how fast my bike traveled in comparison with how fast my dog ran. He’s quick, but he’s also not used to running long distances, nor does he seem to have the desire to. So, I now use bike riding in very short spurts, and mostly to exercise him, not me. My longer bike rides are best done alone. However, all dogs are different, some having extremely high energy, and some not as much, so ride speed, and distance, will vary per dog. Things to consider:

  • Let your dog guide you in determining what the safest speed should be. What may be coasting to you, may be a full-out run for your dog.
  • Always consider your dog’s health when determining a “safe” distance in which to ride.
  • Bike riding can be appropriate for any size dog, providing they like to run. It may not be suitable for smaller dogs that are unable to keep up with the speed of a bike.
  • Do not leave your bike unattended while your dog is attached to it. If he pulls, the bike could fall on him, frightening him from wanting anything to do with biking in the future.
  • Never, ever let a young child ride a bike with a dog, for both the safety of the dog and child. Children many times do not recognize what is considered too fast for the dog, and may go speeds beyond the dog’s capabilities. The dog, on the other hand, could pull a small child off balance and incur injuries to the child.

Exercise is so important to a dog’s physical and mental well-being, and biking is a great way to quickly work off all of your dog’s pent-up energy. So, what are you waiting for? Get on your bike and ride! 🙂

For my recommendation on the best dog bike leash please read my product review HERE.


  1. Emily October 28, 2015 Reply
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