Skateboarding with a dog has exploded in popularity. If you head to a park, or maybe a long boardwalk, you are almost certain to see at least one or two people skateboarding with their dogs. In fact, it is something which has become so popular, that they have even made specialist equipment just for the job.
So, can your dog pull you on your skateboard? How do you teach your dog to pull you in the first place? We have all of the answers on this page!
Absolutely. In fact, the popularity of skateboarding with a dog (or skatejoring as it is also called) has catapulted in recent years. You can now actually purchase specialist equipment for skateboarding with a dog, but more on that in a short while.
Obviously, whether your particular dog can pull you on a skateboard is a whole other matter. A lot of it is going to be dependent on:
- How much your dog weighs
- How much you weigh
- How physically fit your dog is
If your dog weighs under 30lbs, then you can pretty much forget about skateboarding with them. They simply do not have the power in them to pull you along the road. Yes. You probably could team up a couple of smaller dogs in the hope that they can pull you along, but they are going to become exhausted rather quickly. It almost certainly wouldn’t be a great experience for the dogs, let alone you.
If you weigh too much, then your dogs won’t be able to pull you. Obviously, the amount of weight your dog can pull will be dependent on the size of the animal. However, generally speaking, if you are not ‘physically fit’, then your dog may struggle. You can always give it a go, but do not expect miracles to happen.
The vast majority of people who are being pulled by their dog on a skateboard are going to be in fairly decent physical condition. It is up to you to determine whether you are a viable candidate for skateboarding with a dog.
We know neither your weight or the weight that your dog is capable of pulling. Once again, you may be able to have a couple of dogs pull you at once, but things become a whole lot more complicated when you go down that route.
You should also determine how fit your dog is in general. Pulling something is going to be quite hard work. If your dog is on the older side of things or maybe regarded as ‘obese’, then it is probably going to be a bit too hard on the dog’s body, and you may not want to risk their health.
Younger and fitter dogs are going to be far, far better for this job. That being said, you can train your dog up a little bit to be fitter, but there is always going to be that ‘cap’. Older dogs certainly wouldn’t be able to do it. It would be the equivalent of asking your 70-year-old grandpa to drag you along on a skateboard. It would never work.
How do you walk a dog on a Skateboard?
Many people underestimate just how fast a dog is able to pull them along when they are on a skateboard. Skateboarding with a dog is not just something that you will be able to do on a whim. Both you and your dog will need to practice at it. If you are skateboarding with a dog, then you may want to do some short sessions every now and then. Do not take them on long rides. A few minutes here and there when practicing is good.
When you walk a dog on a skateboard, you will first need to teach them how to pull (we have advice on how to do that shortly). You will also need to ensure that they are not distracted by the world around them. Remember; if they get distracted, they are going to be taking you along for the ride…and that isn’t going to be fun for you.
One of the main issues you are going to face when walking a dog with a skateboard is the fact that you need to maintain control over the board and the dog at the same time. This is something that you will need to be quite physically fit to do.
You also need a huge awareness of your surroundings. Many people get into skateboarding with their dogs thinking that it is quite a ‘lazy’ form of activity. It isn’t. You really do need to be in the ball.
Once you have trained your dog how to pull you, walking your dog while on a skateboard isn’t that difficult. You will want to ensure you have the following, though:
A helmet (you will fall off on occasion)A proper harness for your dog. This means one that has been specially designed for skatejoring.
You can then just climb onto the skateboard, give the dog the commands that you have taught them during your ‘pulling training’ and away you go. Just make sure that you have verbal and physical control over your dog at all times.
Try to keep the speed to the minimum too. If your dog is constantly running, then they are going to get tired out rather quickly. Remember; you are walking your dog, not taking them for a run.
How do you Longboard with a dog?
To be honest, there is a lot of overlap between longboarding and skateboarding. After all, a longboard is essentially just a longer and wider version of a skateboard. That being said, there are a few things that you will need to be aware of if you are planning to longboard with a dog.
For starters; your longboard is capable of going a whole lot faster. It is also capable of going over a lot more surfaces than your average skateboard. This is due to the larger wheels. This means that you are going to need to have far greater control over your dog. You need to train them to moderate their speed at your command. If you don’t, then you will quickly find yourself going a bit too fast, and that is just going to lead to accidents.
If you are teaching your dog to pull you for the first time, then it may actually be worth getting started on a longboard. This is because it is far, far easier to stand up on a longboard for long distances.
Skateboards are a little bit too small, particularly if you have larger feet, and you won’t ever have the same amount of control that a longboard can offer you. Obviously, this control is only going to come into play if you actually have control over your pet too.
You should also remember that the turning radius on a longboard is a little bit wider than a skateboard. This means that your dog is not going to be able to change directions quickly. Skating with your dog on a longboard is probably going to be a lot better if you are on a long, straight road as opposed to trying to navigate long and winding roads.
How do I teach my dog to pull?
Before you can do anything else when it comes to skateboarding with a dog, you are going to need to teach them how to pull. There are several methods that you can utilize here, but we have a method that we love quite a bit.
Remember; before you even think about teaching your dog to pull, you will need to train other commands into them. None of this is going to work if your dog is not willing to listen to you. Teaching your dog the basic commands is out of the scope of this guide.
This means teaching your dog how to ‘stop’ on command or to ‘slow down’ on command. If your dog does not know this, then this method is simply not going to be working for you. The dog won’t listen. You will just be pulled into the dog gets tired.
You will also want to train your dog to be able to ignore certain distractions. Remember; dogs are naturally inquisitive animals, and this needs to be trained out of them. A lot of people will only skateboard with their dogs in the same locations. After all, if a dog has seen the same distraction numerous times before, they are unlikely to get distracted by it again.
Attaching the harness to the dog
The very first thing you will need to do is allow the dog to get used to the harness. This means taking them for walks while they are wearing the harness. No. You do not want to be attached to the skateboard at this point. You will be jumping the gun if you did that.
All the while, you will want to be reinforcing the commands that you have taught the dog (the stop, slow down commands. Just use whatever words you have trained into your dog). You will also want to start reinforcing some direction-based commands. So, train your dog to move left and right on command. You can reinforce these behaviors with treats.
Attach the dog to a skateboard
Once you believe your dog has mastered the commands, you can attach them to an empty skateboard. This will allow you to test what your dog can do. It will also give your dog the experience of pulling something along.
You will only want to do this for a short while each day. The intention is to give commands to your dog to see if they are doing things on command. If you can’t get them to slow down when you want them to, then you absolutely should not be walking them while riding a skateboard.
Once your dog has been attached to the empty skateboard, you will start to learn whether your dog is able to move onto the next step, or whether you need to go back to the drawing board.
Get on the skateboard
After a while, it will be time for you to step onto the skateboard and have your dog pull you along. It is quite a unique experience for both you and the dog. This means that you will need to take things slow at the start. Make sure that you practice the commands you have taught your dog. Make sure that they slow down if they go more than a walking pace. If they don’t, then hop off the skateboard. It is going to be dangerous until the dog has fully mastered the directional and speed commands.
Over time, you will be able to gradually increase the speed. Don’t go in too ‘hard’ at the start. Your dog will need to train up their muscles to pull along your weight. However, as you improve, you will be able to skateboard with your dog for longer each day.