Can you imagine how much better your life would be if you could control your dog?
In the same way, can you imagine how much better your life would be if you could control the train?
Yes, yes I know. You’re probably thinking that this is a complete joke and it’s only a marketing ploy to sell some kind of pet training app. But that’s not it at all.
That is why we are here. We are here because we know that this is something people care about. And it is a fair bet they will want something like Train Dog Running Trainer, which aims to make this possible by teaching dogs to run with their owners on our indoor bike track in London .
Train Your Dog to Follow You on a Bike
I didn’t have a dog when I was growing up and so it gave me a degree of separation between kids and dogs. As I got older, I found myself getting more involved with the kids’ programs and as a result had to spend more time at the local dog park. But it was still very hard to get my dog to follow me on a bike — so I set out to figure out how I could make this work.
I spent hours talking with other trainers, looking at their videos, reading books, attending classes and asking around at the dog parks. A lot of what I learned was about how you train your dogs in general; how do you keep them happy and healthy; what makes them motivated.
It was good that much of that information is out there; but there were some things which were just not applicable (e.g., “No matter what you do, your dog will always be disappointed” and “If you want your dog to learn something new, you have to make it easy for them”). In the end though, I think that all of that information helped me come up with productive training plans for my dogs — likely better than any of those trainers could have come up with on their own. It also helped me see that some of the most common myths about training can be broken down into useful pieces:
• Believing that if something isn’t fun enough your dog will never try it again
• Believing that if something is too hard or is more expensive than your dogs current preferred alternative then they will give up right away (which simply isn’t true)
• Believing that if something isn’t associated with past positive experiences then they won’t like it (which again isn’t true)
• Believing that if something is too stressful then they will never get used to it (which again isn’t true)
The above is not an exhaustive list so please feel free to add any others from your experience as well. In short: let’s focus on training behaviors instead of trying to build perfect machines (that are only going to end up being good pets). That way we can train our dogs well regardless of whether we enjoy it or not — which should translate into happier puppies 🙂
Teaching Your Pet to Stay
In order to understand how to train a dog, you have to understand the dog. People often think they know what their pet wants, but they don’t. Dogs don’t have any mental categories and they have no concept of “good” or “bad” (at least not the way we do). Your pet is just like you are, when it comes down to it.
From a scientific point of view, training is broken down into 3 phases: 1) acquisition of the behavior (or behavioral repertoire), 2) shaping of that behavior and 3) extinction of the behavior (or removal of stimuli used in the acquisition process). The first two phases are well understood in both animal training and human learning.
The third phase can only be understood by a close knowledge of what your pet is trying to communicate — which unfortunately only someone who has been a pet owner for some time will be able to accomplish.
Teaching Your Dog to Be a Good Runner
I hate to break it to you, but there are a lot of people out there who don’t like dogs. Well, you know who you are. I mean, do you really want your dog to run with a bike? Just kidding!
I’m not going to tell you that dogs are some kind of phenomenon — though they are — and even if they aren’t, I wouldn’t use dog as my title for this post. My main point is that the market for dogs running with bikes is still pretty young and growing rapidly. And even if it were more mature, judging by the number of posts we get per month, a lot more people would be interested in the topic than they currently are (which makes me sad).
• There is a lot of information that needs to be organized into something that can be referred to easily (this is a good place to start).
• The topic itself needs a clear definition: what kind of training do we mean? The beginning answer might be “any training where your dog runs/sprints/swings with something” (which would include things like doing agility courses and playing fetch), but “dog running with bike” isn’t as clear-cut as “dog skipping across the park.”
• The objective here isn’t just to make sure your dog doesn’t develop hip dysplasia or any other chronic condition (although those are nice too), it is also about getting them accustomed to being in motion. It takes time for your dog to get used to moving in general but when it comes time for them to learn how fast he should go on his own — i.e., when he has learned how long he can go without stopping — then he has already begun his journey towards being an excellent runner (and being harnessed up for exercise also helps here). So having made it through both training sessions, now we need another training session: start him off slowly enough so he doesn’t overdo it and then gradually increase speed (by building up intervals) until his pace becomes acceptable on his own and then take him out further than he ever could before on his own (at which point we will probably have our first success story!).
It’s not about making your dog look good; building confidence in their ability will help them become better runners in the long term. It’s all about creating an
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have something to say, please let me know in the comments. If you want to join the discussion, feel free to leave a comment as well (but please do). Thank you for reading and I hope you’ll come back for more!