Leo is 4, and weighs 82. When he was 2 we used backpack for walks and we used canned foods, prob totalling about 4lbs, 2 on each side. Since he is older and has a brain now he only wears his pack on hikes to carry his water and leash.
Edited to say we started just with pack, got him used to it. Then gradually worked up to this meager weight. Also, he's a fawn, so we had to watch for chaffing in the straps.
Kyrah is 75lbs & 2yrs old. I started her with just her backpack. Then I put a 20oz bottle of water on each side. She does fine with those. I then added another bottle on each side and was trying to do it while biking and she didnt care for it bouncing on her. But if hiking she doesnt even know its on. I dont use it often. Mainly if I know I may miss some exercise later that day, if we go hiking or on a long outing. So whos getting one? Shoana or Simon?
Just being funny here...my thought / after immediately, reading the thread title:
- senior AMY, can carry the weight of 1/2 a ham sandwich in her mouth / only for a few seconds though
My wife just came home from the "ham shop".
Twice Amy nudged my wifes hand...so some good meats, would end up on the floor.
- happened 10 minutes ago / peed ourselves laughing - she got 2 good pieces, for her effort
when I had gabriel it was never over 5 pounds. He was 70 pounds. One Halloween I put a devil mask on and put devil horns on gabriel. Put his pack on and went trick and treating when I was like 16 years old. Went door to door and everyone loved him and got a kick out of it. So he was carrying my candy and people would put the candyin the pack and then run and brab a treat for him. He really enjoyed himself that night, he probably ended up carrying about 4 pounds of candy >_<
Herb2Relax, I have packs for both of them. Shanoa has been using one for a while and now carries a 3 lb weight on each side of the pack. She's about 68 pounds, and we've worked slowly up to this weight. She's also very conditioned.
Simon is new to the backpack. He has very little muscle tone, from lack of prior exercise, crate rest during heartworm treatment, and age. I'm hoping slowly building up some weight in a pack will help him develop some more muscle, which he really needs. He's about 85 lbs.
I think I remember being told the rule that a dog (who is fit and used to it) can carry 25% of their body weight. I've never had my dogs carry even near that much, but I"m not sure how much it is normally - depends on the trip. I've rarely had to have them carry water, most of the time we find trips where there is a source if we're doing an overnighter. I don't usually have them wear packs for day trips unless I need him to carry extra water specifically.
I usually have them carry their own food (I use dehydrated which is lighter and you can pack more), collapsible bowl, a copy of the map in a ziploc bag (easy access) and maybe his own fleece if it will fit. Frankie of course never had to carry a fleece.