Our homemade dog pulling gear guide for:
First note that it may be less confusing for your dog if you use a harness for pulling activities and a collar and leash for walks.
We also would like to caution against running a dog continuously on hard surfaces such as paved roads. Comet usually ended up limping if he ran too hard; he did much better on dirt roads or grassy areas.
Also, please make sure that your dog has periodic access to water if he or she has been running a lot...
The video at left shows how Dan Kirouac attaches his sled dogs via a 7-foot homemade tug line to a bicycle.
He uses a 6-foot doubled bungee cord to make a section that is 3 feet long. The loop end wraps around the front stem of the bicycle.
This bungee section serves to lessen the shock on the dog when it takes off pulling, or when the rider has to brake suddenly.
To make the remainder of the tug line, he removed the hooks from the doubled bungee cord and fastened the raw ends securely to 4 feet of polypropylene rope. The rope has a snap on the end.
He made a DIY rope guard out of a bent metal rod by adding handle bar extensions and inserting the rod ends into those. This guard keeps the tug line from getting tangled in the bike wheels and fork.
The tug line is attached to a cross-back harness in the middle of the dog's back. He mentions you should ALWAYS: keep your eyes on your dog since he or she may suddenly stop or veer off, have good brakes in working order, and make yourself visible to others in the environment.
Run cross country with your dog pulling you, and fly! Be sure to carry plenty of water for both of you if it's hot weather. For more information, see Beginners Guide to Canicross.
Here are instructions for making a hands free leash which, like the bikejoring leash described above, uses a section of bungee cord to provide shock absorption.
Rather than pulling someone on a bicycle, this dog sport involves a person being pulled along on an adult size scooter with brakes (NOT those Razor kinds).
You should be able to use the tug line (called a "gang line" in the video) developed by Dan Kirouac for this form of dog exercise, along with the X-back harness or a shorty pulling harness.
Note that more than one dog can be used. If you do run two dogs, you will want to have a short section of leash that hooks their collars together so the dogs stay level with one another.
A related type of equipment, the Dog Powered Scooter has been designed by Mark Schuette of Bend, Oregon. In this instance, he uses a metal frame to attach and keep the dog(s) at the side of the person riding the scooter.
While developing this device, Mark discovered several precautions that are necessary to prevent owner and dog injuries. He thus recommends against building a homemade version.
(If you plan to buy his device, mention of our site may entitle you to a discount).
Go to Rollerjoring for info about roller- or inline skating with your dog pulling you. This can be highly dangerous and you will need to be an expert skater with good reflexes, as well as have a very responsive dog.
The folks who created the YouTube video, Skijoring With Dogs Winter 2010, report that they make all their own gear for skijoring, which is having your dogs pull you while you're on skis.
The equipment is basically the same as for Canicross - be sure to have a quick release buckle so that you can release yourself from the dogs if things get out of control.
Again, you will need to be an experienced skier for this to work. Note that this sport has grown so quickly it even has a World Cup competition with sprints and distance races! When there is no snow, some people practice skijoring on rollerskis.