How to Train Your Dog to Rollerblade With You

Hard
1-3 Months
Fun

Introduction

Rollerblading is undoubtedly a fun exercise and can be even more exciting if you can rollerblade with your dog. Rollerblading together is an incredible way to not only bond with your dog but also keep him fit and healthy. When you rollerblade, your speed is much faster than when you are walking or potentially even if you are running. So your dog can get some great exercise as well if you rollerblade next to him. 

There are some safety issues to think about when rollerblading with your dog. You will need to trust that your dog understands all of the basic commands and will stop when you ask him to stop. Before heading out on rollerblades, your dog needs to be able to run next to you without pulling you along and without being distracted by the environment. If you have this trust with your dog and your dog understands all of these advanced, as well as basic, commands, rollerblading together is something you can incorporate into your daily exercise routine.

Defining Tasks

Before you get on rollerblades and head out with your dog, be sure he understands advanced commands such as 'heel'. You will also expect your dog to follow basic commands such as ‘wait’ and ‘leave it.’ These will be imperative as you are rollerblading together if your dog finds a distraction or a squirrel runs across his path. Safety needs to be a top priority when rollerblading with your dog, as you don't want your rollerblades to become entangled with his leash, and having your dog pull you along can certainly become a hazardous situation. A bond between a well-trained dog and his owner is one that is tight enough that could make this activity not only successful but also incredibly fun. Just be sure before you begin to have that trust built with your dog.

Getting Started

Training your dog to rollerblade with you will require rollerblades, but you may want to train without wheels to begin. You will need a leash and high-value treats to get this training started. Some owners who rollerblade, run, or even bicycle with their dogs look into exercise leashes that are easier to manage while controlling your dog on the move. Have some patience and take lots of time to teach your dog how to rollerblade with you for the safety of both of you. Don't expect to hop on rollerblades and take your dog out on a long blading adventure with you right off the bat.

The Behavior Focus Method

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Step
1
All commands
Be sure your dog is well trained with all the basic commands and will stop on command as well. If your dog does not know obedience commands and is not well trained, revisit these commands before attempting to rollerblade together. You both need to be safe, and you need to trust your dog will listen and obey.
Step
2
Leash
Pick an exercise leash that will keep your dog close and in your control. You may want to practice on a tight leash before letting the leash go longer.
Step
3
Start slow
With your rollerblades on and ready to go, hold your leashed dog close to you and begin to skate. Stay in an area you and your dog are comfortable in with little to no traffic and few distractions.
Step
4
Commands
While you are rollerblading, use commands your dog is familiar with as you are moving together. This will test his knowledge and commitment to making this exercise together work. Go through as many commands as you can getting your dog’s attention, making him stop, sit, stay, wait, and heel. You may even want to practice the 'leave it' command with a distraction or two along your path.
Step
5
Increase
As long as your dog is a good partner while blading and listens to your commands, increase the distance you two travel together on your rollerblades. Take this training slow and if you ever question whether your dog needs more practice, go back to a quiet path and practice the obedience commands together while on rollerblades.
Recommend training method?

The On Wheels Method

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Step
1
Rollerblades
Put on your rollerblades and get your dog ready to roll with a harness and a leash.
Step
2
Practice together
Pick a trail with little distractions or people and no traffic to minimize risk of injury while training. This could be your driveway or even inside your house if you have the space.
Step
3
Roll
As you would while walking, begin to move forward with your dog close to you on a tight leash.
Step
4
Challenge
As you are moving forward, stop on your rollerblades and give your dog commands to stop as well.
Step
5
Continue
Keep challenging your dog with various commands such as ‘sit,’ ‘leave it,’ and ‘wait’ as you rollerblade together. Each time you give a command, stop to ensure your dog knows he is to stop as well.
Step
6
Lengthen leash
As you and your dog are more used to rollerblading together, you can increase the length of the leash a bit to create more distance between you two and give him the privilege of walking or running on a loose leash. Be sure your dog is not pulling you along and obeys commands as you give them.
Recommend training method?

The Slow Training Method

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Step
1
Off wheels
Start by using words you’ll use while rollerblading together with your dog, but walking instead of on your wheels. As you do these first steps, talk with your dog about rollerblading and practice commands he needs to know before rollerblading together.
Step
2
Walk together
With a tight leash, walk up and down a sidewalk with your dog. Give him commands challenging him every few steps to 'stop', 'sit', 'stay', 'heel', and 'wait'. You may need to get your dog’s attention quickly and expect him to react right away while on rollerblades, so training and practicing off wheels is important to build that trust and expectation.
Step
3
On wheels
Put on your rollerblades and practice riding while your dog is leashed next to you. Just as you did walking, challenge him with quick commands, getting him to 'stop', 'sit', 'stay', and 'heel'. For these first few sessions out, place yourselves in a quiet environment or trail with few people or distractions. You may want to be away from any traffic as well.
Step
4
Practice
Keep practicing together but change your path to a place where your dog may find new distractions. You need to trust if your dog is distracted, you can use the ‘leave it’ command and he’ll let it go and not pull you along out of control.
Step
5
Loose leash
Your dog will want to run with you while you are rollerblading. This is an opportunity to loosen his leash and let him go once he is well trained and can be trusted to obey every command along the way. Before you let your dog go on a loose leash, be sure you can trust he will make good choices and keep you both safe. Also, make sure he is not pulling you but running with you at your speed.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

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