I want to start taking my dog out backpacking.

Archbishop

Make ready. Go forward!
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Jan 21, 2012
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202
I know some of you all take your dog(s) out backpacking with you. I want to do that too, but am a bit nervous about starting.
We have a yellow lab named Raja. She's around 4 years old and is generally a healthy dog, but she doesn't get much exercise right now and she's mostly blind. She has really bad cataracts. She gets around around home OK though.
I figured this spring I'll start taking her for longer walks through our city parks. (2-4 miles at a time.) Then after I see how she does with those take her on some 10 mile overnight loops.
Does this sound reasonable?
What else do I need to know? How do you make sure the doggies paws are ok, stay ok? How much water do I take? I suppose I could keep an idea on how much water she gets through out the day, but then do I double that amount? (For being more active?)
 

audraiam

I just work here :)
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
52
I know some of you all take your dog(s) out backpacking with you. I want to do that too, but am a bit nervous about starting.
We have a yellow lab named Raja. She's around 4 years old and is generally a healthy dog, but she doesn't get much exercise right now and she's mostly blind. She has really bad cataracts. She gets around around home OK though.
I figured this spring I'll start taking her for longer walks through our city parks. (2-4 miles at a time.) Then after I see how she does with those take her on some 10 mile overnight loops.
Does this sound reasonable?
What else do I need to know? How do you make sure the doggies paws are ok, stay ok? How much water do I take? I suppose I could keep an idea on how much water she gets through out the day, but then do I double that amount? (For being more active?)
Archbishop- ibenick and I hike with our dogs, but none of them have problems with sight. Even with full sight I am often a little worried about my more "fearless" pup getting too close to a ledge or fast running stream. If it were me I would never trust a sight impaired dog off leash in unfamiliar territory. Dogs learn their home layout and so can be deceptively confident in known areas. To address your other questions you can buy a product called "mushers secret" to condition and protect paws. This is helpful in snow or hot sand. Water is a toughy, we rarely backpack to a location where there isn't water available with the dogs. If there just isn't water available I don't know if I would take the dog.
 

Archbishop

Make ready. Go forward!
Joined
Jan 21, 2012
Messages
202
Archbishop- ibenick and I hike with our dogs, but none of them have problems with sight. Even with full sight I am often a little worried about my more "fearless" pup getting too close to a ledge or fast running stream. If it were me I would never trust a sight impaired dog off leash in unfamiliar territory. Dogs learn their home layout and so can be deceptively confident in known areas. To address your other questions you can buy a product called "mushers secret" to condition and protect paws. This is helpful in snow or hot sand. Water is a toughy, we rarely backpack to a location where there isn't water available with the dogs. If there just isn't water available I don't know if I would take the dog.
Ya the site thing really worries me with low brush hanging out into the trail. You mentioned water where you go. Can Dogs just drink out of streams or do you filter for the same reasons Humans filter?
 

DOSS

out
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Jan 17, 2012
Messages
292
Ya the site thing really worries me with low brush hanging out into the trail. You mentioned water where you go. Can Dogs just drink out of streams or do you filter for the same reasons Humans filter?
having packed with dogs for years I would not even try to get a dog to NOT drink out of a stream.. just too much hassle to constantly tell the dog "no" or "Nien" in my dogs case, their bodies rarely get sick off of stream water.

As for amount of water to bring determining how much they drink when active is going to be the key, Start off by taking double what they drink at home (good thing is they can carry a lot of this in their own pack) and scale back/up from there as no two dogs are the same.

As for prep, get her off of the city parks and go to some fields with taller grasses maybe even similar to where you hike and get her used to more distance and the weight of the pack that way. With being mostly blind keep her on a leash for her own safety, a retractable leash with the retractor part hooked on the dogs harness (go go zipties) so you can just clip the other part to your hip belt works great and keeps your hands free.

also for the paw mushers secret is great, also learn how to make dog booties out of duct tape so that if they get a paw injury out in the hills you can give them a boot and they can keep going.
 

Tyler

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
464
I know some of you all take your dog(s) out backpacking with you. I want to do that too, but am a bit nervous about starting.
We have a yellow lab named Raja. She's around 4 years old and is generally a healthy dog, but she doesn't get much exercise right now and she's mostly blind. She has really bad cataracts. She gets around around home OK though.
I figured this spring I'll start taking her for longer walks through our city parks. (2-4 miles at a time.) Then after I see how she does with those take her on some 10 mile overnight loops.
Does this sound reasonable?
What else do I need to know? How do you make sure the doggies paws are ok, stay ok? How much water do I take? I suppose I could keep an idea on how much water she gets through out the day, but then do I double that amount? (For being more active?)

Like everyone else said, it's a great thing to get them outdoors and take them with you. If you're looking for a good deal on a doggie pack, Recreation outlet had some of these Eddie Bauer dog packs for $10. I have two Collie-Terrier mix dogs (medium sized) and when we do slot canyons and stuff I often have to lift them up and toss them up on top of boulders to get by them. With these packs, which act as a quasi-harness, I can now just grab the top strap and lift them up with me as a I go. I'm excited to use these.

Pet Backpack

Best of luck to you. I'm sure you worry, but dogs naturally belong in nature so I'm sure yours will pick up on it once out there.
 

Archbishop

Make ready. Go forward!
Joined
Jan 21, 2012
Messages
202
Like everyone else said, it's a great thing to get them outdoors and take them with you. If you're looking for a good deal on a doggie pack, Recreation outlet had some of these Eddie Bauer dog packs for $10. I have two Collie-Terrier mix dogs (medium sized) and when we do slot canyons and stuff I often have to lift them up and toss them up on top of boulders to get by them. With these packs, which act as a quasi-harness, I can now just grab the top strap and lift them up with me as a I go. I'm excited to use these.

Pet Backpack

Best of luck to you. I'm sure you worry, but dogs naturally belong in nature so I'm sure yours will pick up on it once out there.
Thank you for the link I've been looking around for one of these types of packs. Do you use this one? Happy with how it works?
Thanks
 

Tyler

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
464
Thank you for the link I've been looking around for one of these types of packs. Do you use this one? Happy with how it works?
Thanks

I actually just bought them, so I have not officially used them, but I tried them on the dogs when I brought them home. They were a bit confused about it, but it seems like they're going to work. I think I'm going to jimmy an additional strap that goes around the back of the pack (there is one up front that kind of bridles over the neck and connects back again over the stomach, but my dogs are still so small that I can't quite get the stomach strap snug enough).

Since you have a bigger dog, I'm sure you'd have no issues with using this pack on it nor would you have to jimmy an additional strap. Best of luck!
 

Nick

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.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,939
I've used several different dog packs over the years and I highly recommend the Mountainsmith Dog Packs. They stay really well balanced, fit well and are very durable. Sierra Trading Post seems to always have them on sale. The medium size works on any of my three pups from my 70 lb Akita mix to my 100 lb Doberman.
 

Archbishop

Make ready. Go forward!
Joined
Jan 21, 2012
Messages
202
Just to add to this thread.
For what it's worth I just purchased this doggie pack as mentioned by Tyler. I just got it today in the mail and snapped it on my doggie and thought I would share a few crappy cell phone pictures.
But before I get to the pictures, I'd like to say a few words about dealing with this website. They were great! I'd buy from them again in a heart beat. I went to their site and started to order this bag and a couple of halulite spoons. When it came time to check out and pay the website wouldn't work right to take my payment. I wasn't upset, no big deal, I called in and a very nice lady apologized for my troubles and offered to take care of the payment over the phone. So I gave her the info and she told me she'd email me when the product was shipped. The next day I got an email telling me it was shipped and for my troubles she had thrown in a headlamp. That's cool. I wasn't upset, it was a small order, and yet they still cared enough to throw in a little something extra. That's classy in my book.
And here are the photos. Quick brief description. While I haven't measured I'm sure I could easily fit fours cups or so of dog food or in each side. There are two sets of elastic loops on the top each set should hold a 1 liter water bottle. (total of 2 liters.) There are a couple of round clips on the top that look like you could attache a leash, but they are plastic and that concerns me. Probably won't be a big deal to cut one off and add a metal ring in it's place.

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