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#27738 - 07/12/05 10:57 AM Aussie Cattle Dog [Re: Jimshaw]
paulj Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 1603
Loc: Seattle
My impression is that an ACD could handle the rigors of a backpacking trip as well, if not better, than most dogs. They are neither too big, nor too small, and bred for a life outdoors in a hot climate. It will probably be better behaved if given some work - like a long hike - than if left at home bored.

Obviously the dog isn't going to handle rock climbing, but hiking over scree shouldn't be too much of a problem. I'm surprised how well my little Aussie (Terrier) can handle any climb that is more stair-like (as opposed to ladder-like).

I wonder if certain sizes, or breeds of dogs, are more likely to have abraded paw problems. Does the nimbleness of the dog matter?

A certain amount of abrasion is needed to keep a dog's nails trim, other wise you need to deal with that yourself. The kind of exercise that a dog gets at home may make a difference. One that only plays in a grassy backyard may have greater problems on a rock trail than one that regularly walks several miles on city sidewalks. I suspect that keeping a dog at a proper weight, well exercised, and with trimmed nails, will go a long way toward preventing paw problems on the trail.

My impression from seeing ACDs at off-leash parks is that they are the kind of dog that will tirelessly chase after a ball or frizby hours on end. On the trail, I wonder whether his herding instinct will result in exesive interest in wild animals, or whether he will be more interested in keep his pack (you and your companions) together. My terrier, for example, prefers to be in the middle of the group, and may hold back if one member lags behind.

paulj


Edited by paulj (07/12/05 03:12 PM)

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#27739 - 07/12/05 01:05 PM Re: Aussie Cattle Dog [Re: paulj]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have a 5 year old dingo/blueheeler and he is the best trail dog I have ever hiked with. Not only is he tireless, but he constantly scouts just ahead and finds the best routes through difficult terrain. On more then one occasion he has insisted that I follow him back to camp when he realized that I had wandered off the correct route. In camp or around el rancho, he is my shadow! He does look like a wild animal though, and I've had to tie a bright bandanna around his neck to let others know that he was someone's pet. Something about that dingo in him that makes him a little closer to a wild animal than a domesticated dog. This is not generally a problem as almost all my hiking is in areas where I'm pretty much assured of having no other visitors.

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#27740 - 07/12/05 03:33 PM dogs and grass [Re: Jimshaw]
paulj Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 1603
Loc: Seattle
Grass eating, at least in moderation, is normal in dogs. Mine prefers in the tender spring tips. There is also mention of grass eating in descriptions of wolve's diet:
http://wolves.darkfallchronicles.com/whunt.php

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#27741 - 07/12/05 04:38 PM Re: Off Leash? [Re: Jimshaw]
paulj Offline
member

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


http://www.wolfsongalaska.org/pred_wolves_bears.htm
Is a description of wolves and bears living together in a British Safari park. If food competition is not part of the equation, it doesn't sound like there is an inherent animosity.

I also recall a nature program on a stretch of coastal BC rainforest showing both bears and wolves. The relations were not totally peaceful. In one incident a wolf pup that strayed from the pack was in some danger from a bear (of course bear cubs shouldn't come close to adult male bears either). Wolf scat also contained some bear dna.

http://www.savethegreatbear.org/theplace/Wildlife/wolves/

paulj

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#27742 - 07/12/05 06:28 PM Re: Off Leash? [Re: paulj]
Chongo Offline
member

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 1273
Loc: Upper Numidia
Apparently the re-introduction of wolves into Yellowstone has really helped the bears (and everything else in the eco system) -- in particular, the bears take over the wolves' kills, and they get healthier...
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#27743 - 07/12/05 07:20 PM Re: Off Leash? [Re: Chongo]
cat Offline
member

Registered: 07/13/03
Posts: 273
Loc: Alaska
My husband & I just got home from a 40 mile backpack with Mr. Dog. The biggest concern was packing enough dog food. He's a small Aussie & ended up eating 2 cups of food a day plus bones.

We would never consider a dog any protection in bear country & we live in Bear Country, Alaska USA. If anything, a dog can be a liability. We did run into a bear this trip, & the dog did alert us by his sniffing & body language that the bear was still traveling in front of us. But we sure have him on a leash when there are willows, bear sign, or lack of wide-open visibility. We may let him run in the tundra but not in the willows. It's a constant vigilance with a dog: we had to train him not to chase marmots. The morning on our way out he treed a porcupine & I am glad we were right with him.

We always pack a leatherman tool in case of quills, which we have had to pull. And a doggie anti-inflammatory (Etogesic).

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#27744 - 07/13/05 05:43 AM Re: thanks for the info [Re: Jimshaw]
Damian Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/02
Posts: 324
Hi

Quote:
I wonder is it normal for a healthy dog to chew on grass a little?


Yes, it's quite common for them to do it - it's basically self-administered medicine.

Quote:
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 heeler means to nip at the heels of cows. Do you know how fast you have to be to do that without getting kicked?


Their technique is to nip and then duck - very quickly. Corgis, which were also bred as cattle dogs - believe it or not - do the same thing. I had a Corgi/Australian Terrier cross on my parents' farm in Australia and he was quite happy working their cattle.

Quote:
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?


Australian working dogs were bred to work all day in heat (and cold) so Kelpies and Blue Heelers definitely don't mind the heat. When you get to your climb your dog will do what he/she was bred to do - she'll sit where told and guard your gear.

In Australia Blue Heelers are often kept as family pet/guard dogs because they are loyal, territorial and aggressive. This means that you do need to be mindful of others using the trail, because some Blue Heelers can be a little aggressive. Have the dog trained to heel or have it on a leash.

With regard to dogs on trails, I find that it's usually the people who are the problem, not the dog. I went up Mt Nelse a couple of years ago and ran into one of the mountain cattlemen. He had a Blue Heeler with him working his cattle and it was perfectly behaved and I had quite a good chat to the guy as well. No problems with the dog. Later that year I walked off Mt Bogong in the middle of summer and was heading for a creek to wash the sweat off when my way was blocked by some car campers who'd set themselves up in a no-camping area. As I walked around their camp a Blue Heeler, not on a leash, lunged at me so they grabbed it by the collar and waved me through. I politely pointed out to them they they were in a national park where dogs were illegal (unless you have a permit, which the cattleman had) and if the dog was so aggressive that it had to be restrained then it shouldn't've been off leash. They were basically non-responsive to that. Same breed of dog, different people, different experience.

Regards

Damian

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#27745 - 07/13/05 10:07 AM Re: Advice from a Veterinarian and an AT 2000 mile [Re: RenMan]
cat Offline
member

Registered: 07/13/03
Posts: 273
Loc: Alaska
Thanks for the great idea, RenMan, about bringing my dog's winter booties along backpacking! In case of an injuried foot pad those would be great in my pack & they weigh next to nothing.

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#27746 - 07/20/05 07:36 AM Re: What About Hiking With Dogs?
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
I am happy to report that a new hiking buddy has joined my family. He was rescued from an animal shelter and I adopted him last weekend. He has an incredible personality, although he won't be hiking off leash for quite a while as his predatory instincts are very strong.


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#27747 - 07/20/05 08:06 AM Re: What About Hiking With Dogs? [Re: Paddy_Crow]
Rick Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Hey Paddy Crow, your new pal looks alot like your old pal. Nice looking pouch. Lots of training ahead, eh?

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#27748 - 07/20/05 09:13 AM Re: What About Hiking With Dogs? [Re: Rick]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan

Same breed (Weimaraner), but male instead of female. His coat is quite a bit darker (he's a blue coat, considered a disqualifying fault by AKC) and he has a white patch on his chest. Other than that, he's a little taller and quite a bit thinner. We're working on the latter.

Training looks like it won't be bad with him, he's already picked up sit and down. The recall will be the biggest challenge, he's easily distracted.

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#27749 - 07/20/05 02:57 PM Re: What About Hiking With Dogs? [Re: Rick]
jonnycat Offline
member

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 363
Loc: PNW
Beautiful hound 'ya got there Paddy; looks to have quite a bit of Weimaraner in him.

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#27750 - 07/20/05 06:34 PM Re: What About Hiking With Dogs? [Re: jonnycat]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
He's probably pure Weim, but you can't be certain without actually knowing the lineage. The folks at the rescue organization say they only rescue purebreds and they have a great deal of experience with the breed, so I tend to trust them.

It doesn't matter much to me if he's a pure, he's an excellent dog.

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#27751 - 07/20/05 09:44 PM Dog vocabulary [Re: Paddy_Crow]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Paddy_crow
do you know anything about the dogs history? Like how was she trained? My Australian cattle dog was bread to not bark, so I've been trying to train her to bark on command with little success. Suddenly tonight I said "Speak" and she barked - of course. So then I said "Shake" and up came her right paw. Wow - so my wife says she bets the dog knows kiss. So I said "kiss" the dog licked my face. She is trying to teach me, I know she knows lots that I will slowly learn.

Your dog will have lots of hunting instinct. Good luck with her.

I wonder what special commands a camping dog should know?
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#27752 - 07/22/05 03:55 PM Re: Dog vocabulary [Re: Jimshaw]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
I know virtually nothing about his history. He did not appear to have any basic obedience training. He's learning quickly, though.

I would say the main thing a camping dog should have is a good solid recall. You want it to come when called no matter what it may be chasing.

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#27753 - 07/22/05 05:16 PM Re: Dog vocabulary [Re: Jimshaw]
pennys Offline


Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 2842
Loc: Washington
Quote:


I wonder what special commands a camping dog should know?


as stated a rock solid recall, plus a rock solid heel on and off leash, a rock solid stay at the minimum.

Penny s
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#27754 - 07/25/05 08:44 AM Re: Dog vocabulary [Re: pennys]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Penny
No rock solid recall here. Yesterday Roxie saw a deer and I would not have been able to hold her by the leash alone. I caught the lunge with the leash/collar but had to put my arm around her to control her. Her predatory instincts are way to pronounced to ever take her where innocent animals roam. It took over a minute to get enough control to put her in the car.

The SPCA said that it is easy to train a dog with a clicker but my dog is scared of it.

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

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#27755 - 07/25/05 10:42 AM Re: Dog vocabulary [Re: Jimshaw]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I love the sight of sight hounds. Afghans. Irish Wolfhounds. Scottish Deerhounds. Greyhounds. Whippets. They sure are fast and love to run.

They are not content with a simple jog like some dogs. They need a good sprint now and then. They are not meant to be retrievers, but you might try kicking a soccer ball and letting her chase after it and try and tackle it. Then you have to go get it and give he a pat. You might be able to work recall training into that to somehow. I think you are right about greyhounds not being a dog for the woods; more for open fields. That dog is going to keep you in fine shape though.

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#27756 - 07/25/05 01:20 PM Re: Dog vocabulary [Re: Jimshaw]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
Clickers aren't for every dog and there are plenty of solid training methods that have been around long before clickers came into vogue. Repitition is the key. Start with a long line so that you can reinforce the recall. Then work with distractions before you graduate to working off leash.

My female Weim had as strong a predatory instinct as I've ever seen. Little critters sent her into spasms. After a lot of work, I got so I could call her off a squirrel.

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#27757 - 07/26/05 05:29 AM Re: Dog vocabulary [Re: Paddy_Crow]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I am not an expert on this, but I think what people call the predator instinct is really a very complex set of instincts. Some can be enhanced while others may be supressed, either by selective breeding or through training. Some predatory instincts are also naturally jumbled in with social instincts and sexual behavior. The same instinct can serve different purposes in different contexts. Pointers have a strong instinct to be alert to prey, and to quietly alert others, while its other predatory instincts such as to chase is greatly supressed. Setters have that strong instinct to flush out prey, which is developed in a different way in Border Collies for herding. Retrievers have that very soft mouth, which might actual by a parental instinct rather than a hunting instinct.

Anyhow, greyhounds by nature must have a very strong instinct to chase, and of course to bite. I would check on that soccer ball idea, but I thought because she couldn't actually get its teeth around it it might help suppress the biting. I think running and chasing is OK as long as she learns to wait until you say go and return when you call her back even if the ball is still rolling down the field. The other idea is she might become more interested in soccer balls and become less interested in rabbits and deer and cars and people. You are right to be weary about greyhounds though. They are a hunting breed.

I think one reason why Retrievers are so good with children is because even though they are a hunting breed, all their hunting instincts might actually be quite suppressed and it might be more of a maternal and paternal instinct to carry pups without doing harm that might be enhanced in these breeds. My sister has a 4 golden retrievers, and this young male found some kittens that had lost their mother, perhaps to a fox, and the dog ran and got my sister and showed her the kittens and then cared for them until they were found homes. He would carry them in his mouth, and if they tried to go anywhere he would just pin them down with his mouth until they got the idea. The kittens really to to him and slept on him. They were of course a little confused but learned to drink out of a dish. It was quite remarkable, especially for a rambungtious young male, but perhaps not for a retriever.

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#27758 - 07/26/05 04:08 PM Re: Dog vocabulary [Re: JAK]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
When I refer to predatory instinct, I'm talking about the drive to pursue small animals and kill them. The tendency to chase small animals is a strong indicator.

Being able to call your dog off its pursuit is critical, in my opinion, before trusting it off leash. Unless, of course, you don't mind the smell of skunk.


Edited by Paddy_Crow (07/26/05 04:10 PM)

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#27759 - 07/26/05 04:38 PM Re: Dog vocabulary [Re: Paddy_Crow]
jonnycat Offline
member

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 363
Loc: PNW
The best way I have found to instill the recall command (the fundamental and most importand command) is with positive reinforcement. Specifically, with food.

Keep some kibble in your pocket at all times. When the dog comes after the recall command, praise the dog and give it a kibble. When the recall is strong you only use the kibble at random intervals (but still with praise), and eventually you don't need the kibble (but still give the praise).

There are probably other ways, but this is what has always worked for me.

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#27760 - 07/26/05 04:58 PM Re: Dog vocabulary [Re: jonnycat]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
Yes, food is the most common reward. There are other methods that many behaviorists advocate, but there's nothing wrong with using what works.

Another important thing is to never, ever, ever call your dog and then punish them when you get your hands on them. It will quickly destroy all your good work. I'm opposed to negative reinforcement anyway, unless you can catch the dog in the act of an unwanted behavior. I never struck my female once in her entire life and I intend to follow the same practice with my male.

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#27761 - 07/26/05 11:39 PM Re: Dog vocabulary [Re: Paddy_Crow]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Interesting stuff. That makes a lot of sense.

Instincts must work on many levels. They can be broken down into instincts at a lower level of abstraction, or recombined into instincts at a higher level of abstraction. I guess when you think about it, instincts aren't so much part of the dog so much as they are our way of understanding the dog. No wonder dog's sometimes look at us rather strange sometimes. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

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#27762 - 07/27/05 09:14 AM Re: Dog vocabulary [Re: JAK]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Hi Guys,
Well I've been reading a lot and the stuff that makes the most sense tells me that this dog has strong pack hunting instincts and she needs to chase, catch, shake and kill and chew on her prey. We play tug of war and ball to work out her chase catch shake chew kill instints, then we work on "give" so now she can hand me the ball or drop it so I can throw it again, and I think "give" is starting to work because she was (is) crazed about playing "tug". I even got the rope in my teeth yesterday and we played tug with our faces about a foot apart growling at each other...

We can be playing ball and if I suddenly point to a gopher mound and look at it attentively, she'll drop the ball, put her nose to the ground and start digging throwing dirt ten feet behind her. Her predatory instincts outweigh "ball" any day.

I think maybe I should try a fishing pole. There was some great swimmer wearing a harness and a guy with a flyrod with 10 pound test line and the swimmer could not get away. Anyway a whippy pole makes it possible to control a large animal with light line. I can see using a casting rod with 30 pound test on this dog, then I can real here in from 150 yards out...
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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