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Teaching Your Dog To Hike Safely In The Bay Area: Tips And Tricks


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Teaching Your Dog To Hike Safely In The Bay Area Tips And Tricks

An outdoor adventure such as hiking can be a great way to explore nature with your dog while also creating special bonds between you and your favorite pet in a fun way. Although some dog breeds naturally make for good hiking companions, most will need dog obedience training and trail-specific skills to do well during a hike. 

In this post, we will be talking about some of the tips and tricks you can use to make your dog a great hiking companion. So read on. 

Teaching Your Dog How To Hike Safely 

Whether it’s your dog’s first time going hiking with you or they’ve tagged along with you a couple of times, enforcing the following will put them on their best behavior during the hike. 

 Leash Walking 

While you can keep your precious furry friends under control by giving them common cues like “sit,” “wait,” “stay,” “come,” and so on, nothing beats keeping them on a leash during a hike. Also, most trails in the country have laws that require your dog to be on a leash. So it’s important for you to train them on how to walk on a leash. If your dog isn’t used to wearing a leash or leash walking, it’s best to let them get used to being on a leash indoors before taking them for a hike. 

Pacing Cues 

Taking your dog for a walk down the street is pretty easy, but taking them hiking along rocky terrains is different; you may have trouble keeping pace with your four-footed pet. But one of the things you’ll have to do during a hike is to ensure you’re on the same pace as your dog. Therefore, it’s important to train your dog with pacing cues. Saying things like “whoa” and “go easy” can tell your dog to go slower, while things like “let’s go” can motivate your dog to move faster. Either way, acclimating your dog with different pacing cues is essential when hiking with your dogs to ensure they don’t get in trouble or cause one. 

 Focus Work

There’s every possibility you’ll encounter other hikers while hiking with your dog; it’s best to train your dog beforehand on how to handle distractions and focus on you alone. That way, you can control your dog’s movement and actions to ensure they would not approach other hikers or run off to distractions along the way. 

Safety Cues 

Although you may not intend for it to happen, your dog can run into trouble during a hike. Poisonous plants, animal waste, and waste from other hikers are some of the things you’re likely to encounter on your trail. All these are dangerous to your dog, and you wouldn’t want your dog picking up something that would be hazardous for them. Safety cues can help tell your dog to drop something from its mouth or to avoid picking it up in the first place. 

Tips For Safe Hiking With Your Dog

Asides teaching your dog to hike safely, the following tips will help to ensure safe and smooth hiking for both you and your dog. 

 Ensure Your Dog Is Healthy

Before ever bringing your dog on a trail, ensure that it is fit for rigorous activities. If your dog has a pre-existing condition, taking them on a hike is not something you should consider. Also, if you’re planning a hike in the future, taking your dog for daily walks will help prepare them for the hike. 

 Protect Your Dog Against Diseases 

If your dog is spending a lot of time outside, that means they’ll be vulnerable to ticks and fleas, especially if you’ll be hiking in areas covered by foliage. The best way to keep these pests from infecting your dog is through preventative vaccines. Make sure your dog is vaccinated against rabies, Lyme disease, Parvovirus, and Leptospirosis, as those diseases are commonly found in insect-prone areas. 

Pack Your Dog’s Essential 

Emergency hikes aren’t things you should embark on, especially if you’ll be taking a companion along. Common items you should carry with you include water bags, bandages, dog boots, travel mats, GPS collars, and so on. If you’re planning to hike close to a river and possibly take a swim, consider packing a life jacket if your dog will join you in the water. 

Watch The Weather

Hiking during harsh weather conditions unprepared can lead to a series of accidents. So, before you grab your bags and set out of your home, take a look at the weather forecast. While the morning may seem cool and breezy, the sun may be planning to creep up on you, or there may be a storm brewing somewhere. Always consider the weather changes that are likely to happen and ensure you’re prepared for them. But most importantly, avoid hiking under extreme weather; you can always reschedule if the forecast doesn’t look so good. 

Go With A First Aid Kit 

Minor accidents may happen along the way, and you may need some sort of treatment. A first aid kit contains the basic supplies you’ll need to treat cuts or bruises. You can also add prescribed antihistamines to the kit in case you and your dog suffer any allergy from insect bites and stings. It will be helpful if you go through the first aid kit prior to the hike to help you familiarize yourself with its use so that you’ll be ready to swing into action when an accident occurs. 

 Be Aware Of Danger 

Dogs have a great sense of security; they can sense danger lying ahead. So, if your dog begins to bark, it may notify you of a potential threat within the area. Therefore, before you go hiking, it’s important to know what kind of danger you’re likely to encounter in the area where you want to hike to help you avoid confrontation. 

Ready to go hiking with your dog? We hope these tips will guide you on how to hike safely with your dog to enjoy some fun time together. You can learn more tricks on how to keep your dog safe by visiting;

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Spectrum Canine Dog Training, 

34060 Rowland Dr., 

Fremont, CA, 94555, 

(510) 629-9498

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