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  1. #1
    Bewilderedbeest
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    Default Impossible Sections?

    Good morning all! I'm having trouble finding some information, so I'm going the "no such thing as a stupid question" route.

    I'm planning a 2010 NOBO thru attempt, and considering bringing my sweet, none-too-bright Siberian Husky (Conall) with me. He loves to walk with me, even despite the Florida heat, and we've done a lot of training and planning. My hang-up is leashing. He needs to be on one at all times. It's not that I don't trust him; it's just that I don't trust him. Huskies are bred to run, and I don't want to lose him to a sudden burst of energy.

    So, my questions:

    1. How reasonable is it to keep a dog leashed for the length of the AT?

    2. What places will present challenges (impossibilities?) for a leashed dog? I'm thinking about vertical climbs (truly vertical, not steep - rebar rungs, hand-over-hand, etc.). I can haul him up by his harness and rope for 5 feet or so, but more than that would be stressful for him.

    3. Are those places encountered frequently, and are they easily gotten around if necessary?

    Thanks for any information/ideas/help/suggestions!

  2. #2
    Registered User Hikes in Rain's Avatar
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    You can't take the furry four-legged child with minor speach impediment through the Smokies, so he'll been to be either kenneled or transported around somehow. Perhaps the Shennendoah, but I'm not sure about that. Perhaps other places, as well.

    As far as difficult stretches for dogs, I recall the scramble up Albert Mountain a little over the North Carolina border as perhaps tough, and I'm sure the eight or so feet of vertical scramble over Big Firescald in the Southern Balds would be an issue, as well. However, both of those sections have bypass trails.

    I have no doubt there are others, but I'll let those with more experience of them chime in.

  3. #3
    Bewilderedbeest
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    Default Kenneling is No Trouble

    He can't be with me trough the Smokies or in Baxter State Park, but there are kenneling options open to us. I think there's a kennel that offers pick-up and drop-off service for the Smokies, even. I'm not too worried - he'll deserve the rest anyway. It's just the places he can't walk on his own 4 feet that I'm trying to figure out.

    Thanks for the tips!

  4. #4
    Registered User
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    Default

    Henry and I had trouble on Dragon's Tooth in Virginia and at the Superfund sight in Pennsylvania.

  5. #5

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    I'd like to hear from a dog how they made it down Mt Moosilauke going nobo.

  6. #6
    Registered User bulldog49's Avatar
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    Dragon's Tooth seems impossible with a dog on leash to me.
    "If you don't know where you're going...any road will get you there."
    "He who's not busy living is busy dying"

  7. #7
    Registered User
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    Albert Mountain is probably impossible for him, but there is a go-around. If you want to be 'pure' perhaps you can find someone to wait with him while you go up the scramble and then go ahead and circle back.

    As for the Smokies and Baxter, you'll have to kennel.

    TW
    "Thank God! there is always a Land of Beyond, For us who are true to the trail..." --- Robert Service

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikes in Rain View Post
    You can't take the furry four-legged child with minor speach impediment through the Smokies, so he'll been to be either kenneled or transported around somehow. Perhaps the Shennendoah, but I'm not sure about that. Perhaps other places, as well.

    As far as difficult stretches for dogs, I recall the scramble up Albert Mountain a little over the North Carolina border as perhaps tough, and I'm sure the eight or so feet of vertical scramble over Big Firescald in the Southern Balds would be an issue, as well. However, both of those sections have bypass trails.

    I have no doubt there are others, but I'll let those with more experience of them chime in.
    albert's been rerouted. no trouble for a dog now. even before it would have been fine. had to give my blue heeler a push a couple of times but that was it.

  9. #9
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Check out this link from the ATC:

    http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site..._with_Dogs.htm
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
    http://pmags.com
    Twitter: @pmagsco
    Facebook: pmagsblog

    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  10. #10
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Agree on Dragon's Tooth, but the hard part is only a very short steep section of rock scrambling. With a long enough leash you should be able to let him climb down, then have a friend hold the leash while you climb down after him.

    BTW keeping him leashed is a really good idea.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  11. #11
    Registered User
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    Enoch:

    On the leashing aspect: When I backpack now with my dog, who is also very active, he is happy to be with me, and gets adequate exercise. But that's only for a few days. Even so, it is a pain for me, sometimes, knowing that I have to hold his leash every moment unless we are stopped and I can tie him. And it's rough on him. It also keeps me from going into some places (lodging/hostels, restaurants, groceries) since I don't want to risk tying him to a pole and come out to find him gone. To have to have both of us for 5 months is almost unthinkable. I know others have done it, but for him to go that long without a good run, well...

    Good luck.

    TW
    "Thank God! there is always a Land of Beyond, For us who are true to the trail..." --- Robert Service

  12. #12
    Registered User
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    Just be sure that your dog's paws can tolerate walking on sharp rock. Dogs have been rescued from the White Mountains when their paws have been shredded by the rock.

  13. #13
    Registered User Omega Man's Avatar
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    Dumb question: Why is it illegal for dogs to enter Baxter and The Smokies? Going NOBO, how many miles can I go before I'm forced to dump my dog?
    Better to dare mighty things, win glorious triumphs, than take rank with those who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

  14. #14
    Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrasculp View Post
    Why is it illegal for dogs to enter Baxter?
    Percival Baxter's position is explained on BSP's website. Click on Thru-Hiking in Baxter State Park and scroll down to Can I Bring my Pet?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    I'd like to hear from a dog how they made it down Mt Moosilauke going nobo.
    one of our group last year had her dog with her coming down moosilauke, and it took three of us to relay him down some of the rebar and suicide- stepped areas. it wasnt too difficult and the dog didnt seem to mind.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    Agree on Dragon's Tooth, but the hard part is only a very short steep section of rock scrambling. With a long enough leash you should be able to let him climb down, then have a friend hold the leash while you climb down after him.

    BTW keeping him leashed is a really good idea.
    this is a dangerous little stretch going down hill, going northbound! theres a real bad spot near the bottom,its much safer for the dog to have the leash off and let the dog navigate this on his own so you don't screw him up with the leash. then two minutes later releash him. if you can't trust your dog for two minutes off leash? maybe your dog should stay home!

  17. #17

    Default

    There are a few places in New York that are rock scrambles or ladders and several in NH and southern Maine. Mahoosuc Notch and Kinsman come to mind especially. We have seen people end up carrying their dogs across some of the really steep rock climbs and ladders, but I've also seen dogs that love climbing.

  18. #18
    Jolly Rancher NOBO '09 Harley&Me's Avatar
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    Default

    I hiked with my dog (~75 pound lab/coonhound mix) from Hot Springs, NC to Hanover, NH. I eventually had to send him home because his new pack was the wrong size and was rubbing his elbows raw. He had absolutely no trouble with any of the terrain. His biggest issue was getting lodged between rocks because of his newfound width. With Dragons Tooth in particular, he just bounded down while I slowly eased my way along. There were a few places where I had to find a work around (I remember a particular ladder spot somewhere in Vermont?) but he did great the whole way. He was rarely on a leash (only when crossing roads, in towns, or if I was around other people). Most of the time he just trotted ahead of me. Don't be discouraged by the people online who tell you not to bring your dog. Harley went about 1500 miles on the trail with me and I had no issues with people who didn't like dogs. Just make sure you are in control and the dog is well behaved. Good luck and feel free to check out my blog which has some more answers to dog-hiking related questions:
    http://harveyat.blogspot.com

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harley&Me View Post
    I hiked with my dog (~75 pound lab/coonhound mix) from Hot Springs, NC to Hanover, NH. I eventually had to send him home because his new pack was the wrong size and was rubbing his elbows raw. He had absolutely no trouble with any of the terrain. His biggest issue was getting lodged between rocks because of his newfound width. With Dragons Tooth in particular, he just bounded down while I slowly eased my way along. There were a few places where I had to find a work around (I remember a particular ladder spot somewhere in Vermont?) but he did great the whole way. He was rarely on a leash (only when crossing roads, in towns, or if I was around other people). Most of the time he just trotted ahead of me. Don't be discouraged by the people online who tell you not to bring your dog. Harley went about 1500 miles on the trail with me and I had no issues with people who didn't like dogs. Just make sure you are in control and the dog is well behaved. Good luck and feel free to check out my blog which has some more answers to dog-hiking related questions:
    http://harveyat.blogspot.com
    glad you had a great hike! but most people will not agree about the dog off leash! im sure you'll hear about it here on WB,even if you had no problem on trail! but not every dog handles the trail well,even if you do everything right, it doesn't guarantee success!

  20. #20

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    what about the fact that your dog will run more miles off a leash with all the running ahead and side to side and back? this is a threat to the dogs enjoyment of the hike and leashes make children you dont see comming feel safer. respect. dogs are the best thing we got on the trail .
    matthewski

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