Trail Dogs

The Community Bicyclist
Hobo standing guard at camp.
Hobo standing guard at camp.

I’m trying to train our dog to run with me (she’s trying to train me to run more). So far she thinks that we are playing for the first quarter mile or so, tugging on the leash, running back and forth in front of me and sniffing at every drain, tree, hydrant and sign post we come to. Eventually she calms down and gets into a steady pace. We still have work to do but she’s getting better.

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We have taken her on a couple of hikes but have been keeping her on the leash for most of the time since it is hunting season and I’m not sure I fully trust her yet. She’s got a mischievous look in her eye. She has made one overnight trip and did great. We let her sleep in the tent and she slept through the night with no problem.

Do you hike or run with a dog? Do you bike with a dog? What kind of dog do you have? Hobo, pictured above is pure American mutt, a rescue that has become part of the family.

Expedition Ozark
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6 Responses

  1. I have gone on some hiking and geocaching trips with my dog. She’s a little West Highland White Terrier. She really has never gotten to where the hike is about is normally always about her. I mean we do the hike but at a slow pace as she has to explore everything. And she is never off her leash. I do not trust her at all. LOL!

    We just rescued a Westie from the shelter in Maumelle who also is not trustable off leash, but who I think will love hiking. I just think I will have trouble with them both at the same time, so I will need to be hiking with a friend to take them both along.

  2. I’ve never taken a dog on a hike, but a couple of weeks ago I dropped my daughter off for a training run at the state park with a half a dozen friends in the 14 – 18 age group In the parking lot right where the trail started there were three women trying their hardest to control three very large, very excited dogs: a german shepherd, a wieimeraner, and a bull mastiff. At the same time there were some boy scouts (pre-teen) there getting ready for their hike. Unfortunately the dogs were very not being controlled well and freaked out all of the above mentioned kids and adults. For some reason they decided to change leashes on two of the dogs, and one got loose which made people dive for their cars. My daughters group decided to run in a different location, and the boy scouts also made a change of venue.

    I think training a dog for trail running/hiking is great, but I’m not sure I’d ever advocate for taking a dog off a leash unless you’re in a location that you’re not going to run in to many other people. Even when a dog is well trained, I just think some people are scared of dogs.

    1. Sounds like they had more dog than they could handle. I’m a firm believer in dogs being trained to be in public if that’s where you are going to have them. They can be unpredictable but properly trained they can be wonderful companions. The problem comes in when people get “trophy” dogs “like the one they saw in a movie” and don’t understand the needs of the dog. Hobo goes a little crazy without exercise hence the morning run.

  3. We hike, backpack and run with our dog. He’s right at a year old and a total rescue mutt found on the street. He’s been to two dog training classes and my wife has put hours and hours into working with him.

    His recalls are excellent, he learns quickly and will even recall to a whistle. He likes to be between my wife and I, otherwise he tends to float between us which can be a pain for the other humans on the hike.

    He spent 11 nights out last year and hiked 45 miles. When backpacking, he carries his own pack with food, water, toys and a long leash. I carry his sleeping pad (part of an old Z-rest) and my wife carries his leash in case we have a need to put it on him.

    He prefers to hike off leash and he totally lacks a prey drive so he never runs off after squirrels. Him hiking off leash is actually easier for us too since he tends to hike uphill faster than we hike.

    Working with him makes a huge difference in how he behaves… if we’ve been walking and running him then leaving the house to hike or walk involves a lot less pulling on the leash and other annoying behaviors.

    We recently found out that he seems to really like climbing rocks too. You know the big rocks in the “Bear Cave” area of Petit Jean? You know how to get to the top of some of them using the little ledges (presumably) cut by the CCC? He gets up and down them without any help from us. I was impressed considering we had just helped my sister-in-law up one of them (c:

  4. I have taken my Rottweiler camping and floating in the past. He is well trained and obedient, but is too big to go very far. My husky can go all day, but her fur is a pain to get crap out of. The next dog I get will be a short haired, medium-sized mutt that can run all day. 🙂

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