I agree with Kevin on his thoughts on riding with dogs. I have an energetic 95 lb shepard-lab mix, Jackson, as my running buddy (personal trainer might be more appropriate) but I have way too many concerns about taking him riding on the trails with me. Jackson can run 3-4 miles no problem but once in the woods, he’s running up and down trails, zig-zagging every which way easily racking up more mileage than a bike riding along the trail. Knowing your dog’s ability is key to not overworking him on the trails. Remember, dogs are instinctively loyal and will want to stay with you but an easy 10 mile cruise for you could be too much for your four-legged friend.
There are also hazards off the trail that you should be conscious of. The one time we rode with Jackson at Mount Herman, he took off and found a barbed wire fence 🙁 He was lucky though, and just cut his mouth and tongue up a little. He was so excited to be running around it didnt seem to bother him, however, all the exercise really got his blood pumping and that didn’t help with the bleeding. So what may be an innocent detour to chase a squirrel could be a real danger for your dog.
Last, it can be a nuisance for other hikers and bikers to encounter your dog off leash. Many people could be scared of dogs and, believe it or not, your dog can be scared of them. That’s generally why we have leash laws at most public places.
If you do ride with your dog, please be careful and curteous – Happy tails 😉