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Outdoor Adventures?


Guest FloridaGirl
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Guest FloridaGirl

Hey all! I was wondering - for those of you who take your needlenoses hiking with you, did you have a training technique that helped them get used to slow longer distances? I know they don't mind a brisk 30 minute walkabout, but I'm talking about wandering out into the woods for hours (with water, of course) with occasional ups and downs of elevation. I'm used to flat land myself (even with exercising regularly I can't get my body to adjust to too many elevation changes - it wears me out!) so the hikes wouldn't be anywhere near strenuous. I guess you could call them "deliberate wanderings". I've read elsewhere that you just have to work up to it and pay attention to their weight (make sure they're not loosing a lot with the longer distances), but I wondered if anyone here had any personal experiences with that?

 

Also, while we're on the subject of outdoor adventures - does anyone have a water-loving grey? There's not much in the way of decent water here in Arkansas but I know (hope) eventually we'll be moving back home to Florida where the water is extensive and vast and my favorite thing of all time. I don't know if Claymore will like it or not, and it doesn't matter in the long run, but if you have a splishy splash dog, tell me about it! :D

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I'm curious to see the answers here because we also like to hike, but I worry about taking Jake too far. As for water, we have a pool and the first step is all he'll do. We've pushed him in to show him how to get out, and it was not a pleasant experience for either party. There are water loving greys though.

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Photographer in Phoenix, AZ www.northmountainphoto.com

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We hike for long distances in our local state and county parks - two greyhounds - and we did the same with our bridge angel greyhounds. They love it! We climb mountains in the woods along paths surrounded by dense woods. We go out for up to 2-3 hours.

 

I would say, start slowly at first, but if your grey likes to walk it is not going to be an issue hiking. I never take mine off their 6' leashes because 1) I would never catch them if they saw a deer - not that I think at this point in our relationship they would leave me and 2) it is just safer to keep them from getting into trouble, like falling down a cliff or maybe eating bear poop :).

 

The weather also plays a factor. Here in northern NJ we can't do any hiking at the moment as the trails are impassable with the deep snow. We really miss our hikes. Also, in the heat of the summer, we just go out really early in the morning - it often isn't too bad under the tree canopy - or just go for a short stroll and then home to the AC.

 

I have always taken my greys for long regular walks, so I didnt really use any training techniques to get them adjusted to hiking. For us, it is just a different walk. We just walk along as hikers do, with no extreme strenuous activity. Mine love the woods more because of the unique scents, so there is a lot of stopping and investigating. Take water, as you said - I have a little backpack to put water in and a couple snacks (for all of us). Check for ticks, of course, when you are done. Nasty critters.

 

As to water-loving - no way! My two want nothing to do with water :). No swimmers here. I know there are some who like it, but mine only want solid earth and air around them :).

 

You will have fun and so will your greyhound!

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Guest FloridaGirl

Aw, that sounds like so much fun! I am an avid "rather be in the woods that indoors" kinda girl, so I hope Claymore will be interested in joining me. Time will tell!

 

And no, definitely no off-leash at all, ever. I know there are people who do it, and totally zero judgment on that, but I've just never personally been an off-leash dog person with any breed (except for large secure areas of course). My first animal experiences were with horses, so it's ingrained in me to always have a physical connection between me and my animal friend. I've also seen too many "he's never done this before!" car-mangled dogs!

 

I know they don't handle heat very well, but I'm hoping to get him conditioned to being ok with warmer temperatures because as cold as it gets here, it gets mega-hot in the summer. Hopefully by then we'll have gotten into our long hikes. :)

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We hike almost daily when the weather is nice. I even take them snowshoeing with me in the wintertime. I didn't really train for hiking, but in the beginning mine could only do about 30 min. We just gradually went further. We don't do huge hikes, but usually do 4-5 miles daily in the nice weather.

 

From my experience, greyhounds do horrible in the heat. I have another non-grey with way thicker fur, and also hike with many other breeds but Teague (by far) has the lowest heat tolerance. There isn't any training you can do for this unfortunately.

 

My grey loves to go into water, but he won't swim. When he is hot he will run in and just stand there enjoying it for a minute or two.

 

I don't let my grey off leash, but I do much prefer hiking with a body harness and longer (20 ft) leash. This is not for all greys, certainly not if they bolt, but it works great for us. It allows him to explore the fields and ditches without me being dragged behind. :P

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We found out this past summer that our hound actually does like to swim a bit - he just needed to be shown how to go charging into the water. My inlaws have a Chesapeake Bay retriever, aka water dog, and our boy just following him into the sound over the little waves and down the ramp. We did keep him on his leash and were both in the water with him the whole time, about a foot or two away. It's ironic, as he detests bathtime and acts like the sorriest dog in the world every time. I think our dogs pick up on the things we enjoy and eventually are happy to join in!

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Guest normaandburrell

My first grey hated the water and hated to walk more than half a mile. My current boy acts like he can walk forever. We go out for as long as an hour and a half, and he lags behind going home. He also loves the water. He doesn't swim, but he loves to wade out as far as he can. My goal this summer is to try to teach him to swim.

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Hi all, I was wondering this too - I got my greyhound 6 months ago and I am hoping to take him for hikes in the holidays. On a work day he gets a 45 minute walk in the morning then a 30 minute walk later in the day. Sometimes I'll take him for a quick 20 minutes around the block in the evening but it's pretty dark, cold and miserable so mostly we just do some indoor training. On the weekend I like to walk him for around an hour.

 

I just got in from an accidental 2 hour walk where I realised part way through that I had dropped my phone . . . I had to retrace my steps so we ended up out for around 2 hours, he's tired now but still found the energy to pull some stuffing out of his bed and was pulling hard on the lead at the end of the walk watching his nemesis (squirrel)

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Guest Scouts_mom

About half the grey's that I have had, enjoyed water as long as their feet were touching the ground. None of them liked to swim although if it was an emergency they could. One didn't realize the bottom dropped off quickly--she ran in and suddenly discovered she could not touch the ground. She swam to shore and then wanted nothing to do with that portion of shoreline!

 

Another was terrified of water because on an early hike she was trying to drink out of a stream and the rock she was standing on tipped her into the stream! She evidently decided that bodies of water were dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

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Guest AimeeBee

Mine will do about a mile in the summer (two, if it's not overly hot and humid and the path is pretty flat) then he is over it and starts dragging his feet to go back to the AC. I think the humidity has a lot to do with tolerance as well. However we don't do any extreme hiking, just kind of doodle along.

 

According to my dog's former foster dad, he can swim and enjoyed going to a local lake with them and their dogs when they were dogsitting him over the summer. I've only taken him on hikes where he'll wander in water up to about mid-leg to cool his feet then come back out so I guess it depends. Funny though, he only just tolerates baths (stands there and whimpers like the saddest dog ever) and could take or leave kiddie pools.

Edited by AimeeBee
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I went for a three hour hike with Jimmy and my son's Springer and the vets (his sister in law) Labrador. There were several lakes and being retrievers the other two were in and out of the water. Jimmy stood at the edge watching them and then just dived in and started actually swimming. That's the first time I have seen a greyhound swim. It just doesn't look right! When he got out he was running round and round like mad, probably as it was February it was to warm himself up. He went in again, so it can't have been that cold. Boy did he sleep well when we got home. Luckily I had just taken his coat off, so could wear it when he had finished swimming.

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I'd just try different distances till you find his current tolerance and then build it up. As another posted, I find the main limitation is the humidity level. I'm the opposite of several above posters -- unless we're going to be scrambling up big rocks, I prefer a 4-ft leash for hiking. Gives me more control in an emergency.

 

There's a GT'er named WhiteWave who lives in Florida with a pack of greys and other dogs. She takes them off leash in secluded spaces. If you search for "whitewave" you'll find several threads with pics of greys (gasp!) swimming, including one dated 3/21/14 titled something like "Taking the pack out for a run."

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Ellen, with brindles Milo and Jeter, and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

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Guest FloridaGirl

I had heard of them swimming, so you can imagine my mirth when I read earlier today on a website that greys are "physically unable to swim" and if let off leash near the ocean, will "drift away and drown". I almost laughed out loud, because I have this comic image of a greyhound just gently bobbing up and down, calmly drifting out with the tide into the sunset. "Oh my, has my dog drifted out to sea again? Heavens!"

 

As you an imagine, the rest of the information on that site was not quite, erm, accurate. But I did enjoy the comic image. Farewell, drifting dog!

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We hike. My home-raised girl is extremely high energy for a Greyhound and she's always been able to go all day. We take her and my Ibizans on long hikes over various elevations as often as we can. She thinks she is one of them. ;) My retired racers can all hike with us too but I don't take them anywhere as intense. I just slowly built up their endurance and the distance over time. :)

 

My one girl swims and will jump in any natural body of water. My others, not so much. :lol:

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Guest WhiteWave

My Greys live for hiking. Ronon had to build up since he was a retired racer when I first got him, but now he can go forever and he is almost 10 yrs old. The 2 I raised from pups took right to it and have never had an issue going whatever distance I want. We normally stick to 4-5 miles at a time, well that is what I walk. Mine are all off leashed, so they probably do at least double that. They could do more, but my bad knees can not take more than that at a time.

 

To start with, I take retired racers on 1 1/2 - 2 mile trails. Do that for a while and then go on a 3 mile trail, then try the 4-5 miles. Some do better than others. A couple took a few months to build up, 1 racing flunkie youngster came off the track and he could run all day with the pack like he had been doing it his entire life the first day.

 

Mine normally go 3-5 times a week. If we miss more than 3 days in a row, they go stir crazy. Ronon will literally jump all over me and demand to go hiking and like I said he is almost 10 yrs old, but nothing makes him happier than being out in the woods. He can get down right obnoxious if he doesn't get to go.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

I have a high energy hound, so in the winter months we go for 3-4 hour hikes. Here in the Chicago suburbs its pretty much flat land with an elevation change of plus/minus 15' in the woods around rivers and such, so nothing too strenuous. We typically will travel between 2-6 miles depending on if we are in the woods, or along established trails (abandoned railways converted to trails). We didnt do much ramp-up training, we just watch their breathing and their drive to be ahead of us sniffing, or behind us dragging. I don't take my hounds out hiking on trails in the warm months because of the ticks & fleas. In the warmer months it is walks in the neighborhood of 1-2 miles at a nice leisurely pace.

 

I have one hound that absolutely loves water. She will go into any body of water that I tell her to. She loves her kiddie pool and loves to run around in the sprinkler like a child. I have never had the chance to take her into deep water to see if she can swim very well, but my concern is that with the lack of body fat, greyhounds probably don't have the best buoyancy. Granted they have large lung chamber for air, so they would tend to float if need be, but I just don't know. I have some friends that have English Bulldogs and they sink like rocks, I know from first hand experience diving in to pull them up from the bottom of Fox Lake. No swimming ability at all.

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Tractor loved the water. Swimming, wading, wrestling with the shepherd, pretending to beNessie. A friend of mine has a pasture with a pond she lets me use for off leash zoomies. Now, the bath afterward...not so much of a fan.

Missing Hiro, Tank, and Tractor

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Guest jetska

For me, paying attention to their feet is important. Some hounds have quite thin pads compared to other breeds and they can be easily damaged on rough terrain that they are not used to. Build up slowly.

 

As for water, mine both like the shallows to stomp around in and lie in. They can both swim but they don't like it. They put all their power through their front legs with token kicks from the back. We have been going regularly to a local dog therapy pool to work on their swimming but they still don't use their back legs unless I touch their back feet.... though now they can both swim further than they did at the start.

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Guest CarryOnAMusing

I hope it isn't rude of me to add a related question to this thread.

Does anyone camp with their hounds?

My main concern would be weather (too hot or cold) and we hope to get popup camper with AC eventually for theirs (and our) comfort.

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Guest FloridaGirl

I wouldn't say it's rude at all, since camping is definitely an outdoor adventure! And I would venture a guess as a popup camper is essentially a heated/cooled crate for the whole family, so everyone would be...happy campers!

 

I'd be more interested in backwoods camping (sleeping bag only), but I'd have NO idea how one would secure a greyhound in the middle of the woods. Plus I don't think any grey would handle the amount of walking I'd make him or her do. Heck, no humans put up with it - hence I backwoods hike alone (which I prefer anyway!).

 

But yes - let us add camping to the query!!!

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Guest jetska

Yup I camp with mine. We have a 6 person tent, Mouse sleeps in her wire crate inside the tent and Barbie can sleep loose in the tent. Barbie is very trustworthy in the tent and will just sleep even if we are elsewhere (ie 50 metres away having dinner)

 

In terms of weather, we don't camp when it's really hot as it's extreme fire danger time. It doesn't get very cold here, the dogs get their rugs on if its a cold night.... the biggest issue for the hounds is bugs so when the bugs are out the tent is where they prefer to be!

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Guest FloridaGirl

jetska - Awesome! How do you tote the crate with you? Do you have like a collapsible one that doesn't weigh much? Or some kind of awesome backpack attachment?

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Guest jetska

jetska - Awesome! How do you tote the crate with you? Do you have like a collapsible one that doesn't weigh much? Or some kind of awesome backpack attachment?

 

By four wheel drive ;)

 

Unfortunately in Australia you can't go on continuous backcountry hikes with dogs since they arent allowed in National Parks so the car is an intergral part of trips with the dogs.

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Guest FloridaGirl

Duh! I didn't even think of that! Sounds like a humongous amount of fun. Alas, I have a Prius, and while I ADORE it, it has like a .02 mm clearance. A snake has better clearance than this car. Backwoods adventurer it is not!

 

Also the image of you toting a gigantic crate on your back through the woods was a funny one. "What is that shape in the distance?" "That? That is the legendary CRATE TOTER. You only see the mystical creature if you truly BELIEVE."

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