New Puppy on the way

Posted by: dylansdad77

New Puppy on the way - 01/25/16 05:09 PM

Hi all - long time hiker, about to become a first time puppy owner. We have narrowed our choices down to either a German Shorthaired Pointer or English Springer Spaniel (leaning towards the pointer). Before anyone offers better hiking companions, i thought i would also mention my son is pre-disposed to asthma and my wife wants a relative non-shedding dog. As for me, I'd rather not get a puppy that looks like a hairy hors-douvre or a walking mop...just my 2 cents!

I would like to hear some advice (what TO do, what NOT TO do) w.r.t. training a new puppy to be a good hiking/camping companion. Thanks!
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: New Puppy on the way - 01/25/16 07:56 PM

Obedience classes--the more, the better. It takes one class to train you, another to train the dog!

Check out local obedience schools carefully. Make sure the training is reward-based. Most will have something on the order of a "puppy pre-school" class to start socializing your pup. Make a reservation for the next class for which the pup is old enough (usually after the last puppy shot).

Chose a veterinarian now, before you bring the pup home (you should take the pup in right away). Ask the vet at what age it's OK to take the pup on hikes and use a pack. That depends on the size and breed. For Labs and goldens, it's 1 year for long hikes and 2 years for starting a pack. Otherwise you risk damaging the dog's joints.

Of course we want to see pics of the new puppy so we can oh and ah!

BTW, the closest to a non-shedding dog would be a poodle. My own experience with a short-haired dog (beagle) was that he shed constantly. The hair was short, but it was in three colors, so no matter what I was wearing, it showed dog hair by the time I got out the door in the morning.
Posted by: aimless

Re: New Puppy on the way - 01/25/16 10:01 PM

I'll repeat some advice I was just handing out elsewhere a few days ago: introduce your dog to new environments and situations on-leash, even when it is grown and a seemingly experienced hiker. New settings, with new smells and an unfamiliar 'feel' can stress a dog, and a stressed dog is not a happy, friendly, predictable dog. Leashing it tells it you will be responsible for keeping both of you safe, so it can relax more.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: New Puppy on the way - 01/25/16 11:50 PM

Part of training the dog is taking him lots of different places, getting him used to strange sights, and sounds, etc. Once he's older, try beginning agility training.

A couple of years ago, Eukanuba sponsored a "puppy cam" for Canine Companions for Independence, showing a litter of potential assistance dogs from birth until 8 weeks old. Once the pups were running around, they had a miniature teeter-totter for them to run over, played loud recordings of fireworks, brought in vacuum cleaners, umbrellas, hair dryers, you name it. I don't know if that's standard for CCI pups, but my late Hysson (who was a CCI "second career" dog rejected at puppy turn-in time due to an overbite) was never bothered by any of these things, including the teeter-totter in beginning agility class and big (illegal) fireworks set off right next to him. I suspect, therefore, that he was exposed to all these things as a pup!

As Aimless says, any dog feels much more secure when on leash. Even more important, so do the people he meets! And you don't have to worry about him running off a cliff or bothering wildlife. (Especially such friendly animals as porcupines and bear.)
Posted by: dylansdad77

Re: Puppy Pics, as requested - 01/31/16 03:15 PM

Meet Sammy - he came home yesterday. 15 weeks and already over 20 pounds. He barely fit in the car carrier we got to bring him home. From the beginning, he's been great. He slept most of the way home (nearly 2.5 hours) and he's been a dream addition to the family. As soon as the weather helps melt away the remnants of "Snowmageddon 2016", we'll be headed to a local park for our first hike.

I cannot wait! Thanks all for your advice...
Posted by: dylansdad77

Re: Puppy Pics, as requested - 01/31/16 03:16 PM

oh, and that's my stepson in the last picture...
Posted by: PerryMK

Re: Puppy Pics, as requested - 01/31/16 06:37 PM

Beautiful dog!
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Puppy Pics, as requested - 01/31/16 06:41 PM

What a cutie!!!
Posted by: bluefish

Re: Puppy Pics, as requested - 01/31/16 07:11 PM

Now that's a contented looking pup! That's a great hiking partner, right there. Congrats.
Posted by: bobito9

Re: New Puppy on the way - 02/09/16 10:10 PM

that's a cute dog! I've always liked the looks of german shorthairs, but they also seem pretty smart, good disposition, athletic. Congratulations!
I've had several canine hiking buddies, including a Weimaraner,which is kind of like yours. Great backpacking buddies. They keep you from going to national parks, of course, but plenty of good forest service and BLM land out there.
You already have plenty of good advice here,of course, but I would say make sure he's well trained and confident before doing any over nighters. I think it's always good to use the leash at least part of the time, just so he doesn't think there is something strange to be a defensive guard dog about if suddenly you decide to put him on leash. One of my old dogs, a great dog who I almost always had off leash and was very well-behaved that way , would often get really defensive and protective while on leash because I hadn't trained her to think the leash was normal: my mistake.
Also, keep your dog in your tent at night, IMHO: too many critters to tangle with.
Man, I miss having a dog frown
Posted by: hikerduane

Re: New Puppy on the way - 03/07/16 11:34 PM

Yep, nice looking dog. I hope to get another pup in the next year or so, now that I'm about to retire and no more away from home all week. I'm after another lab.
Posted by: Zuuk

Re: New Puppy on the way - 03/17/16 11:12 AM

What a beautiful dog! Will definitely be a good trail buddy.

When I got my dog, I had to go for a non-shedding, hypo allergenic breed, which in my case is a Shih-Poo. Cute little guy who loves to go hiking. Of course, being a small dog, he doesn't carry a pack, and I don't bring him into rough terrain with his short legs. He's also scared of water. Kinda funny at first trying to get him to cross a small brook, and he won't hop over it. I said at first, because I have to carry him across. He won't drink from a brook or stream either, so I have a bowl for him that I carry.

I'm hoping to train him out of this, but he can be a scaredy-dog.
Posted by: dylansdad77

Re: New Puppy on the way - 10/06/17 02:02 PM

New Puppy Update: Sammy will be 2 years old next month, he's around the 75 pound mark and has logged in over 50 miles since the beginning of last summer. Next weekend is his first real test: 8+ miles on the AT in NJ/NY. Up until now, his longest trip is 5.5 miles on a flat, packed gravel path around a reservoir. I included some pics to show how he's changed over the 20 months we've had him.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: New Puppy on the way - 10/13/17 12:01 AM

Not a puppy any more (just as well!) but definitely a handsome dog!