Stroller Training: Tips for Teaching Your Dog to Ride in a Stroller
When you see someone walking down the sidewalk with a stroller, you probably expect to find a baby or a young child inside – you probably don’t expect to see a furry face with big ears and a wet nose. Training your dog to ride in a stroller might seem silly, but it does have practical benefits. Here’s how to teach your dog to ride in a stroller as well as the benefits of doing so.
Related: 4 Top Tether Training Tips for Dogs
Why Should You Stroller Train Your Dog?
It may sound silly to train your dog to ride in a stroller, but there are actually some practical reasons for doing so. Some dogs simply aren’t cut out for extended physical exercise, but that shouldn’t stop you from going for a long run or walk. If you want to take your dog but don’t want to push his physical limits, bring a stroller along so he can ride for the remaining portion of the trip.
Related: Q&A with Surf Dog Turbo
Riding in a stroller is also a great option for dogs that are recovering from an injury, for elderly dogs, and for dogs with physical limitations. A stroller can also be a great way to beat the heat for Brachycephalic breeds such as Pugs and Bulldogs who can’t withstand physical exertion in hot weather. If you can train your dog to ride in a stroller, you can also take him with you when you run errands.
Tips for Stroller Training a Dog
Teaching your dog to ride in a stroller is a process that may take some time, depending on your dog’s personality and temperament. If it’s your dog’s first time in a stroller, follow these training steps:
- You may need to start off slow by first introducing your dog to the stroller in a comfortable environment such as inside your home.
- Lock the wheels so it won’t move, then encourage your dog to sniff around and inside the stroller to become familiar with it. You might try tossing a few treats into the stroller for him to fetch or even feed your dog a meal or two in the stroller so he forms a positive association.
- Next, place your dog in the stroller or teach him to get into it himself with an “Up” command, or something similar.
- Once he is in place, make sure that he is secure by clipping his leash to the stroller.
- Move the stroller with your dog in it – this can be startling for some dogs, so start off slow and work your way up to longer rides before you take your dog out of the house. If your dog still seems nervous while in the stroller, it couldn’t’ hurt to occasionally give him a little treat throughout the ride to calm him down.
It’s a matter of common sense that some dogs simply aren’t cut out for stroller training. This may include large dogs as well as overweight dogs. But if your dog can fit in a stroller and if it may benefit him to occasionally go for a ride, there is no harm in training him to do so… even if you do cause a few double takes as you stroll down the street!
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
More by Kate Barrington