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Hiking with a dog?

Original Post
xiaoyan Li · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

i am thinking about getting a dog to start coming along. Please feel free to share any comments or guidance, or just discuss hiking with dogs.

Mikhaila Redovian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 6,067

Hey Xiaoyan, 

That's a great question! I can't say that I'm truly an expert, as I've had to "borrow" a dog to hike with thus far. However, I've found the experience to be enjoyable! Especially if you're prepared and know the dog's limits, I think it's a really fun and rewarding way to go! It helps me to slow down and enjoy the trail, usually while my fluffy partner literally stops to smell the roses. So long as your potential hiking partner will enjoy a high quality of life when you're not on the trail, I'd say go for it! 

Ryan Over · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0


First post here.  Daisy and I have hiked 1100 miles on the Maine to mass. And the jmt. And roughly a month in Washington (250+miles)  She is an amstaff.  Roughly 62 lbs trail weight and 70 lbs apartment living. She has a medium sized rough wear pack in which she carries no more then 20% of her body weight.  I have a big tin of bag balm for her paws.  No sissy ass booties.  Her trail name is dishwasher.  Ergo i do not carry a bowl for her since we share.feel free to ask anymore questions.

Mikhaila Redovian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 6,067


Wow! Daisy sounds like an awesome trail partner! Did you start her out hitting the trail young? What was the stamina building process like? Also, when you're at home, do you think she misses being on the open trail? I'm a huge dog lover and love hearing stories about adventures with four-legged friends! 

Alejandro Escobar · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0
Mikhaila Redovian wrote:


Wow! Daisy sounds like an awesome trail partner! Did you start her out hitting the trail young? What was the stamina building process like? Also, when you're at home, do you think she misses being on the open trail? I'm a huge dog lover and love hearing stories about adventures with four-legged friends! 

It is a great idea to take your dog hiking. VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW THE DOGS LIMITOS. 

Jen Diorio · · Staten Island, NY · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Hiking with a dog is the only way to hike! My chocolate lab loves coming on day hikes with me. When i first got him (adopted him at 2 years old) i took him to obedience training classes, and then a summer of agility class (off leash obstacle course). It really created a strong bond between us and i am very comfortable when i take him out hiking or camping with me.

Thom Herold · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 0

I would be an over-weight, couch potato if it wasn't for my dogs. Joey past away 12-7-2015. I still have my 11 year old Irish Setter and, since have gotten, a 10 month Irish Setter to keep me active. I would not want it any other way.

I estimate that Joey (Golden Retriever) and I have hiked/walked well over 12,000 miles in his life-time (that's like 5 x across the U. S.). I stay away from areas with poisonous snakes, heavy tic infestations and very rapid rivers. I always bring water (a collapsible bowl) and healthy food for the both of us. Do not feed them too much before or during the hike (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus Syndrome). On long hikes I bring a tent in case we get stuck in a downpour. I try to hike early in the day (cooler). I also stay in the woods a lot. I keep him away from the jellyfish on the beach. National Forrest do not have leash laws. National Parks don't allow dogs. I bring electrical tape and duct tape in case of emergencies (mostly taping cut paws). Also a pair of scissors for things that get stuck in their hair. 

When I camp, I just make sure they wont get cold at night

Namekian Piccolo · · United Kingdom · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Having a companion to your way is a great idea aside from a real person who sometimes skips the radiance of Great adventures. A dog, for example, is great like Mikhaila and everyone else here who agree with this idea I think it's a "good to go " having them to enjoy the road.

Nadja Turner · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

I have an 1963 airstream trailer and are planning to travel with my 2 dogs (Nikita wolf-hybrid and Miko pit-boxer)  if everything works well for 6 months to as many national parks as I can. My only concern is that my pit-boxer is very dog aggressive and a big hunter. Not sure what I should do. Any recommendations. It would be also great to travel with some people that are into hiking as well

Courtney Finn · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

My GSD and I go hiking all the time. She loves it and has a high prey drive. I hope to go camping with her soon. She's still a pup still I try to keep it to less than 5 miles but we're working on it.

Shaun Shaun · · Knox Vegas Tn · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 232

One thing I would like to add. I hike sometimes with my Chihuahua/terrier mix who is as friendly as they come, but with another male dog, there's no predicting whether they will get along or not. I ALWAYS keep him on a leash but unfortunately many pet owners do not. More than once I have had an unattended dog come up from behind me. Occasionally they get aggressive with little Pedro. 

The most recent time I had this problem I nearly had to fight aggressive dogs owner, who didn't see what happened and didn't believe me when I told him.

Keep your dog leashed. For their safety and Pedro's too. 

John Toepfer · · Buena Vista, CO · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 78

Dogs as trail partners are great.  I understand both sides of the leash/no leash argument.  On a difficult trail a leash can be hazardous to the dog and to you.  Dogs can also be more aggressive (protective of their owners) if they are on leash.  Usually, dogs off leash will just sniff and move on, play, or just avoid another dog.  Sometimes it's the demeanor of an owner that determines the behavior of their pooch.  Teach your dog to "leave it."  If they're well trained, it works for other dogs, people, wildlife, fresh deer scat or horse droppings.  But if you choose to let them off leash, assume that at some point you'll deal with the consequences of that.  My hiking partners and I carried a dog down a mountain (no trail) and about 3 miles down the trail after she found a porcupine in the willows above timberline.  She had a four-hour emergency surgery to remove quills that were very close to her heart and lungs, as well as embedded in the muscles of both front and back legs.  But the owner still hikes off leash with her.  His choice, and they're both happy with that.  My decision has been to hike on leash on heavily trafficked trails, especially if there are bikes.  In backcountry I let him go, but he has very good recall, check-in, and leave it.

To Nadja - National Parks don't allow dogs on most hiking trails.  They'll have to stay in the trailer, so beware of heat.  Also, everything I said above is moot if your dog is dog-aggressive.  It must, in that case, be under physical control (leashed).  Also, if it has a high prey drive it might chase a deer or other wildlife for a considerable distance, stressing the animal which is illegal, and it might get lost, too.

Mark Bridges · · Michigan · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

If you take a four-legged partner, make sure the dog will be safe and comfortable throughout the trip.

Make sure that your dog is ready for long distances. Never take a young puppy on a trail—its bones and muscles can be damaged by long trips. If your dog will carry some weight, buy a small backpack for them. Remember that dogs should carry at most 15 – 20% of their weight. Your dog will need 50 – 120ml of water per kilogram of body weight per day. The rest depends on your dog’s activity level, size, fur type, and age—as well as the outdoor temperature.

Bob Harman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 0

Hi all.  Great thread.  Hiking with a dog is great if planned and responsible.  I am a veterinarian and have border collie that is service dog (high frequency hearing loss).  The biggest problem I seen on trails here in So Cal is dog poop.  Unreal how many people let their dog just poop in middle of the trail and leave it.  Please clean up or we will get banned!  Second is same as for people:  be fit and trained for the hike, carry lots of water, stay hydrated and cool, carry first aid kit for you and dog, and carry booties in case of foot pad cut or hot rock/pavement.  Nothing better than a four-leggedd but to helpyou "hike your own hike" as they rarely complain if you have prepared.  Have fun!
Alan Coles · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 1,346

I understand why many dog owners want to take their pet with them unleashed but it is important to follow the local rules and regulations.  In many National Forests it is illegal to have dogs off leash.  The problem is that unleashed pets have a negative impact on local wildlife that may not be visible to you.  This is especially true in riparian areas where amphibians are especially vulnerable.  Please take the time to know the rules of the area you visit and minimize the impact on the environment.

Brad G · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2018 · Points: 0

Carry the dog poop with you! Don't tell me you'll pick it up on the way back. You NEVER do. 

Leash your dog. Yours might be ok but maybe mine isn't. Don't get pissy w me when you're not following the rules and your dog gets a lesson in manners from mine. 

Beth Hart · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 0

I will keep my dog on a leash -- if everyone else promises to keep their kids on a leash! What's up with boys and sticks? 8 times out of 10, when I encounter a boy on a trail -- he has a stick in hand and whacking everything he passes. And you are worried my dog with damage vegetation? 1 child damages more on a single hike than my dog has damaged in her entire life.

Bob Harman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 0

Just back from longest trip with my Border Collie.  3 days 25 miles.  Wow.  First time I wore him out.  His feet got sore and used Musher's Boots for first time.  He didnt object and picked up pace once I put them on.  I also hoisted his pack on top of mine for end of each day is was really getting tired.  Good learning experience!  

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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