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How young is too young for puppies on trail?

Dogs, dogs and even some cats
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Re: How young is too young for puppies on trail?

Postby Waggs » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:35 pm

Floyd wrote:We taught him to swim at Chatfield but frequent Cherry Creek.


Did you really have to TEACH your lab to swim?

Seems like mine is:

Hey, is that water?
That's water!
Got to get in the water!
Got to get water all over me.

Hey, is that a stick?
There's a stick in the water?
Got to get that stick.
I'm, getting that stick.
Here, I brought you a stick, throw it so I can get more of that water on me!

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I also marvel (when the water is clear enough) watching my pups strokes as he swims back to shore.

Both dogs are beautiful.

Waggs
Gloves are optional. Mittens mandatory - S. Gladbach

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Re: How young is too young for puppies on trail?

Postby DaveSwink » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:48 pm

Waggs wrote:Hey, is that water?


:lol: :lol: :lol: Nice doggy speak interpretation!

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Re: How young is too young for puppies on trail?

Postby Floyd » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:04 pm

Waggs wrote:
Floyd wrote:We taught him to swim at Chatfield but frequent Cherry Creek.


Did you really have to TEACH your lab to swim?



Oddly enough, we did actually have to teach him. We have another lab who has some leg issues so he doesn't hike but he would rather swim than walk. Floyd, on the other hand, while a pup didn't realize that water could be deeper than him (since we frequent Cherry Creek). When he was a few months old we were up at Estes Park and he chased another dog in to the lake and sunk to the bottom like a stone. It scared the bejeezus out of him and he wouldn't go near the water again. My wife and I had to take him to Chatfield and coax him. We stood on either end of a small (~40 ft) inlet and held treats out for him to swim across to the other. So, yes, we actually did have to teach our lab to swim.
"Athletes express themselves physically, this is their art. As an athlete, exhausting oneself on the field or or on the track or on the trail or on the mountain brings calm and satisfaction. Thrashing about… our expression." - Steve Gleason

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Re: How young is too young for puppies on trail?

Postby CORed » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:43 pm

ChicagoMike wrote:I have a 6 month old chocolate lab puppy who is built like a tank. He is very strong for his age and he will be a big dog (90+ pounds, currently 50lbs), but he is still a puppy. I love to back country ski and tour and I want to get him up there as well. At what age can I start getting him on the trail? Is he too young right now for an easy ski tour? Like anything with a puppy I figure the earlier he gets comfortable with a situation the better but am I pushing too hard? Experienced advice needed. Thanks


I had a Lab-German Shephard mix who I started on a camping trip with some fairly long day hikes in Canyonlands (in October) when she was about 6 months. She did fine, aside from learning about cactus the hard way -- she walked right into a big patch of prickly pear. I took her on her first ski tour probably a month or two later.

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Re: How young is too young for puppies on trail?

Postby IMOUTDOORS » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:09 pm

Mia, goldendoodle, hiked her first 14er around 5 month, although I put her in my pack for the last 1,000 vert. Had her out on a short ski day around 8 months and she did fine. Make sure you know how their paws react to snow. Bag balm or vaseline work well if the snow tends to stick.

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Re: How young is too young for puppies on trail?

Postby annabella » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:02 am

I agree with the one-year mark for doing anything strenuous. I also agree with letting him practice on trails and in the snow - looks like he's good at it.

I'm going to make a suggestion; if your goal is to have him accompany you off-leash in the mountains, keep him on a leash for now and train him to walk on the trail with you. My dog knows that the only appropriate time to leave the trail is to take care of his "business," unless I give him directions otherwise. This keeps him safe from wildlife, and wildlife safe from him. Keeping him on a leash now allows you to train him in good trail manners, too - ideally you want him to basically ignore all the other people on the trail. This is hard with an adorable puppy, because everyone wants to stop and say "awwww," but in the long run, the best trail dogs are the ones that don't bother anyone or anything.

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Re: How young is too young for puppies on trail?

Postby CORed » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:10 pm

I had one of my dogs on a car-camping, day hiking trip in the southern Utah desert at six months. She did well, but it took her awhile to learn the difference between a wash and a trail, and she ended up learning all about cactus the hard way (walked right into a big patch of prickly pear).

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