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Another Dog Hike Question...(Expect More)

How do you handle hiking with multiple dogs with different...excitement? For hiking? I have one dog who would run and run and run until she falls over, and figure out how to run while laying down, tbh. 

My other, while likes walking at FIRST...is good with...ok nap. Obviously you are "only as strong as your weakest link" so I would never ever force the other dog up to her sister's level, but how do you handle being alone and letting one run/walk/hike more than the other? 

(I live alone and don't have babysitters or dog sitters anywhere near where I live, so leave her at home isn't an option.)

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2 Replies

@J3andDogs 

This is a great question!

I have two dogs as well, one is a puppy, and one who is a sled dog and therefore has the endurance of...well...a sled dog. If I just let them loose the puppy, Apollo, would exhaust himself in the first couple of miles and be done before we even got started. Hadley, the sled dog, not only has the stamina that comes with experience (and the breed) but also knows when she needs to slow down for the long haul. Apollo doesn't have the experience yet to understand how to pace himself.

As such, and also because we have recently moved from Alaska to Washington, I almost always try to keep them both on leash when we're out on the trail. When we lived in Alaska I rarely had to worry about keeping Hadley on leash because we were in the interior and traveling over tundra and land that had minimal brush and were often above tree line. Most trail regulations required that your dog simply had to be under voice command, which Hadley is really good at. 

Now that I'm traveling with two dogs, I make sure to keep them on leash as often as possible. For one, out of respect for the other folks on trail, but also for the safety of the dogs, particularly because Apollo has minimal experience given his age. The likelihood of one of them getting injured bounding through the woods is significantly higher now that there are two of them (and also because Apollo believes he can do anything Handley can do). Additionally, if we're doing big miles on a trail, we will go further with Apollo on leash and sticking close that we will if he burns himself out in the first mile of trail. Either way Hadley will get a workout and be tired after a big day too.

When we're walking, whether on trail or around the neighborhood, we use the Ruffwear Trail Runner System and a pair of Ruffwear Roamer Dog Leashes. When we're on longer trips we'll attach the leashed directly to the hip belt of our packs. When Apollo gets a little bit better walking alongside Hadley, we'll likely get one of those split leashes that allows you two have two dogs on one leash. We'd end up as a horrible wound up knot of leashes, dogs, and humans if we tried that method now!

Hopefully this helps a little bit, thanks!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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This is perfect! I found a coupling on Amazon that should attach to the waist harness to make it 2-dog friendly. It will also come in handy when I start hiking more in the mountain area, don't need either one of the dogs running and going over!! I always leash them in new places/trails until I learn the area and whether it's safe (or legal) for them to be running around. Sasha has fantastic recall, Dipstick...well she's Dipstick. She listens when it suits her. A lot of that is my own fault, but that's a story for another day. 

Thank you for the advice on the waist-leash. It's on it's way and I'm excited to try it out!

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