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Conditioning for backpacking trips.
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    First off, Conker is only 8 months old right now and he won't be carrying a pack with anything in it until he's at least a year old, and then only treats and dog bags.
    However, I have no idea how to condition a dog for backpacking and hiking. Is it the same as a person? Just get out and walk/run/go on easy hikes? I'm trying to get myself in shape and have been doing a lot of research for trails around here and have found quite a few that are open all-year long.
    So do I just take Conker along with me and get him used to having the empty pack on and once he's old enough, slowly add weight to his pack until he's able to carry say, a pound at most, easily?

    I don't plan on having him do any real packing until he's at least two. I know that a dog shouldn't carry more than 10% of his body weight unless he's super fit then it can be slightly more.
    Conker currently weighs 20 pounds and at 8 months I think he's going to top out at 25 pounds. That doesn't leave a lot for him to carry but I still like the idea of backpacking with dogs and having them carry part of their stuff.

    Do or have any of you packed with your dogs?
    Post edited by sunyata at 2011-09-22 15:59:51
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    I use a Ruff Wear Approach pack with Beebe and place a water bottle on either side, and some dog supplies for her, poop bags, etc. It helps her pay attention and relax a bit more since she is concentrating more on the pack. I usually let her off lead when she wears it, but I was reminded by a friend on a little hike one day that I shouldn't also stick the car keys, cell phone and wallet in the pack just in case she takes her self on an off trail adventure. She has been extensively conditioned to work off lead, so I don't suggest you also do this, but back packing is something the dogs and I enjoy occasionally. Oregon is a lovely place to hike with dogs so I'm sure you and Conker will have fun.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
    Post edited by lindsayt at 2011-07-07 04:23:01