Survivalist Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want my dog to carry some of his light weight BoB kit in his panier backpack but Im not quite sure how to introduce it to him.

Iv begun by letting him wear the empty paniers in his training sessions which he seems to be getting on OK with.

Do I then add the weight gradually or do I see what his like outside on a walk first?

His a Cairn x ? (staffy we think) terrier approximately 7-8 years old, so not a very big chap - he looks like a large black Westie.

The panier straps go round his neck and across his belly onto his rip cage. He definately doesnt like being lifted by it and will wiggle out. The backpack has two paniers to each side which I hope to put in extra leash, collar, folding bowls.

I will carry the heavy stuff like food and water.

Thanks for your continued assistance.
P
 

·
Member
Joined
·
2,979 Posts
It can't hurt to introduce him to it gradually if you have the time.

Take him on walks with the empty packs, then start loading him up until you have him carrying what you want him to.

I backpacked with my Rott and he wore a backpack which carried his food and my extra clothing and other lightweight stuff. He kinda got a crash course in getting used to the pack but he responded well to it so no big deal.

Your pooch probably would be OK with the crash course too, but if you have the time I think the gradual exposure would make it easier on him and avoid any issues he might have from jumping right in.
 

·
Got to keep on keepin on
Joined
·
1,648 Posts
Purdy,
I introduced our dogs to their packs by putting them on empty with the cue "Let's Pack!" for a about 5 minutes, praise & pet, give treat, remove.
Wait a little while (couple of hours) repeat.
Wait a while, then secured the packs (still empty) with a strap/belt so they didn't flop around too much, then took dog outside to play ball for 5-10 minutes..
The packs are always associated with a fun (or food ;) ) activity at first, in a short, positive manner, with sincere/genuine praise. "Look at my big strong dog! GOOD Pack! GOOD Dog!"
Then took them for walks, packs still empty for few days.
Then started adding weight gradually by putting sand in ziploc bags equally per side.
After they were used to the sand weight, then started replacing it with dry food/kibbles. I think starting w/ kibble distracts them w/ the smell. Then at the end of the walk, take off the pack, and so they can see it come out of the pocket, give them a small handful of kibble as their reward. We have a collapsible nylon Cordura dog bowl that goes in their packs and gave them the kibble in that.

Now when the packs come out the dogs start bouncing around since they know they're going for a walk/getting to do "a job". (And food will be coming eventually) :D::D:
Imo, all dogs need (and usually want) "a job" to do. The best part is, in addition to carrying some of theiir own stuff, the additional weight helps them burn a few more calories & gets them more tired.
And tired dogs don't get in (as much) trouble! :thumb:

Hope this helps. Good luck!
 

·
Renaissance Man
Joined
·
7,503 Posts
I've had a couple dogs that did a lot of hiking and carried packs, but they were larger dogs and working breeds, so they had few problems getting used to the packs. The biggest issue was them rubbing on rocks or trees as they passed. At first, I couldn't tell if they were doing it on purpose or if they were simply unaware of their new girth. But with time I realized they were doing it on purpose... or at least as a subconscious thing to get the packs off. This goes away with time, and most dog packs are well built on the outside because of this, so unless it gets really out of hand, it's probably not worth worrying about too much. My dogs loved to hike, so the pack wasn't a big deal to them. I started with empty packs and slowly put lightweight bulky things in them to fill them out. As the dogs get used to the size, I started putting small amounts of food in them and let the dogs have a little of the food right out of the pack during our walks. This way, the packs had a food smell, and they could identify the packs with food, and not resent them.

I did allow the dogs to eat directly out of the packs, which I think helped them to accept the packs, and saved carrying a food bowl.

My malamute could easily carry all his food, accessories, and water for a weeks trip, (~35lbs) and it barely slowed him down. But he was 120 lbs, very strong, and had a lot of heart.

Good luck! Hiking with dogs is very rewarding, but there are a few challenges as well. Train your dog well, and keep in mind their breed and temperment, and you'll be fine and have fun.

Az
 

·
17 Oaks Ranch Tx
Joined
·
3,890 Posts
I

My malamute could easily carry all his food, accessories, and water for a weeks trip, (~35lbs) and it barely slowed him down. But he was 120 lbs,


Az
I have NO idea of what weight a dog can and should carry. For us 2 legged folks the Army has done a LOT of testing on this and its 20% of body weight on the back (in the ruck) additional weight, helmet, weapon etc not included in the 20% factor.

AZB has observed a 35 lb load with his 120 lb dog...that is right at 30% of body weight, I would think that would be fine after all they walk on 4 vs 2 and you have better weight distribution.

I do know that horses, mule, jacks, goats etc can carry amazing weights when PROPERLY mounted on their backs and distributed.

I would concur you need to start out empty and then build up weight as you build up muscle, like anything else be it an Infantry soldier or pack mule. I would suggest SAND for the training phase, because you can distribute the weight equally in the pannier and build the muscle. You may want to train by just walking with pannier/sand and use another pannier for treks.

I would bet there is info on this somewhere especially as pack animals are still in use in many places to include the US and I am sure the govt has spent MILLIONS of taxpayers dollars on trying to find out the answer:eek::rolleyes: albeit more than likey the study had more to do with the sex life of pack mules than anything else.

Good post, good thread, thanks...:thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
I bought mine and would take her for a walk in the forest when they got put on. It was not long before I had to hide them because she would get so excited just catching a glimpse of them. She loves to wear them because she knows when I put them on we are going out and most likely camping.

Russ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,353 Posts
I agree with others - introduce the pack as empty then slowly add to it. Our Lab mix loved to walk around with her backpack. We even made her carry her own food and water while we hiked. We got some bad looks here and there, but for the most part, things were fine.

For my wife's smaller dog, she wouldn't be able to carry near as much, nor would she like/enjoy it...
 

·
Member
Joined
·
2,979 Posts
Just an afterthought / side note...

In case you're asking this because you are planning on taking your dog on a pack trip, in addition to getting him use to the pack you need to get his feet use to the walk.

Depending on the type of terrain he'll be on it can really tear up his feet. Take him on daily, gradually extending walks over "rough" terrain (on the street, over dirt/rocks, etc.) to get his pads toughened up.

They also make booties for dogs. Pet stores probably carry them but I know REI has them as I just bought some from them about a month ago (sorry, no review, haven't used them yet).

Either way, you might consider a little doggie FAK with moleskin, bandaging materials, salve, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,847 Posts
Weight in the panniers should not exceed 20% of the dog's "healthy" weight. A dog that weights 20% more than he should already does NOT get his pack weight increased by 20%. The dogs spine has to support this weight just like it had instantly gotten 20% fatter the minute you put it on and dogs spines are not designed to support heavy loads. (Massively built work dogs can exceed this limit.)

The most important factor is fit. You won't know what is hurting until he lets you know, which may be well beyond the point of minor irritation. It is also VERY important to remember that to a dog the panniers are like wearing a coat. Expect the dog to be MUCH hotter than it would be otherwise. He can't sweat it away like we can. Not a good option for a cool weather dog in hot weather.

Get the dog to love the pack because it comes to associate it with going on a walk. Put the pack on for every walk with praise and treats for good behavior until he it gets used to it. Do not use it as a convenient carrying handle except for emergencies. Very difficult for a dog to breath that way and it will hurt where the straps cut in.

No reason a dog can't carry its own kibble and food/water bowl. I usually balance the load with some paracord or other odds and ends on the other side. I like bright colors so I don't lose track of her so easily. Been thinking about keeping a GPS tracker on her as well. The pannier in the photo is one for an 80 lb dog and she's only 60. I found that SHE finds it more comfortable than one meant for her size.
 

Attachments

·
Got to keep on keepin on
Joined
·
1,648 Posts
Just an afterthought / side note...

They also make booties for dogs. Pet stores probably carry them but I know REI has them as I just bought some from them about a month ago (sorry, no review, haven't used them yet)..
Since you bring it up, you want to see something ROFLMAO funny (imo) - put a set of dog boots on for the 1st time.:D:
Make sure you have your video camera ready though. :thumb: and keep drinks away from the computer screen.
As a bird dog hunter I bought a set of Muttluks http://www.muttluks.com/home.php for my dog after working in a field with a lot of burrs and they've held up well. But Lewis dog boots are probably the most popular ones out there http://www.gundogsupply.com/-950-.html Most folks I know secure them on the dog with duct tape because they DO have a way of disappearing. :upsidedown:.

Just like anything else, keep the intros short & positive & gradual and you'll avoid permanent repercussions. Good luck w/ your pups 'n preps! ;)
 

·
Liberty or Death
Joined
·
91 Posts
I have a Ruffwear Palisades pack for my Pit Bull mix. The nice feature of this pack is you can unhook the saddlebags and just leave the web harness on the body, so we would just put the harness on her body and leave her in the apartment so she could get use to the sensation of walking around with the harness. Then we moved up to the saddlebags being empty on short then long walks, then stuffed with newspaper to have the sensation of being full without adding weight, then walks with both hydration bladders full.

The most important thing to remember is not to "strap" the bag to the dog but to "balance" the weight of the bag over the middle of the back. If the pack is leaning one way you have to adjust the load so that it has equal weight on both sides.

http://www.zappos.com/ruff-wear-palisades-pack-red-currant
 

Attachments

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,312 Posts
I've tried having my 2 GSD's carry their own food, the problem is they spent more time sniffing each others packs than walking. They now carry water and general "stuff" (bowls, my socks and underwear) and I carry the food.
 

·
Limpin to safety.
Joined
·
7,639 Posts
You guys are making me wish I had a dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
We recently picked up some bags at REI. I just went in to buy some fuel, but staying away from the pet section is really hard [cough]when the girlfriend comes along[/cough]. We have a 70-pound black lab/pit mix. I was amazed at her reaction the first time we put the empty bags on her. She was already in the mood to go out since we had both been at work all day, but we put the bags on and gave her only praise without treats. She loved them. We let her wear them around the house but didn't use them on the walk that day. Now we are progressing in to empty bag walks with treats. Things are looking good so far.

Lots of good tips and info in this thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
762 Posts
Please be sure the straps don't chafe or rub, especially the armpits and in front of the rear legs. Look for red skin initially, later for darker skin pigment. I'm sure you will have plenty of fun using your new pack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
I'm looking at doing this with my dogs since they need more exercise and a Job to do. One of them is a 175lb English Mastiff. Very gentle and trustworthy. Where can I find a pack that will fit him?

Ok it just took a little looking. Got it.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top