lotus



previous page: 08 Notify A Friend
  
page up: Hiking/Backpacking With Canines
  
next page: 10 Dog Pack: Weight

09 Accustomizing The Dog To The Pack




Description

This article is from the Hiking/Backpacking With Canines, by Terri Watson with numerous contributions by others.

09 Accustomizing The Dog To The Pack

Some dogs will adjust to a pack more easily than others. As is
sometimes done with horses, start with something light, such as a
towel, to get the dog used to the feeling of something riding on his
back. This is particularly useful with puppies that are too young to
carry a pack. I would would not recommend putting anything other than
an empty pack stuffed with newspaper on a puppy under a year old. Just
as with agility and jumping in obedience, there is a risk of doing
structural damage by putting an increased load on developing bones. In
larger breeds you might need to wait until 18 months or older. Check
with your veterinarian to be safe.

Depending on the dog's reactions and temperament, you can proceed to
put the pad (if your pack has a separate one) and then the pack
itself. Take him for short walks and see how he reacts. He should
learn to associate getting to go out with the pack, and will quickly
start to look forward to wearing it. Once he's comfortable with the
pack, fill it with odd things that will feel and sound like the pack
will when it's actually used for an outing. Crumpled newspaper, half
filled water-bottles (sloshing), tin cups or pots that bump one
another, etc. As you start filling the pack more (volume, not weight),
you may notice that your dog mis-judges walking through doors, around
trees, and even your legs, bumping them with the pack. Another problem
is slightly mis-judging jumps, falling short because of the additional
weight. This is another good reason not to ask your dog to carry too
much weight too quickly. These problems will get better with
experience, although if you hike infrequently, there may be a brief
re-adjustment necessary at the start of each hike.

 

Continue to:













TOP
previous page: 08 Notify A Friend
  
page up: Hiking/Backpacking With Canines
  
next page: 10 Dog Pack: Weight