Introduction: Bike Dog Walker

Picture of Bike Dog Walker

We have a pug dog and we also enjoy bicycling. When we go bicycling and take our dog he wants to run, but I have found it very dangerous to hold a leash and ride a bike. If he stops, he can pull on the leash which could cause me to crash.

Parts list:
1. 12" long 1/2"npt pipe
2. 3/4"npt TEE
3. 1/2 to 3/4 bushing
4. Hairpin Cotter Pin to match dog size (25 pound use a 3", and 40 pound use a 4")
5. Extension Spring 1" X 7" X.135"
6. 2 - Hose Clamps for approx. 2" pipe
7. Old inner tube to cut up
8. Leash - 3 foot length see step 8
9. Dog harness

Step 1: Cut the 3/4" Npt Pipe TEE in Half

Picture of Cut the 3/4" Npt Pipe TEE in Half

Cut the 3/4" npt TEE in half. I used a hacksaw, which cut the TEE in half fairly quickly.

Step 2: Grind Sharp Edges Off Cut TEE

Picture of Grind Sharp Edges Off Cut TEE

Remove the threads inside the TEE, and any sharp edges to prevent scratching the seat post too much.

Step 3: Spring

Picture of Spring

At the local hardware store buy a closed end spring as shown that is 1" X 7" X.135". If you can't find a spring that is this size, the important thing is to make sure that when the end of the spring is removed, a 1/2 pipe can screw into it.

When I bought this spring at the local hardware store, I walked to the plumbing section and sized up a 1/2 npt pipe to the spring and found that with a little force the spring would screw onto the pipe.

Step 4: Screw the Spring on to the 1/2" Shaft

Picture of Screw the Spring on to the 1/2" Shaft

With the 1/2" pipe in a vise, screw the spring onto the pipe. You need to really push the spring as you twist to make sure it starts to thread on.

I added gorilla tape to help protect the spring for the bit marks from the pliers, however the spring was still marred. You will need to add a lot of tape to protect the spring from marks from the pliers

Step 5: Assemble TEE and Pipe Together

Picture of Assemble TEE and Pipe Together

Assemble the 1/2" pipe to the 1/2" - 3/4" bushing to the 3/4" TEE that was cut in step 2.

The great part about this is that when you don't need the "Dog Walker" you can unscrew the 12" pipe and bushing to remove it from your bike. The TEE stays on the seat post out of the way and is ready for when you need it again.

Step 6: Attach Leash to Break-away "Hairpin Cotter Pin"

Picture of Attach Leash to Break-away "Hairpin Cotter Pin"

Size the "Hair pin cotter pin" to match your dogs size. For example: for my 25 pound pug I used a 3" and for my friends dog that is a lab and weighs about 40 pounds I used the 4".

To make the break-away feature work, all you need to do is put the leash in the large loop of the cotter pin and the spring in the small loop of the cotter pin. This configuration has worked well and is very easy to reset after it has been opened.

Step 7: Assemble Bike Dog Walker on the Seat Post

Picture of Assemble Bike Dog Walker on the Seat Post

Cut three pieces of old inner tube as follows:
2 at 2-1/4"
1 at 3-1/2"

Insert the 3-1/2" inner tube on the seat post. Then insert the two shorter inner tube pieces and each end of the TEE. Clamp the whole assemble to the seat post with the two hose clamps.

Step 8: Taking It Out for a Test Run

Picture of Taking It Out for a Test Run
For the first ride it is best for the both of you to go out by yourselves for at least a mile or so until you and your dog get accustomed to the bike dog walker. Then you should be able to ride as a group like in these pictures below.

In these videos you can see that I was using a retractable dog leash, which I would not recommend. I really had to try hard to keep the leash out of the tire, unless you shorten the length.

Update: Aug 8th 2009, we went out for a ride with a yellow lab called "Bell", and a leash that was 3 feet long. That length of 3 feet worked the best for her. So I would like to change my original recommendation of a 6 foot leash, to a 3 foot leash.


hherzog (author)2016-08-01

I have a basset heeler mix who loves loves loves running, even though she is getting uo there in age. Its pretty easy to know when she is pooped, so I will be adding some sort of dog basket build for this setup so she doesn't have to run the entire ride.

AngelaL85 (author)2016-05-12

Exercising a dog along side a bike seems to be forced exercise, as the dogs are not constantly running all the time, they often slow down, stop walk abit, their pace varies.

Frostxr (author)2015-03-28

Wouldnt you over heat your dog, if he's constantly running?? While you use minimum power. Do they not get exhausted?

crank_girl (author)2014-06-07

This is just what I need. I got ill a couple of years back and as a consequence my mobility is extremely limited. One of the things that I really really miss is walking my dog - I have it on good authority he misses it too. I've bitten the bullet, overcome my pride and decided to get a mobility scooter - who cares that I'm only 39? My jack Russell, William, pulls quite a lot so this is ideal. I'll whack skis on in winter and yoke him up like a husky.

Thanks for the 'ible. :-)

chunnygoat (author)2014-03-25

Thank you I will try this this weekend

chunnygoat (author)chunnygoat2014-04-29

I decided to go with ubolts thinking it would hold better for dogs that pulls real hard and the dang thing spins. any ideas to clamp it down real tight

mandib made it! (author)2014-03-25

Thanks for sharing you encouraged me to give it a try. I've been wanting one of these just didn't' want to fork out that much money. I made a few different changes on mine, but for the most part your idea rocked. I used a 3/4" Tee, 3/4" Pipe, and then screwed a water hose spring on the end to allow for some shock absorbing. Cost me about $15. Works like a charm for my two dogs!

hxp (author)2012-12-18

These instructions inspired me to build my own. However, I used 3/4" PVC plumbing pipe, threaded adapters and some bungee cord. My 1 year old terrier mix is about 20 pounds and pulls hard. The bungee cord absorbed her lunges and the pvc was strong enough to hold her back. The threaded adapters allow me to unscrew the arm off when not needed. Total cost of materials is about $10 bucks!

NorthernMind (author)2012-09-10

I wanted to thank you for the great instructable! Although we did not use the exact same materials, your design was the base for our lighter rendition using plumbing pipe.

It took Sam just minutes to realize what the bike walker was all about and she loved it and was a natural! Even though she respected and followed slow turns we've decided to teach her word commands for turning.

Check out our first go at the bike walker (one photo she wanted to great the camera man):

clag95 (author)2012-06-26

This is a great design :D I built it today and It works wonderfully :D I made a 2' long elastic leash to clip onto it as well, because my dog is a puller, and it appears my dog doesn't mind being "attached" to my bike. I followed your instructions the whole way and I had minimal issues, such as attaching the spring to the pipe... It was very tricky, and i had to grind the thread down a little in order for the spring to actually fit. but overall that was the only issue :D thank you for such a complete and thorough instructable :D I can't wait to practice with it 2mrw :D

vcote (author)2011-05-27

This pug is incredible! Mine would have run for 5 minutes and then he would have just drag along on his back... It is the first not lazy pug I see.

Second: this is genius. I've been wanting my husband to take the greyhound for a bike ride, but she is really skittish and he is afraid something will spook her and she'll run in front of him. This will solve that.

Plus, your video proves to my husband that she is NOT too small to follow a bike. She is taller than a pug! If he can, she can.

BillBiker (author)2010-02-15

Very sweet idea! One could add-on to this idea. I may try it just for fun, but I use the retractable leash with my dog.

katerlyn (author)BillBiker2011-05-06

Does anyone know how to get a retractable leash that goes around your waste? I have looked and looked, I had one but one of my dogs chewed the cable and wrecked it!

It was so much better than being tugged by arm...and I was able to bike with it on.

GlassDragon (author)2010-07-24

I can't wait to make my own. I've want to exercise with our new dog but my knees can't take running and I've been worried about being pulled off the bike holding the leash - she's powerful and loves to run. This will be perfect.

jet_ski (author)2010-02-09

For those of you who say 'get fit with the dog' I'd like to see them try to keep pace with a greyhound or a malamute or any other hunting breed which can't be offleash except for in fenced areas.

I was going to buy a springer but I think I'll make this instead!

redelle (author)jet_ski2010-03-16

I've got two greyhounds and seriously they are the laziest animals on earth and I love them to pieces... my boy actually got off leash one time and he was keeping up with cars going at 60 -70km down the road no problem. (he wasn't chasing but racing them!) thankfully they don't have much stamina and I managed to get him in about 300m... a person I knew was driving and saw me and picked me up.
I take dudley out on the bike but its the braking that is the pain when going gung ho!

potshot (author)2009-11-27

Hate to be picky, but doesn't having the "break-away" kind of screw up the whole idea?  If my dog decided to make a pit stop while I was biking, or on my scooter and the break-away disconnected him from the hookup, I would be too afraid that he would run off or run into traffic and be run over before I could get back to grab the leash, which  kind of defeats the purpose of the whole thing. Am I  wrong? Not trying to be nasty, but this ws my first thought.  Did I miss something?

5VOLTSGC (author)potshot2009-11-30

You have a good point, and now that I have used it for about 6 months and seen the comments on this instruct able, I would have to say, if you are using a short leash of less than 2 feet (see comments by Das_Wookie), you don’t need a breakaway feature.  The reason I added the break-away feature was for the case when you and your dog ran on the different sides of a tree or pole.  That would not happen if you had a short leash.  

Beneball (author)2009-08-04

Author made one for me and it works great! I really like that I don't have to have the pole attached all the time. Now I just have to find a way to train my dog to carry all my snacks and water!

diznee4me (author)Beneball2009-08-11

They make dog backpacks. We bought one a long time ago from PetSmart and still use it. Our dog carries his own water/treats and several other items, including our stuff. VERY helpful! :D

gypsyvet (author)diznee4me2009-08-14

Great idea. My dogs have backpacks, too. However, I would caution, that the pack could be caught up in the bike's mechanism, and more important, most of these bags are nylon, and running alongside a bike could allow overheating for the dog. So, keep it slow, stop frequently, and watch for overheating! And, don't forget to "have fun"!

diznee4me (author)gypsyvet2009-08-14

You're absolutely right. We give our dogs breaks frequently and don't leave the packs on for too long. :) They don't mind it. Actually, they seem to be pretty proud of themselves while carrying it. :D

92buckshots (author)2009-08-17

Wouldn't you need a dog? It is not in you're list of parts. ha ha just kidding!

larry.norder (author)2009-08-14

Hi, this is excellent. I have a Swiss Mountain Dog who weighs in at 122 pounds. What size kotter pin should I use. On another note, he is trained to pull a sled, maybe I can adopt your design to add some dog pulling power for the hill climbs! Best, Larry Norder

trgz (author)2009-08-14

Neat idea but for the fact that once the dog has 'broken away' then it's possible that it could to run into the path of any nearby riders. I'm not convinced by the commercial springer either in that it can allow your dog to become entangled and 90% less force from an entanglement with an immovable object is still going to result in an 'off'. Previous experience (a major dog/bike crash that bent 3 tubes and hurt a helluva lot) has also led me to believe that the two should be kept apart - I always walk my dogs away from bikes and cycle (off and on road) away from dogs. :-)

Raydoom (author)2009-08-14

Brilliant design but you have still got the problem of having to stop sharply when your dog wants to turn elsewhere or stop but that is an almost unstoppable problem good work tho .

whirlpool3 (author)2009-08-14

For all the above listed drawbacks this s actually legally forbidden here in the UK. I have seen people ignoring this and not recognising when their dog is being overstrained. Cruelty even done by ignorance is horrid. Another reason why it is forbidden. Why not exercise both owner and animal to fitness? Get reality into the siuation. I mean make the dog owner run to tiredness and fitness. Get fit together.

jjure (author)2009-08-13

I have built something similar out of yellow fibreglass rods (originally for chimney cleaning). Advantage - attaches to handlebar - better visual control, can talk to the dog. I say: "Ignoo-o-o-re..." when appropriate. 2 part design - these rods have a male and a female connectors on their ends. Receiver stays in the bike, long part removes easily. Faces blacked out for the obvious reasons.

pyromonkey (author)2009-08-13

Awesome!! Now all I need is a bike :P

marcintosh (author)2009-08-13

First off- this is GREAT. Thank you. I had one in years prior that was a commercial product. When I changed bikes it no longer fit. 8-(
Looking at your design it appears that it might also be possible to attach this to the seat or chain stay as well.
Thanks for including the video too. It's always nice to be able to see items in action as it lets me know what to expect. Especially the Disconnect video!

jovino (author)2009-08-13

Great. Lets take our dog our for a drag!

SandLizard (author)2009-08-13

I like this. Get two of everything except the tee and bike two dogs, one on each side.

lnalex (author)2009-08-13

What hapened when you turn right

KI4WLG (author)2009-08-13

Sounds and looks like a great build! I will caution everyone just because I've had it happen to me. If you have any dog which is a runner (like a a Jack Russel) or a bigger dog, and they take off after something like a squirrel, you run the risk of a sudden jerk to your seatpost. If you're not ready for the jerk, you might find yourself flat out on the ground. But as I said before, looks great!

recycled-oxygen (author)KI4WLG2009-08-13

I have one of these...and actually its attached to the strongest part of the bike and I have 2 55lb dogs I attach to my bike just like this and they cannot pull me over. They forced to go forward or which ever direction they are being pulled.

sniffydogs (author)2009-08-13

Great! I have a commercially made Springer. $40.

ikoda (author)2009-08-05

A retractable leash is nice... You wont have the dog pulling you off balance and wont cause strain if your going a bit to fast/slow.

5VOLTSGC (author)ikoda2009-08-05

I did use a retractable leash that was 10 feet long, which didn't work too well because I hard to work hard to keep my dog on the right side of my bike to prevent the leash cord from wrapping around my tire. But I'm sure if I just shorten that length on the retractable leash to maybe 6 feet it would work better, I'll have to give it a try.

Das_Wookie (author)5VOLTSGC2009-08-12

Go WAAAAY shorter! 12", maybe 18" MAX! You want the dog right along side the bike at all times with NO chance of getting near a wheel. Awesome design!

Das_Wookie (author)2009-08-12

Shorten the leash to 8-12 inches max! Keep the dog RIGHT along side you. It's DANGEROUS for the leash to be too long as if the dog can get in front of or behind the wheel, it's ASKING for trouble. Best case you just crash sorta trouble! Shorter is better! I have a very similar device called "The Springer" which works great. This is an excellent DIY version of The Springer and one I'd recommend to folks looking to see if it's good for them and their dogs.

Tape-structable (author)2009-08-11

This is a nice design. I really like the break away feature. 5/5!

5VOLTSGC (author)2009-08-08

The leash length of 6 feet might be too long. We went out for a ride with a different dog (Yellow Lab) last night and she did better with a 3 foot leash. This was her first time and when we started out as a group she was so excited that she ran in front of the bike. Nothing happened thankfully, because the rider had just barely got moving and was able to stop quickly. To prevent that we shortened the leash to 3 feet, see step 8.

Rainbowlaces (author)5VOLTSGC2009-08-11

You should get leash couplers. They are much shorter and inexpensive. You could get one that is 4 ft, but as small as 1 ft. You could get a good length so the dog has some range of movement but can't get in front of you. :)

Yerboogieman (author)2009-08-10

You have lines on the trail? I hate people where i live, at night, they will ride in groups and not follow the lanes like normal people. And no, they don't use bike lights. So i need extra ones.

colossalman (author)2009-08-07

This is fantastic! I've just been holding the leash, that makes it hard to brake and shift though. Also always worried about running over her tail or toes. This is going to be great, thanks for sharing this howto!

drumallday (author)colossalman2009-08-10

Thank you so much for this! My dog really needs exercise and I haven't been able to go bike riding with him because he will run in front of my bike or pull me over. This is going to make for a happy dog and a happy person.

Hoaxinmi (author)2009-08-10

yah this is a great idea. I love it. I just need to work up my dogs endurance now.

aceLED (author)2009-08-07

i saw this guy walking his dog with his boke and the leash was to long and it wrapped around the tire and pulled the dog into the tire ....thank go he stopped in time :s

Warlrosity (author)2009-08-06

Vhat a beauitful pug, alas how dose he cope?

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