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Advise needed on getting a large dog to ride in a sidecar

Sidecaring I've found attracts a "different breed"! Most riders who come to it through a variety of reasons stay because of the absolute love of the ride and the fun involved. It's usually not because the can ride 2 wheels anymore. I find sidecaring to be challenging especially if we ride with and keep up with the 2 wheelers. Glad I discovered it, and glad for the people I've met. My wife still rides and enjoys her trike. together we're great team. Our lives are definitely better because of it.

We're making progress! Took Daisy for a much longer ride yesterday. She's still being supported by my wife. We haven't soloed yet. Time to get her out on the main roads with some noise and distractions. Optimistic that all will go well. She really looks like she's enjoying the ride. Baby steps!,

let's see if we get Negra on the screen.
"I want to ride bike"


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This guy has traveled a big hunk of the US with his dog. Not all of his experiences worked out well and not all of his dogs took to it.

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One thing I can suggest is a good harness - I use a sleepypod seat harness in my Jeep with the doors off for my dogs. ( I have two small beagles, and they are very secure with this harness. When I eventually get a sidecar, I plan to add the same type of baby car seat mounts in the seat so I can secure the dogs.

Thanks for all the great suggestions. Just bought the book, "dogs ride" written by 2 people from the "Sit, Stay, Ride video. Very good book, and we found we're doing a lot of things right. Our dog is getting used to the sidecar and I think beginning to see it as "her place". Taking it slowly, Tomorrow will go out on the real road for a short ride. Will see how she does. Keep you posted!

99Savage - 2/10/2016 8:57 PM

This guy has traveled a big hunk of the US with his dog. Not all of his experiences worked out well and not all of his dogs took to it.

That was my boy. I lost him to lymphoma last November after 55,000 miles of shared adventure. We got over 1000 cards, letters, emails and PMs after his passing. He was truly loved by many! The most touching tributes came from people who had been using Barley as an example of how to face their own cancers with courage and dignity. All dogs bring gifts to the relationship if you keep your heart open. Barley brought more than most and made it very clear he would be royally ed off at me if I didn't regift his love to another dog. He taught me so much...

Right now my world is locked up in ice and snow, but come spring Tulliver will start riding with me in earnest. (So far he's just done a few rides no more than 100 miles.) He's not as curious about the world as Barley was, but wants to me with me so does okay. Our new pup - Pandemonium - will be born around St Patrick's Day and come to us in mid-May. Coming from master hunter lines on both sides, I suspect he will have courage and curiosity in spades. Those qualities coupled with a highly developed prey drive made Barley so much fun to travel with. Hopefully his training as both a service dog and a sidecar dog will be completed in less than two years so we can get out there and continue the legacy.

A couple of general pointers for those just starting out:
1. Every ride should include a fun break for the dog.
2. Treats and praise are critical to forming that bond you'll need on the road.
3. Nothing bad should ever happen in the hack: no scolding, no punishment, nothing but fun and love and joy.


Those three pointers say it all in a nutshell!! Very well stated. So sorry for your loss of Barley. When Archie died after all the years he'd been my sidecar sidekick and all the adventures we'd had together, I was devastated. I thought there'd never be another like him. And that was mostly right. There will never, ever be another Archie. But after several months I found Henry in the same shelter I'd found Archie. He was unique in his own ways and was learning to ride but didn't take to the sidecar as naturally as Archie had. His thrill in life was chasing coyotes and cars. Dang it. Chasing cars was his downfall. I couldn't undo what was done. I didn't wait that time. Back to make the round of shelters. Thought it would take several trips but on that first round, there was Petey looking out through the kennel knowing I was there to rescue him. This riding season will be the 5th for him and he absolutely loves to ride in the sidecar. His favorite way to go. The adventure continues. Here's hoping your adventure with continue with another canine companion!!

Thanks, Tom. Losing a dog is never easy. Losing one that you have so completely bonded to, a soul dog, is devastating. I promise each pup that enters my world a life of joy, love and adventure. I also promise to never compare them to those who came before, that I will accept the gifts they bring as special things, and not rank them. It's going to be difficult starting over with Tully and then with Pandemonium, as neither will have Barley's experience. But I'll keep an open mind and watch for signs that my training approach isn't working on this particular dog...and adjust myself accordingly.

BTW to the OP, removing the Hannigan seat is not a big deal. If you have a second person to hold the head of the bolts it's easier, but you can also use the side of the tub to hold the upper wrench in place while you remove the nut underneath the tub. Two of the bolts go through the frame so you definitely want to put those back. The other pair of holes I just plugged with a rubber grommet. Without the seat he could stretch out for naps and when sitting up he was lower (and safer). It also gives you access to the rear bulkhead which let me attach water and fuel cans just in case.

I'm not sure what sort of riding you do, or how far you go, but in my case living in Northern Vermont where most of the roads are unpaved, and taking a 5-9000 mile summer trip every year I found that a memory foam mattress gave Barley a lot better protection from road vibration. In the photo I posted earlier you can also see the tonneau cover I had customized for him. He was a hunter, and that smaller zippered hatch kept him centered in the hack so he couldn't get his paws on the edge for a closer look at an animal we passed. It was also supposed to provide some rain and sun protection, but it never worked out that way. The rain would pool in the center and the zipper was not waterproof, and the sun got so hot inside despite the light color that I ended up getting the Hannigan ragtop. That turned out to be a great buy, as it was absolutely waterproof and gave him some much needed shade out west.

Great info. So sorry to hear about Barley!!Just finished reading your blog. Really enjoyed it! I can share your loss. We lost our 18 yr. old cockapoo last yr. Still haven't completely gotten over her loss. Anybody who says they don't morn the loss of a dog has never really been loved by one! They exist to love! Glad to hear that his legacy will continue. In the final analysis that's all each of us has to give. In most cases that's a lot! Ride on, ride safe, and know that Barley is always with you!