How to Train Your Dog to Ride in a Bike Basket

Easy
1-2 Weeks
Fun

Introduction

If you have ever seen a little dog in a basket on a bike, you'll understand the hot trend of taking your dog on bike rides. Dogs can become injured when running alongside their owners on bikes if they are leashed. It doesn't take much for a distracted dog to get tangled up in your bike wheels or for the leash to get tangled up in spokes. A dog who is on a leash running beside a bike can also pull their owner and the bike over. Putting your dog in a basket keeps your dog safe and gives you an opportunity for an enjoyable bike ride. Basket dogs are typically small breeds to medium-sized breed dogs. Training your dog to ride in a basket takes a little bit of time but once your dog gets it down the two of you can enjoy long and leisurely bike rides together.

Defining Tasks

Training your dog to ride in your bike basket is not a complicated task, however, it will take time and patience. You will probably want a tiny breed, small breed, or a smaller medium-sized dog to ride in your bike basket. Building confidence and trust with your dog is imperative as you are going to put him in the basket and ride, which is a sensation he may not be used to. Go slow with this training so your dog can get used to not only the feel of sitting in the basket but also the lack of control he will have and his inability to jump out of the basket. Also, have some patience and go slow on your bike for the first several rides. You don't want to scare your dog by doing a long bumpy ride first. Plan your training sessions so it becomes an exciting event for the two of you to share together.

Getting Started

To put your dog in a bike basket you're going to need a bike and a basket. Be sure you pick a basket that is appropriate for your dog. Check out the height of your dog as he sits in the basket and make sure he is not too tall so he doesn't fall out or try to leap out. You may want to consider comfort as well when you purchase your basket. Some dogs will not like the basket weaving texture or wicker plastic underneath their paws. You can put some cloth, a small pillow, or blanket inside the basket to keep your dog more comfortable. Keep some high-value treats on hand to reward your dog for a job well done.

The Daily Rides Method

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Step
1
Introduction
Introduce your dog to the idea of being in a basket by carrying him around in a basket. You can also use a dog purse or tiny dog carrier. Try to pick something that has an open top like your bike basket so the dog isn’t confined and will remember the feeling of an open basket.
Step
2
Bike basket
To introduce your dog to a bike basket, place him inside the basket and stand next to him. Hold on to him and pet him, keep him calm, and talk to him about the basket. If your dog is overly excited and you fear him jumping out, you can harness him with a leash holding him into the basket so he doesn't jump out.
Step
3
Walk your bike
Before you take your dog for a bike ride, walk the bike around with the dog sitting in the basket so he can get used to the movement of the bike. Keep petting him and talking to him so he knows he is okay and safe.
Step
4
Slow ride
As your dog gets used to the bike basket, go for a slow bike ride down a short distance, such as your driveway. You may want to make this on level ground rather than riding a hill that may scare your dog.
Step
5
Distance
After introducing your dog to riding the bike with you, increase your distance a little bit, but at this point, to try to keep the riding smooth and level.
Step
6
Bumps
Once your dog is more comfortable with his bike ride, increase the challenge by finding a small bump or two to ride across so he can feel bumps and know what to expect. At this point, you can introduce a command such as 'bump' so he knows every time he hears that word the feeling he will expect of riding over a bump in the basket on your bike.
Step
7
Practice
Continue practicing with your dog in the basket. Be sure to talk to your dog so he understands he is safe and give him rewards in the form of treats every so often and certainly when your bike ride is over.
Recommend training method?

The Comfort Ride Method

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Step
1
Right size basket
Be sure you are purchasing a basket which is the right size for your dog. You may need to measure and weigh your dog before you purchase your basket so you know how well he will fit inside and how comfortable he will be. You don't want to basket that is too big, giving him too much room to move around. And you don't want to basket that is too small, making his ride scary and uncomfortable.
Step
2
Materials
Consider the materials the baskets are made of when you purchase your bike basket for your dog. You should also know what your dog may like and how safe tiny paws will be in something like plastic or wicker.
Step
3
Comfort
If you go on long rides, your dog may want to lay down and snuggle inside the basket. If you line the basket with a pillow or a blanket for him to stay warm and out of the wind or to nap comfortably, be sure to include that in the sizing of the basket. You don't want to increase the height of your dog to the point where he cannot sit in the basket safely without falling out.
Step
4
Secure
Purchase a leash, harness, or tether to attach to the basket so your dog is unable to jump out of your basket. Even a well-trained dog can panic and jump out. Make sure your dog is tethered inside the basket. Consider this a seatbelt keeping your dog safe in a moving vehicle.
Step
5
Off-bike
Introduce your basket and materials you plan to use with it, including the tether to keep your dog inside the basket while it is off your bike. Have your dog sit in his basket, tether him, and sit down with him while still inside your home. Talk to him about the basket and what your expectations are as you go for a ride.
Step
6
Attach the basket
When you attach the basket to your bike, talk to your dog and get him excited about being inside and going for a bike ride. Before you get on your bike, walk the bike around so your dog can get used to sitting in the basket he's already comfortable in while on top of the bike while it's moving.
Step
7
Gentle ride
Start out with slow and short, gentle rides. These first few rides shouldn't have any bumps in the road, hills, or high speeds.
Step
8
Increase
As your dog gets used to riding in the basket, increase your distance and increase the distractions your dog will find on the road while you are moving along, as well as increase the hazards like bumps and hills in your path.
Step
9
Reward
Be sure to reward your dog every time you successfully go on a bike ride. You may want to reward him with treats when you are introducing the basket to him as well.
Recommend training method?

The Quiet Ride Method

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Step
1
Inside basket
Keeping your dog's safety in mind, place him inside your bike basket.
Step
2
Leash and tether
Connect a leash to your dog's collar or harness and attach that to your bike basket. This will keep your dog from jumping out of the basket. You may consider having a tether on each side of your dog's collar or harness to be sure he's not able to jump to one side but not the other.
Step
3
Basket walk
Pushing the handlebars of your bike, walk next to your dog, moving the bike forward. This will help your dog get used to the movement of a bike without you being on the bike. Your dog will also be able to see you walking beside him.
Step
4
Ride
Once your dog is used to being tethered in the basket and walking slowly with the bike it is time to climb onto your bike. Very slowly, travel on a flat surface.
Step
5
Bumps and hills
Introduce your dog to small bumps and little hills as he gets used to riding in the bike basket. Keep your road hazards and challenges to a minimum for the first several rides until your dog is used to riding and is not showing any signs of fear.
Step
6
Practice
Continue to practice riding your bike with your dog in his basket as often as you can for short rides until he gets used to it. You can even use the same phrase each time you decide to go for a ride to get your dog excited about riding in his basket on your bike.
Step
7
Rewards
Be sure to reward your dog after every trip in the bike basket.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

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