This is Honzo, he is a mix of Collie (mother) and Yellow Lab. He is just over a year old and already weighs 80lbs. So far he has been a great riding buddy. We started riding when he was 6 months old after our vet told us to “run him!!!” I was always told to wait until they were a year old but they said to “go ahead”, I guess his energy was a bit too much for them.
We started out on short trails with no road crossings and light traffic like Olson Park in Ann Arbor. Slowly we worked our way up to longer distances like Crooked Lake, on the Poto, and Torn Shirt at Brighton. Now we average 7-8 miles per ride. We have done a few 10-11 milers including the PotoMBA Abominable Snowman ride with his best at near 15 miles, (Global Fat Bike Day).
These rides are at his, and my, pace which is at about 8 miles an hour average these days. He waits on climbs, trots on flats, and he can all out sprint on the down hills at about 25 MPH or more. Only one of his early rides during the summer were difficult where we had to stop then walk for a bit.
He has been training with our group rides and has done well. He does dart in front now and again, so we have had to avoid him or “bump” him, but we have not had any casualties, dog or rider related.
A trail dog usually does not need much training, it’s very natural for them to run and stay with you once you are moving. There is a leash law on most trails so we carry his leash just in case, (I do it then ask for forgiveness on this law.)
So I carry his leash along with his bowl and some snacks and poop bags. He does curb it well (goes off the trail) and we do a little shake down run before we start the ride but just in case it’s good to have them.
We are still learning obedience, both of us. As soon as I can teach him to stop and come to me better, on command, we can explore more trails.
– Kevin and Honzo