Would you take your dogs? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Would you take your dogs?

I'm planning out my backpacking trips for this coming year and will be doing the La Cloche Silhouette trail in Killarney Provincial Park at the start of May.

I've done the trail before, but that was before I had dogs.

We will be doing approx. 85k (old literature says the trail is 100k, which is incorrect) in 4 days.

I will likely be soloing the trip though it is possible I will have a friend along.

There will be a couple of steep sections, including as I recall one section where you have to drop down to ledges below.

I could probably drop the dogs down using their harnesses and rope/their leashes.

Would you take the dogs? I don't need to decide yet, but I'm unsure what to do.

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 12:43 PM
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Re: Would you take your dogs?

I have some pretty good trails in my mind that I want to take Stark on this summer as well.

None include dropping a dog though, I couldn't do it on my own. There are some steep rock ledges though but I am confident we can manuver them.

I say, go for it!

What a bonding time that will be!

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 12:46 PM
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Re: Would you take your dogs?

Well, if they can do the hike without any more danger than you, I say take 'em. I'm an absolutely HUGE proponent of taking your dogs everywhere we can. Not just for the socialization, but for the bonding as well. Part of the reason Bear's SO well behaved is the fact he's with me anywhere he can be.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Would you take your dogs?

Thanks! I'm 95% for taking them, but I am worrywart!

Both dogs have hiked and backpacked in the park before, and negotiated some tricky sections of the trail.

It really is just the drop down I'm worried about.

What trails are you thinking of doing with Stark?

edit: DrDoom, I agree about hiking with dogs - they love it! And it is great bonding....I'm leaning more and more towards taking them

Teagan RIP
Luc 15.5 yo GSD
Neb, husky/terrier/lab? X, DOB 18.4.2008
Xerxes, beagle, ~3yo
Cats Mitch RIP; Lear RIP; Esme RIP; Timothy and Cordelia
Nikolai & Eco the bunny couple extraordinaire RIP
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 01:04 PM
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Re: Would you take your dogs?

Not sure if you've been to the Adirondacks, but Elsa has done some of the High Peaks with us. Algonquin through Avalanche Pass was the most challenging (a lot of big boulders that which we had to maneuver her like you describe...only a lot of time was UP).

The only thing I'd recommend is just making sure that you can actually do the repelling with the dogs like you are describing. There we a few areas that we had to lift Elsa up by the handle on her pack, and I can see some dogs throwing a fit (she didn't). However, going down is definitely easier than going up over...and I think dogs are more capable with jumping down and/or finding an easier way than we give them credit for.


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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 01:10 PM
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Re: Would you take your dogs?

I would want to take my dog with me too. BUT! If there are some really steep sections you're worried about, do rig up some kind of tie line or something to them in case they slip. I spoke to a breeder that kept track of all her dogs. I remember her sadly recalling one dog that was very sweet, but it slipped while hiking and fell off a small cliff...didn't make it.

As for the lowering down part... I would say be careful. Only you can judge... I wouldn't trust Ruby not to wiggle and freak out. Or just be plain scared- she doesn't like elevators ...lowering on ropes would not be fun for her.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 01:17 PM
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Re: Would you take your dogs?

I had to drop my 90 lb gsd when I was hiking on the AT in Maine. I used her pack harness and leash but I had help. I also had to get her up a bunch of ladders and definitely needed help for that.

She had severe bilateral HD and was out there packing so I say go for it if you are confident you can maneuver them on your own!

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Would you take your dogs?

Thanks guys!

We have done some hiking in the Adirondacks (edit: I believe Haystack Mtn - ??? - was one hike), around Lake Placid (down for the Ironman). Luc has come with me, Neb wasn't on that trip.

I think I can do it on my own, definitely if I have friends along. Neb will most certainly be on leash for a lot of sections so he doesn't fall, and Luc will too.

Luc has hiked (on leash) up (edit: and down) this, which is part of the trail we'll be doing and which I'm comfortable taking them down:




Teagan RIP
Luc 15.5 yo GSD
Neb, husky/terrier/lab? X, DOB 18.4.2008
Xerxes, beagle, ~3yo
Cats Mitch RIP; Lear RIP; Esme RIP; Timothy and Cordelia
Nikolai & Eco the bunny couple extraordinaire RIP
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 01:26 PM
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Re: Would you take your dogs?

That sounds like a great time! Since youre an experienced hiker, I say go for it.

"A dog is the only thing on earth that will love you more than you love yourself." ~ Josh Billings
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 02:04 PM
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Re: Would you take your dogs?

85 k in 4 days - wow.

We did the Algonquin 34 k trip in 3 days about 5 years ago and that was enough for us.

You could always try it out at Mount Nemo or part of the Limehouse hike on the Bruce Trail. If I remember right there is a ladder there and areas where you could try the drop down.

I'd say take them with you.

We did a small day trail in Killarney this summer. Beautiful there.
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