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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Hiking with dogs!

Hello! Do any of you take your Havanese or other long haired dogs on hikes? I like going hiking with my Havanese mix but don't do it as often as I like because he gets super dirty and will need to take a bath afterwards. Dirt, twigs, burrs, you name it, all gets stuck in his fur. His feet and legs will even get gray from walking in a parking lot since his white fur just picks up everything. I would like to take him out more but am discouraged by how dirty he gets. He is 100% indoors and I can't have him trekking dirt around the house. His coat is medium length and is far from touching the ground, but it seems like dirt will travel up his legs from his paws!

I always wipe his feet with baby wipes after coming back from outside, but it doesn't get a lot of the dirt out and washing his feet every time is a hassle. Do you have any tips for keeping fur clean during outings? I was thinking about getting hiking shoes from REI to protect his paws on longer hikes and so his paws don't get dirty

Also, for those that do go hiking with your Havanese, how long/far do you usually hike for? Sometimes I worry about overexerting him since he is so little! I take short water and snack breaks to keep his energy up.

I'd love to hear your input! Thanks for reading!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 10:10 PM
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It will vary with the dog and their conformation. Posh has always gone on hikes with us, and when we are done with five or six miles, he's ready to chase a ball while we stop to eat. He has the ideal, athlete's conformation, and his movement is free, and easy. You really have to see it in person to understand. Many of his offspring carry it on. Our Nike is even more amazingly coordinated than her Sire Posh.

Twinkle, who Posh got his rear end from, has a more upright front end, and when she was younger, and hiked with us, never wanted to go more than a mile or so. She has a much more upright shoulder assembly, and thus not as freely a moving front end as Posh.

There are many points to consider that account for the movement. Each one can have some effect-things like length of loin, length of femur, etc., etc..

It's much the same with horses, and even people.

Pay attention to your dog, and don't push for more than it offers.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom King View Post

Twinkle, who Posh got his rear end from, has a more upright front end, and when she was younger, and hiked with us, never wanted to go more than a mile or so. She has a much more upright shoulder assembly, and thus not as freely a moving front end as Posh.

There are many points to consider that account for the movement. Each one can have some effect-things like length of loin, length of femur, etc., etc..

It's much the same with horses, and even people.

Pay attention to your dog, and don't push for more than it offers.
That is so interesting Tom. With your years of experience with the breed do you find you can look at any Havanese and gauge its potential athleticism?

My guy still kind of poops out after not too long but he is only 7 months. I am hoping he builds up some more stamina but of course I don't want to push it and I don't know if he is the athletic type yet or not, having not much to compare to...

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 06:01 PM
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My dog enjoys walks but we live in an urban area so he's a concrete guy for the most part. That being said he still brings in a lot of leaves etc. I cant imagine what trail walks bring in the house. There is a member here who hikes a great deal, maybe she has an idea. Do you have a CC comb and/or good grooming tools? Maybe leave in conditioner or something like morrocan oil would help too.

As far as pacing, I really dont know if what I do is appropriate. My guy will go on a long walk and come home, crash on the floor for a minute or two and then be up chasing a ball or attacking his big brother. When he was little I carried him off and on the walks, mainly because I wasnt sure how much a small dog should do.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Naturelover View Post
That is so interesting Tom. With your years of experience with the breed do you find you can look at any Havanese and gauge its potential athleticism?

My guy still kind of poops out after not too long but he is only 7 months. I am hoping he builds up some more stamina but of course I don't want to push it and I don't know if he is the athletic type yet or not, having not much to compare to...
Not by just looking. There is a lot that can be hidden under the fur. Pam or I can put our hands on a dog, and in 30 seconds pretty much tell exactly how it will move. We were in horse conformation for a long time before we got into these dogs, and it all carries over. We've evaluated hundreds of Havanese. Any time we show up at any kind of Havanese event, people usually will come up and ask us to go over their dog.

If one is really athletic, you don't have to encourage them to move, they'll be doing it anyway. At 7 months, he's still a big baby, so his metabolism goes great guns for a while, but then he needs to rest to rebuild and grow.

The athletes will be jumping onto, and off of things very early on. Nike used to scare us to death the way she sailed off the arm of the sofa, but we couldn't keep her from doing it. Find the video of her playing with the cat on the sofa, and it will give you an idea. Pam named her Just Do It, because she could do some pretty amazing things with seemingly no effort at an early age.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 08:22 PM
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My Molly is only 5 1/2 lbs. but has been jumping on and off of furniture from quite a young age. Should I be worried about her hurting herself? She does it so quickly I don't even know how I would stop her.



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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 10:03 PM
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Kodi has always loved hiking with us. Yes, he gets messy, and often, if it's muddy out, that will mean an "undercarriage wash" when he gets home. For me it is worth it to have a beautiful dog who still gets to enjoy a "dog's life"!

He has hiked all over Cape Breton, Acadia and in the Blue Ridge Mountains with us, at the end of 5 miles, WE may be done, but he's still happy to go on.

As Tom suggested, we didn't push him as a puppy… we started with shorter walks, always leaving him wanting more. (That's actually how I work him when preparing for obedience and agility too, actually… Make him feel that it's always his idea! )
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 11:08 PM
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I've been hiking my dogs since they were wee pups. When they were very small, I would hike them for maybe 20 min. As they got older we would do about 3 miles, which would be about an hour. They are now almost 10, 9 and 8. I try to break their hikes up into two 30 min walks now. They live for their walks and I really don't worry about how dirty they get. They are all in puppy cuts, which limits the amount of stuff they track in. If they get super muddy, I rinse them off with a hose before they come inside.
I pretty much bought all my furniture and carpets with the dogs in mind. Colors that would hide the muddy paw prints!! I am pretty OCD about keeping my house clean, but not so much that it effects my dogs from having fun and getting dirty





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