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Dog ownership tips 15.03.2021

Riding a bike with the dog - Forbidden?

Johann by Johann, Johann has been a dog dad since 2018 and a dog fan since 1986.

Can I ride a bike with my dog?

Riding a bike with your dog - it's a welcome change, especially for athletic pups. Dogs (and humans) get more exercise, spend more time in the fresh air and see more of the world. So that you and your four-legged friends can prepare properly for the cycling adventure, we have put together the most important facts about cycling with dogs.

Your dogs should have these prerequisites

As with any sport, your dogs should be fit enough. If they are young and healthy, this is no problem. With older dogs you should decide on the basis of judgement whether longer distances are still reasonable for them. Sick dogs or even small, short-breathed dogs like pugs or French bulldogs are not suitable for cycling, as they don't get enough air when walking due to their physical condition. But that doesn't mean you can't take them with you. Bicycle baskets and dog bike trailers fit on every bike and what could be better than the panting grin when they are driven through the countryside by their mistress and master.

shutterstock.com / connel

The right equipment must not be missing

Very important: the leash. Depending on your maturity and obedience, you can let your dog run alongside you without a leash, but this is not recommended, especially in city traffic. But which leash is the most suitable?

An absolute taboo when cycling is to attach the leash to the collar. Sudden movements or stops can lead to serious injuries at the higher speed. By the way, the same applies to attaching the leash to the steering wheel. The flexi leash does not belong here either. Constantly driving with only one hand increases the risk of accidents, both for you and your four-legged friends. Instead, it is best to use a chest harness, which distributes the leash pressure evenly and makes it easier to guide your furry friend.

If you want to have both hands free while riding, you can tie the leash - e.g. the jogging leash - around your chest or mount a dog carrier on your bike. The latter is the safest, prevents the leash from getting caught in the wheel and has a dampening effect on jerky movements of the dog.

What does the dog law say? Germany

Now to the most important question: is it even allowed to take dogs with you while cycling? Yes! The German Road Traffic Act only prohibits dogs from being taken out of motor vehicles such as cars or motorcycles. Provided that the accompanying person can influence the dog sufficiently so that it does not endanger the traffic, dogs may be led while cycling.

It is essential to consider whether the dog breed is at all suitable for long distances. Because one lets a short-legged or ill dog run longer time beside itself, one can be indicated because of cruelty to animals.

Otherwise nothing stands legally to the driving pleasure with your four-legged friends in the way. So that they get used to running alongside you, you should definitely practice with your dogs before you get on your bike for the first time to protect them and yourself from avoidable accidents.

Austria is a different matter! Attention.

Can I ride a bike with my dog in Austria? No! Unfortunately, things are quite different in Austria than in Germany. "The Viennese animal protection ombudsman's office warns: Carrying a leashed dog on a bicycle is forbidden in Austria according to the road traffic regulations. Those who do not abide by it face a fine of up to 726 euros." says an article in the Tiroler Tageszeitung of May 20, 2020. So YES, it is forbidden to ride a bicycle with a dog in Austria.

shutterstock.com / Peter Galleghan
Banner: shutterstock.com / BDLook
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