Mushing


Dryland mushing dog training with The Mannerly MuttDryland mushing dog training with The Mannerly Mutt

“Dryland mushing” is like sledding, but without the snow. Also called urban mushing, bikejoring, or scootering, there are many names for this amazing sport of having your dog wearing a custom made harness and hooked up in front of you, pulling as you ride a bike or scooter. It’s a fantastic outlet for dogs who love to run and for people like me who could never keep up with their dogs! Learn the basics of this sport in the Intro Seminar without your dog, then bring your dog to the Group Class for hands-on training and practicing foundation skills. This seminar and beginner class will prepare you for hooking up to a bike or scooter safely and with the proper equipment and knowledge you need to enjoy mushing with your dog. Further classes get you on the trail.

Mushing: Intro Seminar
Dryland mushing is a great activity for dogs of many breeds. In this humans only seminar you will learn the basics of this exciting, fun, dog-powered sport including safety, expectations, equipment, paw care, where to mush, and more. There is time at the end for any questions you may have about mushing. You will be shown how to measure your dog to order an x-back harness.
1.5-2 hour seminar: $30

NEXT SEMINARThe next seminar will be on September 19th at 6:30pm at the Canine Coach, Inc. facility at 11580 Black Forest Rd Suite 20, Colorado Springs, CO 80908. Please send a contact form if you are interested!
Don’t want to wait? Schedule a private in-home seminar for $65.

Mushing: Beginner Group Class*
In a group class setting, your dog will practice the foundation skills, cues, and etiquette of mushing. You’ll teach your dog to hold the line tight and stay until you’re ready, as well as cues for go, stop, turning right and left, and how to pass critters without getting pulled off the trail. You must have a properly fitting x-back harness for your dog before beginning class. During some of the training, you will be running on foot with your dog. If this is a challenge for you please let me know so I can accommodate your needs. This is a 6 week class, meeting once a week. Each lesson is 45 minutes which provides time for instruction and practice without overworking our dogs.
*You must complete the Intro Seminar before joining the group class with your dog.
6 week group class: $80

FAQ
But my dog isn’t a husky! My dog is a [insert breed], can my dog really mush?
Breed abilities will be discussed at length in the seminar. It’s not just for Siberian huskies and Nordic breeds like Malamutes, Samoyeds, and Northern Inuit dogs. Pointers, hunting dogs, Beagles, Foxhounds and scent hounds, sighthounds and lurchers, Dobermans, terriers, retrievers, shepherds and collies, Boxers, Poodles, any dog of any size can learn to mush, or at least to pull weight. Your dog’s head and muzzle shape as well as structure will have an influence on how much mushing you can do and reasonable adjustments, expectations, and goals will be set accordingly. This sport is not physically safe for all dogs. As will be constantly stated, safety is always first and that includes what is physically safe for the dog. Your dog does not need to be fast or run for miles to have fun! If there are any concerns about your dog’s structure or weight, it’s best to ask your vet how much physical exercise and weight pulling is recommended for your individual dog.

I’m worried we’ll crash, is it actually safe?
The short answer is that when you’re prepared it’s as safe as possible and crashes are unlikely, but still possible. The long answer is that safety is of the utmost importance and we will discuss safety at length in the class but there are risks in any sport and activity. Crashes are extremely rare when you’re safe, proactive, and prepared. I have personally only crashed twice in 5+ years. If you participate in this sport, you might crash. I am careful, observant, prepared, and know that a crash may happen at any time. I believe that crashing is both preventable and inevitable. Mistakes and surprises happen, and we learn from them. Preventing them is better though! It is equally important to be proactive and prevent crashing, and to acknowledge that a crash and injuries to you and/or your dog may happen due to the nature of the sport.

What will my dog need, and is it expensive?
All you need for this class is a custom harness. The harness I recommend is about $20 plus shipping, and options like reflective tape are up to you. After the seminar and class if you want to hook up to a bike or scooter you would need a tugline (currently $38). If you need a mountain bike or scooter ($250-500+), bike rack for your car ($100-300+) safety equipment like a helmet ($30-50+), booties for the dog ($10+), paw wax ($15-20), your costs can add up. You also need to consider maintenance and the needs of your bike/scooter (tires, tubes, Slime, chain and lube, lights). As with any sport, human or canine, you need proper equipment and sometimes the equipment needs to be repaired or replaced.

 

Dryland mushing dog training with The Mannerly Mutt