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#56705 - 06/23/10 11:41 AM Backpack Questions
aubie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 2203
Loc: Alabama
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In preparation for our NC/Blueridge vacation in Sept/Oct I ordered Anna a backpack so she can help carry some things when we hike.

I ordered the Ruffware Approach in glacial blue in a medium. It should get here Friday (Sitstay had them on sale btw, and the board has a discount through the affiliate link here too) and I was wondering how should I start training her on it?

A week of walks with nothing in it, then slowly building each week? Also, what kind of water bladders do you use for them to carry water in?
_________________________
Tiffany mom to:
Anna, GSD 9/21/08
Panzer, GSD 9/12/15
Duncan Dog RIP 2/99-10/15
Danger Kitties: Mia & Winston RIP Alley Cat 10/12, Simon 6/13
Andon two-legger
Anna's Dog Blog: www.annathegsd.blogspot.com

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#56715 - 06/23/10 12:08 PM Re: Backpack Questions [Re: aubie]
elisabeth Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 5958
Loc: Ontario
Likes: 32
I would start with nothing in them then build up. I use water bottles not bladders just because it is easier for me. I started off with 1 full water bottle, each side had a half filled bottle, then built up from there.

Stark is only carrying about 2 full water bottles, poop bags and my keys because he is still young though.
_________________________
K-W German Shepherd Club

Wild Winds Archangel Raphael "Stark", HIC, TT
G Wild Winds Zephyr "Zefra" BH, HIC, NTD, ITD, CGN, TT
" XX " z Weberhaus

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#56720 - 06/23/10 12:20 PM Re: Backpack Questions [Re: elisabeth]
aubie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 2203
Loc: Alabama
Likes: 49
The only thing I want her to carry would be her collapsable water bowl, some water and poo bags. So we'll work up to that.
_________________________
Tiffany mom to:
Anna, GSD 9/21/08
Panzer, GSD 9/12/15
Duncan Dog RIP 2/99-10/15
Danger Kitties: Mia & Winston RIP Alley Cat 10/12, Simon 6/13
Andon two-legger
Anna's Dog Blog: www.annathegsd.blogspot.com

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#56740 - 06/23/10 01:24 PM Re: Backpack Questions [Re: aubie]
Cassidy's Mom Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/10/10
Posts: 1350
Loc: SF Bay Area
Likes: 19
I had Halo wear hers empty for a couple of months because she was only a little over a year old when I first got it. I use Platypus bottles to carry the water, and I LOVE them! Maybe start with a .5 liter bottle on each side, then graduate to the 1 liter. If you're not going to carry much else you could actually get a .5 and a 1 liter in each pack.

Platypus bottles are extremely lightweight and collapse down to practically nothing when empty: http://www.amazon.com/Platypus-PlusBottl...0094&sr=1-4

You can also buy them at REI, Backcountry.com, Moosejaw.com, and many other places.

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#56763 - 06/23/10 02:51 PM Re: Backpack Questions [Re: Cassidy's Mom]
Zisso Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/25/10
Posts: 2596
Loc: Eastern Oregon
Likes: 37
I agree with the Platypus water bladders! They are so convenient & after you empty them they take up no room at all. I also started out with nothing in them and worked up, even tho both dogs were over 2 yrs when we got their packs. Now they pack their water, collapsible water bowls, poop bags, and sometimes, if we are going to the lake or river they also each carry their own 30' leash too. I just balance the weight of the leash with the water. Other times, one has carried water, the other has carried toys for them to play with.
_________________________
Bev~mom to:
Zisso-DOB 09/16/07

R.I.P. Kiki, Nadia, Pepe, and all my other loves from years gone by.

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#56797 - 06/23/10 04:09 PM Re: Backpack Questions [Re: Zisso]
mjbgsd Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/21/10
Posts: 2367
Likes: 13
The pictures you see with Akbar wearing his pack, he has nothing in them. Since he's a baby still I have not put anything in them so he is walking with an empty bag. I've been having him do this for a few months so far and he loves to wear it, actually I don't think he even notices that he's wearing it. smile
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Akbar RN CGC 8
Isa BH CD RAE CGC TDI 12

Cody RIP 2003-2012

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#56807 - 06/23/10 04:38 PM Re: Backpack Questions [Re: mjbgsd]
aubie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 2203
Loc: Alabama
Likes: 49
She'll be right over 2-years by the time we go (OMG!) so I think she'll be fine...I'll probably let her wear the empty pack for a month or so...we have some time so it's not a big hurry.
_________________________
Tiffany mom to:
Anna, GSD 9/21/08
Panzer, GSD 9/12/15
Duncan Dog RIP 2/99-10/15
Danger Kitties: Mia & Winston RIP Alley Cat 10/12, Simon 6/13
Andon two-legger
Anna's Dog Blog: www.annathegsd.blogspot.com

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#56850 - 06/23/10 05:57 PM Re: Backpack Questions [Re: aubie]
Chicago Canine Offline
Addict

Registered: 02/21/10
Posts: 461
Loc: Chicago
Likes: 0
I also use the Platypus water bottles, I've found them to work the best.
I've never had a problem introducing it, I usually started by having the dog wear the pack in the house to get used to it and then put light items like baggies in it for a few walks at first before slowly adding some weight (water.)
_________________________
Bianca HIC CGC TT, ~ 6 years GSD, SHC Ambassador Dog, Therapy Dog
and the cats

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#56921 - 06/23/10 09:04 PM Re: Backpack Questions [Re: Chicago Canine]
Cassidy's Mom Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/10/10
Posts: 1350
Loc: SF Bay Area
Likes: 19
The Approach medium weighs about a pound, and the 1 liter Platypus bottles are around 2 pounds each when full. When I first loaded Halo up I didn't have the smaller bottles, so the total weight (including about a half pound of incidentals) was 5-1/2 pounds. That's a little over 10% of her weight, but she didn't have a problem with it, although the bulk takes some getting used to - being wider and bumping into things. I think I only took her out once or twice with that much weight before buying the smaller bottles and then working back up to the big ones. Our walks are 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 miles, not an all day or several day hike, so I didn't think it would be a big deal.

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#58695 - 06/28/10 12:09 PM Re: Backpack Questions [Re: Cassidy's Mom]
aubie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 2203
Loc: Alabama
Likes: 49
So, the backpack came in Friday and it's great! At first she wasn't sure about it, but quickly realized if she put it on she either got cheese or a walk!





It was easy to put on and actually, she does better on our walks. She stays really close to me, almost in a constant heel (unless we're walking with Dunc). It doesn't seem to bother her at all, this week I may let her start carrying my phone and some poo bags.
_________________________
Tiffany mom to:
Anna, GSD 9/21/08
Panzer, GSD 9/12/15
Duncan Dog RIP 2/99-10/15
Danger Kitties: Mia & Winston RIP Alley Cat 10/12, Simon 6/13
Andon two-legger
Anna's Dog Blog: www.annathegsd.blogspot.com

Top Likes: 0 
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