Hey, hi, my dog hiked three peaks yesterday!
is working her way through the @sixpackofpeaks
and completed CBO (Cucamonga, Bighorn, Ontario) knocking two more peaks off the list. She has also previously done Wilson and Baden-Powell.
Here's what I did to get her to the peaks:
Took her on training hikes, at first 3-6 miles hikes, then 7-11 mile hikes and then Mt. Wilson (15 miles). We estimate yesterday's hike to have been around 16.5 miles
Made sure the trail allowed dogs
Frequently checked her paws, which are apparently made from titanium
Brought the supplies: 1.5 L of water, collapsible bowl, food/treats (she's 17 lbs)
Had her license, a well-fitting collar, and leash
Treated her for fleas/ticks prior
Watched for overexertion: excessive panting, drooling, weakness, very red gums
We also had a human backpack that was big enough to carry her down if necessary. Smalls was definitely tired by the end of the hike and wasn't pulling me like she usually does, but we rested her frequently, gave her water and treats often, and I made sure I was never dragging her. She was still able to jump over rocks and logs in her way and would dart after lizards or squirrels she saw
Speaking of which, I also kept her on leash the entire time, as she is a big fan of running after anything of interest to her and cannot be trusted to mind The Human when being told no. I also picked up her poo (which she graced us with at the beginning) and carried it the entire hike, because unless your dog actually lives in that forest, it's not cool to leave it on the trail just because it's "biodegradable." After the hike, I bathed her and looked for fleas/ticks. She clearly wasn't tired enough to not have a case of the zoomies after her bath.
The most important thing is that Smalls actually likes hiking. She's a very curious dog with a ton of energy and loves being outside, with people, and in nature. I would never drag her out on the trails if she didn't! She'll be well-rested before her next big hike, I promise.
If you're interested in getting a dog for hiking, look at any working or herding dog, Beagles, Shepherds, Labs... and whatever concoction Smalls is