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View Full Version : Anyone ever hear of Someone thru-hiking with a small dog???



KRYSS1022
06-14-2006, 13:47
I would like to bring my dog with me on my thru-hike come 2007. She is a chihuahua and only 3.5 pounds. Am i crazy for wanting to bring her with me? She hikes with me on a daily basis, but only about 6 or 7 miles a morning. Would the weather changes be too much for her? Any suggestions on really good dog coats that wil fit her if she was to come? Any suggestions would be great. thanks

Bayou
06-14-2006, 13:52
For your dogs safety and health, leave her at home!

Ridge
06-14-2006, 14:00
Have you considered "Dehydration" or "Freeze Drying" ? I'm sorry I couldn't resist.

berninbush
06-14-2006, 14:08
KRYS, I'm not a thru-hiker, and my own dog is considerably bigger, but here are some questions you might ask yourself:

1. How far do you plan to hike per day?
2. Is your dog capable of day hikes that length? (If not, don't bring her.)
3. How much is she normally bothered by heat and cold?
4. How does she react to people she doesn't know? Animals? She's sure to meet lots of both!
5. If she gets tired, are you willing to carry her, in your arms or in your pack?
6. How much "dog gear" will you need including food, leash, coat, and anything else she'll need? How much will this weigh?

Pacific Tortuga
06-14-2006, 14:14
Hikers have brought cats that size and they end up ride'in on their pack,if your dog trees mice that would be a plus. Your call but with so many starving trekkers :o you know some would be plotting about wildernous stew ;)

rhjanes
06-14-2006, 14:16
Have you read "Blind Courage"?
Orient was a trained German Shepard. they had to stop on, I think, two occasions to let paws heal. The dog, on several occasions, refused to go on for more than a mile or two (early in the hike). Your dog will be taking about 10 steps for one of yours. Given the weight, just be prepared to carry the dog and food etc, for most of it.
There are more than a few post on TrailJournals where people realise the pain and suffering on the animal, and send it home.

poison_ivy
06-14-2006, 14:23
In 2003, I ran into a thru hiker named Tadpole who was thru-hiking with his very small dog, Twinkle Toes. I don't remember the breed, but I do remember she was small enough that he could scoop her up and carry her if need be. IIRC, his daily mileage was often determined by what Twinkle Toes could do... if the dog was starting to act tired it was time to camp whether Tadpole could keep hiking or not.

There are some areas that dogs are not allowed in... such as Baxter State Park & the Smokies so you'll have to make other arrangements there.

- Ivy

SGT Rock
06-14-2006, 14:27
Same sort of thing basically in " A Journey North: One Woman's Story of Hiking the A.T.". It wasn't a small dog, but it had lots of issues with weather and other people resulting in the dog getting shot and later sent home.

One of the weirdest experiences I ever had with a vicious dog on the trail was a chihuahua. I personally wouldn't recommend bringing one for a lot of reasons, but I have never tried to either.

corentin
06-14-2006, 14:37
One of the weirdest experiences I ever had with a vicious dog on the trail was a chihuahua.

Please tell. I have to hear this. Course I don't like ankle biters anyway .....

Ridge
06-14-2006, 14:44
Rock did the little fellow look like this??


http://images.google.com/images?q=tbn:FlPdJgpISEeKeM:www.cannabisculture.co m/forums/uploads/1188128-chihuahuagonemad.jpg (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.cannabisculture.com/forums/uploads/1188128-chihuahuagonemad.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.cannabisculture.com/forums/showflat.php%3FCat%3D%26Number%3D1188128%26page%3D 0%26view%3Dcollapsed%26sb%3D5%26o%3D%26fpart%3D1&h=870&w=1117&sz=245&tbnid=FlPdJgpISEeKeM:&tbnh=116&tbnw=150&hl=en&start=8&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dchihuahua%2Bmad%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3De n%26lr%3D%26safe%3Doff)

Vi+
06-14-2006, 14:59
I met someone hiking with a small dog, who claimed to be Thru Hiking. I deduced, from what he said, he was frequently hitching around long sections to keep up with friends.

I have lived and hiked with large and small dogs. Of major importance is the dog’s health. Age has an impact upon a dog’s health. It may be perfectly healthy for its daily routine yet fail during a distance hike. The breed is also of some consequence. I believe in general a small dog of a good breed, age, and health would have an advantage over a large dog, IF the dog doesn’t carry anything.

I am philosophically opposed to hiking with a dog.

Please don’t ask why some oppose hiking with dogs. There are volumes written on this topic, and it always turns ugly and becomes divisive.

Ridge
06-14-2006, 15:08
...... I believe in general a small dog of a good breed, age, and health would have an advantage over a large dog, .........

In my youth when I carried my spaniel with me on hikes I realized his legs where just too short to continuously climb over rocks, trees, and every thing else. A long legged dog has it all over a smaller, short legged one, when it comes to hiking. That said, Leave the dog at home and let him, along with other loved ones, see the pictures when you get back.

SGT Rock
06-14-2006, 15:18
Please tell. I have to hear this. Course I don't like ankle biters anyway .....

OK, here goes...

THERE I WAS!

(you are all supposed to say no ****!)

It was 2000 and one and I was hiking SOBO on the AT. I was doing the section from NOC to Amicolola SP and had been in on the trail probably over a week at this point. I was heading down into Indian Grave Gap (in Georgia) and saw two women working on one of their backpacks. Now if you haven't hiked this section, you come down the trail as you go SOBO and there is a dirt road then a wide spot in the trail with a small clearing and then the trail goes up the hill on the far side to climb the next mountain.

The women were across the road and on the right side of the clearing. Running around the women's feet was a little chihuahua (not on a leash) going nuts at everything, I could just tell I was in for an attack.
As I got to the road, the chihuahua saw me and gave a battle cry as it went to defend it's masters and temporary territory from the invading infidel that obviously was up to no good (me). Apparently the women agreed with the little dog (am I really that ugly?) because they made no move to restrain their fuzzy avenger from ripping me apart. The did scowl at me like I was deserving of whatever pain and embarrassment the little mastiff was about to lay upon me.:mad:

Of course I am a dog person and know that animals can sense fear and to respond would only solidify the decision of the dog and it's masters. So I screw up my courage and stride across the road to cross and continue on. Surely they will all see I am a man of integrity and mean them no harm. Well no luck. As I cross the road the mighty chihuahua intercepted me and starts trying to untie my shoelaces with all it's might, it must have figure if he ties them back together I will trip and fall or something equally clever and malicious. Cunning little runt!:eek:

But as a big macho hiker and combat soldier of this great country, I would not sink to assaulting such a small animal that only has noble intentions to protect the damsels of the forest, but I do remember saying something to the effect of "would you please get your dog" as I attempted to continue down the trail. I do not recall what was said next, but in hindsight I should have used all my skills and knowledge with (at that time) over 16 years of combat training to subdue the vicious critter. All I remember was they seemed to think I deserved it and that I better hike on or else!:p

Of course it finally drew blood, but at that time my mind was clouded with anger and indignation that my true intentions to simply hike through were never acknowledged. So given my intense emotional state I did not notice I was wounded. The thing that finally saved me from certain death was a CAR! Yes, a trans am came around the bend in the road and the chihuahua defender decided that I was a lesser threat at this point and went to subdue the even bigger fiend threatening it's owners. It raced away as I made my break for it up the hill. As I left, I heard screeching brakes, a car sliding, screaming, and a loud car horn. Not wanting any more of that I went ahead and left as I heard lots of yelling between the women and some man. To this day I honestly do not know if the dog was hit or not. I have a secret wish though.:D Can you guess what that is?

D'Artagnan
06-14-2006, 15:31
As I left, I heard screeching brakes, a car sliding, screaming, and a loud car horn. Not wanting any more of that I went ahead and left as I heard lots of yelling between the women and some man. To this day I honestly do not know if the dog was hit or not. I have a secret wish though.:D Can you guess what that is?



Ahhhh, the sweet, sweet smell of karma! Hee, hee

Crazy Larry #1
06-14-2006, 15:32
Excellent story Rock!!!!

mweinstone
06-14-2006, 16:25
lp is thru hiking with his owner red b. i walked three weeks with them. lp,or low profile is a 4 lp chiwawa and is doing just fine thanks.

mweinstone
06-14-2006, 16:27
my 16 year old attatched the rude quote to my posts. can i delete it?

SGT Rock
06-14-2006, 16:29
You need to go into your user control panel and change your signature, that is where the attachments are coming from.

Blissful
06-14-2006, 19:36
my 16 year old attatched the rude quote to my posts. can i delete it?

Man oh man. What a loving and respectful teen. :eek:

Makes me wonder what planet they are on sometimes. I have an almost 16 yr old and he is definitely somewhere else. The Twilight Zone.

Hoping the thru hike next year will help him, ha ha

mweinstone
06-14-2006, 20:28
whats your start date my friend?im startin at the falls on the 18th of feb. how bout you? your post gives me peace. my son is twilite eppisode 47 in witch the children rise up and kill the adults.

mweinstone
06-14-2006, 20:32
yo minnisota im drunker than a fly in the corn squeezins thinkin bout ya! your an inspiration to the american spirit.well,...to my spirit .thank you jonny walker red.

Vi+
06-15-2006, 11:37
Ridge,

You advised (Post #12), “... I carried my spaniel with me on hikes I realized his legs where just too short to continuously climb over rocks, trees, and every thing else. A long legged dog has it all over a smaller, short legged one, when it comes to hiking.”

I agree with you.

I bought a Rhodesian Ridgeback as a puppy from a breeder, and a mongrel terrier from a shelter when she was 13 years old. The terrier was fat when I got her but trimmed down and gained muscle largely through our walks; one mile every morning and another mile every evening. The terrier weighed 15 - 18 pounds, which I consider “a small dog,” and the Rhodesian weighed 115 pounds

We day hiked together off-season, when we wouldn’t meet other hikers.

I pretty much hike a straight line; staying on the trail. The Rhodesian occasionally ventured off trail the first hour or so. The terrier hiked a helix about the trail, investigating among rocks and trees, and along waterways, etc, covering two to three times the distance of my hikes. The Rhodesian and I would be “finished” at the end of a day hiking. The terrier wanted to continue. ALWAYS. This was true for day hikes. I wouldn’t have subjected them to repetitious long distance hiking, nor would I have subjected hikers to my dogs, regardless that my dogs were wonderful. The terrier’s stamina waned only during her last, her eighteenth, year at which point I left both dogs behind. I have stopped hiking with dogs at all.

They both had legs proportionally long for their bodies, but that terrier could out hike anything.

I should have added to my post, I doubt a three-and-a-half pound Chihuahua is going to fare well hiking distances. The need for a dog that size to hop up onto rock, after rock, after rock, each more than half the dog’s height has to take a toll.

A Thru-Hike reminds me of running a marathon. A marathon is mainly a test of endurance. A Thru-Hike tests long term perseverance as well as endurance. Some forget the original marathon, celebrated over much of the world, resulted in the runner’s death. Marathons aren’t necessarily “good” for us physically, regardless that most survive the experience. Thru-Hikes may similarly not be good for us, but they remain an admirable accomplishment. The dog’s perseverance tests its need to remain with its master. The dog doesn’t really have a choice; for the dog, it’s a cruel test.

Blue Jay
06-15-2006, 12:24
[QUOTE=poison_ivy]In 2003, I ran into a thru hiker named Tadpole who was thru-hiking with his very small dog, Twinkle Toes. I don't remember the breed, but I do remember she was small enough that he could scoop her up and carry her if need be. IIRC, his daily mileage was often determined by what Twinkle Toes could do... if the dog was starting to act tired it was time to camp whether Tadpole could keep hiking or not.

I met and hiked with Tadpole and Twinkle Toes. I spent a night in the Hemlock Shelter in Mass. with them. They are great. If there ever was an example of someone caring about a dog this was it. He even had a small goretex coat made for it. The dog rarely got tired because he often rode in Tadpoles shirt. If all dog hikers were like this guy, no one would have a problem with them. Unfortunately this is very very rare.

bfitz
06-15-2006, 14:08
lp is thru hiking with his owner red b. i walked three weeks with them. lp,or low profile is a 4 lp chiwawa and is doing just fine thanks.
I thought LP was for "Lucky Puppy" for, if I remeber correctly, he was rescued off the AT in '03.

mweinstone
06-18-2006, 20:33
i walked from miss janets to perisburg with him hes with clothspin and thoro now.

gargamel
06-22-2006, 16:33
lp is thru hiking with his owner red b. i walked three weeks with them. lp,or low profile is a 4 lp chiwawa and is doing just fine thanks.

LP would be terribly offended. He is a Wiener Dog, and that's as far away from a Chiuwawa as a Philadelphian plumber from a Miami millionnaire :D

Hope you're doing fine Matt

Greez
Bruno

icemanat95
06-22-2006, 17:25
Weiner dog is a dachshund

SGT Rock
06-23-2006, 00:17
I've had a few dachsunds some were great, one was a pain in the butt.

Get a long little doggie. (I always giggle when I hear that)

HapKiDo
06-24-2006, 21:24
http://www.planetcesar.blogspot.com/

Maude and Cesar thru hiked with Trudy the Trail Dog and even have a DVD about her hike.

She was small enough to ride in a "front style dog carrier" under Maude's jacket and got through the Bear Mntn Zoo that way. She also got dehydrated and had to spend time in a vet hospital.

The third place a dog is not welcome is Bear Mntn Zoo, btw. There is an alternate trail for dogs & owner or if the Zoo is closed (or full of tourons, which ever is first).

Here's the book on his AT hike: http://www.pricebloopers.com/trailbook

HapKiDo

frieden
07-05-2006, 10:55
She's only 3.5 lbs?!? Goodness sakes, drop some items from your pack, and carry her when she gets tired! We carry a great knitting sweaters for dogs book at work (Borders). Get some merino wool yarn, and make her a sweater.

Everyone says that dogs slow you down on the trail. Yep. Ed helps me with so many things, but the best thing he's done for me is slow me down. I'm a high-drive, A-type, overachiever, who probably has health problems because of stress. I never used to take breaks at work, and now I have to to take Ed out. Ed gets me outside, and slows me down. It is exactly what I needed, and probably need more of it. I know that on the trail I'd be the same way. Push, push, push. Making sure that Ed doesn't burn himself out slows me down too, and I get to enjoy my surroundings - why we go out on the trail in the first place.

Hike your own hike. If you don't finish the trail, because of your dog, so what? What did you see, while you were out there? Do you remember that funny expression on her face everytime she heard an owl, and it made you laugh? Look at those lovely pictures you got, and the bond that is stronger between you.

strnorm
07-06-2006, 20:38
I have a mini schnauzer and after about 5 miles he want to be carried

warraghiyagey
12-08-2006, 01:58
Actually LP is a "miniature dachsund" with about three inch legs that looked like the last place he needed to be was the trail.
Met him and Red B with Bluebird and her Border Collie Jasmine in North Woodstock NH.
All I could think of were this poor little dogs pads which, on inspection were just fine. My feeling also changed when I picked this tiny little critter up and his wee frame was supported by 13 pounds of pure muscle.
Later at Tom's in Dalton there was a newspaper photo of this same Red B with LP resting comfortably on top of his pack.
I would think bringing any dog with you might greatly reduce the possibility of a thru hike if that is your intention. Other than that, if you want him there, be prepared for him to let you know it's not his thing. If that doesn't happen then enjoy your hike with your little furry friend.

fvital
12-08-2006, 11:39
:D Can you guess what that is?

That you had a frying pan, sesame oil, and some kimchi for a side?:eek:

The Mayor
12-08-2006, 16:34
I'm intrigued by the idea of bringing a lil Taco bell dog on the hike.

The upsides, needs less food and water. You could probably stash the doggy in your pack and make it thru the smokies. Try that with a german shepard.

In the event your dog tires, you can carry it. If your dog becomes injured or just isn't doing the hike well, you can mail 3.5lbs of dog cheaply to a friend/family member.

I say, go for it.

Jack Tarlin
12-08-2006, 18:31
The smallest dog I ever saw thru-hike was a really wonderful Jack Russell terrier, but this was an exceptional dog.

I dunno about a chihuahua, tho. Is it possible to train the dog to be carried somehow while you are en route? 2175 miles is a long way on those little legs.

And unless you keep it on a leash all the time, I think your pet has a good chance of getting lost, injured, or more likely, eaten.

Gotta tell you, I'm not sure this is a good idea, unless you and your pet have a great deal of backpacking/outdoor experience well before your thru-hike.

And if you're not sure if your pet is capable of doing more than your present mileage, forget about it......a six-month thru-hike means averaging 12 miles a day, every day. (Thisis an "average" mileage per day figure based on a 180-day trip, i.e. it includes your days off). In most cases, people hike between 14 and 18 miles a day over most of the Trail; this seems like a lot for such a little dog.

magic_game03
12-11-2006, 04:22
I guess 10,000 miles of national scenic trails only has so much gained experience but I'll repeat this again, "I'll take any normal Chihuahua over any other normal dog, under any AT trail condition."

...yea, that's right, you heard it. I've seen dog after dog go down. I've seen people talk about how fit their dog is, how much hiking experienced their dog has, bla-bla-bla, but I've never seen a dog tough as Twinkletoes.

Tadpole, Twinkletoes, and I hiked back in my first thu-hike in '03. I talked to Tadpole about his chihuahua and was amazed at how able the little critter was. Twinkletoes was able to solo Dragons Tooth in Va because he can fit through the boulders, able to sleep in the shelters because he took up no room, allowed any place because his personality was fantastic. And unlike big dogs, Twinkletoes didn't go running up and down the trail like a nut, he just stayed right beside Tadpole not wasteing energy.

and if you think short legs have anything to do with ability then go ahead and put your money on the big-guy-football-player at the NYC marathon. which one? yea, you really don't see many, do you? in fact, the first ten finishers will be about 5'4", 110lbs. Kinda like a chihuahua, wouldn't you say.

so anyway, back to my experiences. As a rule of thumb, any small dog will perform any big dog over time and distance.

ps. Twinkletoes, when I met him, had already earned a "2,000 miler" rocker, and was half way to his second.

Appalachian Tater
12-11-2006, 07:12
Consider what will happen to the little fellow when you are carrying him and fall.

Dehydration is a big issue, as well. His body area to volume ratio is high.

mweinstone
12-12-2006, 17:19
lp has thousands of miles under his paws and red blaze has thrued. dont say this dog or that dog can or cant. your minnesota smithing when you do.

mweinstone
12-12-2006, 17:22
lp out hiked most of us this year. he scampers and rests and fakes a limp when he wants to ride. and red b allways acomidates. there both living directly accross the street from shaws in maine and will be for the forseeable future. if anyone wants to give them a ring. pm me for a #.

minnesotasmith
12-15-2006, 04:20
a bait-sized dog along on the AT:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=402146&in_page_id=1770&in_a_source=