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Hiking Las Vegas Blog
Hiking with your dog can be some of the most fun you can have in the outdoors, but you should always make sure that you plan properly and take the right steps to train your dog for the trails. It is also important to find the right paths to take your dog on, some are canine friendly and others are not. Dogs can be excellent company in the outdoors, exploring with a four-legged friend can be a great bonding experience, but if you make a mistake on the trail you don’t want things to go wrong.
Things to Consider
Before you take your dog out on a hiking trip, there are a few things you want to consider. It is important to determine if your pet is capable of making the trip. You’ll want to locate dog-friendly parks and wildlife areas. Your dog should be prepared physically. Don’t forget to learn properly trail techniques for dogs and their owners. It is important to keep in mind the most common dangers for dogs while hiking. Learning how to load a dog’s pack is key, and making sure they are comfortable can make all the difference.
Best Breeds for Hiking
Of course some dog breeds are better than others at hiking. After all, they were bred for different reasons and some were bred to travel on foot. Siberian Huskies were bred to pull sleds over long distances in harsh climates. They can endure on long hikes if you keep them entertained. Australian Shepherds are an intelligent and adventurous breed that is always ready to hike. German Shorthaired Pointers were developed as a hunting dog and still performs this way around the world. It makes them great for hiking. These are not the only dogs that are great for hiking, there are plenty more. Look into your dog’s breed to find out their hiking skills. Some are built for endurance and others, like pugs, boxers, and Boston terriers, are not.
When is my Dog Old Enough to Hike?
Not many dogs are too young to go hiking with you, but you should make sure your dog has their vaccinations, especially for rabies. If you aren’t sure whether your dog is up for it, start by taking them on a short hike to see how they fare. Once you see how your dog does on a hike for an hour or two, you will know how they will do on longer journeys.
Trails to Take your Dog On
When you’ve determined that your dog is capable of hiking with you, it will be time to think about location. Most trails and campsites requires dogs to be on leashes if they are welcome at all. Do your research ahead of time to find the best spot.
According to the site MoneyPug, which is used for finding cheap holidays, most national parks don’t allow pets and sometimes require that dogs stay on paved trails. Take some time to get to know the rules of the area you are thinking about going to and familiarize yourself with the wildlife you may encounter. It is also important to look for places that will be easy on your dog’s paws. Shady trails with soft, leaf-covered terrain and avoid paths with sharp rocks, off-trail routes with steep drops, and any surface that gets too hot.
Training your Dog
Of course it is very important to keep control of your dog at all times, whether they are on a leash or not. You will need to work up to hiking without a leash, but when you do it is very fun and rewarding. Your dog should always be within sight and close enough to hear commands. Dogs can even learn the rules of the trail. When you are out there with your dog, it is important to take into account trail etiquette with a dog. Always clean up after your dog and keep them trained to adhere to your calls and commands to wait for you or let other hikes pass.
If you take the steps to do your research, learn what trails are good for dogs, and understand your pet’s capabilities, you will open up a world of possibilities and have tons of fun with your best friend.
Ryan Beitler is a journalist, writer, and travel blogger. He has written for Paste Magazine, New Noise Magazine, The Slovenia Times, Deadline News, OC Weekly, and many more.
Branch Whitney is the author of Hiking Las Vegas and creator of the 52 Peak Club where members hike to the best 52 Peaks around Las Vegas, NV