I don’t know why but it seems like dogs and trail riding were meant to go together. A good trail dog can help motivate you to ride more and they make you smile more when you’re on the trail.
I’ve had 2 great trail dogs so far, the first was my original trail mutt Mojo Jojo (bonus points if you know the show that character is from). We got him when we moved to Hawaii and he was my loyal companion on countless rides, including acting as the unofficial guide on a mountain bike tour I led for a couple years.
Eventually age caught up to Mojo and after a good, long life we lost him. After being without a trail mutt for a while I decided it was time to get a new one and in stepped Aka. Aka means Shadow in Hawaiian and we got him for $50 from some random guy selling puppies in front of Wal-Mart.
They told us he was a Black Lab/ German Short Hair/ Rottweiller mix and I remember Aka was a little stand offish at first. I wasn’t too sure about taking him home but I took a chance.
Luckily he turned out to be the best trail mutt ever. It took some training to get him up to speed, including getting run over twice. Don’t worry, each time was a pretty controlled accident as I saw him about to screw up and I was ready for it. He never got seriously hurt but he did get the message – don’t get in front of the bikes.
Now he knows to not get in the way and he’ll readily get out of the way if you do catch up to him. That is a key skill for a trail dog and one that makes it possible to just ride without worrying if he’s going to try and kill both of us.
He’s also amazingly fast and it takes a good downhill grade for me to be the one setting the pace. Add in the endurance to easily last on a 2-3 hour ride and I’m never waiting for him to catch up. In fact, it is usually the other way around.
In fact, I’ve got a video I shot with my GoPro of Aka and me ripping some sweet local trails you can check out below. Even though this was last year we just rode there yesterday, which is what made me think about what a great trail mutt Aka is.
So how about you? Got any great trail dogs in your life or had one before? I’d love to hear about them, just leave a comment below this post sharing some trail dog love.
That’s it for now, until next time…
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