The Story Behind The Bike Tow Leash
My name is Mike Leon, mechanical engineer, avid bike rider, service dog trainer and inventor of the 1-Running-Dog Bike Tow Leash.
After the 9-11 terrorist attacks, my family and I volunteered raising service dog puppies for individuals with disabilities as a way of giving back to our community and country. In honor of those lost, we named our first puppy Tribute.
Raising service dog puppies is a wonderful volunteer opportunity, which ultimately provides companion animals to individuals who suffer from seizures, or who have mobility, vision or hearing impairments. As trainers, we raise, train and socialize puppies until they are ready for graduate school. For socialization, we take the puppies, in a service cape, to work, stores, restaurants, schools, theme parks, etc., to expose them to a variety of situations. This ensures that there will be no unpleasant surprises once they have been assigned to a client who is depending on them to remain calm and alert at all times.
At about 6 months of age our first dog Tribute, now a tall long-legged black Labrador, had more energy than I did when we went out walking or running. With all her puppy energy, we needed to make sure Tribute exercised strenuously before we went out to eat. Since bad behavior is often a result of a lack of exercise and dogs in training are supposed to lie down and sleep under the table, not stand and upset dinner I was looking for an answer.
As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. As a result of Tribute's need for speed, and my more limited energy levels, I got the idea to combine the fun of biking (for me) with the fun of running (for Tribute).
Given my understanding of both physics and dog behavior, and for both my safety and the dog's safety, I knew better than to attempt riding Tribute with a regular leash. (Much later I did attempt riding with a regular leash, made it less than a mile, and still have the scars!)
As a product development engineer, I was accustomed to doing my homework when attempting something new. First, I checked on-line to determine whether there was a product available which made it safe to ride a bicycle with a dog.
What I found were products that posed significant safety issues such as:
The very first prototype worked, and Tribute and other dogs loved it! So did I. For once I could keep up with her! While riding, I said to Tribute, “You are one Running Dog!” The name stuck. But, more importantly, the 1-Running-Dog Bike Tow Leash:
Many design changes have been made learning from millions of miles use now over 16 years. Now added benefits of the 1-Running-Dog BTL are:
I am grateful to my family and expanding circle of friends whose patience, help and advice have made the 1-Running-Dog Bike Tow Leash available for you and your dogs to enjoy as well.
Michael A. Leon
LEON Engineering, Inc.