*Note: My mutt Ace and I tested the WalkyDog dog bike leash from The Dog Outdoors. The company sent us the leash at no cost in exchange for a review.
This dog bike leash is great for the right human and dog pair, especially if you have an active dog that can’t seem to get enough exercise.
When I say “hands free bike leash” or “bike leash for dogs,” I am referring to the WalkyDog bike leash. I have not tested other brands of bike leashes such as the Springer bike leash or the K-9 Bike Jogger.
The WalkyDog is a bike leash designed so people can keep both hands on the bike without holding or tying the leash. One side of the WalkyDog bike leash attaches to the bar beneath the bike’s seat. The other side clips to the dog’s collar, holding the dog securely and safely in place.
The WalkyDog bike leash has a quick release ability so in an emergency or if I want to walk Ace, I can quickly detach the leash section from my bike without unscrewing the entire tool. This also came in handy when I first installed the bike leash attachment. I did not have to attach Ace to the bike until seconds before I was ready to ride.
Taking your dog biking is a great way to have fun and get some exercise, but it is dangerous if the dog is not under control. A hands free bike leash makes sure the human is the leader, not the dog.
Even if you already bike with your dog, it will take some time to get used to the dog biking leash. Don’t rush it.
Ace and I have been biking together for two years, but I went back to the basics with him the first time I tried the WalkyDog. I kept him on the left side of the bike while I wheeled it between us. You can set up the bike attachment so your dog is on the right or left. Once on the bike, I made sure not to go too fast at first.
Who should use a hands free dog bike leash?
Dogs with decent leash manners
The WalkyDog is perfect for dogs that have good leash manners and respect for a loose leash. Since the WalkyDog is a hands free leash, the human can’t correct the dog with leash pops. There are other ways to communicate with the dog while biking such as verbally or simply stopping whenever the dog pulls.
People who bike in heavy traffic or in the wilderness
The WalkyDog bike leash is good for people who want to do some serious biking with their dogs out on trails or through traffic. These are times when having both hands on the bars is very important for safety reasons.
Athletic, shorthaired dogs
The WalkyDog bike leash is great for tall, active dogs. Let’s face it, even when we run with our dogs, we can’t always run for as long as they would like. Biking is a great way to make up for it. With a bike leash, you can go the speed your dog wants – fast!
Tall and fit shorthaired dogs will generally do the best with a bike leash, but I’m not out to discourage anyone from using this product. Any dog could potentially tag along on bike rides. If you have a small or short dog, check out the low-rider attachment sold at The Dog Outdoors.
I have the WalkyDog on hand to use with foster dogs, and I like having a hands free bike leash for my Fargo dog running clients that want to pick up the pace a bit.
The bike leash is a good tool for people who are not comfortable biking with one hand. It’s also a good tool for someone who needs to focus on riding rather than controlling the dog. It takes time to be comfortable biking with a dog, and the WalkyDog bike leash is a good way to hold the dog in place while the rider focuses on not falling!
Someone biking with her dog for the first time
If you have never biked with your dog, then a hands free bike leash like the WalkyDog is a good way to start. It will help teach your dog to remain at your side.
Who should not use a hands free dog bike leash?
It is not safe to use a hands free dog bike leash with dogs that do not know how to walk on a loose leash. It might be OK with a dog under 40 pounds or so, but a large dog is capable of causing the biker to loose control. If your dog has no leash manners, then practice some obedience and loose-leash walking before biking with him.
Bikers who want to give leash corrections
Since a bike leash like the WalkyDog is hands free, it is not possible to give the dog corrections when he pulls. As a result, the dog is able to pull and pull and pull. The WalkyDog bike leash is designed with springs and a bungee to reduce the force noticed by the biker, but this does not make up for the dog getting used to a tight leash.
Dogs that have already been trained to bike without a special leash
My mutt Ace is trained to walk nicely on a leash. Because of this, a bike attachment is not necessary for us. I am kind of an old man and set in my ways, so it took me awhile to admit I like the WalkyDog. Now that I have one, I use it almost every day! Whether you and your dog should use a bike leash is totally up to you.
Ace is used to walking with his head further forward than the WalkyDog bike leash allows. Because of this, it took us some time to get used to a bike leash. He had a tendency to pull while trying to get closer to my front tire where he typically runs. It took two or three biking sessions for him to realize if he stays back he will be more comfortable. You can see us in the video below.
What collar is best while biking with my dog?
The Dog Outdoors recommends a harness with the WalkyDog dog bike leash and sells one specifically designed for comfort and control while biking. I’m skeptical of harnesses because a harness makes pulling easier for the dog. Pulling is the last thing I want to encourage.
A training collar such as a pinch collar will give you the most control over your dog, but a pinch collar can’t be used properly when attached to a bike leash. The dog will likely keep the collar tight the whole time, defeating the purpose of a “training” collar.
Ace wore his regular nylon collar while attached to the WalkyDog. You’ll have to experiment and find what collar works best for you. A head collar like the Gentle Leader did not work well because of Ace’s height in relation to the WalkyDog. This won’t be the case for all dogs.
Other hands free bike leashes
There are other hands free bike leashes out there such as the Springer dog bike leash and the K-9 Bike Jogger bike leash. These are different than the WalkyDog, and I have not tested them.
Bike leash or not, I am a big fan of biking with dogs. It is a great way to get in some much-needed exercise. If you are into outdoor recreation with your dog, make sure to check out the WalkyDog and other products from The Dog Outdoors.
Don't forget your helmet!
Do you bike with your dog? Do you use a hands free bike leash?