Discussion in 'Dog Sports' started by lexio2, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. lexio2 New Member

    Here's a slideshow/video compelation of me, my sister, and my dad training and running Trophy and my sister's dog Koda on the scooter. These two boys LIVE for this, but since Koda and my sister live in Akron (1hr drive) we haven't gone since february. We miss it!! But Koda is my "lead dog" - at 4 years old he understands his role in navigation and drive better than Trophy does. If hooked up on his own Trophy is distracted by EVERYTHING and is a danger since he could veer off the road at any time. I'm looking to adopt my 4th dog some time this year who will be a running partner for Trophy. Qwill and Shiner, having hip dysplasia, can go at a trot, but Trophy needs to RUN!

    Anyway, in the beginning my sister is the "rabbit" on a bike, which the dogs learn to chase after and ignore the sounds of the scooter behind them. Now we can run them on their own, and boy are they FAST! Sorry about the horse poo, we use the trails (dirt and asphault) at the equestrian center metro park nearby!

    here's the link to the vid since i don't think it's working:

  2. szecsuani Experienced Member

    Wow this looks very nice! :)
    It must be a lot of fun! :)
  3. snooks Experienced Member

    How much fun is that. Great shots. We (older dog and I) love our scooter. Puppy is still not OFA yet so she's not running distance on concrete yet thought she wants too. I'm about to have a second shoulder surgery so we haven't been able to use it for quite a while. I didn't hurt the shoulder on the scooter, which everyone in my family immediately asks. LOL
  4. Jean Cote Administrator

    Aww... I wish I could afford a diggler scooter. :dogsmile:
  5. snooks Experienced Member

    Put it on all ur gift lists. It's really nice. Hope u get one soon. I was lucky to get one when times were good---now they're a little lean but at least I already have it. Most def worth the $$ these things will last FOREVER.
  6. montsterdog Well-Known Member

    That looks like tons of fun and a great exercise for the dogs. Could anybody give some tips how to get started and what type of equipment should be used?
  7. lexio2 New Member

    Sorry i missed some of the comments on this post!!

    Jean - my diggler cost me $600, but it has be SO worth it. i started putting $50 aside from each paycheck until i had half (took 6 months) but i had it paid off in 6 months after i got it. I love love love love love this thing. Finally have the dogs conditioned enough to travel the longer trails at the metro park where we ride. Now my goal is to train Baxter to pull with Trophy since Koda (my sister's dog) doesn't live with us all the time since she's at college.

    monsterdog - it can take a long time to properly train the dogs to pull, and you will need a partner, but it is well worth it!

    You need:
    properly fitted harness for each dog (i use x-backs from
    bicycle and a partner to ride it
    another friend to help hookup and hold your dogs.
    an assortment of objects for your dog to pull before pulling the scooter

    begin by desensitizing your dog to the harness. Put it on him for a few minutes, give treats, then take it off. repeat several times.

    then put on the harness and take a walk.

    It the dog is still leary about the harness, continue putting it on and giving treats, if the dog doesn't mind the harness you can move on.

    attatch a leash to the harness and tie one end to a small log, tire or other light object and take the dog for a walk (by a leash on his collar). vary the weight of the object and also use objects that will make more noise. I used a milk crate which would roll and pitch around noisily. This helps to desensitize the dogs to heavy and noisy objects behind them. Some dogs may never get past this stage - my dog Shiner for example is way too worried by what is "chasing him" that scootering with him is out of the question. It is no fun for him, so he gets to stay home.

    After your dog is used to pulling objects behind him, it's time to try the actual scooter. The best place to start this is somewhere with a paved or packed dirt trail - preferably one that is not a long distance and is in the shape of a circle. Smooth trails help by making sure the scooter is easy to pull (grass is VERY hard for your dogs to pull on, especially when they are just learning and aren't conditioned!) it also helps them learn to stay on a trail. It's also helpful if there are relativly few distractions. I started at the local metroparks riding on the paved parking lots and driveways. I also started in winter so there were no ducks and VERY few people around.

    this is where you friends come in. start by teaching one dog at a time. hook up you dog to the scooter and have one friend hold him while you get on the scooter and hold down both breaks! Have your other friend get on the bike (this person is called the rabbit) and start riding the trail while calling excitedly to your dog by name. hopefully your dog will start to strain to run after your friend. If he doesn't, switch places so the dog will be chasing you! Either way, slowly release the breaks and watch your dog's reaction to the weight and noise of the scooter. I got lucky in that the dog i started with (Koda) was hell-bent on getting after my sister on the bike that he paid zero attention to the scooter and the rest was a piece of cake!

    If your dog whips around to stare in horror at the scooter, STOP! go back and do more drags with heavier and noiser weights (try pulling over gravel, nothing is noiser than that!)

    Keep your first several sessions SHORT and stop while your dog is still raring to go!!!

    after a week or so, start increasing the distance, and now you can start adding cues to turns. i use RIGHT and LEFT ans it's easier than remembering GEE and HAW for me. either way, call it out right before your dog goes around a corner while following the rabbit. do all rights one day, all lefts the next, and then both. Eventually the dog should associate LEFT with moving to his left. using the commands while on walks will help too.

    Once you have one dog with the basics you can add the second. the first dog will do most of the teaching with the second, but WATCH OUT as dogs will run MUCH faster with a partner!

    I ran with a rabbit going 3-4 times a week (and once a day over christmas holidays) for about 3 months before we tried running without a rabbit. Only your dogs will tell you when they're ready to do it on their own - try starting with your usual rabbit holding the dogs, and start running with them when you release them (i always start with a READY?READY?READY? GOGOGO!! so they know it's coming) if they stop and turn to you they're not confident enough yet to run without a rabbit. don't get discouraged, just go back to running with a rabbit and try again in a week.

    make sure you slowly increase the distances you run, and ALWAYS provide plenty of water. My boys have been running since november and we're just now going on 3-4 mile runs with a 30 minute break in the middle for shade and water.

    if you have any more questions just ask!

    here's some photos of me running a 3 dog crew. i don't have a 3 dog gangline, so we kind rigged this up. The husky belongs to my college roommate who was visiting for a day. Once you have trained dogs it's easy to train another dog using them. i did ZERO pre conditioning with Luna, we just put her in the harness and away we went.


  8. sarhaspups New Member

    OH MY , that looks like so much fun!!!! Thanks so much for posting this!!! Just another thing I wanna try some day!! Way awesome!!
  9. montsterdog Well-Known Member

    Lexi, thanks so much for taking time to write this all out. Now I really want to get one of those scooters ;). Great pictures too. TY
  10. ruffmuttk9z New Member

    I just sold my Diggler DSK for half price -- $300. You missed out!! It was practically brand new!
  11. Jean Cote Administrator

    Aww... :dogmellow:
  12. lexio2 New Member

    you SOLD your scooter? *gasp* i wish i would have known. my sister wants one now to go with me :)
  13. ruffmuttk9z New Member

    I wasn't ever using it and I think a Wii Fit would get more use in the 100F degree TX summer. I wasn't sure how to go about shipping it, honestly. I had a lot of people ask me if I would but ultimately I found someone local to buy it.
  14. Jean Cote Administrator

    Yeah shipping it would have been a pain, we understand ruffmutt, no hard feelings. :dogsmile:

    But yeah, I definitely want one. It is just a matter of time, money is a little tight nowadays so I can't buy one (probably not until next year). I guess pulling me on skis during the winter will have to do! :dogsmile:
  15. lexio2 New Member

    at least you know transitioning them will be a cinch!
  16. pia l New Member

    need help!

    hi could you answer me a question plz
    i need to no if its better to train 2 male labradors together or 1 male a 1 female together :dogsmile:
  17. jazzycat New Member

    Great article on training, lexio2. I recently adopted a Siberian, and I'm looking for a way to train her so she can RUN as much as she needs to. Unfortunately, I can't run myself as I have a bad back. For the time being, I'm going to use a walkydog so I can bike and she can run, but ultimately I want her to pull me somehow. That is what she was bred to do... I would rather have something I could sit in, but a scooter looks interesting. I probably won't do that until it cools off though. It's too hot here to have her pulling right now.
  18. lexio2 New Member

    You can certainly do this on a bike (it's called bikejoring!).

    I prefer the scooter for one main reason: In case of an accident i don't have to worry about my legs getting caught on the bike's center bars - I would recommend a "girls" style bike to the strait bar "boy's" style, especially while your dog is learning.

    I got all my gang lines and harnesses from Alpine Outfitters. Everything you need to get started is there.
    I think they are getting into their busy season, so orders will take longer to fill now, but it well worth the wait!
    Alpine Outfitters
    PS I would recommend going ahead and buying a 2-dog gang line if you can spare the extra $10. It can be run as a 1 dog line simply by attaching both snaps to one harness. I do it all the time if i take out just Koda.

    I speak from experience - I'm about to spring for a 4-dog gangline for my boys! It's addictive!!!
  19. jazzycat New Member

    Thanks lexio2. I will do that. I am hoping to eventually get another husky anyway, or, my sister wants to maybe get a malamute. Also, my ex has a border collie. I'm thinking maybe he would like doing something like this. He is a very active (and smart!) dog as well.
  20. jazzycat New Member

    Hey, does anyone know if one of those Razor scooters would work? Cause they don't cost very much.

Share This Page

Real Time Analytics