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Normal Topic In the backcountry... (Read 3104 times)
PeterP
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In the backcountry...
Jun 6th, 2020 at 6:55pm
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Never owned a dog before, either myself or as a family pet but took the plunge and we picked up our first pup 5 weeks ago. It's been a bit of a ride since  Cheesy He's a lab x heading dog coming up 12 weeks old. Parents both small for their breeds and from working lines. Have been following The Deer Dog Blueprint and he's coming along nicely. That said, he's very much a joint project between my partner and I and he sleeps indoors and gets quite a bit of fussing and pampering  Tongue I give him a run around and some light training every morning at the beach and am stoked with his progress so far. What a great tool a long line is. His recall is getting pretty good, sit even out in front is coming along too and is super good with not releasing himself until I give the go command whether it's off a sit, to eat his food or coming out of the crate. 

If he ends up a loyal companion in the hills I'll consider our journey a success and if I can get him on to indicating animals, that'll be a great bonus. I'm determined to give it a good nudge!

Just wondering if I can pry some info out of the more experienced forum members as to how they work / care for their dogs out in the wops on overnight or multi-night trips.

Wondering specifically about feeding them ie. normal rations or extra? Fresh wild game ok? Can they carry anything themselves to help with weight/space in my own pack?

I camp more often than I stay in huts and wondering what a good setup for sleeping looks like. Are they ok under a vestibule and do they need a small blanket or something underneath them?

How do they cope with the cold and is that something I should be concerned about?

Are there any unique challenges to training a multi-purpose dog ie. one that is a family pet / house dog but is also trained as a hunting dog?

Feeling like a total rookie here so would love to read any other tips or general discussion  Smiley
  
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Re: In the backcountry...
Reply #1 - Jun 7th, 2020 at 2:23pm
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I spoil my dog as well dont worry. As mine is a Jack Russell when its cold I let her in my sleeping bag as it keeps both us warm, she is coming up 10 and I want her to last as long as I can so am happy to spoil her. I will put something down on the ground for her to sleep on and then something over the top if she isnt with me. Food wise I always feed her good food, I think its more important when working/hunting, I always take a bit extra for her as she generally does more running around then me.
  
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Re: In the backcountry...
Reply #2 - Jun 7th, 2020 at 7:16pm
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the more time ya spend with your dog the better your control/relationship will be, so having it as a pet and hunting dog is the best scenario I reckon, ive a bitch thats asleep on the couch right now [beside the cat] we just got home from a hunt, ive used a square of bed roll foam for my dog in the scrub before, good luck
  
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Re: In the backcountry...
Reply #3 - Jun 11th, 2020 at 6:19pm
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I've never liked the idea of dog packs. Dogs have such short lives and just the hunting environment of hot/cold/injury/fatigue shortens it without adding extra pressure.

Feed them well. Keep them warm. Allow them time to recover. Keep them fit.
  

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.......
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Re: In the backcountry...
Reply #4 - Jun 11th, 2020 at 7:48pm
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BC wrote on Jun 11th, 2020 at 6:19pm:
I've never liked the idea of dog packs. Dogs have such short lives and just the hunting environment of hot/cold/injury/fatigue shortens it without adding extra pressure.

Feed them well. Keep them warm. Allow them time to recover. Keep them fit.

This......................packs have no place on dogs unless its what they were bred specifically for.
Their lifespans too short as it is, I really struggle when its "time" for them to go
  

I have English Pointers because they don't ever grow up either..

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Re: In the backcountry...
Reply #5 - Jun 21st, 2020 at 8:37am
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I often shove a square of snow foam down inside my pack for her base to sleep on to keep her off the cold ground. Have also carried in a wee piece of blue light tarp and some string and made her a hollow with SF and fern on top and tarp low overhead with windward side blocked so no drafts. She is snug as a bug. Or she sleeps beside me under fly. With these flash inflatible mattresses these days you have to watch doggie claws on them. Also doggie claws on fancy expensive tent floors.  Cry Have never carried a dog coat but I have never one of owned those 'high end' zero coat, skinny breeds  Grin
  
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Re: In the backcountry...
Reply #6 - Jun 21st, 2020 at 7:47pm
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my big black bitch who is my duck retrieving,deer and pig indicating buddy is laying in front of fire as I type...when we out n about she sleeps next to me,on my spare clothing and jacket,the few times we've fly camped she sleeps with her head on my left shoulder ALL night...doent go anywhere,I will put wee string onto my pack if think she going to wander...handfull of bickies is tucker for those trips...takes up no room and weighs nothing.
you can have old dogs or cold dogs...cold dogs dont become old dogs...thier bodies will give out early if you dont look after them.
  
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Re: In the backcountry...
Reply #7 - Jun 21st, 2020 at 10:16pm
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On the rare occasion that I fly camp mine sleeps beside me.
Those silver sun reflectors for car windscreens are the go for reflecting heat, weighing next to nothing and being cheap and unbreakable.
Great dog beds.
  
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Re: In the backcountry...
Reply #8 - Jul 4th, 2020 at 9:46am
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Get aquanted with your dogs paws.  A lot of /most dogs dont have any problem at all but there are many who have sensitive pads over rough ground and worse nails that split or the hard surface layer gets pushed off leaving a raws bleeding surface, especially in cold weather and on hard surfaces.   Not great when your a long way from the road. 

A weekly rub of the pads and between the toes with vaseline can help but not the moment you go out up a riverbed because the vasaline can actually attract grit.

Taking your dog for regualar runs on the beach its a great general fitness builder and going to toughen up the paws too but also dry the pads out so keep checking for any tendency for big dry cracks developing.  Smiley
  

We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.
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