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Taking your dog out with you when you ride your bike is a great way to shake up their daily exercise and to spend some fun, quality time with your pet. But to keep you both safe, simply holding their normal leash as they run alongside you, is not the way to go. You need to factor in your dog’s energy levels, size, and physical ability, and also be prepared for unexpected pulls, tugs, and sideways moves that could unbalance your bike. So, to keep your bike ride with your pooch safe and enjoyable, you should invest in a dog bicycle leash.
Designed to fix securely onto your bike and to also keep your dog at a safe distance and under control, dog bike leashes are the perfect solution to some freewheeling, canine/human fun. We take a look some of the best dog bike leashes you can currently buy so you can safely get biking with your pet.
With its stainless steel frame and paracord that has a pull strength of 550 pounds, the Walky Dog means business. Fixing securely to the bike’s seat post, this solid bike dog leash is also tough enough for larger, more energetic dogs. Quickly installed and compatible with most bikes, the Walky Dog may be a mid-priced product, but it offers peace of mind as you go for a ride with your pet. Complete with adjustable leash length and built-in shock absorbers to counter those sudden doggy pulls, it’s easy to use and is outdoor durable, thanks to the high carbon steel that’s rust and UV resistant. This is the ideal dog bicycle leash for lively breeds such as boxers and huskies who need the exercise as well as a higher level of control but can be easily used for most bike-confident medium to large sized dogs.
With its two-point strap attachment system, the DoggerJogger does away with the need for metal hardware, making it an easy option for casual bike rides with your pet. Made from soft, durable nylon, the two straps fit on the front and back of your bike frame on either side, maintaining your dog inside a safety zone as you ride. The bike tow leash attaches to your dog’s harness at the optimum angle and the bungee cord gives your pup constant feedback as to their position. And should there be a mishap, the DoggerJogger includes a breakaway section to enable your pet to quickly separate from the leash. It may not be the toughest leash for large, boisterous dogs or give you the same high level of control as metal attachment systems but for everyday short riding blasts in the park as a dog exerciser, this is a good value choice. Plus, when you get to your destination, simply remove from your bike and it works as a conventional dog leash.
Soft, durable nylon dog bike leash
Two-point strap system instead of metal attachment
If outdoor sports are your thing, then check out this retractable hands-free dog leash from Shine Hai. Whilst not a bike specific dog leash – it doesn’t fit to your bicycle but works via an adjustable band around your waist – it’s for multi-outdoor sports including biking. The design gives you hands-free control and includes a leash attached to a strong bungee cord that can absorb the shocks and twists of moving dogs up to 150 pounds. Placed along the bungee are two control handles – one on the dog collar – so you can directly control pulling and slow your dog when needed and there are reflective panels for visibility. This hands-free bike tow leash would work well on casual cycle rides with dogs that are comfortable to run alongside. It’s also an easy go-to for jogging or hiking with your dog – or even walking with your pooch if you need your hands free for pushing a stroller. A good value dog exerciser.
The Springer Dog Exerciser claims to take up to 90% of the force when your pooch tugs on the leash as you ride. Thanks to the steel spring situated low on the arm attachment fitted to your bicycle, this means you can weather the rough as well as the smooth of a ride out with your dog. The metal attachment also keeps your canine at a controllable distance and the whole clamp system can be used on either side of your bike. The attachment also comes with an 18-inch rope which can be adjusted in length to suit your dog and their size. And should your pooch find themselves entangled or on the wrong side of an obstacle as you cycle, there’s a safety release on the attachment so he can break free. This dog bike leash can work with multiple pets, just choose to buy the optional adapter so you can ride your bike with two dogs at a time.
Dog bike leash with steel clamp
Can be fitted on either side of standard bikes
Spring leash absorbs up to 90% of pulling force
Adjustable leash – ideal for large or stronger dogs
It’s the stability that you notice in the design of our Premium Pick dog bike leash, allowing your pet good freedom of movement while keeping your both safe as you ride. Made from sturdy metal tubing that clamps to your bike and houses the leash, the Bike Tow reacts to your dog’s movement as if you were holding the leash yourself. It also absorbs the jolts as your dog walks or runs beside you, meaning you feel more secure in the bike seat. Easy to fit on to your bike’s rear frame, no tools are needed although it only works on the left side. However, it can be used with trikes and mobility scooters. The Bike Tow is also a good all-round bicycle attachment for dogs, working with canines from 10 to 185 pounds.
Bike dog walker for dogs from 10 to 185 pounds
Arm designed to prevent tipping, tangling and side steering
No-tools required and easy to fit
Works with the left side of most bikes, trikes and mobility scooters
A great choice for any avid bike rider, this hands-free leash comes as an easy-to-install package. A flexible attachment system allows this option to sit on most bike sizes, and a rubber grip ensures it will always stay in place, once secured. With a 15-inch guide pole, this is a good option for dogs who aren’t too stressed about staying nearby, as you ride.
The shock absorption leash means you won’t suddenly find yourself being pulled along by an excitable pup. At the same time, the stainless steel guide pole will resist most weather, making this a great option for daily riders.
Our Best Value pick is an effective way to absorb the jerks and pulls of both walking your dog or taking him for casual bike rides. Made from high elasticity latex, covered by nylon in a high-vis shade, the Yangbaga Dog Shock Absorber is a great little addition to your bike accessories for dogs kit bag. The principle is simple – use as an extension to your existing leash to absorb the natural tension between you and your dog as you walk, jog or cycle, protecting you from shoulder and arm injury or strain. The extension leash fits easily to most dog leads, collars and harnesses and gives that little bit extra when it comes to safety and control. The Dog Shock Absorber is suitable to use with dogs of all sizes and is sturdy enough to withstand chewing.
For multi-pet households, we like the simplicity of Bike and Dog’s leash which enables you to ride with up to three of your pooches at once. Made from tough but flexible nylon, the leash attaches to the rear axle of your bike, which reduces the force exerted by your dog as you move along. There are no metal attachments, so fitting is quick and easy, and the leash can be secured either side with a metal carabiner clip. Your dog is kept at a safe distance from your bike, while still under close control and you can extend the leash with other Bike and Dog leashes to attach another dog. The leash can also be used on scooters or when you are simply walking several pooches and need to keep them all close and safe.
Nylon bicycle leash with metal carabiner attachment
The Sunlite is a good value metal dog bike leash with a durable attachment that fits easily to the rear axle of your bicycle. The rigid pole keeps your pup at a safe distance from your bike while the low rear positioning helps to reduce force and keep your steering stable. No tools are needed for fitting the clamp section to your bike and it works with most standard bicycles and there’s a quick release mechanism should your doggo get tangled on an obstacle. This bike leash is best used with a harness for safety but for around 30 bucks you get a decent dog bike leash that should be strong enough for even larger pets.
There’s an emphasis here on the materials used to create a sturdy dog leash for bikes. For starters, it’s made with a high carbon stainless steel, which is makes it more resistant to bends, while remaining weather resistant. Secondly, the silicone grip makes sure that your guide pole stays in place and keeps your dog safe.
Speaking of which, the 16.5-inch guide pole is longer than many other on the market. Which means it’s better suited to dogs who aren’t so keen on bikes, or those who prefer to keep their pup a little farther away. Highly adaptable to match the dimensions of most bikes, this hands free dog leash can suit any style of bike riding.
Features to Consider When Buying a Dog Bike Attachment
Safety and compatibility are paramount when using a dog bike leash. When choosing a new bike leash attachment system, always consider the following:
It keeps your dog at an appropriate distance: There should never be any risk your dog can come in contact with the wheels of your bike, back or front. Many bike leashes come with a fixed metal bar that attaches to your bike frame so that your dog is kept at a safe distance. If you do opt for a flexible leash system, then always ensure it has an effective break-away feature which releases the attachment should the leash get entangled in your wheels.
It works with your bike: A badly fitting bike leash and attachment is not safe so ensure the model you’re looking to buy is compatible with your bike. Most attachments fit to either your bike’s frame or seat post.
It’s the right type for your dog (or dogs): The dog leash and attachment need to be the best type for your dog, or if you plan to exercise more than one, can safely be adapted to accommodate more than one pet at a time. Consider the strength of the leash in relation to your dog, his size and whether he has a tendency to pull. And while your dog may be used to a collar, for total safety ride with him in a harness, making sure your new attachment can be paired with it.
Durable construction: You don’t want your excited pooch to pull you off balance as you cycle. The strongest attachments are made from steel, but can be heavy while aluminum is lighter, but won’t be quite as strong. Some sort of shock absorbing springs on the attachment can also help to take the strain if your pup pulls too hard and prevent you from taking an unexpected fall.
Easy to install: An over complicated dog bike system is going to take time to fit and may require more tools and mechanical know-how. While you want the attachment to be secure and robust, you also want it to be easy to install and remove.
Left and right compatible: For total flexibility look for a dog bike leash that can be fitted on either side of your bike, so you get the right fit and positioning for each biking session with your dog.
How to Train Your Dog to Run Next to a Bicycle
It’s one thing having the best dog bike leash you can buy, but another to get your pet to actually run alongside your bike safely. The variables of a dog, speed, and a cycle in a public space means you need to build up to using the bike leash with your dog, taking the time to do some training. Here are our top training tips:
If your dog is not familiar with your bike, start by introducing them to it, first standing and stationary, and then getting him to walk alongside you as you walk with your bike.
Attach him to the dog bike leash and let him get used to it, while stationary and then as you walk with the bike, first in a safe, enclosed space, then outside
If your dog doesn’t already know them, take your time to train him in the commands of ‘slow’, ‘turn’ and ‘stop’ as well as getting him to pay attention on command.
Once you are happy with his responses and also comfort levels attached to the bike, start by taking him on short rides in a quiet area, say a little used road or in the park.
Gradually increase the speed and length of each ride, monitoring their response and stamina levels so you find his ‘happy’ cycling place.
Safety Tips for Biking with Your Dog
As well as training your dog to run alongside your bike, there are also some key things you can do to keep you both safe as you enjoy your ride:
Always be aware of your dog’s abilities, both physically and when it comes to their breed and size, and then adjust your pedaling and speed to match so he is not running to keep up.
Also, choose the terrain of your ride to suit your dog – this should be enjoyable for them too after all.
Never hold your dog’s ordinary leash in your hand as you cycle along, always use a dog bike leash with a well-fitted attachment to keep you both safe.
Use a harness on your dog, rather than their collar and ensure it fits with your bike attachment. You will have more control of your dog and the ride will be smoother if you have them in a well-fitted harness.
Pack a few dog treats and a water bottle and travel bowl in a rucksack or pannier so you can keep your dog well hydrated and their energy levels constant as you ride.
Look after your dog’s feet, especially if you are cycling on rougher terrain or in the summer and the pavements are hot. Use paw protectors if you need to and always check their feet at the beginning and end of the ride to ensure they are healthy and not sore.
If the weather is too warm (or too bad), your pooch has an injury or appears to be reluctant, call time on your bike ride plans – there’s always another day.
Q: What is a bicycle dog leash and how does it work?
A: Simply put, a bicycle dog leash attaches securely to your bike so that you can have your pet running alongside you, under control, as you go on a bike ride. There’s a wide choice of dog bike leashes out there, but the majority attach to your bike via a bar that fixes onto the frame or seat post and keep your dog at a safe distance from your bike wheels as they run. You can also buy bike leashes that attach directly to your bike and are designed to quick-release and can also be used as ordinary dog leads when you decide to go for a walk. Many dog bike leashes also have a shock-absorbing system so that if your dog pulls or tugs as he runs, you are not going to be pulled off balance and potentially fall.
Q: Can I use a bike tow leash with my electric bike?
A: There should be no problem using a dog tow leash with an electric bike, as long as the attachment is appropriate, it is safely fitted and both you and your pet are comfortable. But always be aware of your speed as it can creep up without you realizing and you could be going a little too fast for your hardworking pet.
Q: Is my dog suited for a bike leash?
A: Running alongside you as you ride your bike is not going to be for every dog so never force a reluctant doggo to come out with you. And while they may seem willing, using a bike leash is not a good idea for smaller or toy-sized dogs and can be unsafe as well as beyond your little dog’s physical abilities.
Skittish, nervous, out of condition or older dogs are also not best suited to running alongside a bike, so you may need to consider another way to bring them along with you, perhaps a dog basket or travel pack so they can still enjoy the ride.
The Walky Dog Plus Dog Bicycle Exerciser Leash is an impressive dog lead attachment that enables you to ride with even high energy or larger breeds. Quick and easy to install and remove, you get a high carbon stainless steel frame and a leash pull cord that boasts a pull strength of up to 550 pounds. Add in an adjustable bike leash length and inner shock absorbers to counter sudden pulls or movement and you have a top way to enjoy bicycling with your pooch.
A freelance writer and word nerd, Wendy is a content writer with a knack for getting into the nitty-gritty of pet ownership. For the past three years, she’s been researching and writing a huge range of different topics – but always comes back to her beloved pet articles. Lover of all things four-legged and owner of Harley, Pepper and Rush, Wendy is currently completing her MNSW at Edge Hill University.