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Thread: Dog rucksacks.Good idea or waste of time?

  1. #1
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    Dog rucksacks.Good idea or waste of time?

    Pretty much as the title says.

    I'm thinking of these sort of things

    Budget option for a try
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...s=pet-supplies

    or the more Rolls Royce option.
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RUFFWEAR-A...item53f1b71d2c

    Rottweilers are meant to be working dogs and originally pulled carts and the like so they have the capacity to carry stuff. But is it worth while. I am torn between the part of me that likes the idea of her helping carry stuff on a long walk, like her own water etc. She does wear a PFD when canoeing and seems to get on fine with that. But the other part of me that just thinks it will snag on everything as they are wider than a PFD and may make her overheat.

    Thoughts?
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  2. #2
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    i would be too worried mine would end up snagged in a tree somewhere, i guess it depends on the dog in my own opinion clothing / rucksack/ coats on dogs is just wrong, they were designed to wear their own coat and nothing else. i dont use PFD's on the dogs as they are swimmers, its quite natural.

  3. #3
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    I'm not a fan of clothes for dogs but do use the PFD as if we take an unplanned swim from the canoe it could be quite a distance from shore in less than ideal conditions. Having Sam in a PFD is one less thing to worry about in those circumstances.

    I think snagging is my main concern with a rucksack for Sam but I guess that depends on where we are going. For a hill walk it may not be som much of an issue and the water would be more useful then too.
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  4. #4
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    The formula I use is the same for horses and safely on the low side. Never let Hunter carry more than 1\6th his weight. Since he is about 90 pounds this means a max load of 15lbs. I make it a point never to give him more than 11lbs.

    On a trip in Algonquin Park we took 22lbs of food and at any given time he carried more than half and as anyone that has traveled Algonquin knows a weight savings of 8 ounces is a big deal so having Hunter take 11lbs off of me was a very big deal. Snagging and swimming was not an issue for us and never has been as he seems to realize what is going on when the backpack goes on. Also we took the pack off at the end of portage trails. Obviously I could not use a leash while carrying a canoe so for me, not only does it work, it is a necessary part of our outdoor life and so voice commands are key.

    We use a pack made by outward hound which he does not dig at to try and remove so presumably it is comfortable. My belief is that his comfort is at least as important as my own.

    If Hunter does not get snagged in the Canadian bush, Sam can likely manage in Scotland. I would be more worried about the sheep ticks.

    If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
    Carl Sagan

  5. #5
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    Sam is 32.5 kg so that would mean 5kg safely. I can't imagine putting as much as that in a pack. Certainly for a hill walk I would feel the benefit of Sam taking a couple of litres of water. And in those circumstances it is likely to be more useful as there will be less water about for her to drink.

    i think snagging is more likely to be an issue on the sort of walks where I don't need her to carry anything. I guess I might just need to get a pack to try.
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  6. #6
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    The key to happiness is equal weight in each of the panniers. This is very important. So much so with horses we weigh everything to make sure it is equal. So if a liter goes in the left side a liter goes in the right. Sometimes Hunter will carry my rain jacket or a blanket too but I suspect in Scotland you will be wearing your rain jacket a lot of the time.

    Really for most dog owners it is a bit of a gimmick but for hikers and portagers it is worth its weight in gold.
    If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
    Carl Sagan

  7. #7
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    I don't like them for a number of reasons, firstly I tend to have shepherd like dogs who usually have pretty boney backs but I believe a dog's back isn't designed to carry weight anyway, secondly, when I'm out walking with a mutt, one of the main pleasures for me is to watch him move & react with the enviroment as naturally as possible (I've probably watched too many wildlife documentaries ) & a dog wearing saddle bags just doesn't do it for me.......................for a long hike I can still manage to carry extra water for the dog even though I'm getting on a bit................................water would be a problem on a multi day camping trip though which is one reason I tend to restrict my camping to one night affairs.......
    Last edited by Blacktimberwolf; 6th-June-2013 at 08:09 AM.

  8. #8
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    A humans back is not designed to carry weight either. For that matter dogs and humans are not designed but a dog is no different than a llama, a horse or a human and all enjoy a bit of work.

    When faced with leaving the dog in a kennel for two weeks or putting him to work the dog naturally would choose to come on the trip even if it means carrying his own food. Well mine anyway.

    Hunter also has a harness and hauls a bit of firewood and has even hauled a sled with a 10 year old girl on it. That is a different set of math for weight based on conformation, equipment and conditions but dogs still love to work.
    If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
    Carl Sagan

  9. #9
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    I do love to watch Sam "work" the woods and follow the scents but I am thinking more of longer hikes where there is more to carry.

    Rottweilers were bred partly as cart dogs and compete in weight pulling competitions so not sure they are any less well adapted than horses or any other draft animal. Of course it needs to be a suitable load on a suitable pack.

    One of the things I have read is that some dogs like the pack. People say it is because they like to help but I think it might just be because they like the walk it signifies. Certainly Sam now loves her PFD as it means a canoe trip.
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  10. #10
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    Hunter's two favorite words are canoe and car.

    The backpack he has is two separate pieces. The saddle and the panniers which velcro and buckle on securely allowing me to load it and set it on after the saddle is secured. This means between trails in the canoe he basically just wears a little cordura vest similar to a PFD.
    If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
    Carl Sagan

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd View Post
    A humans back is not designed to carry weight either.
    True enough but we don't carry the entire weight on our backs (if we have a good rucky) but the wieght should be transferred to our hips also we choose to carry a weight or not



    For that matter dogs and humans are not designed
    That's discutable about dogs since they were created & selected by man so a bit of designing did come into it



    but a dog is no different than a llama, a horse
    A dog"s back though is quite different from that of a horse or lama


    When faced with leaving the dog in a kennel for two weeks or putting him to work the dog naturally would choose to come on the trip even if it means carrying his own food. Well mine anyway.
    I whole heartedly agree with you..............my comments were merely my opinions regarding my own dog(s) ...............there was no criticism on my part for those that choose to use dogpacks.
    Last edited by Blacktimberwolf; 6th-June-2013 at 08:52 AM.

  12. #12
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    I have always wanted a back pack for a dog but I don't think the ginger one could carry anything worth while at 7kg, a bag of sugar I suppose!!!
    The Ruffwear Pallisade packs have been recommended to me though a bit pricier than those you linked to.

  13. #13
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    Talking of small dogs and rucksacks. I was surprised when I searched for Dog Rucksacks on ebay that there were more rucksacks for carrying dogs than rucksacks for carrying stuff.
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly View Post
    Talking of small dogs and rucksacks. I was surprised when I searched for Dog Rucksacks on ebay that there were more rucksacks for carrying dogs than rucksacks for carrying stuff.
    I saw that some other day when looking for a bike carrier. Theres no way I want the ninja out of sight and with her claws somewhere near my jugular, most peculiar I thought.

  15. #15
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    Hi MK,

    We have a pack that we thought Scooby would carry but he's not keen, you could borrow it if you want to try it on Sam,

  16. #16
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    If it fits I would be happy to buy it from you. What size is it?
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  17. #17
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    Will have to find it from memory, on it's smallest setting it was a little large on Scooby, should fit Sam

    should be able to drop it by on Sunday lunch time (at work in the PM)

  18. #18
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    I'll probably be at HessilHead open day doing magic but you could leave it round the back door.
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  19. #19
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    Thanks John



    put a couple of litres of water in it and then played with her football. She seemed entirely unfazed. I think she just thought it was some sort of PFD. I think if the load was not balanced it would slip round. Not sure about he size yet. It can fit her but the packs are pretty small.
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  20. #20
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    Yeah that is pretty small. After nightshift I think I am off tomorrow so I will dig out Hunters and try and do a reference photo. I figured that she would take to it like a PFD though.
    If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
    Carl Sagan

  21. #21
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    Hi John,

    This wasn't the one I was thinking off I'm sure I've another slightly bigger, I'll keep looking,
    How was Hesselhead, wanted to get up there up was at the loch instead

  22. #22
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    HessilHead was busy and hot.

    For water this one would to ably be big enough but for bulky light things bigger might be handier. I think some experimenting needs to be done
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  23. #23
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    Panniers are great and I use them but should always be very well fitting. Ideally a trekking/canicross belt and line should also be used to prevent accidents possible with free-running dogs.

    Ruffwear designs are absolutely beautiful but very expensive, even given their amazing quality. My favs are my Manmat ones: Developed by the company famous for sledding harnesses, they are incredibly strong, well made and ideal for competitive dog treks. A downside may be that they are not available for smaller breeds. Also they only have one compartment so packing needs to be fairly neat

    Last edited by hprgirl; 22nd-June-2013 at 06:51 PM. Reason: missed posting picture

  24. #24
    I would love to see my wearing in its natural coat rather than him wearing a funky artificial rucksack.

  25. #25
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    I'm not keen on coats for dogs but do sort of still like the idea of a rucksack for Sam. The problem would definitely be her catching it on something while she is free running. She does not seem to have any problems with her lifejacket getting caught.
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

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