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  #1  
Old 03-24-2010, 07:07 PM
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Dogs that wear backpacks

I noticed a lot of people who have Rotties or other working breeds have their dogs carry some sort of backpack on them with water bottles or nothing at all. I'm not sure what the purpose of this is so I figured I would ask everyone here.

I did notice that our 4.5 month Champ does like to carry things around so would this be a good choice for him? Does it give them a sense of purpose while walking around?

Where do people generally get these packs from?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2010, 07:18 PM
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Re: Dogs that wear backpacks

The purpose of a backpack on a dog is generally to tire out the dog faster. It is like wearing a weighted vest. It will increase your dogs strength and stamina in the long haul but it is a great way to keep a dog in shape or have the ability to tire out your dog in half the time of just a regular walk, hike, run, etc.

With this being said though, because puppies are still growing, with there bone development it isn't recommended that backpacks be used on young dogs. You can however use an empty backpack though anytime in order to get used to the feel of it on their backs. It isn't recommended you use these until after your dog is done growing which is generally closer to two years old. I for one don't use them until closer to 3 but that is just me personally.

I wouldn't use this on your dog now due to his age and size, but it is a great choice for most any dog no matter the breed. By all means though when used correctly, these vests and backpacks do give your dog a sense of purpose. You can find them anywhere these days, but they are cheapest to get online. If you search this forum there are a few posts in regards to the different types of these tools.

-Lamarr
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  #3  
Old 03-24-2010, 09:16 PM
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Re: Dogs that wear backpacks

Neither myself nor anyone I know packs with dogs to tire them out with weight. That is NOT the point

I just did a backpacking article for the Total Rottweiler Magazine

Regardless your pup is too young for anything other then an empty pack right now
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  #4  
Old 03-25-2010, 06:13 AM
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Re: Dogs that wear backpacks

We use the backpacks for the Farmers market - Franny can carry more than I can. We have always had backpacks for our dogs and it has nothing to do with tiring them out or increasing their strength, they're useful And yes, the dogs love their packs - it means they're going to the place where the buffalo meat guy will give them jerky!

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  #5  
Old 03-25-2010, 06:44 AM
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Re: Dogs that wear backpacks

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Originally Posted by frontierrots View Post
Neither myself nor anyone I know packs with dogs to tire them out with weight. That is NOT the point

I just did a backpacking article for the Total Rottweiler Magazine

Regardless your pup is too young for anything other then an empty pack right now
You said packing them with weight to tire them out is NOT the point. What is the point then? Help me out here... i'm not experienced in this.
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  #6  
Old 03-25-2010, 08:59 AM
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Re: Dogs that wear backpacks

It is an additional form of exersize. Plain and simple. Because your pup is so young though you need not worry. I do use the pack at times to tire them out faster. Mainly though I use them to carry water when we take the dogs to the park or a long walk. As soon as the dog starts to drag, I take the pack off and carry it myself. These are working dogs and to me it just another way to make them work.
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2010, 09:46 AM
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Re: Dogs that wear backpacks

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Originally Posted by Blask View Post
You said packing them with weight to tire them out is NOT the point. What is the point then? Help me out here... i'm not experienced in this.
Tiring them out may be a result, but quickly the dog will adjust and it will take longer and longer to "tire them out."

I use the backpacks on my guy to give him a job when we're out walking. He was/is a reactive dog in recovery and giving him the backpacks gives him more focus and purpose when we're walking. It has helped greatly with him focusing from point A to point B with out adding in points C-Z to pee on and dog's to trigger on.

It is also very helpful when we walk to the grocery store . He's wonderful at helping carry groceries.

I also think it helps with presenting the breed in a positive light. Those backpacks get alot of attention and people tend to ask alot of questions about the backpacks, the dog, the breed, etc. and of course I'm all to willing to fill them in. :)
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  #8  
Old 03-25-2010, 09:57 AM
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Re: Dogs that wear backpacks

My guy wears a pack when we hike every weekend - he carries his own water and bowl, and a bottle of water or two for me - as well as an extra leash/collar, his poop bags, and a few first aid items.....

He LOVES his pack.......it's serves several purposes.......along with exercise, he is a self-sufficient hiker and he packs out his own poop too...and everyone who sees him is most impressed with how well he 'backpacks' too!

I added a photo of him in his backpack to my gallery.....

To those who've never used a backpack on their dog - EDUCATE yourself on the amount of weight your dog can carry - and DON'T overload them in an effort to wear them out - mine wore his empty the first few times to get use to it - then just leashes and collars - then a water bottle on each side......I can't tell you how many people I've seen buy their dog a pack, load it down with 25 pounds and take off on a hike - then wonder why their dog seems to be having a tough time....and young puppies shouldn't pack.....anything.
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  #9  
Old 03-25-2010, 09:59 AM
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Re: Dogs that wear backpacks

I never thought about using them to tire a dog out, I have thought about adding a pack as he gets a little older for maybe small amount water or light ice packs for cooling
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  #10  
Old 03-25-2010, 11:16 AM
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Re: Dogs that wear backpacks

I bought one for Neyla a few years ago and used it with nothing in it until she turned 2 years old. Then I got 6 empty water bottles and placed three on each side inside the pockets. Then a couple months later I took two of those water bottles filled them up with dog kibble, placed one on each side so there were two empty bottles and one with kibble. Then a few months later, filled up two more empty water bottles out of the three on each side and filled them up with kibble. Now I have six (three on each side) filled with kibble and that's about as much weight as I will add to it. I find with my dog that it does tire her out quicker during those odd situations where I can't take her for a full one hour walk. Also dogs can't multi-task, so she is focused on getting the backpack from point A to point B, and doesn't have the opportunity to focus on the reactive dogs on walks that try to challenge her to a fight. We just keep right on walking, ignore the idiot dog and idiot dog not fenced in stands there looking like a fool. Another thing I've noticed with these backpacks is that it makes your dog look less intimating, not many people will run in the opposite direction, and does make quite a few cars come to a very slow speed so driver and passengers can dilly dally and gawk at the Rottie carrying a backpack. Like others have mentioned not recommended for dogs under the age of 2 years, unless you are using an empty backpack to get them used to carrying it.
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  #11  
Old 03-25-2010, 11:47 AM
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Re: Dogs that wear backpacks

I'm sorry for the choice of words I used with tire them out but essencially that is what you do with the pack. I wasn't merely speaking physically though and I believe cdn1050 did a great job of explaining with focusing. Also just to clarify as well, I was going back and forth with talking about a backpack and weighted vests. There was not suppossed to be an implication of packing on weight to a dog at all to get that tiredness. Sorry for the confussion and hope I didn't confuse too many people.

Is there anyway you can maybe post us to your article or quote it frontierrots?I'm sure it would be a great read especially with winter ending an better weather now approaching.

-Lamarr
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  #12  
Old 03-27-2010, 01:25 AM
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Re: Dogs that wear backpacks

I like your photo jakesfostermum - that looks like a good pack. I have one but havent used it yet as it's been way too hot and Cairo feels the heat as it is - I'm waiting for the weather to cool down first
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  #13  
Old 03-27-2010, 01:32 AM
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Re: Dogs that wear backpacks

PS I would like to read the article too
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  #14  
Old 04-07-2010, 07:26 PM
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Re: Dogs that wear backpacks

Oh good! I was just going to search for this info, too!

I wanted to get Jazz (my 9 mos. old rot/lab mix) a backpack, but mainly just to carry my phone, keys, and a bottle of water for him. I can't really believe that'd be too heavy for him, especially since by the end of the walk the water should be gone.

And OT, but has anyone tried Kayaking with their dog? I saw a guy the other day paddling out with his two dachshunds...so cute. But maybe that wouldn't work so well with a big dog?
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  #15  
Old 04-08-2010, 12:47 AM
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Re: Dogs that wear backpacks

i know he's not a rott, but i had my malinois in a canoe the other day :)

he was in overdrive because he just loves to swim, and we were also doing bitework training for work lol

if you google kayaking with dogs you'll come up with heaps of info on it, but the basic idea is to make sure the dog has a PFD (lifejacket), and for some dogs you might need to take it slow, proof a sit or drop stay on or in your kayak or canoe on dry land first, and then slowly get them used to going out on the water, short 5-10 min paddles at first...

for others i'm sure they'd be just fine... my Mal had never been in a canoe before, i just walked him up to it told him to hop up and then drop, he was so excited he was shaking but he didnt jump straight out or manage to tip us... i think with a little more time, if i'd gone for a few quiet laps of the dam first instead of just stopping 10 yards out and sending him straight back to shore for a bite, he would have calmed down some and quite enjoyed the experience :)

little dogs (that you can lift with one arm) would probably be OK to have a swim along the way... you can pick them up easily and plonk them back on their perch - but i'd hate to see a rott-sized dog trying to get back into a canoe... it'd be flipsville i think LOL


sorry to have gone off topic... there doesnt seem to have been much recent info posted about paddling with dogs...
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