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Hello everyone!

Im wanting to go hiking on one of the many hiking trails here, and all but one allow dogs. So of course I want to bring my buddy with me, but I'm not really a hiker and know next to nothing about hiking with a dog. So .. I come to you with questions! What are some things I should know/prepare for when hiking with my doberbud? Here are some things I've already prepared for:

1. Water. I have a collapsable bowl for Zeus and a camelback for myself.
2. Shoes. I bought a pair of hiking boots because when reading the reviews of the trail I'm wanting to try, most said that hiking boots would be better than tennis shoes/sneakers because the trail is sandy.
3. Hat and shades. For myself. Nothing for Zeus.
4. Poop bags
5. Sunblock and bug spray. For me, not Zeus.

The trail is a 2.2 mile long loop with petroglyphs to view. The website has it listed as "easy to moderately strenuous", and there is also a link that gives advice about bringing pets. Most are common sense stuff (keep your dog on a leash, clean up after your pet, etc) but it also mentioned dog boots because the sand gets hot in the summer. I have boots for Zeus but he hasn't worn them enough for him to not do that weird walk thing when he has them on. But since it gets so hot here so quickly, my plan is to go in the morning when the parking lot opens at 8am. It's usually in the mid 70's at that time. Do you think he should still wear boots? I figured by the time we're done, it'd be in the low 80s. I'm not very familiar with sand and how quickly it takes to heat up.

Anything else I'm missing? He has a cooling vest, but I'm not sure if it'd be necessary with the morning temps not being sweltering. I'm terrified of him getting into something he shouldn't, or some wildlife biting him (aka rattlesnakes!) but the website made it seem like if you keep your dog on the trail and not let him wander, there shouldn't be any issue. Any tips are welcome!
 

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Direct sunlight can heat a dobe up quite a bit even when the air temp isn't that high. They don't have any undercoat to protect their skin...whatever temp his outer coat is in the sun is what it will be right up against his skin. And my black dogs got almost hot to the touch in the sun.

If you're starting in the morning, the sand will be as cool as it's going to get. I figure that if you can walk comfortably in the sand barefoot (without feeling like your feet are burning) he should be able to too. Check the sand with your hands too to keep track of how hot it is getting. But remember that one of the major places dogs sweat to keep cool is through their feet, and dogs aren't as efficient at keeping cool as people are. If you're feeling hot, he may be quite uncomfortable. It would be a good idea to get him used to booties and have him wear those on the hike, just so his feet aren't in contact with that overheated sand.

Sand heats up, and is also more tiring to walk on than an ordinary packed dirt trail. Be prepared for a more strenuous hike for the distance than you would expect.

Bring along extra water, in a water bottle or two, not just for him to drink, but so you can wet him down from time to time...his ears, tummy, areas where his fur is thin, and where there is a lot of blood supply to his skin. And also along his back where it is hot in the sun. It might even be a good idea for you to dunk his feet in a little water from time to time if you feel like he's looking uncomfortably hot. You could also bring along a plastic baggy with a few wet washcloths in it---store it overnight in the fridge, or even put some ice cubes in it before you start, just so you can cool him down more easily.

Hiking and dobes go well together, but they do seem to poop out in the sun fairly quickly, in my experience. Test him out on walks around your neighborhood first to see what kind of temps and distances he's comfortable with before heading out into the "wilderness".

And bring your cell phone. :)
 

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I love hiking with my dogs and it's always good to have extra water. I also fill my camelback up about half way and freeze it over night and then fill it up in the morning before I leave. Same with any extra water I bring.

Depending how long the trail is and how much sun is on the trail I may have my dog wear a pack so that they can haul their own water.


When I'm doing a 14er I don't put my dogs in boots because they need to be able to grip but I put Mushers Secret on their feet before, during and after to prevent friction between the toes and protect the paws. Anytime you do a long hike it's a good idea to check their feet.

One thing you didn't mention was a safety pack. Anytime you go hiking there's a chance you could get lost. In a big Ziploc bag I keep a garbage bag (to be used to protect from the sun, from the rain and to keep in warmth), matches (to start a fire), a tiny flashlight, a tiny first aid kit (travel size Neosporin, a few bandaids, a wrap and something that can be used as a tourniquet), I keep Kleenex bc my nose always runs or if nature calls, hand sanitizer, sun block and chapstick. I'm sure there's other things that I'm missing but that's off the top of my head.

Oh and I always bring flip flops to change into after the hike is over. If you have new hiking shoes BREAK THEM IN, and be prepared that you may need bandaids after longer hikes.
 

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About the only hiking I do now is from my chair to the fridge to get a beer , tried only once , I clapped my hands and said woman get me a beer , after afew days in the hospital and I didn t try that any more :grin2::grin2::grin2: btw , just kidding .

I would say to learn your area , like any weeds , critters , bugs that may do harm to Zeus or yourself , being your not from that area . When I take the dog s for a walk , they want to smell or try and eat things .

After reading some of the posts on here about big cats and bears , maybe some personal protection , be it in a can or maybe your husbands M-16would be a nice choose :grin2:

Maybe a first aid kit. In your back pack , sorry , can’t remember the name , it’s a pill you can give Zeus if he eats a bee or if you get stung .

TN is the hiker on here , give him a. Buzz

Remember —- pictures :grin2:
 

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I definitely agree with Gretchen - pack a first aid kit for both of you. You can buy some nice first aid kits for dogs that are small and compact and have dog-specific items. I have one I always carry in my car in addition to the people first aid kit.

Bring more water than you think you need. Make sure both of you stay hydrated, and you can use water to keep him cool. Like Mel said, black dogs get hot VERY fast in the sun. Make sure you know the signs of heat stroke.

I would definitely be prepared that Zeus should wear boots - in the hot desert sand there's a good chance his feet will burn, even in the early morning. Better not to risk it. Get him used to wearing his boots.
 

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So... Hiking with Dobes....

I have hiked hundreds, if not thousands of miles with Dobermans. Mostly with our boy Butcher (RIP).

Always carry food and water for the dog. Butcher carried his own in a pack. We always carried booties, but rarely had to use them.

We generally hiked in what was designated "wilderness", so we tended to be over prepared.
Plus we tend to hike at a higher elevation. In the middle of summer we chose shaded trails with lake or river access along the way

Butcher was rarely on leash on these ventures. So, a 5 mile walk for us was a 25 mile run for him. Up and back... Up and back... Up and back.

My recent physical issues have limited my ability to do aggressive back country hiking, but I hope to get back into it this summer at our cabin in Montana with McCoy.

John
Portland OR
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow, thank you all! I didn't even think of first aid kits for me and Zeus. That's first on my "to get" list. Snacks as well, especially if we ever end up doing a "real" hike in the mountains! This was a short one I think, in comparison to what I believe wilderness hiking is. I actually ended up going this morning because I had my mind set on it. Had my Camelbak and water bottles for Zeus. Sunblock, bugspray, hat, shades. I didn't bring his boots, and I don't think we'll end up needing them if we continue going in the early morning. I felt the sand at the beginning of the walk, and it was cool to the touch. It was warm by the end, but not hot. But I know if I go any later than 8am, he'll need them. He was on his leash the whole time, which was required (this trail is part of a National Monument) and I felt better having him on leash anyway because there were a lot of wildlife that I'm sure he would've liked to chase. Mostly lizards and rabbits. But there were rattlesnake warning signs at the entrance and I would've hated for him to run up on one of those, so I kept him close. And there were these centipede-looking insects along the trail. No clue what they were or if they were dangerous, so I made sure to steer him away from those!

Other than my paranoia about random bugs ( @ECIN you're totally right, I need to read up on the local creepy crawlies here because I saw bugs I've never seen before and had no clue if they were friend or foe!), we had a good time! @melbrod, you were 100% right about the sand. I've walked more than two miles with Zeus before, but we were both pooped after this one! There were hard packed areas, but most of the trail was sand. We stopped midway for a water break and I did wet him down after he drank. Once we got home, after a good wipe down to rid him of sand, he went right to sleep! We'll probably stick to this trail to get ourselves used to walking on terrain, and then maybe in the coming months we'll try one of the mountain trails!

Here are some pictures of a few of the petroglyphs we saw along the way.









 

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Looks like the rocks are basically volcanic???

There's a big area like that up in northeastern NM. We've stopped at Capulin Volcano National Monument a couple of times when we've driven through--interesting place.
 

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Looks like the rocks are basically volcanic???

There's a big area like that up in northeastern NM. We've stopped at Capulin Volcano National Monument a couple of times when we've driven through--interesting place.
Yup! The website states: "Petroglyph National Monument protects one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America, featuring designs and symbols carved onto volcanic rocks by Native Americans and Spanish settlers 400 to 700 years ago."

Apparently, there's an estimated 25,000 of them! They're pretty neat and well preserved.
 
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