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Check the local laws in your area, too. Up here, dogs can't be off-leash in national, and I think provincial, parks. So most of our hiking has to be on leash since those are the best trails outside the city.

Personally, I always keep Ranger on a leash regardless of where we are. Partially because he's a hunter by nature and because there's something about him that tends to "set off" wildlife. Knowing him, he'd go off tracking something and rustle up a bear...and then wouldn't back down :(

Not to mention his hunting endangers local wildlife. Even on leash he's caught partridges and pheasants and cornered a skunk :(
Not to derail the thread, but is Ranger a flat coated retreiver? He's a beautiful dog!

Back to topic: I wouldn't take Luke off leash because he does well until something very tempting (like a deer) comes along and then he wants to go make friends with it. He forgets I'm telling him to stay. I think he would try to approach a bear, alligator or whatever. He loves to chase bunnies, but always breaks chase if he gets too close. I don't think Luke actually wants to capture whatever he's chasing. :p:
 

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One thing I do have that I don't think has been mentioned here is dog booties. She won't really wear them but they can be a lifesaver for a cut paw
Yeah, that's a good idea. My first aid kit has gauze, vetwrap, and duct tape, so I'd be able to make a "make-shift" bootie. But a bought one would save time and fuss!

and yes, you're right - Ranger has mad hunting skills :doh: I'm usually the one disposing of the poor little critter carcasses that he catches and kills. Last time we were hiking there was a pheasant and her little babies in the trail ahead of us and they panicked seeing Ranger stalking them. They were running all over, even towards him, and it was pure chaos. I had Ranger in a bear hug to stop him from catching (and maybe then eating) all the babies! (Momma abandoned them and flew to the safety of a nearby tree). Luckily, none were harmed!

Don't forget a lighter for that cigar you'll enjoy at the end of the day.;) Kidding aside a lighter is a good idea in case you're forced to spend the night some where. Not sure if a light was mentioned but that'd be a good idea too. Have fun...sounds like a good time.





Should Ranger turn and run from a bear keep in mind he'll be coming back to you and once he gets there he'll easily out run you...:uhoh:

I sure like that pack you got for Ranger...I'm going to have to look into one of those.


Pete & Woody
Good point! Though I don't think he'd run from a bear, unfortunately :no: His "fight or flight" instinct is all fight...no flight.

His backpack is amazing. It's padded, has reflective detailing, two belly straps for better weight distribution and the saddle bags are removable. It's also ventilated and has separate compartments for storage. It's by Canine Equipment. Pricey, but even after 3 years of hiking it still looks good!

Not to derail the thread, but is Ranger a flat coated retreiver? He's a beautiful dog! ...
Thanks! He's a rescue so impossible to say exactly what he is, but I've had people (even breeders) tell me he looks like a purebred...except for his head and a bit of white on his chest. He's got the personality of one, too, from everything I've read.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Yes, we have rattlesnakes here. Not as bad as some areas though. My understanding is that the mountains are too high so they don't go up there, but you will find them in the canyons.
I've thought about the rattlesnake vaccine but it has a pretty high serious side effect rates is my understanding. I should talk to some of our local S&R dogs and see if they get it. It's sort of the is the risk of the side effect worse than the risk of the snakebite debate.
 

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I'm not much of a hiker (bad knee) but if I were going to hike in an area with rattlers or any nasty snakes, I'd invest in snake-training. It's very effective and for dogs that are curious about anything that moves, can be a lifesaver.

When you do your hikes, be sure to post some pictures! I bet the country is gorgeous.
 

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We are in an area now that has a lot of rattlers. I plan on talking to the vet this week about getting Ellie the vaccine. But I decided to search here for thoughts. My trainer back in Germany did rattler training in San Antonio, but not where we were. We meet with a new trainer next week, and I've been getting pretty nervous about Ellie and the rattlers.


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Discussion Starter #29
Definitely talk to your vet about it. I've heard both good and bad things about it.
Where I am we have them, but not like in other parts of the world. I've never actually seen/heard one, but they are definitely here.
Plus, I live in an odd area in that if I go down into the canyons a few hundred feet there will be more of them but if I go up to the mountains apparently it is too high and they don't live there. Most of our hikes will be up in the summer because of the heat and down in the colder weather when snakes aren't around
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Great news!
I really wish they did it where I live, closest place is 2 hrs away. Might be worth the drive though!
For now I just plan on making a big deal anytime I see any snake. I usually get a few bull snakes every year in the back yard.
 

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Official Trout Bum
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Definitely talk to your vet about it. I've heard both good and bad things about it.
Where I am we have them, but not like in other parts of the world. I've never actually seen/heard one, but they are definitely here.
Plus, I live in an odd area in that if I go down into the canyons a few hundred feet there will be more of them but if I go up to the mountains apparently it is too high and they don't live there. Most of our hikes will be up in the summer because of the heat and down in the colder weather when snakes aren't around
I'm not sure what elevations you're referring to but I've seen rattlesnakes above 6,000ft. Not trying to scare you but I'd be careful, they are around and it's something to be aware of.

Pete & Woody
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I live at 7500ft and they are definately here, the mountains are 10,000 and I've been told by multiple people that should know, they they don't live up that high.

But, I'm still careful, it only takes one! Plus, there are definitely Bear up there!
 
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