Jump to section
We can get our dogs to do just about anything these days. Dogs can care for their caregivers, making them heroes. Dogs can exercise with us, watch over our children, and do super fun party tricks. Have you ever seen a dog ride a scooter?
You may not see as many dogs riding scooters as you see running on leashes with their owners or running next to bicycles or with strollers. But if you have the right scooter and the right height dog, you can teach your dog to ride a scooter too. This advanced trick is almost circus-like. Teaching your dog to ride a scooter will not only be fun and a super fun party trick but could also land your dog into a fantastically talented pet hall of fame. Imagine having a dog who could ride a scooter next to you while you're on another scooter or on a skateboard. The two of you could ride down to the coffee shop, grab a cup of joe and then ride to doggy daycare before you board yourself to work.
Training your dog to ride a scooter is not an easy feat. It will take lots of patience and time. Undertaking a training like this is a big commitment to having an incredibly fun and talented dog. Before you begin to train your dog to ride a scooter, your dog will need to know all of your basic obedience commands, as well as a handful of advanced commands. The bond between you as master and trainer and your dog as pet and friend will need to be strong. Dogs love to learn tricks like this if they are eager to do something new. You will need a dog who is the right height for the scooter you have. Most dogs who ride scooters use scooters with three wheels so they don't have to balance the scooter. The younger your dog is the easier he will be to train.
To train your dog to ride a scooter, you will need an appropriate size scooter. A plastic scooter tends to work better than metal scooters for your dog's paws and claws. A scooter with handles that are adjustable yet secure will help fit the scooter to your dog's height. Unless you have a tiny scooter or an extra large scooter, you're going to need a medium-sized dog for this trick. Though small breeds and tiny breeds can ride, they just cannot stand and reach handlebars. Always have a leash on hand during training, so your dog doesn't get loose or become injured. Be sure to have some incredibly high value treats to bring to training sessions to keep your dog motivated. A great attitude and a fun environment will also help to make this a successful training.
The Puppies Learn Method
At six months
Begin to introduce your dog to a scooter. With the scooter around your dog, let him see how it rolls, how it moves, how you hold the handlebars, and how the handlebars control the motion and movement of the scooter. You can be on it yourself, but go slow around your dog. You can also just push it around in front of your dog to introduce the smell, sounds, feel, and movement of the scooter.
Have your dog sit on the scooter. Ideally, you will have a three-wheel scooter that will be wider in the back than in the front. This will not only keep your dog safe and secure on the scooter but will also be wide enough in the back for your dog to be in a sitting position.
Train your dog to put his paws up on the handlebars. You can entice him by holding a treat up to the handlebars or you can help him by guiding his paws up to the handlebars. Either way, the first several times you attempt this, be sure you are standing in front of the scooter and keeping the front wheel from turning. You don't want your dog to push the handlebars, turn the wheel, and scare himself.
As you put your dog's paws up on the handlebars, give him a command to ride the scooter. This can be as simple as the word 'scooter' or you can use a phrase such as 'ride your scooter.' Be sure no matter what name you give this command, you are consistent every time.
Either by yourself or with a partner, support your dog's balance by holding him in place as you gently and slowly move the scooter forward.
As you slowly move the scooter forward, reinforce the action with excitement and enthusiasm. Try to keep your voice calm and quiet while being enthusiastic. A loud voice may scare your dog.
As you are moving especially slowly over these first few practices, offer your dog a treat every so often. Ultimately his reward will be riding the scooter as he gets used to this as a fun trick.
Continue to practice with short training sessions. A dog who is younger and hasn't had much practice only on his hind legs may not want to stay in this position very long. The more your dog practices and the older he gets, the more strength and better balance he will have to do this trick.
The Right Equipment Method
Spend some time picking out the perfect scooter. You will want one that has three wheels and is made of more plastic than metal. A three-wheeled scooter will be wider on the back, giving your dog more room to stay balanced. A scooter with wider grips on the handlebars will help your dog stay upright longer.
Lock front wheel
Either with your feet or with a block, lock the front wheel from turning or spinning. You also don't want the wheels to move forward while your dog is learning to put his paws up on the handlebars.
With a treat, encourage your dog to get on the scooter. Once he's on the scooter, ask him to sit.
Ask your dog to put his paws up on the handlebars. You can practice this before you introduce the scooter by having your dog jump up on your waist. You can also place a command on this movement or action such as 'paws up' or just the word 'up' can be used to tell your dog to place his paws up on the handlebars.
Repeat 'paws up' several times before you take the lock off of the front wheel of the scooter. This will train your dog to get up on the scooter while trusting that he can balance himself and the scooter won't move. Starting from the ground, have your dog climb on the scooter, get into a sitting position, and then place his paws up on the handlebars.
Slowly glide the scooter forward. If your dog needs assistance balancing, keep a hand on his back or belly to support him or have a partner standing next to the scooter to help keep your dog in place. These first several movements you will need to control the handlebars so the scooter is not out of control turning left and right.
Increase the amount of practice for all the steps, piecing them together one at a time. Once your dog is comfortable on this scooter, move it slowly. Once your dog is comfortable moving it slowly, go for longer distances. Take your time building up to more distance and more speed.
The Build Up Method
When your dog is a small puppy place him in a harness and a leash for safety and put him on top of a three-wheeled scooter. Do not expect him to lift his paws up to touch the handlebars; just keep him safe and secure on all four paws or in a sitting position.
Very gently and slowly, move the scooter forward so your dog can feel what it's like to ride a scooter.
Every day, or in the least as often as you can so that your dog does not forget, put your dog on the scooter and wheel him around.
As your dog grows taller, begin to introduce him to steering the scooter on his own using the handlebars. You will need a dog tall enough to reach the handlebars or you may need to lower the handlebars on your dog’s scooter. By this point, your dog should be well used to riding the scooter.
With a treat to entice your dog to stand up on his hind legs, encourage your dog to put his paws on the handlebars. Be sure you have the front wheel locked in place either using your feet or a block to keep the wheel from moving before you put your dog's paws on the handlebars.
Practice several times, having your dog balance his body on the scooter with his front paws up on the handlebars before you move the scooter.
Have a partner or yourself help your dog maintain your dog's balance while on his hind legs holding the handlebars with his front paws.
Slowly release the front wheel and move the scooter forward. Your dog should be used to how the scooter feels when it rides, but he may not be used to his paws up on the handlebars.
Keep practicing moving the scooter more distance and with more speed as your dog gets used to having his paws up on the handlebars. Training your dog to ride a scooter on his own will take time, patience, and commitment.
Written by Stephanie Plummer
Veterinary reviewed by:
Published: 11/21/2017, edited: 01/08/2021
More articles by Stephanie Plummer