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 At what age can I take him hiking with me?

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gretalutsen
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PostSubject: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:19 pm

Hi! I have a 9 week old Husky, Lutsen (we just got him at 8 weeks!) and I am trying to get ideas together for exercise activities to do when he's older! For now my boyfriend and I started walking him (the recommended 5 min for every month of age) and he has done pretty well so far. What age could I start taking him hiking with me? We have ample parks/state parks around us (Minnesota) and I am so excited to have an exercise buddy! That's one of the main reasons we fell in love with this breed! For now he likes his little mini walks with mom and dad and he also loves chasing us/running with us around our yard when we take him outside. I run in a U shape around our yard and I've noticed that he mimics my running pattern on his own...it's so cute! He's a very good boy for a pup!
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:24 pm

Up until a year old, follow the 5 min rule. For hiking, that would mean, at 6 months, you could hike for 30 minutes, take a break, sit down, have a picnic, relax, maybe frolic in a stream. Preferably on a dirt/grass trail, not concrete or completely rocky.
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gretalutsen
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:28 pm

amymeme wrote:
Up until a year old, follow the 5 min rule.  For hiking, that would mean, at 6 months, you could hike for 30 minutes, take a break, sit down, have a picnic, relax, maybe frolic in a stream.  Preferably on a dirt/grass trail, not concrete or completely rocky.

Perfect! Thank you! I sometimes get confused when I read certain exercise advice for young huskies. I want to make sure that every day he is stimulated in some way. We did that for my family dog growing up but she is a lab/springer spaniel so she wanted that constant praise whereas I understand Huskies to be more independent thinkers.
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the_owlette
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:14 pm

You just have to watch them. Once you take them off the trail they'll nap hard, but they'll definitely be willing to keep going past when they ought to be stopping.
I love you mentioning him watching and mimicking your running patterns-- when Meisha was younger and we would hike she would watch where I put my feet if we had to climb anything. It gave me the best "mom" feeling.
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Alesandra
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Mon May 16, 2016 3:34 pm

I also would love to take my dog hiking with me (she's 4.5 months currently), however I am unsure whether her leash walking would be an issue. She doesn't pull super hard right now, however she definitely pulls enough in different directions to sniff to make walks unenjoyable right now. If I were to take her hiking, I'm sure the experience would be somewhat the same. Because of this, should I hold off on engaging in these outdoor activities until her leash walking is closer to 100% being more calm and controlled? I have enrolled her in puppy classes which should help me to teach her polite walking on the leash and also have a prong collar, although I wasn't intending on using the prong until 6 months based on what I've read. What do you guys think?
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Mon May 16, 2016 4:24 pm

Alesandra - but you're passing up the perfect opportunity and time to train her to not pull on leash.  Given that a puppies attention span is short, now's the time to start working on the 'heal' command.  A twenty minute walk should give you plenty of opportunity to work with her and still give her plenty of time to explore.  Success for heal, at this age, is when you can convince her to stay with you for 2 minutes at a time.  Once she has the idea of "heal" and "free" you just continue lengthening the time as the time you can walk her increases.

I applaud your comment about "classes which should help me to teach her". You have the right idea, the classes are for you and for you to pass on what you've learned with her.

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Alesandra
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Mon May 16, 2016 4:29 pm

Hey Al,

Thanks a bunch for the tips. I have definitely already started working on heel with her, however of course since it hasn't been too long there are frequent moments where she outpaces me. I then ask her to heel which is not always successful in getting her to slow down to my pace. I also do start to notice that if I keep doing this towards the end of a longer walk, she starts ignoring me more and more and the walks become even more unbearable although I suppose it is my duty to stay strict on stopping every time she walks ahead of me? I definitely understand what you mean, however I was moreso wondering whether I should avoid taking her hiking until her heeling habits are more reliable.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Mon May 16, 2016 4:42 pm

Michelle a half hour hike is fine, however, I would opt for a harness and not a straight leash, too much pulling at the neck can harm pup, and a hike may mean more pulling, I would find an adjustable or a cheaper harness, since she would grow out of it, but I think a harness is more suitable for a hike.
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gretalutsen
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Tue May 17, 2016 11:39 am

MiyasMomma wrote:
Michelle a half hour hike is fine, however, I would opt for a harness and not a straight leash, too much pulling at the neck can harm pup, and a hike may mean more pulling, I would find an adjustable or a cheaper harness, since she would grow out of it, but I think a harness is more suitable for a hike.


Hi, Renee!

Which brand or type of harness do you recommend? Been meaning to get Lutsen one especially for the trails!
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Tue May 17, 2016 2:00 pm

Hey, Greta! I am one of the exceptions to husky ownership, my girls walk and hike off leash. I understand that most members here use a harness, and use them for hiking, I feel they are safer for dogs than a standard leash especially for hiking. Many members use the ruffware...if you use the search it will have some threads about various harnesses. The only thing I can recommend as a for sure is, if you do not believe Lutsen, or for anyone else reading, your puppy is not fully grown, I would not invest in an expensive harness, that may not be able to fit your pup in a month or 2. I wish I could give you more specific info, but I will again say a harness while hiking would be safer than a straight leash for their necks.
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gretalutsen
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Tue May 17, 2016 3:42 pm

MiyasMomma wrote:
Hey, Greta! I am one of the exceptions to husky ownership, my girls walk and hike off leash. I understand that most members here use a harness, and use them for hiking, I feel they are safer for dogs than a standard leash especially for hiking. Many members use the ruffware...if you use the search it will have some threads about various harnesses. The only thing I can recommend as a for sure is, if you do not believe Lutsen, or for anyone else reading, your puppy is not fully grown, I would not invest in an expensive harness, that may not be able to fit your pup in a month or 2. I wish I could give you more specific info, but I will again say a harness while hiking would be safer than a straight leash for their necks.


Shh its a little bit of a secret but...Lutsen has been walking off leash on some of our walks in the woods behind our house. I know its not recommended but so far everything's been fine. Don't really want to bring it up all the time since it sounds like its a taboo subject but... We are not sure that we would test it hiking near our house since it is so steep and he's not used to it yet so I will definitely be getting a harness for him!
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jbealer
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Tue May 17, 2016 6:12 pm

Greta, as a puppy they will be better off leash till they hit about 4 months (see Michelle with the pulling) , and start to become more independent. I would not trust your boy off leash till he is over 3 and you have been keeping up with the training of recall, and hiking.
I hike above treeline off leash with my 2 (no woods with critters to eat and chase) BUT that was after 2yrs of leash hiking and understanding commands and the environment. Keep with the 5 min per month with him and if you want to do longer hikes be ready to carry him for a break, one thing i have learned from my 2 is they will not stop till i do, and that is not always the best thing for them, my girl is a trooper and i have to limit her miles because she will not show pain till we are back at the car and can't jump in.

Michelle, keep up with the walking and training, your pup will be worse in the woods on a hike with the pulling. also start adding in direction with her when you turn corners, that will help hiking and jorring if you do that in the future. i used a prong collar on our boy but he was over a year old at the time. it is much easier to train one to walk well then 2! i just learned to walk faster, to be at their pace so they are not pulling!

as for harness, i love ruffwear but yes wait till they are done growing to buy, i know Renee said to go cheap as they do grow out but just be aware of the connections and make sure they are sturdy and will not break when they do pull to hard. look for one that has a front chest plate hook, that can be used to help them stop pulling.

over all wait till they are over a year to start hiking hard core and make sure your pup has built up their pads so they do not get shredded on the rough ground, booties should always be packed for just in case.

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gretalutsen
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Wed May 18, 2016 12:33 pm

jbealer wrote:
Greta, as a puppy they will be better off leash till they hit about 4 months (see Michelle with the pulling) , and start to become more independent. I would not trust your boy off leash till he is over 3 and you have been keeping up with the training of recall, and hiking.
I hike above treeline off leash with my 2 (no woods with critters to eat and chase) BUT that was after 2yrs of leash hiking and understanding commands and the environment. Keep with the 5 min per month with him and if you want to do longer hikes be ready to carry him for a break, one thing i have learned from my 2 is they will not stop till i do, and that is not always the best thing for them, my girl is a trooper and i have to limit her miles because she will not show pain till we are back at the car and can't jump in.

Michelle, keep up with the walking and training, your pup will be worse in the woods on a hike with the pulling. also start adding in direction with her when you turn corners, that will help hiking and jorring if you do that in the future. i used a prong collar on our boy but he was over a year old at the time. it is much easier to train one to walk well then 2! i just learned to walk faster, to be at their pace so they are not pulling!

as for harness, i love ruffwear but yes wait till they are done growing to buy, i know Renee said to go cheap as they do grow out but just be aware of the connections and make sure they are sturdy and will not break when they do pull to hard. look for one that has a front chest plate hook, that can be used to help them stop pulling.

over all wait till they are over a year to start hiking hard core and make sure your pup has built up their pads so they do not get shredded on the rough ground, booties should always be packed for just in case.



Good advice! So is it safe to assume its a no go on hiking this summer? Lutsen wont be a year until september. In all honesty the hiking I'd be considering for him this year would be the one state park by our house which is pretty flat.
The other areas near our house are a lot steeper so that wouldn't probably be the best for him until he reaches over a year correct?
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Wed May 18, 2016 12:44 pm

The steep is not so bad as much as the time walking...if you keep to the 5 min/month of age limit and are prepared to either sit with him for several breaks or carry him, I think you could do a hike.

I didn't think about the pad thing - Ami's pads are like asphalt so it didn't even occur to me Rolling Eyes
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gretalutsen
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Wed May 18, 2016 12:46 pm

amymeme wrote:
The steep is not so bad as much as the time walking...if you keep to the 5 min/month of age limit and are prepared to either sit with him for several breaks or carry him, I think you could do a hike.

I didn't think about the pad thing - Ami's pads are like asphalt so it didn't even occur to me Rolling Eyes


Hey carrying him would be a killer work out! Haha but yes maybe on a day where we can stop have a picnic of some sorts and then keep at it.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Wed May 18, 2016 1:13 pm

gretalutsen wrote:

amymeme wrote:
The steep is not so bad as much as the time walking...if you keep to the 5 min/month of age limit and are prepared to either sit with him for several breaks or carry him, I think you could do a hike.

I didn't think about the pad thing - Ami's pads are like asphalt so it didn't even occur to me Rolling Eyes



Hey carrying him would be a killer work out! Haha but yes maybe on a day where we can stop have a picnic of some sorts and then keep at it.

That's the spirit! We have a big ol' wooly - in summer when its really hot and humid, we hike in the woods and take lots of sit down water breaks.
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Wed May 18, 2016 1:57 pm

First time I took Mishka hiking, I think she was 10 months (?) not sure on that one but as you know, she's pretty petite so I let her rest A LOT, I still do cuz she can be pretty dramàtic, lol. Anyways, Mishka I *thought* would pull me up the mountain, cuz she was a pulled on walks, so wasnt the case though, haha, lil princess wanted to be carried a lot too! As for harnesses, I have yet to get my two a fitted harness, I'm waiting til they're about 4 or 5 years old, I do however like these Kong harnesses I got them, they have held up really well and are nt that expensive (about $40) and they've never been able to step out or back out of them either Smile
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Wed May 18, 2016 3:20 pm

I've come across a harness that is relatively inexpensive and has the main feature I like - quick release buckles on BOTH sides as well as an extra D-ring near the neck to attach an "oh crap" line to the collar (in case the harness slips off, you're still connected with the dog.) And, yup, me and the color, again...it comes in the light, bright green I want. Some NY H2M2 people on FB have recommended it:

http://www.ctcdoggear-usa.com/#!product/prd1/3351860491/ctc-fleece-shoulder-harness
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gretalutsen
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Wed May 18, 2016 3:27 pm

Love all this feedback!! Is it summer yet?! It's so cute to see Lutsen learning the words "park" and "walk" now. When I say "walk!?" he lets out a little howl...I should video it sometime for you guys! Haha Jimmy don't worry Lutsen is a divo!
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PostSubject: Re: At what age can I take him hiking with me?   Thu May 19, 2016 12:01 am

LOL Greta, I have a similar thing, only with my two it's "walk" or "car" (I think it's part of the whole diva thing, haha, cuz when they hear "car" they're bouncing off the walls to get out the door...can't strain their precious paws walking Razz ) while for the walk, they take their time, go outside to pee, drink some water, etc...takes about 15 minutes to actually get them to the door to get their harnesses on, lol. I'd love to see a Lutsen "woo" video, husky talk is just so endearing!
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