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  1. #1
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    Trail Doggie Q's

    My pup is finally getting to an age/behaviour where I can start taking her with on the trails. I tried her last weekend at the NRA pit, and she stayed with me just fine. Couple questions for the fellow trail doggie owners: do you take them out on the trail at all when it's hot like this? I made mine drink a lot of water and made her lay down in the shade whenever possible, which seemed to work ok, but since she doesn't really tell me when it's too much, it's hard to say. Which trails are the most fun, or least crowded, however you want to say it? And is it better for them to wear doggie hiking boots for the thorns and needles? LOL how about doggie camelbacks J/K. I was thinking about strapping a backpack on and make her carry some water/food or tools or whatever, whenever she gets a little stronger on the trails (yeah yeah kinda dorky)......
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  2. #2
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    I only will take mine pup out in the early mornings this time of year around town. Plus I don't want to have her meet a rattlesnake or scorpions during the heat of the day. Up in flag, pinetop or preskitt anytime is a good time for a trail dog. I usually just carry extra water for the pup in my camelback, but she usually gets more on her face than in her mouth or does the drink alot and throw it back up routine. (Hey, I was gonna drink that). Have fun with your pup on the trails, mine is now addicted and jumps around and gets crazy anytime I say mountain bike or go for a ride... I think I created a monster.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanHalen
    My pup is finally getting to an age/behaviour where I can start taking her with on the trails. I tried her last weekend at the NRA pit, and she stayed with me just fine. Couple questions for the fellow trail doggie owners: do you take them out on the trail at all when it's hot like this?
    Sorry, not to sound like a total dick, but if you have to ask this question, I'm assuming you're new to AZ. I don't bike with my dog, but she does hike with us. And unless we go out very early, or head up north, she stays home during the summer. Highly recommend you don't take your pup out this time of year.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire
    Sorry, not to sound like a total dick, ....
    Yeah I am kinda new to here, though lived here for almost a year now , so you guessed that right! And yeah I probably won't take her out yet, in this heat, maybe some short early morning ride..... Just wondering in general how to go about taking her on the trail, there's a lot of sharp objects and other hazards out there. How about snakes/scorpions and coyotes, is there any way to train them for those type of situations?

    FYI originally from the Netherlands, and before moving to AZ lived in Chicago. So I'm more familiar with rain and snow than with heat....
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  5. #5
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    I agree that taking the dog out during the day this time of year is a general no-no unless its early or late. I've notice that with my dog he wouldn't quit moving until I made him. We were caught during a hike in Globe one year on a day that got pretty hot and he passed out in the car on the ride home and then slept for a day once we made it back. Heat exhaustion. I was watching him while we were out there and he seemed fine. My point being that dogs don't always tell you when they've had enough. They aren't reasonable like most of us. Plus the hot sand/gravel can really tear up doggy pads. Boots would be highly recommended if you do go out in the heat whereas I've never had a problem with dog paws and general desert fauna. Maybe a bullhead or two but never anything serious. Bring pliers for cholla. We walked through a forest of the stuff once and he seemed none the wiser. Not fun pulling them off with my shirt! Cute pup by the way. Had mine from 6 weeks to 14 years. He was older than dirt and flew away in the wind to the great dog park in the sky last year! Luckily I have one left so I'm not without! (Stagger their ages if you want more than one.) He/she will be a great friend for you. Never took him riding with me though. I always thought it would be too much.
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  6. #6
    parenting for gnarness
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    You and your dog will have to develop a rapport about breaks, smarts about snakes and where they put their feet, etc. But this is totally the wrong time of year to be taking any chances. Start small in mild weather, pay attention and it will work out. My dog has slowed down as she has aged so typically when we ride now its specifically a doggie ride and not an mtb ride - I try to plan routes that pass by water like at golf courses or community lakes, and of course this is much more important in summer.

    NRA I would think would be a better place to take her (assuming the other guys dont mind) since its mostly 1 way and not big mileage. At least for my dog, steady mileage really burns her out, she likes to sprint and then nubby-nose. SoMo, T100 area its best to do leash-only unless you are out at night when the park is closed. If your dog generally behaves on trail, uncrowded trails you can get by pretty well by being very friendly and proactive about coralling the dog, and vociferously apologizing if anyone gets upset. Phx is not Telluride or Flag - people on the whole expect the dog to be leashed so its your burden to make them be cool with it. I really prefer doggie rides at night anyway since I encounter fewer people and sneaking her into ponds etc is much easier, no one around to get mad about her running on the grass at a golf course.

  7. #7
    AZ Biker Chick
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    Keep the pup at home during the day!! Dogs do not have sweat glands - and a very insufficient cooling system for our Summer heat. (Only panting and temperature through their paws.)

    Take the pup up to Flag on cooler days in the trees with shade. Have fun!

  8. #8
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    bring one of those 97cent combs from walgreens to comb out the cholla. As for booties, mine would never keep them on, just more trail running=tougher pads. Up in the trees dogs like mud and dirt much more than rocks and sand. As training for snakes, scorps and coyotes...mine chases anything that moves. Maybe some dog whisperer dvds could help

  9. #9
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    NRA was a blast, we packed up kids+MTBs+BMX bikes+dog and spent the morning there. Once I figure out how to convert the video files from my cell I will upload some. OT: kudos to whomever built the little peewee track out there, the kids loves to ride their bmx bikes there!! She was running up and down the trails for little bit with me, and when the sun started getting warm she planted herself along the jumps where the kids were at and just hung out.

    Did anybody ever check out the trails down the road from NRA along the river? Besides being a wannabe trail doggie, mine is a total water doggie so that is a good idea (can't keep her out of the pool!)

    I know she chases geckos (that how you spell it...?) around the yard, but seems oblivious to coyotes.... I guess it's just a risk that's out there, she listen pretty good though, so if I happen to catch a situation I might be able to steer her away from the nasty critters....
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. --Mark Twain

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  10. #10
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    She looks so similar to my mutt in that pic!

    Once it gets over ~90deg in summer she doesn't get to join our Phoenix rides, but she can probably hang on Flagstaff rides up to 100 deg as long as there are swim holes or puddles for her. She often carries her own water on longer rides, and can keep up with us for up to ~3 hours of consistent riding in cooler temps before she stops running and starts trotting.
    Here's a pic of dog+trail+bag - it's a 'Granite Gear' one and the best I've tried. If you get a bag, use it just for dog stuff (leash, poopbags, treats, water) and carry your own tools. I definitely second Dag's comment about pliers and Jason's insight on owner responsibility.


    The key is to do lots of bike training on leash at first and make sure she has a great recall before venturing onto too many trails unleashed. In Vermont we were able to do on the trail training, but (except for porcupines) there are many more trail hazards out here. Here's a little vid I posted a bit ago with some doggie footage. Have fun!

  11. #11
    parenting for gnarness
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanHalen

    Did anybody ever check out the trails down the road from NRA along the river? Besides being a wannabe trail doggie, mine is a total water doggie so that is a good idea (can't keep her out of the pool!)
    I know of 1 trail. Its flat, straight and sandy doubletrack so totally lame for mtb'ing, but I've been taking my dog there for years. With the bike trailer and my kids, its actually quite a good workout. The trail runs in a mostly straight line from a fenced, sandy parking area just off the road from where the access road to Phon D intersects Bush Highway, east\west to the river - about 2.5 miles. The only water is at the river, the trail is not along the river. There is one small road you cross or can park at around mile 1.25 that leads to Coon Bluff stop. in summer, you will encounter lots of people down at the beach in the evenings after tubing especially. Most other times of the year you are fine - many snowbirds in their RVs in winter, but most of them don't care. There are foot paths and spider trails all through the area, but the ones I've tried all end up sucking hard for biking.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jean-louey
    She looks so similar to my mutt in that pic!
    wow they do look alike. she's a pit/heeler mix, I rescued her last year. cool vid+pic.

    I already assumed that at the 'parks' she'd have to be on a leash anyways, but most of my riding is at red mtn/nra/hawes/pass mtn since that's close to the house.

    earlier this year we did some exploring/hiking over at Four Peaks, and we found some nice trails up there, not sure if they're open for mountain biking, it didn't say anything on the signs, but it's definitely a little cooler up there.... here's a pic of her in the bronco while out there, having a blast!

    chollaball, I think I know which trail you're talking about. I think I was exploring that one not too long ago. if you take a right on the trailhead from the parking lot you end up in a different parking lot after about a mile or so, and if you cross the road and go into the fence there's wild horses and javalinas running around, pretty wicked, but not doggie friendly....
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  13. #13
    Meatbomb
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    Why do people put bandanna's on their dogs? Does it serve a functional purpose ?

  14. #14
    parenting for gnarness
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanHalen
    wow they do look alike. she's a pit/heeler mix, I rescued her last year. cool vid+pic.

    I already assumed that at the 'parks' she'd have to be on a leash anyways, but most of my riding is at red mtn/nra/hawes/pass mtn since that's close to the house.

    earlier this year we did some exploring/hiking over at Four Peaks, and we found some nice trails up there, not sure if they're open for mountain biking, it didn't say anything on the signs, but it's definitely a little cooler up there.... here's a pic of her in the bronco while out there, having a blast!

    chollaball, I think I know which trail you're talking about. I think I was exploring that one not too long ago. if you take a right on the trailhead from the parking lot you end up in a different parking lot after about a mile or so, and if you cross the road and go into the fence there's wild horses and javalinas running around, pretty wicked, but not doggie friendly....
    that sounds like the same trail. I see horse there fairly regularly, sometimes cows but never javalina. I let my dog mix it up with them, she loves it. definitely rattlers - my dog has learned to avoid the sound. Its a neat trail for the sunset or sunrise and seeing wildlife. great if you are into trail running or a mild hike. You can do a rugged hike over the mtn from the same parking area and follow some faint double track then a break in the fence into Phon D for a dip in the river - totally not rideable, but a pretty good ~3 mile workout hike and no worries about the offleash dog til you go through the picnic area.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo
    Why do people put bandanna's on their dogs? Does it serve a functional purpose ?
    We started using orange bandanas for hunting season and then just found out it makes the dogs more visible in general - especially if they go running off in the woods. You can just track the orange hopping between trees from a long way off. Also works at dog parks to distinguish a black and brown dog from every other black and brown dog.

    Also, sometimes we put a *pretty* bandana on our pitbull because it makes her seem less scary to breed-fearing folk and their kids.

  16. #16
    Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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    Quote Originally Posted by latedropbob
    bring one of those 97cent combs from walgreens to comb out the cholla.
    This is brilliance.

    Quote Originally Posted by jean-louey
    Here's a little vid I posted a bit ago with some doggie footage.
    Nice vid. That song cracked me up. "I'm gonna light you up like I did my minora..." And somehow it rhymed with Dora the Explora. Hilarity.

    Here's my old mandog out for hike some moons ago grokking some shade. It was March and you can tell he was already feeling it. Luckily we were camped down by the river.

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