Dog Gear - Help!

2:45 p.m. on June 29, 2011 (EDT)
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I recently received a dog pack from another user.  According to the size charts it should have fit but I don't think it is quite right for her.  I have included a photo of her wearing it.  I've tried adjusting it so it sits further back but I think the panniers sit too low for her short legs.  Does anyone else have any experiences with dog packs (or short-legged dogs)?  I am also looking at getting a life vest for her since we are on the river quite frequently.  Thanks in advance for any advice!

Weight: 30 lbs  Girth: 22" Length(neck to butt): 22" Height (shoulder): 14"


6:13 p.m. on June 29, 2011 (EDT)
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I think your very limited by by both your dogs small size & short legs.  I would check around and see about sepcialty packs and then check and see if a tent maker/seamstress can alter the packs you have now.  As for a doggie life vest, I often see them at my local Goodwill.  I would start looking on Ebay if you can't find anything at you local second hand store (just a thought, Goodwill has an online auction store as well)  unless you just want to go and pay full price.  I'll be looking for packs and a vest for my dog, but I have to wait till he reaches full size as he is a Neopolitian Mastiff who is only 8 +/-months old.  How much weight do you think your dog can carry?  I only ask as I've only owned or been around large dogs such a Old English, Nepolitian mastiffs, Great Pyrenees , St. Benards, Newfoundlands and Rottweilers.  All which are able to carry quite a load.  On my first trip with my Old English Mastiff I had the packs way too full and the straps way too tight at which point he laid down and would not move with the packs on a 1/4 into the trip.  After many attemps to adjust the packs he would only lie there with them on and would not move.  I even tried dragging him a small bit, but to no avail, he would not stand up with the packs on.  I carried the dog packs along with my 50lb pack the rest of the way.  It was long hike.




Mogh and Gorgon (just sheard)


Mogh and Gorgon often play.  Mogh is learning after much trial and error how to take shoulder hits from the sheep(s) with horns.

6:27 p.m. on June 29, 2011 (EDT)
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When training a dog of that or similar breeds, one needs to employ a "pinch collar" and a short stiff "release" control stick, these are hard to find. This way, you have total control over the dog and he LEARNS who is "boss" right quickly.

I use these when training the large male Rottweilers I have because these dogs can pull a strong man face first into a "faceplant" even on a full choke with the conventional chain choker and 6-8 ft. leash and will often do so just out of their quirky sense of humour.

A dog used for packing is a liability until/unless he/she is trained to OBEY and to follow their master without hesitation. The easiest dogs to train for this are good Labradors and a good Rottweiler is more work, but, a Rottweiler will outpack any other dog and can pull a cart with a load that you have to see to believe. They love to work hard and once trained, are always ready to "tote that bale".

7:04 p.m. on June 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Actually he is always lead either on a short 18 in lead or a adjusable 6 ft lead and is never alowed to run free unless I'm assured that there are no other people other than my group are around.  I do not feel that is right or responsible to let my dog run up to others who are on the trail.  As one cannot see around croners there is always that chance.  There is alos the wildlife issue.  It is still possible here where I live on the Olympic Peninsula to still  find trails and areas where I'm alone.  This can usually be accomplished in the National Forest and on week days.  As I've grown up with these dogs (this is my fifth one of these) I do know how to take control and be the Pack leader.  In my house we use what we refer to the "God voice" when necessary.   It's is a voice that is not to be denied and always get's an immediate responce.  When giving a comand to a dog it is an order, not a question and he will listen and do it without delay.  I stopped using choke and pinch collars a few years back in favor of a halti collar.  It is a quality product and works well but as these dogs have large jowels they can be uncomfortable.  I have just swtiched to a chest harness.  As it attaches at two points (one on the chest and one on the back) it make him completey compliant with no pulling or wandering unless I allow it. 

8:39 p.m. on June 29, 2011 (EDT)
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I use the life jacket from the store Petsmart.

I think hey have 3 or 4 different sizes.

It has a handle like a suitcase, perfect for picking up the pooch.


9:30 p.m. on June 29, 2011 (EDT)
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I did forget to add that you might want to put a handle on the dog pack as  handle would be appropriate as you have a weight challanged dog.  As my dog will not be weight challanged I would not be able to pick him by the mid section there by negating the need for a dog handle and, as strong as he will be, he would just tear a handle of of his pack anyway.  I would guess this is where someone say's.  "Get a handle on that dog"

9:08 a.m. on June 30, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks for the replies!

I've read numerous places that no more than 1/3 of the dogs weight should be packed by them.  So, for my pup it would be no more than 10 lbs, but that would be a max.  She will mostly be carrying a water bowl, little food, poop bag, etc.  Not too much but just enough to let her know she's working along with me!  

kayakingdog- do the petsmart life jackets seem quite durable?  We are on lots of swift moving streams in canoes and kayaks so I want to make sure it will stand up to us.

Oh, and apeman, I have to ask what kind of sheep that is!  Thanks for the photos too! I would love to have a mastiff someday.  But, we'll see what wanders our way (like Casey did) or we come across at the Humane Society next trip! 

11:28 a.m. on June 30, 2011 (EDT)
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I have Haltis and another similar type of "leading" collar-leash and body harnesses as well, but, while these are "OK" for the yearlings and some bitches, I found them to be not very efficient for training the large male Rottweilers I have had over the past 25 years. I do not have a "brand" for this little "release stick" that I use with a German pinch collar, but, this combo works better than anything I have tried in my 57 years of dog ownership.

I do not use this in the bush and will not take my dogs on trails where other dogs may be encountered as they become agitated when someone's untrained dog runs up to me and tries to jump up or growls. So, my point is simply that when a dog refuses to carry or come, after one has checked his pack and feet, etc., this is an effective tool for training him to obey and I would not be without it.

Each to his own, I dislike and will not use chainlink collars as one of my finest Rottweilers lost a front fang in his brother's collar when they were having a tussle on the front lawn and I find them ineffective for corrections on dogs larger than a Lab. They need to be too tight and still will not give a correction as quickly with minimal application as the pinch collars do and so, I no longer use them.

I would use a Halti on a "spitz" type dog such as a German Shepard and especially on longfurred breeds such as Huskies, but, for large, tough Mastiff types, I am happy with the pinch collars and, like you, the "voice of God."

10:39 p.m. on July 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Yes, the life jackets seem quite durable. We have had it now for 2 years and it shows no tears or rips. They have 1 buckle under the dogs head, and 2 buckles under the dogs stomach. After you buckle them, you can then tighten them down so its the perfect fit. My dog did grow out of the 1st one, so we had to get the next size up. Might wanna take pooch in and try it on.


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