don't have any personal experience wish them. butility I almost adopted one from the local pound. they are awesome dogs man. instead I adopted a ridgeback/lab mix. bit shecdoesnt go on many outings with me unfortunately. (pretty sure she's got hip
Most any dog will make a good partner; hiking or other wise. Make sure the dog knows you are the pack leaders and then make sure you train your pup on leash and off lead, if you will choose to do this (and make sure the dog will obey commands off lead before you are in the woods and the dog is off to the races after a deer or whatever!) Also remember a black/darker colored dog heats up quicker than a lighter colored dog. Yeah personal experience Lab mix times 2 over time.
The lab mix I walk with is good; he is having some issues needed to rehab after a neck injury.
While I was away this summer doing an extended backpack trip my husband got lonely and bought a puppy! We had talked of a lab, but when I got home, here was a Boarder Collie. So, we too, have a new dog and hope to take it backpacking. I was however dismayed to read that Boarder Collies are considered a poor choice for small children (we have 8 grandchildren under the age of 5). The pup is 10 weeks old now and we take her on twice daily walks on a leash and my husband takes here to the archery range every morning, off leash. The breed supposedly has a herding instinct - she really wants to chase cars. So I worry about chasing animals if backpacking. The breed is supposed to be very agile, so we hope she becomes good at off-trail travel too. One question - how old should a pup be for their first backpack trip? PS, I have a "dog story" to tell from my trip this summer. I am trying to post the trip but Photobucket is having issues right now.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Obedience training! It will take multiple classes--for each level, one session to teach you and a second to teach your dog. My Hysson graduated from his level one class in one try, at the head of his class. To make up for his precocious start, it took four classes at the second level before they'd let him go on to the third, which was all off-leash. Hysson regarded having his leash removed as an invitation to go play with the other dogs. He went on, though, to pass Level 4 and get his Canine Good Citizen certification (a hard test to pass!). A beginning agility class (once the dog is mature enough, see below) is an excellent idea for a hiking dog--any dog that is confident going through tunnels and walking over a teeter-totter will have no problems with log creek crossings and deadfall on the trail.
Crate training, in addition to being the best way to house-break when you can't watch the pup constantly, really trains the dog to relax and sleep contentedly when in the tent.
Border collies are a high-energy dog which need lots and lots of exercise. A bored dog is a problem dog, with any breed. Please put a stop to the car-chasing ASAP before you lose the pup!
I am really sold on the Premier Pet Products Gentle Leader for training; it's far more effective than the "choke" training collar (which can cause a ruptured larynx). If possible, get the complete kit from them which includes an excellent booklet.
Go easy on long difficult hikes and avoid packs (unless empty) until the pup is fully mature--it's wear and tear and possible injury to immature joints that is the issue. The age of maturity varies with size and breed of dog. With Labs and Goldens (my dog is a mix of the two), it's 2 years old. Consult your vet for your breed.
Of course, the price for all this dog advice is cute puppy pictures!!! Please!
Right now my Hysson looks really weird because he had a bunch of skin growths removed a few weeks ago. The best I can describe it is that his coat looks like an aerial view of a forest full of clear-cuts!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
Thanks for this advice OM. Here is a pic of my new Catahoula at 7 weeks. I'll get more later. We just picked her up yesterday. My daughter's puppy just died after having it for 3 days so the family with the Catahoula pups gave her one for her own so now we have two new pups. I'll get pics of both of them later today. This is my pup Kacey.
Loc: San Diego CA
Great shot! Another cute puppy picture. I second the agility training as a great way to bond with the dog and to teach the dog to move where you want her too.
There is a broad spectrum as to when a dog is ready for the field. Tica was super coordinated and ready to go at 5 months. She is not a very large dog though, and a working dog at that. We had our first easy backpacking trip at 9 months. She wore her pack with nothing in it and did just fine. She did almost get me injured a few times as she was on leash and, well, there are squirrels out there. I did not put any weight on her until she was almost 2 years old.
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