Spending quality time with your pet is even better if you get to spend it outdoors doing things that both of you love. Now, people who love to challenge themselves and love doing extreme sports have often wondered what would it be like to have a dog share this experience with them.
From time to time we will watch a new animal viral video of dogs, cats, and sometimes birds, venturing with their owners in the waves, over mountains, off cliffs… There must have been a time when you looked at your pup and thought that it could be an awesome video and a memorable experience.
But can dogs bungee jump and do some other extreme sports?
It is a complex question and touchy matter, but it is not impossible. Your dog can join you on your adventure, depending on the type of extreme sport you are planning on doing as well as the dog’s breed and size. Keep in mind that some extreme sports can traumatize your dogs which is why you need to ask yourself whether including them in your extreme adventures is really worth it.
We will share with you some general opinions on the topic, some explanations, and examples.
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Are Only Larger Breeds Suitable for Extreme Adventures?
Camping, longer walk trails, swimming, and other activities are usually for high-energy driven dogs that are curious and are not too afraid of nature’s elements. Even though the size and breed don’t always play a role, in the specific situation where you are expecting your dog to keep up a steady and fast pace during your adventure, you won’t be seeing a small chihuahua, Maltese, or any other toy breed (unless you are carrying them in a backpack).
Larger breed dogs are great companions for swimming, fishing, hiking, and in some cases even paragliding, doing parkour, or skateboard! Size does not matter in general, but bigger dogs are often more curious, brave, and ongoing when compared to their smaller breed cousins. Even then, it is not a rule per se.
Famous Dogs and Extreme Sports
On this and any other day, many people will say they would love to try bungee jumping but are too afraid of heights.
Have you ever wondered what dogs would say to this question?
From time to time people pop-up on forums curious about other types of activities they can do with their pets. People who love the outdoor probably have dogs that can accompany them on their journey.
More and more dogs show up online doing some amazing things. Some dogs’ parents have had the luck and energy that reflected on their pets, who started sharing their passion in life.
It is really important to note that a majority of those cases happened on their own, where the dog initiated the experience, or simply mimicked the behavior of their owner for the pure need to get even more attention and love from them. A dog’s true food is the love from their pack, and they live off of it.
Here are a few examples of dogs doing some amazing sporty stuff all on their own. Please note that all of these videos are for entertainment purposes. Older dogs or puppies for that matter will not be able to replicate whatever you see on the internet just to humor you. Dogs can be trained with proper knowledge and meaningful learning programs.
A paragliding husky in Himachal Pradesh at 3500 feet went viral. In the video, you can see a husky named ‘Nawab’ calmly sitting in his owner’s lap while they are high up in the sky. Nawab was the first dog to do paragliding in India.
People’s reactions are mixed, some are claiming animal abuse, while others are amused. From an ethical view, we can argue both sides have pros and cons, but the important thing is that this dog was probably prepared for the experience.
Huskies are an old breed, stubborn by nature, need a pack leader, and are loyal to death. Taking this into account, plus the thick fur and the fact that the dog sat in his owner’s lap the entire time, for him the experience was not half as bad. But that would not be the case if he had no prior experience.
Base Jumping Dog
The base jumping owner and a dog strapped to his back. Dean Potter, a movie director and an extreme sports fan, announced his movie ‘When Dogs Fly’. In the video, his dog Whisper partakes some serious adventures with him on really high altitudes.
During the video, he narrates some thoughts on life and death and altering possibilities that could happen if anything goes wrong during their adventures. The responsibility is always on the owner, and like with any other family member, it is their burden to make decisions that are not harmful to those who cannot speak for themselves.
There are many different examples of amateur dogs doing the impossible and just proving how blind their love and how strong their bond is. Not all dogs are cut out for such performances.
Some dogs are sensitive by nature or may have had certain trauma in their lives that they are not able to adapt to more trauma and excitement. If a pet isn’t curious by nature and loves to be outgoing, don’t force anything extreme onto it- it will not end well.
Special K-9 Units are Trained for Extreme Situations
Military dogs were always carefully trained and prepared for conditions so extreme some people would not be able to cope with them. These dogs are chosen and bred to be dedicated team members for the human military partners.
Dogs are trained to fight crime, protect, and seek. Some Navy SEAL dogs are trained to parachute. It is this military unit that managed to break the world record for the man-dog parachute jumps with an altitude over 30000 feet.
The parachute expert Mike Forsythe and his partner Cara had to wear oxygen masks and skin protectors for the big jump. In the pictures captured by Jefferson Ried, we see Cara strapped to her human dangling mid-air. But she is well prepared and trained, so from her perspective it is just another fun day at work.
Malinois are military service dogs. Their high levels of energy and intelligence make them a perfect choice for any extreme maneuvres that require some logical thinking and an ounce of independence. But can we compare military training and life to an extreme sports enthusiast who lacks experience in this field?
Bungee Jumping with Dogs
Even among extreme sports fans, considering bungee jumping with a pet is not so common. Any other mid-air activity has a gradual increase and decrease of altitude, speed, and other factors so that the animal has some chance to get through the process without too much turmoil.
Bunge Jumping is basically being a Jojo – you are going back and forth by forces of physics. This just might be a tad bit overwhelming for the dog. Even though they may not have the perception of depth as well as we do, gravitation works equally on us and them since we were not designed to be high up in the sky.
So the next time when you are thinking is there a way to include your dog in any skydiving activity don’t even waste your time contemplating it (unless you are a retired military who has experience with dog training and skydiving).
Can Dogs Handle Extreme Situations?
There are some extreme situations where you may be forced to do something similar with your dog. If you are both lacking experience, expect some type of anxiety attack and be prepared for the worst.
Unfortunately, there are major disputes among experts on the topic of what would be the best approach to treat fear in dogs. This is particularly present in therapy for dogs who were abused and who need their confidence regained so they could trust people and other animals again.
Some mild forms of anxiety, if noticed, owners can alleviate even without the help of an expert. Those situations require a lot of patience and understanding of the reality that is tormenting the dog.
Treating Traumatized Dogs
Despite different approaches on how to treat traumatized dogs, one thing is certain, you need to leave it some space. Punishments for destructive behavior or shown aggression will never get you a positive result. Paradoxically a scared dog will become potentially aggressive if you start yelling or threatening. Obedience commands often impose an opposite effect of the intended one.
On the other hand, if your dog is having a panic attack but still has complete trust and security with you, it is your job to stand by their side, hold them and wait it out together.
Perfectly happy dogs can easily get traumatized by ignorance and lack of attention. Just imagine what would happen to the animals after a parachute, bungee jump, or anything similar? They would either die of a heart attack or suffer severely from anxiety if the owner reacts when the dog has an accident during the special trip.
So, Can Dogs Bungee Jump With You?
If in any case we failed to answer this interesting and complicated question on whether or not dogs can bungee jump, here is the final verdict:
Apart from specially trained units of military dogs, there are a few dogs in the world that might bungee jump with their owners. There is a high chance that your dog is not one of them so don’t even consider that as a possibility
You can devote your time to learning the training techniques and seeing if your dog has any response to the approach. Have fun along the way but don’t attempt to make your dog soar through the wind and sky just for your sheer pleasure.