German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was walking the dogs the other day, Hope always wanting to test the end of the leash, Kaya alternating between walking ahead and hugging my leg..

I'm trying to handle these two polar opposites of dogs, alternate between heeling and "free" time where they can go sniff, and all the while carrying a bag of poop, or two, sometimes three, for a couple of miles and hating it. Always looking for a place to ditch the bag.

Then I had thought to myself, "dude, get a backpack for Hope, let her carry the bags and the poop, it is her poop after all right?"

So a last night on the way home I stop by petco. They had one brand of pack and I got one in the large size for $15. I get home and try it on her and let her wear it around the house. She didn't seem to mind it at all until the strap around the front hung down in front of her legs.

I looked it over, and even though she's 75lbs this thing just doesn't fit. I think she's too narrow, and it was meant for wider chested dogs.

So on the way to training class I stop by petsmart, they have a different brand of pack called Homeward bound. I remember it because it's in big clear logos on both sides...


This time I try it one her in the store. Their large size seems to fit a lot better, the front strap isn't going to hang down in front of her legs, but the saddle bags might be riding a little low. But the only color they have is pink. So I swallow my manly ego and buy a pink saddle bag pack for her, it's not like she is going to mind, and it does make her look less like a scary black german shepherd I suppose.

So this morning is the big day, Hope gets a new job, and I have carried my last bag full of poop around the neighborhood. I put her pack on, put a water bottle in each side for a little weight, treats in one side, and bags in the other. I designate one outside pocket on one side exclusively for poop and bags the way I see it.

And off we go!

I just had the most pleasant walk with these two dogs I have ever had. Having the pack on somehow distracted Hope away from almost all distractions that usually flood her mind, and she paid attention to me better than she ever has. She heeled better, she didn't test the end of the leash as much, and at the slightest tug she looked back at me which I gave her a "good girl" for every time she did.

She wasn't able to bring herself to actually poop while wearing it though, she started to, but stopped and waited until we got home. Kaya however had no such reservations so the pack was broken in. I made the walk twice as long, and even stopped to sit a while and dish out some treats.

She didn't like to sit with it on, would not lay down with it on, but I think she'll get used to it. Hopefully she will retain the more polite walking though. I'm going to try to reward the better walking and better attention lavishly while I can. Woohoo, no more poop bags swinging around while carry them..


So how many people walk their dogs with a pack?

What brand pack is the best? The one I have seem quite prone to slipping over to one side if the saddlebags are loaded with exact equal weight.

I know, I know, I should have posted pics... Will do tomorrow.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,028 Posts
Halo is still too young to wear a pack, but I have one for Keefer, and I LOVE having him carry all the stuff! We go out on 3-4+ mile hikes and he carries the car keys, my cell phone, poop bags, a collapsible water dish, sometimes even my big heavy camera, and I have a couple of awesome Platypus water bottles.

Here's Keef in his pack:



It's a Ruffwear Approach, and it's really nice, and very stable. It has two girth straps and a Y strap on the chest. It's listing slightly towards me in this shot because the camera was in the bag on the far side so almost everything else is in the other bag to balance the weight. You want the pack to ride on the shoulders, not the back, so I've got the front straps cinched all the way to keep it as far forward as possible, and I even brought it to work (we have industrial sewing machines here) and had the Y straps shortened a bit (after this picture was taken). He is 80 pounds and wears a medium.

We get comments all the time, people find it amusing that he's working for his keep. I think it does make a difference with his reactivity too, he seems calmer when he's got a job to do. He doesn't mind sitting or laying down in it either:



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,712 Posts
I've had Jerzey wear a pack on walks as well and I, also, put a water bottle in each side as well as poop bags. You wouldn't believe that crazy looks I've gotten while walking her with her pack on. Lol. People are so weird.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
606 Posts
What an awesome idea!
I also have the poop bag issue, and having it swinging on my arm just wafts the smell closer to my face :)

I have to head out this weekend and get one for Timber....a new training experiment!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,442 Posts
We don't use our pack for normal walks because we live on 74 acres and don't really do leashed walks ... lol ... but we do use them for hiking and they're great. We have a RuffWear Approach now, which is a really nice pack.

Never was a big fan of the Outward Hound packs because the front strap is in such a bad location and the pack weight doesn't sit over the shoulders where it should be - those are huge issues if your dog carries weight for a long period of time. But if you're using it for walks and light carrying (poop bags, keys, etc.) it's fine.

Here's what our pack looks like. (Linked because I will not post photos to this board anymore due to the copyright issue.)
[ K-9's Abby & Ronja ]
[ K-9's Abby & Ronja ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
I have the blue Outward Hound pack for Apollo, and it works okay, but I have noticed that the side bags really do not balance well. I'm thinking about finding him a new pack eventually. I really only put it on him when we go for light walks, and when we walk through Petsmart for socializing. It works great for holding all of those little things hat I would have to juggle in my hands while walking him, and he tends to focus much better when he has the pack on. It makes him feel like he has a job to do, and he is so excited whenever I put the pack on him!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Here's Marshal... I've been thinking of him carrying the "Bag". It can be a hassle switchin' hands and juggling the thing. Besides, I've waved to people with the bag in my had. That can't be polite!

 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,028 Posts
How old should they be before carrying a pack? I love the idea and have never tried it.

I'm waiting until Halo is about a year and a half. She'll be 16 months old on Tuesday, so I actually ordered her pack yesterday and I might have her wear it sooner, but with nothing in it to get her used to the feel.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,028 Posts
Somebody on a email list I'm on got a backpack for her 140# Saint Bernard, so you can definitely find one to fit Chrono. What his his girth measurement?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,388 Posts
Somebody on a email list I'm on got a backpack for her 140# Saint Bernard, so you can definitely find one to fit Chrono. What his his girth measurement?
Not too sure, but the only places I have checked for backpacks are petsmart and petland. They don't seem to carry anything more than a large. :cry:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,028 Posts
Why not order one online? All you need to do is measure his girth and check the sizing chart. The ones at Petsmart aren't the best quality and I don't know what brands Petland carries. This is the one Keefer has: Approach Pack Backpacking Adventure Pack for Canine Hikes - from Ruff Wear. It only goes up to a large too, but that fits a dog that's 48" around. Keefer is 80 pounds, with a girth of 33", and fits easily in a medium.

The Kelty Chuckwagon is another recommended brand: Amazon.com: Kelty Chuckwagon - XL. The XL is basically the same size as the Ruffwear large.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
Both Lloyd and Nash have ruffwear approach packs. A long time ago I had bought Lloyd the outward hound pack and it just sat way to far back to be safe to really put any weight in. The ruffwear ones are nice. I do wish the packs came off the harness like their other one, but I didn't really want the hydration bladder the other one comes with.

Another option if you only want your dog to carry light stuff are Doodie Packs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,423 Posts
I was just thinking about getting a back pack for Benny, He is not quite 11 months so I would not put anything in it, ( except maybe a toy) and just use it on short walks, I want to get him used to it and maybe giving him something to do will calm him down a bit

I want to order the Approach fro Ruff Wear too. Benny's girth is 32 and he is was 80m pounds at last weight check one month ago. The medium should fit him fine now because he sounds like Keefer's size. Is there room for whatever growth Benny has left? Should I order the large?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,028 Posts
Debbie, I think the medium should be fine - it goes up to a girth of 36", and I don't think he'll get 4" bigger around than he is now. He should fill out some, but that seems like an awful lot.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,028 Posts
I ordered Halo's pack on Thursday, it shipped Friday (priority mail from Northern California - $3.21), and it arrived Saturday! I did a photoshoot this afternoon with her modeling her new pack, I'll put up a thread in Pictures. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,442 Posts
Not too sure, but the only places I have checked for backpacks are petsmart and petland. They don't seem to carry anything more than a large. :cry:
Have you tried any hiking/camping stores near you? Not like Gander Mountain or Bass Pro Shops, but like REI, Eastern Mountain Sports, and the like. I've found the Ruff Wear and Kelty packs stocked at those types of stores. I know REI also sells them online, both in their regular store and their outlet store.

Ordering online may be the best way to go if you have difficulty finding the right size, though. If you want a cheaper pack, the Kelty is just under $50. One nice thing about the Kelty is, if the girth strap is too small, you can just go to any place that sells nylon webbing and put a bigger strap. It's very easy to replace. :)

I gave my old Kelty pack away and because I had shortened the strap, I sent a new nylon strap with it for the girth. It worked out just fine. :)
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top