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rlown
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Re: dogs

Post by rlown » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:45 am

If your dog is trained to stay, and the stream width isn't wider than 25', you could hook the dog to a tag line, walk across first, and then swing the dog over to the other shore. Note, this is a tricky maneuver and could drown the poor puppy, unless you have a floatation vest for the dog.

My dog is a 6 YO 75lb Yellow lab (Simba.) I've got the gear, but he is still an idiot with other dogs, cats and some people after 6 months of training. Worse thing still is he doesn't like to swim. He can wade, and has fallen in the pool, but it's too cold to take the plunge and learn what he doesn't know.

My plan was to go late June, but the snowpack is bugging my plans. I'm going to take him out of North lake to French basin. He'll be on a leash until we hit Humphreys basin.
Last edited by rlown on Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:50 am, edited 2 times in total.








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sekihiker
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Re: dogs

Post by sekihiker » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:49 am

bobby49 wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:40 am
Suppose a stream crossing is pants-pockets-deep, and I have trekking poles. I can get myself across without drowning, but what about the dog?
I put Beans in the front pocket of my anorak when she couldn't handle the elements. She kept the sleeping bag warmer, too.

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bobby49
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Re: dogs

Post by bobby49 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:03 pm

Yes, but I am looking at a 40-pound Border Collie.

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Re: dogs

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:39 pm

I cannot keep our border collie out of the water. My husband and his son were kayaking the Sacramento River up by Redding, with the dog and they flipped the kayak, the dog swam to shore and met them downstream nearly half a mile. Our dog initially was very cautious of water, but we walked her along the American River every day; each day she would go a bit deeper. Border collies are not a breed known as swimmers.

If you can cross a creek, most likely a dog who swims will also be able to. Depth is not a problem but really swift water may be. There are doggie life jackets, but they do weigh a bit. I would just be willing to turn around and retreat if the dog would not swim across.
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Re: dogs

Post by Lumbergh21 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:18 pm

tarbuckle wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:19 am
I always bring my dogs. But I have had issues. The most serious one was in the Russian Wilderness last June. I set up my tent to take an afternoon nap and get away from the mosquito's. In the blink of an eye a Pitt bull ripped through my tent like it was paper. It latched on to my dog and would not let go. My dog ended up with a 5 inch gash along his ribs and tendons popping out of his legs from bites. He was a 1/2 inch from being disemboweled. I ended up with over 30 puncture wounds on each hand and wrist. I also have a forever mangled pinky.
Lots more to the story. But bringing dogs in the backcountry does come with risks.
One of the reasons I shake my head at people who say their dogs don't need to be on a leash. That and the fact I have never been attacked by a vicious dog only by dogs that "have never done anything like that before ". The dog is really an extension of the owner IMO. If a dog is ill behaved, I blame the owner. Unfortunately, it's the dog that ends up paying. Though I did once tell a little punk I was going to spray him with pepper spray if he didn't get control of his dog, I've never actually done that as much as I would like to sometimes.

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Re: dogs

Post by maiathebee » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:13 pm

bobby49 wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:40 am
Suppose a stream crossing is pants-pockets-deep, and I have trekking poles. I can get myself across without drowning, but what about the dog?
I think this is the safest way, but it assumes you have a pack with removable saddlebags and a handle (e.g. Ruffwear Palisades):

1. Remove the saddlebags from your dog's harness and attach them to your pack.
2. Tie up your dog in a safe place where she can't accidentally fall in the water or off a rock. Remember she will probably not like it that you are crossing a stream without her.
3. Cross the stream with your load, leave one trekking pole on the far side and cross back to your dog.
4. Use the trekking pole in your upstream hand and dog harness handle in your downstream hand. Loop the end of the leash around your downstream hand as a backup in case you lose hold of the harness. You can lean into the trekking pole and the dog is less likely to knock you over since she's downstream.

I've done this a couple of times. It really depends on the conditions at the crossing, though. You have to be prepared to turn around if you can't cross safely with the dog.
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bobby49
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Re: dogs

Post by bobby49 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:29 pm

I guess dogs can't manage a Tyrolean Traverse.

I'm more inclined to remove the contents from the saddlebags and carry all that. Then I insert some Styrofoam that fills up the saddlebags. If I have calculated the buoyancy correctly, it should keep the dog's head up. Then it depends on the dog to do the dogpaddle. I would also put a tether onto the harness in case I have to pull her out of the current.

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Re: dogs

Post by rlown » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:48 pm

The key question when taking a dog is how much extra stuff will you have to carry to keep the dog comfortable. As WD pointed out, if your dog likes water, then you're carrying the food, and it probably has to be in a bear can. My math shows that Simba gets 3 cups a day, but probably more on a sierra trip and for me it is at least a 7 day trip. Bedding and pad as well would be in your pack. I don't solo and my friend offerred to carry some of the doggie gear. If you plan to bring dog booties, you have to train them to be ok with them as well.

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Re: dogs

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:08 pm

Not all dogs like to go into water but they instinctively know how to swim. Good idea to get your dog into water a bit at a time so it can gain confidence. Let it swim in a lake first, so it does not have to deal with currents. Then try some water with current, in a place that has a safe "runout". Once you get an idea of how your dog reacts to swimming, then you can decide what stream crossings are safe for the dog.

Yes, do take any weight off the dog if they are to swim. Additionally, most doggie packs are not waterproof and everything in it will get wet. If you use one of those inflatable pillows, you could put that in the doggie pack. Or what about just bringing a few large sturdy balloons and blow them up when needed?

The biggest problems we have had with our dog are paw injury and blood-sucking black flies (which thankfully are not in the Sierra). We have never found booties that stay on her feet; just take the booties as first aid if she cuts her paw.

One thing good about a border collie, is that they rarely will run off. Ours never lets us out of her sight. But because Border Collies are herding dogs, you do have to work hard at teaching them not to chase animals. We really worked on this, to the point that she flunked her sheep herding class when we thought that would be something fun for her to do.

Rlown- we cook fish for our dog and take less dog food. She only needs 3/4 cup a day if she gets fish.

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Re: dogs

Post by rlown » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:15 pm

My dog will get fish as well, if we catch any. And cheese and treats...

I've been training Simba to wear the booties on our daily walks. Front paws first, then back paws, and then all four. It is best to have them trained to be ok with the booties before you need to use them for a cut paw. Simba has huge paws, and I got some step and strobe dog shoes, with something like Vibram soles. It'll be a light show!

Unfortunately, my dog swims butt down at the moment. I'll work some more on that before my trip.

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