Here are some of our frequently asked questions!
What is dog hiking?
We pick your dog up, bring them for a long off-leash hike with a few other four-legged friends, then bring them home. We provide fresh water, teats, transportation, and a towel-off before letting them back inside. Super simple, hassle-free. Why don't we just do leash walks? Find out here.
How long are your all day hikes?
All day hikes are a minimum of 3 hours of off-leash time.
Why can't my puppy go on hikes with you?
There are a couple reasons. In no particular order,
Puppy bones and joints are soft and not fully developed. High impact activity such as jumping from heights or sharp turns can cause cause injury or alter development. This in turn can potentially alter the structural development of a dog which can cause various issues down the line or can cause long term or permanent damage. Breed, size, and hormones all play a role in what type and amount of exercise is appropriate for each individual dog. Off leash exercise can be beneficial to puppies, but it is important that it happens at the puppy's own pace, and the typical recommendations for off leash activity for puppies is generally shorter than the hikes we take. On a long hike with adult dogs excitement and attempting to keep up opens up potential for a puppy to push themselves harder than they maybe should. While some inappropriate exercise for your particular puppy may not happen on a hike with us, we are not veterinarians and do not have the knowledge or experience to be able to determine whether the activity your dog may get on a hike with us could cause them harm later on. Other factors to take into consideration are hormone development, breed, and size. Some further reading on growth plates and appropriate exercise here and here.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a vet. These guidelines are based on articles I've read, and the conclusions and apprehensions about accepting puppies into our program I've drawn from reading that information are my own. -Claire
The other major reason we do not accept dogs younger than 1 into our program: Puppies generally have short attention spans and their physical energy tend to come in sporadic bursts. Their activity when self-directed tends to alternate between short bursts of activity interspersed with periods of rest which is incongruous with a long hike with other adult dogs. In our personal experiences we've found that many very young puppies either cannot complete a 90 minute hike, or, if they can physically make it to the end they tend to become overtired, acting much like a toddler who is cranky or bouncing off the walls because they are overdue for their nap. Think doggie equivalent of a temper tantrum. It's no fun for anyone, including, most importantly, the dogs.
Why do you use GPS collars? Are you worried about dogs running away or something?
We do not accept dogs who are unable to reliably follow the human in charge or do not reliably come when called. We do play lots of training games to strengthen the recall of the dogs who come with us. With all of this in place, we are not worried about our dogs running away. We chose Whistle trackers in particular because we can give our clients access to them via a mobile app, and how cool is that! We certainly wonder what our dogs do without us, and we know you do too. Now you don't have to wonder! We also acknowledge that there is inherent risk associated with off-leash activity and that sometimes circumstances, such as forces of nature are beyond our control. Having GPS trackers on each dog helps us to be prepared for every possible emergency no matter how unlikely, and adds peace of mind for owners.
Can I see where my dog is on the GPS tracker while you guys are out?
Yes! We specifically chose Whistle GPS trackers so that we could give our clients access to their dogs location via Whistle Labs' mobile app. Technology is pretty great, huh?