Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Packing with Dogs
Display Avatars Sort By:
Matthew Helmuth
(matthewhelmuth) - F - M

Locale: Cascade Siskiyou National Monument
Packing with Dogs on 02/07/2014 16:32:41 MST Print View

Hi All,

My girlfriend and I just got our first dog. She's a 15lb Beagle puppy. We're planning a trip to the AT in late Feb and trying to figure out what to do with the pup.
Where do you have your dogs sleep? Any input on dogs mixing with sleeping bags or tent floors? -- I'm a little worried about the claws.

Thanks!
Matthew

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Packing with Dogs on 02/07/2014 20:15:01 MST Print View

First of all...congrats!!!

My pup sleeps in the tent with me. He's 80 pounds and sheds a ton, so I have a ton of dirt and dog hair in the tent with me most mornings. But it's so worth it! I have to keep him enclosed with me (no tarps) because otherwise he'll do a bit too much snooping while I'm asleep. He has never torn any tent floors, although the net floor of my old hexamid was a mess after just a few nights with him. Cuben floors, silnylon floors...all totally intact. No problems ever.

More importantly for you though...I would strongly advise against hiking with a puppy. They are uncoordinated as puppies and are at greater risk of injury on uneven surfaces; their bones are still growing and too much hiking can wreak havoc on their joints.

You can do a lot of research online - there are some nice dog hiking blogs out there - and pretty much without exception they will tell you not to take them on any longish hikes until they are about a year old.

David Olsen
(bivysack.com) - F - M

Locale: Channeled Scablands
Re: Packing with Dogs on 02/07/2014 23:35:40 MST Print View

Read all you can on hiking with dogs. Lots of safety considerations.

Hounds run off following their noses. Train consistently from the start on recall, and never let them get away from you.

Beagles will be playful their whole lives, and are great fun.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Packing with Dogs on 02/07/2014 23:41:36 MST Print View

Not what you asked about, but

too many stories of dogs falling off cliffs and have to be rescued or didn't survive. Leash is good, but I have dog relatives that enjoy off leash so I can see why people do that - depends on trail and how good the dog is trained.

a couple times I've encountered dog that walked on sharp rocks, cut feet, need to wear booties in such a case, but it depends on where you walk

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Packing with Dogs on 02/08/2014 00:06:59 MST Print View

I've had three pack/trail dogs. Snow and granite can cause bleeding on their pads if hiked over for too long. I've had them out for a week at a time was all, no booties. My female Dobie was out for a 50 mile trip at 10 wks, she did good, but looked for shade every chance she could. I carried her briefly now and then. They packed their own food except for the Dobie at that age. Since, I've heard not to have them carry weight until a year. They may chew on sleeping bags, I had two damaged by my male Dobie when he was younger. They loved getting out. No damage to tent floors or snags on sleeping bags, I tried to get them to sleep off to the side. Snow camping is even tougher, I had to pack a few beer flats as I did not have a spare pad for the dog. My dogs were outside dogs, so bping was not much change for them.
Duane

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Re: Packing with Dogs on 02/08/2014 00:42:08 MST Print View

At fifteen pounds that's a pretty hefty beagle pup how old is it? And how long have you had it? It sounds like its out of its socialization period at that weight. If its not there are a lot of training opportunities at the right age but Jens right about not putting a lot of miles on to young of a dog. A beagle and its nose can be quite a handful not that its a bad dog its just being what it was bred to be. In my mind if its a good beagle its bred to hunt,that can be a real pain to deal with in the wild get that dog by a rock pile with pikas in it and good luck getting and keeping its attention. Also beagles bark and howl and bawl once again that's a beagle he's just being who he is. If its an AKC confirmation dog a lot of those instincts may be bred out of it but don't count on it. I hate to be a downer but I've been around quite a few dogs. Now to totally change the lecture you picked him I doubt that he picked you so work with him and train him learn about its breed and what to expect, this is how he's hard wired don't give up on him cause you picked him. Jens dog charlie is real good trail dog but only so much of that is from training most of it is who he is and just any dog can't be that way. Think about what you want for a end product and learn how to shape the dogs behaviors to obtain this but realize that stamping out prey drive in this breed is not gonna happen be realistic of you vision for him or her. Don't expect a puppy who chews not to destroy your gear. Sorry for the rant. Trim and dremel its nails and dew claws 1 week before the trail and your tent floor should be fine

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Dogs on 02/08/2014 05:58:36 MST Print View

My pooch has hiked, backpacked, and trail run thousands of miles with me and has been a great trail buddy. Depending on where we are she might be off or on leash. She behaves well either way. I think the key is to spend a lot of time with your dog on the trails and establish good behavior and habits. I find that it is best if it is a negotiation between dog and human with the human having veto power. That way you come up with rules that make both dog and human happy. I prefer it to be a partnership rather than the human being a complete dictator.

I have had no problems with damage to sleeping pads, sleeping bags, or tents. At night she gets in the tent, I point to where I want her to sleep, and she settles in. Thus far when she is along I gave used a tent rather than my tarp/bivy combo. It has always been a pleasant experience hiking with her.

When it is hot I try to take her places with lots of shade and frequent water. Dogs have more trouble with the heat than humans but can acclimate to some extent. I find that each year I acclimate to the heat a bit faster than her and have to be careful to not push her too hard until she gets used to the hotter weather. It is more of a problem running than hiking, but always be careful not to let her overheat and keep her hydrated,

Edited by staehpj1 on 02/08/2014 06:03:41 MST.

Brian Crain
(brcrain)

Locale: So Cal
Re: Dogs on 02/08/2014 09:13:56 MST Print View

"She behaves well either way. I think the key is to spend a lot of time with your dog on the trails and establish good behavior and habits."

+1 - regardless of puppy or not, I wouldn't subject a dog to the backcountry until it is disciplined enough to behave appropriately and not run off - including barking, which is about as cool as 5,000 watts of loud music.

+1 on enclosed tent.

I had a lab that ate everything, to include sprinkler heads, 6" diameter queen palms, you name it - but when it came to camping he never chewed any gear.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Packing with Dogs on 02/08/2014 09:57:04 MST Print View

After a good day, they will be less inclined to take off, but may find the energy to chase a easy target. :) I kept my dogs in my tent as I was more worried about them finding a porcupine or skunk then them taking off. If bugs were bad, I'd let them in the tent early to save them the misery. If you got close to their pack in the morning, they were up and ready to hit the trail.
Duane

Billy Hoag
(WanderRust) - M

Locale: Everywhere
I think the beagle will be a challenge. on 02/08/2014 09:58:22 MST Print View

I apologize: after typing this I realized you were asking for tips, not my opinion on whether you should bring your dog.

I have not had much problem with dog claws on silnylon. I had 1 inflatble pad that may have been clawed. We sleep under a tarp and he has free range but stays with me. I often catch him watching the sunrise as I am waking up. He eats from the same gallon ziplock that holds his food and drinks from a ziplock, a stream or my pot.

Have fun!


I agree will all the comments posted. I am a dogpacker myself. I also grew up with hounds, mostly beagles. My family has no less than 12 hounds since I can remember.

When I got my first mixed breed non-hound I was amazed. He was so much easier to train!

My experience has shown that if that beagle gets loose and onto a hot track, it could be gone a long time. I have had to retrieve beagles several towns away.

They also cannot keep out of food & trash.
If your pup raids someone's food bag you may quickly fall out of favor.

I wanted to take my well seasoned, long medium haired, well mannered, leashless voice control, tough pawed, seasoned dogpacking mixed breed friend on a PCT hike.
He has hiked thousands of miles with me. After really thinking about it, reading forums and talking to folks;

No way.

I will have a friend bring him out for a section North of Tahoe. I'm gonna shell out 3k for someone to watch him.

Edited by WanderRust on 02/08/2014 10:04:25 MST.

Mark S
(gixer) - F
Jack Russell on 02/08/2014 14:10:56 MST Print View

Take my Jack Russell everywhere with me, hiking and mountain biking.

She starts getting tired at around 20km, but as she's only 5kg i do tend to pick her up for little stretches especially on the MTB.
I'm in no doubt she can walk/run/ride further than me, but if carrying her for a few km near the end of a walk saves her joints in later years i see that as a fair trade.

Never bother with a lead off-road but then she's an extremely well behaved dog and she's extremely well trained.

Only real difficulty we've had is that being a short haired dog that's kept in the house she really tends to feel the cold.

I've got a old sleeping i've cut down for milder nights, usually put her on top of my rucksack so she's off the ground.
On really cold nights then i'll have her in the sleeping bag with me, doesn't move a muscle all night and she's a pretty decent hot water bottle.

Few tips i'd give:
Keep an eye on your dog, if you know it well it's not difficult to spot when they're starting to get tired.

Spend walks training, the better trained the dog the easier it is on you and them.
Luckily our dog loves training and comes to heel, stops, sits, ignores strangers and other dogs, but still i take treats on every walk and keep up the training.

Try and caution other hikers/bikers from stroking and making a fuss, this is basically training the dog to go towards strangers, if the strangers want it or not.

If you keep the dog in the tent then spend around 15 mins each night really giving it a good check over for ticks.
Tried every tick remover on the market, by far the best i've found is the lasso type.

On smaller dogs it's really important to keep them hydrated, a little often is best.
I've trained our dog to drink from my water bladder, she stands a few cm away from the valve and i effectively squirt the water into her mouth, it's a LOT easier than messing about with water bottles.

Try and get the dog off the ground in the tent, on your rucksack or on a corner of your sleeping mat will make a massive difference.

Careful while cooking, it's not fun having your nearly ready meal knocked over.

Try and keep it fun and try a few things to keep the dogs attention on you while walking, be that treats every now and then with some praise, or kicking a stone for it to fetch once every hour or so (more than that they tend to start to get a OCD every time you kick a stone)

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Aussie on 02/08/2014 14:33:18 MST Print View

My Australian Shepherd does really well. I do keep an eye on his feet and make an effort to keep him well hydrated. I worry much more about hot weather than cold and I leave his pack off if it is too hot. He goes out in the yard and lays out there in cold rain just to see what's going on! He is very well behaved on the trail with people and other dogs and if there is any traffic, he's on a lead. I have one on his pack that I can quickly grab when others are on the trail. He's definitely on a lead in camp.

No problems with the tent. I was worried about him crashing into the side and ripping the bug screen, etc, but he has been great. Great foot warmer too!

My Springer Spaniel was a good hiker too. He was much more prone to following his nose and I had to keep an eye on him that way, but he would respond to my voice commands. He found a rabbit once, but the bunny ran him into my parked truck in a campground. I kept him on the lead after that.

+1 on the wild critter worries. Raccoons, skunks, porcupines and coyotes would all be troublesome. I would like to think that the wiff of dog would keep some varmints away from my camp, but no guaranty there.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Jack Russell on 02/08/2014 14:47:14 MST Print View

So that you'll know the value of a Jack Russell for controlling any local wildlife that might wander into your campsite--here's Winston, protecting the perimeter on Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe.

Winston and hippo

Matthew Helmuth
(matthewhelmuth) - F - M

Locale: Cascade Siskiyou National Monument
Re: Packing with Dogs on 02/08/2014 15:13:14 MST Print View

Thanks for the plethora of responses!

A bit more information regarding our puppy.

She's just about to reach 6 months old. We've had her for 2 months or so, now. We walk her off-leash every day in the local park and she never leaves us. She likes to jump on strangers, though, and will chase joggers for ~200 yards or so.

After reading your responses my biggest concern is that she would be a nuisance to other hikers on-trail. Could we compensate for her nuisance by sending cards to those she irritates with her picture on them?

Lizzie

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Packing with Dogs on 02/08/2014 16:23:59 MST Print View

Beagles! Once had two of them. I well remember their going off on scents for what seemed like forever! On hiking/backpacking trips, they had to be leashed all the time. I well remember one time out with my daughter; we were crossing a rather narrow log over a stream with the dog between us, and the dog spotted a deer….

At 6 months, right now is the time you want to enroll yourselves and your pup in a really good obedience school. You'll probably be in classes a year or more. My dog was in for two years and took over six months to pass the second level. Even having been bred to be an assistance dog, it was a long time before he realized that taking off the leash didn't mean it was time to play with the other dogs. The classes are well worth whatever amount of money they cost! At least go until your dog has earned the AKC Canine Good Citizen credential.

Crate training, if you haven't already, is excellent preparation for teaching the dog to lie quietly in the tent. Keep claws clipped frequently. Keep close watch until she's well past the chewing stage.

I'm surprised you are allowed to walk the dog unleashed in local parks. Not many communities will allow that. Many hiking trails require the dog to be leashed, especially in more populated areas. That also keeps the dog from going off cliffs--around here (Columbia River Gorge) there are several fatalities each year because of unleashed dogs going over the edge. (If that sounds familiar it's beause Retired Jerry is from the same area.)

She's a real cutie, but cuteness (and they're not so cute when they grow up) doesn't relieve you from the responsibility of keeping your dog under control at all times. Nor are you doing any favors by letting her run unleashed around those who have their dogs properly leashed--it makes those leashed dogs really hard for their owners to control and can lead to injuries, accidents and dog fights. It has happened to me and my (late) dog.

At 6 months, she's far too young for any serious hiking. It can do serious and permanent damage to her immature joints, requiring multiple surgeries and many thousands of $$$$$ in vet bills. Please find someone to keep her while you're on the AT! Please also consider that the next 6-12 months is the most important time in her life--and yours--for training. Maybe postpone the AT another year, until she is mature and properly trained?

Edited by hikinggranny on 02/08/2014 16:54:26 MST.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - M

Locale: Western Washington
^ +1 on 02/08/2014 19:38:17 MST Print View

Mary has hit it on the head on all aspects. Beagles are lovely dogs, but their brains can turn off when they are on a scent. If you love your dog, you will love it enough to give it the training and discipline to STAY SAFE. This includes being happy on a leash if need be, being secure if tied or shut in a tent, and well socialized to not go crazy when approached by other people or dogs. Behavior problems are one of the leading reasons why dogs get surrendered to humane societies and breed rescue organizations. You are doing her no favors letting her be off leash if you are taking her places where she will be expected to be on lead, and she will be a nuisance to hike with, not a joy, if she doesn't accept where and how she has to be there. Been there with friends who had dogs that had no manners, major irritation on the trail. Won't be hiking with them again, except in National Parks (where they have to leave their unruly beast behind!).

6 months old is too young to have the skills needed to be okay in the back country. No cute picture will be enough if your dog gets hurt. Not everyone reacts positively to friendly dogs rushing up to them.

As someone who sees A LOT of seriously overweight beagles, I applaud the idea of getting her out to stay fit. Check out www.justinlichter.com, and look at his through-hiking book, he has a chapter on long-distance hiking with your dog.

And, please, if you haven't already, consider a microchip. It is the most fool-proof way to identify your dog if she gets lost. It takes 2 minutes to put one in, can be done at an office visit (no sedation required), and costs about $35-55 depending on where you are. Home Again is a good company, with a nation-wide data base and will blast e-mail local veterinary offices in a 20 mile radius near where a dog is lost once you report her missing.

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: Packing with Dogs on 02/09/2014 08:22:48 MST Print View

Matthew, I think the postcard might just work. I'll echo everyone's comments about the importance of training, but that goes for everyday life, not just being outdoors. I take our (3rd) German Shepherd Dog with me on most of my hikes and he's off leash 99% of the time, but knows full well how far he can get in front of me (100 ft at most) before needing to circle back, I'd guess for every mile I hike he does 1.5. When passing other hikers I'll put him on a heel to be respectful. I know how much he loves being out there with me by how much he whines when he sees his pack come out of the closet.

https://vimeo.com/75191333

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Perimeter protection on 02/09/2014 09:34:01 MST Print View

Here kitty, kitty. :)
Duane

Mark S
(gixer) - F
Re: Re: Packing with Dogs on 02/09/2014 09:57:30 MST Print View

Trick is finding something that motivates her, that might be a ball and play, affection and petting or it might be food or a treat.

Once you've found what she responds to use hat to keep her attention.

It's imperative that you bring the distraction into play early though, to do this you'll need to observe her and see the point where she turns off from any commands from you, once they've got to that stage it's pointless.

Best bet is to keep and eye on her and as soon as she shows the slightest interest in the jogger, other dog etc draw her attention to your with her "motivation"

If she jumps up on someone then it's not her fault, it's your fault that you her get to that stage without intervention, sounds harsh but if you think of it that way it's easier to train.

Once she's coming back when called i'd also strongly recommend spending time training her to return in varying voice tones.

Once witnessed a dog that slipped off it's collar get run over, the owner was obviously anxious and stressed and shouted at the dog to come to her, the dog heard this stress thought it was in trouble and took off in the other direction (the road).

So i've spent a lot of time since with my dogs training them to come to me with varying tones, from shouting to fake anger the works.
My JRT comes to me with a wagging tail no matter how i call her now.
This proved useful last easter when she was startled and slipped the lead during a fireworks show, i had to shout to get my voice over the fireworks and although she was afraid of the noise she heard me shout and came tail wagging.

David Olsen
(bivysack.com) - F - M

Locale: Channeled Scablands
squirrel on 02/09/2014 19:34:57 MST Print View

I find that the best motivation for a hound is to keep a squirrel or rabbit in my pocket. Even cheese filled hotdogs do not hold the same sway as a quick moving small mammal.sandy

Edited by bivysack.com on 02/09/2014 19:36:43 MST.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Hounds on 02/10/2014 07:29:41 MST Print View

I have to agree with those who say that hounds are more trouble to deal with when hiking than most other breeds. They can be very sweet dogs and good hiking companions, but are more difficult to manage and generally louder. I find herding breeds much easier to train and generally deal with on the trail. Of the hunting breeds retrievers are fairly easy to manage.

Not knocking your beagle, but do put in the extra effort training and care in handling her (him?). There is more danger of hounds getting lost as well as more chance of their vocalization being a problem. They are not only more likely to vocalize, but louder when they do. They are also likely to follow a scent trail into the next county, so be extra careful about that. They either need to be leashed or VERY well trained, more so than other breeds.

Matthew Helmuth
(matthewhelmuth) - F - M

Locale: Cascade Siskiyou National Monument
re: thanks for all the input! on 02/11/2014 11:41:53 MST Print View

I appreciate everyone's insight. We'll definitely take your encouragement and admonishment into account over the coming months as we figure out how to have her as an outdoors dog.
We're planning to spend the summer in the BWCAW, so I hope she becomes a water dog. Canoeing ought to be a little bit easier on her joints, also.

Thanks again!

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: re: thanks for all the input! on 02/11/2014 11:52:26 MST Print View

"We're planning to spend the summer in the BWCAW, so I hope she becomes a water dog. Canoeing ought to be a little bit easier on her joints, also. "

Hopefully she can will learn to settle into one spot and just watch what's passing by.

On one trip our pup decided that the yearling moose bulldozing his way through the trees and across our narrow channel needed a lesson in manners.

My wife, in the bow, and I in the stern, simultaneously landed paddles on head and tail, accompanied by a synchronized NO!, followed by a long and furious backpaddle. Mr. Moose stopped, looked, and then continued on. We were lucky.

Edited by greg23 on 02/11/2014 11:53:44 MST.

Todd Hein
(todd1960) - MLife

Locale: Coastal Southern California
My opinion... on 02/11/2014 13:12:04 MST Print View

On the trail, I've been bitten by dogs, tripped by dogs, jumped on, and awakened by dogs. I'm sure all the owners thought that their dogs were "good", "well-trained" dogs. It's not the dogs' fault - they're just being dogs. I love dogs and own two, but I don't see a place for them on well-traveled trails. They bother wild life as well. Leave them at home. If you do insist on bringing them along, at the VERY least they should be on a leash.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Re: My opinion... on 02/11/2014 21:53:12 MST Print View

If I was around you Todd I'd be spraying you down with water as I'm speaking, for your own good ;^)

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: re: thanks for all the input! on 02/12/2014 05:28:38 MST Print View

Matthew...

I can't tell if you are discouraged or not...but if you are, don't be. Now is the perfect time to acclimate your pup to the outdoors and train her (him?) to be the perfect trail dog. I think all of us (except Todd, who I agree needs to be sprayed with water....wink...) are really just saying to do a lot of training, and to go slow the first year. No real weight on her back (although an empty pack is probably a great idea after 8 months or so), a lot of very short day hikes to use as training tools (think an hour, maybe 2), car camping to get her used to campfires and tents and sleeping bags, etc.

I wanted a dog specifically to go hiking with me, and I trained him a lot. It took a few years, tho, before I could relax with him!! Now he's an absolute joy.

As for those of you who feel like Todd..and honestly, I agree there's very little worse than a misbehaving dog in camp. So here's the scenario: CharlieDog runs ahead (he's not supposed to...). He enthusiastically greets oncoming hikers (he's not supposed to...). Said hikers pet and scratch and coo all over him because he's just so darned handsome! CharlieDog has just been rewarded for violating his rules. It happens over and over again...and wow am I losing the battle to undo that.

The point is that it is a lot of work to "create" a good trail/outdoor dog...but wow is it worth it!!!!!Chuck

Edited by Jenmitol on 02/12/2014 05:36:16 MST.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Re: Re: re: thanks for all the input! on 02/12/2014 07:28:06 MST Print View

Is there anything Charlie likes more than running ahead and greeting people like treats,toys or playing fetch? I find liver sausage to be a very prized reward for some dogs frisbees for others. If there is nothing the dog prizes over meeting and greeting and your recall fails then there is not much you can do but some type of punishment but that should be last resort. Punishment can be anything from mommy coming unglued to getting a shot of citronella spray from the person Chucks greeting. I'd be working on recall with distractions first and be 100% consistent on what you want. The problem usually is not the dog its the trainer not being consistent. A dog can be trained that if he sees someone coming down the trail he comes to you rather than them but easier done B4 the dog learns how to get his own reward. Behaviors that dogs have learned on their own to be rewarding are the hardest to break.

Edited by mtmnmark on 02/12/2014 07:37:55 MST.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Re: re: thanks for all the input! on 02/12/2014 07:47:26 MST Print View

You are very correct Mark...the problem is that there is also a great deal of consistency with the folks rewarding him up ahead!!!!

His recall is now spot on in other situations, such as a time he was off leash and really wanted to greet another dog, but the owners said it wasn't a good idea...chuck turned right around and heeled without a second thought. But when he's got a chance to wag his tail and be goofy with his tongue and have hikers fawn and coo all over him....consistently....not a chance.

He's even stopped begging for food! Well, except for with Milton. Milton still gives him bagels.

David Olsen
(bivysack.com) - F - M

Locale: Channeled Scablands
Freedom with responsibility on 02/12/2014 10:11:53 MST Print View

After successful dog schooling, this can help keep a hound as model citizen.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Hunting/Dog-Training-Supplies/Electronic-Dog-Collars|/pc/104791680/c/104715180/sc/104314680/SportDOG-Brand174-SD-105S-Trainer/720340.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Felectronic-dog-collars%2F_%2FN-1104239%2B10000051%2B4294697752%2FNe-10000051%2FNs-HAS_BAZAARVOICE_REVIEW%257C1%257C%257CPRODUCT_BAZAARVOICE_RATING%257C1%257C%257CPRODUCT_BAZAARVOICE_REVIEW_NUM%257C1%3FWTz_st%3DGuidedNav%26WTz_stype%3DGNU&WTz_l=Unknown%3Bcat104314680

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: re: thanks for all the input! on 02/12/2014 11:16:08 MST Print View

"But when he's got a chance to wag his tail and be goofy with his tongue and have hikers fawn and coo all over him....consistently....not a chance."

Wish it worked for me as well as it works for CharlieDog. When I wag my tail and start being goofy with my tongue, I get maced. Still working on that.....

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Re: Re: Re: Re: re: thanks for all the input! on 02/12/2014 11:41:50 MST Print View

And I understand completely the nicer looking the dog is the more people that will sabotage your training you can even ask them not to pet your dog as its got its paws up on them and they still will, ask them not to give it a treat and oops sorry and its really hard backpacking with them off leash as you might not see anybody for hours or even days you get used to that then someone quietly walks up it can happen quickly,you come around a blind corner and there they are. That last trip to the winds I went with you guys on was the first one in fifteen years that I didn't bring a dog. My last 4 dogs have had great recalls the present two beyond great. I used to let them off leash and if we saw someone coming they were trained to come to side get off trail and sit til people passed if other dogs llamas or pack animals were involved I leashed them. My prior trip to the winds my dog Twist was its normal 15 ft ahead of me she went around a rock outcrop and ran into someone who didn't like my dog, I think she got kicked I didn't see it happen i just heard it. I was told to keep my effn dog on a leash. The rest of the trip her hackles went up and she snarled and barked at most everyone she met even while on leash the only way she felt safe was if we moved off trail far enough. She's mainly frightened by big guys with packs and she does not have any problems in non backpacking settings. She is a well trained well socialized animal and very smart, loves most everyone. I know what it will take to get her over
this and that is successful encounters with people on the trail with packs on which kinda counters my initial training. It was my fault she should have been on leash if I couldn't 100% keep an eye on her and see up ahead on the trail to see what's coming. I decided to give her time off I'll most likely start bringing her again this year on overnighters and build from there. The guy was right I never should have had her off leash but in the future I will try to watch it more when I do have her off.

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Re: Re: Re: Re: re: thanks for all the input! on 02/12/2014 12:19:35 MST Print View

Dogs take cues from you and use it to their advantage: either to chase you or to get a pat on the head, either way is to get attention from a person. When I meet an out of control owner and dog, I just scoop up Maggie (Rat Terrier) and continue on without breaking pace. I've been trail running soooo much the past year and running into soooo many dogs that I use the following:
1. Never look directly at any approaching dog.
2. Never talk to any approaching dog.
3. Never look at the dog owner.
4. Talk to the owner as you get close and ask them to please take the dog in for training or ask if their goofy tongued Golden can give you a sloppy kiss or pass by and say "Hello".
Stay consistent with your dog: "he won't learn" means that you have stopped repeating the lesson, and repetition is the mother of all learning. This comes up in every 'Dog thread'.
Grouchy Old Man stepping off of the soapbox and heading outside with Maggie to shovel snow (BTW: she'll be off-leash today and knows her limits).

Travis Bernard
(DispatchesfromtheNorth) - F - M

Locale: Lake Laberge
My Thoughts... on 02/13/2014 10:08:45 MST Print View

My girlfriend and I picked up a dog from the shelter last August and have been going through the whole training process since then. My advice is to not be overwhelmed by the training, and make sure you keep things fun for you and the dog. Dog owner's can be worse than parents sometimes. Everyone is an expert and you'll find no shortage of opinions as to how to train your dog, or what you are doing wrong in your training. Heed all advice, of course, but focus on what works for you and let your dog, her breed, and her own personality quarks guide your training.

We have an alaskan husky and she's fast, independent, and has an extremely high prey drive. She's never going to learn to heel or walk behind us on the trail like a lab will. Instead, we take advantage of her desire to pull and we skijor, bikejor, run or hike with her on belt and harness. It gives her purpose and it gets me to places faster than I would on my own. Not to mention, working in tandem with a dog is one of the greatest joy's I've experienced when things click and you are able to understand each other on the trail.

In my opinion, consistency and experience are the two biggest factors to ensure you have a positive experience backpacking with your dog. The consistency in the training is what creates trust between you and the dog so that she listens when you need her to. Experience, however, is the biggest single factor. I don't think we give full credit to how complex and intelligent dogs are and the importance of experiential learning. Much like people, a dog that spends 95% of it's time laying around a house and going for walks on neighbourhood sidewalks is going to be more at risk of making an error out on the trail than a dog who spends lots of time in the bush.

Our dog is off-leash a lot due to where we live. It's been amazing watching her learn to travel by herself. She knows how to read the snow conditions and will bolt off into the trees at full speed when she knows the snow is hard packed and will hold her. She'll also walk gingerly and distribute her weight more carefully as soon as she gets on snow that won't hold her weight. In real soft snow she hops from tree base to tree base to avoid the deeper snow patches. She's constantly aware and analysing trail conditions, risks, potential rewards (ie: finding a fox cache) in the same way that I am, just using different senses and sometimes with different goals :)

So find the training methods that work best for you, make sure to take that dog with you everywhere you go, and have fun. And don't forget to let her be a dog too...

Travis Bernard
(DispatchesfromtheNorth) - F - M

Locale: Lake Laberge
One more thing... on 02/13/2014 10:15:24 MST Print View

Regarding meeting other hikers on the trail:

There is good reason that the dog as a species has had such success from an evolutionary standpoint. They are adept at reading human emotions and body language and have used it to great advantage. I've noticed that our dog decides whether or not she will approach oncoming hikers (if we ever come across them) based on their body language, as others here have mentioned.

If the other hikers have stiffer body language and don't appear interested in her, she will stay far clear of them. If they start calling to her and appear inviting and friendly she still approaches cautiously, but will warm up and become very friendly once contact is made.

Cheers,
Travis

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Packing with Dogs on 02/14/2014 12:12:46 MST Print View

HERE is what you can expect ;)

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
tips on 02/18/2014 06:58:41 MST Print View

.

Edited by tchilds on 02/19/2014 07:43:45 MST.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: tips on 02/18/2014 07:49:39 MST Print View

Not to delve into a dog training argument, but I disagree with you on a few points (as you knew people would...)

First of all, a well-fitting pack sits on the dog's front shoulders, NOT on the back. CharlieDog's pack barely even reaches his back...the vast majority of the wight is centered at his shoulders. By the way, he has had nasty hip problems since I got him and he seems to feel the best when we are out on the trail. He loves the pack (and all that is ever in it is his food and my trash, and he's 80#s) and stands and waits for me to put in on.

Secondly, don't use the boots all the time. Your dog actually vents a lot of heat through the pads of his feet, so when they are in boots in the heat they are at much higher risk for heat stroke than when their pads can touch cool ground. Obviously boots are necessary in some situations, just be careful about using them all the time. CharlieDog wore them once and overheated so badly I thought we were going to have to evacuate him. I removed the boots....doused him with water...he was totally fine after that. And he has never had issues with his feet...although he was just as sore as the rest of us on an 8-day trip the Winds! Nothing a little massage and a rest day couldn't handle....

And lastly...the e collar bit. I agree that sometimes an e collar is necessary, say for some working dogs and such, but an e collar is known as negative reinforcement training, whereas training without one is positive reinforcement training. I choose to train my dog in the positive reinforcement category - he wants to please me, so he does what I ask and he is rewarded for it. The e collar, while not at all painful, is a punishment based one. You do this behavior, I'll not shock you. You go over there, I'll shock you. Instead of the dog choosing to do the correct behavior because he knows that's what you want, he does it so you won't punish him.

Again, there are situations when this is necessary...but I'm not so sure you want to go that route first with a pet. A bomb sniffer? Perhaps.



Just take some good dog behavior/training classes and have a ton of fun! I love backpacking with my pup!!!

Travis Bernard
(DispatchesfromtheNorth) - F - M

Locale: Lake Laberge
Booties on 02/18/2014 07:56:53 MST Print View

We use cheap fleece booties for our dog in the winter. Haven't used them in the summer but I imagine they'd do just as well in the summer. Much better than those rubber sole booties. They still protect the feet and they breathe too. Not to mention they cost about $1 a piece or can be made for even cheaper.

Cheers,
Travis

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Booties on 02/18/2014 08:02:18 MST Print View

I encountered a human with dog once. They had walked over sharp rock area. His feet were all cut up. Very sad. I think it eventually resolved acceptably though.

David Olsen
(bivysack.com) - F - M

Locale: Channeled Scablands
Re: Re: tips on 02/18/2014 12:14:15 MST Print View

"Secondly, don't use the boots all the time. Your dog actually vents a lot of heat through the pads of his feet, so when they are in boots in the heat they are at much higher risk for heat stroke than when their pads can touch cool ground. Obviously boots are necessary in some situations, just be careful about using them all the time. CharlieDog wore them once and overheated so badly I thought we were going to have to evacuate him. I removed the boots....doused him with water...he was totally fine after that. And he has never had issues with his feet...although he was just as sore as the rest of us on an 8-day trip the Winds! Nothing a little massage and a rest day couldn't handle....

And lastly...the e collar bit. I agree that sometimes an e collar is necessary, say for some working dogs and such, but an e collar is known as negative reinforcement training, whereas training without one is positive reinforcement training. I choose to train my dog in the positive reinforcement category - he wants to please me, so he does what I ask and he is rewarded for it. The e collar, while not at all painful, is a punishment based one. You do this behavior, I'll not shock you. You go over there, I'll shock you. Instead of the dog choosing to do the correct behavior because he knows that's what you want, he does it so you won't punish him."

------

Scent Hounds are very different than other breeds, save for maybe Huskies. A dog pack and an e collar made long backpacks doable with mine. My black and tan (think long legged beagle) needed both the positive reinforcement and the e collar. You do not want a scent hound learning they can EVER ignore you. If you use an e collar right, they don't know it is you controlling it, but rather think it is their own doing. The dog has to be well trained to recall before you start with an collar, and they are to wear a fake one for a couple of weeks prior to training with the real thing.

Homemade canvas booties with athletic tape to hold them on worked best for our dogs. They breath but stop wear on rocky or paved trails. Not for snow.

Our dog was 50 lbs and carried a tiny sleeping bag, square of 1/4" foam pad, dry food, pint of water. She lived till she was 17 and could come on our mountain bike trips till 16. No joint problems, but we kept her in training.

The pack seemed to settle her down on the trail, she seemed less likely to get excited at animals and other distractions.

Goggles were needed at altitude with snow or bright rocks. She had show blindness once.

Even made a simple climbing harness for canyoneering in the Inyo's. Learned how to rappel with a dog. Unlike the youtube video's by mall ninja's and seal wanabees, you attach the rappel device directly to the dog and hang below it like you would a haul bag or a litter lower.brook

Edited by bivysack.com on 02/18/2014 12:15:03 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: tips on 02/18/2014 13:13:31 MST Print View

"I agree that sometimes an e collar is necessary, say for some working dogs and such, but an e collar is known as negative reinforcement training, whereas training without one is positive reinforcement training. I choose to train my dog in the positive reinforcement category - he wants to please me, so he does what I ask and he is rewarded for it."

Really ..... must ..... resist ...... responding .....

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
boots must always be available on 02/18/2014 16:04:57 MST Print View

No respect

Edited by tchilds on 02/19/2014 07:45:21 MST.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
C'mon Doug....you know you wanna... on 02/18/2014 17:03:33 MST Print View

As for Troy...must be nice to be an absolute expert on the ONLY correct way to create a happy and safe backpacking dog.

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
no judgement on 02/18/2014 17:05:39 MST Print View

.

Edited by tchilds on 02/19/2014 07:47:09 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: C'mon Doug....you know you wanna... on 02/18/2014 17:14:26 MST Print View

"C'mon Doug....you know you wanna..."

You're just making it too easy now....

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
have fun on 02/18/2014 17:15:34 MST Print View

haha

People just need to obey laws of trails and they'll be fine. Its that simple. Have fun with dogs and please keep them out of my camp.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: boots must always be available on 02/18/2014 17:29:47 MST Print View

"E collars are only used when the dog is happy. They are only used to reinforce positive behavior. I suggest you take a psychology 101 course to learn the definitions of positive and negative reinforcement before you claim to know what you are saying. Your definitions are not even correct as far as I can tell."

Nothing personal Troy, but I think you're the one a bit confused. In fact, I think you're confusing the term 'positive reinforcement' with 'positive punishment.' When the owner presses the collar button to give his/her dog a stimulation, that is referred to as positive punishment. When the pup then reacts appropriately and the collar stimulation is stopped, that's referred to as negative reinforcement.

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
splitting dog hairs on 02/18/2014 17:32:57 MST Print View

...

Edited by tchilds on 02/19/2014 07:46:19 MST.

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
my dangerous dog on 02/18/2014 18:22:38 MST Print View

Never mind then

Edited by tchilds on 02/19/2014 07:39:53 MST.

Will Elliott
(elliott.will) - F

Locale: Juneau, AK
Experts on 02/18/2014 22:41:48 MST Print View

Check out sleddogcentral.com and forums on lgds (livestock guardian dogs) for more info on what works for working animals.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Dog Training on 02/18/2014 22:45:16 MST Print View

Doug is right push the button bad thing starts positive punishment let off the button bad thing ends negative reinforcement. Its not splitting hairs, everything Doug said is fact.I can pull out several books give you the authors name book name and page number. Now I would like to hear how positive reinforcement is done with an e-collar? Hows that work Troy? I also don't believe that any good trainer will rate any animal 100% cause Any good trainer knows that they didn't do a perfect job training the animal. No trainer is perfect and no training method is perfect. The thing that makes an E-coller effective is you can correct a behavior at a distance and the dog don't really know who did it so there's no hard feelings. I also don't believe a dog really wants to please anybody They just do things to get the good things to start and hopefully not end and have the bad things not start and end quick of they do. If my dogs wanted to please me I'd be getting the belly rubs.

Will Elliott
(elliott.will) - F

Locale: Juneau, AK
Q on 02/18/2014 23:53:45 MST Print View

1) Check out this book on hiking 800 miles with the dog:

http://www.dupress.duq.edu/products/other8-paper

Maybe something helpful there.

2) As for falling off cliffs and bears and the like-- are you saying there are people out there walking their dogs on a leash in the woods? Like they were on a city sidewalk?

3) Troy: what kind of dog were you packrafting with, what kind of water, and what did you do about the spray skirt?

Edited by elliott.will on 02/19/2014 00:46:36 MST.

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
pack rafting on 02/19/2014 05:18:41 MST Print View

...

Edited by tchilds on 02/19/2014 07:48:04 MST.

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
time on 02/19/2014 05:25:24 MST Print View

...

Edited by tchilds on 02/19/2014 07:49:04 MST.

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
Good luck on 02/19/2014 05:50:48 MST Print View

Good luck and be safe out there with the bear food and horse spookers.

Edited by tchilds on 02/19/2014 07:50:34 MST.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Re: nobody wants to run across this on 02/19/2014 07:08:38 MST Print View

Edit: Do not feed

Trace Richardson
(tracedef) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Really? on 02/19/2014 07:48:10 MST Print View

This well intentioned thread went all kinds of crazy just like that. YIKES.

Edited by tracedef on 02/19/2014 07:53:17 MST.

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
sry on 02/19/2014 07:54:44 MST Print View

Yeh it's not really my thing to post online and I live for solitude. Don't know why I think I can help anyone lol.

Have fun guys and be careful out there. Most dogs will endanger your life or the lives if others at some point so keep that in mind.

Enjoy the internet. I'm going to go work with my dogs instead lol.

Edited by tchilds on 02/19/2014 08:01:05 MST.

Matthew Helmuth
(matthewhelmuth) - F - M

Locale: Cascade Siskiyou National Monument
Re: Packing with Dogs on 03/01/2014 19:14:55 MST Print View

Wow -- this thread certainly did grow legs!

Thanks to all of you for your input -- I wasn't necessarily "encouraged" to take Lizzie but after weighing all of the admonitions for and against taking her with us I opted to adjust the route some and take her.

We'd been planning to do a section of the AT but in order to avoid traffic we took the suggestion of a forum member and visited the Pisgah National Forest just outside of Asheville. We were five in number, and my girlfriend is seven months pregnant, so we hiked in, set up camp, and day hiked from there to keep it easy on ourselves.

I think it was a perfect first trip for Lizzie: it was a low traffic area (except for the Boy Scouts who absolutely LOVED Lizzie) compared to the AT and we were able to keep mileage relatively low.

We did have her wear her new pack the whole time, but left it empty in the interest of her puppy bones. We wanted her to get used to wearing it while hiking about. We also split the days roughly in half off-leash and on, and when she was on leash she was just fine staying in a column.

It was most definitely an enlightening experience: we learned her strengths and also her many weaknesses as a wilderness dog. She's predisposed to staying with us, never wandering more than 20 yards or so, and excellent about preferring us to other hikers (though she did follow a group of boisterous women up another trail the first morning), and until the very last day was excellent about not approaching other hikers. She learned after the third foot-bridge to cross them very slowly and cautiously. She has, though, demonstrated what many have said is a classic hound's trait: a propensity for completely ignoring anything we say or do except when we leave. We definitely need to work on recall, and also on getting her not to eat poop.

Anyhow -- thanks again for all your thoughtful responses. Here's Lizzie at lunch on day one. She'd never walked that far in her puppy life.

Lizzie zonked after day one.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Packing with Dogs on 03/02/2014 08:44:51 MST Print View

Now that's awesome!! Sounds like the perfect learning/training trip!! Just keep doing that over and over the first year or so, keep up the training, keep the mileage really low and easy, and you'll have an awesome trail dog!

I really really enjoy watching my pup on hikes...it gives me such joy to watch him simply being a dog, smelling things, peeing on things, running around in ways he doesn't get to in the city.