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Dog breeds for hiking/running

Dogs, dogs and even some cats
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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby EatinHardtack » Wed May 13, 2009 4:20 pm

So I'll throw my two cents in.

I have been living with dogs all my life and the only time I haven't lived with a pooch was during the college years. My advice is to Research for a breed that is going to fit your lifestyle and think about how much time you are going/willing to work with them. You are looking for a mellow dog but yet want them to hike or run 10-16 miles in a day? You might get a dog that can run 10-16 miles in a day and be worn out afterwards or "mellow" but on those days you don't hike/run the dog might be totally off the reservation.

Also what about shedding? How much are you looking to spend a month on your pup (food, vet, ect; a bigger dog will eat more and ultimately cost more than a smaller dog in this regard)? Also if you get a puppy, no matter what breed, it's chasing that cat of yours. You will just have to spend enough time to train your new companion not to do certain things. What type of living situation are you in? House, Apartment? Small or Big? Yard? Just some things to think about. Also go to the American Kennel Club's website and look at breeds, it's very helpful.

As for myself, I have an Austrailian Cattle Dog. Great size at 45 pounds, they shed lightly year round but "blow" there coat about twice a year which isn't bad, very energetic, very smart (sometimes a little too smart), amazing companion as mine never leaves my side, always looking to please me with something.

Good Luck, having a dog can be so rewarding.
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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby JA_son27 » Wed May 13, 2009 5:04 pm

My Cairn Terrier pulled me up Green Mtn and Bear Peak which are pretty tough hikes!
Last edited by JA_son27 on Wed May 13, 2009 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby clemsonmtneer » Wed May 13, 2009 5:16 pm

I'm biased since I grew up with one, but I think that golden retrievers certainly fit your criteria. They're happy, friendly, smart, athletic dogs who love to get outside and hike. They have lots of energy but, except of course when they're very young, they tend to be very well behaved assuming they're raised correctly, you spend lots of time with them, etc. Goldens love people and usually the only times I've seen them misbehave is when they just get too excited around people. Just my two cents, though there are certainly many great dog breeds out there.

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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby aerohr » Wed May 13, 2009 5:53 pm

My mother had a very athletic Golden Retriever for 9 years or so... after he died suddenly she got a Bernese Mountain Dog. Normally, these aren't considered extremely agile dogs, but at 60 lbs or so full grown, she loves to run and jump and is full of energy when its time to play, but otherwise pretty mellow. Similar in many ways to the Golden. A cool feature of the Bernese is that their fur is hydrophobic, it seems. Snow does not attach to her at all. The trick, if you go with a larger breed but want to keep them smaller (in the case of the Bernese, this is nice to eliminate joint problems down the road), you can feed them adult senior dog food instead of puppy food. It was the advice given to my mom by the vet. It worked like a charm and the vet attests that this dog is the most fit and agile Bernese he's seen. Anyway, that's just a thought of keeping the size of the dog down.

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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby Tory Wells » Wed May 13, 2009 6:34 pm

aerohr wrote:My mother had a very athletic Golden Retriever for 9 years or so... after he died suddenly she got a Bernese Mountain Dog. Normally, these aren't considered extremely agile dogs, but at 60 lbs or so full grown, she loves to run and jump and is full of energy when its time to play, but otherwise pretty mellow. Similar in many ways to the Golden. A cool feature of the Bernese is that their fur is hydrophobic, it seems. Snow does not attach to her at all. The trick, if you go with a larger breed but want to keep them smaller (in the case of the Bernese, this is nice to eliminate joint problems down the road), you can feed them adult senior dog food instead of puppy food. It was the advice given to my mom by the vet. It worked like a charm and the vet attests that this dog is the most fit and agile Bernese he's seen. Anyway, that's just a thought of keeping the size of the dog down.

But since the Swiss Mountain Dogs come in four varieties (Bernese Mt Dog, Greater Swiss Mt Dog, Appenzeller Sennenhunde, and Entlebucher Mountain Dog), which are all different sizes, there is no need to shrink them by denying them nutrients. I strongly disagree with the vet that suggested that is okay.
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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby prone2jodl » Wed May 13, 2009 7:08 pm

aerohr wrote:My mother had a very athletic Golden Retriever for 9 years or so... after he died suddenly she got a Bernese Mountain Dog. Normally, these aren't considered extremely agile dogs, but at 60 lbs or so full grown, she loves to run and jump and is full of energy when its time to play, but otherwise pretty mellow. Similar in many ways to the Golden. A cool feature of the Bernese is that their fur is hydrophobic, it seems. Snow does not attach to her at all. The trick, if you go with a larger breed but want to keep them smaller (in the case of the Bernese, this is nice to eliminate joint problems down the road), you can feed them adult senior dog food instead of puppy food. It was the advice given to my mom by the vet. It worked like a charm and the vet attests that this dog is the most fit and agile Bernese he's seen. Anyway, that's just a thought of keeping the size of the dog down.



The problems with swiss mountain dogs are twofold. First, there is availability/price. While you can probably find a golden for $300-500, most of the swiss breeds are well over $1000, and its difficult to find breeders, especially for the more obscure breeds. I have been looking into getting an appenzeller myself, but i decided that my prospective city-dwelling for the next few years would be unfair to the pooch, which really was bred to be a farm dog. The other, and more pressing issue, is that many of these breeds have critical genetic defects that have been caused by excessive inbreeding to keep them "purebred". Joint issues are prevalent with any large breed of dog because of the mass issue, but +1 to lanternrouge's sketicism. Bernese MDs are particularly susceptible to a wide range of cancers and other conditions. Average life expectancy for the breed is 6-7 years. I had this confirmed by one of my history profs, who was on his second (Chief Justice John Marshmallow). It's really tragic, because they are beautiful animals. Genetic defects are less pronounced with some of the other breeds, but these are also the rarer, pricier ones. In principle, I would think that any working or sporting dog could be adapted to the trail, and probably some members of the herding group, making considerations for size, coat, build, etc. Most of it probably boils down to what you expose the dog to as a puppy. The "pack mentality" is big with a lot of puppies, and if his pack happens to go uphill a lot, I figure he will learn to do the same.
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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby Tory Wells » Wed May 13, 2009 7:14 pm

prone2jodl wrote:
aerohr wrote:My mother had a very athletic Golden Retriever for 9 years or so... after he died suddenly she got a Bernese Mountain Dog. Normally, these aren't considered extremely agile dogs, but at 60 lbs or so full grown, she loves to run and jump and is full of energy when its time to play, but otherwise pretty mellow. Similar in many ways to the Golden. A cool feature of the Bernese is that their fur is hydrophobic, it seems. Snow does not attach to her at all. The trick, if you go with a larger breed but want to keep them smaller (in the case of the Bernese, this is nice to eliminate joint problems down the road), you can feed them adult senior dog food instead of puppy food. It was the advice given to my mom by the vet. It worked like a charm and the vet attests that this dog is the most fit and agile Bernese he's seen. Anyway, that's just a thought of keeping the size of the dog down.



The problems with swiss mountain dogs are twofold. First, there is availability/price. While you can probably find a golden for $300-500, most of the swiss breeds are well over $1000, and its difficult to find breeders, especially for the more obscure breeds. I have been looking into getting an appenzeller myself, but i decided that my prospective city-dwelling for the next few years would be unfair to the pooch, which really was bred to be a farm dog. The other, and more pressing issue, is that many of these breeds have critical genetic defects that have been caused by excessive inbreeding to keep them "purebred". Joint issues are prevalent with any large breed of dog because of the mass issue, but +1 to lanternrouge's sketicism. Bernese MDs are particularly susceptible to a wide range of cancers and other conditions. Average life expectancy for the breed is 6-7 years. I had this confirmed by one of my history profs, who was on his second (Chief Justice John Marshmallow). It's really tragic, because they are beautiful animals. Genetic defects are less pronounced with some of the other breeds, but these are also the rarer, pricier ones. In principle, I would think that any working or sporting dog could be adapted to the trail, and probably some members of the herding group, making considerations for size, coat, build, etc. Most of it probably boils down to what you expose the dog to as a puppy. The "pack mentality" is big with a lot of puppies, and if his pack happens to go uphill a lot, I figure he will learn to do the same.

+1....you speak the truth. I would not get a Swiss Dog either, for the above mentioned problems.
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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby kgmo » Wed May 13, 2009 7:30 pm

aerohr wrote:
My mother had a very athletic Golden Retriever for 9 years or so... after he died suddenly she got a Bernese Mountain Dog. Normally, these aren't considered extremely agile dogs, but at 60 lbs or so full grown, she loves to run and jump and is full of energy when its time to play, but otherwise pretty mellow. Similar in many ways to the Golden. A cool feature of the Bernese is that their fur is hydrophobic, it seems. Snow does not attach to her at all. The trick, if you go with a larger breed but want to keep them smaller (in the case of the Bernese, this is nice to eliminate joint problems down the road), you can feed them adult senior dog food instead of puppy food. It was the advice given to my mom by the vet. It worked like a charm and the vet attests that this dog is the most fit and agile Bernese he's seen. Anyway, that's just a thought of keeping the size of the dog down.


I truly hope that a veterinarian did not actually make that recommendation. Any animal will grow to a predetermined size given adequate nutrition. The rate at which they reach that size may be affected by nutritional factors, but the only way to decrease the size of an animal is by not providing adequate nutrients, which is a recipe for disaster. Obviously this post is not about canine nutrition, but as a veterinarian myself, I couldn't leave that comment alone.
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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby aerohr » Wed May 13, 2009 10:09 pm

I am no means an expert on the subject, and I hope my post wasn't interpreted as the appropriate course of action that you should take with your pet without doing your own research or speaking with your trusted expert. The vet that has handled the farm, its 5 working border collies, 200 head of sheep, horses, pigs, and now Bernese for as long as I've known did indeed make the suggestion to feed the puppy adult dog food. It worked out well and produced a healthy dog. Now, there could be other variables in the equation such as a particular type of adult dog food... or maybe the dog is a genetic fluke. In any event, I was mentioning what worked for our dog. I'm not an expert, I know little more about the topic than what I have mentioned, and you should seek out a professional you feel comfortable taking advice from.

Sorry for side tracking the thread, originally about dog breeds, not canine nutrition.

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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby geno71 » Wed May 13, 2009 10:28 pm

A combination of research and luck should get you where you want to go.

Personally, I loved big dogs and grew up with them all my life but I also wanted an athletic dog who could hike with me. I found a GS Pointer/Great Dane mix at the Colorado Springs shelter as a 10 wk puppy and he's been up 16 fourteeners with me. The pointer in him is great for the mountains, the Dane is him is great for laying on the couch. He's filled out at 80 lbs and looks a lot like the Ridgeback's from earlier on this thread with a little thicker build.

Just some other things to think about that may not have been mentioned...
If you want your dog comfortable on talus, find a breed that has pretty tough paws (or likes wearing dog booties).
If you like climbing later in the seasons when the temps dip, find a breed with a thicker coat.
Don't expect to throw a new pup into the 14ers right away. My vet mentioned that you should wait at least a year for the pup's bones\growth to settle before they get in a strenuous environment like that. If you are looking for a buddy to start this summer, you may want to consider an older dog.

All in all, the best decision I ever made since I graduated undergrad was to get a dog.
Good luck on your search

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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby MattK » Thu May 14, 2009 5:47 am

Please don't forget about adoption!! Ours is a rescue and has shaped up to be an amazing mountain dog. Almost any energetic dog will make a great mountain dog, you just have to be willing to exercise and train him/her during the week as well. Unfortunately, the pounds are full of "energetic" dogs, but most would love a chance at a life to hike and climb.

There are plenty of rescues in Denver, ours is from the Denver Dumb Friends League.
http://www.ddfl.org

A GREAT place. They are in Utah, but they could match you up knowing the "temperment" of the dogs they have:
http://www.bestfriends.org

There are also breed specific rescues, whatever, just give a "second-hand" dog another chance!!

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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby jreid06 » Thu May 14, 2009 6:32 am

Just a couple thoughts on labs if you consider one after having done hours and hours of research when purchasing my last lab and from owning a couple. If you are looking for a mellow dog/lab choose black. From owning all three colors my black is by far the calmest most mellow of the three. If you do any research on the breed you will see people will usually tend to say the same thing. Chocolates are known to be extremely excitable and hard headed (as is my choc). Yellows are kinda in between a choc and black. Yellows are a little more calm than a choc but can be a little spacy (think blonde). As for other hunting breeds german shorthairs/weinerhimer/pointing dogs are typically crazy hyper dogs. They need to be exercised every single day, as any dog should but these are worse, to use up all their energy. Chesapeake bay retrievers tend to be like choclates in that they can be very stubborn and hardheaded not real sure about their activity levels.

Also consider that there are two different types of lab breeds out there, show/confirmation and field. A show/confirmation dog will typically weigh 90+ lbs and are pretty slower and cumbersome, obviously because of size. A field dog will usually weigh between 60-80lbs. I have two field dogs and both(males) weigh right around 60-65lbs. Both can go all day long out in the field.

Another thing you should consider is how much you want to spend. I personally think you get what you pay for on most purchases and this is especially true for dogs. The more expensive ($600-1000+ is nothing for a good lab) dogs usually come from very responsible owners that do numerous tests on both dam and sire to make sure there are no hereditary diseases or abnormalities in the genetic line of each dog. And most responsible breeders (at least in field trials/hunt test) tend to only have a couple of litters each year. Labs in particular should come with hip, eye, EIC, and cnm certification because the breed can be prone to these problems if proper breeding is not done. To go along with that most responsible breeders will give two year gurantee/return policy on their dogs if for some reason they were to come down with one of these disorders or you can no longer keep your dog. Obviously you would not get your money back if you could simply no longer keep the dog but would get something back if it was to come down with one of the disorders.

There is no way in h#$% you could get me to buy a dog out of a newspaper classified add. Most times these people have no idea what it takes to raise dogs and just do it cause it would be cool to have puppies and make some money from selling them. If you are considering something out of the newspaper it would be better to go to the shelter and rescue a dog rather than be part of the problem with over population by irresponsible breeders/owners.

Sorry for being so long winded, once I get on a roll I don't stop. You may not even be considering labs but hopefully this might help some.

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