I just wanted to drop you a line and tell you THANK YOU from the bottom of my very heart. My Klaus is extremely obedient and fiercly loyal so I knew he'd do what I asked when I ordered your system. But I wanted him to love it. He's been a rock solid companion, especially when I was bed-ridden for almost all of last year. He wouldn't leave my side even during those months when it took me 20 minutes to scrabble my way to the back door to let him out. It was a nightmare for me physically and how this dog remained sane is a miracle. I still am not the 10k daily runner I was, and realistically never will be again. But thanks to you, my dog will be.
I had the scooter assembled professionally & brought it into the house for a couple of days so he'd see it as a normal part of life. I started by putting his harness on so he knew something was happening, then let him watch me walk the scooter around. I knew he had connect the two actions when I put his harness on & he walked to the scooter. Day 3 I connected him into the scooter, still in the house. He didn't care & walked about acting like this is just an average event. Day 4 we repeated the same routine in the back yard several times. Then I simply stepped on the scooter and he trotted off! Woohoo! He's normally a very calm, stoic dog, quiet and steady. Now when I pick up the harness this giant German Shepherd goes full into Toy Poodle mode, dancing on his back legs & crying for a ride. So out of character, but a joy to see! I take him out twice every day to slowly rebuild his endurance & picked up some musher's wax so I can keep good track of his pads. The attention this gets is stunning & a little daunting for a bald old skeleton of a woman like me, but my dog deserves this exercise (and fun) so I'm polite and nice to everyone who stops us because the more people who see this, the better! Too many people can't exercise big dogs enough & your system is wonderful! I did have a scary few minutes with a police officer. He passed us on our way to the park & drove around to come up behind us. Of course I stopped & he asked me if I had "turn signals on that thing". I was scared out of my mind, but after just a few seconds he realized my dog was the motor & scooters don't need turn signals. Truthfully, I think he was just plain curious from the second he saw this, because I doubt he stops everyone riding electric scooters around town.
Thank you for providing Klaus and me the second beginning of a beautiful journey together.
My husband Bruce Green bought a scooter from you in March for my birthday and I thought I would write you a quick note to let you know how much I love it!
I found your scooter system after taking my old bike and "dog leash" into our local bike shop for a tune up. One of the guys who worked there had a bad accident once while biking with his dog and he was so adamant that people should not be allowed to bike with their dogs that he wouldn't put the "leash" back onto my bike and wouldn't help me find a way to try to make the system safer. He basically chewed me out in front of the whole shop. I wasn't about to give up though, and that is when I found your website.
Bruce got me a scooter in time for my birthday this year and we decided it was better if we took it to the bike shop for assembly. They had never seen anything like it before so they charged us $100 and had it ready in a few days. Bruce said when he took it in, the guy who had reamed me was in there, huffing and puffing and grumping around because it was another customer wanting to bike with dogs. I wouldn't even go in there with Bruce because I didn't want to see that guy again so when the scooter was ready, I sent Bruce to pick it up too. The guy who had been so upset with me earlier was the one who assembled the scooter and handed it back over to us. To our amazement, he actually said that he thought the scooter looked safe and like a pretty cool design for biking with a dog!!! I still can't believe it. You converted him.
Now after some patient training, Daphne is taking to the scooter quite well and we are having so much fun cruising around town. I love this system! The second I hopped on, I could feel how much safer and sturdier the scooter is when compared to how I was biking before. The rider's low center of gravity and all the slack for the dog with your harness design make for a fantastic ride. I've included a little video we shot on our first, official, launch.
Thank you so much,
Angelene, Bruce, and Daphne Ruth
Now that its been a while since we purchased out scooter and Sampson is totally trained in it, I just wanted to let you know how completely happy I am with my purchase ! It was worth every penny. We go riding 2 or 3 times a week, it's a great way for him to get out all that excess energy. He's such an active pup he gets bored easily too, so it's great to have something else besides walking, jogging and the dog park. I was nervous at first from him tilting to the sides, but again once they are comfortable there is no more sideways tugging. I feel I have total control, even when Samson sees another dog or a squirrel. Samson likes it so much, once he is clipped in but I'm not ready to move yet, he does this weird thing where he gets all fired up and tries to get my attention by biting my shoe laces, as if he's saying "lets go, mom" !
Just wanted to thank you again for your great product and your great customer service while we were still training and trouble shooting.
I got my scooter back today: hooked my soon to be 4 month old redbone up to it, had 2 decent sessions, then hooked him up a 3rd time and OMG, my road is a side road with just a bit of a downgrade, not much, going down he is like a champ already, coming up he needs help, but i'm thrilled, and love the design of the outrigger bar. The 4th time I brought the harness out, he was so excited to get out there, so we went for another run.
My niece, a 14 yr old, brought her 5 month old redbone over, her female dog and her have such a bond that once we got her hooked up we started walking down the street and the dog picked right up on it and away they went, both down the grade and even back up (it probably helps that the dog is a month older and niece weights less than 100 lbs) anyway as of now I'm thrilled with it, can't wait to get them rolling better so I can get another dog set up, thanks !!!
I have been taking Buddy, the "trained not to pull dog" a reserved Aussie out on the scooter every nite for 1/2 mile. He is slowly getting used to it, carrying his tail a little higher every nite, pulling a little bit more each time, and tonite ran hooked in. Slowly making progress, and I think he will be loving it soon. I had planned to get him dong well with it before starting my other dog Luke, the wild child on it, but started Luke and he has progressed quickly. He has been a nightmare to walk on a leash, because he lunges, actually pulled me up to my knees into a lake once chasing after a frog. He's been doing well up and down our road so I took him to a nearbye park with a lake, had second thoughts on the drive over there because he goes beserk when he sees the ducks, but it ended up being a blast for the both of us. He was so excited about being at the lake he started pulling the scooter immediately around the lake and every time he saw a duck he would run and we would fly on it. It was easy to steer the scooter where i wanted to go, and kind of funny to see him running full speed as the sight of the ducks, but to his disappointment he would run right past them because I was steering past them. And so much more fun than hanging onto the leash for dear life trying to not get pulled into the lake!
FYI- Our pulling system actually arrived on saterday! Divot (our Brittany) loves it ! He was already used to trying to run after my husband on his bike, so we knew he wanted to be out there urnning alongside. We also had the scooter for about a week already and got him used to being near it. He's not really afraid of too many things. He LOVES the pulling system. At first he just walked and wasn't too sure what to do. One of us would wait at the end of the road and then call him when he got closer. He would then start to run. Thenafter we all got used to the scooter and the pullin gsystem, Keith took hi sbike out. Divot took off after Keith right away and has been getting into a full gallop! We have a slight incline on our road, and he actually pulled me up the street ageter keith wothout help from me. It was hard to help since he was pulling so fast. Then he continues to run at a gallop going back dwon the hill after Keith. I have to put the brakes on going down becasue I don't want the scooter to go too fast for him. I can't wait to take it out to a bike trail where it will be flatter for him. We are starting him out only going up the street once of twice at most, until he gets used to it. Thanks so much for a great way to exercise him !
I got together with Candy this afternoon (she bought one of your dog scooters). WE HAD A WONDERFUL TIME ! Candy and the dog looked so graceful sailing along. I'm very pleased with how well they both learned to scooter. And Virgil (my dog) loved it too. It's great for him to have another dog scootering with him. He's sleeping at my feet now (this is usually the time he is pestering me for dinner) It's great exercise for them. Let's face it, no matter how much we get in shape we will never be able to keep up with a dog. The scooter is an equalizer (aside from being fun!) It was a thrill to be bale to keep up with the dog! I know Virgil loves that I can finally keep up with him. And finally, Virgil says, pulling makes his person happy instead of annoyed. Makes for a good deal all around. Candy and I are getting together next week to dog scooter again.
We received the scooter on Monday, just like you said. Couldn't wait to get it assembled. I did end up going to our local bike shop to make sure the brakes were adjusted correctly. Definitely worth the $5. BTW, one of the mechanics said he met you at a race in OR.... small world !! The dogs took to the scooter like fish to water. Both were a little apprehensive about getting hooked up, but they'll do anything for a treat. Once we got rolling there was no stopping them. What a blast! I had read in one of your previous testimonials that the scooter helped with the reactivity of her dogs (including foster dogs) around strange dogs. I couldn't believe as we were cruising down the road how my dogs acknowledged strange dogs but just kept forging ahead. Not only is this a great way to exercise our high-energy Labs, but also a great tool getting my dogs to see other dogs on our excursions and not react. Fantastic !! I also tested it on grass. I was pleasently surprised by the handling. It is very stable, I felt totally safe. Keep your eyes peeled for our next email. We are planning to order a second scooter so my husband and I can scoot together. Gotta go scoot!
Just wanted to let you know both items arrived friday. We took it out saterday. First run was a little shaky. But now the dog is so good, I'm scared and have to keep slowing down (LOL). This is great, Dozer gets so much exercise and we have a great time. Got quite a few "what the hell is that?" looks, but we love it !!!!! Will send pics /video later. Thanks for a great product!
Colleen and Dozer
Just got back from a scooter ride. This time out, a woman asked, "does it have an electric motor or something?" After understanding that there isn't a motor, just dog-power, she said it was "genius!" I couldn't agree more. I'm guessing, at first glance (or at a distance) some people might assume the scooter has a motor and the dogs are being forced to run. I do my best to assure anyone who asks that the dogs LOVE it and aren't being dragged along. Most people say its the coolest thing they've ever seen in a while.
A few weeks ago, a potential customer e-mailed me to ask about the scooter. I emailed back (offering a demo and giving a glowing evaluation) Haven't heard anything back from them. The weather has been bad and i don't want to bug them, but if they are wavering, a live demo would help with a decision. Do you know if they have ordered? Anyway just wanted to drop a line. We've been scootering for about 2 years and still love it as much as the first time. Been using the 3 dog rig setup until recently. The older dog is starting to slow down and was "pulled along" instead of pushing. We converted to a 2 rig setup and the older dog runs along side on a a retractable leash. Everybody happy. Thanks again for inventing the dog-powered scooter!! What genius !
Elaine, Houston TX
I have been meaning to write for some time. I wanted to keep you posted. We are on dog 16 or so for adoption. Whenever we get a new foster dog..... I am always looking for that next scooter champ! It is fun, and I am convinced that the scooter helps them to become normal, balanced, and well exercised dogs: making them more marketable to the public. I want you to know too..... I have ridden my scooter almost EVERYDAY since we got it last summer. It is definitely HABIT for me AND the dogs!! I really don't have the time to use it on the customers dogs: between our pooches and the foster dogs.... my time is all used up. Yah.... still up for the parade, I will check (or you) to see if we can still register. I know there is a deadline. I think we can just contact the chamber of commerce. Let me know if you want me to check or you. I mean it... Buying your scooter was the BEST thing we could have done. People in this town FREAK out over it, the dogs love it, and the the homeless pooches benefit GREATLY form it!
I just wanted you to know that I absolutely LOVE your system! It is everything that I was hoping for and much much more. The dogs took to the system like fish in water. My male Terv and I are really having great fun with it. The puppy, my female AmStaff, is still learning, but she is doing well with it for her age. The looks that I get from people just crack me up and I looked a bit like the pied piper today with all the neighborhood kids who are just fascinated by the whole thing. It is fun riding around with the kids and my AmStaff pup loves that part best. She galloped for the first time today it was exciting and scary at the same time! The system worked like a charm though and I was very safe. It is so easy to use and well worth the investment. If I was advising someone considering the system, I would tell them to take the scooter to the bike shop because that was the hardest part. Working with the dogs with the harness and getting them use to the bar slowly is definitely worth doing. It made all the difference. Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you so much for your invention! It is absolutely awesome! Several people inquired about the system and I sent them to your site. I will get you some video clips and pics soon.Thanks,
Morning Mark. Good outfit! It came saterday. You overengineered! LOL But it is great, buying American instead of this constant China crap!! Sitka did great, right off. My wife helped like you suggested and he never flinched once. We took our first trip down to the lake today, 2 miles total. Thats's enough for a pup. We did walk a lot too. I really like the wide foot board. I will send some pics or video for the website if you want. I am cutting out the business cards you sent to give out. Once again... thanks from this 62 year old Vietnam Vet who is fighting Agent Orange and Diabetis. Your creativeness is helping to save this old man's life!
The leash pulling was an immediate "go", as was the harness... it was 10:30 pm when i arrived into town, and Matthew had gotten the holes drilled locally (kickbike floor board). This too, was immediate, my first kick was a startling thing for her, but that is all.. we were off immediately. I have been talking up the scooters, I think so many people have bothersome dogs, simply from not giving them what they need. Red is a Lab/Chow mix, about 35 lbs. maybe more now, as she has leaned out and muscled up... we are out every day, sometimes 2 or 3 times. Red loves the harness (as a seatbelt anchor in the car as well). Will try to do a photo thing. I wonder if a link through as adopt site or vet's site is possible?? The spin of satisfied pet = better behaved pet or ... overweight pets enjoy new lease on life with increased movement (which is easy on owners) of a heart attack rehab site, promoting health for people, with dog. I just want you to succeed, this is the highlight of my day.. and Red's!
I wanted to let you know how marvelously things are going with your dog powered scooter system, and my dog Red!! OH SO HAPPY ARE WE TWO!! For about 10 days prior to having the system in place, Red and i were daredevilling down the streets via kick bike and leash attatched to the center pole (i know, one would think i was a 12 year old) As each day passed, Red became stronter and I became increasingly worried about the frequency of knee banging events and bike around tree/squirrel adventures. We test-drove the system at 11 pm last Tuesday night... even then, my best buddie Matthew reported (from behind, on a separate bike) "Barb, its so adorable, her tail is wagging and the two of you are just GOING!!" And we've been going ever since. Red's distractability has diminished a lot (surprisingly, the bike wheels NEVER bothered her, and the semi trailer/trucks in and out of a neabye silica palnt, have never phased her) I think the squirrels were invented JUST to taunt dogs.
Peole in this heart of IL. town have been rolling down their windows, as we roll along, asking where we found such a thing.. I am passing along your info. Thank you so much!! Red and I are closer every day, her needs being met and all !
The scooter arrived and so did the harness system. I brought the entire thing to the local bike guy- who said it is a very high quality product! I should have the harness assembled tomorrow or Monday. Can't wait.
Yasmin LOVES the scooter. She cries when she sees it and knows where to stand to get strapped in. The first day she was a bit cautious and sometimes went to the side. By the third day she was pulling straight, trotting and sometimes running. Her first run of the day is always the fastest. (we go up and down our block in a long oblong shape around a grassy island) And when she runs from the beach to our house (about 7 hourses) she always picks up the pace. So far she has taked my dad, my cousin and me.
I'm just glad you loaned me one in the meantime. You can't get me off it ! The town of Sisters LOVES it. Jack, the German Shorthair is PERFECT !
LOVING the scooter !! Can't wait until mine is done. We used 4 of our dogs this morning, all without a problem. Its like they were born to do it. So that is a plus when I am telling people about it........ easy, easy, easy. It is fun for people to see all breeds do it. I went from the Shepherd you saw on friday to an Aussie Mix, LOVED the German Shorthair, one of the best was our little Mini Aussie !! I hope i can help spread the word ! For sure want to use it in the Christmas Parade this fall....
Xmas parade is Thanksgiving weekend. I am in !! The German Shorhair is SO AWESOME..... YOU have to try hin to appreciate it. The Aussie is just as great.....Just not big enough.... but he works well for me or the kids. I see what you mean about "flying". Last friday when i tried out Sky, I thought it was carzy fun. But some of our mutts really get into a fast gallop ! Yeah....count me in for a fun parade thing. And seriously......EVERYONE in our small town is stopping me on the road to ask about it. More pics to come....
Morning Mark. Good outfit! It came saterday. You overengineered! LOL But it is great, buying American instead of this constant China crap!! Sitka did great, right off. My wife helped like you suggested and he never flinched once. We took our first trip down to the lake today, 2 miles total. Thats's enough for a pup. We did walk a lot too. I really like the wide foot board. I will send some pics or video for the website if you want. I am cutting out the business cards you sent to give out.Once again... thanks from this 62 year old Vietnam Vet who is fighting Agent Orange and Diabetis. Your creativeness is helping to save this old man's life!Gary T.The leash pulling was an immediate "go", as was the harness... it was 10:30 pm when i arrived into town, and Matthew had gotten the holes drilled locally (kickbike floor board). This too, was immediate, my first kick was a startling thing for her, but that is all.. we were off immediately. I have been talking up the scooters, I think so many people have bothersome dogs, simply from not giving them what they need. Red is a Lab/Chow mix, about 35 lbs. maybe more now, as she has leaned out and muscled up... we are out every day, sometimes 2 or 3 times.Red loves the harness (as a seatbelt anchor in the car as well)Will try to do a photo thing. I wonder if a link through as adopt site or vet's site is possible?? The spin of satisfied pet = better behaved pet or ... overweight pets enjoy new lease on life with increased movement (which is easy on owners) of a heart attack rehab site, promoting health for people, with dog. I just want you to succeed, this is thehighlight of my day.. and Red's!Barb W.I wanted to let you know how marvelously things are going with your dog powered scooter system, and my dog Red!! OH SO HAPPY ARE WE TWO!!For about 10 days prior to having the system in place, Red and i were daredevilling down the streets via kick bike and leash attatched to the center pole (i know, one would think i was a 12 year old) As each day passed, Red became stronter and I became increasingly worried about the frequency of knee banging events and bike around tree/squirrel adventures.We test-drove the system at 11 pm last Tuesday night... even then, my best buddie Matthew reported (from behind, on a separate bike) "Barb, its so adorable, her tail is wagging and the two of you are just GOING!!"And we've been going ever since. Red's distractability has diminished a lot (surprisingly, the bike wheels NEVER bothered her, and the semi trailer/trucks in and out of a neabye silica palnt, have never phased her) I think the squirrels were invented JUST to taunt dogs.Peole in this heart of IL. town have been rolling down their windows, as we roll along, asking where we found such a thing.. I am passing along your info.Thank you so much!! Red and I are closer every day, her needs being met and all !Barb W.The scooter arrived and so did the harness system. I brought the entire thing to the local bike guy- who said it is a very high quality product! I should have the harness assembled tomorrow or Monday. Can't wait.Yasmin LOVES the scooter. She cries when she sees it and knows where to stand to get strapped in. The first day she was a bit cautious and sometimes went to the side. By the third day she was pulling straight, trotting and sometimes running. Her first run of the day is always the fastest. (we go up and down our block in a long oblong shape around a grassy island) And when she runs from the beach to our house (about 7 hourses) she always picks up the pace. So far she has taked my dad, my cousin and me.Bettina I'm just glad you loaned me one in the meantime. You can't get me off it ! The town of Sisters LOVES it. Jack, the German Shorthair is PERFECT !LOVING the scooter !! Can't wait until mine is done. We used 4 of our dogs this morning, all without a problem. Its like they were born to do it. So that is a plus when I am telling people about it........ easy, easy, easy. It is fun for people to see all breeds do it. I went from the Shepherd you saw on friday to an Aussie Mix, LOVED the German Shorthair, one of the best was our little Mini Aussie !! I hope i can help spread the word ! For sure want to use it in the Christmas Parade this fall....Xmas parade is Thanksgiving weekend. I am in !! The German Shorhair is SO AWESOME..... YOU have to try him to appreciate it. The Aussie is just as great.....Just not big enough.... but he works well for me or the kids. I see what you mean about "flying". Last friday when i tried out Sky, I thought it was crazy fun. But some of our mutts really get into a fast gallop ! Yeah....count me in for a fun parade thing. And seriously......EVERYONE in our small town is stopping me on the road to ask about it. More pics to come....Cathy
Mark, I went ahead and gave her the scooter on Christmas as i couldn't wait till all the kids would be there later in the week. SHE WAS SO EXCITED !!! We put it together together and it looks great.
The shims were perfect. It was very helpful the way you wrote with marker on the pieces so i knew where to place them!!! You did well.
Anyway thanks so much for a great invention and product ! WQe will start training the dogs, one at a time, till they are doing good and will then send you some photos of us !
Alma & Heather
(experienced dog musher in Michigan)
I took my oldest dog which was not the best in the lot of ways but at least he is not quite as wiggly and has a lot of patience but he tends to be a shy dog and does not lead very well on a team.
I didn't have things quite adjusted right at first but I saw what had to be done and we fixed everything. The first time out is the biggest learning curve! I took it for a stroll out our driveway and down the hill on the dirt road last night, with no dog attatched, to see how it felt to start out with.
Next dog, Kisses, just turned 3 years old 2/3 German Short Hair (lead dog) extraordinaire, got the harness adjusted and scooter as she is a lot shorter. She was a little timid of the rig besides her but she right off caught on and I had to stay on the brakes. I stopped every little ways to praise her and she is so unbelievably strong we gave the brakes a good work out as she would just get going too fast for the first time. She knows her commands though, whoa, gee, etc. Two or three times she would want to stop and pull back but it put the lead back on and she really did good.
Third dog (Peggy) is a single lead dog and absolutely fearless ! She will lead a team where ever you tell her to go--- trail or no trail. I hooked her up and she could see that this was a different game right away and didn't care, I'll play that--- this might just be fun ! Away we went from the kennel up the driveway and out to the national forest. I still stopped her every little to praise her and let her know she was doing every thing right. I had a pocket full of treats also. I had to ride the brakes all the way as she is a little house a fire !!! Let go and you will be going 20 mph in a hurry !!! She did absolutely awesome!
Fourth dog a gung ho little Euro hound I raised from one of my females just a little over a year old. She has shown promise to also be a good lead dog as she is not shy and very bold about everything.
After snapping her in I walked with her a few feet and she started to pull right off so we started out slow and she caught on right away and off we went. She had a little panic attack just once out on the trail but soon gained her confidence back and did just fine. Four dogs took my edge off too ! Have lots of stuff to do today so need to save some of my energy ! One thing about it--- its a lot safer that bike joring ! Will take the dogs a few trips to get completely use to having the scooter beside them but it sure is fun ! They seemed to think so too.
Just a quick note... the scooter is a tremendous hit !!! Bear, the Rottweiller, absolutely loves loves it ! He is just beside himself when i grab the harness. What a great idea, and so many people slow down and turn to look, you need a commercial or something to get the word out. I wish you all the luck, and great success in the future. I think this is just genius ! Looking forward to getting a second dog system maybe next year !
Thanks ever so much !
Wow, i don't have the words to express my joy & appreciation over our assembly day and first ride! It just doesn't get any better. Mark (son) and i put it together while Chico wore his harness. I marveled at the thought & engineering that went into this rig, both for safety and downright fun. Chico caught onlike a duck to water. We walked for about 10 feet when Chico started to pull. Mark, with one foot on the scooter said "let him go...I've got brakes". Besides, I don't run that fast. Lo and behold, off he went very naturally, like he'd done it before. It was all we could do to hold back the WoooHooos. It was indeed a magical moment. We then rested for a few and it was my turn to ride. Mark couldn't keep up running, so went on our own! Holy Mother of Joy... wind in my face, dog by my side, feeling the amazement of pure partnership, laughing myself silly. About half way around our loop, 1/2 mile, he automatically steadied his pace to a trott... much easier and smoother to ride. I walked along side to home and unhooked him. Amazingly, he didn't move out of position.. think he wanted to go again? Not wanting to push too far, he got a hefty praise and a few treats. By the way, he wasn't even breathing hard. Now back home I'm emailing you and he's playing with his ball. We'll go farther next time. Right now we're ready to chow down Easter dinner... all of us! Thank you, thank you. thank you for it ALL! The ingenuity it took to dream it, the dog safety factor, the smarts it took for the scooter design, the "Partnership" factor of yet another better, healthy way to enjoy and exercise your dog. All that's left to say is "This is only the beginning of a beautiful relationship". I will never forget this Easter.
Dancing on sunshine,
I love my dog powered scooter! I have 3 labs. 2 of them , the girls, are young enough and fit enough for it. My old boy has bad hips so he can't. The scooter has been helpful in dealing with one of my labs reactivity towards other dogs when she's on leash. When she's on the scooter we just keep scootering forward and onwards so she doesn't get time to get herself all wound up about others dogs!
It didn't take long to get them used to it- about 10 minutes using positive reinforcement. Mark actually sent some pretty goo instructions with the scooter. My husband assembled mine in the living room. So the dogs had all afternoon to see the "beast" come out of the box and be put together in front of their eyes! I think that helped. They totally checked out every component. It depends on the dog how fast you go. My girls go flat out and I have to use the brakes a lot to slow them down. A more sedate dog with a steady pace would be a real breeze! I always give the dogs a treat when putting them into the the bracket of the scooter and they just stand there perfectly still waiting! I would say that you don't need to be particularly fit to use the scooter- especially if your dog is crazy and charges along at 15 mph like mine! I hardly ever have to put a foot on the ground except for stopping. I don't do much work on it that's for sure.
Kathrine (dog trainer and member IAABC)
I imported a Beauceron puppy and was totally unprepared for a breed of intelligence, energy and power. I was beside myself as to how to handle him. Then, over a year ago, I got a dog powered scooter from Mark,. It has not only made a huge difference in the exercise I am able to provide the dog, but it has also had the wonderful side effect of bonding in a way that would have never happened if he had remained purely a pet dog. I'm not putting down pet dog owners, its just that this dog is a working dog and is most happy when he has worked. The reason I like Mark's dog powered scooter so much is that it is the safest way i have found to exercise the dog. Attaching a dog to a bicycle would not be safe with my dog. Neither would tying the dog to the front of the scooter. My dog wants to go, go, go but I have control of when he starts and stops due the powerful V-brakes on the scooter. I have contol of whether we go left or right. If the dog wants to go in a direction I don't want, I just redirect that energy by steering. A dog does need to be trained to pull the dog powered scooter. It is my opinion that this is something that is better done by more than just the rider. After accustoming my dog to the scooter, I had private lessons in which a professinal dog trainer helped me to do the actual pulling of the scooter in harness. It is important that the dog has a good expereince or the process will actually take more time. In the long run, it is my opinion that slower is faster. My vet thinks it's great! I also went and saw an orthopedic vet that thought it was fine in moderation; my dog has displastic hips. The vet actually thinks it is good for him since he needs good conditioning to keep his hind quarters from collapsing.
Probably the most important thing is that the dog loves it. I have a prolapsed mitral valve and we are both able to go out, have fun and get the exercise we need.
The scooter arrived this morning (pulling system last week). So we just got it assembled and walked up to the gas station to fill up the tires and tried Jake out on it on the way home. He was a little nervous with the cotnraption to begin with, but after a bout 5 minutes was really getting into it. On the way, 3 people asked about it... one being the executive editor of the BMGroup! Firstly becasue he has dogs himself and secondly from the media perspective because he'd never seen anything like it before. He asked me to contact him once I've had it for a few weeks and let him know how it's going!
Anyways, we're going for another longer walk with it tonight and will take some photos during the week to show off!
the dog powered scooter is a big hit in this house. Ozzie is still a bit unsure of it, but it works perfectly and wears him out. You should have seen that thing fly when that 70 lb pit bull saw two deer cross the road in front of him. It was just like you said...He wanted to follow them into the woods, but he could only push the scooter where i steered it. We didn't go an inch off course, but we sure did pick up speed ! Once he gets used to it and runs like that consistently I might try to get you some video. That boy will be going up hills at a good clip when he gets into it.
Thanks for taking the extra care hand-labeling the parts to help us figure out how to put the dog frame together and attach it to the scooter. I like your style.
First let me say that your invention is great. I just returned from a 40 minute ride with Rocky and we had at least 2 dozen full grin smiles from people along the way. Rocky is already pulling me along half the time... he loves it... he was so excited this afternoon when i pulled the Trike from its wall hanger.
You are bringing joy to many people.
I know its been a few weeks since I wrote. I've been kind of busy and this week is no different.
I implemented all your corrective suggestions and we are doing much better. However, it took a cat to teach Taz that when he pulls we go fast ! The first time he did that I think it surprised him.. and he's discovered just what he can and can't do when we are scootering. A cat at the end of our driveway gave him the impetus to start to pull and I am grateful for his "prey" drive that kicked in for that instant.
The other day a squirel did the same, and as he wanted to chase it, but discovered he couldn't actually go in that direction, he non-the-less picked up the pace. So we are making progress and I hope we will be a good team in a few months. I am taking it slow though, still, because I want us to not make any really bad mistakes, given that he wasn't a "willing candidate" at the start.
I can say that after a session on the Willy ... he is a "changed" dog... he's more content around the house, and doesn't seem to have all that pent-up energy. His prey drive is less, as he tolerates our chickens w/o needing to act like he just wants chicken for lunch !
Thank you for your guidance and time... you have been very helpful. I will keep in touch.
(purchased MY scooter design)
Still forming initial impressions, but so far:
- Construction- awesome, really feels solid. On one hand, its been many years since I've ridden on a steel frame, and I forgot just how "forgiving" a steel frame can be in terms of ride quality.
On the other hand, don't be surprised if ask you a year from now to build me a special edition aluminum or carbon fiber version. I have to load it in the back of my truck and it didn't go unnoticed that its about twice as heavy as my full suspension mountain bike. I can tell you put a lot of thought into the fasteners / clamping mechanisms-- they're great.
-Assembly- not too bad. I was in a hurry and wanted to take it out the first night I got it, so I didn't bother with the stem extender. Ride height is fine with the bar lower, so I may not bother with it. Brakes need to be dialed in better-- I'm just not that familiar with the disk brakes so this is my own fault. I got the wheels spinning freely, but now it takes too much action to apply full brake (which I discovered after my first ride is very important with MY dog!)
Initially I was confused with all the extra parts and why there were post holes drilled on the right side, but I seemed to have figured it out. (I like my dog on the left and mounted the post on the left side using two available holes)
-Harness- Not sold yet. I totally see the purpose of the design and the need for the rings on the side. But ...I have a high drive dog that's impatient, and when we go out she knows she's going to work... and she doesn't want to wait. Right now, too much fiddling around to get the harness on correctly and there's a lot of conflict with the dog because its's taking too long. Should get better with more practice, but I may try another harness just to compare.
-Mounting the dog- I grade this a C+ to B- at the moment. Kinda like the harness.. we both may just need more practice. WIth the bike its definitely easier because the mount is detacheable. I bring her out of the crate, slip the harness easily over her head, buckle up, and attach the bike mount to the harness, Then I lead her over to the bike with the attachment already connected to the harness and connect once I'm standing over the bike. With the the scooter there's not much play between the harness and the scooter D-rings. SO it kinda feels line docking the space shuttle-- gotta be precise in walking her up to it and gotta get the fisrt ring attached quickly ! She isn't spooked by it but just doesn't want to be still for more than 3 seconds. The second night went better when I placed her in an open area and then brought the scooter up from behind her to connect instead of walking her up to the scooter.
-Ride- A+ Unbelieveable. Really. Totally different experience than anything I've tried before on a bike (and I've tried quite a few things). The control is unparalled. Steering is precise and responsive and I'm finally in complete control of where we're going. The negatives I have about the harness and mounting procedure really go away once you get underway. She can transfer A LOT more energy to the scooter with your system than any bike. As I suspect, she went into a gallop strait away the second I took the brakes off and the wheels started to turn. The grass/dirt track I do is about 2 miles and we did 3 laps our first trip out (she wanted to go more, but i felt it was too hot, even at night)
I calibrated my cycling computer to the 20 inch wheel size and if its accurate, we hit 27 mph on the downhill sections and averaged 17-18 mph for the rest. It was a weird sensation to go that fast as I would always be braking on the bike to keep us from getting out of control. The scooter just never felt "out of control" even at top speed. Amazing ! Your engineering really paid off.
More later after I get more rides in and some decent video.
Thanks so much !