Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Is My Dog Normal?: Bike Reactivity

Yesterday B showed me a new route to take when walking Athena.  Sometimes we get annoyed walking around the usual neighborhood because there are so many dogs that live outside and like to majorly bark at us through their fences, off leash dogs, and just bajillions of people who do weird things (like the time a PERSON barked at Athena!).
B thinks Athena is saying "save me!"

Our new route takes us along the Springwater Corridor which stretches 40 miles from Portland to Boring (yes there's a place called Boring, OR!).  We are lucky enough to live only a few blocks away from an entrance to the corridor.

Most people who use the corridor are bike riders who like to say things like "one your left," and "on your right" while we are walking and I have to quickly remember which one is my right and left so that we don't get ran over!
Check out that view of Mt. Hood up ahead!

When we first got Athena and began taking her walks in the annoying usual neighborhood, we would encounter quite a few bike riders and people on skateboards.  I don't think Athena had ever seen any of these devices because she was very reactive to them.  As soon as a bike or skateboard zoomed by us she would be pulling to chase after them!  This was a bit frustrating when we were trying so hard to train her how to walk on a loose leash.
A thinks Athena is saying, "weirdo!"

The weird thing is, this bike reactivity only lasted a couple of weeks.  Now that Athena gets out on at least two walks per day, she seems to be more used to the everyday distractions that pass us by.

We got to really test Athena's bike reactivity while walking on the Springwater Corridor because there is always at least one bike in sight.  Athena didn't even bother with ANY of the bikes that we saw on our walk!  Yay!!
Here comes the bike......no reaction!

Since it seems that Athena might not mind bikes too much anymore we have been thinking about how great it would be to start bike riding with Athena.  B bike rides, I don't, so this can be his little project.  A trainer had suggested bike riding with Athena as a way to exercise her to expend her excess energy.  The trainer suggested using a Springer Dog Exerciser to attach to B's bike that would allow Athena to safely run next to him.  We plan to look into this fancy device in the coming months.

Is your dog bike reactive?  Do you bike ride with your pooch?

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