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#27713 - 07/10/05 11:24 AM Re: What About Hiking With Dogs? [Re: WildMan]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
Why hike with dogs at all ?

Where is the benefit ?

1) Are you lonely ? Do not hike alone !
2) Do not exercise them enough at home ? Hey, walk them more at home !
3) Need protection ? There are better options than putting your "friend" on the line !

There are enough of us who do not appreciate your canine "friend",
so why not just leave the dog at home for the weekend.

Unless you are just plain confrontational and are willing to deal with the stress and anxiety that may occur, during outings which are meant to be stress relieving and relaxing for EVERYONE !
Really depends on where you live. Obviously not everyone should have a dog. The idea is certainly not to go out and buy a dog just for bear fodder and body warmer. The idea is to combine two lifestyles if you are already predisposed to both of them, and then choosing the right dog accordingly. For protection I mean that a dog and its owner companion should be of mutual benefit rather than a mutual liability in whatever lifestyle they have adopted. That is the real test as with any other relationship. As far as dogs and other people that depends on where you go hiking. Where I hike there are very few people. In the off season there are no people. When I do see a dog, they don't bother me. I think it is good that they have gotten out with their owner companions. The right dog would be perfect for the hiking that I do, just would not fit in with the rest of my life so I don't have one. If I retire or had a lifestyle that I could spend the time with a dog that they deserved then I would take it pretty much everywhere. It really depends on where you live. If that means living some place and avoiding people that don't like having dogs around so much the better.

Now there are times to leave a dog home or at a kennel, just as there are times to leave the kids at home or with a sitter. I just think it should be the exception and not the rule. A dog is a lifestyle, in many ways even more so than children. Children past a certain age are not meant to be with you all the time. A dog is really meant to be with you all the time like an infant or toddler. 100%. Not achievable, but that is the ideal. Dogs are really for solitary woodsmen and traditional sheep farmers, and also for children when we lived in a world where when school was out you spent all your time with your dog and you both went the whole summer without wearing shoes. I never had a dog but I had a cat that followed me on my paper route and met me at my bus stop every day. It would sit on my homework when it knew I had done enough. Dogs are not for children that watch TV or have after school schedules. Dogs are not for office workers dreaming of a simpler life, they are for people who are able to choose and live a simpler life.

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#27714 - 07/10/05 11:55 AM Re: What About Hiking With Dogs? [Re: WildMan]
RenMan Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 134
Loc: Yellow Springs, OH
[quote]Why hike with dogs at all ?

Where is the benefit ?[quote]

LOL, If you must ask this question, I beg you, never get a dog.
_________________________
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all."
-Helen Keller

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#27715 - 07/10/05 12:22 PM Re: What About Hiking With Dogs? [Re: WildMan]
jonnycat Offline
member

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 363
Loc: PNW
Quote:
Why hike with dogs at all ?
There are enough of us who do not appreciate your canine "friend",
so why not just leave the dog at home for the weekend.

From my experience there are actually very few people like you in the backcountry. Maybe people here are more tolerant of others than where you live, or maybe the dog owners are more responsible, or maybe a combination of both, I don't know.

It certainly sounds as if you have had some traumatic encounters with dogs, though. .

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#27716 - 07/10/05 02:25 PM Re: What About Hiking With Dogs? [Re: Paddy_Crow]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Paddy Crow,

One guy I hike with sometimes brings his girl friend's dog. We see much more wildlife without the dog. I like to think that I am a fearsome apex predator, but I don't seem to intimidate the wildlife. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />

I have also had very positive experiences with dogs on the trail. On a 2004 Colorado Trail section hike I was passed by a dog and a woman leading a mule. I was eating a mid-morning snack about 20 feet off the trail and the dog arrived first. I spoke to the dog and held out the back of my hand. It looked at me as if to say "I am a working dog in charge of security and you apparently have me confused with a household pet." I was inspired by the way the dog, woman and mule worked together as a team.

Close to trailheads you are likely to find humans and dogs misbehaving, but in remote areas there is seldom a problem with humans or dogs. High density seems to incease undesirable human behavior.

My experiences are probably part of the reason that dogs are not allowed in most National Parks and are required to be on leash in my local Wilderness Areas. I believe that virtually every dog owner in this Forum is responsible and does not cause problems on the trail.

I think longhair's comments about what the owner needs to do for the dog was on target.


Edited by food (07/10/05 02:27 PM)

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#27717 - 07/10/05 03:12 PM Re: What About Hiking With Dogs?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have two dogs, both are schutzenhund trained animals. There's no way I'd put those dogs on a leash in the back country. The dogs will respond to my commands, they will be at heal unless I tell them not to be, and off leash if I tell them to attack, stay, heel or run they'll do what I say -- making it safer for them and me.

On a leash they're in danger of choking should I fall, or something would happen to them where they got caught on underbrush.

Proper training is required. A leash is not.

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#27718 - 07/10/05 03:17 PM Re: Keep Your Dog's Health in Mind [Re: longhair29]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Keep in mind that if you've got a pack on, there's no reason your dog shouldn't as well.

I've yet to backpack with my dogs, but I've done plenty of long day hikes with them. They have no problem carrying their gear, food and water on their own backs.

Of course, they're also very well trained, very in-shape dogs. If you're going to take a dog on a backpacking trip, start with long walks about the house, and build up to long day-hikes, before putting in a multi-day trek.

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#27719 - 07/10/05 03:27 PM Off Leash?
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Kopefire,

I do most of my hiking in the local county Open Space and federal Wilderness Areas. Both require dogs to be on leash.

When I drive to the trailhead and hike it appears that about the same percentage of people think the speed limits and leash laws are for other people.

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#27720 - 07/10/05 03:46 PM Re: Off Leash? [Re: ringtail]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I honestly don't care about the law in this instance. A leash on a dog in the wilderness is a danger to the dog. I understand the reason for the law -- because far too many people fail to train and control their dog.

A well trained dog is not a danger to other hikers and will not be wandering off chasing animals. Endangering the dog's safety for no reason beyond "it's the law" is being a poor owner.

I'll pay the ticket. It's a stupid law. A much better law would be that the owner had to demonstrate control of the animal at all times. But that would require our legal system be staffed by people capable of using judgement beyond answering a set of "yes/no" questions.

If you think that makes me a poor owner, so be it. But I guarantee if you ever see my dogs on the trail they'll be at my feet, in a proper heel. You can walk right by them a foot away and they won't even turn their heads to sniff at your trail when you pass.


Edited by Kopefire (07/10/05 03:50 PM)

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#27721 - 07/10/05 05:41 PM Re: Off Leash?
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Kopefire
You're not the problem, its the people who have totally untrained unobedient dogs that ARE required to use leashes. You are unfairly lumped with those that cannot train and control their animals. Unfortunately in this case its the many that ruin it for the few...

Still the dangers to your pet when leave the trailhead are many and very real even if you do not hike in lion or bear country and of course there are places where taking a dog camping is not a big deal. My dog is part greyhoud and goes from zero to 150 mph in about half a second. She is so fast that she might even catch something and then get bit by it.

BTW there are bear dogs and they use them in Yosemite Park in the high camps to chase out bears, BUT in Alaska they say that the only natural preditor that bears ever had were huge wolves and that bears have an ancestral hatred for dogs. We were told that the very best way to get mauled was to bring a pomeranian into bear country and let it run into the bush - about a minute later it will come right back into your arms with 500 to 1000 pounds of hungry angry bear chasing it.

I believe that you are more apt to be attacked by wild animals with a dog than without one unless perhaps you have a pack of trained hunting dogs bred for the chase, but peoples city dogs are not street smart.

I have to admit that I do not have a doggy first aid kit and never even thought of it (only got the dog yesterday though). I have rudimentary first aid training but no vetrinarial experience. What would I do if my dog was ripped open? I carry a steril suture in my first aid kit so I could sew it up, but the animal would most likely go into shock.

I feel for those of you spend huge amounts of time on the trail with your dog - like what else would you do with it? So its take the dog or go it alone and I can see where a dog makes a good companion.

A story. I met a guy years ago who hiked the PCT starting in Mexico the day after christmas and finished up in Canada in June. He said he hiked with a dog and hunted with a bow and traveled the trail in the winter living off the land. The last morning he put his pack on in his tent and got out of the tent and a grizzly bear hit him and threw him quite a ways. The bear would have ripped him open had it not been for the pack on his back. His dog jumped the bear which ripped the dog in half but gave my friend the time to string his bow, nock an arrow and put it through the bruins heart - instant death. He probably would not have been attacked if he didn't have the dog. The dog gave his life even though his human was an armed and expert hunter.

I think I've decided that with the number of lions in the country where I camp (high Sierras), that I AM going armed in the future if I take my dog, my wife or my camping girlfriends. I hate to admit it but ultralite camping means I can carry a 48 ounce .44 magnum and still be under 20 pounds. I hate to scare people but handguns are supposed to be unconcealed and a shoulder holster is the best way to carry a big gun, I look like dirty Harry backpacking. ANyway as somebody once said - anybody who can hit a running lion or bear in the ten ring already owns their gun and is already an expert and if yer not an expert maybe you shouldn't take a gun and if you can't control your dog maybe you should leave him at home too.

Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#27722 - 07/10/05 06:36 PM Re: Off Leash? [Re: Jimshaw]
Anonymous
Unregistered


You guys have said all that needs said. For me, furry friend or not, the pooch stays at home.

I used to hike in bear country up in Alaska. I kept a Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum strapped to my hip. I looked like something out of the Old West. It was a pain and kept getting snagged on brush and whatnot. Down here in the Lower 48, ain't much call for it. So, I locked it up. And that's where its stayed for about the past 11 years.

As one of my old Alaskan buddies used to say, "Take someone who's slower than you when you're going into bear country." Still another liked to comment, "They only chew for so long..."

Peace!

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#27723 - 07/10/05 06:44 PM Re: Off Leash? [Re: Jimshaw]
paulj Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 1603
Loc: Seattle
Quote:

We were told that the very best way to get mauled was to bring a pomeranian into bear country and let it run into the bush - about a minute later it will come right back into your arms with 500 to 1000 pounds of hungry angry bear chasing it.


Are there documented cases of dogs leading bears back to the humans or camp? I've seen such warnings in park literature (such as BC provincial parks), but I've wondered whether it is one of those things that is true just because everyone repeats it.

There was one hike several years ago when my small dog started acting nervously. We were in an area of tarns and lots of berry bushes in the Cascades. A few minutes later while snacking, I saw a small black bear scrambling up a slope on the other side of a small lake. My dog may well have smell it, or another bear.

On another occasion my dog (on leash) started pulling hard up the trail, as though he'd caught a scent. Before we rounded the next corner, I hear something crashing through the bush. It might have been a bear, though it could also have been a deer.

Frankly, I don't think a small dog like a pomeranian is going to wander too far off into the bush. If off leash my 15 lb terrier may follow the sound of a squirrel or chipmunk as short ways off the trail, but he doesn't go far. It is too much work. Still, if I have the least worry of him going far, or of there being predators in the area, I keep him on leash, even if rules don't require it.

I suspect, though, that cars (and urban dogs) are far more dangerous to dogs than bears and cats and coyotes.

paulj

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#27724 - 07/10/05 07:19 PM Re: Off Leash? [Re: ringtail]
paulj Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 1603
Loc: Seattle
Some times leash laws make sense. But often they are administratively uniform rules, applied across the board whether they are needed or not.

British Columbia provincial parks abound with signs saying 'no alcohol or pets on beaches' or 'in day use areas'. This is true whether the beach is a heavily used one, or a remote patch of gravel that hardly sees any swimmers.

In most National Parks dogs are prohibited on trails, but in a near by town, dogs are prohibited from grassy picnic areas, but allowed on the trails.

Enforcement also varies widely. I know of a park that was a defacto 'off-leash' area, until someone got frightened by a dog or two and threatened to sue the city. Now the areas close to the street get an occasional patrol, but the backwoods trails are rarely used by anyone except dogs and their owners.

Since you likened leash laws to speed laws, I'll mention one speeding ticket that I got years ago on a Chicago freeway. When I appeared in court, the judge had a whole bunch of us stand up, he welcomed us to the '5 mph over' club, and dismissed our tickets. I obey leash laws in the same spirt as I obey speek limits.

paulj

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#27725 - 07/10/05 07:34 PM Re: What About Hiking With Dogs? [Re: WildMan]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
Quote:
Why hike with dogs at all ?

Where is the benefit ?

1) Are you lonely ? Do not hike alone !
2) Do not exercise them enough at home ? Hey, walk them more at home !
3) Need protection ? There are better options than putting your "friend" on the line !

There are enough of us who do not appreciate your canine "friend",
so why not just leave the dog at home for the weekend.

Unless you are just plain confrontational and are willing to deal with the stress and anxiety that may occur, during outings which are meant to be stress relieving and relaxing for EVERYONE !

Someone that doesn't have a dog, especially one that was specifically bred to be in the wilderness like a Weimaraner, just wouldn't understand. For me, the hike is infinitely more enjoyable when my best friend is with me. As for those that would prefer that I leave the dog at home, their opinion matters as much to me as mine does to them.

About the choking hazard for dogs on leashes, there are a lot of harnesses available that do not go around the neck. When my dog was sick with lymphoma, I took her regular collar off and used a shoulder harness. I honestly wish I'd discovered it years ago.

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#27726 - 07/10/05 07:57 PM Re: Off Leash?
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3571
Loc: Texas
Kopefire, the leash laws aren't for people like you. I manage a park and hike the trail system just about every day. I've learned to carry a ski pole and pepper spray for the idiots who enjoy watching their pit bull terriors, terrorize folks. (happened to me twice) The morons who let their poodles run free....and end up in a neighborhood, lost. The dorks who let their German shepards bound down the trail and jump on unsuspecting hikers. The leash laws get ignored just the same...."oh, he won't bite"...yet. People reserve the right to remain stupid, I guess.
I do hike with a friend accompanied by a fully/multi certified SAR dog. A different story all together. This dog has more brains and manners than 80% of the humans who visit parks and uses no leash. That said, he and owner probably represent .0001% of dogs/owners. The leash laws are for the remainder.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#27727 - 07/11/05 12:09 AM Re: What About Hiking With Dogs? [Re: JAK]
Hratch Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 8
I think its fine. I would not recommend taking a dog on a week backpacking trip for the first time. As anything else you would start off by day hikes and so on.

If someone is worried about the waste the dog leaves.....they should first look at the mules and horses. A dog would not relieve himself in a creek, but you know dam well a mule will relieve himself anywhere, anytime.

Every time I drink some water out of a high sierra creek, I wonder if a bunch of mules had crossed the creek a 1/2 mile upcreek. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

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#27728 - 07/11/05 04:54 PM Re: What About Hiking With Dogs?
tpdwr Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 45
Loc: So. California - Murrieta
The issue is dogs, not horses, mules or folks with bad manners. All problems, for sure, but now it's just dogs. Someone told me once that one of my first responsibilities with my dog was to protect other people from him. The only way I know someones dog is under control is if it's on a leash. I think we are all responsible for our behavior and how it affects others. If my actions are going to negatively impact someones wilderness experience, then I'll do something else.

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#27729 - 07/11/05 05:02 PM Re: Off Leash? - you bet [Re: Jimshaw]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Lions in the high Sierra? I have seen tracks once, early in the year when the dear were migrating over the passes. But mostly they stay in the low country. More food. I'm more likely to run into a cat in the outskirts of the coastal town I live in.

Besides they are stalkers. Your chances of ever getting a gun out to protect yourself is pretty small.

Over some 25 years of packing in the Sierra I have never had a bad encounter with a dog - not one. Nor have any of my dogs or my companions' dogs been a big problem. I wish I could say the same for some of the people I run into. Then there are the pack animals....

I keep leashes at hand, but only use them if I think there may be an issue with pack animals. Fortunately, the one dog I have who gets excited about strange encounters habituated to pack animals pretty quickly. He just had to be handled right. The one exception was our first llama encounter. It started out OK but then the llama started acting nervous. That time I had to put on a leash to be safe. But heck, seeing what llamas do to the pastures around here I'm not much inclined to like them myself. They are just another version of John Muir's hoofed locust.

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#27730 - 07/11/05 05:06 PM Re: What About Hiking With Dogs? [Re: WildMan]
Anonymous
Unregistered


If you have to ask you'll never understand. That's the same thing I tell people who ask why I like to go into the wilderness.

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#27731 - 07/11/05 06:07 PM lions in the Sierra
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Mark,
I have had 2 medium sized lions walk into my camp unannounced. The first was on Mt Shasta near the tree line and I actually saw him first, but turning on my headlamp was enough - he was gone in .01 seconds.

The second lion (Grouse ridge off I80)would have attacled my wife and I in our tent and I could have gotten off a round of snake shot out the open door which would have scared him off without hurting him, however a lion who challenges humans in a tent needs a good lesson anyway. What I did do was jump up yelling and going at the tent door in a very aggressive pre-emptive attack. My philosophy is to attack first if possible - they are terrified of being attacked by a larger preditor or hurt by their prey - I think. They also really don't like to be seen.
Anyway you see a lot of lion tracks in the Sierras some only a hour or less old. One place we tracked a lion and 2 cubs tracking the backpackers ahead of us. They ARE there, but nobody sees them so nobody believes they ARE being watched. I'll tell you - if you light a campfire in the Sierras, you will bring animals for miles around to you, and the high end preditor will be there too. I have found fresh lion tracks 30feet from my tent, otherwise nothing.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#27732 - 07/11/05 06:20 PM Re: Keep Your Dog's Health in Mind [Re: longhair29]
Rick Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
You raise some interesting points about my dogs well being on the trail. I'm not to concerned about water and snacks, I have always looked after our needs that way. I actually started some time ago bringing along Nutrition Bars

Of particular concern, after reading your suggestions, was Casey's (woof, woof) first aid kit. He doesn't have one. The only things that he carries specific to him is some skunk shampoo, raincoat, and MuttLuk boots. I have always been of the belief that everything in my first aid kit could be used on him, and for the most part I think this is the case.

This is a list of things in a canine first aid kit:

* Gauze sponges -- 50 four-by-four inch sponges, two per envelope
* Triple antibiotic ointment
* Rubbing alcohol
* Ear syringe -- two ounce capacity
* Ace self-adhering athletic bandage -- three-inch width
* White petroleum jelly (Vaseline or similar)
* Eye wash
* Sterile, non-adherent pads
* Pepto Bismol tablets
* Generic Benadryl capsules -- 25mg, for allergies
* Hydrocortisone acetate -- one percent cream
* Sterile stretch gauze bandage -- three inches by four yards
* Buffered aspirin
* Dermicil hypoallergenic cloth tape one inch by 10 yards
* Hydrogen peroxide
* Kaopectate tablets maximum strength
* Bandage scissors
* Custom splints
* Vet Rap bandage

Other suggested items were:

* Blanket
* Tweezers
* Muzzle
* Hemostats
* Rectal thermometer
* Ziplock bags
* Paperwork, including the dog's health record, medications, local and national poison control numbers, regular veterinary clinic hours and telephone numbers, and emergency clinic hours and telephone number.

I will be adding a couple of things to our kit - eye wash syringe, muzzle. Everything else in my kit should work for him. Neither one of else will need a rectal thermomter on the trail, so that's not in the kit.

Thanks for bringing this issue to light longhair.


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#27733 - 07/11/05 07:50 PM Re: Keep Your Dog's Health in Mind [Re: Rick]
paulj Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 1603
Loc: Seattle
Before going to the effort of collecting all this first aid gear (much less carrying it for a week) it would be a good idea to study a dog first aid book. There is little point in bringing items that you don't know how to use. Further more, the book will give you an idea of what problems to expect, which are best handled by prevention, which you can reasonably deal with while on a trip, and which only be handled with lots of skill and equipment or evacuation. Also what you might need on a day trip, or when you can get to help within a day, will be substantially less than what you will need if you are a week away from any help.

In my experience of owning a dog for 7 years, potentially useful items are:

Benadryl - children's liquid form may be better for dogs, especially small ones. However the stuff from your own first aid kit may do. Mine had an allergic reaction to one of his first vaccines, and needed benadryl to reduce the swelling.

ipecac - to induce vomiting in case of suspected poisoning. However I've only used this when the dog got into some chocolates at home.

poison ivy cleaner and lotion - I used this once while camping in northern Calif. when the dog started licking a paw after a hike. Stickers and thorns are a more likely cause of limping, and usually are easy to deal with. Oil (even cooking oil) is works for cleaning pine tar from paws.

wound treatments - I haven't had any serious problems in this regard. A larger dog did attack mine a few blocks from home, but only broke the first layer of skin in a few places. Mine also limped for a day or two. I suspect the main difference from human wounds is the amount of hair, which can complicate cleaning the area, and adhering bandages (hence the vet wrap).

stop bleeding powder - I've used this a couple of times when I trimmed a nail too far. I'm not sure if it would help with other bleeding.

stomach torsion - a potential serious problem in larger dogs. A neighbor had to rush his rottie to the vet a few weeks ago due to this problem. Field treatment is difficult. Since mine is small, I don't worry too much about this.

Most important the owner should be observant, noting anything out of the ordinary, or any attempt by the dog to deal with a problem. Check for a cause of limping right away. Give water both on a regular basis and when the dog tries to drink from any available source. Note the dog's attempts to cool off (resting in shade), or to warm up (curling up in a dry place).

paulj

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#27734 - 07/11/05 08:15 PM Advice from a Veterinarian and an AT 2000 miler... [Re: Rick]
RenMan Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 134
Loc: Yellow Springs, OH
... my wife.

We met on the AT in 98 at Neel's Gap, Ga. and have been together ever since. The thing that first drew us together was her awesome dog, a 10 year old Samoyed who by the time they were done had hiked 1700 miles of the AT.

There is no doubt in the mind of anyone who knew this dog, that she loved every moment of her many hikes.

General advice: A dog is a partner on trail, not a pet. Please remember that by choosing to take your dog, you are choosing to take full responsibility for the dog's well-being. This includes health, first aid, diet, and behaviour. Your dog trusts you as the leader of the pack. Please don't abuse that trust. Make the animal your first priority, over and above yourself, a cute new boy/girlfriend, or even the hike itself, and the two of you may have many miles of adventure to strengthen your lives together. I say that you "may" have many miles, because it is important to note that just as with people, NOT ALL DOGS ARE HIKERS. Take the time to find out if hiking suits your dog's personality.

Make sure to break the dog in to the experience at a reasonable pace. Long walks, then short hikes, leading to progressively longer hikes and finally overnighters are the way to go. Not only does this allow the dog to get into hiking shape, but it allows both of you to learn what it really means to be hiking partners. You also get a good opportunity to work out a reasonable pace, what gear works and doesn't, etc. It's also an excellent idea to train together (obedience classes) This gives the two of you a clear system of communication and can go a long way towards avoiding confrontations with some other hikers who don't like dogs so when they see you they get really rude because you aren't living life their way and they have a descending level of consciousness due to the fact that they aren't drinking enough water. Have your dog sit and stay, water them away from the water source, then politely try to get the bitter hiker to drink some water too. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Packs: Our dogs carry packs with their own food, meds, booties, halter collars, etc. Note: an empty dog pack is not a good idea, it will slip around and chafe MUCH more than a pack with gear in it, so in training start out light, but not empty. Take the time to fit the pack. Many gear shops will let you bring the dog in to try on the pack. You probably wouldn't use a pack without making sure it fits, why should the dog? And check it often, no matter how many miles it has been worn. Look for rubbing, hair loss, any signs that it may cause pain or discomfort, take steps to alleviate (moleskin, padding, sometimes you have to carry the pack for a day) Places to look when fitting: The strap under the belly. Make sure it doesn't rub across exposed skin or genitalia, nipples. Padded straps are better than not. Also check the chest strap to make sure it fits the chest and not the neck. Straps should be snug but not tight, two fingers should fit easily under the straps, but the pack should not easily slip around. Packs with mesh across the back are cooler than those with nylon. Finally, when you pack it ,and as you take items from it, care must be taken to ensure a balanced load.
A good resource is this shop in Asheville, N.C. : trailhound.com

Health Note: a dog will walk the protective pads right off of their paws until there is nothing but blood merely because you, the leader, are still hiking. It is imperative that you pay constant attention to the signals your dog is giving out. They will not shout,"Hey Jerkwad, Slow Down, I've got giardia here!" Learn your dog's language. A head tilt can mean something stuck in the ear. Licking the lips can mean thirst (whip out that extra platy bag that YOU carry JUST FOR THE DOG) tail down, slow pace, wandering attention are all signs that the dog is tired and not having a good time. Stop for a break, remove packs, snack, drink, play, check paws. If necessary, abandon your hike. Remember the dog is your highest priority.

First Aid: We carry very little that is dog specific. Just flea and tick preventative, heartworm meds for multimonth trips, and booties for foot protection and as makeshift foot bandages. Anything else we need is available in our kits, or we can improvise.
Do not give your dog human pain killers. Ibuprofen and Naproxen are TOXIC. Aspirin can be given, but really shouldn't be, so don't. IF YOUR DOG IS LIMPING GET OFF THE TRAIL. Rest, see a vet.

Food: We carry high protein Iams for large breeds. Nothing special, just extra food and some good treats and snacks.

Wildlife: Leashes help here, but there is always risk. It is the wilderness you know. As far as black bears go our experience is that they want nothing to do with you and the most you will see is a big black butt. Grizzly and Mt. Lions, well, we have no experience here, so we won't advise.

Misc: We put hunting bells from Cabela's on our dogs' collars. We also recommend having your dog microchipped in case they get separated. Blaze orange is a good idea in hunting season. Collars that have buckles are better than those that slip through a ring. Our dogs' really like their own sleep pad. We use a couple of sections of z-rest cut to fit.

That's all that comes to mind at the moment. If you have any specific questions, post them in this thread and I'll pass along my wife's answers. When getting advice from your Vet, pay attention, but try to find one knows hiking as well as dogs.

-RenMan, hiker
-Buttercup, DVM
-Boogerhead, traildog
_________________________
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all."
-Helen Keller

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#27735 - 07/11/05 08:24 PM Re: Keep Your Dog's Health in Mind [Re: paulj]
RenMan Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 134
Loc: Yellow Springs, OH
Great post Paul,

One note: Forget the Ipecac. If you need to induce vomitting in your dog, just use table salt. One tablespoon should do it. Tilt the dog's head back, open the mouth, and toss the salt to the back of the throat. Then hold the snout closed for a second to make sure they swallow it. Dog should vomit within a couple of minutes. If not, try a second dose, but this is almost never necessary. Be sure to investigate the vomit to see if you need to get the dog off the trail and to definitive care.

Usually, if a dog needs to vomit, they'll take care of it themselves by eating some grass, but occasionally, the salt is needed. We did this just last weekend in Jefferson National Forest when our dog ate something odd and began foaming at the mouth. He vomitted and was fine 10 seconds later.

Never figured out what he ate.
_________________________
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all."
-Helen Keller

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#27736 - 07/11/05 11:12 PM Re: Off Leash? [Re: Jimshaw]
longhair29 Offline
member

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 1328
Loc: Floridad
Quote:
I hate to admit it but ultralite camping means I can carry a 48 ounce .44 magnum and still be under 20 pounds.


Jimshaw, are you paranoid or what? LMAO

Dirty Harry, hee, hee, that's choice!

P.S. Cute new doggie, he or she would be a tasty snack for Miss Puss. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#27737 - 07/12/05 09:59 AM thanks for the info [Re: longhair29]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Renman, Paul
thanks so much for the good info. I am a dog neophyte, funny even I can be a newbie at something!!!

I would never have thought of her paws being damaged and I spend a lot of time going cross country on bare granite above tree line. I also know nothing of dog first aid.

I wonder is it normal for a healthy dog to chew on grass a little? I think I need to spend a lot time with her before I can look at her and diagnose problems.

My dog is a cross breed with a lot of Dingo in her - she is an Aussie dog - a Queensland heeler mix. I learned that heelJimer means to nip at the heels of cows. Do you know how fast you have to be to do that without getting kicked? When we play if I quit and walk inside, she is right on my heel, not nipping, but with her head between my knees as I walk, and if I suddenly squeese my legs together she has already backed out of the way. Good breeding...

If I lived and camped somewhere safe for her I would take her, and I hope others do enjoy their dogs camping where its safe and cool, but I don't think I want to take her cross country with me, she would slow me down like a human partner and when I got to the solo rock climb, what would she do?
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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