Dog suggestions

Dogs, dogs and even some cats
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Re: Dog suggestions

Postby gsliva » Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:05 am

Black Lab. You won't regret it.
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Re: Dog suggestions

Postby Iguru » Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:04 pm

Bean wrote:Your best bet might be just going by the local humane society and seeing what kind of dogs they've got there. I did that, ended up with a different dog than I was thinking about but I love her to death.

Ditto above.
I wanted to adopt a black dog. Ended up with her.

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She is a Husky/Yellow Lab mix.
Will run as long as I let her.
Content to go for half hour runs too.
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Re: Dog suggestions

Postby coloradokevin » Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:13 pm

g wrote:What shelter 'ya go to COKev? Every time I go to Table Mountain it seems the majority of dogs there are pit bulls or mixes thereof. And there's usually one or two white gang-banger wannabe teenagers dropping theirs off.

I'm seriously considering a German shepherd for my next dog. What are the odds of developing hip trouble later in life? How bad is it?

I went to the Dumb Friends League and Quebec and Evans... Lots of dogs, something for everyone there.

I've heard very mixed things about Table Mountain. I didn't go there, but honestly at the time that I got our dog I didn't even realize that Table Mountain existed (so, it isn't like I specifically avoided the place per say, just didn't know about it).

Part of the reason that we got a mixed-breed dog was with hopes of (possibly) avoiding hip issues. Obviously it can be a gamble with any dog, particularly a shelter one where the bloodline is not known. Bad hips seem like they can run the range from mild to very very bad (as in, unable to enjoy doing anything physical with you).

Hopefully that never becomes an issue for my dog! My dog is also pretty thick-coated. She doesn't handle front range summer temperatures for hiking very well (ie: over at Red Rocks in July), but she has never had an issue on a 14'er (she has 5-6 summits under her belt). The nice thing is, her thicker coat allows her to enjoy snowshoeing with us in winter, and we don't have to worry quite as much when she is tent camping with us in colder weather.
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Re: Dog suggestions

Postby Fleischco » Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:53 pm

I will freely admit my bias towards Border Collies but they do require exercise but that is true for all breeds. We have three daughters with the youngest girl being seven so she has grown up with Joe now 5 years old. He's never been aggressive towards the kids but does love to play and be invloved in outside activities (he's good on basketball defense and makes a heck of goalie in soccer.) We had a Pekignese who was above Joe in the pack but has since passed. Now we have a 2-year old rescue Pomeranian who is as active as Joe. Joe is not a real social dog like some breeds like Golden Retrievers-he simply prefers to play ball than play tag. He's not mean but simply will walk around other dogs except for the ones he knows already. But now that Pommy loves Joe and looks to Joe as his pack leader.

I watch the "Dog Whisperer" on Nat Geo Channel. I record it when it is on during the day and then they have new episodes on Friday nights. His on-going mantra is Exercise then Discipline and then Affection. There were times when I thought Joe may not make it as a nine-month old pup digging up freshly-laid sod (I know what were we thinking putting in a new lawn and getting a puppy) or his walk abouts breaking through the electric fence (get the 9-volt vibrating collar-that worked and he hasn't worn the collar for 3+ years now and has never ran away). Now I cannot imagine life with Joe. Joe is a ball dog which is common for Border Collies. Get yourself a "Chuck-It" dog-ball thrower-it wings the ball along ways and you do not have to touch the slimy ball.

Finally, if this breed is still a consideration look into or another rescue. Often, these dogs have just made it out of the puppy stage and have been misunderstood (if not worse). Exercise-Discipline-Affection or so says Caesar.
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Re: Dog suggestions

Postby mtnklutz » Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:48 pm

I was also looking for a hiking companion a few years ago. I often hike alone and wanted a hiking capable medium sized dog as a deterrent to predators, both animal and human. I adopted a mixed breed pincher-blue heeler (see avatar) from Dreampower Animal Rescue when he was 6 mos old. After owning a pure bred husky, I highly reccommend a mixed breed, and also second the suggestions of going to the humane society or another rescue organization. Mixed breed dogs often are healthier.

Border collies and Aussies are good sized dogs, you want one big enough to scramble on rocks without having to be carried. You also want a dog athletic and sturdy enough to put in several miles a day if asked. Also, if he is an indoor dog, you won't believe how much a long-haired dog can shed. One uncommon breed that I have seen on a 14er is a Kelpie. It is an Austrailian breed, medium sized short haired dog.
I would also reccommend getting an intelligent, highly trainable dog. When hiking 14ers, it is great to be able to hike with your dog off leash, if he is obedient to voice commands. My dog has a nice mix of qualities from both breeds; herding, protective, intelligence and trainable. The downside is, many good hiking dogs require daily exercise, of at least a few miles...or else they find their own entertainment while home alone, like eating the Easter candy, or 3 loaves of bread.

Good luck and choose carefully!
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Re: Dog suggestions

Postby pawprint » Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:22 pm

In response to "coloradokevin"....

I have worked in a shelter for 8 years so far and I know very well that breeds are not used as a "marketing tool" (and they are non-profit by the way). It can be difficult to tell exactly what breed a dog is in some cases because so many dogs have been allowed to breed over and over again with a number of different breeds until you have an unidentifiable (yet wonderful) "mutt". Labs are, of course, common mixes to find since they are very popular breeds. However, either way, does it really matter? Thousands of animals are euthanized in shelters every year because there are NOT enough homes. I hope that you care more about them finding loving homes than whether "Fido" is a mixed lab or a Basenji. You really don't have any room to make assumptions about something you know very little about (and especially choose to advertise these thoughts). If you ever get a chance to volunteer in a shelter or even just tour one you will see that it is far more important to take care of these amazing shelter animals and find them homes than to bash the shelters because you think they get a few breeds "off" from time to time. I have an English Pointer mix at home and even if my shelter labeled her as a turkey I would still love her just the same and continue to adopt from shelters. I hope you will do the same.
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Re: Dog suggestions

Postby Two Headed Boy » Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:53 am

scarlton wrote:Fogsum

I have had both breeds, Border Collie and Australian Shepherd. I live on a farm in Texas and both have plenty of running room. I can tell you from experience that the Border Collie requires a lot more interaction and attention. They will naturally herd anything including your kids, cats, other dogs or whatever they can. Our Border Collies had always been loyal to only one individual in the family and also tend not to do well with other dogs. We switched over to Australian shepherds about 4 years ago and I could not be happier with these dogs (I currently have 2). Very obedient and very pleasant temperment around other dogs as well as other people. Either way, both of these breeds need space. If you don't have that I think either would be a mistake. Good luck.

I fully agree with the comments about the Aussies. Smart, funny, great with kids, other animals, I can't say much bad about them. Mine is not hyperactive (unless he knows hes going to the dog park), he doesn't bark much at all, he doesn't need things to herd all day, doesn't dig, etc. How a dog turns out as an adult does have to do with the breeds tempermant but it has a lot more to do with you as it's master.

Previous to my Aussie I had a German Shepherd and I miss him a lot. There is a big difference between these 2 breeds. My German Shepherd was so obedient and so intelligent it was scary, he learned how to climb snow couliors and glaciers on rope and I would use a rescue pulley to belay him because he was to fast to do it any other way. When I got my Aussie I thought I just picked up a clown from a circus, he was always happy, never super intense, and had much more personality than my German Shepherd but he is not as obedient and he is not as smart, but seriously I doubt any breed is.

Here is Rajah on Grays or Torres (I don't remember, it was a long time ago) drinking Gatorade, he loved Gatorade but I would only give it to him on the summit and it was watered down 50%, the same way I drink it.
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Re: Dog suggestions

Postby Zenn » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:05 am

Just opinion here, but I personally like mutts. Not as many genetic difficulties, etc.

Another good breed (if you want "pure" and med sized), again my opinion, to consider is a Heeler. Smart dogs.

I worked at an animal hospital for a few years, and from what I gathered Border Collies and Aussies tend to be high strung/hyper. They need lots of play and attention. All the same, wonderful dogs; all dogs really (owners are another story).

I have a lab/heeler mix; he's pretty much the best :wink: and more than capable of mountain trips, etc. I take him snowboarding, shoeing, hiking, 14er-ing.. All of it. He's never had a problem and usually after a day spent on the mountain, he's already hiked it 3 times with all the running around he does..

Wish I had a picture to post though..

Either way, just get a dog dooood!!! They're wonderful companions.
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Re: Dog suggestions

Postby gatorchick » Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:57 pm

I haven't read all the responses to this thread but thought I would throw in my two cents anyway. ;)

As far as a hiking buddy, you generally can't go wrong with the herding breeds - especially border collies, aussies, and blue healers. Australian shepherds in particular are one of my all time favorite breeds - I think they are absolutely gorgeous.

Having said that, these are typically VERY smart dogs that need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation - without it they can become bored and destructive. That is generally true for any breed, but i think the smarter and more high energy the dog is, the more potential for problems.
My advice would be to not necessarily look at specific breeds but at specific dogs within that breed. I don't have as much experience with the herding breeds but I have a ton of experience with labs and I can tell you that they vary DRAMATICALLY in terms of energy level, personality, athleticism. My parents have two purebred labs - one has always been a great athlete, one can't hike or run to save his life.

I think the BEST advice is to go to a rescue for whatever breed you are thinking of and talk to them about the traits you are looking for in a dog. I am very pro-rescue in general, so I am a bit biased, but I think rescues are ESPECIALLY good for people who are looking for specific traits in a dog. When you get a puppy you don't really know how that puppy will turn out in terms of athletic ability, general energy level, etc. When you adopt an adult dog from a rescue you will KNOW what you are getting into, especially if you are selective. You will get to see the size and temperament of the dog as an ADULT so there are less surprises. Also, many people recommend waiting until a dog is 1-2 (especially for large breed dogs) before you start running or doing really long hikes with them - with an adult dog you don't have to wait all that time - they come out of the box ready to go.

When we started talking about getting a dog we didn't have our hearts set on a particular breed. We knew what we wanted as far as personality, stamina, that sort of thing - but we weren't necessarily looking for certain type of dog. In the end we found a dog that was absolutely PERFECT for us - she's quiet and calm in the apartment (we lived in a one bedroom apartment when we got her), she is very happy to snooze on the couch all day, and she can still EASILY do long hikes and runs, class 1-2 14ers, and hang with me on the mountain bike. Our girl is a lab mix on the small side (55 lbs) and I don't think we could have found a more perfect fit for our lifestyle. :) She was saved from the shelter at the VERY last minute (literally - the rescue was banging on the door to get her out before they put her down) - so I think its a happy ending all around. :)


If you decide to look into labs I would highly recommend Rocky Mountain Lab Rescue, run by one of's very own. :)

Good luck!

"In her heart she knows that sometimes a dog can be as good as any man ..." - widespread panic (slightly edited)
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Re: Dog suggestions

Postby scarlton » Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:16 am

This has proven to be one of my favorite discussions to follow. I love reading about individuals passion with regard to their dogs. Thats why I love meeting the people who love spending time in the high country. All of these posts and comments have been awesome to read and I love the pics of the dogs. I was on Humboldt last July with a group of guys and there was a couple at the summit with a Husky. While taking our summit photo's the Husky wanted to be in every shot we took. It's awesome to see these dogs on the summits. I would suggest that this type of discussion become a regular forum for climbers to show off their summit friends. Heck, lets create a peak list for our dogs...LOL. It's great to hear from all of you on this topic.
Have a great summer, I know I am.

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Re: Dog suggestions

Postby Zenn » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:06 pm

Peak list for the dog!!! Good idea.

I hope to get my dog's picture posted soon.
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Re: Dog suggestions

Postby superlupomaniac » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:11 pm

I have to vote for Labs. I mean what can't you train them to do?
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