How to Train a Husky to Pull a Bike

Medium
1-4 Weeks
Work

Introduction

Your Husky draws eyes wherever he goes. But I suppose this is hardly surprising, given his mesmerizing eyes and Arctic appearance. You love your Husky and everyone else seems to as well. Top of your dog's fan list, however, is probably your young children. They love spending their weekends rolling around with them in the yard. In fact, getting them to sleep when the dog is around is somewhat of a challenge, to say the least. You want to put all of their energy to good use while encouraging your kids to learn a valuable life skill - cycling. 

Training your Husky to pull a bike could help do just that. It will encourage your kids to jump up onto the saddle. It will also put your Husky’s endless energy to good use. Instead of keeping them up in the evenings, they will be fast asleep recovering from the afternoon’s work.

Defining Tasks

Although it may sound challenging, training your Husky to pull a bike isn’t as complex as you might think. The hard part comes in initially conveying to them what it is you want them to do. You then need to use positive reinforcements to encourage them to keep pulling. Another challenge will come in getting them to pull the bike safely. So you will need to build their confidence, use a leash and run alongside them, to begin with.

If your Husky is just a puppy, they should be eager to please and highly responsive. However, if he is older, greying and verging on the lazy side, then you may need a month or more before he's pulling a bike without problems. If you can get training right, you’re guaranteed to have the most popular dog on the street and highly likely to appear on social media all over the state.

Getting Started

Before you start work, you will need to get your hands on a few things. A bike will be the first essential. A drag or plank of wood will also be required. You will also need a rope or a long leash. A body harness may also be required. This will reduce the strain on the dog's neck while increasing your control.

You will then need mouth-watering treats and a decent space to practice in. A large yard or local field should do the job. You will need to set aside half an hour, several times a week.

Once you have all that, just bring enthusiasm and some trainers, then work can begin!

The Take It Slow Method

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Step
1
Familiarity
Before you start training your dog to pull a bike, you need to get them familiar with all the tools. That means walking them around the bike and your drag. Let them sniff and get comfortable. You don’t want them bolting out of fear when they see the bike coming.
Step
2
Setting up
Use a treat to capture the dog's attention and keep them calm while you secure them to a body harness. Then attach a long leash or rope to a drag behind. You want to get them comfortable dragging something smaller and lighter than a bike to begin with.
Step
3
Encouragement
Now stand in front of your Husky and hold out a treat. Slowly walk backwards and call their name to encourage them to follow you.
Step
4
Reward
After they have successfully pulled the drag 20 or so yards, stop and hand over a reward. You can give them some verbal praise too. Now practice for 10 minutes every couple of days. However, make them pull the drag for longer each time before you give them the reward.
Step
5
Bike time
Once they are used to pulling, you can upgrade to the bike. Secure the rope/leash securely to the center of your bike’s handlebars. This will afford whoever is riding the most control. Then follow exactly the same steps to get the dog pulling it while a helper rides on the bike. Once they have the hang of it, you can stop walking in front of them to encourage them. They will know what’s expected of them by this point.
Recommend training method?

The Run First Method

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Take the dog running
Before you can train your Husky to pull a bike, you need to make sure they are comfortable running. So secure them to a leash and practice calmly jogging with the dog next to you. Gradually increase the distance you run for each time.
Step
2
Setting up
Now secure the dog's body harness, long leash and the bike. Make sure you have around 10 to 15 feet of rope/leash between the dog and the bike. This will give the rider on the bike time to brake. Spend a few minutes just sitting around until the dog is calm and comfortable.
Step
3
Run along side
Now start jogging next to the dog as you do when you are on a walk. Take it slow to start with and give them breaks every couple of minutes. It will take a while for their muscles to get used to pulling the weight. Remain calm and keep them focused as you jog.
Step
4
Lure
To keep the dog concentrating, you can hold out a lure. You can use a tasty treat or a favorite toy. Just hold it alongside and wave it around whenever they get distracted.
Step
5
Reward & practice
Make sure each time you stop that your dog gets a reward. If you use a clicker you can click now to signal to your Husky they have done a good job. Now just gradually build up the time and distance they run for pulling the bike.
Recommend training method?

The Directions Method

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Start with walking
Secure your Husky to a leash and head out for a walk. You can then teach them basic directional commands, such as ‘left’, ‘right’, ‘start’ and ‘stop’. Use actions to show them what you mean and reinforce each command with mouth-watering treats.
Step
2
Bike friendly
Now you need to get your dog familiar with the bike. Walk them around it, let them sniff and investigate. Also have someone sit on there so they know what to expect.
Step
3
Start line
Now secure your Husky to a long leash and the bike. Make sure you use a body harness too.Practice in a relatively quiet space to start with, so they can hear your instructions.
Step
4
‘Start’
Give your ‘start’ command then gradually start going. Use the brakes to make sure they don’t run too quickly to begin with. Then cycle only for a minute or two to start with. It’s important they get a rest and well-deserved treat.
Step
5
Reward
Give a reward each time the dog stops. If you use a clicker, now is the time to click too. Then just practice regularly, building up the distance each time. You can then start practicing in busier and more challenging environments.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

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