Hiking with Your Pup- preparing for a safe doggy adventure from Emily Ceisel, dog walker, trainer and owner of SF Tails.
One of the MANY joys of having a dog is exploring the mighty outdoors together. Whether you’re in sunny California or braving the snow in the Midwest and East Coast, make getting out there part of your new years resolution.
Items to bring:
Karen Pryor Clicker Training Limited Edition Terry Ryan Treat Pouch Treat bag– Hikes are a great time to get in some training, and practice recall. NEVER let a dog off leash who you aren’t confident will come back to you when called. This is for you and your dog’s safety!
Gulpy Pet Water Dispenser – Your dogs will need to refuel on their hike! Get a pet water dispenser that attaches to a belt or treat bag so you can stay hands free, like the Gulpy Pet Water Dispenser . It’s leak proof!
Earth RatedTM PoopBags and Green Dispenser– Keep the trails open to dogs by picking up after you pup. When your dog decides “to go”, there may not be a garbage can nearby. Earth RatedTM Green Dispensers are great because there’s a hook in the back to attach the used bags, keeping your hands free.
Canine Friendly Pet First Aid Kit– Be prepared in case your pup encounters thorns, sharp rocks or takes a tumble by having a pet first aid kit handy. Remember, when dogs are in pain, they may behave differently than normal and bite. Use your judgment as to the safety of the situation and, if in doubt, leave it to a professional!
On-leash or off-leash?
Only go off-leash in designated approved off-leash areas and if you are confident in your dog’s recall. If you are still working on recall, bring a long leash and practice by rewarding with treats when your dog comes to you. As your pup come towards you, say “Come, Fido!” Your dog will start picking up that the two are related; You say “Come!” and get a treat! Start out in quiet areas. Once they master “come!” distraction free, progressively try the command in more distracting situations. Remember, never have the command followed by a consequence your dog doesn’t like (such as end of play time) or they may not come when it counts.
If this is your first hike, start local and short. Like people, dogs need to slowly increase their stamina and get used to new expectations – don’t expect perfection on your first hike. There will be a lot of new smells, sounds and sights for your dog. Keep it up though! You can expect a calmer pup when you get home.