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dog gear question

Postby gatorchick » Fri Sep 28, 2007 1:11 pm

Disclaimer: I am NOT trying to start a dog debate! I'm looking for info from those who climb with their dogs. :)

Has anyone noticed a difference (for the worse) when using booties on their dog??

Our girl (55ish pound lab mix) has done three 14ers now. Elbert was her first and a piece of cake for her. No problems whatsoever. Yale and Quandary were #s 2 and 3 and a little tougher on her. We are trying to figure out what changed and all we can think of is that she wore booties (and a fleece coat) on Yale and Quandary.

The booties she has been wearing (which are pretty much cashed now) are cheapies that we got just to make sure she would WEAR booties before we splurged for better ones. I'm wondering if maybe the lack of traction could have bothered her? The only real problem she had with Quandary was "cold tail" which is pretty common in labs - it often happens after swimming in cold water OR from exertion - I'm wondering if maybe she used her tail more for balance since she couldn't get as much traction from her feet and thus hurt her tail??

She is VERY athletic and I think should be able to do the 14ers with no problem (and Elbert was a piece of cake for her) ... we just need to figure out the best combo for her. She has never had a problem with cut pads so I'm thinking of trying going bootie-less? Or should we get a better pair of booties with better traction?

Any info would be greatly appreciated! :D

Anyone have any ideas???
Jen

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

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Postby coloradokevin » Fri Sep 28, 2007 1:43 pm

If I honestly had to guess at this, I'd say that the fleece coat might have allowed your pup to overheat, and thus impacted her performance.

I hike with my dog a lot, and she has been up 4(?) 14'ers and one 13'er with me in the past year or so... The one consistent thing I've noticed about her performance is that when she starts to get too warm her endurance goes WAY down (this can be noticeable over something as small as a 10 degree temperature swing from, say, 70F to 80F).

My dog is probably just a little bit thicker coated than a lab... We think she's a German Shepherd/Akita mix (around 70lbs). Maybe try skipping the jacket when it isn't truly brutally cold?

As for booties, I've never used them on my dog simply because I think she probably has better balance without them... (ie: Ever notice how dogs seem to spread their toes sometimes when balancing across talus fields and the like?) I've considered getting them for deep-winter use, but I haven't picked any up as of yet!

Here's the obligatory photo of my pup that seems to accompany all of my responses about my dog :) This one was taken by one of my friends at Roger's Pass Lake this summer:

Image

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Postby gatorchick » Fri Sep 28, 2007 1:53 pm

Your dog is GORGEOUS!

Maddie only wore the coat for a little while on Yale (when it dropped into the 20s and she started shaking) but she wore it the whole time on Quandary the other night because it was FREEZING. She is skinny and has a much shorter coat than the average lab so she gets cold pretty easily. She never seemed cold OR hot on Quandary but I guess its possible that she overheated - its just hard to imagine since I think the highest it got all night was around 30 degrees?

I'm thinking you might be right about them spreading their toes out for grip ...
Jen

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

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Postby coloradokevin » Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:20 pm

Hey, I just sent you a PM!

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Postby Fox » Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:48 pm

Kinda adding on here....

I've always thought booties for dogs are kind of silly unless in extreme situations. I know it must be possible for dogs to cut their paws up on the mountain, but how probable is it? Is that the main intent of booties? If its to keep the pooch from getting "doggie blisters", well, thats just ridiculous. No dog has lost its adaptation to being "bare-paw". Their paws are more than tough enough for a day or two of hiking. That said, many dogs probably aren't adapted to be walking on and in snow for extended periods of time. In that situation i could see booties being of some use.

Sorry this comment is all questions and no answers. I've only had my pooch hiking a couple times, so i wouldn't be the voice of experience. :)

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Postby gatorchick » Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:51 pm

We got the booties to use in snow (before moving to Colorado). We started using them on 14ers to keep her paws from getting torn up on the rocks.

Now I'm thinking of maybe ditching the booties and investing in some Tuff-Foot instead ...
Jen

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

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Postby tress » Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:53 pm

just my .02 but my lab has been cut under his pad before and it made him limp instantly, he also had a puncture wound on another trip. I had to soak his paw in epson salt for 10 days. Just in case you havent check his/her paw for any signs of cutting, infection etc... hope you find a solution.
Atlas/Nittany has been a serious hiker for years.
GO PENNSTATE!

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Postby gatorchick » Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:57 pm

Thanks Tress! We always check her feet at the top and at the bottom and she has never had any cut paws (nor has she limped). After Yale she had a small scrape where her dew claw rubbed on her foot because of the booties ...

I've just heard horror stories about dogs' feet getting sliced open on the rocks and I'm paranoid. :(
Jen

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

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dogs

Postby 14ergirl » Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:08 pm

HOW DARE YOU TAKE YOUR DOG ON A 14er, !!!!


JK! :lol:
"Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right" ~GD
"Spay, Neuter, Rescue, LOVE!" "opt to ADOPT!!!"
http://www.rockymountainlabrescue.com

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dogs

Postby 14ergirl » Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:11 pm

Okay, that was bad, but I laughed when I saw the first sentence of your post being that you didn't want to start a doggie debate! That was funny.

I don't use anything on Walter's paws, but I have thought about it. So far his only 14er was Anterro and the talus didn't seem to bother him, I think boulders will be a different story. I am almost positive MO does not have boulders.

Hope we can make sunday work!
"Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right" ~GD
"Spay, Neuter, Rescue, LOVE!" "opt to ADOPT!!!"
http://www.rockymountainlabrescue.com

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Postby gatorchick » Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:14 pm

We are in for Sunday!! :D

Thinking about heading out super early tomorrow morning and hitting another one ....

did I tell you I'm an addict? ;)
Jen

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

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Postby conradical » Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:30 pm

Up in the Indian Peaks, the rangers were appalled that I didn't have booties on my dog. Said they have people carrying their dogs out all of the time with cut paws.

Meg's done 4 14'ers and a bunch of lesser mountains and never had a problem... The Indian Peaks did have the most jagged rock though.

Here's the obligatory pic, near the Humboldt saddle:
Image[/img]

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