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Anyone out there have a dog wearing a backpack either occasionally or on a regular/daily basis? After losing our great pit mix Dallas right before thanksgiving we went about a month ago and got another from the halifax humane society here in daytona. we want to get him "working" early on and train him so that we can help train people how good these breeds can be despite what human POS's like Michael Vick use them for and for thing we have read and seen the backpack is a great way to do it.

first one is of Dallas and the second one is Mayhem.

Thanks ahead of time for the insight.
 

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Gidget's always been fine carrying a pack but I've never put a lot of weight in it: poop bags (empty), treats, maps, bug spray, bandannas -- light stuff like that. My advice for starting your pups out is:

1. start with the right size pack. Put it on in the house, see how they do.

2. keep it very light to begin with.


The photo shows a small Mountainsmith pack on Gidget. Got it at REI. She also has a larger Wolfpack (see German Shepherd pic below). Wolfpacks are terrific -- based in southern Oregon (Ashland) and the woman who started the company 20-something years ago actually had a wolf hybrid and now has Samoyeds. She and her husband hike with their pups, sled, do skijoring and scootering.

I've had a number of friends who've had their dogs on a pack hiking regimen to earn their working championships swear by Wolfpacks. In the Samoyed Club of America, to earn points for hikes the dogs must start with a load equal to 25% of their weight. Peops typically put water bottles in the Wolfpacks and then lighten the load as they and the dogs drink the water.

So Wolfpacks gets my vote. Made in America. Real dog peops. Serious dog packs. :)

http://www.wolfpacks.com/

Backpacks are a deterrent to strangers approaching your dog -- they often think the pack is an indication of an assistance dog so they don't want to distract the pup from it's duties.


 

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Hobbes has been carrying his own food and water on all of our hikes in a Ruffwear Approach Pack. He gets very excited when he sees it come out of our "gear closet" or when it is in the back of the E. I have tried a few (we stock allot of them) and i settled on the Ruffwear pack because of the harness system and the build quality. It has taken quite the beating because Hobbes like to make his own trails, but it still looks surprisingly new. The pic above is from when it was new. I will have to see if I can find anything more recent.

I can also second H.C.'s recommendation on the Mountainsmith packs and the Kelty Chuckwagon that is in her photo. They are both great packs and we get constant feedback from customers that use them for all sorts of training and service purposes.
 

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thanks for the replies guys and girls. i ordered one last night. i didnt want to spend a lot on it since he is still a pup but if it works out we plan on getting him a nicer one when he stops growing. keep the tips comming.:-D
 

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Ha ha my dogs could fit in those backpacks! We had a hard time finding PFDs for our little guys when we go yakking but oddly enough I found a lot of backpacks in their size so they could maybe carry a petite Greenie and a poop baggie, not so useful that small but cute.
There is a place in Ely that hand makes stuff for sled dogs like booties and packs and harnesses. I think it's Kondos or something, I'll have to look it up. It's really nice quality gear for dogs and Wintergreen makes adventure clothing for people and Steiger Mukluks are also from Ely.
 

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I am a big fan of the Ruff Wear Palisades Pack. They are very similar to the pack Hobbes is wearing above, except that the pack is quickly detachable on the Palisades. This allows me to use the harness alone for hiking (makes a great handle and lift point on the dogs) and occasional bike towing.

Point of confusion: The "Palisades II" pack is the old design. The regular "Palisades" pack is the new design. No - the naming system does not make any sense. The primary difference appears to be a redesigned hydration bladder system on the new pack. The old system is not terribly user friendly.

Here is a photo with Selkie in just the harness and Rogue in harness and backpack.
 

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Hobbes, my Aussie and I are oohing and ahhing at your new Ruffwear Approach pack.
She has a medium Palisades pack II which is really nice but it just doesnt seem to fit her the way it should. It's definitely the right size, it's just always seemed a little off. Since she won't get a job, I am saving my money for one of the new Palisades packs as they fit her great!
 

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When we do get out to hike, Sydney also has a Palisades pack. He has lost a few pounds since we first got it for him, but it fits well and carries plenty of water for him. He has yet to complain... He is not overly active for an Aussie, so that could explain why it stays on so well

 
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