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Riding Bikes with Dogs in Canberra?

By MerryMerryn 3 April 2013 32

Hi Canberra.

I recently started riding my bike around the fantastic bike paths here in Canberra. I’d like to go riding with my dog (Belgian Shepherd – Best Dog Ever), but I’ve been told previously that it’s illegal to be in control of a dog whilst riding a bike.

Is it? I tried google, but kept getting conflicting information, and none specifying ACT regulations and road rules.

Thanks in advance for your help!


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Riding Bikes with Dogs in Canberra?
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Watson 9:43 am 05 Apr 13

Debut69 said :

I admit, I used to do this all the time with my kelpie. Until the day someone else’s dog lunged at him as we passed and caused my well behaved, beautifully trained and non- agressive pooch to run into my bike to get away. Luckily, he wasn’t seriously hurt.
I was mortified that I had put my dog in this situation and NEVER did it again. I just don’t think you can guarantee that nothing untoward will happen. Not worth it.

You can buy special leads for bikes to prevent a dog from doing this. No idea if they work though as I’ve never seen them in action.

I do think bike and dog on lead are a risk, especially if you ride at speed.

I did ride into my dog on a couple of occasions because she jumped or stopped dead in front of the bike when she was off leash. At low speed and she wasn’t hurt. It was ultimately the only way she finally learnt to keep her distance.

Debut69 8:12 am 05 Apr 13

I admit, I used to do this all the time with my kelpie. Until the day someone else’s dog lunged at him as we passed and caused my well behaved, beautifully trained and non- agressive pooch to run into my bike to get away. Luckily, he wasn’t seriously hurt.
I was mortified that I had put my dog in this situation and NEVER did it again. I just don’t think you can guarantee that nothing untoward will happen. Not worth it.

gungsuperstar 11:32 pm 04 Apr 13

Sic said :

According to some people, this is cruel.

These are probably the same people who feed their dogs more expensive meals than most kids get, let them piss and s*** wherever they want and bring a pram to put the dog in when they go for a walk just incase it gets “too tired”.

I hope the dog that you treat as a toy, and as a “thing” rather than as a member of your family eats you when you die.

Oh, you don’t have a dog? Shut your hole then and piss off. Who the hell are you to judge people who love and cherish their companions.

You sound like the type who beats your dog – and your wife – into submission and thinks they’re doing things for you because they like you.

Madam Cholet 8:10 pm 04 Apr 13

Sic said :

According to some people, this is cruel.

These are probably the same people who feed their dogs more expensive meals than most kids get, let them piss and s*** wherever they want and bring a pram to put the dog in when they go for a walk just incase it gets “too tired”.

johnboy said :

well there’s a bunch of unfounded assumptions and sweeping generalisations.

Exactly.

Sic 7:41 pm 04 Apr 13

According to some people, this is cruel.

These are probably the same people who feed their dogs more expensive meals than most kids get, let them piss and s*** wherever they want and bring a pram to put the dog in when they go for a walk just incase it gets “too tired”.

    johnboy 7:42 pm 04 Apr 13

    well there’s a bunch of unfounded assumptions and sweeping generalisations.

poetix 9:18 pm 03 Apr 13

IrishPete said :

The last Belgian Shepherd I knew did not have the use of its back legs, so had a little platform with wheels to allow it to remain mobile. That could work quite well behind a bike, I think.

….

IP

So long as it had a functioning belge attached to its collar…

IrishPete 8:01 pm 03 Apr 13

The last Belgian Shepherd I knew did not have the use of its back legs, so had a little platform with wheels to allow it to remain mobile. That could work quite well behind a bike, I think.

It also couldn’t empty its own bowels, but that’s another story…

IP

MissChief 6:43 pm 03 Apr 13

They’d have to catch you first. 🙂

Pork Hunt 6:42 pm 03 Apr 13

JazzyJess said :

You might be well coordinated and the dog well trained but something could spook it or distract it and he goes one way, you go the other.

I once saw a guy in Yarralumla on a unicycle with his dog on a leash. Talk about trust…

Leon 6:28 pm 03 Apr 13
gungsuperstar 5:12 pm 03 Apr 13

I’ll only echo what others have said – good on you for trying to think of methods that will properly exercise and stimulate your dog. If you can do it without a leash, then great – no problem.

But DON’T do it if she needs a leash – it’s dangerous to you, to your dog, and to other people using the paths. It’s also potentially cruel to the dog if she’s running behind you and has to keep up beyond the point of exhaustion or risk choking by collar.

Ate 4:08 pm 03 Apr 13

Postalgeek said :

You need the right skills, dog, training, temperament, and timing. Best to do this stuff when few people are using the paths.

And be aware of temperature. I wouldn’t go hard in summer.

I did a bit of on-bike running of the hounds, but the best way, without doubt, was inline-skating. Bypass vehicle laws, heaps more control, and the dogs would pull you at their own pace. You could hold the spring retractable leash and rein them in when required. I’d leash and unleash depending on path traffic. It is the best fun in the world and the dogs would fly into the back of the car in anticipation. Ignore anyone who tells you that running in a pack isn’t for dogs. Just remember to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.

We’d always run to a water point for drinking and swimming and then head back. Water was there for them at the car.

Obviously you have to be very confident with bikes/skates to take out a dog with you.

As poetix points out, there’s plenty of off-leash areas to romp around in.

+1 for the inline skating. My late collie and I used to skate/run the whole of Belconnen lake in 15minutes. Best exercise and a lot of fun. Although one lap was never enough for an energetic collie.

Aeek 3:11 pm 03 Apr 13

DeadlySchnauzer said :

2. As already stated It is Illegal to tether a dog to a bicycle.

Of course there’s always the selfish owners out there who flout the law.

Some people can do this safely, and some can’t. Some of those who can’t will do so anyway.
So we have this law to protect the idiots from themselves. Nanny State.
To be consistent, we should bite the bullet and ban all vehicles from public roads.

Postalgeek 2:55 pm 03 Apr 13

You need the right skills, dog, training, temperament, and timing. Best to do this stuff when few people are using the paths.

And be aware of temperature. I wouldn’t go hard in summer.

I did a bit of on-bike running of the hounds, but the best way, without doubt, was inline-skating. Bypass vehicle laws, heaps more control, and the dogs would pull you at their own pace. You could hold the spring retractable leash and rein them in when required. I’d leash and unleash depending on path traffic. It is the best fun in the world and the dogs would fly into the back of the car in anticipation. Ignore anyone who tells you that running in a pack isn’t for dogs. Just remember to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.

We’d always run to a water point for drinking and swimming and then head back. Water was there for them at the car.

Obviously you have to be very confident with bikes/skates to take out a dog with you.

As poetix points out, there’s plenty of off-leash areas to romp around in.

poetix 2:49 pm 03 Apr 13

DeadlySchnauzer said :

1. It is Illegal to have a dog off leash in any public area in Canberra, except for specific designated off leash areas, of which there are very few (see DAS for details).

2. As already stated It is Illegal to tether a dog to a bicycle.

Of course there’s always the selfish owners out there who flout the law and claim “no no, my dog is different, it’s so amazingly unbelievably well trained, i’m in full control at every moment and nothing bad could ever possibly happen”.

Lots of Canberra is off-lead as you define it in para 1. Check the maps:

http://www.gim.act.gov.au/website/gimmapviewer/viewer.htm?SERVICE=dog&QUERYDOG=yes&TITLE=Dog%20Exercise%20Areas&LOGO=Tams_Colour_logo2.gif

DeadlySchnauzer 2:37 pm 03 Apr 13

1. It is Illegal to have a dog off leash in any public area in Canberra, except for specific designated off leash areas, of which there are very few (see DAS for details).

2. As already stated It is Illegal to tether a dog to a bicycle.

Of course there’s always the selfish owners out there who flout the law and claim “no no, my dog is different, it’s so amazingly unbelievably well trained, i’m in full control at every moment and nothing bad could ever possibly happen”.

JazzyJess 2:33 pm 03 Apr 13

You might be well coordinated and the dog well trained but something could spook it or distract it and he goes one way, you go the other.

Zan 2:10 pm 03 Apr 13

Madam Cholet said :

I always think looks a bit mean to the dog. Dogs like to stop and sniff and take their own sweet time. You have the choice to get on your bike and peddle. If you tie your dog’s lead to the bike, it has no option. Just make sure you remember to stop and give it a breather and a drink every so often. I do appreciate that dogs love to run, but in my experience (with my own), they like to be a bit more ‘freeform’. I’m continually amused by the way dogs (and kids), bound about when let outside of their everyday backyards. It’s just lovely to watch, like someone flicked a switch.

Agree with the above post. Anyone who rides with a leashed dog does not have any understanding of a dog’s needs for walking and/or running, and their need for stopping sniffing and marking.

Watson 1:07 pm 03 Apr 13

Madam Cholet said :

I always think looks a bit mean to the dog. Dogs like to stop and sniff and take their own sweet time. You have the choice to get on your bike and peddle. If you tie your dog’s lead to the bike, it has no option. Just make sure you remember to stop and give it a breather and a drink every so often. I do appreciate that dogs love to run, but in my experience (with my own), they like to be a bit more ‘freeform’. I’m continually amused by the way dogs (and kids), bound about when let outside of their everyday backyards. It’s just lovely to watch, like someone flicked a switch.

I agree dogs weren’t built to do a constant speed like that.That’s why I think off leash is a better idea with the bike (or walking even – I’m not a fan of leash walks only). My dog stops all the time to sniff and then has to sprint to catch up. Excellent exercise that we both enjoy.

Obviously it requires investing time and effort into training first…

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