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Thread: Hiking with my GSD? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-17-2014 09:51 AM
onyxena I regularly do hilly 3-5 mile hikes with my two almost 7 year olds. We've been hiking together for years! I have never had anything tragic happen. I do let them off leash too, but we always practice recall each trip. They aren't 100% but pretty good overall and both are very well socialized so we haven't had any real incidents. Its about the only way my boy Dasher can get anywhere near tired! I have taken him on a few hikes over 7 miles, have done a few over 10. He seems to get tired and more stiff now that hes solidly middle aged, but nothing serious. Plus he seems truly his happiest when on trails with me. Sasha seems to get tired much easier, but keeps up with him just fine. I usually don't take her if im doing a longer hike.
I will be taking my Shiloh puppy on short hikes once he is a few months old, cant wait!
03-16-2014 09:28 PM
Colie CVT My 7 month old did a 6 mile hike yesterday and today we did probably more like 8 miles. Elevation gain and loss, plus terrain that requires thinking to navigate, with plenty of natural water sources available. My nearly 6 year old female has been doing the same since I got her. Longest I have taken her on in a day is a 15 mile loop for the humans. However the dogs to usually at least twice that, and Leia was the most energetic dog of all at the end because she has this trot she can go forever at and is smart about conserving her energy. All her, no real training from me lol.

Long hikes, we bring snacks for the dogs as well as ourselves. We usually put electrolytes into the water at home when we get back and give extra food if it has been a particularly long one. Since it's getting warmer I notice my older dogs are already slimming up from the boost in activity lol. And we do hike in the winter too.

We tend to take breaks to let the dogs hydrate, let ourselves catch our breaths. Generally speaking the dogs are on off leash trails, they go about their business within eye sight, go down to streams when thirsty, etc. We got these water bottles for dogs modeled after small animal bottles that the dogs figured out easily. And my female carries the poo in a backpack lol. Plus extra poo bags and hand sanitizer for the humans. We have the dogs carry their own water, often their own snacks too. We keep full treat bags on hand to give snacks, reinforce staying close/getting off trail for bikers, runners, other hikers.

Few weekends ago we had an impromtu hike down and up some of the foothills without anything to guide us. My 7 month old plugged along with everyone else and up until I got him, I know he was not nearly as active (his breeder however is well aware of the activity level I have and my dogs too). He's done pretty good with everything and while he's a whiner when tired, he won't quit. Nothing more fun than being out in the wilderness with your dogs.
03-16-2014 08:50 PM
dieselpower65 When going hiking with your gsd or any dog, is there anything you can bring with you to help if your dog were to get bit by a rattle snake? Hopefully you will never have to deal with that but a just in case along with a first aide kit. My gsd has the rattle snake vaccine which is supposed to give you a little more time to get them to the vet.
03-16-2014 06:12 PM
gsdsar An adult, orthopedically sound GSD, in proper condition can easily hike 10-15 miles in a day. But you have to work up to it. Can't just start there. LOL.

Make sure to break when needed, have plenty of water and watch for sign of being tired. Have a good first aide kit. I would also bring some electrolyte supplements if you are going on anything longer that 3 hours, on top of regular water.


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03-16-2014 06:02 PM
Cara Fusinato I have taken mine on 5 miles quite a few times and 2.5 miles almost weekly til I tore my knee two summers ago.

Just watch for regulations -- I live near Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park. The dogs are not allowed on trails in the National Parks but the National Forest is fine on leash. We focused on National Forest trails rather than in the parks.

I am hoping this summer I can get back to some walking, but now I will also have limits from my sheltie to think of.
03-16-2014 01:40 PM
dieselpower65 Thanks for all the input i can't wait to take him out on my next hike with me.
03-16-2014 11:37 AM
stmcfred My 6 month old goes hiking with me. I'm sure a 2 and half year old would be fine since he's in good health.
03-16-2014 11:33 AM
RocketDog My dog has been hiking serious mountain trails since he was four months. By the time he was a year old, his breeder was absolutely amazed at the amount of muscle he had put on.

Your dog will be fine. Enjoy.
03-16-2014 01:15 AM
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03-15-2014 07:42 PM
dieselpower65 He has never had any signs of bad hips. He's in good health he gets his check ups as needed. He definitely tells you when he's tired of walking though
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