Dog Scootering Explained

from Dogs Across America

Information from Wikipedia: Dog Scootering
written by Mike Behnke

Dog Scootering is a sport where one or more dogs pull a human riding a scooter (unmotorized). It is similar to mushing that is done in the winter, but with less dogs (generally) and with a scooter (unmotorized) instead of a dogsled. The dogs wear the same harnesses that sled dogs wear, and are hooked to the scooter with a gangline. The gangline usually incorporates a bungie to smooth out the shocks of speeding up and take off. Most of the same commands are used, although dog scooterers tend to be more relaxed about their commands, sometimes using right and left instead of gee and haw, for example.

unmotorized scooter, Dashboard brand

The scooter is generally unmotorized, and has anywhere from 16" to 26" mountain bike style tires. These aren't your razor type scooters - using one of those is a good way to get hurt doing this sport. The scooters incorporate mountain bike style brakes and have a large footboard to stand on and kick off from. The scooters are occasionally called kick bikes since they are not yet largely marketted for the sport of dog scootering. Some of the newer scooters also incorporate front shocks similar to mountainbikes to absorb bumbs better.

While this can be an urban sport, done on sidewalks and paved trails, more and more dog scooters are taking it off-road to mountainbike trails and back country roads, where there is a higher level of skill needed. There is also less chance of having to dodge people or vehicular traffic on these trails, besides other trail users.

dog scooterer coming up the trail

This is a way to exercise both your dog and yourself. The dog obviously gets exercise pulling the scooter but people also get exercise, as they have to help push, especially up hills. Dogs that exercise regularly tend to be better behaved, as a lot of bad behavior is due to boredom and lack of exercise. Behavior Problems

Most dogs take to this sport with little encouragement needed. They get to run as fast as they can and get to see and visit new places. As dog scooters get more experianced, they tend to take their dog(s) and scooter(s) with them to new trails to run. This can lead to a stronger bond between people and their dogs.

fun run 2 people and dogs

Dog scooterers get together for fun runs, where a number of dog scooterers get together and run their dogs and scooters on the same trails. Fun runs may be just a morning run, or can be a weekend long activity with multiple runs scheduled. As the sport matures, we will see dog scooter races and other events develop.

In November and December each year, dog scooterers put on a Dog Powered Sports relay called Dogs Across America where participants from around the country will choose one of the trails in their state and ride it in relay style to cover the entire length.

Related sports are carting or dryland mushing, bikejoring, and sulky driving or racing.

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