Rollerblading with dogs the safe way

Staying Fit: Rollerblading With Dogs

Rollerblading with dogs is fun and burns tons of energy!

Whenever our NC weather wasn’t crazy humid and hot, I would take my pups Missy & Buzz for a spin on wheels. They were Boxer mixes who weighed 50 lbs and 75 lbs, respectively.

However, rollerblading with dogs is not an activity I recommend you just jump into. That’s because it requires careful preparation and training to ensure both your and your pup’s safety.

That’s why in this blog post, I’ll share several tips to successfully help you rollerblade with your dog.

Ready? Let’s jump right in!

Rollerblading With Dogs

Rollerblading with dogs

Disclaimer: This blog post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated in 2023. It contains affiliate links I may earn compensation through at no additional cost to you. 

Benefits of Rollerblading With Dogs

It’s pretty obvious that rollerblading is a great way to physically exercise your high energy dog.

That’s because it provides an intense cardiovascular workout for both you and your pup.

The constant movement and forward momentum helps high-energy dogs release pent-up energy, maintain a healthy weight, and improve overall fitness.

Breeds who are extremely hard to tire out can also wear a doggie backpack.

Also, since high-energy dogs require more daily exercise than average to reach a state of relaxation, rollerblading allows them to settle down more easily afterwards.

But beyond that, here are 8 more benefits:

Mental Stimulation

You probably know that dogs (all dogs, not just high-energy pups!) need more than just physical exerciseβ€”they also require mental stimulation.

Well, rollerblading engages their senses as they navigate different terrains, encounter new scents, and respond to cues from you.

Bonding Time

Rollerblading is an activity that you and your dog can enjoy together, which strengthens the bond between you.

The shared experience and time spent together will enhance your relationship and build trust.

Channeling Energy

High-energy dogs who aren’t properly exercised can display problem behaviors like chewing, digging, or barking excessively.

Rollerblading provides a positive outlet for their energy, and helps reduce these unwanted behaviors.

Satisfying Instincts

Many high-energy dogs have strong prey drives or a desire to pull.

Rollerblading allows them to channel these instincts in a controlled manner, which can be satisfying for them.

Endorphin Release

Just like humans, dogs experience an endorphin release during exercise, which can improve their mood and help reduce anxiety or stress.

Improved Agility and Coordination

Rollerblading involves maneuvering around obstacles, turning, and changing speed.

This can enhance your dog’s agility, coordination, and overall physical control.

Enhanced Socialization

While rollerblading, your dog is likely to encounter other people, dogs, and animals.

This can help improve their socialization skills and behavior around others.

Fun and Positive Experience

If done safely and properly, rollerblading can be a fun and enjoyable activity for both you and your dog.

That brings me to something else I want to talk to you about, and that’s how to safely rollerblade with your dog!

How To Rollerblade With Dogs

First things first, please understand that not all dogs are suitable for rollerblading.

Make sure that your dog is physically fit, healthy, and has a good temperament for outdoor activities.

Larger breeds with lots of energy to burn and a strong desire to pull are typically the best candidates for this dog sport.

Rollerblading with my dogs

Safety First

You should obviously be fairly comfortable on rollerblades before you take your pup for a roll.

That includes knowing how to stop! You can either use the built-in break on your rollerblades, or do a 180 stop.

Also, at a minimum, I recommend that you wear a protective rollerblade skate helmet.

If you want, you can also wear kneepads and wrist guards.

Tip: Get a protection gear set consisting of a helmet, knee & elbow pads, and wrist guards here.

Rollerblading is usually not a good idea for puppies while they’re in their growth phase.

So make sure to check in with your vet to get their OK before you take your young dog rollerblading!

Start Slowly

Before you begin your rollerblading adventure, get your pup used to those funny shoes on rolls.

I wore mine inside our apartment a few times & rolled around a little inside. That way, the pups got to see me in rolling action and got a chance to get used to this new activity.

Here’s what I did prior to rollerblading with the pups for the very first time.

We all walked downstairs into an empty parking area at our apartment complex. That’s where I tied the pups to a tree, gave them some treats, and switched out my shoes for my rollerblades.

Then I began rolling around the area.

High-Value Dog Treats

After a few spins in the park, I rolled back up to the pups and gave them some treats.

That’s so they could make the positive connection with the rollerblades.

Next, I added a pup to the rolling equation.

In order to keep her focused on walking nicely next to me, I handed out quite a few treats at first, and it worked out very nicely!  

I had the treats in one of those clip-on treat bags for easy access.

I alternated between rollerblading with Missy & Buzz in that park for about a week.

We then ventured into deeper waters and began rollerblading together on bike paths, all three of us.

Leash and Equipment

Use a sturdy, comfortable, and non-retractable leash. For example, a 6 ft leash.

Optional: Go for a 6′ leash with a built-in traffic handle.

That way, you can keep them right next to you when there’s oncoming (doggie) traffic.

I’ve used the Mighty Paw dual handle leash a lot.

But either way, you can attach the leash either to your dog’s collar or to their harness.

If you want your dog to pull you rather than just trot next to you, you’ll probably get the best use out of specific dog pulling harness.

One last word on leashes – you can also use a hands-free waist leash if you’re very confident in your and your dog’s rollerblading abilities.

Basic Obedience Training

Your dog should have a solid foundation in basic obedience commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “heel” before you attempt rollerblading with them.

These commands will help you maintain control and keep both of you safe.

Practice Rollerblading-Specific Commands

Practice commands like “slow,” “stop,” and “leave it.”

These commands will help you control your dog’s speed and prevent them from chasing after distractions.

Spend time teaching your dog to respond to cues like “turn” or “change sides.” This will help you navigate turns and obstacles smoothly.

Choose Suitable Terrain

Start on flat, smooth, and uncrowded paths or trails.

Avoid crowded areas or places with heavy traffic, as these can be overwhelming for your dog.

Monitor Temperature

Pay attention to the weather!

Dogs can overheat quickly, so avoid rollerblading during the hottest parts of the day.

Bring water for both you and your dog.

Stay Attentive

Keep an eye on your dog’s body language.

If your pup appears uncomfortable, stressed, or exhausted, it’s time to stop and take a break.

Also, check your dog’s paw pads for potential cuts or scrapes after each rollerblading adventure.

If necessary, treat them with some dog paw balm like Musher’s paw wax.

Reward and Positive Reinforcement

Praise and reward your dog for good behavior during and after rollerblading sessions.

This will help reinforce positive behavior and make the experience enjoyable for them.

Rollerblading With Dogs: Bottom Line

Rollerblading is a great activity to physically and mentally exercise your high-energy dog!

That said, please make sure that they’re physically fit for this type of activity, not in their puppy growth phase and that they know basic obedience commands.

Just to recap, here’s what you’ll need to rollerblade safely with your dog:

Optional: Dog treat pouch and dog paw wax as well as dog pulling harness.

Do you rollerblade with your pup(s)? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!

Related Reading:

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.


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26 responses to “Staying Fit: Rollerblading With Dogs”

  1. Emma Avatar

    Just be careful. Mom tried rollerblades without a dog and didn’t like them at all. She has biked with dogs which is similar in safety and exercise for the dog. We stick to running the old fashioned way and even then she manages to land on her face every few years but keeps on running. Enjoy! It is a great workout if you can stay safe!

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      Oh no! Hope you mom didn’t hurt herself too badly! You definitely have to be able to rollerblade before taking any dogs along. We prefer rollerblading over biking actually ~ I feel like I’m more in control when blading πŸ™‚

  2. Scylla, Socks, Fenris & Tuiren Avatar

    That looks like such FUN!!!!!!!

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      It really is! Missy really gets a kick out of running fast, so she’ll actually pull you! Amazing how much power she has!

  3. Beth Avatar

    I used to love rollerblading and took my family dog out with me all the time when I was growing up–but then I got to know a tree up close and personal when she decided to chase a squirrel one day, so that put an end to that fun for us! I tried it again several years ago without a dog and it was much, much harder than it was when I was kid πŸ™‚ I’m sure Barley would love being able to go that fast, though!

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      Oh noo…bet it was way too personal..Thankfully, the pups have spared me from getting to know a tree up close and personal so far.

  4. Annabelle Avatar

    That looks like fun, although I don’t think we kitties would do it! Happy Parading!!!

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      MOL, now that would be a sight πŸ˜‰ Happy Parading!

  5. Slimdoggy Avatar

    I wish I was a good enough roller bladder to be able to do this πŸ™‚

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      You could always try & practice ~ you’re a great runner & athletic, right?

  6. Talent Hounds Avatar
    Talent Hounds

    I haven’t been rollerblading in so long!

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      Aaah, sounds like it’s time to dust the blades off and take them for a spin!

  7. Gilligan Avatar

    Woo boy! Not something we’re going to be doing any time soon, but looks like tons of fun! *wags* – Gilligan from WagsAhoy.com

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      It is fun, Gilligan! You’d look cute next to your rollerblading human, though!

  8. Tenacious Little Terrier Avatar

    I’ve thought about it but I think we have too many off-leash dogs to make it feasible unfortunately.

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      Ah, yes, I 100% understand that problem. We have off-leash dogs around here too, which is why I have only put the rollerblades on when Ian is around with me. We never had that problem up North in the D.C. suburbs. Real bummer down here.

  9. jansfunnyfarm Avatar

    That looks like such fun. Jan would have a heart attack on moving shoes, though. We think she’s past the rollerblading age. πŸ™‚

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      Aww, are you sure? It is fun!

  10. MyDogLikes Avatar

    That looks like so much fun! I would love to try rollerblading with our dogs sometime! I will have to see if I can find my old rollerblades!

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      That’s the spirit ~ just go for it, I’m glad I did πŸ™‚

  11. Elaine Avatar

    I’ve always wanted to do this but haven’t rollerbladed in years! It does look like a blast and I’m sure Haley would love it!

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      I hadn’t rollerbladed in several years either until I figured, “hey, let’s try this with the pups!” So glad I went for it again ~ you should just try it again, too!

  12. Lindsay Avatar

    I’ve done a lot of biking with dogs (Ace, foster dogs, dog walking clients), but I’ve never tried rollerblading with them just because I’m definitely not comfortable on rollerblades. I always liked how Cesar Millan used rollerblades to exercise dogs though, and that’s what this reminds me of. What a great way to pick up the pace, since us humans are generally pretty slow compared to athletic dogs.

    I’ll have to try it someday! πŸ™‚ I’ll have to practice on my own first!

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      I’ve never tried biking with dogs because I feel less in control than on roller blades, but that’s definitely another great way of exercising your dog! I’ll have to give it a shot sometime πŸ˜‰ I also liked the way Cesar Millan used rollerblades with high-energy dogs, and that’s who I got the idea from!
      Have fun practicing!

  13. DZ Dogs Avatar

    We love this! We do what is called urban joring, where the dog actually pulls us on the roller blades. Step one though they must learn the commands at a walk pace for safety reasons. And then we never go anywhere where their is traffic just to be extra careful.
    They love it though! The bike paths are perfect for us! And after pulling for a good 20 min they are usually tired out. πŸ™‚

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      Awesome pawsome!! It’s such great & effective exercise, isn’t it?! We’ve let the pups pull us as well, and especially Missy loves it! Buzz prefers jogging next to us, his favorite all-time activity is playing fetch!

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