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View Full Version : Pack for the Pooch, any suggestions?



jsarrel
11-04-2005, 23:30
I'm looking at getting my 2 yr old Boxer a pack. Hey, he's a working dog, let him work! I know Granite Gear sells the Ruff Rider specifically for dogs. Anybody else have any suggestions for a decent pack? Anyone have a dog pack they can rave or gripe about?

Thanks
Jason (and Toby)

Uncle Silly
11-05-2005, 00:08
I like Kelty's ChuckWagon models. Katy and I tried a Granite Gear pack at first and had some trouble with it -- mostly with the straps rubbing sores on her. The ChuckWagon straps have a bit different configuration and seem to have less of a problem. We met several other pups on the trail using the Kelty packs, too.

Chip
11-05-2005, 00:16
Kelty Chuckwagon packs are the ones my dogs carry. No problems. ;)

jsarrel
11-05-2005, 01:53
Thanks for the replies. The one thing I am concerned about is comfort. He can't really tell me if it feels good or not. I would have figured that since GG makes some comfortable packs for humans (from what I hear) the dog packs would be equally comfortable. I've looked at lots of packs offered online, some look okay, some don't. It's amazing to see a site that explains the importance of having the weight focused on the shoulders and not the back although their pictures clearly show most of the weight on the back.

I'm also curious about pack weight. I guess it all depends on the dog just as it does the human, but what is the average weight your dog carries (weight of dog and weight of pack)? Of course I want to start out light, but then I have to wonder what light is. I guess first I have to find out if he'll even carry a pack.

Once again thank you. Keep them coming!

Jason (and Toby)

Freighttrain
11-05-2005, 08:31
my dog carries a Kelty Chuckwagon too.... she is a 50# lab and has no problem handling food for 5-6 days.. i carry her dollar store UL water bowls, anti-biotic cream, and extra water for those stretches without water

the newer ones are even better in that the pack itself is velcro'd to the harness so when ya stop for a rest you can just rip the saddle pockets right off...

Smile
11-05-2005, 09:24
My Border Collie used a Granite Gear this summer, from WV - PA, no problems. Carried own food/water and our trash ( lite) Suggestion - on steep down hills they can slip forward, so be sure to adjust for this depending on the girth of your pooch's paunch/ribs.

Easy to clean when needed in a washer or rinse out in shower, turn inside out to dry first. Did not experience heavy rains - something to keep in mind....we baggied all food just in case and also made balancing the load easy and convenient. We also used the collapsable "soft" bowl for water/food. Suggestion - to add a few extra calories we also spritzed the food with olive oil, not too heavy if carried in the proper container and used a squirt top for ease of use.

When you first put it on 'loaded' the dog may just sit there and not move, but will get used to it first....we 'trained' for several weeks with a full load before we headed out on the trail, I would recommend this to iron out any glitches, weight issues, comfort/rubbing situations that could develop - better before than while on trail!

Chip
11-05-2005, 10:18
Thanks for the replies. The one thing I am concerned about is comfort. He can't really tell me if it feels good or not. I would have figured that since GG makes some comfortable packs for humans (from what I hear) the dog packs would be equally comfortable. I've looked at lots of packs offered online, some look okay, some don't. It's amazing to see a site that explains the importance of having the weight focused on the shoulders and not the back although their pictures clearly show most of the weight on the back.

I'm also curious about pack weight. I guess it all depends on the dog just as it does the human, but what is the average weight your dog carries (weight of dog and weight of pack)? Of course I want to start out light, but then I have to wonder what light is. I guess first I have to find out if he'll even carry a pack.

Once again thank you. Keep them coming!

Jason (and Toby)

The weight of the pack should not exceed a third of a dog's weight. Also
just like your pack make sure the pack is balanced from side to side. My dog will carry her food & lite weight bowls. The pack will fit up on the shoulders and upper back area. Never mid to lower back. My dog weighs 65 lbs. The specs for her pack are: Chuckwagon Dog Pack - M, Style # 77777104, D-F-01.03. This is a medium size pack. She can carry 12 to 14 pounds with no problems, she is in excellent condition. One reason is that she is a Treeing
Walker Hound. She does not hunt. I am not a hunter. She was found / rescued in Pisgah NF. I have trained her to be a trailhound instead.
Hope this answers some of your questions.

Happy Trails,
Chip :)

Uncle Silly
11-05-2005, 16:32
I'm also curious about pack weight. I guess it all depends on the dog just as it does the human, but what is the average weight your dog carries (weight of dog and weight of pack)?

Katy's right around 60lbs, and I think the most she ever carried was about 10-12lbs. This worked out to 4-5 days of food. She could carry more, but I had the medium-size ChuckWagon pack and nothing else would fit! I'm planning to get the XL pack for her for further backpacking -- the medium is barely adequate for 5 days and I'd like to be able to carry more than that.

Get him used to the pack by putting it on empty the first few times. Then slowly increase the weight -- and like others said, try to keep the saddlebags balanced. As someone else said, the fully-loaded pack should weigh no more than 1/3rd of the dog's weight.

Depending on how you and your dog hike together, you might like the removable-saddlebags type of pack, and you might not. Katy likes to run through the underbrush and I'd be afraid of a saddlebag getting lost, so I'll stick to the plain pack with integrated bags. This wouldn't be an issue for dogs that spend all their trail time on leash, though.

trinityalps
11-06-2005, 00:07
Just to add another possibility, I'm using a Wolfpack Bonzai. I have owned a few different types of dog packs. Mine is purple and reflectorized. Got it that way because some of my trips happen during hunting season, and because sometimes I don't get to camp before dark. I love the pack. More importantly, my dog carries it better than anything else I've put on her back. I'll post the link to the Wolfpack site, but I'd call them to get exactly the right size. Great customer service.

http://wolfpacks.com/

Chip
11-06-2005, 12:41
Just to add another possibility, I'm using a Wolfpack Bonzai. I have owned a few different types of dog packs. Mine is purple and reflectorized. Got it that way because some of my trips happen during hunting season, and because sometimes I don't get to camp before dark. I love the pack. More importantly, my dog carries it better than anything else I've put on her back. I'll post the link to the Wolfpack site, but I'd call them to get exactly the right size. Great customer service.

http://wolfpacks.com/

Great web site !! Thanks !!! :)

tville_hiker
11-06-2005, 14:52
wondering if anyone has ever used this pack and what they think of it?
http://www.summithut.com/catalog/remap/product.asp/DeptID/414/SortOrder/1/pfid/19101/