The Ride is quite smooth when the dog is at a constant pace. (the Trott is the most common gait but a gallop occurs whenever the dog is more Motivated- it ebbs and flows) When a strong dog is Thrusting into a higher speed the rider will feel a slight torque in the handlebars and will need to steady the front wheel a bit (no worse than riding a bicycle) Then when the dog stops his hard thrusting it smooths out and you don't feel them at all.
The Rider is mostly limited to kicking on the left side (but you can also kick with the inside foot occasionally) Since there is not much slack in the Rigging you need to be a smooth rider and take kick strokes without jerking the dog forward. To take a large stretched out fast kick you would be jerking forward on the dog/harness. (which can sometimes be used to signal you want to pick up the pace) So take kicks that match the speed of the dog.
Essentially You Ride The Scooter as if the dog wasn't even there. (other than being aware of the 22 inch Outrigger Bar width projection on the dog side) Your turns are basically the same as without a dog- and more than adequate for a 90 deg. sidewalk turn. There are no commands necessary (but you can add them as a courtesy) the dog can see and feel everything you and the scooter is doing. The dog is also supported side-to-side by the Rigging/harness so they don't need to be concerned with avoiding contact with the sides of the bar- even in sharp turns. They actually can brace and lean on the Rigging for support horizontally AND vertically. The dog actually adds to the stability of the scooter. For instance when you step off the scooter, when stopped, the dog/dogs hold it up near vertical. With the tire upgrade you can even use the scooter on well packed smooth snow or shallow fresh powder snow. !
Brakes are strong and the dog can feel the rear pull on the harness when braking. And soon begins to cooperate. The multiple dog unit will have a longer stopping distance and the dog/dogs in the very rear (inline) can have more effect on the handling if not well behaved and should be a strait puller/follower. Most dogs soon begin pulling strait ahead since they learn their limitations in the system. The dog in the first position can be quite "wild" and still have little effect on the scooter handling. The Key to Braking is to get on them early- you can "feel" when a dog is thrusting into a chase- so you have time to slow, turn away from the target or stop before you get going too fast. And
since the dogs can only go forward (due to being clipped in on each shoulder) its quite manageable.
Getting your Dog going initially is the Only "training" involved. Its all about getting your dog over the spookiness of being so close to the scooter and the side-to-side restriction. From my experience 1/2 the Dogs Allow you to clip them in and are Walking/trotting along side in the first 20 Min. session. Then you are Done, they just get more comfortable each time out. The Other 1/2 are more Spooked and take several sessions to allow a clip in. You rarely clip them in immediately. Walk then trott them under the bar without being clipped in by having your spotter holding them in the middle of the bar to keep them from contacting it. I send instructions on how I get them started but I also encourage Creativity such as start them in the Traditional "out Front" position- but connecting the line to the post at the midpoint of the scooter- then slowly shorten the line to the final "along side" position. And or take the unit inside the house where the dogs' "flight" Instinct may be less, and hooking them in and walk in circles, have them sit and even ly down while hooked in. And always keep a good grip on the handlebars and weight on the footplate with a new dog- we don't want them taking the scooter without you !. If your dog pulls on a leash and is comfortable being next to a bicycle they are a good candidate.
DogPoweredScooter.com 19699 Poplar St. | Bend, Oregon 97702