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What Small Dog for a Riding Companion?

June 13, 2011, 4:53 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Dec. 7, 2008

King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.

Admittedly, I was a bit unsure when I first started dating my girlfiend and I saw this long haired "cute" little dog, but the first time I took him riding in Squamish I realized he was about the best riding dog I've ever seen.

They were originally bred as up-land hunting dogs to help flush birds out while running in front of King Charles horses, but still be a great companion dog for back home at the castle.

The running pedigree is super obvious as soon as you hit the trails…. cuz he just flies and can do it for hours. I've taken him on Comfortably Numb and the Nimby Fifty course and he's still going strong when I'm just about cooked. Weighs around 20 lbs and if you keep them shaved they don't get too hot in the summer and are ok with a jacket on for snowshoeing in the winter.

I tried to attach a picture showing him riding in Pemberton. They are an expensive little dog, but quite a good choice for riding and chilling at home :)

June 13, 2011, 9:02 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: May 26, 2006

King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.

My mom has a Spanial/Bichon Frise cross and she was awesome on the trail. She seemed to go forever, and keep up quite well. She has a knee issue now, so I can no longer take her… but she was pretty fun the few times she did come along.

I have a Shiba Inu. She can be terrible on rides, but most of the time she is fantastic. It's taken a lot of work to get her where she is. There are a lot of shiba owners who don't let their dogs of leash - ever. Sophie get's to come on rides where we don't have to worry about her having a momentary laps of judgement (SFU - road crossing's). Up fromme she can run free, as well as seymour. We tend to stop 100meters or so from the end of the trail and leash her up, just in case she gets any ideas.

She weighs in at roughly 20 lbs. I commute to work with her - North Van to North Burnaby. I strap her into a harness and attach it to my chest via my backpack. She just hangs out, and paddles along while I grind over the second narrows. I usually let her off for half the ride so she can have some exercise before work begins.

Right now she maxes out at 2 laps of Cypress, 1 lap of Squamish (19th down), 2 laps of Seymour, or 1 meandering lap down fromme. She does have a more difficult time in squamish as it's higher speed, but on the local trails she tends to keep up.

If we stop on a trail, I have to make sure I keep her entertained with sticks or rocks while we wait, otherwise she finds something else to do. We whistle trained her as well, which works 75% of the time. If you here a whistle blowing on Fromme, it's probably me calling my dog…

Another simillar breed is the Basenji. Fairly similar in disposition but sheds a lot less, and can make less noise. Both of these will require a lot work with training - obedience school and beyond.

June 13, 2011, 9:43 p.m.
Posts: 522
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Another vote for the King Charles Cavalier. Awesome awesome little dog! Very smart Had a basenji years ago. That dog was untrainable, and about as sharp as a bowling ball. Wouldn't come when you called it. Kept shitting in the house. Got into a fight with a German Shepard guard dog who killed it. Missed him for about a day!

June 13, 2011, 9:54 p.m.
Posts: 4300
Joined: June 24, 2010

Thanks all for the replies!

Nova Scotia Duck Toller too big? Awesome mutts.

I'd LOVE to have a Duck Toller, but even the smallest females would be a bit big for our needs. I also really love Vizslas and Weimars, but those are bigger than we are looking at.

i have boston terrier french bulldog mix.
he is great at trails. a little slow on the paved stuff. have to keep it slow on the paved downhill stuff but you get used to it. on the trail though he is often running ahead of me…

definitely need to give him the option to drink, swim and cool down in summer but most of the time he is fine. He is also super mellow when in the house, but when he gets out side he runs forever. lots of character, lots of farts, lots of snorting and wheezing.

this is him at the halfway point of comfortably numb

This is good news… a Boston mix would be wicked. Does he do OK in hot weather, given you can find him some water and mid-ride rest? (Those are among my own personal requirements, anyway…)

i would have said a blue heeler, border collie is also a good choice. jack russel terriers are too annoying ime

but c'mon mang, do the right/east van thing: head down to the spca and see who picks you :)

First stop will be a rescue dog, but if it won't get in the messenger bag, that's gonna be an issue.

+1 for Jack Russel.

I have a Jack Russel Schnauzer mix (named Sprocket). He's got tons of trail energy!

He does like to chase things(aka high prey drive) but he's mostly controllable via voice commands.

My only caution to you is if you don't exercise a JRus enough they will make you pay.

good luck!

I think the Jack Russell mix is definitely a good possibility. Thanks.

Australian cattle dog could be a good option. Smaller and can run around a good bit.

One thing to watch with the sub-20lb category is that if you are taking them on more aggressive rides (Fromme etc) and accidentally clip them you are going to do a number on them. We live in East Van and have a smaller dog (weiner, about 15lbs), super handy but I never take her riding (although I have had her out running) and she keeps up pretty good.

Jodi's cousin has an Aussie cattle dog and I think that might be part of why she doesn't like heelers… off the list!

Unfortunately the 20-25 pound dog is what will fit best, so we'll have to work with the chance of the occasional punting.

King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.

Admittedly, I was a bit unsure when I first started dating my girlfiend and I saw this long haired "cute" little dog, but the first time I took him riding in Squamish I realized he was about the best riding dog I've ever seen.

They were originally bred as up-land hunting dogs to help flush birds out while running in front of King Charles horses, but still be a great companion dog for back home at the castle.

The running pedigree is super obvious as soon as you hit the trails…. cuz he just flies and can do it for hours. I've taken him on Comfortably Numb and the Nimby Fifty course and he's still going strong when I'm just about cooked. Weighs around 20 lbs and if you keep them shaved they don't get too hot in the summer and are ok with a jacket on for snowshoeing in the winter.

I tried to attach a picture showing him riding in Pemberton. They are an expensive little dog, but quite a good choice for riding and chilling at home :)

Very interesting… Spaniels in general are not among my favourite dogs. Mix might work, though.

I have a Shiba Inu. She can be terrible on rides, but most of the time she is fantastic. It's taken a lot of work to get her where she is. There are a lot of shiba owners who don't let their dogs of leash - ever. Sophie get's to come on rides where we don't have to worry about her having a momentary laps of judgement (SFU - road crossing's). Up fromme she can run free, as well as seymour. We tend to stop 100meters or so from the end of the trail and leash her up, just in case she gets any ideas.

She weighs in at roughly 20 lbs. I commute to work with her - North Van to North Burnaby. I strap her into a harness and attach it to my chest via my backpack. She just hangs out, and paddles along while I grind over the second narrows. I usually let her off for half the ride so she can have some exercise before work begins.

Right now she maxes out at 2 laps of Cypress, 1 lap of Squamish (19th down), 2 laps of Seymour, or 1 meandering lap down fromme. She does have a more difficult time in squamish as it's higher speed, but on the local trails she tends to keep up.

If we stop on a trail, I have to make sure I keep her entertained with sticks or rocks while we wait, otherwise she finds something else to do. We whistle trained her as well, which works 75% of the time. If you here a whistle blowing on Fromme, it's probably me calling my dog…

Another simillar breed is the Basenji. Fairly similar in disposition but sheds a lot less, and can make less noise. Both of these will require a lot work with training - obedience school and beyond.

Thanks, good info. Jodi doesn't like how Shibas' butts are always winking at you. I think it's hilarious, personally. Great to hear you strap her on for the commute, though!

Friends have one and we take him ski touring all the time. Tough guy, likes to run.
I would seriously consider one of these breeds also for the limited living space.

Living space is not really an issue, it's pedal powered transport that we're concerned about. We've got a truck and a big place with a(n unfenced) yard.

Another vote for the King Charles Cavalier. Awesome awesome little dog! Very smart Had a basenji years ago. That dog was untrainable, and about as sharp as a bowling ball. Wouldn't come when you called it. Kept shitting in the house. Got into a fight with a German Shepard guard dog who killed it. Missed him for about a day!

DO NOT WANT

flickr

June 14, 2011, 12:01 a.m.
Posts: 534
Joined: May 9, 2010

Ill put in a vote for Jack Russell, my little guy is an awesome dog. He is 13 now and definitely tires out pretty quick but back in his prime he would just run and run. I never took him trail riding, but id go for runs out on the fire trails with him quite often and he loved it.

You would definitely want to be up on the training because they like to chase the first distraction that comes across their path. My one was pretty hard to train, we kinda let him get away with too much in his young days but for a really great family dog with lots of energy you cant go wrong.

June 14, 2011, 12:15 a.m.
Posts: 523
Joined: June 19, 2006

Hi

I have mentioned Henry my 2 1/2 year old 26 pound mini Schnauzer in a previous thread. I take him on 4-6 hour rides on a fairly regular bases. Not sure he would sit in a basket, but for a small dog he is damn fast and runs well with bikes. If your looking for a mini Schnauzer I highly recommend you check out this persons dogs. No puppy mill here. http://www.bettsenterprises.com/ Any of the off spring from Spencer would likely make for a good running dog. Spencer is Henry's papa.

Master of Puppets

June 14, 2011, 9:15 a.m.
Posts: 11680
Joined: Aug. 11, 2003

Another good running dog would be a basenji, they are African hunting dogs, so can handle the heat and run for a long time. They don't bark either, which can be an added bonus.

Of course Morgman, you could get a spaniel and give it a matching skullet hairdo ;)

June 14, 2011, 11:03 a.m.
Posts: 5635
Joined: Oct. 28, 2008

Vietnamese Pot Belly Pig. They love the mud and if you get lost or some other serious shit goes down you've got bacon.

Wrong. Always.

June 14, 2011, 11:24 a.m.
Posts: 6328
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

I saw a stafordshire terrior black lab cross skiing one time. May be too big, ~40lbs.

The guy said she was a great mtb and ski dog.

Rez dogs are resilient too.

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June 14, 2011, 1:55 p.m.
Posts: 5635
Joined: Oct. 28, 2008

Vietnamese Pot Belly Pig. They love the mud and if you get lost or some other serious shit goes down you've got bacon.

If I could +ive rep myself, I would.

Wrong. Always.

June 14, 2011, 2:13 p.m.
Posts: 11680
Joined: Aug. 11, 2003

If I could +ive rep myself, I would.

No, because you forgot to include a smoker for curing the bacon.

June 14, 2011, 2:13 p.m.
Posts: 4300
Joined: June 24, 2010

Ill put in a vote for Jack Russell, my little guy is an awesome dog. He is 13 now and definitely tires out pretty quick but back in his prime he would just run and run. I never took him trail riding, but id go for runs out on the fire trails with him quite often and he loved it.

You would definitely want to be up on the training because they like to chase the first distraction that comes across their path. My one was pretty hard to train, we kinda let him get away with too much in his young days but for a really great family dog with lots of energy you cant go wrong.

A JR mix is a very good possibility.

Hi

I have mentioned Henry my 2 1/2 year old 26 pound mini Schnauzer in a previous thread. I take him on 4-6 hour rides on a fairly regular bases. Not sure he would sit in a basket, but for a small dog he is damn fast and runs well with bikes. If your looking for a mini Schnauzer I highly recommend you check out this persons dogs. No puppy mill here. http://www.bettsenterprises.com/ Any of the off spring from Spencer would likely make for a good running dog. Spencer is Henry's papa.

Henry! Yeah we will definitely consider mini Schauzers, though purebreds are pretty expensive (not that much an issue, still less than a bike heh).

Another good running dog would be a basenji, they are African hunting dogs, so can handle the heat and run for a long time. They don't bark either, which can be an added bonus.

Of course Morgman, you could get a spaniel and give it a matching skullet hairdo ;)

Exposed butthole on the basenji is not ok by the lady.

And even the thought of a dog having to wear a hat all the time to cover up his/her skullet is demeaning. ;)

I saw a stafordshire terrior black lab cross skiing one time. May be too big, ~40lbs.

The guy said she was a great mtb and ski dog.

Rez dogs are resilient too.

40 pounds is definitely more than we'd like. Our friend volunteers with a pitbull rescue and we've got her on the lookout for something smaller.

Vietnamese Pot Belly Pig. They love the mud and if you get lost or some other serious shit goes down you've got bacon.

If I could +ive rep myself, I would.

Dude. I DID +rep you for that!

flickr

June 14, 2011, 3:55 p.m.
Posts: 2099
Joined: April 22, 2006

Vietnamese Pot Belly Pig. They love the mud and if you get lost or some other serious shit goes down you've got bacon.

I'd have to get a fast Pig that enjoyed being chased down the mountain by a drooling biker. On a side note can you rescue a pig from the SPCA? Cause I'll go halves with some one on fatting….I mean nurturing one. ;)

June 14, 2011, 8 p.m.
Posts: 15599
Joined: May 29, 2004

Vietnamese Pot Belly Pig. They love the mud and if you get lost or some other serious shit goes down you've got bacon.

I was going to suggest a goat for similar reasons.

June 14, 2011, 9:54 p.m.
Posts: 4841
Joined: May 19, 2003

good luck with the search there morg' . . . first thing i'd do is go check out the shelters for something in the 1-2 year old range so you can see more or less what you are going to wind up with as far as body size and personality type .

i freely admit to being a purebreed snob :lol: , not because i think the dogs themselves are any better , but because i like the idea that dedicated breed fanciers have spent considerable time , energy , and education to develop a dog for a purpose . often that purpose can overlap . example : hector , my border collie ,a herding breed being used for SAR .

if you want to go the pure breed route you have decide what you want the dog for , and then spend the time to research breeds to find some that may suit your needs . i consider this to be part of the fun , some people wouldn't .

after you have narrowed down your breed selection then you have to find breeders to visit to see what the dogs are really like , and whether or not you would like a dog from that breeder . there may be any number of reasons why you would not want one of their dogs , and the same can be said vice versa : they may not want to sell you one of their dogs .

i've always thought a JRT would be a good riding companion . i have a friend in whistler who rode with one although i never saw it in action i'm told it could hang in there all day without any problem . i think if you did a lot of bonding exercises with it at a young age the distraction thing could be minimized . male , definitely neutered , but a female might be a better choice with that breed . they are certainly hardy enough physically to take the knocks , and if they do get overworked , they are small enough that you could put them in a backpack . in fact , i would probably make that at least a small part of every ride , so that the dog would be used to it . another thing about JRT's , like border collies , a tired JRT is a good JRT , so you'd have to keep him well exercised . i'd also recommend agility training : there is a whole lot of crossover experience / training there that would make life a lot more enjoyable .

one other thing , any dog that is out there trail running doesn't need a jacket . if you want , carry around a foam pad for him to lie on in the winter .

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