I have an awesome trail partner. Her name is Abby and she never says "no" to a ride. She is a 40# mix that I found abandoned as a 5 week old pup in the MI state forest while I was mountain biking. I am retired and ride NM desert in the winter and SD forest in the summer. I have found it very impotant to carefully monitor her feet. It takes a while for her pads to toughen up on the desert. Needless to say, I have to carry extra water and a collapsible bowl that mounts to my seat stem – with a small bungie. Bombing long downhills isn’t very fair to her. I have to keep in mind that I always want her to have a good time. Hot weather, too, seems awfully hard on her. In warm weather we will only do 5-6 miles. In good weather we have done 25 miles. 15 miles seems to be a good workout for both of us. Training took some patience on my part and a couple of times I used an electronic collar. Everyone remarks how well she does on group rides and how she will always mother hen the tail gunner. We also feed her very good dog food – Taste of the Wild is what she gets. I also give her fish oil capsules everyday. I’ve trained her to tighten up with cows and horses and have broken her of chasing deer. She still enjoys harrassing wild turkeys and ground squirrels, but I just keep riding and she catches up. She pouts when I don’t bring her as she knows I have gone without her, but she still forgives me with a wag of her tail or a quick lick on my return. Mountain biking has been a real pleasure with her. We take breaks together on the trail and she seems to eat about 2/3’s of my cliff bar. Keep it simple an fun – that is the key.