Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Dog scootering could be the perfect canine sport for those of us who are envious of the athletic coolness of mushing, but just aren't down with playing outdoors in frigid temps.
Not being the most graceful individual on the planet, I was a little leery of flying behind my chocolate Labrador, Wuppy, on some sort of tiny Razor scooter. Besides that, not many people over the age of nine look too hip on one of those contraptions. Turns out that's not the type of scooter used at all! What is used is a more sturdy, unmotorized scooter with mountain bike-like tires, brakes and sometimes front shocks.
Now that's the kind of quasi-retro conveyance I can dig. It's also the one I'm the least likely to go careening off of, potentially injuring both myself and my precious dog.
The sport of dog scootering does use some of the same equipment as dog sledding, namely the harness. A gangline attaches the harness to the scooter. You can even use more than one dog, which is actually recommended if your pooch weighs less than 30 pounds.
You can teach your dog the same commands used in mushing, but I probably won't. I have the utmost confidence in my dog’s ability to learn those, but not so much in myself. If I'm about to slam into a building or ongoing traffic, I know it's going to be English directions tumbling out of my mouth. Of course we'll have all common commands, like “whoa” and “leave it” down first.
That is exactly the reason I will be training on land, similar to Canicross – an excellent dog sport for active owners and pets – and then sticking to calm sidewalks and little-used streets at first. I will also most likely be sporting a helmet and some knee pads. I choose to believe these safety precautions will blend quite well with my retro vibe.
Speaking of safety, it's a good idea to have first aid supplies on hand for your dog while in training and on the go. The road can be brutal on tender paws. Don't forget to bring along some CANIDAE TidNips treats to reward and encourage your pet.
Urban landscapes and almost-countryside are more my speed, but maybe after we master dog scootering my Wuppy and I could get brave – and coordinated – enough to tackle some winter sports. Anyone up for some skijoring?
Do you enjoy dog scootering with your pet? What about any other games or sports?
Photo by Ashleigh290
Read more articles by Tamara McRill