Monday, July 7, 2008

Bikejoring - A Work in Progress

I've decided that in my inaugural post I'll just jump right in. Hopefully things will move quickly enough at first that this entrance will be easily overlooked.

So, I have two young English setters, Sage and Ike, 3 years and 2 years old, respectively. Still puppies for most purposes. This fall we're going on an extended bird hunting trip to Montana. Typically our season starts fairly lightly, hunting prairie chickens for a weekend in Kansas around the 15th of September. But this season we'll be starting a bit earlier, and will be hunting for almost two weeks straight. In order to have dogs that will not only last the long trip, but be productive as bird dogs (finding plentiful amounts of birds), it's important that we undertake an active physical training regimen to prepare not only the cardiovascular system, but the muscles, and pads of the feet.

To that end, the Kansas summer weather can be downright oppressive. The temperatures, even nighttime lows, don't allow for extended off-leash runs of an hour or more. Anything less isn't terribly beneficial. So, in the interest of time savings and applicable benefit, I decided to purchase some roading harnesses and use resitance training (roading) to whip the pups into shape. Basically, the dogs pull against a resistance, which effectivly compresses a longer free-run into a shorter period of time. Being a single guy and having no access to an ATV, I ruled out using my pick-up and opted to explore "bikejoring."

For the uninitiated, bikejoring is a little known sport in which dogs are used to pull a rider on a bicycle. A modification on the more popular skijoring, I can't find much written on the subject. Really, only two sites and a blog I found have useful information. Here are the links:

In the past week I've dived head first into this endeavor, purchasing an expensive mountain bike, the harnesses, and associated tack. So far I've worked each dog four times and have learned through trial and error (my favorite method) some of the finer points, which I plan to expand upon later.

1 comment:

Emo Guide said...

How horrible for those poor puppies!