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Old 03-13-2008, 12:22 AM
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Paige Paige is offline
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Default Camping with the dogs

I am going camping. Possibly with the dogs. Here are my concerns.

1. Water. Where I plan on going camping I am out most of the day hiking. I'd love for the dogs to come along. However my pack gets pretty darn heavy because I bring everything with me. I get to my destination and set up camp. I was thinking of maybe getting the boys to carry a bit of their own water. Get them each a backpack and put some water bottles in it. Spanky is about 37 pounds, Bandit is close to 45 and Miley is a whopping 5-6 pounds. Now I know the boys can carry a backpack. They are buff dogs (lean and extremely musclar, we hike at least for an hour and a half EVERY morning and then go biking at night for another hour at least) but my question is how much weight can they carry? Miley wouldn't carry her own because well... that's just mean.

2. Getting cold. The boys I have no concern about. They have proven to me that they don't experience such a thing. They are all weather dogs. They actually pant when they are in the house if the heat is above a certain degree. They are much more comfortable outside (as am I for that matter). Miley on the other hand is very sensitive to the cold. She has several different jackets depending on the weather but when night falls I have no idea if she'd stay warm. Would it be wiser to get her a babysitter?

3. Sleeping in the tent together. My boys aren't overly fond of each other. When tired they behave but Bandit does get a bit grouchy if Spanky is around him all the time. I haven't had a fight in a long while and would like to keep it that way. Anyone have any suggestions on how to make that work? My tent is the type that has the sleeping area, then the gear area. I was thinking I could have one boy in the tent sleeping area and one in the gear area. Thoughts?
(a firm AH-AH! stops their posturing and grumbles. They will distance themselves from each other. So I am able to stop their macho behavior. I'd rather it not get to that point.)

That's pretty much it. Any other things you think I should think about would be great. Suggestions, stories send them my way. Not only do I want to take the boys, I sort of have to if I want to go camping. Unless I died or was ill in the hospital I do not know a single soul who would be able to tolerate, let alone enjoy my boys. My mom would take them if I died or was ill but that's it. If I'm fully capable of taking care of my boys no one will help me out. So I'm sort of stuck with them.


I think it'd be a ton of fun though. The boys love hiking and sleeping outside. I just want to make sure I'm prepared.
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:51 AM
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Camping with dogs is a ton of fun for sure!

In regards to the backpacks, weight should never exceed 1/3 of your dog's ideal body weight. That's awesome that your dogs are in such great hiking shape, but it doesnt automatically mean they are in great BACKPACKING shape Its very different to be able to freely scramble over rocks and jump over logs than it is to do so with a pack on. Because of this your dogs should not immediatly be required to carry that maximum weight. I regularly backpack with the boys during the warmer months but regardless I rarely get them to carry more than 10Lbs each even though OC's max is 20Lbs and Ronan's is just over 15Lbs.

With getting cold, couldn't you put Miley in your sleeping bag with you? As for the boys, is possible bring something along that lets them sleep off the ground. Its not chilly air that gets a sleeping dog cold, its moisture from the ground. If they typically arent bothered however then I wouldnt bother.

If you keep the boys moving and hiking all day like you say you are planning to, maybe at night they will be tired enough to put up with the presence of the other? If not then the divided tent idea might work that ones trcky since I dont know your dogs, I dont know their tolerance levels and I dont know they react to being on their own or what not.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:10 AM
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That is a good point. How hard would it be to condition them for it? I would think getting them use to carrying a backpack would be the first step, then slowly increasing the weight to what they would be expected to carry?

I could very well stick her in my sleeping bag. She wiggles her way into bed with me as is. I'd be afraid I'd squish her though. I'm going to have to think if it's even worth her coming. She is a bit of a diva.

I am thinking they would be tired enough to sleep around each other. They are doing it right now. Infact, they are cuddled up to each other. We had a big doggy adventure day and they are smitten with one another. It's hard to say with the two of them. They are best buds one minute and the next their friendship is strained. I noticed Bandit is being a lot more tolerant of Spanky lately and Spanky isn't pestering him so much.

I'm still in the planning stage so this won't be for awhile. I have never camped with more than one dog before. I took my Sheltie once upon a time ago. But camping with one dog and camping with three dogs is a bit different when your boys are poop heads.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:20 AM
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Yup how you described to condition the dogs for backpacking is perfect! Just take things stead and dont rush it because you are trying to meet a certain date. You shouldnt be increasing too quick or you could end up hurting your dog making the whole experience unpleasurable. When you first introduce the pack, stuff the pockets with newspaper so the dogs get used to the extra bulk of a full pack without any of the weight.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:34 AM
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Awesome!

I don't have a date set yet and am in no rush. I'd rather the dogs be fully capable of carrying their packs and wait some extra time than rush it and have them hurt themselvse due to my own stupidity.
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