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Old 09-05-2009, 06:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Snowshoeing and Backpacking With Your GSD

OK!

DH and I have been wayyyy too lazy the last year and a half considering we renovated our entire house and planned our wedding. But now that knocking down walls, redoing electrical, and ripping out cabinets is done....we're getting bored! OK, DH does need to finish the fence, but overall, we're itching to get back into (for me) some serious hiking and camping.

Obviously, the spring/summer/fall stuff is pretty straight-forward. I'm comfortable taking Elsa along as long as I know there isn't any 8 ft. rock walls that need to be scaled on the hike.

However, winter activities are a bit new to me for overnighters. I grew up cross country skiing and snowshoeing with our family dogs, but we never did any overnight trips with them. DH and I want to do that this winter. We won't go to extreme--if lows are projected to be less than about 0 to 10F overnight we'll pass for the weekend. We're not talking -20 to -40 nights here. Basically, if our 0 degree bags don't cut it, we're wimping out.

So, I'm HOPING that some of you have done this and can give some helpful pointers and suggestions on winter overnights with the pups.
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Old 09-05-2009, 09:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Snowshoeing and Backpacking With Your GSD

Brrr! I love xc and love taking my dogs for it but we come home at night or atleast to a warm hotel room! There's only one place I can think of that allows dogs on groomed trails - Norsk in NH. Back country skiing, anything goes. I recommend telemark skis and no poles if you're holding the leash of a young shepherd. Harness for dog so they don't pull on their neck.
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Old 09-06-2009, 09:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Snowshoeing and Backpacking With Your GSD

Yeah, we probably won't be able to ski with her for awhile until she's reliable off-lead completely because that would be really hard to coordinate. But snowshoeing should be easy. She's gotten great on the training lead when we're out hiking. We used it as a "guide" for her to learn exactly how far away from us is acceptable (by using a slight correction and saying "wait"). Yesterday, she only hit the end of the leash twice trying to go a little ahead. The rest of the times, she's go about 15 ft in front of us, stop, and wait until we got up to her, then go ahead again. But she really has gotten the hang of and seems to enjoy checking in on us. I was lagging a bit behind at one point so I wouldn't step on the loops of the leash, and she kept checking in with dad up front and then waiting for me--with a very concerned look on her face as if to say "how come you're so far back, mom?! I don't like it one bit!"
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Old 09-06-2009, 09:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Snowshoeing and Backpacking With Your GSD

You might want to get her some boots too, so that she doesn't cut her feet up on the ice. It's not wimpy - even sled dogs wear them. Ruffware makes a nice set we've been looking at.
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Old 09-06-2009, 11:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Snowshoeing and Backpacking With Your GSD

*cough* we call that frozen granular in yankee territory.

It sounds like with a little more training, she'd be fine to ski with. Morgan was an august pup so she'd have been about 16 months when she started skiing (she's a rescue too got her at 6 months old). She's always been great to go with - once her harness came undone and she stopped immediately when she didn't feel it pulling her back. If there's a trail, she just focuses on running in the rut and off we go. Luther, he was a problem skiing wiht on leash, he'd be blasting along and suddenly TURN to go sniff something. He ended up either not going or being off lead.
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Snowshoeing and Backpacking With Your GSD

I'm a southern girl so no real experience with winter camping and dogs, but have you thought about skijoring ? I have always wanted to do that! I we ever move anywhere with real winters, that's the first thing I'm getting into. For now it's just me and my scooter.
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Snowshoeing and Backpacking With Your GSD

Quote:
Originally Posted By: SunCzarina*cough* we call that frozen granular in yankee territory.

It sounds like with a little more training, she'd be fine to ski with. Morgan was an august pup so she'd have been about 16 months when she started skiing (she's a rescue too got her at 6 months old). She's always been great to go with - once her harness came undone and she stopped immediately when she didn't feel it pulling her back. If there's a trail, she just focuses on running in the rut and off we go. Luther, he was a problem skiing wiht on leash, he'd be blasting along and suddenly TURN to go sniff something. He ended up either not going or being off lead.
I'm from Michigan.
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Snowshoeing and Backpacking With Your GSD

I am going to start training Dozer for Skijoring soon. Going to start with roller blades and bicylce. I love to ski anyway so it will be fun.

I brought Scooter (my Cairn) snowshoeing alot last winter. I got him boots and a little jacket (made by Ruffwear). I am sure GSDs would be fine without the jacket but Scooter is little and not nearly as thick of a coat.

I always come home at night, there is NO WAY I am sleeping outside overnight, especially when I live so close to the trails...
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Snowshoeing and Backpacking With Your GSD

Quote:
Originally Posted By: DozerI am going to start training Dozer for Skijoring soon. Going to start with roller blades and bicylce. I love to ski anyway so it will be fun.
My trainer raises Huskies and Mals and participates in Skijoring. I have seen it done and it looks like a lot of fun. I have seen her and her dogs compete and it is quite exciting!

I think Stark and I will be doing this once he is older as well.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Snowshoeing and Backpacking With Your GSD

The person who is going to help me train actually trains Mals, they have top sled team in the country and their dogs were featured in a Disney movie and in the AKC breed books and videos.

It will be fun I hope!

There is also a race in NH that the dogs pull bicycles, I have not seen that but it sounds interesting.
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