So what did you do with your Basenji today?

Our Weather was 70 degrees today and as many know, I walk our Basenji Roo along with our Boston Terrier Bonzo in the park at least 4 miles or more on a daily basis. Last year we did 3 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon for a total of 6 miles.

On Saturdays and Sundays our walks include Miranda as well. So the whole pack goes to the park together. Last year when gas prices got so high, Roo our Basenji, in his attempt at 'going green' talked me into buying him a trailer to pull behind my bike that he could share with Bonzo. That trailer is made by Burley and called a Tail Wagon and looks like this:

http://www.burley.com/products/pets/tail_wagon.cfm

Since I have had four back surgeries including two fusions several years ago, I cannot ride a traditional bicycle for long distance so I purchased an Easy Racers Recumbent Bicycle that looks like this:

http://www.easyracers.com/03-ti_rush.htm

Miranda has a similar style bicycle but hers is made by the Rans company. Both or our bicycles also have Big Bubble windshields on the front to help us when it rains and reduce our wind resistance.

As you can see my bicycle is pretty long. Of course when I attach the Tail wagon trailer its even longer. I have one of those big orange flags attached to the seat post and also a flashing light at eye level both on the bike and the trailer just to make sure we are noticed by cars and trucks approaching us at high speed from the rear (the speed limit on some of the roads we travel to the park on is 55mph.) Unfortunately there are no sidewalks or bike paths for us to ride on so we are stuck riding on the rural highways and roads with regular traffic.

Since it was very nice today, instead of taking the car, we decided that we would get the bikes out, put the dogs in the trailer and ride the 6 miles it takes to get to the park. So if you can picture one old fat guy trying to lose weight on a long bicycle pulling about 42 lbs of Dog behind him in a trailer and a small woman on another long recumbent bike following him then you get the picture. Wagon Train Ho!!!

We encountered several steep hills but after about 30 to 40 minutes we made it to the park. After we got the dogs out and locked up the Bikes and trailer the best we could, we proceeded to walk the dogs 3 miles. Part way through the walk Miranda started complaining because I did not have free FM radio playing on my BlackBerry Storm that is provided by a company called Slacker. Even the Dogs were complaining cause we walk to music daily.

If you are interested in Slacker Radio you can find them here:

http://www.slacker.com/

After I took care of that things settled down and we had a nice walk. Once we finished our 3 miles we watered the dogs, unlocked the bikes, and packed the dogs back up in the trailer. We have to leash Roo in the front because we discovered that he can escape if we don't. Of course Bonzo the Boston Terrier seems to ride along just fine and I do not think she would try to get out unless we made her. So Roo is in the front of the trailer with a dividing wall and Bonzo is in the back. We started on our 6 mile trip home.

Since I walk everyday, I am in a little better shape than Miranda. It was a little difficult for her to keep up but we all made it home safely. The Dogs seemed perfectly fine. In fact I think Roo and Bonzo are ready for another trip now. Its Miranda that is giving me a hard time about making another trip to the park on the bikes.

The good news is I was able to find the trailer last year for about $300, so since the car gets 18 mpg and gas is hovering around $2 we only need about 223 more round trips to the park and the trailer will have paid for itself!!

Jason

Sounds like you had a great time. Have you tried running your Basenji next you while you bike? I know the Recumbent bikes sit different but I think that you can hook a Walky dog next to you while you go; it would just attach different. I use one for my dog and the love it!!!

Here's a post I made about it:
http://www.basenjiforums.com/showpost.php?p=64227&postcount=29

And here's another thread I found of biking with with basenjis that talk about the other bike product called the Springer
http://www.basenjiforums.com/showthread.php?t=1842&highlight=walky

I did check into the things you mentioned. I probably would like to have the harness. I have thought about getting a Walky Dog, but my main issue is that we do not live in an area that has sidewalks any roads. The Road two blocks up from my house is a rural hwy and the speed limit is 55mph on it. Even the road to the park is 55mph until just before the park and it drops to 45mph. The only option that does make sense is finding a place I can Bike Roo too with the trailer and seeing if the walky dog would be safe to use with the trailer attached. If I bike 8 miles into town we do have a small bike path that is 1 mile in length. Of course we could go a mile and then turn around.

The park we walk in would probably require a different type of bike and based on the reasons I mentioned in the other post its really not an option for me. So while I still am considering the Walky Dog I am also attempting to figure out how and where I can use it or if it is practical for my situation. Another consideration is my Boston. I doubt seriously whether she could keep up a sustained run without putting her health at risk. Right now at least when we walk I can exercise both dogs at the same time.

Even so I am still considering the Walky Dog.

The best part is that you and Miranda and the pups were out enjoying this glorious day! Our friends have a trailer they pull behind their bike (about 2 miles) to the dog park, it is one like you put a couple of kids in side by side. I like the longer narrow one for the highway. You are brave, I used to ride on roads and it is an act of courage! I would love to see a photo of all of you our on your bikes and trailers!

Sounds like you all had a great time Jason!

Here is what we did today, before I had to go to work. We went over to a dog facility and got a work-out! Did some pulling practice with the kids. I didn't have a lot of time, so we only did a few rounds and then headed home. They pulled between 300 - 400 lbs I think, wasn't paying close attention.

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ComicDom- I understand with living in a rural area, I missed that the first time I will admit I'm super short so I actually only have a 24" bike. I think as long as you can get it so that Roo would be on the right side of the bike you wouldn't even need a different style of bike and can still have him run with you on the places that bike out to where you walk them.

I don't see why the Walky wouldn't safe to use with a trailer also since it is attached to a different part of the bike. Looking at the pics of the link you posted for the bike that yous looks like you could easily attach a Walky dog to the horizontal post right under (around) the seat (not the vertical post, that would/could get in the way of the chain).

For your Boston girl, she would be okay if you don't put her into a full sprint and when you start her exercising her it's not hot and you don't put her distance for more than 2 miles at first.

@kiroja:

Sounds like you all had a great time Jason!

Here is what we did today, before I had to go to work. We went over to a dog facility and got a work-out! Did some pulling practice with the kids. I didn't have a lot of time, so we only did a few rounds and then headed home. They pulled between 300 - 400 lbs I think, wasn't paying close attention.

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WOW Kelli that sure beats what we did today. Just so I understand you do this for strength training for your B's? Do you worry about them getting injured pulling all that weight? What has been the benefit of this type of training and has it paid off for you?

Jason

@basenji_fan:

ComicDom- I understand with living in a rural area, I missed that the first time I will admit I'm super short so I actually only have a 24" bike. I think as long as you can get it so that Roo would be on the right side of the bike you wouldn't even need a different style of bike and can still have him run with you on the places that bike out to where you walk them.

I don't see why the Walky wouldn't safe to use with a trailer also since it is attached to a different part of the bike. Looking at the pics of the link you posted for the bike that yous looks like you could easily attach a Walky dog to the horizontal post right under (around) the seat (not the vertical post, that would/could get in the way of the chain).

For your Boston girl, she would be okay if you don't put her into a full sprint and when you start her exercising her it's not hot and you don't put her distance for more than 2 miles at first.

I hear you. I do not think it would be a problem to attach the Walky but I do not think I could pedal slow enough for my Boston so if I do decide to go with it she will have to stay at home and miss out. I do like to go to the park twice a day in the summer and when it gets hot the Boston stays home anyway. My biggest concern of course is safety for my dog. While I think this is a much safer way for my Dog to get to run while I am biking, I want to make sure that the road he does this on is safe for him as well.

Jason

@ComicDom1:

WOW Kelli that sure beats what we did today. Just so I understand you do this for strength training for your B's? Do you worry about them getting injured pulling all that weight? What has been the benefit of this type of training and has it paid off for you?

Jason

Not Kelli, but we have tried this with Querk (who OF COURSE, is a puller!)

Everybody who weight pulls will tell you that a dog won't pull more than they are able. I think the main benefit is that the dogs enjoy it, and it makes them tired ๐Ÿ™‚ There are dog weight pull competitions, mainly for sled dogs, but sometimes they allow all breeds to enter, so you can win ribbons and stuff too.

We spent the day in our backyard reconfiguring it to better suit dog and human needs ๐Ÿ˜‰ We have a bay window in our family room that juts into the backyard. For the past couple of years, the dogs have been realizing they can torment each other through the window (some dogs inside, some out). So we needed to make it so the dogs that are outside can't get to the window. It just so happens that is where my herb garden is, and the dogs have been trashing my herbs for an equally long time. So we built a protective fence around the herb garden and windowโ€ฆyeah, a three foot tall, wood and wire mesh protective fence. Hopefully that will keep them out!!! I will post some pics when I have a chance.

Just to make it clear, none of the dogs stay outside...they all live inside, but this occurs when they are enjoying their yard time.

@ComicDom1:

Just so I understand you do this for strength training for your B's? Do you worry about them getting injured pulling all that weight? What has been the benefit of this type of training and has it paid off for you?

Yes, we do it for strength training. Both for overall exercise, but also because we are working towards pulling competitions. I have enjoyed doing quite a bit of different kinds of events with my dog, and this was one more thing I learned about and thought would be nice. And a bit unique for our breed. lol

I am not very worried about injuries. Everyone was at least a year and a half old before they ever started trying to pull anything. It's a sport just like any other, where you start out slow and work your way up to competition level. And like Andrea said, this is not something you can force them to do. If they don't want to, or don't feel comfortable, then they won't do it. Especially Basenjis, we all know they are NOT the kind to want to please. lol The dogs only do the heavy weights once in a while and you build up the whole time. Just starting with a few pounds and adding after each successfull pull or two. Most of the "training" is actually conditioning at home with road work and a just a few pounds of weight once they work up to it over a period of weeks. I think I would be more concerned about an injury in lure coursing, where the dog is going off instinct and drive, and will run and run because it's brain is telling it to, and will run even if something happens or it's not feeling well. Now a Basenji is a little more likely to quit when things aren't right, but not always.

The benefit is it's one more thing the kids and I can do together and more accomplishments for them to achieve. Also a big benefit is that it gets them in shape for any other thing they do. They're muscled up and look fabulous for a show, and they're fit and ready to run for a lure trial, agility trial, etc. I can't really tell for sure if it's paid off yet, as we have only done the pulling this winter other than a couple times sporatically a couple years ago. And we really haven't done much running yet, nor are they really conditioned up yet either. It's still really early in the game. However they have something nice to show for it already on paper. A new title for each, and two are already a third towards the pulling championship. There are 6 possible pulling titles you can earn, and this is for UKC. They are open to all breeds, and even mixed breeds, and are similar to AKC. There are several other pulling organizations, some are all breed and some are only for pit bulls and the like.

I can really see how this would muscle a B up for the show ring! Who would have thought that they would create a pulling event like this that Basenji's could participate in.

Jason

kiroja, can you link us up to a web site for additional info on the weight pulling? It looks quite intriguing.

Do they class by height, weight, breed, ?

Sure! I have only worked with UKC at this point, but there are others out there.

http://www.ukcdogs.com/WebSite.nsf/WebPages/DogWeightPull

The dogs are divided into classes by weight. Placements are given out in each class, although they really don't matter much. The weight classes are 15 lbs apart for smaller dogs and 20 lb increments for big dogs. For example, the Basenjis bascially fall into the 30 lb class. (anything from 16 to 30.9 lbs) There are two ways to calculate placements, and it is decided ahead of time by the clubs holding the event. Format A is by most weight pulled. Format B is by most weight pulled per pound of body weight. It is calculated as a percentage. Most clubs do format A one day and format B the next. Also each day there is an overall winner for both the most weight pulled and most weight pulled per pound for all classes combined. I have seen everything from an American Bulldog to an Italian Greyhound win the most weight pulled per pound. ๐Ÿ™‚

All titles in UKC are earned by each dog's individual pulls compared to their own body weight. So classes and placements really don't matter, except for fun. There are 3 types of carts/surfaces to pull with, and each has their own point scale. Snow pulls are the hardest, so it doesn't take as much weight pulled in those events to earn the same amount of points as say a pull with a rail system. Wheeled cart pulls are inbetween, and the rail carts are the easiest to pull. Therefore it takes more weight to earn points. For example, a qualifying score for the first title takes only 3 times the body weight on snow to earn. It takes 7x the weight if its a wheel cart, and then 10x the weight on a rail track. Then to earn championship points after your first title, you only need to pull 5x body weight on snow, but you must pull 10x weight for wheels and 20x weight on rails! The more you pull the more points you earn, up to a max of 20 pts per event. Some titles can be earned by pulling on any of the surfaces. Other titles are for showing off versatility and the dog must earn so many points in two or all 3 of the surfaces to get them. There are 6 titles total you can earn.

IWPA is another organization just for pulling, and they accept all breeds. I have never pulled with them however because the closest pulls in my region are over 3 hours away, up North. We have enough to do with everything else in the dog world that I don't need to make those kind of drives for this. lol

http://www.iwpa.net/

APA is another one I just found this winter doing some googling. They have some pulls very close to home this summer so I am looking forward to going. I don't think they're a very big or influential organization to bother pulling with, at least for Basenjis, but will be nice to check it out.

http://www.weightpull.com/

I think these are all the ones that will accept all breeds. Both IWPA and APA I think give points based on class placements, so I know they have some different formats than UKC.

The only thing you really need is a custom fitted harness. It's an investment of about $50 -100 depending on who you go with and what you make of it. There are 3 harness makers that I've either used or know others personally who have, and they all do nice work and come highly recommended.

Missy Kehler - The Working Canine (she's in the middle of redoing her site)
http://www.theworkingcanine.com/

Harnesses By Carol
http://harnessesbycarol.com/

CD Pits
http://www.itsmysite.com/cdpits/

Most of these sites also have links to training articles, so search thoroughly. ๐Ÿ™‚

Our club got to host the "national" snow pull this year for UKC, organized by UNWPA. Here's a link to my little Roxie placing 4th in her class of 8, beating out 4 other Basenjis. This was only two weeks after her very first pulls. (And yes, there's more than one of us crazy Basenji people out here!) And two of those placing Staffies flew out from CA for this! lol Our lovely frigid below freezing MI temps were so welcoming. ๐Ÿ™‚ And check out our little racing friend BJ, the IG!

http://www.unitednationalweightpullassociation.com/2009%20shows/UNWPAsnowpull2009.htm

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