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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Training Dog for Autumn Hiking Trails

Whenever the leaves on the trees change and the weather is warm and sunny I like to take to the nature trails with my husband and my boxer dog. I have been taking my boxer off trail since she was puppy and when I look back I recall a dog that was hyperactive and did not want to respond to commands. Yes she was a wild child and was clueless as to why I wanted her to be aware of the terrain.
Hiking on a mountain ridge in autumns:  Ozark Mountains 

Know that my boxer puppy learned a few things from my mature Border Collie.  When my boxer did not stop me from rough terrain I slipped on the gravel my border collie ran the opposite direction and safely held me steady with the leash. Then to my surprise my border collie barked and nipped at the puppy as if scolding her for not paying attention.
My mature trail dog helped me to train my boxer to guide me on the trails and this autumn I plan to take her off trail hiking with me. My boxer is a year old now and I think she will do very good, at least I hope so. I have been taking her on short hikes by my home and she is doing better but I will need to watch the trail closely as she is easily distracted.
Know that I took my boxer on the trail along Shoal Creek, just SW of Joplin, this one mile hike was cut short because of my boxer. We scaled the side of a steep hill and my dog pulled so hard on the leash that I nearly fell down. My boxer was distracted by turtle and did put me in harms way.
Boxers have a short attention span and thus not the best breed of dog for hiking. I would take my border collie on this Autumn hike but he is having issues with arthritis and hip displaysia. 
 Border Collies make the best dogs to hike off trail, they are alert and aware of their surroundings and they will never lead you into a dangerous area.

I will keep working with my boxer and I hope she is ready come September to go off trail hiking with me.  

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