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Chocolate Havanese

Cycling with your Havanese

by Suzanne Slaney

Cycling with your Havanese can be an enjoyable pastime for you both if a few simple, common sense guidelines are followed. Safety must always be the first priority for you and your Havanese. For yourself, always wear a helmet, make sure your bicycle is well maintained and ride safely following all bicycle rules. Ride on designated bicycle paths where possible and stay away from busy streets.

Rear mounted basket carrierTo keep your Havanese safe and to prevent injury, be sure he is secured properly. Many carrier styles are available, including handlebar mounted, rear fender mounts and even small trailers. A front carrier may be less than ideal as a carrier mounting position as constant movement of the handlebars can make for a nauseating experience for your Havanese as well as a jerky ride. A rear mounted carrier is more stable and also helps to protect your Havanese from insects and flying debris. Our experience has been very positive using a basket in a rear frame mounted carrier. The basket is similar to grocery store shopping baskets which is securely attached to the carrier with nylon wire ties. Place a padded mat in the bottom of the basket to ensure your Havanese will have solid cushioned footing and a comfortable ride. This may be a quilted mat or any type of blanket/towel which fits the bottom of the basket.

Harnessed securely and ready to rollYour Havanese should wear a well fitted harness with straps tightened under the chest and chin. The harness must be securely attached to the basket. A small bungee cord run through the harness ring (where you normally hook the leash) works quite well as a restraint. Small bungee cords (available at most hardware stores) have a metal hook at each end which allows them to be attached to the basket. This securely restrains your Havanese; and prevents him from falling (or jumping) out, while still allowing enough freedom of movement to let him change positions. Never attach your Havanese to the basket by a collar and leash as it could put him in a dangerous situation if you stop suddenly or something catches his attention and he attempts to jump out. Always remove the leash for safety, otherwise the leash may dangle and get caught in the wheel or catch on a passing object and cause a serious fall. Safety first!

To keep things fun and stress free, its very important to acclimatise your Havanese to this new mode of travel before setting off on any excursions. The first few rides should be short with plenty of praise and treats. In no time at all, your Havanese will be bounding around in eager anticipation of a ride as soon as you pull out your helmet. While out riding, don't forget to stop periodically to allow your Havanese to "smell the roses". Be sure you have plastic bags on hand to clean up after your pet. You should also carry a water bottle for water breaks for both of you. Occasional treats are always appreciated so don't forget to tuck a few goodies into your pockets before you go. Careful attention to planning and safety will ensure that the experience is enjoyed by all. Safe and Happy cycling . Have Fun !

Ollie and Gypsy in their puppy cart At the Wentworths' , Ollie and Gypsy ride in style in their very own bike trolley. It's actually a pull cart made for human toddlers but it's built perfectly for the dogs. While some trolleys have moulded bottoms with "feet" wells , the floor of this trolley is almost flat. A non skid rubber mat placed in the bottom before setting the dogs in gives them the ability to sit up as they ride, without their front paws slipping away forward. The trolley also has fasteners meant to securely buckle toddlers inside. These are perfect to snap the dogs harness to. This has proven to be an ideal set up for this family!

Casey and Quincy in the The Wentworths have also tried a basket that went on the front handle bars. The basket has a wire dome to fasten on top, keeping the dog from jumping out. This set up sounds OK but actually gets very poor reviews...... " To tell you the truth, I didn't like it much. It added weight to the front handles, making my steering of the bike rather awkward. Plus, Ollie was getting jerked side to side a little bit from my motion in attempts to drive steadily.

On a recent bike hike, the Quigleys were unable to use a pull cart so they came up with their own solution so the dogs could still ride along. They rode a tandem bicycle with Quincy in a backpack and Casey in a front sling which appears to have worked out pretty well. Passers by referred to them as a "puppymobile".