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dog gear question

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Postby Inky6900 » Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:34 am

Sawyer climbs every peak I do and I know it would have been impossible (for him) without the booties. Every dog is different but he's an indoor dog that sleeps on my couches all day while I work. He's a tender foot.

The up side to the booties is the paw and nail protection. In all we've climbed, I've never seen his paws damaged when he used the shoes. Another upside is they have great tread on the bottom for steep and angular rock climbing. The few times we climbed without them, his paws were destroyed and it took weeks for them to heal.

The down side to the shoes is the amount of work that goes into getting the dog used to them. This past summer Ruff Wear redesigned their shoes and it took Sawyer a good three climbs to really get used to their new shoe style. In winter, from my experience, the booties don't work on hard packed snow or ice. They're like death skis for a dog. Another down side is the booties trap heat and the dogs pads can't breathe as well. In the summer, I have to give him more water to compensate for this.

Overall, I'm in favor of the booties. Sawyer always uses them regardless of the difficulty of the hike or climb. To climb all we have without them would have been inhumane.
With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

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Dogs and Avalanches

Postby coloradokevin » Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:13 am

centrifuge wrote: what do other people do for avalanche protection with their dogs durring the winter? I have been thinking about what could happen if an avalanche were to occur and if my dog were to be caught in it. Is there anyone who has considered this, or I am I just over protective?


I'll answer this question with the assumption that you have already had some avalanche training yourself... If not, get some!!! Obviously avoiding a slide is the first step to success here. If you can't keep yourself out of avalanches, the dog isn't going to do any better by following you :)

Anyway, in my mind this kind of falls under a personal preference kind of thing, but there are avalanche transmitters that are made for your dog. They are small enough to hook to the dog's collar, and if I recall correctly they cost around $100 (they are similar to the transievers we carry, and operate on the same frequency, but they only transmit since a dog isn't capable of searching).

As cruel as this might sound, there is another side of this coin to consider. If you end up searching for your climbing partner(s) in an avalanche accident, do you want to "waste" (yes, I know it isn't a waste and I love my dog too) time searching for your dog first? Understand that I know we all would want to save our pets if they were caught in an avalanche, but would you value your pet's life over, say, your spouse's life... or your friend's life? It comes down to an issue of triage in a small scale mass-casualty incident... who do you help first?

Your transiever can't differentiate these signals, and this could be a concern when you spend precious minutes tracking down your dog before your partner. Like I said, personal preference kind of stuff here, and I don't want to sound like I am telling anyone that there is a right or wrong answer to this problem.

Another concern I have with these transmit-only kind of beacons concerns an incident where your partner is buried and your dog is not. As you probably know, when you have an avalanche burial everyone who is not buried switches their equipment to "receive" prior to the search... If this doesn't happen you'll end up chasing down false signals on the other searchers who are still transmitting along with the buried party. Now consider the dog factor here: You have an avalanche. Your dog is freaked out and running around like crazy. Even with a well trained dog, you may not be able to get the dog under physical control in this kind of tense situation. If you can't turn off that transmitter (which is attached to your dog's collar), you will very likely hinder the search for the buried victim, as your receiver picks up on their signal along with your dog's moving signal...

Anyway, in short, the beacon idea seems like it has some serious flaws for dog-use.

Here's a potentially better dog-safety option in my mind:

Although it has fallen out of popular use in recent years with the advancements in beacon technology, and isn't considered quite as effective as a beacon, you might think about making/buying an avalanche cord! The idea here is that you drag a long (up to around 50ft) piece of thin rope [strong accessory cord perhaps?] behind you -or in this case your pet- during travel in avalanche terrain. If your pet is buried there is a decent chance that some of this cord will be above ground. The cord is marked to indicate the direction to the victim, and can aid in their rescue, as you simply follow the cord to the victim.

To me, this seems like a viable option for our pets!

When not in use you can leave it coiled in the dog's pack (for most of the trip, in many cases) an then hang it out when it is time to cross/climb a slope with avalanche danger... There is potentially a tangle factor to consider with a dog running around on the other end, but given that the areas of most significant avy danger are usually on fairly open slopes, this could be minimized. Obviously there are no guarantees here, as the rope could be buried completely... but it is better than nothing, and even a transiever doesn't guarantee your safety if buried!!!

Just my $0.02 on the subject, though I'd be curious to see what other people think about this issue!

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Postby coloradokevin » Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:26 am

In considering the dog-avlanche debate, I forgot to mention one thing regarding receivers:

I've heard rumor that at least one manufacturer is making a beacon that not only uses the 457kHz frequency of human beacons, but also has a seperate dedicated frequency which is designed to aid in finding, say, your dog... or, I think by their intention, your snowmobile. I've never actually seen this beacon, only heard about it. So, I don't know if it could be practically adapted to find your pet or not!

But, sufice it to say, putting a standard frequency beacon on your dog would have some of the drawbacks I mentioned above. On the other hand, if you can find one on a different dedicated frequency for your pet to use, go for it!

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Postby gatorchick » Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:27 am

Thanks for all the input everyone! :D

We did Missouri yesterday - bootie-less and pack-less (and at times leash-less) and she had NO problems. By the time we got back down she was still running circles around the rest of our group (especially me :oops: ). No evidence of paw damage and by the way she is acting today, I wouldn't have thought she had ever left the couch yesterday! We were better about giving her water and food yesterday as well.
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 Fox » Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:52 pm

Wow, live and learn I guess. Although I've never seen any issues with my dog or any others I've been around while hiking, I think I'll be more careful after reading some of these "horror stories".

Love all the dog pics on this thread. :D

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Walter's paws

Postby 14ergirl » Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:03 pm

So we went on the hike with Maddie, gatorchick, and Jasper yesterday and Maddie was amazing, after the entire day of wrong turns and steep slopes(you'll have to read the report once it's up), She still had a ton of energy left. Walter on the other hand, not so much.

Although he didn't use booties on Anterro and did fine, he wanted to sleep everytime we stopped yesterday, he cut his paws in 2 or 3 places, nothing bad and we used superglue on the worst one. He looked miserable by the end of the day. We were out for 9 hours total. He slept for over 12 hours straight except for one bathroom break and one food break.

He is a 70-75 lb Pyrenees/lab mix half and half exactly and he is just about a year old. Opinions welcome here- trying to figure out if he wasn't meant for long hikes because he has pyrenees in him, or does he just need to work up to hiking for that long a time and it's just the puppy in him that wants to sleep more??? He does run several miles 4 times a week with us, and goes to the dog park and hikes in Boulder on occassion. Like I said he was tired after 8 miles on Anterro, but not this bad!
"Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right" ~GD
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Walter

Postby 14ergirl » Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:25 pm

Still trying to figure out how to post a picture- I have the picture as a url and then tried to copy it, but it didn't work



Image

Got it! Yeah!
Last edited by 14ergirl on Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:58 pm, edited 7 times in total.
"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 » Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:39 pm

lets try this ....

Image[/img]
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 gatorchick » Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:44 pm

And here is Maddie from yesterday. :)

Image
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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one more photo of Walter

Postby 14ergirl » Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:08 pm

Just another photo of Walter to get opinions on bigger dogs and hiking.
Image
"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 » Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:11 pm

HI WALTERDOG!! :D
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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Re: Dogs and Avalanches

Postby coloradokevin » Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:24 pm

Jared Workman wrote:Seems to me the reasonable way around this is not to bring your dog with you into avy unstable terrain when you've also got other people to worry about. I'd call that seriously irresponsible pet ownership.

When it is just you and your dog though I'd point to this http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/show ... hp?t=20772
and tell people to put a beacon on their dogs.


Jared, while I always value your opinion around here, and I can see where you are coming from on this issue... I still don't know that I'd call it "seriously irresponsible" to have your dog with you on a group trip in winter. Rather, I'd probably be inclined to call it seriously irresponsible to instead travel solo into avy terrain (and thus leave yourself with no hope of being rescued if you should get caught in a slide)!

Yes, I'd agree, not taking the dog into unstable terrain in the first place is certainly your safest bet... Just like not putting yourself into unstable terrain is always safest. However, that just isn't reality. People are taking their dogs skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking with them... and it merits consideration as to the consequences that could result by simply throwing a transmitter on your pet.

For me, my dog doesn't often backcountry ski with me, but she does go along on a lot of snowshoeing trips. I do sometimes travel in Avy terrain, though I take a more conservative approach than most folks... If I get unstable snow test results, or it just seems like bad snowpack conditions on that day, I pretty much avoid it (I don't like to roll the dice, because eventually the odds beat you). Obviously the primary goal is to avoid the slide in the first place!

Also, I've previously read the thread you referenced, and I'll agree with you that for solo travel you can get away with throwing a transmitter on your dog (simply because if you get buried you won't have anyone looking for you anyway!). For that reason, I don't ever travel solo in Avy terrain, so I don't consider that a reasonable option. But, by the same token, I don't consider it to be irresponsible pet ownership just because you have a dog with you for a trip that might involve 95% safe terrain and 5% avy terrain (ie: crossing one steep slope, etc).

Obviously we'd all agree that mountaineering pursuits, like so many other things in life, are about balancing risk with reward. Still, in those instances where the risk level starts to creep up, I'd like to take an approach that is reasonably safe for myself, and my dog too!

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