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 Age you can start hiking your pup?

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WolvenSight
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PostSubject: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:47 am

What is a good age you can start hiking your dog? Mine is 5 months old now and I have done short hikes with her but around what age can I bring her out to the long trails/big peaks here in CO?
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jbealer
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:32 pm

Well ours were "of age" when we started so its hard to say, i would just stick to the 1yr guide with little weight in the pack and work from there, just keep up the short hikes with her for now. and buy short how many miles/hrs are you going and what do you hope to do with her? CO is a great place to have a husky Smile

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WolvenSight
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:25 pm

Hey thanks! For now she has only been to St. Mary's Glacier a few times with my neighbor and his malamute. It is about a 15 minute hike up to. When she is old enough I plan to take her for the long trails and peaks in CO, similar to most of the posts in this section. Looks amazing!
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Rocio_Caballero
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:23 pm

I'd like to bring this topic back out again lol.

So Lycus will be 1 year old next week and I wanted to take him hiking. Do you guys think it is a bit early for him to start? The trail wouldn't be too long but I'm unsure if it's ok.
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jbealer
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:52 pm

now would be a good time to start, how long is the trail compared to what your normal walks are, is it much longer? start with just walking with him and an empty pack or no pack at all. then work your way up from that, i can tell you these dogs are troopers and never show a sign of pain so keep an eye on him and turn back if you think its been to long, keep an eye on his speed and how much room there is on his stride. when S&J get tired they slow down and when they walk they dont touch front paw to back anymore. but that only happens on like 8+ mile trips! let us know how it goes

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Heather!
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:08 pm

.... I took Rogue hiking at 4 months, and snowshoeing at 6. I don't really follow "the rules," haha.
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Rocio_Caballero
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:02 am

It wouldn't be very long. Maybe about 3miles or so. Thanks for the tips guys! I'll start with a super light pack, hopefully I can get a chance to take him!
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xredrainx
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:07 pm

Started at 6 months just around local conservation areas, nothing to intense.
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Danzig's Mommy
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:46 pm

In my opinion,as long as they are voice controlled it shouldn't matter too much. Ours are good enough to be off leash, so we take them to trails this is allowed.
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K9_Eric
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:32 pm

The general rule is to not start pushing your dog's physical limits with running and hiking and such until they are about a year old.

That being said, I brought Soshanna up Mt. Pugh, which is about 6 miles, and back down the same in one day when she was 12 weeks old. When she tuckered, id let her sleep a couple hours, or let her curl up on the top of my pack and hike on. I didn't force her, but greatly encouraged her to want to go on long hikes her entire life.

Mixie is of a bit larger stock, and at 14 weeks, she went up Fourth of July Creek trail to Icicle Ridge. She spent a lot more time being carried, but still made the hike, and was continually encouraged to walk long hikes.

Panzer was 10 months old when I got her, the first time I walked her, we went 2 miles before she even calmed down, and her daily walk now, along with the other two, is a 5k loop trail.

So, I mean, they can start early, you just have to be extremely attentive to their well-being.
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jalepeno
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:29 pm

And don't forget to watch their paws.
When they are young, their paws don't have thick calluses.
Sharp rocks can cut.
So, booties need to go in the pack.
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SolitaryHowl
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:38 pm

I wouldn't put a pack on them...that's just extra weight on their growing joints.

Maybe I'm just overly paranoid and cautious after experiencing Suka's joint problems, but I would hold off on the backpack until he's almost 2 years old. And I wouldn't push him, even if he doesn't seem tired.

I also wouldn't never let them off leash, even if they do seem to listen to your voice. A friend of mine lost her husky because she thought he was the 'exception' because he always came when called. One day he saw an animal in the woods, ran off after it, and she never saw her boy again.

A lot of people think their huskies are the 'exception', which is sad because in the end its the dog that ends up paying the price.
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Jenny_and_Juneau
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Wed May 08, 2013 3:53 am

Juneau started off doing small hikes (roundtrip under 3 miles, on relatively flat, soft ground) when he was 8 weeks old and loved it. These dogs love the outdoors and exercise, so I can't see waiting a year. In fact, I would think that waiting too long for weight-bearing exercise could be detrimental to bone density, as is seen with people.

I have gradually increased the length and intensity of our hikes, but haven't used a pack on him yet (he's still only 5.5 months). I do allow him off-leash the majority of the time, which I know most husky owners don't recommend. I am still conflicted on the issue. Juneau's current GPS (Tagg) won't help in the wilderness (it works well in suburbia though), so maybe one of those GPS systems used for hunting dogs would ease my mind. There's probably a thread for that here somewhere!
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dahowlers
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Wed May 08, 2013 10:19 am

I have a question! Since my sister and I aren't doing our yearly camping trip, a friend of mine and I are going backpacking instead, shortly before Snoopy turns 14 months. I wanted Snoopy to carry his own food (three days worth) and some water, but would that be to much weight for him for his age? The longest stretch he would go is I believe the 8 miles walk back to the car on the third day.
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Mobezilla
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Wed May 08, 2013 12:41 pm

I also agree with what has been said a few months ago to wait on the pack until at least 1-2 years old. In my opinion, just waiting a year for your husky's joints to form in place, and you can save a life time of damage. Mine did 30 minute hikes at 6 months, and now up to hour hikes at 9 months. The hikes weren't too strenuous, and I tried to stay on flatter ground the whole time.
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Mobezilla
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Wed May 08, 2013 12:43 pm

@dahowlers wrote:
I have a question! Since my sister and I aren't doing our yearly camping trip, a friend of mine and I are going backpacking instead, shortly before Snoopy turns 14 months. I wanted Snoopy to carry his own food (three days worth) and some water, but would that be to much weight for him for his age? The longest stretch he would go is I believe the 8 miles walk back to the car on the third day.

I don't think it would be too much, I would just go on short hikes between now and then and slowly increase the weight so he doesn't go from carrying like one pound to ten pounds suddenly.
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dahowlers
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Wed May 08, 2013 12:52 pm

Thanks, and good idea. Once his backpack comes in I'm going to start conditioning us to walk the distance with some weight. Twice around my block is eight miles and I wanna slowly start building us up to it. I'm still new to the whole puppy thing and not sure what's appropriate activity for them, and I've never used a dog backpack before either.
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pierody
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Wed May 08, 2013 1:58 pm

i took my dogs hiking at 3 months, i mean they took me hiking lol they love it. we are rebels we dont follow rules hahahah
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Mobezilla
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Wed May 08, 2013 2:03 pm

To me, its not about 'rules'. It's about the health of your dog. There's nothing wrong with hiking at a young age, as long as its done in moderation and doesn't over-strain the pup. However I will always firmly believe in being careful in not over-working your pup at too young an age.
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jbealer
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Wed May 08, 2013 4:05 pm

Just remember that you should NEVER make the pack heaver then 25% of the dogs weight and that's if you have conditioned them UP to that weight and they will not be doing more then walking a trail (like: climbing rocks jumping over things and hard areas) a dogs back pack should be closer to 15% of their body weight.
so sierra at 46lbs carries around 7lbs
jack at 57lbs carries around 9lbs
the 1lt of water weighs around 2lbs so right there you have a good 4lbs in the pack all ready not including the food.
im with Megan you really should not go over board till the dog is full grown, its fine to work them up to things but going max weigh should wait.

Being a hiker i have to also condition MYSELF to carry some of the dogs stuff along with all my stuff. i pack 3 lts of water and first aid kit and much more to the point my pack can get to 20lbs, now that sierra is older i will be carrying her water this yr so I have to work harder and get use to the added weight in my pack now. so im also carrying about 15% of my body weigh as well.

as much as you all want to get out there and have fun just wait on the harder stuff. thats the one perk to adopting older dogs, no need to wait!

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cinnamonbits
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Wed May 08, 2013 4:33 pm

Quote :
Juneau started off doing small hikes (roundtrip under 3 miles, on relatively flat, soft ground) when he was 8 weeks old and loved it. These dogs love the outdoors and exercise, so I can't see waiting a year. In fact, I would think that waiting too long for weight-bearing exercise could be detrimental to bone density, as is seen with people.
Actually adding weight to early is the biggest issue, as the joints are still developing. This is not about bone density, this is about joints. There was a sheltie at the shelter who had such bad hip joints she couldn't even get over a curb, you had to pick her up. I don't mind waiting another four months before adding weight to Karli. We can just hike with me carrying everything right now.
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dahowlers
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Wed May 08, 2013 6:53 pm

Thanks for the weight reminder Jennifer! But now I have another question: Out of shape, Snoopy weighs 55 pounds, so 15% would be 8 pounds. Since he's a puppy, should I cut that weight in half or see how he carries it as I slowly add weight on?
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jbealer
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Wed May 08, 2013 7:15 pm

i would NOT start off at the 15% you need to work up to that and still being young i would say max at maybe 10% for the next few months. i would start with nothing in the pack so he gets used to wearing it (if you have done that skip that part) then get 2 water bottles (one on each side of the pack) and fill them just a little bit and every week add more water to it till in a month or longer you have him at the 10%. keep in mind that as you use the water or food in the pack the weight will decrease so once you have him trained at his max he will be fine carrying it as it may not be for that long of a time. since i have both S&J, Jack carries more weigh longer because since sierra is older i try to use the little water and food she is holding first. since i am now also carrying the rest of the water she would be carrying as i use up jacks water i replace it with the water i am holding so my pack gets lighter. some times if we are going over 6+ miles i do tend to hold on to the weight longer and just use up all that the pups are carrying so they can make it to the end. if its under 6miles jack will carry his full pack the whole time. Just think of it as distance training, we work out to build up our endurance we need to do the same with the dogs. Jack was tired after our 6miles sunday and that told me i got to up his pack training as it had been a month since we were last out. even with them hiking yr round i never max the pack weights out on them, i pick up the slack if we need extra water and such. and remember to have fun!

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dahowlers
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Wed May 08, 2013 10:31 pm

I was planning on having him just wearing the pack for about a week and then slowly adding weight in week increments, while also slowly increase distance. I'll remember to keep him under 10% though. You mentioning that Jack gets tired with his pack maxed going more than 6 miles I'll have to carry some of Snoopy's weight after the first day. Thankfully we don't have to bring enough water for the whole trip because they have water stations close to the rest shelters. Thanks for the help!
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jbealer
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PostSubject: Re: Age you can start hiking your pup?   Thu May 09, 2013 1:12 am

Just keep up the training till the trip. Will you be gaining elevation or is it more of a flat distance trip? We tend to gain a lot of elevation so that works them harder. Its also the start of our season so jack needs to work back up to his max. Its good you don't have to carry all the water!

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