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A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
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  1. #1

    Default I can train a dog to thruhike alone .

    I have a plan.
    Your only question is why.
    Because one day resque dogs may be able to do multi day searches alone.
    Call me nuts or call me matty.
    matthewski

  2. #2
    I plan, therefore I am Strategic's Avatar
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    Okay, you're nuts.

    There are so many things wrong with that idea: 1) It's illegal in pretty much every state involved, not to mention that there are several spots along the route that do not allow dogs. You simply can't have an unaccompanied dog, that's legally defined as a stray and would be scooped up and taken to animal control if you're lucky. 2) How is the dog supposed to take care of itself? How will it be fed? What happens if it is injured? The well-being of the dog is a major concern. 3) Even if you could train a dog to do multi-day searches, what is it supposed to do alone if it actually finds someone? It's not like it can administer first aid or drag an injured person out of wilderness by itself. It can't even call for help except by barking, which isn't very likely to help unless it's already near people.

    This isn't just a bad idea, it's a terrible one, even assuming that you could pull it off. And I have to say, I pretty dubious about that too. Dogs can be trained to do amazing things and they can be pretty smart on trails (as I've had ample cause to find out directly) but this is well beyond the capacity of even the smartest dog. It's also not really good for the dog, who wants to be with it's person, it's pack, not wandering a trail by itself (that's a human predilection.) Please don't even attempt to do this, for the sake of the dog.
    Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
    Sun Tzu, The Art of War.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mweinstone View Post
    I have a plan.
    Your only question is why.
    Because one day resque dogs may be able to do multi day searches alone.
    Call me nuts or call me matty.
    I see nothing wrong with this plan. Carry on. Keep us apprised of your progress.

  4. #4
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    just wonderin-----since dogs don't have thumbs----how are they going to
    be able to hitch into town to resupply?

  5. #5
    International Man of Mystery BobTheBuilder's Avatar
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    Some may ask why, I simply ask why not? Cats would be a totally different matter, though.
    "Waning Gibbous" would be a great trail name.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BobTheBuilder View Post
    Some may ask why, I simply ask why not?Cats would be a totally different matter, though.

    Maybe not...depends on which one can dig the best cat hole.

  7. #7

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    If my dog hikes the entire trail alone,will the ATC give him a patch so I can wear it for him?Just asking for a friend......

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strategic View Post
    Okay, you're nuts.

    There are so many things wrong with that idea: 1) It's illegal in pretty much every state involved, not to mention that there are several spots along the route that do not allow dogs. You simply can't have an unaccompanied dog, that's legally defined as a stray and would be scooped up and taken to animal control if you're lucky. 2) How is the dog supposed to take care of itself? How will it be fed? What happens if it is injured? The well-being of the dog is a major concern. 3) Even if you could train a dog to do multi-day searches, what is it supposed to do alone if it actually finds someone? It's not like it can administer first aid or drag an injured person out of wilderness by itself. It can't even call for help except by barking, which isn't very likely to help unless it's already near people.

    This isn't just a bad idea, it's a terrible one, even assuming that you could pull it off. And I have to say, I pretty dubious about that too. Dogs can be trained to do amazing things and they can be pretty smart on trails (as I've had ample cause to find out directly) but this is well beyond the capacity of even the smartest dog. It's also not really good for the dog, who wants to be with it's person, it's pack, not wandering a trail by itself (that's a human predilection.) Please don't even attempt to do this, for the sake of the dog.
    Not saying that I disagree with you... but I do wonder how your comments fit with hunting dogs?
    From what I understand, in some places in the south, hunters put a radio collar on their dogs and turn them loose... sometimes for days.
    I've heard numerous stories from hikers in the southeast talking about encountering hunting dogs on the trail, and I've also hear/read the various warnings about how you can get into trouble if you mess with a hunter's dog.

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    From what I understand, in some places in the south, hunters put a radio collar on their dogs and turn them loose... sometimes for days.
    I've heard numerous stories from hikers in the southeast talking about encountering hunting dogs on the trail, and I've also hear/read the various warnings about how you can get into trouble if you mess with a hunter's dog.



    that is correct.....

    bear hunters use dogs to tree a bear and use radio collars to find where the dog stopped and has a bear in a tree....

    and yes, don't mess with a hunter's dog....

    its a crime to mess with them or take the collar off..............(and some lady got convicted of this last year).....


    wear blaze orange in the wilderness areas during hunting season (joyce kilmer slickrock area is prime for hunting)....


    i have seen (and heard) the dogs on the hunt both in the wilderness areas and the Park as well....

    There is hunting near the Park's boundaries so dogs sometimes come across........they can't read a map very good but maybe this training program
    will help them......

    and yes, the hunters know not to shoot in the Park..................

  10. #10
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    Wow. First post in 16 months. Have you been working on this "resque" dog plan the whole time? I'm thinking you're nuts - or matty.
    I was self employed once, but it proved too stressful. My boss was a jerk and my employee was a slacker - I didn't know whether to quit or fire myself.

  11. #11
    I plan, therefore I am Strategic's Avatar
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    Well, hunting is a fairly natural behavior for dogs, unlike thru-hiking a trail. And it's not like the hunters aren't out there with their dogs, they're just not trying to keep up with them all the time (thus the radio collars to keep track of them.) That's the main reason you don't mess with the hunting dogs, the fact that the hunters are somewhere behind them and are not going to take kindly to you messing with their dogs when they catch up. They're also not generally out there alone, but in a pack. So it's not really much like what matty is proposing to do.
    Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
    Sun Tzu, The Art of War.

  12. #12
    Registered User rmitchell's Avatar
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    The first thing that popped into my mind was an old image of a St. Bernard in an ski area with a little flash attached to it's collar.

    So a more modern approach would be a PLB on it's collar instead?

    For search and rescue drones can cover a larger area now, but maybe in a limited area where there is heavy tree cover a well trained dog could be useful. But not multiday and unaccompanied..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strategic View Post
    ... And it's not like the hunters aren't out there with their dogs, they're just not trying to keep up with them all the time (thus the radio collars to keep track of them.) That's the main reason you don't mess with the hunting dogs, the fact that the hunters are somewhere behind them and are not going to take kindly to you messing with their dogs when they catch up...
    I've seen dozens of hunting hounds in Middle Prong and Shining Rock wilderness areas, along with zero hunters. The humans stay by their trucks, and if their dogs are seen to be approaching a road, they drive around to where a bear may emerge, so they can shoot him.
    After a day or two, the batteries have died, and the transponders quit working, so the hunter and his dog are no longer connected by anything.
    Whoever made it illegal to "mess with" these lost and starving dogs did not consider the welfare of the dogs.

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    This idea is just a bunch doggone foolishness

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mweinstone View Post
    Call me nuts or call me matty.

    are the 2 not the same??

  16. #16
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    What’s the matter, cat got your tongue?

  17. #17
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    S&R dogs may already go solo for extended amts of time on missions although it's not as common as being with a human handler.

  18. #18
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    been missing your posts, Matty
    Didn't realize how much until this one!

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    Are the dogs thru hiking or doing search and rescue?
    Bear dogs are used in the north as well as the south. Hikers sometimes befriend them, leash them in concern and walk them off the trail. Usually to be greeted by the hunters (dog owners). And subsequently retrained.

    They already use dogs for search and rescue on the trail when needed. Don’t really see the point of a dog trained in following white blazes alone. Now if you have an article of clothing of the person you are searching for and are meeting the dog at the next road crossing the dog is often going to be hanging out with hiker trash at shelters and campsites.

  20. #20
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    One of those Boston Dynamics dog looking robots might do a fine job as a trail bum/rescue dog. It would probably have to spend most of its time doing its best Yogi hustle getting its battery charged up.

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