Hiking dogs

8:07 p.m. on March 22, 2011 (EDT)
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I am looking to get a dog for a hiking partner and was wondering what the better breeds might be. Any suggestions?

So far my thoughts are either a Rottweiler or a Pit Bull. Both are exceptionally strong with great endurance and I would expect they could carry most of their own load. Most of my hiking will be "3 season" in Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma averaging about 3-7 days per trip.

8:40 p.m. on March 22, 2011 (EDT)
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I have a Chow pup I am raising to go hiking with me. I do not know what breeds are better for hiking partners. He will be a big dog at about 60-70 lbs when full grown. I already have a doggypack for him. This spring I plan to take him out on his first hikes.

10:16 p.m. on March 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Being a long haired dog, are you worried he might overheat hiking in the Arizona heat?

11:18 p.m. on March 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Norwegian snillhund:

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Smart, faithful, energetic, well behaved, they don't come any better.

Problem is, Ralph is the first and last of the breed :-)

1:03 a.m. on March 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Well I can comment on huskies. Great dogs. Ya have to train them or have them trained professionally. I would personally go the route to have them trained professionally(serious work.) If they are not trained and ya get them in the open w/o a leash they will take off running in a straight line and you will not catch them because they will not stop. I know I have 2. I have a pic of one on here. My aunt was a breeder for a long time.

1:32 a.m. on March 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Spotted Kennel Biscuit Retrievers (aka mutt) work just fine.  No need to get all choosy or snooty about pedigree; training is the key consideration, as Rick alludes.

Ed

10:28 a.m. on March 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Well I can comment on huskies. Great dogs. Ya have to train them or have them trained professionally.

Many years ago I had a Husky. It was the most challenging dog to train that I have ever had! She was very strong and could run forever though. I even trained her to pull me around on a skateboard.

With their thick coats however, I don't think they would be good for hiking in the southern heat.

11:40 a.m. on March 23, 2011 (EDT)
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I have Rottweilers, very fine champion dogs and bitches and have done since 1986; I have had dogs most of my life since about 1954 and love all dogs. I have had them on fire lookouts in the BC mountains, on lighthouses off the BC coast and hiked  many miles with a dog as my sole companion.

I would never choose a Pitbull for a packing dog and am not too enthusiastic about these dogs based on experience.

That said, I would not choose a Rottweiler for your region as a hiking companion as these big powerhouses are REALLY sensitive to temperature and are very susceptible to heat exhaustion. They can be fabulous pack dogs in cooler climates and can carry a weight that will astound you, however, they are not a breed for novice dog people, require regular, consistent training and are very, very tough...in short, they need a trainer and owner who has the right personality and experience.

My first choice for your situation, would be a "yellow" Labrador Retriever, these are friendly, easily trained and strong dogs, they can carry a decent weight and make excellent home pets and family members. We used many fine Labs in the bush here in BC, with great satisfaction and I consider them about as good a bushdog as one can find.

There, are other choices, a mixed breed can be an excellent dog and many are fine pets and loving companions. However, I would avoid the big, guard-herding breeds and terriers as they tend to be overly aggressive and much harder to train/handle.

2:43 p.m. on March 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Labs are awesome dogs. Extremely intelligent and very personable. Plus they come in flavors/colors(chocolate, yellow, black :) Another dog that comes to mind is a Weimaraner.

8:48 p.m. on March 23, 2011 (EDT)
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German Shorthair Pointer.  Great dogs.  That is Bentley as a pup, he says hello to all you fine folks.
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2:41 p.m. on March 24, 2011 (EDT)
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I would also go with a Lab. Having owned and trained 4 Siberian huskies and 2 Malamut. I can confess to there hard headed nature and free spirit. Labs are good in everyday life also. Not just for hiking ;-). Watch their hips as they grow older.

6:28 p.m. on March 24, 2011 (EDT)
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My first choice for your situation, would be a "yellow" Labrador Retriever

 Why "yellow" verses the others?  Lighter color equals a cooler dog?

7:46 p.m. on March 24, 2011 (EDT)
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What's the best backpacking dog??


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8:38 p.m. on March 24, 2011 (EDT)
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My first choice for your situation, would be a "yellow" Labrador Retriever

 Why "yellow" verses the others?  Lighter color equals a cooler dog?

 Exactly, a darker dog's pelage will absorb more shortwave radiation from the sun and thus the animal can over-heat more rapidly. Many people discount this issue, but, I have seen dogs in real distress here in a BC summer and it is a lot hotter in the regions the OP is asking about than it usually gets here.

I will not allow my Rottweilers to exert themselves or remain outside for more than a half hour in temps beyond 75* and I always have a five gallon container of cold water for them in the backyard which is enclosed with chainlink. I love my dogs as though they were my children and never take chances with their health.

A Rottweiler is simply too protective and stranger-aggressive for a hiking dog where you will often encounter strangers and especially kids, These dogs are, when correctly bred and handled, absolutely the best home companions and farm dogs ever, but, they are not for casual dog owners and can be a danger to strangers if not under complete control...and, that level of training is not easy to accomplish.

This is just an opinion, but, many of the local top breeders often offer me free pedigreed stock that clients return as they cannot handle these dogs and do not want to put down a gorgeous dog worth 2-3K. I spend many hours EVERY day training and socializing my Rottgods and NEVER allow them to encounter strangers without my being present and they being leashed. In over 50 years of large breed dog ownership, not once has a dog under my charge bitten a human and I have no intention of that ever happening.

8:53 p.m. on March 24, 2011 (EDT)
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I will echo Dewey's concerns regarding certain breeds and training.

I backpacked with an Akita (pictured above) for several years. Because I read up on the breed, and because I had been around the breed for several years before buying one, I decided to pay a pro trainer to train my dog...and me too.

I also searched for a breeder that bred companion & utility Akitas and not those bred for guard work or protection. The temperament bred into, or out of the bloodline, is very important to consider.

I spent a lot of time and energy socializing my dog, it was not easy to come home from work and put in another 1 -2  hours a day with a dog.

I would also recommend the Yellow Lab, they are great dogs, I had one of those too.

9:21 p.m. on March 24, 2011 (EDT)
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I have a Eurasier (Rocky) and a Mastiff (Moose). Both come camping with me every time I go! Obviously the long hair on the Eurasier wouldn't work in the Southern U.S (heats me up nicely in Northern Ontario winters though!). Moose is a Cane Corso/ Brazilian Mastiff mix, extremely loyal, intelligent and able to keep up with any physical activity I'm able to throw at him.

Whatever your choice socialization and training are paramount. I meet people all the time in the backcountry, with my dogs off leash, with no problems. Dogs are capable of much more thought processing then humans give them credit for. They need to be placed in situations where there are noises, movements, distractions, etc......and taught the proper response.

I'll always remember I was walking Rocky early one morning, about 5:30 in the morning before work. There was what I would define as a "sketchy" man who seemed a little out of place at the park that early. Rocky walked over to him and walked beside him, not growling, not barking, just escorting the man to the other side of the park and away from me.

Enjoy the loyalty, uncompromising love and the most wiling of hiking partners, whoever that ends of being.

9:59 p.m. on March 24, 2011 (EDT)
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What's the best backpacking dog??


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 That's not a dog, that's my girl friend! Tell her to call home, I want my day pack back...

Ed

12:54 a.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
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I put in a vote for a Brittany! They love to run around and have fun outside, and they're programed to please, so training should be pretty enjoyable.

10:56 a.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
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I've been hiking and backpacking with my dogs my whole life. I would suggest either a Border Collie, German Shorthair, or a Brittany Spaniel. I've had all three. My German Shorthair was very loyal, obedient, and you could never wear her out. She lived to be 15. My Brittany was smaller, but the most athletic of the three, but I gave her to a handicap kid that fell in love with her when she was two. After that I got my current dog, a Border Collie/Lab mix. She looks like a Border Collie, but has the lab hair. I would say Border Collie's are among the top three smartest breeds out there. If you're even somewhat familiar with dogs, I doubt you would have a problem training it yourself, or the other two breeds for that matter. My dog is five and I can still teach her new words and tricks. I don't think there are any super common medical problems you have to be concerned about with any of these three breeds either. All three are usually very social with other dogs and very friendly with other people. That's something you might want to think about with the Pit Bull, since many people are intimidated by them. Unless the dog won't be going anywhere except hiking with you.

Many of my friends and family members have had Border Collie's and German Shorthair's and they were all very obedient and loyal. If you go with a Shorthair, some can be a little more hyper than others, so try to choose a pup that's a little less curious than the others. It will be easier to train. Another thing with Shorthair's is they don't require much grooming, if any. Like you said, the shorter hair may be better for Arizona. 

If you're worried about them not being able to pack their own weight, I think they would do just fine. Especially if you get collapsible fabric bowls. All three of these breeds will eat less than a larger more muscular breed. That will save weight in their pack and save you money. My border collie only eats 21/2-3 cups a day compared to a larger dog that has 5 cups. Another thing to consider with the more muscular/larger breeds is that they won't be as light on their feet and may get tired faster. My boyfriend has a one year old, highly energetic boxer that weighs 65 lbs. He's solid muscle. When we go on a 5-6 mile hike, he always tires faster than my five year old Border Collie/Lab. 

For dog gear, you should look into RuffWear. I have a few of their products and love them. Good luck with your dog!

11:57 a.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
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i have a boxer/american bull dog she does real good hiking/backpacking i take her every time i go i trained her real well so she walks right beside or behind me doesnt chase wild life she doesnt like people on bicycles though for some reason most of the time i dont have her on a leash she is really strong and smart so in my opinion i would check out boxer or bull dogs i got lucky with her being breed and i rescued her some people moved and left her behind well happy trails

4:29 p.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
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I hike with my German Shepherd, Orion, more than I do with people

 


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8:15 p.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
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The OP talked of OK, AR, and TX for three season hiking. I would think that a good warm-weather working dog would be good. For example, an Australian Cattle Dog is an exceptionally intelligent dog (ranked #10) and quite trainable. It is also a sort of Velcro dog that likes to stay by its owner; it won't typically go off chasing squirrels. Not to be confused with the longer-haired Australian Shepherd, which is not, BTW, Australian.

The ACD is a tough dog, bred to drive cattle across some of the harshest landscape on the planet. Now,... I want one.

 

8:27 p.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
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That is an excellent choice and one that would really work well for this situation. Herding as contrasted with "drover's" dogs, i.e. Aussie Sheps., the shorthaired Belgian and Dutch Sheps. and some Collies are very good as hiking companions. I would avoid the larger solo herd-protection breeds such as Owtcharkas, Kuvasc, and "drover's" dogs such as Rottweilers for the reasons I outlined.

Having a "protection dog" seems like the best option, but, the amount and skill of training and potential liability plus constant just negates that, IMO and a good, working shepard breed of about 70 lbs is great.

I do have to say that if I were not a "Rottaholic", I would very probably get into Akitas, gorgeous big guys, but, again, this superh breed takes a lot of work and not every hiker has the time, in today's frenetic society.

9:40 p.m. on March 27, 2011 (EDT)
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What's this you say about Rott's being too aggressive???

 


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Whats really funny... the kitten is the one with no tail and the dog has his!

11:50 p.m. on March 27, 2011 (EDT)
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That is typical of Rottweilers, as they are very gentle and accepting of cats and smaller dogs in the home and very seldom will initiate a fight even when another dog is foolish enough to challenge them. BUT, out on a trail, a Rottweiler will kill another even large dog and/or seriously maim a human in mere instants if he feels that his person is threatened and that is the problem.

Your old boy looks like a gentle soul and probably has received very good training over the years. The tabby purrbox is just like "Raffles", my 21 lb. tom who was the beloved buddy of Von Arenenberg's Blitzen, my lighthouse Rottweiler in the late '80s, when the tabby first came to us.

We have no cats now and are waiting until we move back to the interior of BC and then get 2-4 more Rottweilers and probably six Persians-Himalayans, as I love those snooty, arrogant felines almost as much as I do the mighty Rottgods.

Just as a little point here, I had a magnificent male in my home, a half brother to my present guy for a few days last year. He was a "bring back" as people keep buying these dogs for the wrong reasons and he had been extensively "played with" by using stuffed toys and squeaky ones, something I would ban if I were able.

Lily, her boy and he were in the kitchen and my old pb Persian, Wicca, was sitting on a chair and he just thought she was a toy as he was used to as he had never seen a cat before. He picked her up in those jaws that can fracture a Moose leg with a single bite and broke her spine; I was devastated as I loved my bossy old lady and she was gone before we got her to the nearby vet. He showed no aggression and gave her to me when I ordered him to, although he had only known me for three days and was stimulated by the other Rotts.

It was just a horrible accident and I returned him to the breeder as my wife could not deal with it and was/is ill. We found a fine home for him and his brother recently became available, I was offered him for a hell of a deal, as well, but, we just do not have the space....I would love to have kept both of them as the first liked BC's vile weather and looked as though he would be my pack dog while my boy here hates rain and is a cuddler-protector for my wife.

I post this only to show that these dogs should NEVER be allowed to play with toys that can/do enhance and stimulate their innate prey drive and I have never done so. I know of child killings here by superb Rotts, which have been "trained" in this foolish fashion and, IMHO, this breed really is not the best for a hiking dog for most people and rather a problem around bears. That, is what my experience with the breed has shown me and while I will own Rotts. until I am in my dotage, I will only hike with certain specimens of them and then only in remote areas where other people are not likely to be found.

Give those two a good pet for me!

4:48 p.m. on March 28, 2011 (EDT)
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My German Shepherd is  a great hiking buddy. can carry all his stuff. I have a Ruffwear Palisades pack for him. it come with it's own hydration bladders too. Here he is at about 5 months on his 1st day hike...trying to get to me lol


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4:49 p.m. on March 28, 2011 (EDT)
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What's this you say about Rott's being too aggressive???

 


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Whats really funny... the kitten is the one with no tail and the dog has his!

ah, another gentle giant...  nice boy! 

1:21 p.m. on March 29, 2011 (EDT)
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My favorite hiking companion was Orion my golden retriever. He loved the water. I do miss him a whole bunch. I now borrow my coworkers golden retriever. They are the best for hiking in my opinion. Very loyal, playful and lots of energy to keep me motivated.

5:14 p.m. on March 29, 2011 (EDT)
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My hiking companion of choice is mostly Akita with possibly some German Shepherd thrown in, he came from an animal shelter around 2 years old, so Im not too sure on his history, he was starved, liked to brawl and had a flair for escape and evasion. (It was a long 1st 6 months but very much worth it). 

  What I learned about Akita's is that with the time and effort they can be calm, loyal, great with kids and other dogs, tollerant of most weather and have great stamina.

 Most importantly they are strong willed and powerful dogs so if your not serious about being in control and taking the time and effort of training and socialising you can likely end up with an aggressive dominant dog.

7:39 p.m. on March 29, 2011 (EDT)
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My favorite hiking companion was Orion my golden retriever. He loved the water. I do miss him a whole bunch. I now borrow my coworkers golden retriever. They are the best for hiking in my opinion. Very loyal, playful and lots of energy to keep me motivated.

Fantastic name for a dog! This is me and my Orion on Mt. Tammany at the Del. Water Gap.


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7:42 p.m. on March 29, 2011 (EDT)
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My German Shepherd is  a great hiking buddy. can carry all his stuff. I have a Ruffwear Palisades pack for him. it come with it's own hydration bladders too. Here he is at about 5 months on his 1st day hike...trying to get to me lol


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That is a good looking dog! I've been thinking about getting a new pack for my shepherd. I will look into that Ruffwear pack. I like the idea of it having its own hydration.

 

Joe

10:57 p.m. on March 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Steven most of the middle sized dogs will easily follow you on any hike carrying their own stuff and food. The larger breeds will also do that, and these may even be of use for carrying some of your stuff. But all breeds have pros and cons.

I just wanted to point out that the time you are on a hike is so minor to the time you are at home. Therefore the consideration should be upon the home situation. How much space you have to let the dog roam about, how much time you may throw in on training, socializing, kids aso. When you have found a dog that fits into that reality, I'm sure it will also be a good hiking companion.

10:11 a.m. on March 30, 2011 (EDT)
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My German Shepherd is  a great hiking buddy. can carry all his stuff. I have a Ruffwear Palisades pack for him. it come with it's own hydration bladders too. Here he is at about 5 months on his 1st day hike...trying to get to me lol


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That is a good looking dog! I've been thinking about getting a new pack for my shepherd. I will look into that Ruffwear pack. I like the idea of it having its own hydration.

 

Joe


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Thank you Joe. that Ruffwear Palisades is about $120, so not on the cheap end of dog packs, but it's been through all sorts of hell while on Cody and is holding up great.  Your shepherd is a beauty too! thanks for the compliment. here he is more recently... 

5:48 p.m. on March 30, 2011 (EDT)
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Here are some backpacking dogs I've known over the years:


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Here is my "ranger qualified" special forces team of trail dogs, Dusty and Little Maggie (aka Maggot), on the trail up to my tipi on a nighthike.  Dusty is focused and ready while little Maggot's mind wanders . . . . .


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Maggie gets bigger and comes inside the tipi for a visit.  He's checking out the woodstove and the pot of brown rice.


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My backpacking buddy Johnny B comes up to the tipi with his best buddy Kudra dog and they hang out in lantern light atop old rugs and sleeping bags.


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Kudra kisses Johnny B good morning after a cold night at the tipi.


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Little Cujo comes up to the tipi and we hike to my "backyard" on Beaverdam Ridge.  In the distance is Stone Mountain on the NC/TN state line.


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For several weeks during the winter season a "spirit dog" walked my tipi trail and would come in for a visit to say hello.  I don't know where he came from or where he went, and after a couple weeks I never saw him again.  A truly mystical being.


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I saw this guy on the South Fork of the Citico with three backpackers from Georgia.


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Here's the mighty Shunka catching a stick on the Nutbuster trail of the upper Slickrock trail.


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YIN YANG:  Here's two dogs keeping tabs on all the campers atop Bob's Bald.

7:13 p.m. on March 30, 2011 (EDT)
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I have a small to medium terrier, she loves the outdoors. We cannot keep up with her at times. She is always in the lead. Even in difficult terrain she is nimble, bouncing from the rock to rock. She loves it!!!!

 


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10:12 a.m. on March 31, 2011 (EDT)
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cool pics Tipi!  I wonder if the random husky looking dog was a wild or just escaped the backyard...

9:46 p.m. on March 31, 2011 (EDT)
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Guinness was a rescue I took in about 2 1/2 years ago. He was found severely beaten and emaciated roaming the streets of the Bronx. Then returned to the rescue society foster after a couple alleged dog trainers that adopted him, couldn't handle him.  It has taken a lot of work restoring him both physically and mentally. I take him hiking all the time with my wife and son, he loves the long walks, goes off leash without a single issue and he has never exhibited aggression toward anyone or anything. We run into a bear or two a couple times a month at least and he may bristle and posture, but he stands at my side and looks to me for what I want of him. The one time he did charge a bear on my property, he stopped the instant I yelled. and yes, he is a most gentle giant.

 

 

That is typical of Rottweilers, as they are very gentle and accepting of cats and smaller dogs in the home and very seldom will initiate a fight even when another dog is foolish enough to challenge them. BUT, out on a trail, a Rottweiler will kill another even large dog and/or seriously maim a human in mere instants if he feels that his person is threatened and that is the problem.

Your old boy looks like a gentle soul and probably has received very good training over the years. The tabby purrbox is just like "Raffles", my 21 lb. tom who was the beloved buddy of Von Arenenberg's Blitzen, my lighthouse Rottweiler in the late '80s, when the tabby first came to us.

..Snip.

On many levels I completely agree with a lot of what you say but at the same time, on other levels, disagree with the same things. It seems like you know dogs really well, and we could probably have some great conversations but, I have a bit of a different perception about what most people call "training". I've worked with many dogs & cats over the years and have been accused of having K9 DNA more than once. Mostly for my reputation for taming the "untamable".

I regard what most people talk about when they say "training" as command/reward reactions... Sit/stay/heel/lay down etc. I've met people that can get their dogs to do just about anything on command, except respect them as the Alpha of their respective pack, which is why the dog can be unpredictable & dangerous. Yes, the consequences of this can be more severe with the large & powerful, gladiator type dogs, but I don't think they have any more tendency toward aggression than any others really. What they usually wind up having is undeserved reputations (especially Pit Bulls & Rotts.) and owners that do not understand pack hierarchy and the limitless control it affords over command/reward training.

I had been exposed to many dogs throughout my childhood and found "training" them to be something that just came natural to me. When I was out on my own and looking for [my] first dog, I decided I wanted a Husky. I found a beautiful pup and took him home. He proceeded to show me how much I didn't know about dogs... I did all the things I had always done and most of the time he would do as he was told, sit, lay down, stay, sit up & beg, not touch a plate of baked ziti I left on the floor for twenty minutes when the doorbell rang... except when he didn't want to. I agree that only certain people should own the Husky/Malamute breeds and that alludes to the coming moral of my long story. My Husky, Zeus, confounded me for months at how smart he was and how well he would take training only to completely ignore me whenever he decided the reward of doing so was better than the reward he would get for obeying. I often spoke of him as "the most stubborn animal on God's green earth". Being one that can't let a problem go unresolved, I started observing and reading. Through working with him and letting him teach me, AND finally, major revelations while observing wolf packs in the wild, I had an epiphany that bought the animal world into true perspective for the first time. No, they are not people, no they don't understand English, they understand Pack Hierarchy. It's what their brains have evolved with for untold thousands of years.

There are many things, subtle, yet incredibly obvious when you change your perspective to their world, that make all the difference to how they will respond to you. Learn what it means and how to be, the Alpha in your pack and it won't make any difference what breed or where you are.

Huskies do have an incredible prey drive and Zeus started off blood thirsty. So much so that I had to stop taking him hiking with me or going far off trail where I wouldn't run into anyone else. Other peoples dogs off leash would run up to him, wanting to play... Thinking himself the alpha, if they didn't show him immediate submission, they had to die. To him, any male dog, his size or bigger had to die because, by it's very presence, it was a threat to his dominance. And let me tell you, my 120 lb. Rott wouldn't stand a chance against 70 lb. Zeus.. Don't get me wrong, with people he was a living teddy bear but in his mind, he was the god of the animal kingdom. When I figured out the pack hierarchy thing it all changed. I could stand with him at my side while a herd of deer walked by twenty feet away. He would stand there spring loaded and looking at me, hoping I would release him. Mentally of course as he was never on a leash after that. I could make him respond by changing the expression on my face or the attitude I projected. He once dragged a three hundred pound desk across a floor trying to get at the first kitten I had taken in to live in my wood shop, wanting to make it a Zeus treat. 3 days later...

 


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It's a really bad digital picture of any original photo but the originals are packed away somewhere.

 

So, the short side of the story is, if they respect you as the alpha, the training part just falls into place. You have to know how to do it, and it doesn't ever involve yelling, beating, or anything of the kind, it does involve persistence and consistency. Now, as promised from earlier, in a pack, the Alpha always has to maintain his dominance, if he isn't doing the job, another dog will cease the opportunity or stand in where he sees the need. With dogs like Huskies, they are always battling to take the position, if you get complacent, they will assume you have submitted and take it. Many other large, strong breeds are like this and that is where people lose control of them.

 

To the OP, go to the pound and get yourself a good mutt, they are usually the best dogs. And I totally agree with what Otto said about basing your choice on home life...

 

Well that's enough of a tome for now. My opinions, worth the price paid.

10:29 p.m. on March 31, 2011 (EDT)
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Steven thanks for starting the Topic its a subject I have been pondering for awhile myself..To everyone thanks for shareing your pic's of your buddies all look awesome.. @ jersey wrecker driver thanks for saving Guiness looks really happy...I think in the future I will go with your idea.

@Steven Austin is now a no kill city and they need people to adopt from the animal shelter...Just sayin

2:29 a.m. on April 1, 2011 (EDT)
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JerseyWreckDiver- Well written! You have said it all.

 

Cheers to the pound and rescue dogs! My Orion was found wandering the streets of Camden and now look at him:

 


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9:15 a.m. on April 1, 2011 (EDT)
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In some 57 years since I got my first dog and 55 years of active un accompanied outdoor experiences, education and training in wildlife, fisheries biology and forestry plus decades of field experience in some of the most remote wilderness animal habitat left in North America, I have learned a little about canid behaviour and how to train dogs. I thoroughly understand the hierarchical structure of dog life and have applied it to my training for some years and with considerable success; however, dogs are not robots, are individuals and they require different intensities of training and also different methods in certain cases.

I should make it clear that I mean purebred dogs only, when I refer to the characteristics of a given breed and this is because one can never really know what a mixed-breed dog may be like until you have experienced him/her for awhile. Rottweilers have very little in common with the dogs usually called "pit bulls" and are NOT ...gladiator dogs..., they are farm dogs, herder-drover dogs and pack dogs as well as being outstanding guard dogs.

However, it is my opinion, as one who formerly taught bear and wilderness safety to many bush workers and tourists as part of my overall duties in both of Canada's western provinces forest services, that certain breeds are more likely to be more trouble for hikers than others and Rottweilers are among these. In fact, I would strongly advise most hikers to avoid such breeds and get one of the medium-sized mid-European shepherds, such as the Belgian or Dutch Shepherds for an ideal hiking dog. These dogs are used in alpine rescue in the Alps by very skilled mountain persons and just seem ideal for the hiker in all respects. from packing some gear to finding the "lost" trail  to cuddling under the shelter to keep you warm.

As to which dog can fight and win with other dogs, well, that is not germane to the issue here and it is a bit too "my dad can beat", etc. for my taste. I do not allow my Rottweilers to fight each other, which they love to do and certainly will not allow them to fight other dogs as I am a "dog person", and dislike seeing them injure each other.

For me, if I were to get a dog breed specifically for hiking here in BC, which is just a "little" wilder than the Lower 48 and where bears are a major concern, I would get a Karelian, but, this is not a good choice for a recreational hiking dog and they are a "handful" to own and keep in an urban/suburban setting. Lots of good choices and several have been shown here, most interesting thread.

9:58 a.m. on April 1, 2011 (EDT)
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So to take this thread in a slightly different direction. Lets say your dog is out in the backcountry with you...

you see a bear on or near the trail. How do you want your dog to react? Aggressively? just bark? heel by your side and do nothing?

a bear wanders into your camp. what do you hope your dog will do then?

or replace bear with mountain lion

The only "strange animals" Cody has seen on hikes were horses and deer. he didn't bark at either. just sort of stared trying to figure them out.

11:11 p.m. on April 1, 2011 (EDT)
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SDC10599.jpg

This is a photo of my dog about 3 weeks before he died last year.

He had lost a good bit of weight, but even still his fore arms were almost as big as mine, he had a massive head & neck (10 inches ear to ear), and he could walk off with as much weight in his pack as I could, and continue hiking when I was slap give out.

I would never, however, expect him to try to 'take out' a bear or other large predator. My dog was trained to stand by my side, quietly.

I'm not saying that a dog can't encourage a bear to leave, but if the bear decides to stand his ground a dog is NOT a match. Then, with a really agitated bear, where does that leave you?

 

4:27 p.m. on April 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Beautiful dog Trout. What bread was he?

 

Josh, when I come up on a bear in the woods, 99% of the time I know he's there long before my dog. He's still learning, they didn't have many bears in the Bronx... What I expect of him in those situations is to stand at my side quietly. He does exactly that and takes his queue from me as to what I want to do about it. In a pack, the Alpha initiate any attacks, the subordinates look to the alpha for direction. Though, as part of his job is to keep my family safe when I'm not around (I live in bear country), I use the opportunity to teach him that this type of animal is a threat and it must maintain its distance. It really depends on the situation though and how the bear is acting.

In camp, I expect him to growl/bark, raise the alarm if a bear comes in before I realize it. I still don't want him to go after it but I feel a little better that if the extremely rare circumstance comes that a bear attacks, while my wife and son are getting to safety, I'll at least have another 120 lbs and some teeth on my side.

Mountain lion is pretty much the same. I'll hope that his much more powerful sense of smell and hearing will alert me to its presence and if it comes to a fight, at least I won't be in it alone.

4:55 p.m. on April 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Beautiful dog Trout. What bread was he?

 

He was an American Akita, he was feeling poorly and looking a little rough when I took the last few photos of him.

He was a very sweet, loyal, and laid back dog. Anyone could approach and pet him, while at the same time he was more than sufficient for personal protection around the home.

He also loved children and used to sniff out Easter eggs in our yard for the little ones, on more than one occasion he would stand where an egg was until the child found it.

We did take our time in picking the right breeder for a soft temperament, and worked hard with socializing him. He even spent some time on a farm around large animals.

10:00 p.m. on April 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks for all the great info everyone!

After talking with several people at rescue centers and doing personal research I am leaning towards a fawn, red, or blue Doberman. I think this will be a good balance between home and trail life. Plus there are many of them in the shelters and rescue centers around where I live so I can get a great price on one.  

10:03 a.m. on April 4, 2011 (EDT)
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hey Jerseywreckdiver,

LOL, not many Bears in Chicago either, unless your at Soldier Field haha..

thanks for the input on what you expect of your dog. i completely agree, by all means I don't want Cody just going after any wildlife.

I wasn't too sure if as an owner we'd want him to bark /  act aggressively or just shut the hell up  ;)

12:35 p.m. on April 5, 2011 (EDT)
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I always bring my German Shepard with me. I guess the choice of dog or dogs would have to rely on 2 choices: What kind of dog do you favor? and How will the dog fare in the particular environment that you predominantly live or hike in?

My German Shepard is very energetic, wants to go where-ever I go and is alert. He always let's me know when something bigger gets close by. I don't like overly aggressive dogs. And, over the years my German Shepard has been taught to obey voice commands and not necessaqrily aggravate the local wildlife. He does however, enjoy chasing squirrrels and bears. The later I think he sees as an opportunity to say hello more than anything. (lol) Not a good idea.

I can say he is a good tempered and rounded dog.

 

10:59 a.m. on April 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Here in BC, which is, along with SE Alaska and the Kamchatka region of Russia, the most densely populated "bear country" left on Earth and also contains the largest population of "Felis Concolor" of any jurisdiction anywhere they still inhabit, bear and Cougar encounters are very frequent, often aggressive and frequently violent, even lethal. If, one is found allowing a companion dog to harass bears or any wildlife, the dog will probably be shot instantly and the owner charged under our wildlife legislation and heavily fined.

These animals, particularly ANY bear are dangerous and aggravating one by allowing a dog to harass it is a very good way to end up with a "lapfull" of very aroused bear and this may well result in the death of said dog's owner.

It was posted above that bears and Cougars may ...wander into... a hiker's camp and this is not factually true. These are apex predators, have sensory capabilities that are far beyond any human abilities and they do NOT ...wander... anywhere. A Cougar is so stealthy and fast-moving that they are VERY seldom seen except by accident or by coursing and baying them with hounds and one can investigate your camp and you would never know it had been there.

NO repeat NO dog is even remotely a match for a bear or a Cougar and allowing a companion dog to approach and possibly annoy either of these animals is simply beyond foolish, a Cougar can kill a full grown 125 lb, Rottweiler or Presa Canario, or Cane Corso or Boerboel or any of the other "tough" breeds in seconds and Cougar dogs are regularly killed by these cats here in BC. A large male Cougar will weigh about 200 lbs. and has a speed, agility and strength that is simply awesome....and, they REALLY hate any kind of Canid.

So, as with the frequent posts on threads concerning packing massive revolvers on hiking trips, there are comments here that simply are not realistic and hikers should be careful in considering what dog(s) to take with them, how to train the ones they choose and also how to avoid encounters with dangerous wildlife so that injuries, deaths or even needless disturbance of indigenous wildlife do not happen.

12:49 a.m. on April 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Great string.  Alot of good thoughts by a lot of people.  My experiance is that mostly what ever dog does it for you can be a good hiking partner, though different breeds need to be treated differently and even then indviduals with in each breed need to be evaluated on an indvidual basis.  I personelly have had as my last 6 dogs Neopolitan and Old English Mastiff's.  They are great dogs though not suited to be over exercised in the hot weather.  I'm beginning to think the same thing about myself.  There also not suited to one that cannot assume the Alpha role in the pack.  Simalar to Rotties in that respect.  One of my critieria in a dog is protection.  There is alot of debate on what kind of protection one  needs/wants in the back country.  I prefer a friend/dog that will be of good temperment and not aggressive but will not be afraid to defend the both of us if it ever came to that.  When hiking I'd love to let my dog run off leash.  What a lot of dog owner don't understand is that many people are afraid of dogs.  When a large dog comes barreling up or down the trail at them it can be very frightning.  Another problem is that some dogs view another charging dog as an aggressive move.  If neither dog is on a leash it can get ugly.   So many times I've been out and if my dog and another dog decided to get into it, the other person dosen't know how to control their dog.  I always have mine on lead which gives me conrtol of him but still leaves a dog attacking mine and a crazy person screaming.  So mcuh mot to talk about on the suject but I'll stop here.  Though not on the trail here's a picture of my 4.5 month old pup, Mogh, snoozing by the fireplace after a good meal.                                                                    
DSC03570.jpg

9:45 a.m. on April 12, 2011 (EDT)
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EXACTLY, that is why I will not take my Rottweilers on the local trails and to "dog parks" as few people seem to "get it" and dogs run loose and often approach people in a manner which could cause a major donnybrook among themselves and then the owners. I prefer to avoid such problems.

9:39 a.m. on April 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Mutts can be great trail dogs.  My German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Cardigan Welsh Corgi mix is an amazingly good trail dog.

I think one of the biggest factors is how much time you spend with your dog.  Mine trail runs with me 5 days a week in addition to generally being my constant companion when I am not at work.

She has a great sense of direction and good manners around mountain bikers, hikers, runners, and equestrians.  She comes when called, stays close when told to, but can also be trusted to stay out of trouble if allowed to roam.

9:40 a.m. on April 20, 2011 (EDT)
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I hike with two black labs.I wouldn't want it any other way. They handle most situations  and weather conditions well and are often complemented by those who hike with us. I perfer labs and german sheperds but any dog trained would do.

 

11:52 a.m. on April 20, 2011 (EDT)
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I've been thinking about getting a dog for a hiking buddy for awhile. After reading all of this I really want one now!

8:42 a.m. on April 23, 2011 (EDT)
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I would suggest consideration be given to the CHESAPEAKE BAY RETRIEVER.

A breed similar in size and appearance to the Labradors, but with wavy hair (rather than straight).   Colors are more toward reddish / rust / earth-tones / straw-grass.  Webbed between the toes (excellent swimmers), robust chests (can break through ice).

Originally bred from Newfoundland dog stock.   Very loyal, smart, love the outdoors (esp water), strong with great endurance.   Peculiar characteristic: they can actually smile (!).

Yogi Robt

7:58 a.m. on April 24, 2011 (EDT)
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lucky-in-ear-muffs.jpg
One of  My labs with her ear muffs on ready for bed  :) about 4000 + feet , 6+ inches of snow ,in the citico wilderness area earlier this year. You do have to watch their feet and ears in freezing temperatrure. Although one  dog on each side does make for a warmer night for me.

6:37 p.m. on May 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Hi,

I am new here and I would like to say that this has been a very informative string for me.

I think Steven has already made a choice in favour of a Doberman. Here are some of my viewpoints on various posts:

1. Although I am a dog person too, I honestly admit that an unleashed German Shepherd, Rottweiler,  Doberman, or a Pit Bull coming down the trail runs shivers through my spines. I am specially alarmed if my wife and children are hiking with me.

2. I have never hiked and will never hike with my dogs off-leash so that even though others may not be be able to control their dogs, I am always in control of mine.

3. I own a Canadian Eskimo Dog that loves to carry lot of weight. I also use him to pull a cart of weight from parking lot to the destination spot in the park when my family and our acquaintances are on a picnic. I will never trust him off-leash though.

4. I have recently acquired a Kuvasz pup and I think I had lot of 'expert advice' on this dog breed's ability to hike, specially during fall, winters and spring season during which most of my day-long hikes take place, and to act as a guard (without a high prey drive). Kuvasz are difficult to raise during at least first year of their lives when they can be rebellious and mischievous. My 13 weeks old pup shows signs of rebelliousness but loves children.

5. My third dog will be a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and I agree with Robert Rowe on this one. Summer activity of my family revolves around short hikes, canoeing and kayaking and Chessies are great for water based activities. Besides, this retriever retains a high protective behaviour. 

6.  On providing an advance warning on bears and cougars for myself, I was talking to one dog lover and his advice was a scent hound like any variety of Coonhound. Reason is that while on the trail you want your dog to 'smell' the danger upfront and let you know about it. Again, you would not want your scent or sight hound to be off-leash. But wolves are another story. Personally, I will never take my dog(s) hiking with me in wolves territory.

 

10:27 p.m. on May 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Welcome, Mr. Zubaid-Ahmad.

Thank you for validating my suggestion, regarding the Chesapeake Bay Retriever choice.

Interesting that you like rock from the 'glam'-era.   Ziggy Stardust?  Gary Glitter?   Marc Bolan ?  Roxy Music ?  T-Rex ?  NY Dolls ?

Yogi Robt

10:41 p.m. on May 16, 2011 (EDT)
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You are welcome. Yogi. IMHO, Chessies are very under-appreciated dogs. I personally know families who acquire Golden or Labradors whereas their active lifestyle calls for a Chessie.

Yes, all of them (plus Alice C, Iggy pop, David Bowie, KISS, etc.) and the bands influenced by glam rock artists (Deff Leps, GnR, Poison, etc.). Add to this, less appreciated and sometime taunted 80s glam rock bands. Even my children listen to my collection all the time. I am one young puppy and a proud father lol.

11:07 p.m. on May 16, 2011 (EDT)
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You and I would get along very well.   I went to concerts and saw several of the artists we have mentioned.

 The 'Chessies' are amazing canids.   Not surprisingly, ... they are very, very popular here, near the Chesapeake Bay, where I live ....

A neighbor's Chessie yanked a 6-foot Water Moccasin (otherwise known as a Cottonmouth snake)  out of a pond, right near where my young daughter was standing.  He killed it with one mighty  whip-like 'snap' of it's spine.

I was impressed ... and very grateful.

Yogi Robt

9:27 p.m. on May 17, 2011 (EDT)
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I am sure we will lol.

That is an amazing feat. Btw, this is a second dog breed in the USA that I have known is popular in one particular region. The other one I had a personal experience of observing are quite uncommon Salukis but who very popular in southern Illinois.

10:45 p.m. on May 17, 2011 (EDT)
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The Chesapeake is a very fine breed and one I like very much; I have seen them jump into the north arm of Kootenay Lake without hesitation when the air temp was -20*F and not whine, snivel or cringe. I have no use for a hunting breed and they are not as suited to my lifestyle as wellbred and properly handled Rottweilers, but, this is one breed I would own if I had the $$$ to own my "dream" ranch at home in the West Kootenays of BC.

I would also have an Akita or two, another breed I am very impressed by and would have a "pack" of Rottweilers, probably a dozen. I like dogs with courage, intelligence and that can protect their people and these are three of my most admired breeds.

7:53 a.m. on May 18, 2011 (EDT)
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I have heard many stories from 'locals' that have Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.  

They have that great courage mentioned, as well as an intense love for children.  Hence; my tale of the one that took-out that Cottonmouth near my daughter.

My young (6 yrs old, at the time) daughter shrieked when she saw the snake.   I was nearby, and looked to see what she saw that alarmed her.   Before I could react, the Chessie appeared out of nowhere, and in an instant, dove into the water and snatched-up the Cottonmouth.  

To this day (many years later), I still marvel at the courage and intelligence of that amazing dog, to react to a potentially threatening circumstance.

Other Chessie owners have similar tales of their fine affection toward humans, as well as their stalwart courage and endurance.

Yogi Robt

8:12 a.m. on May 18, 2011 (EDT)
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I did the alice cooper, david bowie gig myself. But back to dogs. I don't walk mine on a leash , they would be uncontrolable and an absoulte pain in rough territory . However , I trained them to walk behind me. They will walk sid by side and single file if the trail is  that tight. I try to hike mostly in remote areas where I am not confronted by a lot of "leash laws" . When we do see approaching hikers I step off the trail and make both dogs sit and stay until the other hikers pass. It is good manors as mom would say.

They will stay and lay by the fire or in the tent by themselves if I ask them to . However, they will identify who and who is not part of our group and they will exhibit a protective attitiude toward strangers in the evening at camp. I pack some solo trips and I would not have it any other way. They are a marvelous creature and I couldn't think of a better companion for backpacking. You must also accept the responsibility for them They will go in any enviroment i.e water , snow, caves, cliffs etc., because they TRUST you and that you will take care of them . It is a two sided street and you have to be aware that you are hiking with a little more "weight" on your shoulders when you bring them along. It will shape some of your decisions.

9:29 a.m. on May 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Mutts rule!!!!

3:38 p.m. on May 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Ghetto Hiker said:

I did the alice cooper, david bowie gig myself.

 

I saw some STRANGE people at an Alice Cooper concert ( "Million Dollar Babies").  

Was almost like Hallowe'en ... only stranger, if you can imagine that.

Yogi Robt

 ... But, back to dawgs ....

10:02 p.m. on May 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Ghetto Hiker,

Admittedly, when I was talking about hiking, I was actually talking about day long trips on rough of terrains but that are popular with visitors and are close to some urban areas. Hence, the need for leash. I feel comfortable with my dogs on leash.

Skimanjohn,

I had many mutts  (origins totally unknown) when I was a kid. One of us siblings or our father would find one with humane society and bring him / her home. When I read books these days, they say that you never know what a mutt will ultimately become and therefore, there is a risk to that extent. I disagree. Ours - they all grew up to become loving companions, unconditionally. My siblings and myself have our best memories associated with those mutts. Well, no one calls them mutts. We had names for them and no one cared what origin they had.

Yogi,

That was really impressive. Does your daughter remember the incident? It takes courage on part of a dog to accomplish that. Read about Heroic dogs inducted into hall of fame here. You may find it interesting.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/ArtsLife/1243715.html

Dewey,

Please pardon my ignorance, but I don't understand how one man breeds like Rott and Akita, notable for their independence and ferociousness, can be good companions for a hiking trip. What are some of the attributes you find in these breeds to be suited for hiking and backpacking?

Best regards,

11:47 p.m. on May 18, 2011 (EDT)
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If, you read my posts, you would see that I very specifically advise AGAINST using Rottweilers for hiking companions and I explain why I hold this opinion. I can take my dogs/bitches hiking or into a retail store, but, they are well behaved and their training is a result of what I have learned in since my first dog at age 8, I am now some six weeks shy of 65.

I would disagree with your comment concerning Labrador Retrievers and an active lifestyle as my longtime mountain dog, who worked isolated BCFS fire lookouts with me for years and climbed mountains all over the Kootenays with my youngest brother and I, was a super bush dog, an excellent fishing dog, who would jump out of the boat in mid-Kootenay Lake for a swim and would not run from a bear. "Spot", came to me as a baby in 1968 and died in his sleep one night beside my late father's chair in 1982, he was an outstanding and tough dog and loved any kind of activity.

A chap I know, a BC RPF in the Kootenays had a Lab who he used as a pack dog all over BC and in some very tough country and he and my younger brother hold these dogs in high esteem and have the mountain experience to back up their feelings.

I try here to post what I think is best for recreational hikers and a mature Rottweiler male, 120-140 lbs. of mucles like steel cables and totally without fear as well as being a rather aggressive breed through evolution, is not, IMO, a very wise choice for such people. That said, I like to walk my big guy and do, but, most people tend to shy away from these dogs and I have no desire to intimidate others out to enjoy nature by hiking, so, am very careful about where I will take him.

7:22 a.m. on May 19, 2011 (EDT)
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Amen Dewey - My choice of dog maybe completely different in a totally isolated area where I felt I needed a more aggressive dog for work and protection. My labs handle both well, however they are also "people" dogs. Their disposition allows then to adapt to varying situations and varying degrees of contact with other hikers etc. I by no means hold them up as the only dog for as you say "recreationa; backpacking" , they are just a "good dog"for that general situation. Bottomline, a dog is a reflection of it's owner.There are several dogs that will serve you will on the trail,as friend, protector,heat source :) etc. However, YOU are the main ingedient that determines the dogs success. A good dog like a good kid takes your TIME ! They just don't ususlly happen!

12:44 p.m. on May 21, 2011 (EDT)
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My apologies Dewey for reading another post and attributing it to you. But you explained everything very nicely indeed.

My viewpoint on Labradors and Goldens is based on a general temperament expectation as is characteristic of the breed. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Dogs from one breeder may differ from others, as well as an individual dog may be different from others from the same breeder. Besides, training adds lot of value, as Trouthunter has repeatedly pointed out on many posts. I myself had a Siberian Husky who was a good watch dog (albeit not a guard dog) and would bark a warning bark at strangers. However, that was his learned behaviour from my German Shepherd female. I believe that there may be individual Huskies out there who may be good watch dogs and even guard dogs, but in general, a Husky will probably be only too delighted to welcome a stranger, including a burglar, on the property. 

1:24 p.m. on May 21, 2011 (EDT)
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This cat I'm holding in my avatar photo-image is a Russian Blue.   He's about a step-or-two away from being an "attack cat".   I just don't know the proper training techniques to develop that characteristic.

If I succeed, Heaven help whatever might be the subject of the command.

This cat (and this breed) are incredibly territorial and protective of their masters.  He has chased-off much larger dogs (like Chessies, Labs) ... tangled with errant raccoons, Canadian Geese, beavers, black snakes.  He was stopped-in-his-tracks by a coyote, however (thankfully, he eluded the beast).

OK ... sorry to have gone off-topic.   But, worthy of mention.

________________________________________________________

Yogi Robt

11:25 a.m. on May 22, 2011 (EDT)
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I've said it before, but if you carry a gallon of gas, this dog will follow you anywhere:

http://www.overmywaders.com/BigDog.mpg

12:04 a.m. on May 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Reed ~~

We're beginning to be concerned about you ....  Are you alright?

NoSmo King

7:38 a.m. on May 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Referencing a book I have, The Complete Dog Buyer's Guide --   ( Dr. Wm. A. Bruette & Kerry V. Donnelly ) ....

 " The Chesapeake (Bay Retriever) is a powerfully built, strong dog ... among the smartest of the sporters, and make excellent field and obedience competitors.   Those people who are NOT active outdoors should not choose a Chesapeake.  ... His brave heart, unlimited powers of endurance, and dense coat fit him eminently for braving the roughest weather.   NOTHING daunts him, and a good specimen of the breed will swim for miles in a rough sea covered with broken ice ....   Courage, willingness to work, ALERTNESS, nose, intelligence, love of water, general quality ... and, most-of-all, DISPOSITION, should be given primary consideration in selection of the Chesapeake Bay dog".

_________________________

r2

9:14 a.m. on May 26, 2011 (EDT)
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That commentary accurately describes good specimens of quite a number of breeds and is just a "bit" of an "advert", IMHO. Certainly,Chessies are strong, brave and "smart" dogs, however, so are many other breeds.

1:46 p.m. on May 26, 2011 (EDT)
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I do not have a Chessie, at this time.

Is on my "list", however.

_______________

   ~r2~

8:02 p.m. on May 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Chesapeake Bay Retriever on Animal Planet dog breed selector:

"Temperament

The Chesapeake Bay retriever is hardy enough to not only withstand, but also relish, repeated plunges into icy water. It loves to swim and retrieve. Despite an active life when outdoors, inside it tends to be calm. The Chessie tends to be independent, although it is eager to learn. It is reserved with strangers and can be protective; it also can be aggressive toward strange dogs if challenged. This is the hardiest, most strong-willed and protective of the retriever breeds.

Upkeep
The Chessie is a large active dog that needs a daily chance to exercise. It enjoys a good walk or swim. It can live outside in temperate conditions, but more than anything it prefers to spend time with its family. The oily, wavy coat needs weekly brushing but is generally easily maintained. It seldom needs washing; in fact, it's hard to get a Chessie wet! Bathing destroys the coat's oils and thus, its water resistance."

Please note the sentence,"This is the hardiest, most strong-willed and protective of the retriever breeds."

I am 100% sure that there may be some outstanding Golden and Labrador Retrievers falling into this category, but an overwhelming majority of Chessies will definitely fall into this. 
 

8:37 p.m. on May 29, 2011 (EDT)
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My book mentions that the Chessie's coat consists of a 'harsh outer coat and woolly undercoat', and 'is of extreme value in preventing the cold water from reaching the skin, and aids in quick drying.   Resists the water in the same way that a duck's feathers do.  When he leaves the water and shakes himself, his coat holds no water at all, being merely moist'.

 

r2

7:36 a.m. on May 30, 2011 (EDT)
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The chessie's are great companion dogs. They are a good choice for all weather packing etc. They are not a dog for a novice trainer . I hike with two black labs. Though not as dominant and strong willed as a Chessie, because there are two, I have to be in control at all times. If you lack the time and the discipline you will ruin a potentionally a good dog. This is , guess true with any dog ,ut the Chessie will need a strong personality to lead him. If you lack that , then he may not be a good dog for you. A milder breed may be your best choice.

10:30 a.m. on May 30, 2011 (EDT)
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Yup, this is also ONE of the reasons why I strongly advise against a Rottweiler as a hiking dog and recommend Labs and Belgian Shepherds over Chessies and German Shepherds. I raise and train Rottweilers and am frequently complimented on the behaviour of my dogs, however, training them is NOT "easy" and Chessies are almost as tough, stubborn and ornery.

I think that, for most people and in settled areas, a dog for hiking should be a companion-alarm dog, NOT a "guard dog" and not expected to fend off wild animals. I never would take my large, male Rottweilers on local hiking trails because they intimidate other hikers and also tend to regard floppy eared, playful mutts running up to me as "invaders" and go into "attack mode" when the pooch in question is not really a threat. I don't want to deal with this and prefer to avoid such problems.

4:09 p.m. on May 30, 2011 (EDT)
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I hear 'ya ... and know what you are talking about.

I seem to have ability to train animals ... and, I am not a 'trainer', per se.   I just do it when it is necessary.

I understand the Animal Kingdom's recognition of an "Alpha Male".   Apparently, I am one.  Even among hominids.   Men seem to be intimidated by me.

"Tail up? ... Or, tail down?"

I have trained family pets my daughters had.   Arabian horses (taught them to jump, and they are not really "jumpers").   Afgan Hounds (try training them anything).   Chesapeake Bay Retriever.   The cat in my avatar-photo is a Russian Blue.   He responds to my hand-commands.  He is utterly fearless.   He ran-off a red-fox the other day.   I do worry about the Bald Eagles that roost in a nearby tree, however.   Might be more than he can handle.

I can't seem to get the fish to listen to me, however.  I've been in the water (surfing off Montauk Point, L.I.) with Mako's and Great Whites.   Wish I had the ability to let them know I am an "Alpha Male".    Somehow, I don't think they care ....

Oh, well ....

6:51 a.m. on May 31, 2011 (EDT)
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Yea I think the shark would make you Alpha-bits !  :)

10:01 a.m. on May 31, 2011 (EDT)
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Aw, RR, I don't find you intimidating and think that you are actually a sweet guy and have a really cool cat! One of my Rottweiler breeder friends has a Russian Blue and we had Siameses, Himalayans, Persians, an Abbysinian and some tabby purrboxes with our Rottweilers, who generally love cats and smaller dogs and are amazingly gentle with them.

My first Rottgod, "Von Arenenberg's Blitzen", my "lighthouse dog" when I was with the CCG off BC's coast, had a "best buddy", who was "Raffles", our 21 lb. tabby and among the neatest dudes I have ever known. They were inseparable and often would lay on the patio back here in Vancity, side by side, watching the sunset....a lovely sight!

I badly want a Norwegian Forest Cat and another pair of Persians or Himalayans, but, even my "cataholic" wife is not keen on more pets in  our little old house as she is crippled by arthritis and the cleanup duties get pretty onerous.

1:57 a.m. on June 3, 2011 (EDT)
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Count me amongst the ACD/heeler fans.   I've got a red male and a blue female - both adopted from a rescue group two years ago - that I'm slowly turning into my trailhound companions.   My first ACD passed in 2008, but she was a terrific trail dog.

This breed is smart, loyal, athletic - with speed, agility, and endurance.  They can defend themselves but they're not overly aggressive, and they don't scare strangers like some of the other breeds mentioned can sometimes inadvertently do.

If there's one negative about this breed, it's that they're almost too tough for their own good, with a high pain threshold.   You have to occasionally check them for injuries because they will not whine or otherwise show you when they're hurt.   My first heeler impaled a paw at the lake one day, and I had no idea until we got home and I noticed the dozens of bloody pawprints on the back seat of my truck.  She never whimpered once, and ended up with about 20 stitches.   A trainer friend of mine summed it up like this:   "Cattle dogs are entirely overconfident in their own indestructability".   haha

 

ps - my next feat is to turn them into good canoe/paddling dogs.  Any advice on that subject would be greatly appreciated and I'll probably be begging for help in a thread on the Paddling Forum in the near future.

2:09 a.m. on June 3, 2011 (EDT)
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Vacation-2009-033.jpg

10:25 a.m. on June 3, 2011 (EDT)
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My dogs ride in the boat and canoe well. First off, they understood "stay". I then I would have mine climb into the canoe on dry land and tell them to stay or lay down in it and walk away etc. Then when the mastered that I went to the water and repeated the same thing. My female is fascinated still when we catch a fish. To me it starts with your dog trusting your judgement and being on command.

10:11 p.m. on June 4, 2011 (EDT)
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Great information here again on dogs by Dewey, RR and KD. Unfortunately, I am not a cat fan at all :-)

The only association with cats is that my kid sister kept cats by dozens. She would often pick them from shelters and bring them home without seeking permission of our parents. One of her males became a family favorite and lived with us for good 8 years before succumbing to injuries inflicted by somebody's runaway dog.

Nice advice Ghetto Hiker on taking dogs to canoes or kayaks. I will use the same technique for my Kuvasz puppy. My Canadian Eskimo Dog is too old to learn new tricks. 

4:13 p.m. on June 5, 2011 (EDT)
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M Traveler - just a note, I know the line about teaching old dogs new tricks... I think some women got together ad made that up about men , code word "dogs" :) I not being an expert, am inclind to believe that dogs are capable of learning much more than we ask then too. We get then to do the basic's and then we quit trying to train them. I say this because I have done basically the same thing. Yet, in our day to day living over the years I hae just been "consistent" as to the way I talk and refer to things and actions etc. and they ave continued to pick up things. My oldest will be 9 this year and I haveno doubt that she could learn something if I took the time to teach her. It may take a little more time but your older dog if he follows commands already, you are just making her comfortable in the new situation. Sit on the floor of the canoe with her, talk to him or  her and pet her that special way and  he or she will probably learn that being in a conoe isas safe as being in a car.

 

4:14 p.m. on June 5, 2011 (EDT)
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M Traveler - just a note, I know the line about teaching old dogs new tricks... I think some women got together ad made that up about men , code word "dogs" :) I not being an expert, am inclind to believe that dogs are capable of learning much more than we ask then too. We get then to do the basic's and then we quit trying to train them. I say this because I have done basically the same thing. Yet, in our day to day living over the years I hae just been "consistent" as to the way I talk and refer to things and actions etc. and they ave continued to pick up things. My oldest will be 9 this year and I haveno doubt that she could learn something if I took the time to teach her. It may take a little more time but your older dog if he follows commands already, you are just making her comfortable in the new situation. Sit on the floor of the canoe with her, talk to him or  her and pet her that special way and  he or she will probably learn that being in a conoe isas safe as being in a car.

 

11:09 p.m. on June 6, 2011 (EDT)
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"M Traveler - just a note, I know the line about teaching old dogs new tricks... I think some women got together ad made that up about men , code word "dogs" :) "

I see the point now LOL.

I will try doing just that, although I am sure my Eskimo will be surprised to sit in the 'slightly strange sled' rather than pull it.

Btw, RR, Dewey, and Ghetto Hiker, I don't believe in Alpha Theory by dominance. I do believe in Alpha Theory by Appeasement or respectful submission, basically by younger siblings for their older ones.

7:11 a.m. on June 7, 2011 (EDT)
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On the Alpha .... I will admit that sometimes among men "dominance" is in our own mind . We often confuse "arrogance" for "dominance". I have no special training in the behavioral sciences, but I have been a man the majority of my life :)

In the amimal kingdom I do believe that "dominance" and "submissiveness"  is recognized by both parties involved. There can not be one without the other. I some cases the Alpha male may be challenged and have to exhibit and or defend his dominant position. Yet, that dominance has already been recognized and conceded by the remainder of the pack. I don't think we truly see that among our "pet" dogs as much. They live with us and not in packs. Sometimes we only have one and that does change the balance of nature somewhat. I have multiple dogs but we all agree that among this pack I am the dominant male !

11:08 a.m. on June 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Even in the animal kingdom ... and, to include hominids in this rather broad subject (alpha-male) ... there is the existence of the so-called "Lone Wolf"  This individual within specie, chooses NOT to be a 'leader' (dominant) ... nor a 'follower' (submissive) ... nor, a member of a 'pack'.

A fictional-character among hominids is "Jeremiah Johnson"  (as played by actor, Robert Redford, in the cinema / movie of the same title); to use as an example.

I sense there are those among us, here (Trailspace), that might fall within this 'category'.

____________________________________

~r2~

5:31 a.m. on June 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Jeremiah "Livereating" Johnson, was certainly not a ...fictional character... and he lived, fought Indians and was actually quite a close friend of "Calamity Jane", herself a very close friend of "Wild Bill" Hickok. All of these people lived and died in the 19thCentury and were as "real" anyone living today.

The term "Lone Wolf" is not really applicable to domesticated canids and they certainly do not "choose" to behave in a given manner as this is a genetically determined behavioural trait and one that has evolved as a mechanism that is one of the limiting factors in species survival.

Homo Sapiens, is a member of the "Kingdom Animalia" and not apart from it or any other aspect of the Biosphere; the behaviours termed "alpha" are not restricted to male canids only, my Champion Rottweiler bitch is an "alpha" female and dominated her female and male siblings as well as he adoring housemate, "Cisco", who outweighs her by 30-40 lbs. She calmly takes both her fresh bone and also his and he simply trots over to me and looks up at me to try to mooch another one.

8:36 a.m. on June 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Didn't realize Jeremiah Johnson was a real person.  Should have "Wikipedia'd" him, first.

Musta been an interesting dude.

Thanks for your other information, re: "alpha" critters.

Something to be avoided:  an "alpha wife".

________________________________________

~r2~

9:46 a.m. on June 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Nothing to do with hiking dogs but Jeremiah Johnson .... great movie !

Amen on the Alpha wife -- I often described my wife and I as each having a leg in the pants and fightin over the zipper ! Hopefully who started this , not only knows how to pick a dog and a wife :)

8:22 p.m. on June 19, 2011 (EDT)
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Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are wonderful hiking companions.

10:41 p.m. on June 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Interesting that you mentioned GSMD or Swissies. When we were researching for our second dog, we narrowed the options to Swissies, Kuvaszok, Anatolians, Black Russian Terriers, Bouviers, and Giant Schnauzers. We found Swissies to be great companions, very affectionate, but not a healthy breed. Moreover, around the time we contacted a well-known breeder in Ontario for a puppy, her stud dog got stolen and she did not respond to my emails after that (perhaps thinking I stole it LOL).

And then it was our children who fell in love with Kuvaszok at first sight. The dogs at the breeder were awesome, especially the father, who was larger than average size. The mother was very affectionate and remained stuck to us every time we were there.

As a dog person my take is that dogs are reflections of their owners. All dogs are equals and want to please humans. It is just that for a specific purpose, some dogs are more equal than others.

8:52 a.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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I would agree, in many respects, however, all dogs are NOT equal and some individuals are much better than others, within the same breed, for certain tasks. My beloved brothers, "Axel the Assassin and "Woden the Warrior", Rottweilers of simply outstanding breeding, were very different and required different handling, for example.

Axel, was the single most intelligent dog I have ever seen and literally "trained" himself; he was an incredible companion, watch and guard dog and very obedient and dignified, albeit with that "trickster" personality that so many Rotts have and some of the finest among them. Woden, was a giant and strong beyond belief, but, he was a gentle soul and just wanted a "dad" and a home. Axel, was an "alpha" and could and would beat Woden in battle with no provocation or trouble, although the big guy was about 30% larger.

I now have Cisco, a bit larger than my adored and so deeply missed Axel and he is very strong and protective, but, very calm and friendly to anyone who approaches our property in an appropriate manner. Axel mistrusted everyone, except a girl nest door and one of my nephews and was a cold, disciplined protector of my wife, his beloved "mom". Cisco does his job, but, really prefers to be cuddling at all times and is just a "teddy bear" who likes people and will be your buddy after appropriate introductions; he and Axel, are the finest dogs I have ever had and both are wonderful protectors, but, quite different.

9:04 a.m. on July 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Okay, an advice request. I've been backpacking with my GSD this summer. We've been limiting it to one night stays because we are still novices. One issue I've been struggling with is water. Here in New Jersey I pack in our water rather than look for local sources. That is a lot of weight. And because I am concerned about my dog's well being, we take water breaks on the hike in at least once an hour. My dog carries water in his pack. I've managed to hike in enough water for one night but I'd like to figure out something for a few nights. Any thoughts, experiences, suggestions?

5:57 p.m. on July 2, 2011 (EDT)
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JCollins62,  Personally I do not think that is necessary to stop every hour on the hour for water.  I find that I all depends on the heat of the day, the grade I'm climing, and the weight I'm carring as well as if I start out hydreated properly.   I find the generally, more of less, my dog does just fine when we stop as necessary rather than on a time scheduale.  Different dogs need different levels of hydration dependign on the breeds and even just the indvidual dog him/her self.   As I have a Mastiff he is prone to hydration loss more than many other dogs.  I usually let him tell me when he needs a drink.   I do not carry water for my dog unless there is no water on our hike.  It is then his job to carry his water as well as his food.   As I live in north western Washington finding water has never once been a problem.  In this case I always let my dog "Mogh" drink to his hearts desire.  I've never filtered water for a dog and do not belive it's necessary.  As long as the water is free flowing and or a clean lake I have never had a problem related with letting my dog drink the water in the back country.  Second as to carring water I belive the simple single answer is to find what ever way you care comfortable with to filtering/purifying your water.   Depening on where you are you would then be able to extend the time you spending in the backcountry and maybe decrease the amount of water you are carring in.

9:33 p.m. on July 4, 2011 (EDT)
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When I take my two german shorthairs they pack in their own food in and since I too am in Washington they drink the water along the way. I usually plan trips where there is a river/stream/lake nearby. I don't purify the water that they drink, like apeman, if the water is moving and or looks clean they drink it.

4:19 a.m. on August 17, 2011 (EDT)
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Now that the "dog days" of summer are comming to and end I'm just wondering if anyone took their dogs out in this heat wave that most of the country has experianced for the last month?  If you did how did your dog(s) fare and and what kind were they.  We did not experiance the heat that many of you did in the rest of the country, though my dog is done when it hits 76 deg.

7:40 a.m. on August 17, 2011 (EDT)
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I took my dog out on 7 trips so far this summer(3 2 day trips, 1 3 day trip, and several overnighters). I live in the Northeast here in CT. We got up to around 100 with high humidity. But, we don't let the weather stop us from going out!

Juno, is a siberian husky as seen in my avatar pic. She does 'ok' with the heat, but we do take more frequent breaks. I hike her pace always, especially in the summer. If it's going to be above 80 I carry all of her gear, where normally she would have a pack with food, water, tie out etc.

I tend to do more night hiking during the dog days of summer. We will lounge around camp until 1-2pm time frame and then hike the late afternoon and into the evening and usually stop around 1 or 2am. I try to plan my camps around lakes/ponds or brooks to do some fishing while lounging.

I also just let her drink whatever water we come along as long as it isn't stagnant. Despite common misconceptions, dog's arn't effected by most water born pathogens. The same way they arn't effected by ecoli and salmonella. She eats a raw diet at home, so she has a bit beefier immune system already.

11:42 a.m. on August 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Apeman and The Rambler,

In the extreme heat of southern Ontario (yes we touched 90 F on many a days), I did not take my Canadian Eskimo out, but concentrated on little hikes with Kuvasz puppy (born Feb 13, 2011) in the conservation parks of Greater Toronto Area. However, he too, hyper-ventilated even though I hiked with him early in the morning starting at 6 am and late in the evening starting at 7 pm. He is about 25 inches tall at the withers, weighs around 60 pounds, and is now quite comfortable hiking 5 kms at a stretch, and 10 kms with breaks. I carry his water, tray, treats, energy food, and medical supplies. Unfortunately, he gets very excited to see kids and other dogs on the trail.

The Rambler's post above has encouraged me very much. I think I am on the right track. If Husky can do it, my Kuvasz certainly can. Unlike Rambler's Husky, my Kuvasz boy did not drink from any river or stream for he was too baffled by the flowing waters lol.

I will not let my Kuvasz carry anything till he grows up completely.

2:44 p.m. on August 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Another big part of it is conditioning. If your dog isn't used to taking alot of hikes then simply put they are out of shape, the same way a human can be out of shape. The more exercise your dog gets, specifically exerise such as hiking up and down steep terrain the better off your dog will be in any weather.

Alot of people seem to think walking your dog around the block will suffice the same, but it's not.

Condition your dog, and keep them in shape and they can handle anything you can handle.

5:11 p.m. on September 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Australian Cattle Dog:

IMG_0329.jpg

5:41 p.m. on September 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Hahaha, awesome pic. Do you fit him/her into the bivy with you?

11:02 p.m. on December 8, 2011 (EST)
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i like the "small game dogs" jack russle or some kind of rat dog.

there was a survivor man epsd while he was in new guinea, the natives there had a small dog that would go off for days and "scout ahead"

12:33 a.m. on December 9, 2011 (EST)
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Blue Healer ?

12:45 a.m. on December 9, 2011 (EST)
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I haven't seen that episode but the Yorkshire Terrier was originally bred to kill rats. Ships and mines are coming to mind as well. 

Hmmm... if I could only put together the difficult parts. 

Don't ask why I know this. I had family members who bred pedigree "Yorkies" so I received this info through the food chain. 

9:10 a.m. on December 9, 2011 (EST)
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you mean you don't hike with yorkies rick!? hahaha.

3:10 p.m. on December 10, 2011 (EST)
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I have been considering hitting the trail with a pack of 30 or so Jake. Should make for an interesting trip report. :)

4:23 p.m. on December 10, 2011 (EST)
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I don't take my dogs because they are not very socialized. But I have seen everything out there from those little purse dogs to Great Danes. Most seem to do well. One thing is, the bigger dogs seem to have problems if we are on approaches to walls with much scrambling.

6:38 p.m. on December 10, 2011 (EST)
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Bringing dogs hiking/backpacking seems to be really "in vogue" these days.  I noticed this summer it seemed like the majority of the groups I ran into on the trail had dogs along.  Most of the time I just ignored them, or just acted  polite, and they didn't bother me too much.

But sometimes they are just out of control.  I recall one trip where I was on a trail into a wilderness area, near a couple of people backpacking in the same direction  I was headed.  They had not one, not two, but *three* dogs.  And of course instead of just walking along with their people, the dogs were running around, playing, yipping, etc etc.  Several times I had to pause as they ran in front of me, up to me, underfoot, etc.  I was not amused.  Finally I put my own plans aside, and just stopped for a while to let them go on by.  Fortunately they must have camped off trail along the way as I didn't encounter them again.

In some cases there seems to be a misperception by dog "owners" that other people enjoy their furry friends as much as they do.

6:44 p.m. on December 10, 2011 (EST)
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bheiser1 said:

In some cases there seems to be a misperception by dog "owners" that other people enjoy their furry friends as much as they do.

 I agree, sometimes they do get bothersome. Especially when they encounter other dogs and you just do not know how the strangers will mix. Plus, often, when on lease I find owners who cannot control their big dogs well.  Last climbing outing, there were too many kids AND too many dogs. If you are ON A WALL...you cannot be taking responsibility for your kids/pets unless there are pre-arrangements. I find usually there are not.

6:54 p.m. on December 10, 2011 (EST)
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Awe yes, the dogs that just run freely scaring every critter around that I came to see in the 1st place. 

I find the further I get into my trips the more other individuals and their pets become scarce. 

I have on many occasion had a dog come barreling down the trail with noone in sight. Then after a few moments the owner comes huffing and puffing with the look of what did I get myself into on their face.

I typically pet dogs when they get close enough. I am an animal lover. 

I will say that I do not think everyone takes into consideration the extra responsibility of having your 4 legged friend with you in the bc nor do I think they always take into consideration others that are on the trail. 

I am not saying everyone is like this. There are many responsible individuals out there with their furry family members. 

I also wonder about dogs and  rattlesnakes, copperheads.... raccoons(will tear a dog up,) bears, etc. 

Too much to worry about for me but to each is own. 

11:10 p.m. on January 9, 2012 (EST)
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As long as the dog leaves me alone, I see it as a live and let live situation...

...as long as they're on a leash.

6:05 p.m. on January 10, 2012 (EST)
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i take our dog Brady on day hikes all the time.  he's a miniature F1b labradoodle, so mom was a lab/poodle mix and dad was a miniature poodle.  standard labradoodles are big; he's about 50 pounds.  he was easy to train, isn't aggressive with other dogs or people.  he is physically very strong and has a lot of energy.  he doesn't shed and doesn't bother people with allergies.  needs to be brushed out and needs to get his coat/ears/paws trimmed about once every 6-8 weeks.  on the plus side, we can crop him really short for the hot weather, which helps a lot.  as you can see, his coat is pretty shaggy in cooler weather. 

loves the trails, loves swimming.  most of the nearby trails are adjacent to the potomac river or streams that feed into it. 

dog.jpg

 

we do respect some ground rules.  if he craps on or anywhere near a trail, we bag it and carry it out.  if we encounter disagreeable dogs or people afraid of dogs (both sub-species being fairly easy to spot at a distance), we leash him well in advance and keep him clear.  ordinarily, though, he's off-leash.   though he has the run of the trail, he tends to stick reasonably close, either waits or catches up.  he likes to swim but won't enter the water if we say 'no' in a firm voice.  he is enthusiastic but fairly timid, generally leaves other people and dogs alone or approaches only if they show interest.  except for the timid nature, his behavior is the product of a lot of training, being consistent and using treats to show him the ropes from the time we brought him home.   

we don't take him on trails that have slabs or scrambling.  he may be more sure-footed than most people, but i don't think it's safe or responsible to take most dogs on steep rocks.  have seen more than a few dogs in bad situations on a well-used scramble nearby.  after a few hours or so, or more frequently if it's hot, we stop so he can drink from a collapsible bowl, though he spends enough time in/near the water that he is usually well-hydrated.  agree with the comment above - stagnant water should be avoided, can upset their digestion. 

6:33 p.m. on January 10, 2012 (EST)
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I love that pic.  Gorgeous dog.

6:35 p.m. on January 10, 2012 (EST)
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I want the dog the SEAL Team took in on the Bin Laden raid.  Belgian Malanois?

6:58 p.m. on January 10, 2012 (EST)
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@leadbelly -- Huge kudos to you for packing out the dog crap

8:10 p.m. on January 10, 2012 (EST)
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Belgian Melanois is a high energy but very intelligent breed.

As winters is slowly setting in in southern Ontario, I am seeing bigger dogs on trails - Mastiffs, Bull Mastiffs, GSDs, Labradors, Goldendoodles, Labradoodles, Samoyeds, etc. Unfortunately, almost all dogs I saw last weekend were off leash. One woman was desperately looking for her Golden. I thought it was careless on part of the owners. Parts of rivers and streams have frozen but you can't tell how stable the surface is. If a dog lands on ice and it gives in, poor soul would be in trouble.   

8:55 p.m. on January 10, 2012 (EST)
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Ahhh large breed dogs, one of my many loves, hahaha. You mean like these two?


DSC02262.jpg



PC280007.jpg

10:04 a.m. on January 11, 2012 (EST)
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LOL. Yes exactly. This was quite a timely post from you, Jake. And of course, this is the winter look I was talking about.


DSCF2062.jpg


DSCF2060.jpg

7:23 p.m. on January 12, 2012 (EST)
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I need a dog.........:(

8:11 p.m. on January 12, 2012 (EST)
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we had cats for a long time.  my middle daughter lobbied hard for a dog, and i think that is what pushed us over after the last cat died.  it was a good decision for us; he is great, we have a good kennel where he has a lot of time to run if we take trips he can't do with us.  my smallest daughter used to be afraid of dogs, which was pretty miserable.  

10:29 p.m. on January 12, 2012 (EST)
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Jack Russell Terriers are terrific companions for many different outdoor activities. They have lots of energy and instinct to locate squirrels, chipmunks, marmots, etc. so it's important to know what can draw their relentless curiosity and intense focus and anticipate when they need to be leashed.

At home they do best with somone around during the daytime and require a fenced yard. They are stellar companions with great endurance.

dscf0096

4:38 p.m. on January 14, 2012 (EST)
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DSCF0096.jpg

4:27 a.m. on January 15, 2012 (EST)
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skibum12 said:

I want the dog the SEAL Team took in on the Bin Laden raid.  Belgian Malanois?

 This, the Malinoise, along with the Tervuren and the Groenendaele, are the Belgian Shepherd Dogs I recommended at the outset of this thread. The Malinois impresses me as being as close to the "perfect" hiking dog as can be had and they train easily and are calm, biddable and versatile dogs.

I really think that this is a breed that should be more popular in North America, as they are good watch dogs, companions and just a nice, loveable and useful dog for families and individuals. I will always have Rottweilers, perhaps a Karelian and maybe a Bavarian Mountain Hound, when we move back to rural BC, but, these are not breeds for most people as they are specialized and both Rottgods and Karelians are too aggressive for most dog lovers to handle without a LOT of training/experience.

Glad someone posted the breed name and it is a good idea to research the Belgians.

1:18 p.m. on January 16, 2012 (EST)
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get a Boerboel

3:52 p.m. on January 29, 2012 (EST)
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Check this out for your dogs CPR:

http://www.petsamerica.org/

Was supposed to have a video showing how to give a dog CPR?

December 20, 2014
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