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[at-l] Dogs



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Hey Cleek!

I hike with my two dogs, and the only comments I get are about how nice and=
 well behaved they are.

My dogs are litter mates and they are 1/2 golden retriever and 1/2 yellow l=
ab. (they are called goldadores)  Jeff may be able to tell us a little more=
 about their generic breed chararactists, but from my experience, they are =
VERY intelligent, and VERY well behaved.  My dogs were treated carefully as=
 pups so that they would grow slowly and thus be less prone to hip dysphasi=
a, (not saying that they won't have problems, but that WE didn't aggravate =
the possibility by feeding them a diet which would make them grow too quick=
ly) and began training at age 6 weeks.  They only bark when I give them per=
mission, and the are very tolerant of other people.  When aggressive dogs b=
ark or lunge at them, they watch carefully, but do not otherwise react.  Re=
gardless of if they are on leash or off, they walk at my side and they also=
 walk side by side.  When I send them off on a run, they run together, and =
when they do, they come straight back to me. They are never out of site and=
 they respond both to verbal, hand signals, and whistles.

There are a couple of cautions I would add to Amy's very good advice,

Any dog is a social animal, some more than others.  Mine get their feelings=
 hurt if they are left alone for more than a few hours a day.

Being that our dogs are so close to our family, we all recognize their comm=
unications for what they are.  (Laying in a certain position means they are=
 waiting to be called over to lay with me, a raised eyebrow means that they=
 sense discord and want to know if they are in trouble or the cause of unha=
ppiness, a nose on the leg, and then walking away means they need to go out=
side, etc.)

When we hike, they are, like my kids, the pace setters and break takers.  W=
hen they need a break, we take one.  When they are done for the day, we cam=
p.  A dog will respect the commands of its Alpha, and if you make him walk =
all day with raw hamburger pads, he will.  He will also go into a situation=
 he feels is unsafe if you make him, so paying attention to him is the best=
 way to keep him from getting hurt.  Ransom stepped on glass once and cut h=
is pad.  He stopped and looked at me with his paw up, I got out the first a=
id kit, took the glass out, cleaned and bandaged the paw, and then we hiked=
 on for a few miles until he let me know he was ready to stop.

I wouldn't bring them into a shelter, but not because they are wet, (they s=
hake off on command so that's not an issue)  I wouldn't do it because they =
are as big as a person.  (Ransom and Amy together weigh 190 lbs.) and it wo=
uld be discourteous to other shelter users.  Also, they can't take their bo=
ots off and might track mud around.


I highly recommend a large dog, but with any dog, (I'm sure you've thought =
this through already, but it wouldn't be responsible of me to not mention t=
his again) you must be ready to commit the full time and effort it takes.  =
They don't just need food, water, and a place to shit, they are members of =
your family and require your love and attention to be happy.  Training work=
s better when the rest of the pack knows that you are looking out for them =
and love them.

As Jeff Said, I would also be more than happy to share some specifics I hav=
e learned about training and maintaining a relationship with a dog.  If you=
 are interested, E-mail me off list.

(off soapbox)

-r

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Wilderness1
  To: Billie H. Cleek ; AT-L
  Cc: Charles Davidson ; Amy
  Sent: Friday, October 25, 2002 6:42 AM
  Subject: Re: [at-l] Dogs


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  Chase wrote
  >"get a dog after your hike and if you have a dog now leave it at home. :=
-)
  That is rather direct but it is my opinion"<

  Remember, that IS just ONE opinion, and I offer my opinion as well...
  I breed and train service dogs and find that with proper breeding and tra=
ining most dogs are more trail savvy than the hiker/owners are.
  Problems are usually caused by the inconsiderate OWNER/HIKER, not by dogs=
. i.e. the OWNER let the dog in the shelter, the OWNER tied the dog near th=
e bridge etc...

  As for the breed, Amy has a good point.
  I breed Labradors, and often hike with my 100lb yellow lab. Large breed d=
ogs can carry high pack weights easily (their food for a week or more) with=
out fatiguing, but after hiking for years with large breed dogs I can also =
see some advantages of hiking with a smaller breed. There is a high probabi=
lity that it will be the dog getting injured on the trail rather than the h=
iker, and a small dog is easier to carry if needed.

  Regardless of the breed you select, make sure you obtain a OFA on the dog=
 before hiking with them. (The OFA test is for any predisposed hip and join=
t problems.) If getting you dog from a breeder, the breeder should provide =
a clear OFA on the parents. If selecting a dog from a pound or shelter most=
 GOOD vets can take the x-rays and send them off for OFA certification.

  If you want any details of my experiences hiking with dogs let me know of=
f list.

  jeff / wilderness1
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Billie H. Cleek
    To: AT-L
    Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2002 1:47 PM
    Subject: [at-l] Dogs



    Hey folks,

    I'm starting to look at getting a dog.  I've researched a lot, and righ=
t
    now I'm strongly considering a Giant Schnauzer.  They're from the
    working dog group, and definitely like exercise.  One of the things I'l=
l
    want to do with my dog is hike (of course).  Do any of you have
    experience or knowledge of Giant Schnauzers that you can share with me?
    If you have experience or knowledge of Giant Schauzers as a hiking dog
    I'd greatly appreciate it, but I'll settle for whatever you can offer.

    Thanks,
    Cleek
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  From the AT-L mailing list         est. 1995
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