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fireman
Member

Post Number: 63
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 10:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Well Folks, I have a new dog. Name of Darby O'Gill (DOG for short). A mutt, although definitely Rotweiller and Terrier are dominant.
45 pounds, two years old, very affectionate, a bit hyper but stays near on hikes and always comes when called. I have never taken a dog canoeing.
What is my next step? How do I get Darby to the point of being "not a problem" in the boat? I will be soloing when he is with me, at least in the near future.
It sounds like a lot of you have dogs and a lot of experience with taking them on trips.
I would dearly like to learn from your experience and not have to suffer unnecessarily on this one.
I have always had dogs, love them, maybe too much, indulge them a bit too much and cannot honestly say I know anything about training them, on water or land.
Please Help.
Ciao
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ghost_brigade
Member

Post Number: 82
Registered: 04-2004


Posted on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 11:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

First thing by your new buddy a life jacket with a grab loop on top in case you have to retrieve from the drink.

Our guy started out as a pup with us and did his first trip when he was 9 months old. Over the first winter before this trip i had him jump in and out of the canoe in the backyard, with some encouragement of a cookie or two. Come spring time we did a bunch of paddles around home. He was close to 75 lbs on his first trip which was for 9 days with a tandem crew, staying just in front of me in the stern. Paddling solo, he is always in front of me no matter what position i am in the canoe. He also stays on the floor and not up on the packs. Dogs are just like kids so the key is to keep them comfortable, think sun protection and a comfortable birth, a soft sweater or shirt on the floor does the trick for us. I know others use closed cell foam. Treats close at hand is also a good idea.

Bugs can also be a problem so a bug shelter or putting him in the tent will be necessary. I have occasionally tied him up in camp when i thought he was getting a little to loud for the neighbouring critters. Never had him chase after anything, but he has let out some viscious growls at the scent of some animal.

Don't forget to get all necessary shots, think tick prevention, depending on were you will be paddling. We shave archies belly every summer and give his top coat a cut, keeps him cool and helps him dry faster after a swim.

I find the hardest part of any trip with my dog is the first day especially if it has involved a long drive and transition to the canoe. Its best to try and get them to go for a run or play fetch for awhile to burn off some energy. Our retriever will get stand up if he sees some birds in the water or even a bear which has happened twice, but has never made a sudden move, at least not one that i could not brace for as i saw the moment coming.
Years ago on on a trip on the LER we stopped for lunch at a campsite. When we went to leave Archie was not coming so I hollered loud, out of the bush he came licking his chops, as he got closer i could smell the distinct smell of s____. I was seriously pissed and my wife, the trooper cleaned out the caked in mess from his gums with her fingers. In my anger i pushed the canoe off from shore and we drifted maybe only 5' from shore. This turned out to be a mistake as from that point on my poor guy is always trying to get into the canoe ahead of us as he is afraid we are going to leave him behind. This season maybe his last for journying with us on canoe trips. It sure has been worth it and we will do it again with a new fella when that day comes.
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 799
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 8:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Can't add much to Ghost Brigade's description.
My present dog is a JRT, weighing ~15#. No chance she can tip the canoe, but she can get quite excited sometimes is she sees a moose, bear, beaver, wolf or any number of water birds etc.
She is 9 years old this month and has been canoeing for 8 years now, sometimes up to almost 100 days per season, so she knows the routine. I put her PFD on in the morning and she wears it almost all day. It comes off when we have arrived at a campsite.Ocassionally, I take it off if it is a real hot day and we are paddling on a relatively calm lake, if she is overheating.
Starting out in the spring, I usually have to lift her in a few times to refresh her memory and after that she will sit by the canoe until she is told to get in.
She has been involved in about 5 upsets over the years.The first was relatively minor for her and she was able to swim to shore.Unfortunately for me, she would not get back into the canoe preferring to walk along the shore. I had to spend about 1/2 hour trying to coax her back in, while I watched all my gear float away, down a creek and around a bend.One time she came up under the overturned canoe and was trapped there until we realized she was not with us and my wife pulled her out. Then she swam along side us as we got pulled downriver and got to shore. Another time we eventually got to shore after an upset in dangerous waters and she had to stay on shore by herself while we went downriver to retrieve gear.
She did stay there and was remarkably well behaved considering the incident.

Last year we used a bug shelter for the first time on a boreal trip and it didn't take her long to determine the benefits of sitting in there while camped.She is pretty calm and has never trid to paw her way out of either the tent or the bug shelter.Usually she will stand there and occasionally whine a bit if we are slow to respond when she wants out...

The only problem we have had, that has been hard to break is the sh*t problem. When younger, there were times when she would disappear and come back licking her chops.We have had long talks about this problem with her and on occasion have tried unsuccessfully to apply a boot to her posterior.
Now I take precautions to prevent excavation from happening, by placing a log or rock over the area and then keeping tabs on her whereabouts for several minutes after the event.Unfortunately some days she has a memory like a steel trap and my mitigation efforts are in vain.

She has got lost and has managed to get caught on her PFD on a few occasions. But those are other stories.

Enjoy your tripping friend Fireman. They can be quite funny out there sometimes.

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shutter_speed
Member

Post Number: 54
Registered: 02-2007


Posted on Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 9:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Our last dog generally lay down on the floor right in front of me. He was black, so the sun made him very hot. I kept a towel at hand to make a "tent" over him, and he was happy with that. We had a PFD for him, but the wrong kind-he couldn't lie down in it. Make sure yours has some flexibility.
We have a new puppy now, and are looking forward to tripping with him, although with some trepidation as he is a PWD (water dog). Dogs make great companions when tripping (except for the digging up of sh*t as Ed mentioned!). O
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alscool
Moderator

Post Number: 240
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 11:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I generally let my dog be his own dog. No restrictions. I carry his food.

He barks at all animals but not at birds. He is good at getting in and out of the canoe but sometimes gets his willy caught on the gunwale while entering the canoe. He does not like missing the canoe or getting in somebody elses canoe.

One concern that I have is, that he often finds himself on the wrong side of the river after a portage. He has not been washed downstream yet!



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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 800
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 11:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Fireman:
I don't think we answered your question about training. We took our Jack Russel to "dog school" in her case to McCanns Professional Dog Trainers( they also train them for Flyball,) She did learn the basics there. Come when called, sit, quiet, down, off, etc.She wasn't a star pupil during this, and we had to persist, but eventually most of it sort of sunk in and by the time she reached about 2-3 she was sort of responsive... unless a squirrel or a cat was around to distract her.
"Come" is the most important word when travelling in the bush as they can and do get temporarily lost.
I would think you would want to get these training basics down pat before you take your dog out canoeing.
There are usually dog training course available in most cities. Some given by groups like the YMCA are moderately priced and fun to attend. Also, if you can enroll your young dog in one it will help to socialize them with people and other dogs so they are not so inclined to fight with each other when approached by a strange dog.
Just some thoughts.
You could aslo watch the program called the "Dog Whisperer" on the Discovery channel, which gives you some insight into behavioural problems and how to overcome them.
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preacher
Member

Post Number: 109
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 12:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Good stuff!
Training is key. Heel, stay, come.

Let the dog make the decision if it's to be a tripping dog. Far too often I hear about people who want to trip with a dog. It's more important that the dog want to go tripping with you than the other way around.

Respect for others on the trail please. You're the only one who knows your dog means no harm. People before pets. I love dogs, but every time I see/hear one on a portage I'm ready for the worst case. When you hear others on the trail, call your pet to heel please. People on vacation don't need the worry.

Never had a bad experience yet.

I think tripping with a dog would be awesome. If I had the time & disposition I'd love to have a dog. I'm just way to lazy & selfish to walk one every day twice a day rain or shine or snow.

Start slow. Day hikes & paddles. Single night. Long weekend.
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mr_pike
Member

Post Number: 32
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 4:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

The first trip out with a new dog can be tricky. You want to make sure it is as enjoyable as possible for your dog but at the same time you may have to be firm with the dog as dogs, by nature, will try to test boundaries and see what they can get away with when placed in a whole new enviornment. Gathering that your dog is already well behaved in the woods, the only thing I would recommend (other than trimming its nails if you are using a thermarest mattress), is taking the dog out in the canoe on a local lake or river and getting it as content and comfortable as possible in the canoe before heading out for the big trip. It may take a bit of work to get your dog just how you like him but it is well worth it, a good canoedog is priceless and dogs love being out in the woods.
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fireman
Member

Post Number: 64
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 9:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Wow, what a response. I am surprised to hear mention the PFD. All my dogs have been avid, excellent swimmers and a PFD never entered my mind. I cannot see myself shooting CIII rapids with a dog in my canoe, actually even without a dog I tend to avoid them.
I've seen people use a muzzle on their dogs in the canoe, rather than a leash. i do not know if this is a training technique or a permanent thing.
As for the campsite, my sense is he will stay close, being a very big suck and very affectionate.
By the way,Alscool, that is one beautiful dog. I have a 13 year old a little bit bigger, a bit more wolfish and destined never to see the canoe. Raised in the city before I adopted him, hasn't got a clue what to do in the bush.
your dog looks like someone you could get lost in the barrens with and he would find the way out.
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 801
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Friday, April 9, 2010 - 7:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

JRT's are not big swimmers, so a PFD is important for canoeing with them on rivers.
However, if they are on the hunt, all bets are off. They can swim with the best of them, across streams and over bogs at great speed in pursuit of the quarry.
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preacher
Member

Post Number: 111
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Friday, April 9, 2010 - 11:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

One bonus to having a pfd on the pooch is it will be much easier to see when it wanders off.

It is never my intention to need a pfd. Somehow I eventually manage to need it regardless of my best intentions.

There's always the seatbelt paradigm. Do I have to wear a seatbelt? Only if I want to survive an accident.
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shutter_speed
Member

Post Number: 55
Registered: 02-2007


Posted on Friday, April 9, 2010 - 1:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

The first time I put a PFD on a dog was on a friend's doberman for his first trip to Temagami. He ate it on the way to the cottage, then jumped in, swam across the lake and had to be retreived by boat!
The last dog we owned had one because in his last year he was too old to swim. He thought it made an ok pillow, but couldn't wear it. We now have a PWD puppy that stays within 20 feet of us at all times. We will keep an eye on him, but won't be using a lifejacket for him.
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preacher
Member

Post Number: 112
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Friday, April 9, 2010 - 3:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

PWDs are built to swim. Webbed feet no?
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ed
Moderator
Post Number: 803
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Saturday, April 10, 2010 - 8:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I got my dog used to the PFD when she was still young and she accepted it. A few years ago, I thought she might like to winter camp.But having not much fur, I thought it prudent to purchase some clothes for her. I bought a snow suit a jumpsuit and booties. That was a waste of money. She wouldn't wear the snowsuit or the booties. She will wear the jumpsuit at night or lounging around on really cold days in Spring weather. Needless to say she doesn't go out winter camping because I would not be able to keep her comfortable if the temperatures hit real lows.

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