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Thread: Hiking with our dog

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    Member kingman's Avatar
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    Default Hiking with our dog

    Has anyone hiked crows pass and or resurrection pass with there dog? I have a 7 yr old black lab that I would like to take with me in July. Also does it put a lot of stress on the dog if you do? She climbed most of baldy with me this year but stayed with my wife while i finished so I honestly don't know her limits. Should i do a few day hikes with her first? Thank you!

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    Member kingman's Avatar
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    Also I would like to know if we should buy the padded shoes for them? I hear they fall off a lot, but would just like everyone else's take on them. Thanks again!

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    IMO, any healthy 7 yo lab should be able to walk circles around any human being. My 6 year old yellow lab can jog 2-3 mph along side the atv for about 6-8 miles no problem....I'm sure it could have been more but that's just the trail I ride. I would imagine walking would be a lot easier and add at least 2-3 times the miles. No booties either.

    My chessie used to hunt hard all day long, for days on end. I would put on many many miles and she would end up walking at least twice that I'm sure.

    As long as your dog is healthy, I wouldn't worry about taking her anywhere you hike. Dogs, like wolves or coyotes, are made for walking long distances.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Ditto to 4mer guide. I did Crow's Creek Pass in 2006 (holy crap has it been that long?) with a group, and one of them brought a dog. The dog faired MUCH better than I did. Crow Creek Pass can be a challenge for a human with some narrow trails etc, but it's good terrain for a dog. I have a 7 yr old Yellow Lab and wouldn't hesitate to let him cross Crow Creek Pass. (He'd have to go alone, because I'm too outta shape lol)

    As for the booties...that's a mixed bag. The folks down at Alaska Mill and Field explained it to me that dogs need the booties to protect the pads of their feet when on gravel and rocky terrain, or to keep ice out of their paws in the snow, but not so on dirt and grass. The 1st half of the trail (northbound from Girdwood) has a lot of scree, so it certainly wouldn't hurt. Trouble is, yeah, they fall off...a lot. (Especially when my dog chews and pulls at them.) The fleece one are't very durable, either, at lest on rocky terrain. The nicer ones with rubber soles are expensive and still fall off. That's a decision you'll just have to come too. You might buy some of the cheaper, fleece ones, take the dog on a few hikes and see how does with them and without them. AK Mill and Feed probably as the better selection and better prices in town.

    PS: on a side note, if you've never done Crow Creek Pass, I advise you to get good maps, talk to those who have done the trail recently about trail conditions, and carry bear spray or a gun. Lot of black bears up in there, and they could be more of a problem for your dog than the scree. (Don't leash your dog to a tree at night.)

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    Member kingman's Avatar
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    That's what I figured, but i wasI was also wondering about terrain. Are they strap trails or no? Thanks! -Matt

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    Ha my dog is a wus when it comes to other animals. She thinks she is human and wants nothing to do with anything else. And she will definitely be in the tent with us. Thanks for all the info once again. An as far as the booties go... I am very skeptical, but my pup means enough to me that it might be worth the butt pain...

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingman View Post
    That's what I figured, but i wasI was also wondering about terrain. Are they strap trails or no? Thanks! -Matt
    I don't know, what's a strap trail?

    I do remember that the two hardest parts for the dog on our trip was just a 1/2 mile or so beyond the highest point on the pass where there is about a 6' drop you have to climb down (they had to coax the dog into jumping into its owner's arms) and on the far side of Eagle River where those a similar obstacle that had to be climbed up using a rope that someone had permanently installed (they had to lift the dog up until it could get its front paws over the edge.)

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    If your lab is like my lab, she might make a good bear alarm. Watch your dog if she locks up in the middle of the trail. With my lab, if there is a bear nearby, or fresh scent of a bear, he'll lock up, almost like pointing a bird, but you can almost see his spine and the hair on his back will stiffen from his neck to his tail. He'll get real real low to the ground and start looking everywhere, even behind him. It's eerie. That's the moment I lever a round in the chamber and start back tracking.

    On a related note, some dog owners have told me that a dog that is allowed to wander too far ahead of its owners can encounter a bear and double back to where its owner is, brings the bear right to them. My dog is whistle trained for bird hunting, so if he gets more than 30 ft out in font of me, I make him hold and wait for me or call him back with the whistle.

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    I meant strap... Didn't proof read. But I believe I got my answer. Thank you!

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    Dangit! Steep!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingman View Post
    Dangit! Steep!
    No. If you go south to north, the first 2-3 miles is kind of steep getting up high. Lot of switch backs and sidehills. Once you go through the pass, it's literally all downhill from there.

    One thing I forgot to mention, crossing the Eagle River can be hazardous, especially for a dog. I think the guy in our group either carried his dog across, or pulled him by the coolar. He held onto the dog going across. The river isn't super fast at the trail crossing, but it isn't lazy either. It's very cold. (Felt like little razor blades cutting my skin.) I don't think I'd want a dog to swim it. There are other water crossing before and after Eagle River that are non-issues.

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    I've heard as much about the river crossing. Thanks for the info! Looks like I'll be making a few river crossings! Haha of anyone has any good detour areas or places we need to check out while on the hikes I'd love to check them out! Thanks again.
    -Matt

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    On Crow Creek, there is a side trail on the way up that leads to an abandoned mine.

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