I’m always searching for off season ways to mimic the feel of snowboarding. Coincidentally, I also have a dog that needs the energy run out of her on a regular basis. I found the perfect solution to both problems, I let my dog pull me on my longboard.

It’s great exercise for both of us, her more than me, and when she really gets going I can sit back and carve like I’m on snow. Here are a few tips if you think you might be interested in longboarding with your dog.

Let’s get started:

First, get comfortable on a longboard: Let’s start with the obvious one. If you aren’t comfortable on a board without a dog, you sure won’t be with one. Make sure you’re comfortable and most importantly in control. You may need to slow down or jump off at a moment’s notice.

Next, invest in a good leash: I use the Ruffwear Knot-a-Leash for a few reasons. The handle gives me good grip, the rope is much stronger than a normal leash, and most importantly it connects with a locking carabiner. I like this because once it’s locked I know that she’d not going to accidentally get loose. I also know that I won’t have any issues with a cheap clip failing on me if I need to quickly get her under control.

Finally, find a pulling harness: I use the Ruffwear Omnijore Harness because it’s specifically made for pulling. Other harnesses or just using a collar can put strain on the dogs neck or other body parts. The Omnijore harness is designed to keep your dog as comfortable as possible while they pull. It also still has a handle up top which is nice when I need to stop and correct her when she’s distracted. You want this to be fun for your dog, not painful or too fatiguing.

Longboarding with your dog 2
Codah Rocking the Ruffwear Omnijore Harness

Try using voice commands on walks: When we aren’t longboarding, I try to use the same commands with my dog as I do during londboarding. Things like “right”, “left” or “whoa” to stop aren’t super important during a normal walk, but they can be when you’re cruising along at a higher speed. It’s good to get your dog used to these terms.

Always wear protective pads: At some point things will likely go wrong, whether it’s a loose dog, a squirrel or just a really excited kid. Wearing pads can take the risk out of seriously injuring yourself.

Start off slow: If it was up to my dog she’d book it at full speed on our first straight away. Instead, I make her start off slow, constantly jerking her leash and saying “slow”. She ends up pacing herself better throughout the run and we maintain more of a consistent speed.

Talk to your pup: I find that if I talk to my dog constantly throughout the run she gets less distracted. Spots where she normally would get stuck during a walk, such as a frequently peed on bush, go by so quick she doesn’t even realize it. As soon as I notice her take notice of anything, I just repeat things like “good girl Codah” and “come on Codah” in a positive voice and it really seems to help her focus.

Pick a time with little distractions: This goes for both the time of day and time of year. Going in the evening when there’s less sidewalk traffic is a much better time of day than right when kids get out of school. The time of year also matters too. In the fall for example, when squirrels are running around like crazy I have a really hard time getting my dog to focus.

Longboarding with your dog
Codah Getting Ready to Roll!

Be aware at all times: Even if you’ve picked the least distracting time of all, there will always be something to throw you and your dog off. Whether it’s a rabbit, a loose dog, or even a large crack, it’s important to always be ready to bail if necessary. Keep your speed low in case you need to put your foot dog or in an emergency jump off. Have a firm grip on the leash, and make sure you spot the issue or distraction well before your dog does.

Make sure your dog is comfortable: Some dogs just might not be into it. Personally, I’ve lucked out because I have a Husky mix and this is right up her alley, but some dogs might get scared if there’s something on wheels following right behind them. Some dogs may not also be physically able to pull either. If you think this is something you want to try, it’s a good idea to ask your vet if your dog is fit enough and able to participate. You want this to be fun for both of you as well as good exercise healthy for the both of you.

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15 Comments on 10 Tips for Longboarding with Your Dog

  1. Jen
    November 23, 2015 at 2:41 am (7 years ago)

    sounds very interesting. I have chihuahua, she just likes to play with her toys :)))

  2. Lisa
    January 25, 2016 at 10:23 am (7 years ago)

    Great tips for longboarding with dogs! I myself haven’t tried it yet, but I’m definitely interested to. But yeah, I probably shouldn’t try downhill shredding immediately. Lol.

  3. Jon
    April 8, 2016 at 6:10 am (7 years ago)

    Great Information for long-boarding with dogs. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • admin
      April 8, 2016 at 11:03 am (7 years ago)

      Thanks Jon! Glad we could help 🙂

  4. Taylor
    July 19, 2016 at 8:47 pm (6 years ago)

    How do you keep your dog from going to fast? I usually go with my older dog, but she gets tired quickly. I’ve tried taking my 1 year old golden retriever out and all he does is bolt as fast a possible making him very hard to control. Any tips on how to train him to take it slower? Thanks!

    • admin
      July 20, 2016 at 1:03 pm (6 years ago)

      With our dog, we started off by really controlling her speed on walks. We would use verbal cues along with little tugs to keep her slow. Now, the key with her on the longboard seems to be to keep her fairly slow out of the gate, again with the same little tugs and verbal cues. Once she gets past the first couple blocks she doesn’t need the tugs and then naturally stays at a good consistent speed. We had an older husky who did that same thing as your dog and would want to bolt right out of the gate and then would, of course, be exhausted and slow after a few blocks. We really had to work to keep her at a safe speed. I suppose it depends on the breed and the dog. Maybe some jogging with them first would help.

    • Mischka
      August 4, 2016 at 1:33 pm (6 years ago)

      One thing I always do with my dog before even exiting the house for the walk is making sure he not in an excited state. Making sure your pup is sitting or laying down before you even open the door works well. When you finally do open the door, still make sure your pup is either sitting or laying down. It’s a great way to start off a walk or run.

  5. Rach
    January 2, 2017 at 2:24 am (6 years ago)

    How old was your dog when you started to teach her to pull on a board? I have a 3 month old Alaskan malamute and I’m planning on doing this with her during the summer, I longboard everywhere in the summer.
    The trails won’t be cleared up for another 5 months or so, but I should start teaching him those commands now while waking, correct?

    • Amelia Akins
      January 12, 2021 at 2:28 pm (2 years ago)

      I started on a longboard with commands because my labrabull picks it up quick and I started long boarding with him when he was 6 months old because he had a good enough muscle and build I think it just depends on your dogs athleticism

  6. Walter
    April 5, 2017 at 1:57 am (6 years ago)

    This was pretty difficult for me. My companion is a 4 year old Jack Russell, and she loves to go out! She’s very active and has an infinite load of energy. I try taking her out with me on my longboard, but as soon as she spots a cat, bird, or anything that moves quickly, she just bursts right on to her target. I’m suddenly on a concrete riding wake board.

    I hope that we get the hang of this some day. Keep up the good work!

  7. Walter
    April 10, 2017 at 12:40 pm (5 years ago)

    This sounds like a fun thing to do. I never tried doing this with our dog because I was too worried he would get distracted. Will try doing this sometime. Thanks for the tips.

  8. Jacqueline Taylor
    May 14, 2017 at 1:11 pm (5 years ago)

    Interesting,I will try it with my dog.Thanks for sharing your tips.

  9. Ivy Baker
    May 30, 2017 at 8:42 pm (5 years ago)

    Recently, I have been thinking about getting a longboard because I think having one will make it easier to walk my dog. So, I liked that you pointed out that when you start off you will need to keep your dog going slow so they can pace themselves. That does seem like a good thing for me to be aware of if I do get a longboard.

  10. Isaac C
    July 13, 2017 at 10:39 pm (5 years ago)

    My pit-bull Jack loves this. Another tip is to shorten the leash a bit when going fast so that the pup is next to you and not likely to cross in front and slow down. Before ever taking him while on a long board we trained loose leash walks. He understands that when we are walking, we are walking, but the second he hears the long board hit asphalt he is off. Shortening the leash also works if you plan on taking sharp turns.

  11. Cal (human) Panzer (dog)
    April 17, 2020 at 6:26 am (2 years ago)

    my Doberman pulls me so fast I pretty much just focus on balancing(speed wobbles) for the first 5 – 6 blocks or so. I keep getting hassled by police so I sewed a “Skateboarding is not a crime” patch on his harness.

  12. Dylan
    June 11, 2020 at 2:52 pm (2 years ago)

    Thanks for the tips on the Harness! I have a deaf Australian Shepherd who loves to run so I started working on long boarding with him. he responds to my points and tugs as to where to go, but I needed a better harness for him.


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