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-   -   Keeping dog safe during hikes/walks (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/basic-care/397737-keeping-dog-safe-during-hikes-walks.html)

Sookie 01-18-2014 07:03 AM

Keeping dog safe during hikes/walks
 
For those who walk their dogs in fields and forests a lot, how do you keep your dog from getting scratched with brambles, thorns or nettles (or even random strands of barbed wire irresponsibly thrown into the undergrowth)? Besides, obviously, keeping her away from noticeable patches of brambles, etc and recalling her when she heads for them, which I do. Is this just a location hazard or is there anything else I can do to reduce the risk? Same question regarding thorns in paws, cut paws from rocks and flints, etc. Thanks in advance!

doggiedad 01-18-2014 07:23 AM

i guess it depends on what's in the woods where you're walking.
you can buy a vest or jacket and there's foot pads/booties.

jocoyn 01-18-2014 07:38 AM

We don't worry about it and we are offlead in the woods a good bit. Usually I am the one that comes back bleeding, not the dog. I just give a good go over when we get home looking for cuts and for the rare one wash and treat accordingly.

They do make hunting vests with belly protection for hunting dogs.

I do have some clotting powder in my first aid kit but have never had to use it. My biggest fear is a coyote trap.

Sookie 01-18-2014 07:40 AM

It's mainly nettles, brambles, thorny trees like blackthorn and random barbed wire that I tihnk are the culprits (not sure why we keep stumbling across so much **** barbed wire but I cut my arm pretty good the other week!). So far the injuries have been to her feet and legs. Nothing serious, but I am looking for precautions. I'm looking at boots now, though not sure how she will tolerate them. I'm just going out with her now so will take some pictures of the area to show you what I mean. Thanks for the reply :)

Sookie 01-18-2014 07:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jocoyn (Post 4855073)
We don't worry about it and we are offlead in the woods a good bit. Usually I am the one that comes back bleeding, not the dog. I just give a good go over when we get home looking for cuts and for the rare one wash and treat accordingly.

They do make hunting vests with belly protection for hunting dogs.

I do have some clotting powder in my first aid kit but have never had to use it. My biggest fear is a coyote trap.

Luckily traps are illegal here, or I would really worry about that. I was just reading some of your posts about tracking - I have so many questions as we are doing some scent work but now I wonder if I've been going about it all wrong. She is always off leash for it and we started with nose to ground rather than air scenting because I read somewhere it is harder to go from air to ground... Is that okay? You probably needs lots more info but I'm just running out the door with her now, thanks in advance!

jocoyn 01-18-2014 08:17 AM

Are you doing search and rescue or sport tracking? What is the goal for the pup. I am going to be out today as well.

Your ID says "was Virginia, not England" Not familiar with the stuff in England but can't imagine it is any more vicious than the brambles in Virigina. I just can't imagine a dog in the woods with foot and leg protection.

Sookie 01-18-2014 10:54 AM

Well, I am more drawn to search and rescue but I don't know if we will ever get anywhere near that far in training. But that type/style of scent work is what I had in mind. It mainly began because it was the only thing that seemed to keep her engaged and wear her out, as opposed to more purely physical pursuits. And it intrigues me and keeps me interested, and I think it has helped us bond.

As for the brambles, I doubt they are worse than the ones back home in Virginia, it's just been a bad week of cuts and thorns in paws, and I didn't know if I was missing some obvious or easy solution to keep her from getting injured. The flints in the fields are really sharp, I don't remember there being such sharp rocks in fields back home. She seems to get more cuts in the woods than previous dogs, maybe because she runs around like a lunatic more...

jocoyn 01-18-2014 11:18 AM

Lunatic dogs seem to get more injuries. Grim knocked out all of his upper incisors on a tree and eventually hurt his back. Beau is crazy but a lot more aware of his foot placement...when he was younger we did more agility stuff and I think that helped though he has run head on into barbed wire.

I would say the safest start with your pup/dog is regular onlead tracking. It will not hurt him down the line for SAR, it will lay a good foundation, help with focus, and you can later go to offlead trailing (or onlead trailing for that matter) or air scent work. But the BEST advice is to connect up with a team there and see how they roll. I have a former teammate over in England with the Air Force who is active in SAR over there.

Sookie 01-18-2014 12:17 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Just lost my really long reply to this.... Argh!

Do you know what county your friend is in? i am in Kent, and from what I've read I need to join the kent search and rescue for one year, get recommendations, then Sookie may be accepted for training. So I may apply to join that this summer. In the meantime I will take your advice and go back to using a long line with scent work - I initially started with this and then because she was so fast I let her off to work - but I can just up my cardio and keep up :)

I'm attaching pics of her paw/leg cuts only because I took them - they aren't bad, although the long one is worse than it looks as it is hidden by her fur. Also, a couple of her and my partner in the woods and fields behind our house that I took today on our walk.

Sookie 01-18-2014 12:20 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Paw 2


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