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A Dog Takes His Bike For a Ride (Video)

A Dog Takes His Bike For a Ride (Video)

If you needed proof that you can teach a dog of any age something new, just watch this video of a dog named Norman riding — pedaling — a bike:

Seeing Norman a-bike is all the more timely as May is National Bike Month.

You never know what can be learned. Might Norman try to operate “paw-brakes”?

Update, 8:30pm EST, May 24. It is something to see Norman pedal the bike. A number of Care2 members have asked what he might have endured and suffered to learn to do this. While Norman’s bike riding is a good reminder that animals can do a lot more than we might (wrongly) presume, the question remains: Is it appropriate, is it ethical, to teach animals to do such things; to perform “tricks” such as animals in a circus are trained to do?

 

 

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Image from a screenshot of a video uploaded by courteous1 via YouTube

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114 comments

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8:04PM PDT on Jun 13, 2013

I just read what Diane said, and got second thoughts about this.

8:02PM PDT on Jun 13, 2013

Since he's fine, no problem. I think this is actually very good for the animal cause. Some people have to see that they are capable of doing things like that to understand that they deserve respect.

7:46PM PDT on Jun 12, 2013

amazing !

7:59PM PDT on Jun 5, 2013

Pretty amazing actually!!

8:59AM PDT on Jun 5, 2013

Prefiero verle comportar como lo que es, un perrito. No me gusta trucos para los animales.

6:13AM PDT on Jun 5, 2013

Never though I would see the day

10:39AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

I much more prefer to see the happy dogs that rides the waves on surf boards or perform in agility or as sheep hearders. Those dogs are so happy in the pictures. Specially those that surf. They don't want it to end.

12:28AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

Betty, AS a former animal trainer, wouldn't you agree that a dog should not be asked to perform some "trick" that is unnatural for it to do "physically" and could be something that might cause physical problems? The motions of riding a two-wheeled bicycle (in this case, 3 wheels .......training wheels) where the dog has to be almost verticle with the hind legs "rotating" at a very unnatural angle would seem to me to be physically harmful, and the dog does NOT appear to be enjoying what he's doing, only wanting to please his owner. He seemed eager at first, then much more "stressed".

I'm not a particular "fan" of Basenjis, but am a bit familiar with them, and while they apparently CAN and do climb trees, not a trait that they do "at will" all the time, nor was that what they were bred to do (centuries ago). I think it's a bit misconstruing to describe them as "tree climbing" dogs as if that's their primary activity. We can train dogs to walk a tightrope and jump thru hoops of fire. Are those things productive or ones that dogs would enjoy doing? I've read that some people THINK teaching a horse to "bow" is terrible because it's "unnatural". Actually, my horses "bow" all the time trying to reach a weed under the bottom board of their fence. It's actually something that will strengthen the back muscles. In this case, though, it's the "rotating" of the back legs while upright that bothers me.

8:58AM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

As an ex animal trainer I have no problems with teaching a dog to ride a bike if it wants to. I once had a sheltie who was so smart she was always coming up with some new trick she taught herself such as diving off a diving board, climbing a ladder, jumping fences, and climbing trees (actually she learned this from our Basenji which is a breed of tree-climbing dogs). Some dogs are so smart they need and want to learn advanced tricks. I certainly wouldn't force a dog to do tricks but if they show a willingness to learn, and seem to enjoy it, why not teach them?

11:54AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

I have met this dog and his owner/handler. He is a happy dog and seems to have fun doing what he is doing and getting all that attention. He came to an adopt-a-thon at our local animal shelter. He is a Briard, a herding dog, and likes to have a job, just like Border Collies do.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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