I so badly want to bike commute with my Golden Retriever, Honey. Only one problem – she is very scared of her doggy bike trailer. Today was her first day acclimating to the trailer (again – long story here) and I think it went well. People really seem care about her bike commuting journey , so I feel responsible to share her progress!
A few weeks ago, I assembled a used pet safe dog trailer from the brand Chewy. I was stoked! I had dreams of exciting trips to the lake, cruising around town, and visiting our friends via bike with Honey. I had her eat a few peanut butter bones in it and she was not scared or even hesitant. Honestly, the trailer does not look all that different than her crate she sleeps in.
Honeys first ride in the trailer was rather low drama. She hopped in, whined a little bit but quickly stopped, and we went to a friends for dinner. After dinner, she hopped in and settled right down for the ride home.
The following week I attempted to load her up with my partner for a lake trip, and she was not having it. As my partner and I squabbled about loading technique we accidentally tipped the bike over and it really spooked Honey. From there it went downhill quickly: frustration, forcing her in, and ultimately leaving the “roof” open thinking it would calm her – it did not. She attempted jumping out no more than 100 yards from our house. She was OK, and we returned to the house. Retrospectively, I see where we messed up. It was too fast of a forced acclimatization.
How We are Helping our Golden Retriever Acclimate to Her Dog Trailer
Essentially we are starting over with baby steps to help Honey! First, I removed the wheels of the trailer so she does not connote it with movement.
Then I put dinner bowl in the trailer with beef that is reserved for special occasions. She was still hesitant but willing. I left all the doors open.
Ultimately she did eat her dinner half in and half out of the trailer. I hope to continue this until she is confident and trusting. She also had a bone in it after as well. I would say that is progress!
Committing to bike commuting is a huge goal of mine this summer. Honey is equally a huge part of my life. I do not want to give up on the ability to take her places, but I do want her to be comfortable and not scared. Ultimately, I am going to give her time and will respect in a few weeks if it is”just not her thing”.
Please connect with me if you are a pet owner who bikes with them. I really am open to other suggestions. Stay tuned for more Honey updates!
The bike I am commuting on is an Aventon Pace 500, I have the first generation. The one trip I did take with Honey my bike had no issue with the carrying capacity, it was smooth ride. If you are interested more in Aventon bikes I do get rewards points and you get 5% off your ebike purchase if you use this Aventon Friends Referral Link. I am always happy to chat bikes with you if you have more questions before deciding on what ebike fits your needs!
Happy Biking – Emily