Mum's Pack

fur, flesh, chaos

Jogging Stroller Juggle

Training two dogs to walk beside a stroller, not the easiest task in the world. Factor in that one of them is a Border Collie that just wants to go go go, and the other is a scent and sight hound that wants to stop and look at and smell everything, and you’ve got a living nightmare.

So thank gosh Peyton isn’t here yet, because throwing a baby into that mix, oh my ‘lanta. Working with Mars and Frost with the stroller has proven to have its challenges to say the least, from keeping one dog on either side, keeping them both at the same speed as the stroller itself without pulling in any particular direction, and making sure that they aren’t afraid of the stroller or it’s wheels, (ahem, Mars).

The first walk was definitely our most trying, which was to be expected. The wheels on our jogging stroller are large, and it’s a new instrument in our lives.

Frost has seen strollers before, and she knows about the babies and kiddos inside, and so she has no fear, because she’s only had great experiences with strollers, but she’s never learned to walk beside one.

Frost is intuitive, and will walk beside you no problem, however not too closely, because she doesn’t want to get stepped on if you suddenly change direction, or run into you if you suddenly stop without warning, so teaching her to walk closer and more comfortably beside the stroller without creating too much space and therefore tension with the leash is our main obstacle.

Mars on the other hand, this is his very first experience with a stroller of any kind, so we didn’t have any preexisting positive reinforcements like we did with Frost, so he was tentative at first, of course. He learned quickly to mind the wheels, although running into the wheel didn’t harm him, it did startle him because it’s a sensation he’s never felt before. He quickly learned that the stroller doesn’t hurt, and it’s not scary, so he decided he wanted to pay no mind to it, and see what his sister was up to.

… On the other side of the stroller….

So he decided to walk under the stroller handle in front of Thomas, to get to the other side where Frost was casually strolling, causing Thomas to trip briefly. This is why we work on things well before the baby comes.

So trying to get Mars back onto the correct side, untangled from Thomas and the stroller, without running him over, and without encouraging Frost onto the side that we want Mars on, was a whole thing that would probably have been comical to any of you if you had been there to witness it.

A few walks, corrections and frustrating sighs to ourselves later, Mars and Frost are really getting the hang of things. We intend to step it up another notch once they get to the point where they no longer need correction, and it just comes second nature. We aren’t there yet, but soon I think!

Our plan is to take the leashes hands-free. We’re looking into getting a comfortable, padded and supportive walking harness, that allows us to keep both hands on baby at all times. We’re looking into some very customize-able options with a lot of pockets.

We need one with a reinforced side for Mars, to easily clip a traffic leash to, for hands on control if necessary, and a coil leash on the other side for Frost. Mars does great with full sized leashes because he’s taller, but Frost needs something tailored to her.

At this point, if we use a full sized leash while she heels beside us, she ends up tripping on the slack that trails on the ground, and if we use a shorter leash, then she doesn’t have the slack to step into the grass to squat and pee, and we need walking the dogs to be convenient and easy for all of us, so that taking them out with the stroller isn’t an activity that should be feared.

Lastly, I would like to mention the brand and style of stroller we decided on!  Thomas and I were both insistent upon getting a jogging stroller.  Ultimately, what sold us on a jogging stroller was the size of the wheels, it seemed more practical whether its on the rough paths in the river valley in the summer time or through the downtown sidewalks on a treacherous Edmonton winter day, bigger wheels means its ease of use when faced with obstacles is amazing.  Secondly, we actually want to jog with the stroller too.  Thomas was more particular when it came to this aspect.  He wanted a stroller that sat at a specific angle, so that it is more comfortable and ergonomic when pushing while he runs.  He didn’t want the handle too high or too low, and with the stroller that we picked, that is adjustable.

After a bunch of research, we decided on the BOB Revolution Flex jogging stroller.  We decided on the Flex over the Revolution Pro solely based on the fact that the Pro is more expensive, and the only difference between the two is that the Pro has a handbrake, whereas the Flex’s braking system is more traditional, located at your feet locking the wheels.  As well, everywhere we went to look at strollers, no where carried a BOB system jogging stroller, which was frustrating because we didn’t want to order online, we wanted to try it out in person and make sure that it works for us, and it’s comfortable to use and easy for me to carry and fold up, as I’m not as strong and studly as my handsome partner.

One random Saturday, we passed by a baby store, we had seen it a couple times before, but had never really heard anything about it or some across it in our research.  We decided to go in and browse around on a whim, and let me tell you, West Coast Kids is where it’s at.  Some of their items are a little on the pricey side, but it’s worth it, they have an amazing selection of reliable brands, and their staff is knowledgeable.  Their stock is amazing, they literally have everything.

It just so happened too, that when we went in to browse, they had to stroller we wanted.  THEY EVEN HAD A PROMOTION GOING ON.  So we bought our stroller and it came with a matching Britax car seat.  Before we bought anything, a staff member came out to our car with us to help us install it to make sure that it fits in our car, and so that we know how to properly and safely uninstall and reinstall it in the future.  We were amazed with how helpful they were, they showed us every feature of the stroller and even had us try it out, folding and unfolding it, to make sure that it was the right fit for us.

Overall, I’m so pleased with the choice we made already, and I’m excited to see how it works for us when baby comes!

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