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Which hikes are appropriate for dogs?

Dogs, dogs and even some cats
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Re: Which hikes are appropriate for dogs?

Postby bob863 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:03 pm

I agree with Joe Ward. if you feel you must have a dog on a 14er, please keep it leashed AT ALL TIMES. the main reason I hike the mountains is to enjoy the scenery and the native critters. a dog's presence tends to disturb the native critters.

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Re: Which hikes are appropriate for dogs?

Postby CORed » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:06 pm

mckillio wrote:I just did Grays last weekend with my 13 and a half year old German Shepherd mix and he got up just fine but was pretty wiped halfway down and did have some pad wear. He's been up Evans, Grays (twice), Sherman (had quite a bit of trouble due to his pads getting messed up), and Elbert. Doing Richtofen this Saturday, we'll see how it goes.

As far as a leash goes, I don't believe in it for him, he behaves much better off leash than on and I think it's safer for both of us. I do carry it with me just in case.

I got him boots but he just unstraps them and takes them off, otherwise I would recommend them.


I tend to agree with you about leashes for a well-trained dog. In difficult terrain, it is much better to let the dog pick its own route and move at its own pace. On rocky terrain, they may need to jump from rock to rock, and a leash will just throw them off balance. Take the leash with you, in case you need it to manage a situation with people or other dogs (or a ranger tells you you have to use it), but if it's steep, loose or rocky, both you and the dog will be safer without it.

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Re: Which hikes are appropriate for dogs?

Postby hberry » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:58 pm

My dog hit 14er summit number 28 yesterday - Holy Cross. Do some easy hikes with your dog on non-14ers first and see how they do with the heat, the rocks, etc, then start with some easy 14ers.

I don't think you need to have your dog on a leash all the time - especially when talus hoping or the like - but always have a leash with you. My dog wears a pack with her food and water and her leash in it.

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Re: Which hikes are appropriate for dogs?

Postby randalmartin » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:03 pm

hberry wrote:I don't think you need to have your dog on a leash all the time - especially when talus hoping or the like - but always have a leash with you. My dog wears a pack with her food and water and her leash in it.


I watched 2 years ago as a lady let her dog run around near the summit of Sunlight. He took off chasing a mountain goat. Most dogs if given the chance will chase wildlife. If yours will then you should keep it leashed. If on class 3/4 terrain with loose rock, dogs don't belong unless they are extremely well behaved around others.

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Re: Which hikes are appropriate for dogs?

Postby jdorje » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:05 pm

You don't need to "keep your dog leashed". But you do need to take a leash and be ready to use it. Too many dog owners leave the leash at home and are caught unprepared. You may only need it for 5% of the hike but that 5% could be pretty important.
-Jason Dorje Short

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Re: Which hikes are appropriate for dogs?

Postby Blix » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:51 pm

hberry wrote:My dog hit 14er summit number 28 yesterday - Holy Cross. Do some easy hikes with your dog on non-14ers first and see how they do with the heat, the rocks, etc, then start with some easy 14ers.


Exactly. Dogs' abilities and fitness--just like peoples'--vary widely. Some thrive on the mountains, while others need better fitness or shorter/lower hikes or extras like booties/Doggles, and some are better off at home.

And a few things it seems many people don't know:
-avoid heatstroke. Please be very aware of your dog’s exertion, especially with weekend warriors and in the spring. If your dog suddenly lags behind or pants audibly, take it seriously. Stop for a break, offer water, and be sure they’re cool enough. By the time adrenaline from the fun of a hike wears off and symptoms are obvious, it may be too late, even after a frantic race to the nearest emergency clinic and thousands of dollars.
-caution with NSAIDs. Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs include Rimadyl/carprofen, Metacam/meloxicam, Previcox/firocoxib, Deramaxx/deracoxib, and aspirin. Please do not give an NSAID when your dog might be dehydrated. As in, when you get in the car after a 14er. Please wait until you are sure that your dog is completely rehydrated, which will protect your dog’s kidneys. Do not ever combine different NSAIDs or give an NSAID and a steroid (prednisone). If your dog vomits, develops diarrhea, or loses his appetite, discontinue the NSAID and call your veterinarian. If you are giving your dog an NSAID, understand exactly what problem you're treating.
-no brachycephalics. I have yet to meet a snub nosed dog (Pug, English Bulldog, Frenchie) who is meant to be an athlete and should be hiking 14ers. If you feel your dog is the exception, please be aware of their respiratory effort, and be prepared to carry them.

Have fun! :)
The mountains are calling...

~~~

♫ ♪ I don't want to rest in peace
I want to dance in joy... ♪ ♫

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Re: Which hikes are appropriate for dogs?

Postby hberry » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:04 pm

randalmartin wrote:
hberry wrote:I don't think you need to have your dog on a leash all the time - especially when talus hoping or the like - but always have a leash with you. My dog wears a pack with her food and water and her leash in it.


I watched 2 years ago as a lady let her dog run around near the summit of Sunlight. He took off chasing a mountain goat. Most dogs if given the chance will chase wildlife. If yours will then you should keep it leashed. If on class 3/4 terrain with loose rock, dogs don't belong unless they are extremely well behaved around others.



As I said always carry a leash. She has a pack that has a leash attached to it and in one of the pockets. If there is anything bigger than a marmot I will pull it out to make sure she doesn't do anything stupid.

You need to know your dogs limits before you get anywhere with some exposure. My pooch stays on trail, especially above tree line.

If your dog is constantly barking, off trail, annoying others... Think twice enforce bringing them. Even dog lovers don't love annoying dogs.

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Re: Which hikes are appropriate for dogs?

Postby Jmbiller » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:45 am

Just know your dogs limits. I have a 2.5 year old husky and she loves hiking... and kicks my butt, and have never gotten her to the point of being tired. However she is never let off leash i respect the leash laws in this state, because you never know when you'll encounter someone who is terrified of dogs, and that can end badly especially on a narrow trail. She has climbed about a dozen 14ers and has never had booties, and probably never will. Type of dog is important i think some dogs have stronger pads than other, and those who spend more time outside on rocks or concrete have tougher pads versus dogs on carpet all the time. I take my dog on 3+ mile walks every day on a variable type of terrain.

I have never taken her on any class 3, but she does excellent on class 1 and class 2 mountains.

Just start your dog on an easier mountain and see how they do, if they do well try another, but always watch them for signs of struggle or injury.

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Re: Which hikes are appropriate for dogs?

Postby CORed » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:52 am

My advice would be to start with shorter and easier hikes and see how your dog does. Also, pay attention. If you dog is starting to lag behind, he is likely tired and/or hurting, and it would be a good idea to turn around before he gives out entirely. Many dogs will push themselves hard to keep up with you and won't show signs of distress until they are in a pretty bad way.

That said, it's very likely that your dog will spend most of the day waiting for you and wondering why the heck your are so dogone slow.

Many dogs are capable of handling up to easy class 3, but some will freak out in rough or rocky terrain. Some will get less nervous with experience. Booties might be good if you dogs feet get sore or bleeding, though I have never needed to use them with any dogs I have hiked with.

As your dog gets older, be careful. I once took an 11 or 12 year old dog on a hike and ended up carrying him out. This was about a 60 pound dog, so I ended up taking an extra day to get him out (from Refrigerator Gulch, about 7 miles in from the Goose Creek trailhead).
Last edited by CORed on Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Which hikes are appropriate for dogs?

Postby gnblase » Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:18 am

I think it depends on your dog. I have a Border Collie and she hiked 14 14ers last summer with me. We only hiked class 1 and 2 mountains but she did great. She carries her own pack with food and water and camps in the tent with me.

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Re: Which hikes are appropriate for dogs?

Postby MichelleBlake » Sat Aug 15, 2015 6:44 pm

Hi Mike,
I just did my first 14er on Aug 12 and opted to climb Bierstadt. I brought my very fit, fun, loveable goldendoodle, Murphy, with me and got an early start. There were about 10 other dogs climbing the same day. Most of the trail was easy for dogs, but the boulders at the top required a little more time. I have three suggestions.
First, bring A LOT of water! I thought I had more than enough but Murphy drank all his and all mine, which left me pretty dehydrated.
Second, since I opted to leash my dog and I bought a dog walking belt (CardioCanine) to clip him to which left my hands free. This was easier than having to hold a leash the whole time.
Third, camp at Guanella Pass campground if you are camping. I stayed the first night at Burning Bear and not only is it farther from the trailhead, but it is currently a staging area for all the road construction equipment. They start up all the trucks and begin loading rocks at about 4:30 a.m. After I did the hike I could not get back to my tent because the pass was closed until 3 pm. So, I moved the Guanella Pass Campground for the second night. All in all, Bierstadt is a great hike to do with your dog and I hope I see you on the trail one of these days.
~Michelle
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Re: Which hikes are appropriate for dogs?

Postby SharonH » Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:05 am

Another good item to have when hiking with your pup is a first aid kit. Most basic first aid interventions such as wound care can be used on your dog pretty much the same as with a person. I always have extra bandages and vet wrap/Coban in case Sophie cuts a paw. She does not really like her booties, and although she has great trail paws, she did get a rubbed area on a paw pad when climbing Yale. She did not want to put weight on the paw, but once I bandaged it up, she was off and running.
Check with your local Red Cross or Humane Society; some offer Pet First Aid Classes.

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