We have been mountain biking for a few years. When we found out our current dog a Springador. Has mild hip dysplasia and could no longer hit the trails with us. It was then that we started looking for a new addition to the family that could be the ultimate trail dog. I grew up around pointers as My grandfather breed them. I know they have the energy and stamina and most importantly the love of running to make them the perfect trail companion.
We scoured the internet for a pointer style puppy in our area. This is where we found a dalmatian puppy.
We collected Mylo at a little over 16 weeks. From the day we collected him. He has been about bikes. our house is full of them. From Trail bikes, Downhill bikes and even road bikes. He was well used to them. When he was small we had to work on recall as we knew this would be key to becoming a trail dog.
We worked on our local beach starting with a long rope lead and treats, gradually building up his confidence and trust. Our local trails are Nevis range, Fort William. Mylo has been about the trail centre since he was a puppy. We would walk him down the trails. When we knew it was quiet and not to disturb anyone on the trails.
Whilst Mylo was a puppy he was not on the trails. We consulted our vet about when to let him come with us. He informed us that dalmatians are not fully grown until 15-18 months. It is after this time that they can really hit the trails. So about the year mark after a lot of recall training. Mylo would come on very short trails.
He took to it like a duck to water. He immediately followed the bike. We started at a slow pace. Over the months as he grew his speed picked up the pace.
Now he is faster than us and knows the trails better than us. He loves nothing more than heading down the world cup track at Fort William and even doing the jumps at the bottom. Much to the many tourist's delights and My embarrassment as He is better at them than I am.
Mylo Always comes on the trails with his little backpack. This is a great way to keep him seen on the trails. Which carries his water and some treats to keep him going. He also has a multi-tool, small pump and tyre levers and inner tube. So he is an important member of the trail crew. if he hasn't got his bag on he has a very bright blue Ruffware harness. It is super important that he can be seen whilst on the trails to keep him and other riders safe. With Mylo being a Dalmatian he is very noticeable against the trails.
It is important to remember that if your dog is hitting the trails to make sure you are adjusting their food and water intake to account for this. We also have Mylo on extra joint supplements to make sure to keep him in tip-top condition. We never let Mylo overdo it. His normal days range between 8-10 miles. He even has his own Strava account so we can keep an eye on his mileage and make sure he has the right about of rest. As a Dalmatian, he would run all day. But this is not good for them so It is important to know your dogs limited and just like a human he needs his recovery time.
Our dog and bikes are so Important that we built a van conversion. We can now hit the trails more often. Mylo has travelled the UK hitting trails. From wales to Glentress he loves to find new trails to run down.
You can follow Mylos adventures on his Instagram. I am developing a new site for my mountain biking adventures with Mylo you can check it out. mtblm.com