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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

Pleasant temperatures invite sports enthusiasts to do their programme in nature. Dogs have to go outdoors several times a day to do their business and by the way they love to exercise in the fresh air. Many Dog owner think: Why not combine both and let their darling run beside the bike. But beware, what is well meant is not always good for our beloved friends. You can read everything about cycling with dogs in this article.

Cycling with a dog on a leash is even forbidden 

According to the austrian road traffic regulations, it is not permitted to carry a leashed dog while cycling in austria. In general, the leashing of dogs to vehicles such as bicycles, skateboards etc. is prohibited and will be fined up to 726 Euros!

Without a leash, but with a muzzle, it would be allowed (depending on the location), but for various reasons, such as safety, it is not recommended. This law applies to roads and cycle paths that are accessible to the general public and where the traffic regulations is in force. 

Leashing a dog while riding a bicycle is only permitted on forest- or woodland paths where the general leashing requirement applies.

Not suitable for every dog

This kind of sport is not suitable for every dog. Especially with older, weaker and injured animals, you should fall back on a gentler way of movement. Otherwise serious physical problems could occur. Also physically impaired breeds, such as so-called brachycephalic breeds, such as the pug, should be excluded from such tours, as they get heavy air due to their shortened nose.

Cycling with dogs is dangerous

By keeping the dog on a leash, the dog is forced to keep the pace. He has no chance to slow down or even stop to sniff. This is however an important need for our darlings. It is unnaturally fast for our dogs to run along a track without paying attention to the environment. 

We often think, as long as he is running along, everything is ok. But at high speed the dog is quickly exhausted (panting and tiredness can be signs of this).  

Running on asphalt can also be harmful to the joints. There is also a risk of injury if your pet gets under the tyre or pulls where you are going. 

dog harness that fits your dog

What should you watch out for?

In Austria it is not permitted to take your (leashed) dog on a bicycle tour and not every dog is suitable for this. Which other things should be taken into account, if you absolutely cannot do without a joint tour:

  • Prepare the dog: Especially jumpy or hunt-loving dogs are a danger for everyone involved, because the dog can easily get the bike out of control by a sudden, jerky movement.
  • Training structure: If your dog is not used to running for a long time, you should build up the training slowly and with consideration for your pet.
  • Make sure the temperature is comfortable for the dog. (Danger of overheating)
  • Pay attention to the subsoil (soft forest soil is more suitable than hard asphalt).
  • The speed should be adjusted (with the bike we can reach high speeds, which our dogs, especially on longer distances, cannot and should not keep up) Your dog should run at a trot, not at a gallop. 
  • Take a break more often. Let your dog drink water.
  • A species-appropriate equipment: Choose a well-fitting chest harness, the muzzle should fit snugly and be comfortable (mouth bows are not muzzle bites!). 
  • The right leash: Leash should be held loosely in the hand (do not tie it to the bike!).

Alternative: Bicycle trailer

If your dog is not suitable for a bicycle tour for various reasons, or if you still want to take it with you, a bicycle trailer for dogs may be recommended. For smaller breeds there are also appropriate dog transport baskets.

If you don’t want to resign to do sports together with your pet, the following species-appropriate alternatives may be useful (however, there are also different things to consider):

You can find further employment opportunities here: Fun and games with dog

Fahrradfahren mit Hund


Cycling with a dog on a leash is not only forbidden in austria, from an animal welfare point of view it is even questionable. Fortunately, we humans can practice sports together with our dogs in different ways. Be considerate of your furry darling, then the sporting experience is nice for both sides.