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  1. #1
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Default Help in training a dog to hike

    Okay we got a female bluetick coon hound from SPCA who I know would do good on a trail. I am doing obedience training with her right now (we've had her 6 weeks). But I would like to be able to take her on day hikes up in SNP etc and eventually a weekend. Please give me your tips on getting her trail ready. What has worked for you? Not worked for you. Also, what do you use as a leash, etc, where do you hook it (on your waistbelt?) As you can see, I've got lots of questions. Thanks!







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  2. #2

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    all dogs will eventually slip their leash a time or two and coon dogs love to roam. make sure you have excellent voice control (if you don't, you'll be sitting and waiting on that dog to come back for a LONG time) and the dog will take care of the rest.

  3. #3

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    just reread your post - i don't think you're going to be able to keep that kind of dog leashed the entire time. they like to cover alot of ground and being continually leashed will probably make that dog miserable.

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    I use a 5 foot leash. Blaze has had normal leash training. I keep her on my left and I use a hiking staff so one hand is always free. We learned early that the two of us will not be able to get through a narrow rocky part at the same time without one of us getting hurt.

    Blaze's great trick is when we hit the uphills, I'll say go and let go of the left hand and switch the staff to the left hand and she pulls me up the hard climbs.
    I'm not really a hiker, I just play one on White Blaze.

  5. #5
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kanga View Post
    just reread your post - i don't think you're going to be able to keep that kind of dog leashed the entire time. they like to cover alot of ground and being continually leashed will probably make that dog miserable.
    Not sure I understand. If you are hiking along with the dog for miles how will it be miserable and not covering enough ground? You mean it won't be able to just go and roam freely? We are working with her right now on walking and owner control so she knows she can't roam free, along with distractions, etc. I know it will take time which is why I am doing it now before the hiking season. I'd think the dog would be more miserable here at home outside, chained and not going anywhere.







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  6. #6

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    Dogs definitely love and crave exercise. My dog, Cotton, runs with me everyday, and she thrives on it. Her running away while on a hike or run has never been an issue. That was just her temperment, not my training. I guess some dogs stay close and others roam. In order to turn one type into the other will take some careful training. As you know, dogs must be leashed in SNP. When I have to leash Cotton, a short one with her on my right side works best for us. I'm glad you guys rescued the dog, and I'm sure you will find your niche.

    litefoot 2000

  7. #7
    Registered User Lostone's Avatar
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    Your 4 legged friend is required to be on a leash inside the park.

    http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/pets.htm


    Follow the rule or not, Just sayin

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    The dog will be fine. One of mine doesnt like to listen all the time ..... shock collar takes care of that.

    My other dog is fine, never roams and stays close.

    Spend the $80 or $100 for a really nice (1 mile range and compact) shock collar and you will be fine.

    As far as getting him in shape, just hike with him. More often then not, the dog will out hike you.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blissful View Post
    Not sure I understand. If you are hiking along with the dog for miles how will it be miserable and not covering enough ground? You mean it won't be able to just go and roam freely? We are working with her right now on walking and owner control so she knows she can't roam free, along with distractions, etc. I know it will take time which is why I am doing it now before the hiking season. I'd think the dog would be more miserable here at home outside, chained and not going anywhere.
    i've had several different types of coon dogs and they are different from other dogs. they are not happy being leashed all the time and they will mope to let you know it. they are ramblers and are not happy staying directly beside you the whole time, like a retriever would. 20 miles is nothing to them.

  10. #10
    Registered User Heavy G's Avatar
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    I adopted a 3 yr old Lab who had no training. I started with sit, then stay, then progresses to a heal command. Aside from that, a "leave it" commmand is beyond vital. Just remember when reinforcing behavior make sure it is based on the completion of the desired behavior and the reward comes immediately after the completion (contingent and contiguous). Once it is occuring at a regular frequency, spread out the number of rewards after completion. Intermittent reinforcers really increases the successful outcomes.

    Also make sure you socialize the hell out of your dog, kids, adults, other dogs. I did that with my Lab and I can easily control her with voice commands and no leash b/c all those things/people are not new to her.

    Just remember that it is not natural for a dog to be on a leash. So if you can train him/her to be off leash, it is best. I know that is not the popular notion, but I dont really care. And the people who gripe about it, tend to not have dogs or tend to not have trained dogs.

  11. #11
    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongway_08 View Post
    The dog will be fine. One of mine doesnt like to listen all the time ..... shock collar takes care of that.

    My other dog is fine, never roams and stays close.

    Spend the $80 or $100 for a really nice (1 mile range and compact) shock collar and you will be fine.

    As far as getting him in shape, just hike with him. More often then not, the dog will out hike you.
    Do not get the shock collar from ebay... there are some really snaky vendors out there.

    Here is some really good information:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6XMb2XRVVs
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

  12. #12
    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Get out in a big field with your dog and another family member spread out 40-50 feet apart with goldfish crackers in both of your pockets. Make it a game of both calling back and forth and a whistle for greater distance. They love games and the learn quickly to come back when called. Later when off leash as others approch I call the dog back and leash untill the person passes. Now the dog is so used to being called on trail he will run back when someone else is coming the other direction.
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

  13. #13
    Wheeler Wheeler's Avatar
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    Shock collars work wonders. When none of the more traditional training approaches worked for my dog, that collar worked magic; I fully believe both our lives are richer because of it.

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    I'd rate shock collars as a "maybe." Some dogs might respond well. Others? Maybe not. FWIW I am considering one for Barney. He's got a couple of habits that need work and he pulls those tricks when he's out of range.

    Still trying a couple of other options but several encounters with some electrons may well be in that dog's future.
    Me no care, me here free beer. Tap keg, please?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    Get out in a big field with your dog and another family member spread out 40-50 feet apart with goldfish crackers in both of your pockets. Make it a game of both calling back and forth and a whistle for greater distance. They love games and the learn quickly to come back when called. Later when off leash as others approch I call the dog back and leash untill the person passes. Now the dog is so used to being called on trail he will run back when someone else is coming the other direction.
    I follow the same training and etiquette - leash them when you see other people. I also have a pack for my dog. She carries her own water, bowl and treats. By why is it they always want to pass you on the most narrow part of the trail? Although obvious, make sure they have a good collar and ID. They always seem to make their own solo trips when their collar is off - go figure?

  16. #16

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    a shock collar ? that is awful. I saw a guy use that once and the dog was completely terrified. The guy thought it was pretty cool and he used it way too much. I have had a dog on hikes and she stays w me cuz she WANTS to not cuz she has too. I let her run free and explore cuz that is what dogs DO. Hello ???? that might be the first thing you want to understand. Their noses are so exquisite that is is cruel not to allow them to roam some. Please pleaseeeeee do us all a favor and don't bring your dog if they are going to be on a leash for 2000 freaking miles. My God.. I am consistantly amazed at what people will do to an innocent animal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yappy View Post
    . . . I am consistantly amazed at what people will do to an innocent animal.
    You're presuming Barney's innocent. Trust me, he's a good sneak. When he's just ditty bopping around the tags on his collar are always making noise.

    Just as soon as he decides to do something he shouldn't that comes to a complete stop and he's as silent as a tomb.
    Me no care, me here free beer. Tap keg, please?

  18. #18
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    These collars may look bad but they're absolutley safe for dogs ( no damage to trachea,ect.. They're like a governor (not the political kind) for your pet. We have them for all of our dogs, 4 rescues of various breeds and ages.

    We use them with the retractable leashes;16 feet,anything longer and you are asking for trouble.ie; less to get wrapped around a tree or person.

    Since our packs do not have waist belts,we either hold the leash in hand since there is two of us ( 1 pole per person) or if I'm solo: the 1 pole in hand-leash in other or use a simple,homemade belt(webbing) with a caribiner.
    When in camp when there are others,I will put on the regular collar but still on leash.Not everyone likes a nosy nose!

    music gear hiking 005.jpg

    This is Maggie ,getting her ready to head out at trail head.

  19. #19
    Registered User jcazz's Avatar
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    While running/hiking on busy trails or roads I use an X-Back harness typically used by mushers and a bungy line hooked to a waist belt. You will need to teach him: Hike, Gee, Haw, Easy and Whoa. On long section hikes he wears a ruff wear pack and he runs free. If he sees another hiker he comes back to me so I can leash him and he gets a treat. Good luck.

  20. #20
    Registered User Desert Reprobate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongway_08 View Post
    The dog will be fine. One of mine doesnt like to listen all the time ..... shock collar takes care of that.

    My other dog is fine, never roams and stays close.

    Spend the $80 or $100 for a really nice (1 mile range and compact) shock collar and you will be fine.

    As far as getting him in shape, just hike with him. More often then not, the dog will out hike you.
    I tried that shock collar once. My dog would never come when I called. I put the thing on him and let him out the back door. He went out in the green belt and lay down under a tree. I waited a while and then went to the door and called him. He stood up, looked me in the eye, and took off in the other direction. I hit the button on the remote. He did a summersault, then got back up and ran across the street and jumped in the lake. End of shock collar.

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