German Shepherds are natural herders. In fact, the reason why this breed was first discovered was…
Rollerblading with your German Shepherd could be a fun activity to add to your dog’s exercise routine. While German Shepherds are built very well for this activity, other dogs of all sizes can engage in this activity too.
Just be sure you’re well prepared for the safety of your dog, yourself, and those around you. These tips can help you get started if you are interested in learning how to rollerblade with your dog.
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What is Rollerblading With Your Dog?
Rollerblading with your dog involves wearing inline skates when taking your dog out instead of walking. Your dog could either be walking beside you or running ahead of you.
Benefits of Rollerblading With Your Dog
Lets You Keep Pace
It can take a long time to tire out high-energy dogs like German Shepherds just by walking. However, by being in skates, you can help them expend more energy without tiring yourself out completely.
Provides Opportunity for New Lessons
All dogs, especially working dogs like German Shepherds, need mental stimulation just as much as physical activity.
Once they’ve mastered walking and running with discipline, rollerblading can provide your dog with mental stimulation through learning a new fun activity.
Strengthens Your Bond
Rollerblading with dogs is an incredible bonding experience and takes your companionship to a higher level of trust.
Whether you let your dog take the lead or simply get him to walk beside you, just being in inline skates makes you more vulnerable and you will need to learn to trust your dog completely.
Obviously, it is important your dog has some basic obedience skills before attempting to rollerblade with your German Shepherd to avoid any dangerous situations. Check out this article on the first four commands every GSD should learn.
Before You Start Rollerblading With Your German Shepherd
Be Confident In Your Rollerblading Skills
Don’t attempt to go rollerblading with your dog unless you’re already a hundred percent confident in your skating skills.
Make sure you’ve already had lots of practice on your own and that you can manage to skate properly, stop when needed, and avoid any obstacles you may run into.
Be Confident in Your Dog’s Obedience
You’ll know that your dog is ready for this type of activity when they’ve already proven their obedience and ability to follow your commands during your walks.
They should be able to slow down or stop completely as soon as they’re told to. You should also be able to steer your dog towards different directions and keep them from running amok.
Another important matter is their socialization. If they get distracted by other people or have a tendency to run after other animals, it’s not a good idea to attempt rollerblading just yet.
Prepare What You Need
Just as you would if you were skating by yourself, always gear up when rollerblading with dogs. To be on the safe side, always wear a helmet, wrist guard, kneepads, and elbow pads.
If you intend to go a considerable distance from your home, it’s also smart to bring some water and a pair of shoes so you have the option of walking back.
Prepare What Your Dog Needs
Before rollerblading with dogs, always check the asphalt for heat. If it’s winter, you may want to use some paw protection. Most dogs, especially working dogs like German Shepherds, don’t often complain about their discomforts so it’s up to you to proactively protect them from damaging their paws.
Step-by-Step Guide of How to Rollerblade With Your Dog
Step 1: Expose them to the gear.
Learning how to rollerblade with your dog starts with getting them acquainted with the gear. As with anything new, your dog will be very curious about your rollerblades and safety gear.
It will be difficult to get them to focus on actually skating with you if these unfamiliar things distract them. So, the first thing to do is get them used to the skates and gear.
Allow them to sniff and become familiar with them. Then, you can leave the items around the house just to make sure they get used to being around them.
Step 2: Start at home.
Once your dog is familiar with the gear, it’s time to get them acquainted with how it’s used. Wear the skates and safety gear and give them time to sniff and observe you using them.
Then, gear them up with their harness and leash as well. You can skate with them slowly around the house just so they start to understand how they’re expected to behave during this activity.
If you have a driveway or calm area outside, you can progress to that area and just go back and forth until you feel that you both are ready for a real rollerblading session.
Step 3: Scout for a good place.
A good place to rollerblade with your dog is somewhere with a wide, paved path. The path should be smooth and without too many obstacles. It would also be ideal if there weren’t too many pedestrians, cyclists, and other animals.
Once you’ve found an ideal place, walk your dog there a couple of times. Get them familiar with the place so that they’re not too curious and prompted to sniff around when you begin rollerblading.
Step 4: Start skating.
When you’re confident in yourself and your canine companion, you’re ready to start rollerblading with your dog.
Start slowly and for short distances. Keep your dog beside you and practice getting them to obey different commands while you’re on skates.
Also, always be aware of your surroundings and keep your leash short. Keeping your leash short gives you more control and also keeps you from interfering with other people.
As you gain more confidence, you can go for longer distances and faster speeds. If you have a strong enough working dog like a German Shepherd, you can even allow them to take the lead and pull you if you are really comfortable.
Step 5: Practice.
The key to rollerblading with your dog is to practice. Don’t expect to do it perfectly right from the start. Also, maybe expect some falls and stumbles. That’s all part of it.
But just like any other activity you’ve done with your dog, practice makes perfect. The more frequently you rollerblade with them, the stronger your bond becomes, and you’ll both be able to enjoy this activity completely.
Final Thoughts and Tips
Reiterating Some Safety Tips for Rollerblading With Dogs
- Always have your full safety gear on.
- Don’t attempt this unless the dog can walk loose-leash.
- Attempt this only when the dog obediently follows commands to walk, slow down, and stop.
- Don’t attempt this until you can skate very well.
- Skate in places with wide, smooth paths.
- Make sure the asphalt conditions are safe for your dog.
- Keep your leash short for better control.
- Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for pedestrians, cyclists, and other animals.
- Keep your dog and yourself adequately hydrated.
Learning how to rollerblade with your dog is just like learning other activities with your canine companion. It takes some time, patience, and structure. But once you get it right, it could be an incredibly enjoyable activity you can bond over for a long time.
If you are looking for other fun ways to exercise your German Shepherd check out this article.
Do you have any additional tips for rollerblading with your German Shepherd? Let me know in the comments!
Check out this video for additional tips: