Your insights on backpacking with a dog?

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by Leshy_apprentice, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    Backpacking seemed to be the most appropriate forum for this.

    We have a new dog, and the breed is kind of a "princess" breed: Greyhound. By this I mean she can be lazy sometimes and high maintenance.

    But we do take her on hikes, and I'd like to acclimate her so we can take her backpack camping as well.

    Here are some things I've thought about for her, and I'd be happy to hear insight from your own experience taking your dogs out on the trails for camping.

    1) She remains on her leash at ALL times. She is anxious around unfamiliar dogs, and I put myself between her and others' dogs which run up to us on the trail (especially when they are unattended and off a leash...even if they are "just being friendly"). I yield the trail to anyone passing by stepping aside a distance off-trail with her on a short leash while calming her until they pass.

    2) I intend to rig a packable DIY aerial dog trolley line for her at base camp with line stops to prevent her wrapping around trees, etc. She can "roam" a little, but not get tangled.

    3) I'll keep her well hydrated. Any "best practices" for filtering or purifying water from natural sources for dogs? The same as human water treatment, I would imagine.

    4) She has "dog boots" kind of like leather palmed mittens with gaiters. I plan on putting those on her feet before she gets in any floored tent so she doesn't tear it up with her paws. Well also trim her nails before the trip. Also probably going to bring a blanket or other barrier like those dog car seat upholstery covers to lay over the tent floor as paw protection for the tent fabric.

    5) I'm also considering staking her down on a short line for overnight sleeping in a separate floorless "dog tent." I'm thinking about the Polish lavuu tipi system, but a tarp might be an option. We'll do backyard camping practice runs before taking her backpacking to see how she handles it.

    6) Depending on overnight low temperatures, she'll probably be wearing a coat. Greyhounds are very lean with little insulating body fat, so I'm concerned about her warmth. We'll likely bring her fleece blankets for warmth and something familiar from home as well. Not sure about letting her sleep in our tent but it's a possibility I guess. I will cut a small blue foam cheapo sleeping pad to fit her as well. How do you guys keep a warm dog overnight?

    7) I intend to stake her on a short line or set up the aforementioned packable aerial dog trolley at what I consider to be a safe distance from the campfire so she can't get too close and curious to the fire.

    8) I intend to bury her solid waste, not pack it out.

    9) I intend to go on easy hiking paces with her. Frequent breaks for rest and watef and checking condition of her foot pads. We're trying to build up her endurance with day hikes already.

    10) I intend to have her leash hooked to a body harness rather than just a choker collar. I think that's safer if she slips, slides, or wraps herself up on something. Less likely to strangle/choke.

    11) I have a well stocked first aid kit already. Most things seem like they would work just as well for minor dog treatment of cuts, scrapes, etc. Any recommendations of good dog first aid kit considerations?

    12) We'll monitor her for ticks etc closely.

    13) We'll keep her on her regular kibble for meals to minimize disruption. But we will feed her more than regular due to increased physical activity. Can anyone can recommend a trail-friendly nutritious treat to help keep her energy going? I'm thinking peanut butter.

    14) We'll keep an eye out for walking around poison ivy, nettles, etc and watch her to make sure she isn't eating vegetation.

    15) This dog does not bark. Ever. So I'll put a bear bell on her collar to give an audio cue to help track her just in case she gets loose somehow.

    There's probably all kinds of things I haven't considered, so let me hear what you guys think!
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  2. Brownie

    Brownie A Waterman's Woods Supporter

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    As one who has backpacked with dogs more than a few times, I would recommend finding a good kennel and boarding her there for the trip haha.

    But if you must take her, I would recommend her sleeping in your tent with a good light little dog bed and blanket. If she ain't with you in the tent, she'll end up trying to get in all night or whining about it.
     
  3. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    @Brownie good point! We are planning some "backyard camping" and possibly "campground camping" practice with her to see how she takes to sleeping in tents, etc.
     
  4. Zunga

    Zunga Supporter Supporter

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    First I have to say with the thought you've put in already. I think your dog is going to do just fine. Second I skimmed your post. I'm a lazy reader. So you may have this covered. Local vets have a small plastic spoon. It has a funny cut up the middle. They're usually free and pop a tick right out. Here mountain bikers and hikers often wind up in conflict. Especially when a dog gets under a tire. If that is likely be a problem where you are. Some calmness training around fast moving bicycles would save a lot of grief.
    Cheers Jim
     
  5. JAY

    JAY Guide

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    5 or so days every year here, one is allowed to use dogs when bear hunting, so I figure having a dog on a hike will be a safety factor, as they may keep bears at a distance.
     
  6. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    @Zunga we have a commercial variety of that tick apparatus called the "Tick Key." It is metal, not plastic. It works great. We use it on ourselves as well as the dog. Good tip!

    We don't see many bikers, mostly hikers occasionally with other dogs. But we do see the bikers now and then. We yield the trail the same as described above. I hear other hikers, bikers, etc coming and step off the trail with the dog until they pass. So by the time they are nearby, we are already well clear of them.
     
  7. TheRambler

    TheRambler Scout

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    I backpack with my Siberian husky, Juno, all the time. I started with her when she was 6 months old. By the looks of it you have given it a lot of thought, and I think you'll be fine. But here is my input for what it's worth

    Like you, I have to have my dog on a leash 100% of the time. I also use a ruffwear palisades pack and harness. Most of the time she is wearing the pack, but on short trips sometimes I just use the harness. Leash is attached to the harness. I also use a ruffwear leash, its basically a piece of climbing rope 8' long with a locking carabineer on the end. At nig ht or in camp in general I use a 20ft lightweight aircraft cable dog tieout, I just wrap it around a tree. Sometimes I will take up slack with multiple wraps around the tree to prevent her from being able to reach certain things/to prevent her from getting tangled. At no point have I ever wanted to or seen the need to put up a temporary zipline type thing like you are describing, but to each their own.

    She comes with me rain sleet shine or snow year round. Our record temp high was 105F and our record low together was -36F. For her bedding I use a piece of blue ccf sleeping mat cut down to an appropriate size for her plus a little extra, roughly half a mat more or less. I also bring a usgi woobie/poncho liner to serve as her blanket to sleep on. Being a husky she doesn't need it to cover her for warmth, though it easily could if need be. The ccf pad doubles as a sit pad for me during awake hours, and before bedtime I slide it under her woobie so that she has extra ground insulation at night.

    In her pack she carries her food, a collapsible water bowl, her tieout, treats, collapsible food bowl, and a few straps that are used to tie the woobie onto the outside of her pack. I carry the ccf pad on my pack.

    I don't treat her water, dog's digestive systems are strong and much more resilient than humans. Which is why you can feed them a raw meat diet without them getting sick. I however, only give her or let her drink water from a relatively good source. If its swampy stagnant mess etc I will filter it for her. She has drank for god knows how many backcountry water sources over her 9 years and has never once gotten sick, but ymmv with that.

    If your going to actually be doing some hiking you need to have adequate food and energy treats for your dog because THEY WILL CRASH and almost refuse to move eventually if you push them enough. There are plenty of high energy dog treats available, but simple things like beef jerky and peanut butter type treats work too.

    I sleep in a hammock, so at night I just have her tied to a tree near me and make sure she has room to get under my tarp if she wants.

    Booties. Make sure they are used to wearing them or they will kick them off. I used booties for a while (only in the winter though) but I quickly abandoned that and started using mushers secret instead. Musers secret is amazing, and I highly recommend it for anyone who backpacks with a dog. You won't have a need for it unless you do some serious backpacking, a couple miles every now and then and any dog can handle. But if you do some serious miles in all manner of weather you will thank me for having it with you.

    Sometimes after high levels of exertion they don't want to drink as much as they should. So to help that I carry those dried boulion cubes, beef or chicken, and will crush a piece of one and mix it with warm water to make a much more enticing drink for them. Also helps them get a little salt back in their bodies.

    I think I covered most everything, but if you have any questions just ask!
     
  8. Zunga

    Zunga Supporter Supporter

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    Nice! Here it's a triad of speed, numbers, designation. The trails are often in heavy use. Bikers can be on you before either knows the others there. Guilty of a crash myself! Trails are marked for which one. Usually ignored by all. Add horse riders and dogs and it's a gong show!
    I avoid the tourist area trails that bring in bikers. Stick to the lesser know ones and logging roads. I've found that more fun as a navigation challenge. I've got a very long north south chain of mountains to play in. Some parts see heavy use other not so much. Finding the secondary route around sections is all sorts of fun! This summer I've got a hike planned to the backside of a lake. Unreachable (mostly) from the tourist side! :D
     
  9. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    @TheRambler Your advice sounds like how I do my personal backcountry water selection: not treated, but selective of my source. But as for the dog, her water will be treated. The girlfriend had past GI issues with a greyhound and she is unlikely to compromise on this point. It's something I'll choose to leave well enough alone for now and not fight about with her, but I understand your point and truth be told I agree with you!

    Good point on collapsible bowls. We have a couple. And we did get her used to the booties this winter putting them on for walks in deeper snow. It was kind of funny watching how cautious and unsure of her steps she was the first few times!

    But I'll have to look up "Dog Musher's Secret." Never heard of it.
     
  10. TheRambler

    TheRambler Scout

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    Here is a link to it, it gets two big thumbs up from me. IMO it is 1000% easier to use than booties, and IMO more effective, especially in winter. My main issue with booties in the winter is they would eventually get water or snow melting inside of them, and then her paws would get water logged over the course of the day and then be very prone to splitting and damage. A day of this wasn't a big deal, but on a 1 or 2 week winter trip it became a big problem after just 2-3 days. What drove me to abandon the booties was her splitting open both her front left and rear left pads resulting in me carrying her out on my shoulders. Mushers secret fixed that, and prevents balling. In the summer time its just a good barrier protectant, and I apply a small amount every morning before we hit the trail, takes all of 30 seconds or so after they get used to you doing it
    http://musherssecret.net/
     
  11. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    @TheRambler Really interesting product! But after a look, I wonder if just making your own beeswax paste isn't more or less the same thing?
     
  12. TheRambler

    TheRambler Scout

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    You most certainly could. I just find it easier to buy it. One small tub lasts me about three years, it only takes a really small amount.
     
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  13. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    @TheRambler their description just says 100% natural wax blend. No doubt their proprietary blend includes other beneficial waxes with good properties in the formula. You're right that it could be worth it. I'll probably order a can and give it a try until it runs out, then decide where to go from there after seeing it first hand and the results.

    But a basic beeswax rub may be the bare-bones functional solution. If this is an old dog musher trick, the old-timers probably had a basic beeswax rub that was "improved" by the manufacturer to make a commercially marketable product...I reckon. Just a guess. But either way, I would never have thought of the concept myself. Thanks for sharing!
     
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  14. TheRambler

    TheRambler Scout

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    Not sure if this is the entirety of the ingredients or not, but this is what is on my container as well as their website
    Manufacturer's Statement:
    We as the manufacturer of "MUSHER'S SECRET" confirm that our product
    DOES NOT contain any Soy or Flax Oil.
    MUSHER'S SECRET is a blend of 100% pure natural waxes (including White and
    Yellow Beeswax, Carnauba, and Candelilla Wax) and White & vegetable oils with
    vitamin E.
    Dilmont Inc.
    Preservo Products Inc
     
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  15. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    Must have missed the more detailed ingredient list, thanks!

    I make my own wax and oil blends for treating leather. So I'll at least order one of their cans to get an idea of the ideal consistency. Then once it is used up, I'll probably play around with that ingredient list and engineer my own knock-off blend.
     
  16. TheRambler

    TheRambler Scout

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    If you have ever used obenauf's heavy duty LP, it is the same consistency as that more or less. It's a thick but workable waxy balm that quickly softens and melts with the warm of your fingers enabling I to be easily worked onto the dog's pads. The dog's pads being hot also help it melt in easy.
     
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  17. TheRambler

    TheRambler Scout

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    Funny enough, my dog buries her own waste. Didn't even have to train her, she digs herself a little cathole and all. I was and still am impressed!
     
  18. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    A disposable Bic razor to shave around wounds for bandaging.
    I don’t know about your breed but my Corgy needs her paw fur trimmed close to keep her from getting mud balls between her toes.
     
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  19. TheRambler

    TheRambler Scout

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    I used to trim the toe fur, but have not done so for four or five years now. I have found the mushers secret also prevents mud balling as well as snow balling. Trimming the fur is a good method at controlling balling though, just don't trim too much if your doing winter hikes because the toe fur helps prevent frostbite on the toes.
     
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  20. WILL

    WILL Guide

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    You can try to put the dog in it's own tent, but as mentioned if it's an inside dog they whine and won't settle down on the first night due to unfamiliar noises/ surroundings. The dog will end up keeping you, and everyone else up all night. You'll have to bring a tent and have the dog in it with you. All I can say about that is that a wet dog in the tent with you sucks. A hand towel helps dry and clean the dog off. The dog can carry it.

    We use dog saddle bags, and they've worked great. The dog carries her own food inside zip lock bags and a collapsible water/ food bowl.

    There was two of us in the tent, so we didn't bring a dog blanket or pad. The dog just squeezed between us and slept there. My dog isn't as big as yours.

    As far as your dog running ahead and such, by day two of back-packing 10 miles, any extra dog energy/ curiosity is long gone. They just follow along. By the end of day two, you can use the trail shelter, hammock, whatever. You're dog will sleep near you like a baby anywhere at that point.
     
  21. Bobsdock

    Bobsdock Still going Supporter

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    Can I be your dog ?
    You don't need to filter a dogs water.
    She will be fine.
    You should teach her to gather fire wood
     
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  22. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    @Bobsdock she might fetch a stick that I throw, but I don't think she'll be gathering a pile of firewood on her own. How cool of a dog trick would that be! Haha.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
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  23. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Bushmaster

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    Depends on circumstances, dogs just like another 2 legged best friend are sometimes an asset, other times a PITA but if your lucky you just know they're around for good company.
     
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  24. designtom

    designtom Scout

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    Start with an easy overnight.

    See what you learn.

    Re-adjust plans.

    I've backpacked with three dogs.

    Each one was different.


    Most recent dog doesn't want to be in a shelter. More of a guard the camp type personality. Wiggy's dog coat is working fantastically.
     
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  25. Morrow7x

    Morrow7x Scout

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    All the greyhounds I've met have been very, um...pointy. May want to consider a Black Diamond Mega Light or similar, using something more or less disposable for the floor. :)
     
  26. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    @Morrow7x what do you mean "pointy"? I don't get it.

    I've already got more tents, tarps, and other shelters than I need, so I definitely won't be buying another tent tail-ored for the dog! (See what I did there?)

    But seriously, what do you mean "pointy"?
     
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  27. KFF

    KFF Scout

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    If the current dog has no gi issues, don't fuss over it like it does. If the system is healthy, it stays healthy by eating deer poop and drinking where the nose says it's wet and drinkable. The above is said by the vet by my side.

    We have 5 dogs, one is a Silken, a Queen of drama, but even she knows how to enjoy the woods. Our dog walk means going to the woods and letting the pack roam loose for an hour or few and yourself walk a few miles. They are used to my shroomhunts that can be 8 hours and hikes just aswell. They run and roam, drink, swim, eat, roll on what ever they find and lie around when had enough.
     
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  28. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    To clarify, I agree with you about the water. It's just not a fight worth pursuing with the girlfriend who is adamant otherwise and unlikely to be convinced. Pick your battles.
     
  29. KFF

    KFF Scout

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    Maybe just forged to be so vigilant, greys are usually on the healthier dogs, so it it get's a drink or a poop if it finds one and filter the water for the bowl at camp.
     
  30. Morrow7x

    Morrow7x Scout

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    Loong feet and claws, compared to many. :)
     
  31. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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    My experience with hiking and camping with dogs is that they are really low trouble as long as they will come when called (every time, no matter what) and stop what they are doing when you say NO! (eating or rolling in horrible stuff, for example, or getting aggressive with other dogs or people). If my dog wouldn't reliably come when called or respect the NO command, I wouldn't take it hiking and camping, especially where other dogs, people, or wildlife will be.

    A dog on leash behaves a lot differently, especially around other dogs, than a dog off leash. They seem to become more aggressive. I don't know why that is, maybe they think they are invincible, or maybe less secure. So if you must keep the dog on leash, then be prepared for more hassles. And if you have it tied to yourself with a leash, especially to a harness rather than a collar, you could get dragged or tangled up. Some places require it, so you gotta do it. But I don't leash my dog unless I have to. Of course, where I live and operate is mostly empty of people, so there are few requirements. Around parking lots where there are other people, dogs, and cars, keeping the dog on leash is a good idea. But once we're in the woods or out in the desert, I turn her loose if I can.

    I have never worried about water cleanliness with my dogs, and never had a sick dog as a result. Any cattle pond, puddle or rut full of muddy water is ok. But a dog that never eats anything but "kibble" is going to be more vulnerable to getting sick when out in the boondocks. That's because their dog instinct kicks in and they will eat all kinds of awful, rotten things if they can, and their system isn't used to handling anything but kibble. The dog may start feeling crappy after that, but then she'll go eat some grass, puke it all up, and recover quickly. One thing to really discourage is if your dog tries to eat dead critters like rabbits or squirrels. That's a really good way for the dog to get tape worms.

    Since your dog has no fur, I think it's a good idea to have a coat for her in cold weather, and a pad for her to sleep on. And keeping her tied up while in camp may be necessary, depending on where you are. As for a 1st aid kit I think the same things you have for yourself would be what you need for the dog. Plus maybe some heavy duty wound wrapping tape (like "coach wrap").Their feet are much more vulnerable to injuries than anything. But they have amazing instincts for protecting their feet. I hike in cactus country all the time, and my dog almost never gets a thorn. If I tried walking barefoot I would be disabled very quickly. I keep some good tweezers in my 1st aid kit just for removing thorns, but have have had to use them on myself a lot more than on the dog. Dogs are generally pretty tough and savvy, and even with all the inbreeding they still have pretty strong survival instincts. The more you take her out the tougher and savvier she will become.
     
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  32. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    Oh, got you. Yes, that's true and we keep up on trimming her nails in general. Definitely going to get it done pre-trip every time.
     
  33. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    No offense to you because you are free to do your thing your way with your dog, but our dog will be leashed at all times. Not only because greyhounds are super fast and have the chase instinct easily triggered by squirrels and rabbits as you see in the racing track, but also because I personally see it as an etiquette/respect thing for other people/pets as well as a dog owner responsibility to keep them leashed at all times on public land regardless of if you "probably" won't run into others or if your dog is "friendly and safe." I understand your points and like I said, no offense meant to you, we just have different philosophies on the issue.

    Excellent point, thanks. We definitely will keep an eye on her eating. Food, water, coat, first aid, etc already covered, thanks. And as for the foot injuries, @TheRambler recommended a product called Dog Musher's Secret which is a wax blend to rub into the foot pads to help protect them from excessive wear. Seems like a great idea, and I'll probably be making my own blend after I try the commercial stuff to see how it performs.
     
  34. RavenLoon

    RavenLoon axology student Supporter

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    I would add to the excellent advice already given I carry a multi-tool with pliers in case my dog gets into a porcupine.
     
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  35. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    @RavenLoon Excellent point on porcupine quills. I do normally carry a small multitool. Also pack some tweezers in the first aid kit!
     
  36. TheRambler

    TheRambler Scout

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    I hear you, but at the same time some breeds pretty much require a leash at all times. Its not because of the dogs inability or refusal to listen but rather their strong drive to run coupled with a very strong prey drive. Something triggers them and they just run and pursue, and they don't tire easily so by the time they do they are waaayyyy far away. Huskies, greyhounds, and several other breeds fit this bill almost 100% of the time but as with anything there are exceptions. I think he meant connecting the leash to the dogs harness...at least that is the way i took it. My dog wears a harness and it is much more secure than just a collar.
     
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  37. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    Yes, I said "leashed" in my last post in the general sense, but in the original post I specified her leash will be rigged to a harness. I don't have one of those automatically retractable leashes, but I think I might get one. Seems like the retractable would keep slack out of the line thus minimizing tangles as we're hiking along and she bobs and weaves along the trail. Possibly with the spring caribiner type latch so if the leash does pull tight it has a little "give" to absorb shock from the spring, it doesn't just snap and yank her so hard at the stop. Something like this: https://www.gotpetsupplies.com/prod...MI1tKJ4LbE2QIVjrjACh1Lhg0nEAQYASABEgKIo_D_BwE
     
  38. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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    I agree that some dogs are just prone to running no matter what. My dogs have been herding dogs (ACD) mixes, and they stick close and pay attention. But hounds, greyhounds, sled dogs, pointers, etc have different instincts, so leashing is probably necessary with them, especially in highly civilized places. I keep forgetting that where I live is very very different from where most people live. Having yourself tied to a dog can be pretty dangerous in the steep rugged country around here.

    Re using a harness rather than a collar, isn't that basically what sled dogs wear? That's so they can pull with all their might, and whatever they are hooked to gets dragged along behind. The harness does not control the dog. The dog controls whatever is attached to the harness unless it's trained to respond to certain commands. If you are stronger and more determined than the dog, no problem. But I've seen people being dragged around by dogs wearing harnesses. But I'm no expert on the subject. Maybe somebody else can shed some light on this.
     
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  39. TheRambler

    TheRambler Scout

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    Operating efficiently with a dog on a leash is a skill set that you have to develop. It can certainly be a hinderance, but it doesn't have to be. I have gone over all kinds of terrain imaginable , rock scrambles, ladders, rope bridges and forded rivers all with her on the leash. Some knowledge on my part and the dog obeying certain commands without question goes a long way too.

    The harness works both ways, and a pulling harness is completely different than a pack harness for example.
    I don't mean any offense @gila_dog , but it doesn't sound like you have any experience with dog harnesses. Harnesses without question provide maximum control over your dog. Mine even has a handle to aid in lifting them over obstacles.
     
  40. Morrow7x

    Morrow7x Scout

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    Man, I dread that day...
     
  41. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    {Raises hand and waves it in the air wildy} "I know the answer!! Pick me, pick me!!!" Finally, my history degree can put itself to some use, haha.

    If you go back in history to the early draft horses, their "horse-power" was transferred by a throat collar rather than the full padded horse collar harness system we see today which also goes around the chest. Because the original throat collars went around the neck, that's where the pulling force was concentrated to the horse. So it limited the horse power to a certain point: the harder the horse pulled, the more the collar pressed against its neck, and at some point the harness pressed enough to choke the horse at which point it would not pull any harder. Later on, a harness system evolved which allowed a better distribution on the strain and a more effective transference of the horse's work to the load. By having the load (plow, chariot, etc) tied to the harness, the pressure was distributed not just around the neck, but also to the chest and shoulders thus allowing the horse to apply much more "horse-power" because the other muscles can aid in pulling the load and the horse was no longer limited by the choking force being concentrated at its neck. Agriculture, transportation, and commerce benefited greatly from the harness technological advance!

    So what does that have to do with greyhounds? Well, since you asked... Greyhounds can start running and get up to speed amazingly quickly. As @TheRambler stated it is an ingrained characteristic of the breed to start chasing after squirrels and rabbits. They can't help it. That's why you see the rabbit lure to get the dogs running used at the Greyhound racing tracks. Let's say a Greyhound sees a squirrel in the woods and jumps off after it. Even in just a couple of paces a greyhound can build up amazing speed. So on a regular choker collar leash, once they run out of leash, they are jerked to a stop and all the stopping force from that speed is going to be concentrated at the collar on her neck (or if you pull the leash tight to control the dog, the result will be the same: stopping force concentrated at the neck). Just like the early horse throat collar, you have a risk of choking, strangling, or neck injury. But if that Greyhound is on a harness instead of a leash, the stopping force will be distributed also to the chest and shoulders, not just her neck. I won't speak for any other dog breed. With the Greyhound specifically, it is a combination of their chasing instinct, the speed they can build up compared to delayed human reaction time to the dogs running start, and the Greyhounds slender frame which makes distributing stopping force with a harness preferable to concentrating stopping force on the dog's neck. That also factors in to why I plan to use the spring carabiner attachment which I linked to above: it distributes the stopping force via the spring gradually rather than jerking all the force at once when the line runs out or the leash is pulled tight. It is safer distribution of strain forces that is the basis of my preference for a harness, not an issue of control over the dog or the dog controlling the human.

    As for your question about sled dog harnesses, I can't say. I have no experience with sled dogs so I don't know if the harness design is equivalent to the types of dog harnesses used for leash travel. Hope this helps.
     
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  42. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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    \

    You're right. I don't have much experience with dogs on a harness. I did put one on a pup that I had, and it was handy to pick him up and lift him over logs and rocks. And he wasn't ready to learn leash and collar manners yet. But, after he grew up a collar worked fine for him because it was only used occasionally to leash him when necessary. Otherwise he abandoned the rabbit chase and came back when I called or whistled for him. But he was a red heeler/German shepherd cross, so that was his nature. But I can see how a harness would be much better for a greyhound. You sure don't want her injuring herself hitting the end of the leash. That spring thing sounds like a good idea too. Not only will it reduce the shock on the dog, but also on the person trying to restrain the dog.
     
  43. Waynemanning84

    Waynemanning84 Tracker

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    I am not allowed to go hiking or camping without the kids lmao. They would disown me. Just be responsible and AWARE you'll all do fine. IMG_20170507_163829.jpg
     
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  44. charlesmc2

    charlesmc2 Scout

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    Several years back my son and I backpacked into National Forest land in southern Colorado. When we got well in we hit a lot of downed trees, killed by whatever insects that took out so many trees. The trail was a real mess and we were constantly having to work our way over, around and through tangled heaps of trees. We had our three dogs and we were not seeing anyone so we let them roam. The dogs loved all the opportunities to see squirrels, rabbits and the like, but they were having to work pretty hard, too.

    We got back to the SUV after a couple of nights and opened the back. In went the dogs, not to be dislodged. They were, as they say, dog tired. Not coming back out!

    Never worried about them drinking the water, two of the three dogs were labs. so you know they loved every chance to get wet. Ticks and mosquitoes were the biggest concerns. NexGard chewable works great on ticks. Mosquitoes--best thing is to let the dogs in the tent, at least that has been my experience. Where we were it cooled off pretty fast after dark and the mosquito cloud diminished pretty fast as the temperature dropped. But right at dusk, the dogs needed some protection.

    I suspect the biggest danger for flatlander dogs is gravity in the form of cliffs, drop-offs and the like. We kept a close watch on our dogs and they are dogs which obey, but I could see one chasing an deer right over a point of no return, so that is a concern.
     
  45. Cole Gray

    Cole Gray Tinder Gatherer

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    HORSE TAPE- get some. The product is called 3M vetrap or vet flex wrap. I call it horse tape. You can get it at any tractor supply or feed store. I use it to wrap my Border collies paws and legs when they get cut. Also works on people.
     
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  46. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    @Cole Gray I will check out vet flex wrap next time I'm at tractor supply. But by the description it just sounds like Coflex bandage wrap re-marketed specifically for animal use. I have Coflex in my personal first aid kit already, and I agree it is a good wrap to have for outdoors first aid kits. I will look over the horse tape stuff though just in case. Thanks for the tip!
     
  47. hidden_lion

    hidden_lion Supporter Supporter

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    Have your dog sleep with you in your tent, you both will sleep better. Be careful not to overwork your dog, you may need to stop more often. Some breeds (like my Brittany) will overwork themselves. I wouldn't wssst your time putting booties on the dog until the terrain is particularly rough on the dogs pads. Inside your tent just use a drop cloth and keep the nails trimmed
     
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