Introducing GSD to backpack - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Introducing GSD to backpack

First of all, my apologies if I posted this in the wrong place - this seems to fit into multiple categories.

I have a 10 month-old GSD named Tazer, who - typical to his age - is full of energy; of which I run out of long before he does. So I'm getting a backpack to help get more energy-drainage out of our walks.

I ordered one of the Ruff Wear Approach packs and got a medium after reading some posts on here saying that the larges were too big around the chest for GSDs. Well, I should've known better - Tazer is already a couple inches higher and longer than the breed standard, and the medium I ordered doesn't leave ANY room for his chest to fill out. So I'll be exchanging it for a large.

For the few seconds I had it on him to check the size, I was feeding him treats and petting him, etc. trying to keep him in a good mood; but he was still turning and trying to bite the pack. He has a mouthing/biting problem in general, but that's another post.

So is there a recommended way to introduce a backpack? Or is it just basically feed them treats to help create a positive association and/or walk them with it on to get them used to it? I've been searching for info on this and can't seem to find anything... Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 08:44 PM
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shilo was fine with it right away but youv got the idea make it positive and hove it around alot so its not a "wierd object" haha

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 08:58 PM
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AbbyK9 from this board has a wonderful blog and some really great info on dogs and backpacks ( Abby K-9 )

-Brandi


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to both of you for the quick reply! And I'll have to check out that blog - thanks for the referral. :-)
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 09:31 PM
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He's still young, so be careful about putting much weight on him. Halo wore her backpack empty for a couple of months until she was a year and a half old. I basically just wrestled her into it, and then took her on a training walk. She stands pretty still to have it put on....once I catch her! She'll do some evasive action around the house, and then once it's on she puts on a "poor pitiful me" look while I get it adjusted and loaded up, but I'm immune to it, and I know she loves going on walks.

You could also try playing with him - if he likes to tug or chase balls, for example, anything to create an association between the pack and fun times. Keefer gets very excited when I pull his pack out because most of the time I'm taking Halo out for walks since she's still in training. He loves his "mommy and me" time, so he's happy to wear it, but it can be more difficult to get it on him while he's jumping around doing his little dance.

-Debbie-
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Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Oh don't worry, I'm not planning on loading it up right away - probably just a couple water bottles for the time being. He's mostly black and gets hot easily (since darker colors absorb more heat), so I don't want to overdo it. But thanks for the reminder *thumbs up*

You all are very helpful, just sayin' :-P
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 09:44 PM
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Have you looked into the refillable Platypus bottles? They work great, and since they're so flexible and lightweight they fit well in the packs without a lot of bulk. I bring one for the dog and one for me (you'd probably want to start with the .5 liter size, I use the 1 liter), and I fill mine up about 1/3 full and leave it in the freezer, then fill it up the rest of the way before walks. It can get warm, especially if we're going out for a couple of miles up and down rolling hills, and it's really nice to have some cold refreshing water.

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
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