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Astro5

Hiking with a dog?

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has anyone had experience hiking with a boxer?

I had one as a kid, they live forever. mine was 13 years old before he died, saddest day of my life I tell you.

let me know if you've had one that you hiked with, how they did because I'm really considering getting one [when I'm an adult.] and I'm totally going to be one who hikes and is super outdoorsy.

thanks!

oh and also, the humane society has dog training classes. don't know how much they run, but you DO have to 'graduate' or 'test out' to level up, so thats a good way to make sure your dog learns.

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Rat terriers I would imagine would be good, as long as its not really rocky.

I have one, and let me tell you, you better be VERY active.

They are very active, bark semi alot, and NEED attention. Mine won't even stay outside for more than a few minutes if you're not there with him.

They're VERY HYPER. Like jack russels, cept I think they're bigger.

Smart too. Mine's name is Bubba.

I would LOVE a boxer though. They are pretty dogs, and basically care takers, but NEVER get a mix because purebred they are the best, mixbreed they can be even more dangerous than pitbulls.

Someone posted a picture with a dog, it was wearing...shoes?

do they make dog tennis shoes?

I really want a boxer, chessie, brittnay, or something HUGE like a great dane but I know those probably aren't best for hiking....

 

Yes they make dog shoes. Where they lay down salt in the cold, it damages the dog's feet, so they put on little mukluks on them. Mine wears them if we're going a long way on cement. Blood paw prints, not cute.

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Rat terriers I would imagine would be good, as long as its not really rocky.

I have one, and let me tell you, you better be VERY active.

They are very active, bark semi alot, and NEED attention. Mine won't even stay outside for more than a few minutes if you're not there with him.

They're VERY HYPER. Like jack russels, cept I think they're bigger.

Smart too. Mine's name is Bubba.

I would LOVE a boxer though. They are pretty dogs, and basically care takers, but NEVER get a mix because purebred they are the best, mixbreed they can be even more dangerous than pitbulls.

Someone posted a picture with a dog, it was wearing...shoes?

do they make dog tennis shoes?

I really want a boxer, chessie, brittnay, or something HUGE like a great dane but I know those probably aren't best for hiking....

 

Yes they make dog shoes. Where they lay down salt in the cold, it damages the dog's feet, so they put on little mukluks on them. Mine wears them if we're going a long way on cement. Blood paw prints, not cute.

 

Yes, I know they make the mukluks, but one of the dogs in the posted pictures looked like the shoes were actual tennis shoes, with rubber on the bottom.

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has anyone had experience hiking with a boxer?

I had one as a kid, they live forever. mine was 13 years old before he died, saddest day of my life I tell you.

let me know if you've had one that you hiked with, how they did because I'm really considering getting one [when I'm an adult.] and I'm totally going to be one who hikes and is super outdoorsy.

thanks!

oh and also, the humane society has dog training classes. don't know how much they run, but you DO have to 'graduate' or 'test out' to level up, so thats a good way to make sure your dog learns.

 

I hike with two Boxers every chance I get, a minimum of once a week for at least 4 mi. per outing. 8 - 10 is nothing for them in the winter but they don't do very well once it gets over 75 deg. They get hot pretty quick and don't cool off very fast. I'm fortunate to be in an area with 9 State parks within 2 hrs drive of me, all with lakes and or rivers for them to cool off in. That being said, the forcast for the day usually dictates the park we go to and the trail we take. I also carry plenty of water for them while on the trail and we stop regularly for water breaks. My female will flat stop under a bush and lay down.

On the training, you can also check the internet for local dog training clubs.

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looks like alot of great looking dogs, I didnt know that many people had border collies. :mad: The only problem i would see with a collie is branches and other debris getting tangled in its fur. :blink:

 

I'm also impressed with so many Border Collies out there. It takes a very patient and dedicated person to have one... :-)

 

We have a Border Collie-mix (half B Collie/half mutt) with short hair. He's great in the woods, has an obscene amount of energy and always has a blast. His fur is short enough that he doesn't really attract much in the way of briers or other crud. We've been taking him hiking since he was a puppy and can't really imagine doing any kind of hiking or camping w/out him.

 

jack2.jpg

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I take my dogs anywhere I can. in a lot of public areas I usually keep them on a leash. I just try to prevent getting into trouble, but anytime we get the chance and there's no one around they go off leash. and they run a little ahead and then come back. they never take off and don't come back. they usually want to know where I am..

I think that's the fun part of Shepard dogs. my dogs are Beaucerons ,French herding dogs.

 

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I love them and take them with me any time I can. :D

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HPIM3920.jpg

 

Here is my hiking buddy. We've covered 3 countries so far: the US, Greece, and Sweden. This pic is in Fulufjällets National park in Dalarna Sweden

 

I've never had a single issue with my dog on a hike, and she's always been fun to have along.

 

and for those that care, She's a little pit bull mix. Rescued when I lived in Arizona. I make sure she gets extra protein and such on hiking days. she's become a lean, muscular, and very happy and healthy pup.

Edited by screwbag

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HPIM3920.jpg

 

Here is my hiking buddy. We've covered 3 countries so far: the US, Greece, and Sweden. This pic is in Fulufjällets National park in Dalarna Sweden

 

I've never had a single issue with my dog on a hike, and she's always been fun to have along.

 

and for those that care, She's a little pit bull mix. Rescued when I lived in Arizona. I make sure she gets extra protein and such on hiking days. she's become a lean, muscular, and very happy and healthy pup.

 

What a gorgeous dog! I love the brindle spots over one eye. Very cute.

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Does anyone have any experience with a jack russel terrier? I heard they chase everything and can easily run off and get lost?

 

I hike with my JRT all the time. He is high energy and needs very little breaks on long hikes. However you would have to train this type of dog very well. On steep hikes, if they are not obedient and receptive to your movements, this can be bad.

 

My JRT comes everywhere. He cannot be off leash though. this is the downside. But it is possible to have an off-leash JRT. Takes a lot of training and patience. ;)

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Thats a nice picture screwbag, I also like the brindle. :blink: And caelan, those dogs look huge, probably as tall as you standing on two legs.

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Thats a nice picture screwbag, I also like the brindle. :D And caelan, those dogs look huge, probably as tall as you standing on two legs.

looking at the picture,yeah they look huge, but it isn't that bad. they're just a little longer as a Rotweiler or Dobermann. but they come close to the same hight when standing on 2 legs..

:(bocaelanklein.jpg

here's a nice extra one..

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ZuZu is my regular caching partner. She's also a 70 lb. lap dog! She's used to hiking as she comes to work with me (I'm a land surveyor) whenever I'm out in the woods.

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This was a caching/hiking outing on Mount Cardigan in NH.

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Jock my JRT comes on cache trips with me.He doesn't go far off the lead but as soon as he sees another dog he's off to say hello, which isn't always a good thing.

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I'm so sorry if this is necromancing a thread, but this seems like the best topic for my question.

 

I have a two year old bull terrier (not pit or staf.) who has never been hiking. I think it would be fun to take him, but he would have to wear footies to keep him from getting things wedged between his toes. However, he hates wearing things on his feet. I'm just wondering if anyone has had this issue with their own dog? Is there any brand that is more durable to chewing or harder for him to shake off? Thanks for any help.

 

A photo, to share the love. :D

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I am a big Dog lover, however I wouldn't take a dog with me into bear country. Bears are very aggressive toward dogs and can become very easily defensive. My only advise is to keep your Dog on a leash or to make sure they are non-barking. I don't like the leash idea, by the way, because I wouldn't want to be on a leash in God's country.

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Bears are aggressive towards dogs when they feel threatened by the animal. You'll find the same goes for humans too. I take my dog into bear country all the time and off the leash. We had a black bear in the bush one time and was never bothered by it. It stayed in the bush foraging and we stayed on the trail hiking.

 

I have trained my dog never to leave my sight and when she is called back, must touch my hand before bounding out again. She is also trained to come back and check on me on her own. This means she never gets more than 50 feet in front of me at any given time and she is by myside when people are passing by.

 

For some of the trails I'm on, I'm using trekking poles, trekking boulder and scree fields, or going up on 40-65% grades, and having the dog on the leash is just outright dangerous for both of us. I've also been carrying bear spray for the past couple of years and have yet the need to use it.

 

It's called situational awareness for both you and your pet but by all means do what you think is right for you and yours.

 

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I would never put my dog on a leash in the woods, I don't feel it would be fair. Black bears are tricky creatures, they usually won't stick around long after a sighting. However, in the northern portion of the U.S., bears act differently than they do here in the south. I am from Arkansas, and we only have black bears. These beautiful creatures rarely attack, and I don't think we have had a single fatality in recorded history. However most of the attacks here have been in response to barking dogs. Your dog, on the other hand, sounds very intelligent in the way of training and I admire that!! I wish I had your dog, well, maybe a dog trained by you. :drama: Bottom line; your right!! Situational Awareness is the most powerful deterrent to attack. But, I would never take a dog that is apt to agitate a bear if spotted.

 

Bears are aggressive towards dogs when they feel threatened by the animal. You'll find the same goes for humans too. I take my dog into bear country all the time and off the leash. We had a black bear in the bush one time and was never bothered by it. It stayed in the bush foraging and we stayed on the trail hiking.

 

I have trained my dog never to leave my sight and when she is called back, must touch my hand before bounding out again. She is also trained to come back and check on me on her own. This means she never gets more than 50 feet in front of me at any given time and she is by myside when people are passing by.

 

For some of the trails I'm on, I'm using trekking poles, trekking boulder and scree fields, or going up on 40-65% grades, and having the dog on the leash is just outright dangerous for both of us. I've also been carrying bear spray for the past couple of years and have yet the need to use it.

 

It's called situational awareness for both you and your pet but by all means do what you think is right for you and yours.

 

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1244bed6-0347-47b0-89e3-163bf32e1cbb.jpg

c6287d9c-a293-47c0-a5cc-b642578b6116.jpg

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Penny is a funny little dog. Part retriever part border collie; she was adopted through a rescue agency. We have a history with this shelter near us and we were allowed to bypass the bonding period as a result. She's skittish at home, but makes the perfect trail hound companion. The difference is night and day.

 

Training her as in our previous dog was in small steps getting her to first trust us, then obey. Training involved going around the block for several days and calling her back when she went past 3 sidewalk squares in front. Squirrels were a welcome distraction as this allowed us to teach her to listen to us even when the urge to chase is very high. This saved my last dog's life and I intended to maintain vigil on this one as well.

 

Right now at home at the age of 3, she's like a teenager, she'll listen, but only just. On the trail though, she looks to me for guidance and responds very well to my voice commands.... most of the time. Get kids nearby and all bets are off and I have to literally drag her away. :lol: She just loves the little ones.

 

Oh, and she loves to eat dandelions.

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looks like alot of great looking dogs, I didnt know that many people had border collies. :) The only problem i would see with a collie is branches and other debris getting tangled in its fur. :lol:

 

Does anyone have any experience with a jack russel terrier? I heard they chase everything and can easily run off and get lost?

 

Hi We had 3 Jacks, sadly down to 2 now after our 3 year old had a brain tumor. Our Jacks adore caching and come with us the vast majority of the time. Nice and easy to brush out if they get sticky-buds in their fur, or mud or what have you.

A Jack Russell is easy to train as any other dog. Half their problem is they have a reputation for being yappy and naughty. We trained ours, just like we trained our GSD before them and our collies before him. They come when called, walk to heel when told and are generally well behaved. Never lost any of ours yet, out hiking. If in doubt carry a few bits of dog biscuit in your pockets. They will always come back for treats or the sound of a squeaky ball. That works well too.

Hope that helps a bit.

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Hey TotemLake neat dog and looks quite comfortable with her backpack on.

I have a question for you. Is that a ruffwear backpack you have on her?

If so how do you get it to stay on straight. I hike with my 8yo Fsp Chessie and I bought a Ruffwear backpack for her and find that no matter how I tried to adjust it it always slipped to one side or the other, to the point where I no longer use it. Also the water bladders both sprang leaks during a hike.

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Hey TotemLake neat dog and looks quite comfortable with her backpack on.

I have a question for you. Is that a ruffwear backpack you have on her?

If so how do you get it to stay on straight. I hike with my 8yo Fsp Chessie and I bought a Ruffwear backpack for her and find that no matter how I tried to adjust it it always slipped to one side or the other, to the point where I no longer use it. Also the water bladders both sprang leaks during a hike.

It's a RuffWear but it was an earlier model without the bladders. I find the bladder is a bit redundant for an animal content to sipping out of a puddle. For dry areas, I'm used to carrying extra water so she shares out of my bottles and bladder.

 

We make the straps snug but not so tight she can't breathe and we carefully watched her when we fitted her for it to be sure it wasn't too tight. She didn't fuss with it. We also ensure the weight is equal on both sides at all times. That meant carefully measured packaged food for her then stepping on the scale to determine the right ratio with other gear such as a collapsible bowl for her and a small towel for her to lay down on in the tent. Max weight was kept under 5 lbs bearing in mind I wanted to keep under 10% of her weight of 65-70 lbs. The hike down the trail was a bit more concerning because we didn't stay the anticipated extra day, so the pack came off so she could handle the obstacles without the extra weight. It was a pretty steep trail at times to 66% grade with big jumping obstacles she had to overcome. We found workarounds for her instead of those and having the pack off of her was still a good idea, but it was something to keep in mind.

Edited by TotemLake

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Hey TotemLake neat dog and looks quite comfortable with her backpack on.

I have a question for you. Is that a ruffwear backpack you have on her?

If so how do you get it to stay on straight. I hike with my 8yo Fsp Chessie and I bought a Ruffwear backpack for her and find that no matter how I tried to adjust it it always slipped to one side or the other, to the point where I no longer use it. Also the water bladders both sprang leaks during a hike.

It's a RuffWear but it was an earlier model without the bladders. I find the bladder is a bit redundant for an animal content to sipping out of a puddle. For dry areas, I'm used to carrying extra water so she shares out of my bottles and bladder.

 

We make the straps snug but not so tight she can't breathe and we carefully watched her when we fitted her for it to be sure it wasn't too tight. She didn't fuss with it. We also ensure the weight is equal on both sides at all times. That meant carefully measured packaged food for her then stepping on the scale to determine the right ratio with other gear such as a collapsible bowl for her and a small towel for her to lay down on in the tent. Max weight was kept under 5 lbs bearing in mind I wanted to keep under 10% of her weight of 65-70 lbs. The hike down the trail was a bit more concerning because we didn't stay the anticipated extra day, so the pack came off so she could handle the obstacles without the extra weight. It was a pretty steep trail at times to 66% grade with big jumping obstacles she had to overcome. We found workarounds for her instead of those and having the pack off of her was still a good idea, but it was something to keep in mind.

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

I don't think that I would get the model with bladders again and I'm not sure if that was the problem with the shifting. The pack fit well and she tolerated it except when it shifted and was hanging to one side. I had balanced the two sides evenly and it still shifted. I do carry extra water for her on our hikes in case the streams etc are dried up or non-existent like the time we hiked to a cache with the name "... Falls" but there was no water there.

 

"Dogs can easily carry up to a quarter of their body weight but you don't want to start them off at this amount right in the beginning. You'll need to work them up to heavier loads over a long period of time." This is a rule of thumb the same as the 25% rule for people but do it gradually and keep the load over the shoulders not the back. So you could probably increase her load if you wanted.

 

I appreciate that you are a considerate and concerned pet owner that enjoys the companionship of your dog while on a hike and she looks like she enjoys it too. Enjoy and Good Hiking.

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Yah I could increase her backpack weight, but I know how I feel when I carry 25% of my weight. I have no desire to put that on her. :unsure:

 

Happy trails to you and yours!

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Ive been hiking for awhile, and have been thinking about getting a dog to start coming along. Please feel free to share any comments or guidance, or just discuss hiking with dogs. :P

 

I recently climbed Crowsnest Mountain. This is a challanging "Moderate" scrable with 1100m of elevation gain (3600 feet), and a small section where you have to scale a rock face. When I got to the summit, there was a group up there with a dog (a black lab I think). The guys said the dog only needed help on the rock face, but did the rest better than they did. So, dogs can go most anywhere you will go.

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Started to cache because of my border collie. Hes 5 months old and already rearing to go.

 

Just want to say something however, border collies are great dogs, but if you plan to get one, make sure you have the time and energy. They need a job, and if you don't give them one they might find one you don't like. Some one once said, "you don't take your border collie to your kids soccer game, you take your kids to your border collies agility trial"

 

With that being said their great dogs and he enjoys caching quite a bit.

 

If you want a picture look at my profile.

 

COTB

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We have a lab and she's done a few mountain climbs with us. My fiance will sometime stay at the bottom of the hill with her, but if she's not leashed, she's following me. That dog's gone places that I would prefer she not go, but she's non-stop and as long as she's off the leash, she finds a way up.

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We got a English Springer pup a couple weeks ago. The little guy isn't 12 weeks old yet, but I have been taking him out through the brush on our land, both on and off leash and both in the day and at night trying to get him used to hiking. Because of the weather and his young age we won't be doing any real hiking for awhile.

 

Question for the veteran dog owners/hikers: When you are out in the woods how do you deal with cleaning up after your dog? I don't really relish the idea of holding a baggie in my hand while trying to manage treking poles, a GPSr and all the other hiking gear. I also don't really want to stick it in my pack with my food and supplies either. What's your method/experience?

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We got a English Springer pup a couple weeks ago. The little guy isn't 12 weeks old yet, but I have been taking him out through the brush on our land, both on and off leash and both in the day and at night trying to get him used to hiking. Because of the weather and his young age we won't be doing any real hiking for awhile.

 

Question for the veteran dog owners/hikers: When you are out in the woods how do you deal with cleaning up after your dog? I don't really relish the idea of holding a baggie in my hand while trying to manage treking poles, a GPSr and all the other hiking gear. I also don't really want to stick it in my pack with my food and supplies either. What's your method/experience?

It depends largely upon the trail and park system. If I'm deep in the woods, and the passage is such my dog won't go off trail, I take the effort to knock the pile off the trail. A piece of bark is usually sufficient to act as a spade to flip it off. If it's a maintained park trail system, then I'll baggie it as there is usually a trash can nearby. If it's at the beginning of a hike, and the trash can is half mile behind me, I'll baggie it and cache it off trail, waypoint it and pick it up on the way out. My one time mistake a long time back is not realizing we were going on a loop instead of an in and out.

 

My wife and kid kind of restrict the dog's natural instinct to go off trail to do her thing. They tend to keep too tight a control and keep her on the straight and narrow so to speak. So when they do that, I make them deal with it. Sometimes training is more about the people than the animal.

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If it's at the beginning of a hike, and the trash can is half mile behind me, I'll baggie it and cache it off trail, waypoint it and pick it up on the way out. My one time mistake a long time back is not realizing we were going on a loop instead of an in and out.

 

That was my original plan too -- hide it, waypoint it and get it on the way out. However, given the number of times I have changed routes/plans in the middle of a hike and ended out coming out a different way makes me nervous about that -- unless I change my habits and force myself to come back the exact same way. The number of times I have seen bags on the side of trails makes me wonder if I am not the only one with that problem.

 

Thanks for the tips.

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It really depends on where we are. If we're pretty deep in the woods, and it's off trail, I tend to leave it. I've never seen a wild animal bag and dispose of it... The key is for it to be off the trail!

 

Like Totem said, it really depends on the park. I've been places where there was so many horse presents one more pile would not have mattered. The next day we're at a park with nicely kept walking and biking trails - time to bag and carry it out. You'll know what to do when you're out there.

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I have a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix (Molly, she's weighs maybe 8-10lbs) that I take hiking and geocaching with me. I keep her on a leash if I have to (city park, in camp grounds, etc.). But if we are out in the woods on a trail, I let her off leash. I don't have to worry about her. She will get about 30 feet ahead of us on the trail and she either stops and waits or sometimes she will come back. We were at a local cache out in the National Forest recently...with a cache I call "boulder scrambling". It was my boyfriend, my daughter and me looking all over this place. HUGE boulders everywhere, anyways Molly was climbing those boulders better than any of us. We didn't have to worry about her, instead she was too busy running back and forth between all of us (we were scattered out), checking on us!

I have had quite a few dogs in my life (avid dog lover and rescuer) and most being different breeds. This is just a small list of dogs I have had:

Black Labs, Rottweiler's, Husky, Samoyed, Great Dane, Basenji, Dachshund, Chihuahua, Rat Terrier, Australian Shepard, Pit Bull,

and a few mix breeds. Right now, I have Molly (the JRT/Chihuahua mix), a Toy Fox Terrier and a teacup Pomeranian.

I wouldn't take the other 2 dogs with me without being on a leash, they get extremely hyper and when they are like that, they don't listen.

The Rat Terrier I had (she was a rescue) was the best dog ever. I was able to take her everywhere and she listened. She also was alot of fun to have around.

Molly reminds me alot of that Rat Terrier I once had. She isn't overly hyper and listens well.

 

I believe that there is a fine line with a dog. You must both respect each other and love one another. And with that the dog will be your best friend forever.

 

LPFalls037.jpg

Here is Molly on that geocache hunt.

Edited by mud4x4

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twitchhugstrees - Beautiful Bull Terrier! I have been wanting one of those. But I'll probably go with the Miniature version, if/when I get one.

 

 

OH and on the JRT (Jack Russell Terrier)...my JRT/Chihuahua mix (aka Molly) has never been trained. On or off leash. And she listens very well at home and out hiking. She worries more about me than me worrying about her. Though she even gives out hugs (mainly to me though) and I never trained her to do that either :D

She has alot of energy at home and out hiking and we have never had problems.

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We started to train our dog early on for endurance and fun, so at 7 months our Chocolate Lab, Dante, went on a 17-mile hike to Wilderness Falls (GC1VC38); at 9 months he hiked 13 miles to Island Getaway 5-Star Resort (GC1X57X). He just goes everywhere with us no matter if it's bear country, bobcat country, or any rugged wilderness. Why, because that's the country in which we live and that's what we love the most. :D

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We started to train our dog early on for endurance and fun, so at 7 months our Chocolate Lab, Dante, went on a 17-mile hike to Wilderness Falls (GC1VC38); at 9 months he hiked 13 miles to Island Getaway 5-Star Resort (GC1X57X).

 

This is interesting to me because one of my main reasons for getting a dog was for a hiking companion. Our English Springer is just shy of four months old now. So far we have done a couple of half-decent hikes/snowshoe trips -- both were round trips of just over 3km and while one was basically flat, the other involved an elevation gain of around 325m.

 

I think he handled both of them just fine, but reading on the Internet I see a lot of comments about too much exercise for a young pup can lead to bone/joint problems down the road. I'd like to know what the experience of others has been and how to best gauge whether I am properly getting him trained for hiking or if I am pushing too hard too soon.

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Best gauge is to watch your dog to see how tired he acts as soon as you stop for a break. Is he alert or is sleeping or something in between? Starting small and working up to the longer hikes is the right way to go. I've determined my dog will go as far as I can, but she's exhausted for two days after that day hike of 13 miles or so and starts perking back up on the third day. As a result, I tend to keep her limited to under 10 miles.

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Dogs are great to take geocaching, assuming they can keep up. I'l share three stories about caching with my 3 1/2-yr old Lab/German Shepherd and 2 1/2-yr old Lab/Greyhound.

 

1) At Cliffs on the Neuse State Park in eastern North Carolina I let them off the leash for a swim in the river, well needless to say they took off. So long story short, 3 hrs later I found them hoping they would come back to the original step off point, which they did. My wife was soooo mad at me for losing the dogs for 3 hrs.

 

2) Took them camping at Enchanted Rock State Park in Central Texas. They kept up on the 4-mile loop around the big rock (of course I had to grab all the caches on the loop) and were "dog" tired afterward (play on words there). They slept all night and never moved once in the tent. My wife was mad at me for taking her and the dogs for such a long walk.

 

3) Just recently took them along the shoreline in Port Aransas, TX. They were fine up until the point where they both cut their paws on oyster shells and got sticker-burrs in their paws. So they refused to walk until I picked all the burrs out, and we were still a mile from the truck. Total vet cost for stitches = $320. And of course there was the blood all over my truck and in the house. Again, the wife got really mad at me.

 

Bottom line, caching with the dogs is fun, but suffering through the wrath of the wife not so fun.

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We routinely take two or three of our six dogs (two Alaska huskies, three husky/German shorthair pointer (GSP) mixes, and a purebred GSP) on backcountry hikes. All are well behaved and have a healthy respect for moose and a little less respect for porcupines. All but one (unfortunately, the largest one, a 78 pound GSP) do well scrambling up and over rocks. Their endurance far exceeds mine, even though four of them are over ten years old. We have a fourteen year old husky who is done with long backcountry hikes due to bad hips.

 

The porcupine interaction involved three of the dogs getting into a porcupine just of the trail in the dark. Fortunately, I had a multi-tool with me and a friend willing to deal with a little blood, and we had all three dogs cleaned up in a matter of twenty or so minutes, thus saving a trip to the emergency vet clinic.

 

Among many cool things about all the alpine ridge hikes we do together is there are no ticks, no heartworm, or any other parasites that exist more southern climates.

 

We taught our dogs to stay focused on us when they were young puppies during free walks through the woods. Every once and awhile, we would step behind a tree, lay down behind a log, or crouch behind a rock and "disappear." After a few interations of this, they learned to keep an eye on us and that's worked well into their adult lives. Knock on wood, we've never had to spend a bunch of time recalling a dog from the woods or mountainside.

 

Bears? We've traversed many miles in bear dense areas, routinely seeing fresh scat and paw prints. The bears and the dogs seems to have a mutual understanding...the dogs through their presence warn the bears that a person is coming and the dogs ignore the bears.

 

Moose? Diffferent story. The moose seem to treat the dogs as predators and get very defensive and at times, aggressive. At those times, I unwrap the skijoring line (about eight feet of poly line with a length of bungee inserted in the hollow core to provide some "give.") from my waist and clip in the dogs to steer a wide berth around the moose. The dogs have had enough interactions with moose in our own yard to have a healthy respect for them and have no interest in having an up close encounter.

 

Leash? Not in the backcountry. As pointed out by TotemLake, trying to negotiate rough terrain with a leash is hazardous to the dog and the human. Even with the line clipped to by belt, it's too hard to rock hop and scramble without putting one or the other of us at risk. Leashes can get hung up on rocks and trees, too. We do, however, have our dogs wear a skijoring/mushing harness in the backcountry. The harness provides lots of convenient handles to grab, hold on to and lift from that are better than the dog's collar if the need arrises. Due to the mushing/skijoring training the dogs all have, the harness also seems to keep the dogs more focused on us and our commands even though they are free running most of the time.

 

Regarding dog droppings: We let our dogs run loose in our fenced yard for about ten to fifteen minutes before loading them in the georig. The excitement of "knowing" they are going somewhere tends to loosen them up. Also, we've associated the word "potty" with when they are doing their business, so now they get a verbal cue when we want them to be thinking about taking care of business. This spun off from our competitive mushing days when we wanted our dogs "empty" before the race rather than to deal with the urge at 20 mph on the trail. Now the word "potty" elicits the response of nosing around the area to find that "perfect" spot. We always bag and remove dog waste (ours and usually others') when we are in municipal park and within a mile or so of busy state park trailheads. Beyond there, we leave the waste, monitoring the dogs to be certain they are well away from water sources and wetlands. They are pretty good about not leaving a deposit on the trail and I can't tell you why other than when given the opportunity, the dogs tend to do their business well away from where they'll be putting their feet later on.

 

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Mons and Corky atop Chugach Ruby Mine

 

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Victor Enjoying Life at South(pointe) Potter Ridge

 

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Mesa on the Watch for Ptarmigan and Squirrels at South(pointe) Potter Ridge

 

Our dogs are trained to skijor which comes in handy for quickly covering ground during the winter. Here's a photo of Mesa and Victor working with me on our way to Independent Point of View.

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Ingrid and Corky On Top of the Bear

Edited by Ladybug Kids

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I have hiked in Rocky Mountain National Forest a few times, quite proud of myself for Flattop Mountain. If you saw me you'd be amazed i made that hike too. Anyways, i live in Dallas so won't be out that way again soon. I have a sheltie/papillon mix (looks more like a sheltie and has the high intelligence of a papillon... amazing dog) named Nevaeh. She is only 8 months old and hasn't been on any hiking trips with me. Does anyone know of a good area around Dallas i can take her (preferably north dallas and surrounding areas) where i can unleash her and see what she does? She has done very well listening to my commands off-leash around parks in Lubbock when i lived there. Nevaeh is the black one. The white one is my brothers 2 1/2 month old Timber Wolf/Husky Hybrid, Tikanni.

 

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:) wolf hybrids. Most 'wolf hybrids' don't even have ANY actual wolf in them. They're just mutts of things like German shepherds, huskies, malamutes, things like that. It could reasonably be said that huskies are wolf hybrids, anyway. Most breeders who sell 'wolf hybrids' just use that tag line so they can use the premium price. Like puggles, cockapoos, and stuff like that. Just mutts...but once someone finds a catchy phrase for them, they suddenly command a premium price.

 

the dog above...highly doubtful it's a wolf hybrid with anything. Looks like it has a lot of white german shepherd in it.

 

At any rate, I went on a hike today with my two mutts. I really really like my husky/shepherd mix, but I really really don't like my hound mix. The hound mix is such a whiny little girl and he's so incredibly dumb. For example, I toss a stick for the two dogs to chase. Husky/shepherd immediately gives chase and takes the path of least resistance towards where he heard it hit. Hound mix watches and belatedly bounds into the game crashing through the ONLY thick (but rather small) thicket of vines and thorns within 100 yds, which trips him in the process. Really?

 

On another occasion, I fall behind the group (to let the wife and dogs put a lead on me). I hide behind a large pine tree (too big to wrap my arms around) and start making noises to get a rise out of the dogs. Husky/shepherd mix gets interested, perhaps a little concerned at first, and the hound mix walks away uninterested. Shepherd/husky mix knows it's me because I've gone missing. I stomp my feet a little, and he goes into play mode. Hound mix doesn't get it.

 

I take my husky/shepherd mix backpacking when I go...he has good manners on the trail (he never barks at other people unless they are threatening), he's so energetic he can outhike my wife and I, and he never complains. He loves every second, even when he's tired.

 

The hound mix never goes backpacking, and I'm thinking I'd rather not take him on short dayhikes, either. He whines incessantly on the leash. He barks at EVERY person he sees. He tries to get after your food (even when we bring him his own goodies and energy boosts), and he had a hard time keeping up with ME on a 4 1/2 mile hike today.

 

If he has a hard time keeping up with me, there's a problem. 9 months ago, I couldn't even stand up.

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Sorry to burst your bubble buddy, but that absolutely is a wolf hybrid with husky. We met with the breeder and the parents, saw all the paperwork on all of them, and was not charged premium "price tag." Not quite sure where you see german shepherd anywhere in that dog. Why don't you stick to your mix mutts and not be a debbie downer. mmmk thanks.

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Sorry to burst your bubble buddy, but that absolutely is a wolf hybrid with husky. We met with the breeder and the parents, saw all the paperwork on all of them, and was not charged premium "price tag." Not quite sure where you see german shepherd anywhere in that dog. Why don't you stick to your mix mutts and not be a debbie downer. mmmk thanks.

 

What kind of 'papers' are you going to get for a dog mixed with a wild animal? Have you ever seen a white GSD?

 

I know more than you think. I also know that it's more than likely the breeder was yanking on some chains making you and your brother believe that dog is something other than just a northern breed mutt.

 

Or did you think the reflective tapetums should make it obvious the dog is a wolf hybrid?

 

People who own real wolf hybrids treat them like the wild animals they are and they keep them in highly secure enclosures outside and realize that they don't socialize with people well (and especially kids).

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Nope, my dog's eyes reflect light and she quite obviously is not any part wolf. However, upon visiting the parents as i said earlier. The parents were quite obviously a timber wolf and a husky... put that in your pipe and smoke it! Anyone else care to add to the thread? i'm sensing too much ignorance from previous poster.

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Nope, my dog's eyes reflect light and she quite obviously is not any part wolf. However, upon visiting the parents as i said earlier. The parents were quite obviously a timber wolf and a husky... put that in your pipe and smoke it! Anyone else care to add to the thread? i'm sensing too much ignorance from previous poster.

 

Ignorance from a wildlife biologist and husband of a veterinarian on this issue? I'm sensing hostility from you, and that makes me think you have an idea what I'm talking about, but don't want to admit it. The ignorance, I think, is on your part...not mine.

 

I know what I'm talking about. Do you? Maybe hearing it from these people would get my point across.

http://www.wolfpark.org/wolfdogs/position.html

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I take "Duke" our black lab/golden retriever with me on hikes and after caches. He is only 7 months old right now so the hikes sometimes have to be cut short and all depend on his attitude of the day.

 

The picture is me and him at his first hike cache; he was about 3 months old. It was real short hike and very easy trail for him and me.

 

He is learning his commands really well and does so-so when not on the leash, just as a puppy will do. But I wouldn't trade him for anything. Gotta love the dogs!!!! :rolleyes:

 

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I will post a newer picture as soon as I get a good one of him out and about.

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I have been hiking w/ my dog, Tucker, for a few years now. If you are going to summit a mountain...I'd suggest leaving your four legged friend at home. But if you are hiking well maintained trails and mid-mountain vistas... a dog is the best company you could ever ask for. I don't leave home without my dog and my GPSr. :) Tucker is a 3 - year old Golden Retriever.

Edited by Brockman7L

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I've hiked and backpacked for many years with dogs, growing up in NM, CO, and for the past 20 years in CA. Most of them have been chow mutts weighing 50-60 pounds. My most recent two are Roxanne, a chow/golden retriever that just went on what's likely her last trip due to cancer, and Coda, a two year old chow/shepherd mix.

Chasam & Coda at Devil's Post Pile Trailhead

Coda, after a long climb

Roxanne, on the legal side of the Yosemite NP boundary

Most of the trails I hike on are Wilderness or National Forest. (They're not allowed in National Parks so we stop at the border.) I leash them until we're away from the trailhead and the crowd thins out. Some people (especially little kids) are terrified of them. Once we're on the trail I let them off leash unless we're crossing paths with horses, cattle, or other dogs, when things can get unpredicable. The dogs move ahead and behind me, off to the sides of the trail, but stay within sight. I've never met a hiker that didn't like well behaved dogs, in fact it's a great way to meet people. Women always seem to comment on the booties!

 

I've never had problems with bears although we've crossed paths many times. I've never had a bear come into camp at night when I've had a dog with me, whereas I've had bears in my camp many times without them (although I keep a very clean camp!). I think the dog scent keeps the bears away. My dogs and bears are wary of each other when they meet on the trail, but then my dogs keep their distance and don't bark. Generally I call them up next to me and we stop until the bears move off the trail and then continue on.

 

The wilderness can certainly be a dangerous place for dogs. I've never encountered a mountain lion but there's a lot of other animals out there that can be a problem, most notably skunks, porcupines, and coyotes, especially at night. I've learned to tie my dogs up next to me when I sleep.

 

Don't under estimate the environment either. My dogs are long haired so they can handle the cold but I'd never take them into a hot environment like the desert, at least without a lot of water. Short hair dogs may do better in the desert but can get cold in the high mountains, especially at night or in wet conditions. I've only covered my dog and given them a ground pad at night once, when it got down in the teens and was windy and wet/icy. Otherwise they curl up into a tight ball with their tails over their faces and sleep fine.

 

It's vital to watch their hydration. If their tongues are dripping, that's a good sign. If it starts to get dry and red to purple, get them some water right away. (My chows are the purple tongue exception.) It's also really important to watch their paws. Hiking in the Sierra Nevada is really hard on the pads on dog paws, since many trails are granite or decomposed granite (a really abrasive sand). You may not notice the first day out but the second day the dog may not be able to walk because their pads are so inflamed. My dogs always wear booties. My favorite are from Granite Gear, although I've had a hard time finding them lately. They're nylon but flex. Rough Wear and many of the new "deluxe" booties have inflexible soles that get caught and pulled off in brush long before they wear out. A lost bootie is worthless. Mine always carry a few spares in their pack in case they lose the ones on their paws. Granite isn't the only thing hard on paws: hot sand can burn their pads and snow can freeze to ice on the fur between their pads and inflame the sides. Good booties are essential for backpacking, at least in the West.

 

Poop on trails isn't really a problem. I kick it off the trail and out of sight. Compared to the amount of "horse apples" we typically see dog poop seems really inconsequential.

 

I've heard arguments against dogs in the wilderness based on the impact on wildlife. As far as I'm concerned, if prey can't hold their own against my dogs, they don't have a chance against coyotes. My dogs have chased chipmunks and squirrels but never caught anything more than a lizard. I'd be concerned about rabies or other diseases if they ever did catch anything.

 

My dogs always have Heartguard and Frontline, but I've had to deal with a lot of ticks, especially on the Coast Range in California in the spring. Once we hiked through a couple of hundred yards of grass on the Lost Coast and picked up literally hundreds of ticks. We spent several hours getting them off us and still found more appearing over the next several days. Luckily I've never had a problem with disease transmission from imbedded ticks but that's certainly a concern in certain parts of the country.

 

My dogs carry their own gear, including food, bowl, and booties. They carry Platypus bags for water, but they're generally empty unless we're dry camping or we've got a very long dry stretch in front of us. Everything in their packs gets wet since they like to cool off in streams and lakes so I double Ziplock Freezer bag their food. The weight in their packs has to be balanced.

 

In all, time with my dogs is one of the best aspects of backpacking, especially when I go solo. I hope to be able to do it for many more years!

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on short park and find or city i leave my Akita Angle at home but i like to take her on the longer hikes i just have to watch out for other dogs and critters because there all prey to her people on the other hand are no bother and she could care less about them she just goes about her business on smelling everything that is over 2" tall but i do have her off leash if i am in the deep woods or off trail but if were on a busy trail ill have her leashed it doesn't bother her fore she doesn't leave my side all that far and i do have her train to be at my side off leash but if there a small furry thing scurrying by shes off that's why i have her also on a tri-tronics collar

 

 

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I love taking "Fender" my aussie/husky mix on hikes, but there are a few problems with him here and there. He's extremely well behaved and loves to guide us along trails, but if its hot ( we live in So. AZ) he gets winded really quick even though I shave him regularly (He looks tough with his mohawk even though he isn't). Another problem we run into is that not all the places I like to hike are dog friendly, Saguaro NP, Coronado NF etc. It seems there's a problem with scaring fragile wildlife such as desert bighorns. Just keep in mind to check regulations before you go for a hike, it would be rather depressing to hit a trailhead with your friend only to be told by a ranger that its a no go.

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