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Hiking with your dog from a veterinarian's perspective

Dogs, dogs and even some cats
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Re: Hiking with your dog from a veterinarian's perspective

Postby Tigerbear » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:47 am

I won't even list the out of shape and whining dogs I have seen above 12,000 feet.
Many on class three climbs.
Because of this carelessness and stupidity, I have been called out in the middle of the night to climb a mountain , by headlamp, and put a dog in a litter and wheel it down the mountain. SAR usually does not respond for these type of calls, but it was the right thing to do.
Yes, some people need to be educated.
people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel...

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Re: Hiking with your dog from a veterinarian's perspective

Postby James Dziezynski » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:50 pm

To the topic creator: thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience. Sharing the mountains with dogs is a wonderful experience.
Check out my book Best Summit Hikes in Colorado at http://amzn.to/WKkWOH

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Re: Hiking with your dog from a veterinarian's perspective

Postby Tortoise1 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:07 pm

live4pc wrote:
ajkagy wrote:seriously? now everybody needs a lecture on this site about dogs and 14ers now? when will the madness end ](*,)


Hike with your dog at your OWN risk - if not careful you just may end up in a courtroom fighting frivolous charges. ;)


Fighting frivolous charges is a walk in the park. It's fighting substantive charges that's a problem.

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Re: Hiking with your dog from a veterinarian's perspective

Postby Randy » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:19 pm

I had a keeshound I rescued in colorado springs for 11 yrs, she hated to hike, so I never forced her too, she excelled in cross coutry road trips. Well she passed away 6 months ago, man was I bummed. Anyway, 4 months ago I rescued a 4 yr old Austrailan shepard, man that dog can hike like fn mad. He is without a doubt having the time of his life, I asked him. Dogs dont belong on summits? that gets the prize for the f***ing dumbest thing Ive heard in awhile. My only thing is, I keep mine on a 16 retractable leash and do not let him acoust people on the trail, that is selfish.

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Re: Hiking with your dog from a veterinarian's perspective

Postby pills2619 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:17 pm

Dogs are not 35 year old overweight humans... They were meant to work and work hard. They can handle the altitude and miles way better then us. Also leashing your dog for fear of it being injured is a joke, the reward outweighs the risk when it comes to spending time in the wilderness for us, same for the dogs. just my leash hating 2 cents...
They forget that some crisis is necessary to hone skill. "Near misses," those brief encounters with the reality of mortality, are great learning tools if properly approached. -Denali Climbers Guidebook

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Re: Hiking with your dog from a veterinarian's perspective

Postby gdthomas » Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:29 am

pills2619 wrote:...Also leashing your dog for fear of it being injured is a joke, the reward outweighs the risk when it comes to spending time in the wilderness for us, same for the dogs. just my leash hating 2 cents...


I, like every other reponsible dog owner, always leashed my dog out of respect for other hikers and, of course, because it's required in the wilderness.

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Re: Hiking with your dog from a veterinarian's perspective

Postby RoanMtnMan » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:26 am

I guess it is my farm perspective, but I grew up in a place that hasn't even made reality TV shows yet. Drug dealers, stupid rednecks robbing our house, and not a trained dog in sight. I used to honestly walk 2 miles to see the only other decent fellow my age, passing single wides filled with people that most would find unfavorable.

I wasn't exposed to the leash idea until I left home. However, I used to spend every moment I could walking up and down trails, hills and roads with my little sis without a thought of the dog situation (everyone there had at least 3 and they were all irresponsibly owned). It was a guarantee that when you walked by certain trailers you were going to be accosted. I can't count how many dogs we were fearfully chased by, or dog fights I broke up before age 18. We never really thought it was abnormal. So, I say who cares about the dogs on trails, leashed or not. Just toughen up a bit, mountain fun is meant to be an adventure and all. Go to a developing country and check out those dogs for some training.

When a dog approaches me aggressively, I defend appropriately, but no big deal, it happens, and it is just a dog. We had a dog bite half of our Newfs ear off at the bottom of Elbert once, some gauze, duct tape, and doctoring at home and she is still just fine. I didn't get upset at all. People are just a little too sensitive on both sides of a fairly minor subject I guess.

Another thought, I can't imagine that any animal that escapes coyotes, lions, and hawks everyday doesn't have a few skills to get away from a domestic dog. And if something happens to my dogs or if something happens to another person or dog because of my dogs, it is my responsibility to manage and accept that risk and accept the consequences in my opinion. I think about these things every time I let them out of the truck, as all should. If it worried me that I was going to get sued or they couldn't make the trip or that they may do something worse to the environment than the elk and deer do to our property, I would leave them at home without another thought.

Now being caught in an avalanche or rockslide or emergency bivy or back tracking my steps solo in fresh snow only to see mountain lion tracks on top, that still seems to concern the heck out of me.
Last edited by RoanMtnMan on Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hiking with your dog from a veterinarian's perspective

Postby TallGrass » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:15 am

pills2619 wrote: [Dogs] were meant to work and work hard. They can handle the altitude and miles way better then us.
Oblivious of even the most basic dog groups (ala AKC and others) much less the variety of breed characteristics developed over the millenia. Bulldogs and a 14er hike in late July are a bad pairing. Same for Palmeranians but at least you could toss those in your pack. Then there's the Boston Terrier that was falling behind like the altitude was getting to him (brother was fine) and his owner dutifully didn't push the dog to summit, rather made sure it got back to the car to recoup.

RoanMtnMan wrote:We had a dog bite half of our Newfs ear off at the bottom of Elbert once, some gauze, duct tape, and doctoring at home and she is still just fine. I didn't get upset at all.
Same go for if some kid bit half your kid's ear off? Or are dogs just property like trekking poles and water bottles?


When I was a young kid, I knew a husky that had something up with his nose. Owner said when ever Buck acted up, he used a screwdriver, "the blunt end (handle), not the tip -- that'd be cruel. Nose is real sensitive so they learn quicker that way." Still remember hearing it yelp... repeatedly. :(
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:

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Re: Hiking with your dog from a veterinarian's perspective

Postby flylikeabeagle » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:38 am

Thanks to the veterinarian for taking the time to post great info.
Can we drive any higher?

Re: Hiking with your dog from a veterinarian's perspective

Postby Bean » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:39 am

gdthomas wrote:I, like every other reponsible dog owner, always leashed my dog out of respect for other hikers and, of course, because it's required in the wilderness.

Following the speed limit is required on public roadways. Do you always do that too?
gdthomas wrote:Bean, you're an idiot.

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