I wanted to share a handy little device that changed my life about a year ago. The one I have is called the Woof Cycle Bike Trotter. Wow, I might not remember that exact name the next time I need it, but folks this tool is wonderful! Below is a short review of my experience with it. You can find it on Amazon or your local pet store might carry it as well if you are eager to get started. There are a number of different brands that offer similar devices to this one.
Woof Cycle Bike Trotter: First Impressions
The first time I saw this life-changing plastic arm, I was scrolling through an email flyer and it happened to be on sale. At the time I was looking for quick and easy ways to exercise my two Goldendoodles for busy days or days they need a little more excitement than usual. In case you don’t already know, my dogs are high-energy, excitable, and big.
One weighs around 80lbs and the other weighs around 75lbs. They are such loving boys, but we are constantly searching for ways to keep them entertained and well-exercised. My parents have a farm. The dogs love running free there, but it is just under 200km from my house and it isn’t possible to travel there as often as these guys need a good run. They get a couple of walks a day and we play a great deal of fetch, both in and outside the house. When I saw the Woof Cycle Bike Trotter advertisement in that email I was intrigued.
Woof Cycle Bike Trotter: How it Works
I had never seen anything like it. Any time I saw dogs running beside a bike I sort of laughed to myself and thought “oh wouldn’t it be nice if my doodles would do that?” I never thought they would control themselves enough to handle it. It made sense to try it out. What was there to lose? I quickly discovered the beauty of this device is that the dogs don’t have to know how to control themselves.
The instructions online suggest you show your dog the device. After they become accustomed to seeing it, hook them up to the bike and walk them beside the bike a few times. When we attached it to the bike the first time, the dogs were ready to go. There was more danger in trying to walk them around attached to the arm than there was in sitting on the bike and letting them run. I found with these big guys I had much more control sitting on the bike and steering. I am most nervous after first hooking them up. Next is the task of trying to keep them calm while I get situated on the bicycle.
Woof Cycle Bike Trotter: First Ride of the Season with an Energetic dog
Well, that is the case with Higgins. He is seven and still very energetic. When we went for the first ride of the season this year, it was a little too much excitement for him to handle for the first couple of minutes. He sat patiently looking out through the glass door while I got the bike set up for the season and then when I brought him outside and clipped him to the Bike Trotter, he started barking and dancing around. For the first couple of minutes we were going, he was barking and running at the same time as if he couldn’t run fast enough for all the excitement inside of him. I didn’t pedal at all for about the first block and a half because his running just propelled the bike forward. As he started to get tired we settled into our usual pace.
Woof Cycle Bike Trotter: First Ride of the Season with a Laid-Back (and much bigger) dog
My other dog, Rheo (the one sleeping in the image above) is almost four and is more excitable than Higgins. He is also much more afraid of things. Rheo prefers eating to exercise and generally only comes on adventures outside so that he doesn’t miss out on anything. He never really seems excited to come along. While on the bike trotter, he happily comes with us down to the end of the driveway where the bikes are and waits calmly. In Rheo’s life in general, if he isn’t bouncing all over I know he is nervous.
The first time out this year, we clipped the Bike Trotter to his halter, and he stood up and waited for Nick to start pedaling so he could sort of trot along behind. Higgins and I were about two blocks away and stopped by the time Nick and Rheo caught up. These dogs do tend to handle the same situation in completely different ways, but it is interesting to see how the Trotter works for both of them (notice how the name of the device is slowly getting shorter and shorter the more I write?).
Woof Cycle Bike Trotter: Tips
Some tips I have learned might be useful after doing some research when I was nervous to start sharing bike rides with the dogs: you want to introduce the device to them slowly and get them used to being that close to the bike, it is probably best to use a harness if you can find one with connectors in the right place to hook your pooch up, You also might want to have a short backup leash connected between the trotter and your dog’s collar in case one of the clips breaks (this happened just today with Rheo actually), and I personally would not ride on the road with the dogs attached because they would be running out in the middle of the road since the Trotter attaches to the left side of my bike.
Woof Cycle Bike Trotter: Overall
The Bike Trotter is very easy to install and the packaging says it is good for dogs 10-90lbs. There are spare parts available on the website. I am about to order a couple of the extra leashes they have available because Rheo managed to break the clip on one today. He was with Nick behind me so I am not really sure what happened. All of a sudden, Nick exclaimed that Rheo had gotten free. I stopped, turned around and saw him race past Higgi and I.
Thankfully, he has no desire to go anywhere and didn’t even seem to realize he was off the leash. As soon as I called him he turned around and came back to be attached to a leash again. We have had the two Trotters for about a year now. For the size of the dogs, the devices have held up pretty well. This is the first piece that has broken on it. If you use the backup leash-clip as a safety measure you won’t have to worry about your dog running off in a similar situation. Amazon also has a three-year warranty you can purchase on the Trotter.
Woof Cycle Bike Trotter: Tired Dogs
It is amazing that the Bike Trotter helps the dogs run beside the bike. They become exhausted much more quickly than taking just a regular walk. It is a huge timesaver. At least one of my dogs is always very excited at the prospect of going for a ride.
What tips do you have for exercising your dogs? Do you have a park you can take them? Or a place you can let them run free or swim? Swimming is the only other activity I think Higgi loves more than biking. Now I just need to find him a beach. I am looking forward to the end of this week. Their fur will be trimmed and they will be comfortable spending more time outside. Less fur in the house is just an added bonus ;). If you enjoy post about healthy pets, check out our post about hemp toys! Until next time, we wish you the best!