Oh good, dog sledding is now available for suburbia in July. It's a Dog. Powered. Scooter. For canine exercise? Sure. To enhance mobility of the elderly? Sounds good. So that I can be the one guy in town who travels by a yoke of golden retrievers. Oh hell yeah.
Dog Powered Scooter creator Mark Schuette says "only conscientious and caring dog owners need apply" for one of his urban dog mushing vehicles. Whether used for sporting or recreational purposes, the scooters require responsible use for the safety of both their dogs and riders. Scooter systems are available in 4 different styles suited for different types of canine joyriding. With each, dogs are fitted with strap harnesses that connect to U-bars, in turn fixed to a straight bar extending from the back portion of the scooter. Unlike traditional dog sledding, dog scootering positions its drivers behind the riders, starting at the vehicle's mid-point, and continuing backward if more than 2 dogs are present.
Appropriate dogs to train on Dog Powered Scooters are those that are young or middle-aged, and weigh at least 35 pounds if they're chauffeuring solo or 18 pounds each if they're working in a group. So...puggles are out I guess. Just as well. I think they are better suited for doing humans' laundry than driving us around anyway. Athletic dogs with a lot of energy are obvious choices, but the Dog Powered Scooter can also be a good tool for reactive and even aggressive dogs who cannot be let off leash because the dog is allowed to run and burn off its fuel without compromising owner control.
The 4 types of scooters available are:
- The Serious Dog Powered Scooter. Designed by Schuette himself, this scooter flies both on pavement and off road. It functions best with multiple, strong dogs. Features include disc brakes, a frame suitable for up to a 300-pound rider, and 20" tires.
- The Recreational Dog Powered Scooter. For pavement or mild off-road use, this scooter suffices with 1 energetic strong dog, or 2 medium-sized dogs with average drive at its helm. Features include V-brakes, a frame suitable for up to a 250-pound rider, and 20" street tread tires.
- The Bolt-on Dog Pulling System. For recumbant Tadpole bikes, this system is limited to pavement or very smooth packed dirt. The mounting system fits just the Tadpole trike model, and has a 2-dog maximum.
- Custom Bolt-on Dog Pulling System. For scooters Schuette doesn't sell, he will custom make a mounting system. Any scooter is usually fair game provided he receives photos and accurate measurements.
For more information about Dog Powered Scooter uses, recommendations, and training methods, check out the company's Website.