Dixie was eleven months old yesterday. She is pretty active. We do a short walk in the morning before work, about a mile. After work is two to three miles. She gets let off the lead in the yard for about half an hour (her recall is still not 100%) to run free and play. And boy does she run! She just loves to run, she takes off and does circles around the yard until she can't run anymore. I keep meaning to get a video to show you, it's hilarious. Plus whatever play time she does in the house with Willy. They like to play tug.
Anyway, I want to go hiking on Saturday to Black Moshannon State Park. The trail I'm looking at is 7.3 miles, around the lake and to the bog area. It's considered an easy footpath, partly paved. Do you think this is too far for her? I really don't, she's very high energy, and it takes a lot to tire her out. Plus we can always stop and let her rest and just enjoy the forest. We'll picnic also, so she can rest. What do you think? I was hoping to get in a longer hike, but don't want to push her yet. I don't want any ill effects.
There is a two to three day trail, depending on your ability, that I want to do with her, but that might have to wait until next summer. She'll have to carry her own food and water. What age do you think she could do that trail?
Will the hike be off leash? We did a 7 mile hike with Maddox two weeks ago and he probably did 14+ miles because he runs ahead and back to us throughout the hike. He was totally zonked when we finished, and he's super high energy/well exercised.
Laura & Maddox
No, it will not be off leash. She's not trustworthy enough and I have to watch for snakes and other animals. I did some more research and I think I'm having second thoughts. They say 18 months to two years for a longer hike, so I don't damage her joints while she's growing. She'll be 18 months by the end of summer. I think I'll work up to five miles by then and by next spring she should be good for the longer hikes. How old is Maddox?
My last lab did his first upland hunt with me around 11 months. We probably walk 7-10 miles throughout the day while hunting but lots of breaks etc. he was pooped at the end but did fine. A lot just depends on the conditioning the dog has had and his energy level. I personally would do a short hike first and see how he does before doing a real long one. Mine had a lot of conditioning just from field training/ swimming which was on top of our daily walks.
Deep Run Traveling "Takoda" (12/05/12)
Deep Run Easygoing Ezekial "Zeke" (04/13/17)
Probably doable, just make you you stop more than you normally would for some forced dog rests and lots of water of course.
Maddox is almost seven
Laura & Maddox
I would say do-able, just take a break here and there, be relaxed about it.
Even my 3-4 month olds will, on their own accord go miles and miles....I just sit there in the middle of my pasture and watch them. Let your dog dictate how far and how long. Stop, let him sniff, maybe ask for some obedience moves, a sit, a heel, a down...then move on for a bit. It is a marvelous opportunity for training!
Karen and the gang
BBI Kodi's Journey To Anotch (Journey)
BBI Kodi's Blackpowder Striker (Flint)