FitDog Friday–Training For Our Next Adventure

We are about a week from our next backpacking adventure and have been working hard to prepare ourselves, both mentally and physically.  This will be a multi-day backpacking trip and we couldn’t be more excited.  Our last trip was so much fun that we couldn’t wait to get out and hit the trails again.  It also gave me a decent look at my own physical condition (I was only a week into my workouts at that point) and trail-readiness and that of the dog I chose to bring.  Our upcoming trip will be at higher elevations than we are used to and for a longer period of time.  We will also be hiking and camping in some cooler temperatures, so our gear needs to be switched up a bit.

 

Taking a break from hiking Fiery Gizzard Trail in Tennessee.

 

I am now six weeks into my workout regimen and am definitely stronger.  I still have a long way to go, but I am so much better off than I was six weeks ago.  I’ve lost pounds and inches and gained muscle.  I’ve stepped up my protein intake and am focusing on the goal.  Chewy has been working, too.  He surprised me on the Tennessee hike.  Granted he is young and would rather die than be very far from Mom, he still did very well.

We have been working toward multi-day trips by slowly getting him used to walking more and in ways which are different from how we normally teach lead walking.  Some trails are quite narrow, and our usual way of walking (dog on left) might be a bit of a tight squeeze.  I am teaching him “ahead” so that he knows I’d like him out in front of me as well as “behind” for when I’d like him in back of me.  Would he gravitate to either of these spots naturally when presented with a narrow path or say, a log crossing over water?  Yes, probably.  But I want him to associate the position with a word, so that he eventually learns it like any other command.  He is also learning the art of climbing over things that might be in the way, such as fallen trees, rocks, etc.  Some dogs may balk at these things, and it’s best that you know that before they are on the trail with a pack, etc.  So far he is doing great.

Loose leash walking is something I can’t say enough about.  No one wants to go out for a drag.  Chewy and I have worked on this since he was very small, but honestly, he was one of the easiest dogs I’ve ever taught to walk on a loose lead.  His mother was a nightmare in this department.  He has his excitable moments, though, and we use them as teaching points.

 

chewylooselead

 

 

We’ve been gathering up supplies–including some gear for cooler weather–since our last trip.  We are excited to talk about these things in the coming days and weeks.  Do you hike with your dog?  What are your go-to pieces of gear?  What could you have done without?

 

 

Click on the above badge to be taken to the FitDog Friday blog hop, hosted by our friends over at SlimDoggyTo Dog with Love and My GBGV Life.

 

 

 

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10 Comments

  1. 2 Brown Dawgs September 26, 2015 at 7:14 am

    I hope you have a wonderful time. We don’t do much hiking with the dawgs. Mostly we hunt which involves a lot of walking.

    1. Shannon Adams September 26, 2015 at 9:41 am

      How far would you say you walk on the average hunt?

  2. Emma September 26, 2015 at 11:38 am

    We do some hiking in the woods around in state parks and stuff, but would love to go into the mountains some time. Mom did that when she lived in Germany before my time.

    1. Shannon Adams September 26, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      Oh my, hiking in Germany’s Black Forest is on my Hiking Bucket List! Thank you for coming by and commenting. 🙂

  3. Barbara Rivers September 26, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    I love that you teach commands for walking ahead of and behind you! We do like to hike with Missy & Buzz, and what I’ve found works great for storing my cell phone, car keys, and a few first aid supplies is the hands-free hipster by Outward Hound. The pups also each have a collapsible water dish that comes along for water breaks. It conveniently clips onto their backpacks, meaning they get to carry their own gear 😉

    1. Shannon Adams September 26, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      I LOVE when I can be as hands-free as possible! I, too, have a small pouch. I believe it was designed for runners, but it works. 🙂

  4. DZ Dogs September 28, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Good boy Chewy!! He is such a cut pup!

    I like ruffwears bungee leashes, it allows the dogs a bit more freedom while keeping them on a leash, and it doesn’t get tangled into their legs as easy. It’s called the “roamer”. I sometimes attach a carabiner to the handle and loop it around my body for hands free walking.

    I also make Dante carry the dog gear, I need to get Ziva her own backpack. 🙂 And remember your camera!

    1. Shannon Adams September 28, 2015 at 10:08 pm

      I’ll have to check out the bungee lead. I had a biothane lead made by a guy who supplies a lot of skijoring folks. It doesn’t tangle or get snagged on tree trunks and it’s super strong. I’m not bringing my big fancy camera unless I can get my pack weight down. Just too much bulk. I’m bringing the GoPro and the Iphone. That’ll have to be good enough.

  5. De Hufford September 28, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Sounds like you’ll be well prepared to enjoy your hiking trip!