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Scooter Adds Fun To Dog Walking
If you've got a dog, or dogs, that need a lot more exercise than they've been getting, you might want to think about getting a dog scooter.

    While there are other dog carts on the market, Daphne Lewis says hers has a single shaft that goes over the dog's back and pulls upward on the harness.

    "When you sit in the seat, the harness lifts off the dog's back so he's pulling with his sternum and is light on his feet," says Lewis.

    Because of the design, even 40 to 50-lb. dogs that love to run can pull the carts. The reinforced harnesses are well padded for comfort, and the driver has reins for control.

    Lewis started running dog-pulled scooters several years ago when she owned a smart Rottweiler that "needed something to do". She adapted a thrift store scooter, then discovered there were dog scooters on the market and that people race with them. "It's like skijouring on wheels," she says. Lewis created a company, DogScooter, located in Washington, selling scooters online.

    "The selling point is that it's a great way to exercise your dogs," Lewis says. "The dogs are much calmer after they get half an hour or hour of running."

    She carries single and double passenger sulkies and models with and without brakes. At $800, the no-brake models are more affordable, Lewis says, and riders use their feet for braking. Models with brakes start at $1,800. Optional two-dog hitches allow a pair of dogs to pull the sulky.

    On-the-ground training is important prior to hooking up the dog to the sulky, using the same kinds of commands dog mushers use. The www.dogscooter.com website includes several videos showing dogs pulling scooters and sulkies, including "Dog Scootering 101."

    Sulkies weigh less than 40 lbs. and can be ordered through the website.

    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Daphne Lewis, 2524 S. 317th no. 201, Federal Way, Wash. 98003 (ph 206 304-7390; daphne@chalosulky.com; www. chalosulky.com; www.dogscooter.com).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #1