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Dogs

Dog Scootering

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Dog Scootering is a sport where one or more dogs pull a human riding an unmotorized scooter. It is similar to mushing, which is done in the winter, but generally with fewer dogs and with a scooter instead of a dogsled. The dogs wear the same harnesses that sled dogs wear, and are hooked to the scooter with a gangline. The gangline usually incorporates a bungie to smooth out the shocks of speeding up and takeoff. Most of the same commands are used, although dog scooterers tend to be more relaxed about their commands, sometimes using "right" and "left" instead of "gee" and "haw", for example.

Scooter

The scooter is generally unmotorized, and has mountain-bike-style tires ranging from 16" to 26". These aren't razor-type scooters, which would be dangerous in this sport. The scooters incorporate mountain-bike-style brakes and have a large footboard to stand on and kick off from. The scooters are occasionally called kick bikes because they are not yet largely marketed for the sport of dog scootering. Some of the newer scooters also incorporate front shocks similar to mountain bikes to absorb bumbs better.

Location

While this can be an urban sport, done on sidewalks and paved trails, more dog scooters take the sport off-road to mountain-bike trails and back-country roads, where a higher level of skill is needed. There is also less chance of having to dodge people or vehicular traffic on these trails.

Benefits

Scootering provides exercise both for the dog and the rider. The dog gets exercise pulling the scooter but people have to help push, especially up hills. Dogs that exercise regularly tend to be better behaved, as a lot of bad behavior is due to boredom and lack of exercise. Behavior Problems

Most dogs take to this sport with little encouragement. They get to run as fast as they can and get to see and visit new places. As dog scooters become more experienced, they tend to take their dog(s) and scooter(s) with them to new trails. This can lead to a stronger bond between people and their dogs.

Activities

Dog scooterers get together for fun runs, where a number of dog scooterers run their dogs and scooters on the same trails. Fun runs may be just a morning run, or can be a weekend-long activity with multiple runs scheduled. This is still a maturing sport, and there are not yet formal dog races or other competitions.

In December 2005, dog scooterers are putting on the first Dog Powered Sports relay, Dogs Across America, where participants from around the country will choose one of the trails in their state and ride it in relay style to cover the entire length.

See also

Related sports are carting or dryland mushing, bikejoring, and sulky riding or racing.

External links


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