Bring the dog to Moab??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bring the dog to Moab??

    First off, excellent forum. You Utah guys really have a lot of helpful hints for the touristy types.

    Ok, here is the deal. I read the entire Moab Trip Planner thread here and am formulating a trip. The first questions that need to be made are:
    Q1: to bring the dog, or not?
    Q2: to kennel the dog on certain days (long rides) and where, if we should bring her...(anyone know Karens Canine Campground?)

    The data:
    1. We love riding with dogs, they have so much fun on the trail, it just makes everythign better
    2. I am a mostly Freerider-type and will be riding a 43.5 lb bike. I dont mind slogging it up steep terrain, or epics on a heavy bike.
    3. My companion is a 'novice' with intermediate skills and conditioning and will be riding what I consider an ideal bike (Titus Motolite) for this trip.
    4. The dog is a 75 lb shepard mix who loves the bikes more than we do
    5. The longest ride we have been on with the dog was a 2-day 50 mile with about 3000ft elevation gain. Out and back. Several sub 20 mile runs here in the cascades and eastern Washington.
    6. We have 3 sets of dog booties, since we know from experience that the dog can tear through a bootie in about 5 hours of running, if its over rocks and gravel
    7. Trip was decided last week and is the last trip we can take before I start a new job (3/9/09). The trip dates are March 2nd through March 8th, 2009

    Any and all advice, comments, suggestions about a dog specific trip (or reasons why not to brign the dog), freeride, backcountry trails etc, will be much appreciated. We will likely not go too much into the national park areas (no pets allowed), and have already seen a bit of the Arches on the return this last summer from the Great Divide Mountain Bike trip.
    Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
    Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming

  2. #2
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    Not a whole lot of help but I will throw in my experience with this in. I know how you feel about wanting to take the dog along for rides as well. I have had boots but can't get them to stay on, so that was not an option. We rode all of slickrock one day and amasa back the next and she did fine. I checked her paws often and they were fine. But she only weighs 30-35 lbs. Plus that was only 2 days not 6.
    Do you know the type of vehicle you will be in? I have a van and if I am going on a ride where she can't go, I will take her for a quick 5 mile ride, food and water in the van, and off I go. I don't know if that is such a good idea with other cars where the dog can see out and people can see in.
    Hope you guys have a good trip!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the quick reply. After trying multiple types of booties (mostly store bought garbage) we finally went with: http://www.dogbooties.com/index.html. We did a railroad bed trail (John Wayne Trail) that she had managed to kick off all four store bought booties in just 2-3 miles. With the 500 denier, they stayed on the whole time, but only lasted a day..after 25 miles thay had holes where her claws punched through (partly because the German Shepherd prey drive means she tears off into the brush after any small rodent or bird). For this trip we have the 1000 denier (because we like the bright orange for visibility) and the toughtech 9000 which has better traction and durability. At 2.50 each they are cheap and are the only booties I have found that stay on. I believe they used these booties for the K-9 units in the aftermath of 911 WTC attacks.

    As a Shepherd (herding instinct/working class) she simply cannot live without her pack. Very tough to leave her any place. We will be driving a black vehicle as well, so leaving her there is not an option. I would rather her be kenneled and have some human/canine interaction on her 'off' days.
    Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
    Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the link on boots. I would like to get something for her feet. Ice balls in winter and cactus int he summer. I am trying some from REI that were $$$. They look like they would work good but I need smaller size. http://www.rei.com/product/747456
    Have fun out there

  5. #5
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    I tried some like those. Just too heavy. A dogs foot doesnt have a heel like a persons. The bootie rotates and slips off if its too heavy. Thinking that they need a heavy vibram sole like a hiking boot means this bootie was likely designed by a marketing guy, not a field guy. You will be able to tell they are too heavy when you first put them on, the dog will sit down and not want to walk, or try to take them off. I would try them back to back with a 1000 denier (or 500 if its a lightweight dog) dogbootie style bootie. Even good lighweight booties fly off in snow, mud and water. Bring 2 sets and replace them when they get stuck in the mud after your dog chased a bird up a hill and through a creek
    Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
    Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming

  6. #6
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    That's awesome.. It is a bummer, none of my buddies take their dogs down south, the slickrock is really really hard on their pads so booties would be the bare min but it ends up being pretty difficult. But if you prep for all this you should be OK if it's mandatory. There are a couple spots no dogs allowed but it's marked in the books...

  7. #7
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    Bring a comb and tweezers for cactus, be prepaired!
    agmtb

  8. #8
    Wandering, but not lost
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    We've brought our dogs several times. While it's great to have them and they really enjoy the camp part, we've finally come to the conclusion that they just weren't having that much fun on the trail. It's rough on the pads like you've talked about, but it's also hot and you're usually covering a lot of ground day after day, which can be hard even on a young dog. We then started doing more or less a doggy day care with them at the Moab Vet Clinic out on Spanish Valley Dr., drop them off in the morning, pick them up in the evening, so they could at least still enjoy the camp part. Last time we used that kennel was about 5 yrs ago, and they were great, don't know how they are now. But finally now, we just don't bring them. We miss them, but that's kind of the point we finally realized, we were bringing them for us, and they weren't necessary having that much fun. For what it's worth.

  9. #9
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    Excellent comments. I have seen video of people bringing long hair black coat dogs to places like MOab, and I just cringe. She is a 4yo and in her prime. I will shave her if its unseasonably warm. Weather is projected to be in low 30's at night and low 60's during the day. Perfect weather for riding, if its clear. I will be sure to report back to this thread on how she did. If she has a hard time, I don't think many dogs would enjoy it. Sometimes, I think she would rather die than ride. She is definately more 'hard-core' than I am about riding.
    Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
    Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming

  10. #10
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    Just got back from Moab. We ended up bringing the dog and had no problem finding lodging that was pet friendly. First we stayed in the Motel 6, which was a bit too far from the center of town, so we switched to Red Rock Lodge ( https://travel.yahoo.com/p-hotel-385...lodge_suites-i )and got a double queen room that was easily twice the size of the Motel 6, and had a coffee maker and fridge, neither of which were available at the Motel 6. Its just off Main St by a block, across from Poison Spider Bikes. ( https://www.poisonspiderbicycles.com/ )

    We asked for a good breakfast place at Moab Cyclery ( https://www.moabcyclery.com/ ) and they directed us to Eclectic Cafe ( https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...Moab_Utah.html ) and it was so good, its the only breakfast place we ate at. I had the pancakes twice, and the salmon breakfast, twice. Good coffee too. Careful or the sparrows will eat right out of your hand!

    Then we went on the first ride: Klondike Bluffs. It was windy and I was still tired from the 1000 mile drive the day before, but we ended up getting so stoked on riding that we added Baby Steps to complete the larger loop instead of the out and back. About 25 miles, and the dog did great.

    A bit windy (Klondike)


    The rough terrain tore the first bootie after about 10 miles on rocks.


    She ran around like crazy after being cooped up in the car for the 16 hr drive. And subsequently puked after chasing a tumbleweed for about a half mile (Klondike Bluffs):


    Proud of herself after scaring away the evil tumbleweed, she takes a rest in the shade of the bikes (Klondike Bluffs)


    note this is different than her usual rides, but she did fine with the heat as temps were in the 60's (Olympia, WA):


    The next day we went to Slickrock. We left her booties off since her pads were well conditioned and we didn't want her slipping on the smooth surface:


    She had a great time, but liked chasing the birds through the cactus, as we discovered. We did frequent pad checks throughout the 12 mile ride:


    She managed to avoid too much carnage until right near the end, silly dog:


    After two hard days of riding with us, it was time for her to take a break. She was limping the next morning, probably from the cactus in the prior photo. But that wasn't enough to deter her from playing with a Bernese Mountain Dog and assorted labs lab/chow mixes at Karens Canine Campground, just south of Moab by 2-3 miles.

    We had an awesome Mahi Mahi dinner at Miguels Mexican Grill. This was our best meal in Moab.

    We took that opportunity to do the bigger Porcupine loop without the dog. It took us 7 hrs riding up from Moab and back, since I like to try to hurt myself on the rocks:


    Lots of big drops like this one could spell death to a dog that likes to chase birds, and doesn't know she can't fly off the cliff after them:



    Porcupine Rim was the best ride in Moab this trip. After the ride we had Prime Rib and pasta up at the restaurant (Sunset Grill) on top of the hill overlooking Moab (https://www.moab-utah.com/sunsetgrill/ )

    The next day we picked her up and did a short 4 mile hike instead of a ride, to give her (and us!!) another day of rest:


    Next we did Poison Spider Mesa, a fun and often techy jeep trail. Of course, canines have natural 4WD so she had no problem. After the cactus of Slickrock, the booties were back on:




    She soon figured out that running through mud puddles allowed her to shake off the booties with greater ease. Here she is with one bootie less...another would be lost somewhere on the trail before we got back to the vehicle. I think Poison spider was my second favorite trail, just edging out Slickrock.


    Then it was a 'short' 16 hr drive home. Temps are great for riding, although its high desert so be prepared (it snowed a bit one day, but was in the 60's the other days). Lots of water and a windbreaker in the camelback can save your butt! Overall the dog did great. Overheating is probably the biggest danger, and the sheer cliffs. In terms of foot protection, I think multiple pairs of lightweight booties are the way to go. Dogs will not wear anything heavier, and you risk injury to the dogs joints if you use anything with a sole or that looks like a shoe. They can also run faster and more naturally with lighter booties. Hope you enjoyed the pics.
    Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
    Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming

  11. #11
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    Awesome trip report, and so cool on your dog tagging along and LOVING IT! (and I'm not even a "dog person")! Looks like human and canine had a super time. I'll be in Moab four weeks from right now. Very much looking forward to it.
    .
    "...when your ride is nearly over, it seems to have lasted but an instant..."


    Stuff

  12. #12
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    Nice pics! Well maybe not the puke. Looks like it was a great trip.

  13. #13
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    Looks like you had a nice trip...

    but I would discourage you (or anyone else who later finds this post) from taking your dogs on epic rides. For years I took my aussie on my daily "short ride" (4-5 miles, depending on the route) and she did fine (she's the toughest dog out of the several I've had). The problem is that a good, fit dog will follow you way past the point that's it's good for them. When I want to take the dogs out for long excursions I hike with them, since that pace is easier. Of course, S. Utah can kill a dog in the summer (we're frequently around Capitol Reef and Moab, since we live here (SLC).

  14. #14
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    Dusty gives a good warning. Not all dogs will hurt themselves but many will. I ran with a red healer who would run at her own pace no matter what. But the other one would easily kill himself trying to keep up. For me, dogs and bikes don't mix.

  15. #15
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    Yes, I want to AGREE strongly with what Axolotl and Dusty say about dogs following bikers. There are numerous examples of sled dogs pushing themselves to the brink of death or beyond and actually killing themselves, either due to overheating, and/or ignorance on the part of their handlers/owners.

    Before this trip, we took our dog on about 12 rides, which involved a 3 hr climb at our local mountain. Without the dog, I can DH the same stretch in about 30 minutes easy. With the dog, I take about 60 minutes. So, my riding technique is very different with the dog. I always ride the most difficult obstacles and technical terrain. Sometimes, I will do a jump or log ride a couple of times, to let her slow down. I also evenly match the time I spend ahead of her (and her trying to keep up, but unable) with the time she is running alongside me comfortably (in recovery phase).

    One test I have discovered, is that if you give a dog (our dog anyway) water from a camelback, and she is panting so hard she chokes a bit, or doesn't want it at all...you are going waaaay too fast. Pause a moment until she can drink easily.

    Having said that I would also say that XC and a dog do not mix, however Freeride and a dog often will mix. The reason is that with Freeride there are lots of periods of rest, times when you focus on a stunt, jump, or teeter, or log ride etc.

    However, just like a human, a dog needs to be in good shape, and age, terrain, injuries, all play a role in deciding whether it is safe to bring the pet along. Also, remember that the pet will ALWAYS want to go, so you can't use that as a yardstick. Decide for them based on how they act before you get suited up, and the bikes in the truck. Once you get to the 'we're going on a ride' point, the dog will always look sprite.

    Hope that clears up some things, and thanks for the salient remarks Dusty and Axolotl.
    Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
    Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming

  16. #16
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    I sort of agree with dusty, axolotl & rdhfreethought. You need to make your dog a priority if you take it riding. I have found there are riders who are physically (actually mentally) unable to slow down for anything. I started moutainbiking 20 years ago with a dog and never had problems. I have a 6 1/2 month old aussie collie that has gone on 2 short rides with me recently.

    A real key to keeping the dog going is water. Lots and lots of it. If you can find a stream or a puddle for them it's like putting fresh batteries into them. Too much time in water can soften their pads and cause torn pad problems though.

    If you are serious about riding with a dog, treat it like you truly care about it, and try to keep your ego in check.
    Riding Fat and still just as fast as I never was.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdhfreethought
    Q2: to kennel the dog on certain days (long rides) and where, if we should bring her...(anyone know Karens Canine Campground?)
    i'm from boise...

    we bring our dogs with us to Moab.

    and, we've taken them to Karens. it's just outside of town - nice facility.

    dogs get to run around and play/socialize.

    the cactus and slickrock will get your dogs...not just the paws..they'll get stickers all over the body, legs, etc.

    our dogs did well on sovereign.

    it's tricky. we usually bring our dogs with us..because it saves us some money boarding them because they're in the car with us.

    --------------------------------

    more info..the doggie dude ranch in springdale (zion) is a great place too. so, if you're ever over there for riding...look them up.

  18. #18
    Mojo0115
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    I always bring our dogs to Moab with us.

    Our oldest dog used to run with us on trails all the time but we used booties for her as she you tear her pads up on the slick rock otherwise.
    IMG_1796.JPG
    IMG_2231.JPG
    She doesn't ride with us much anymore as she is nearly 10 years old and can't run very far anymore. She can still hike but biking speeds and distances are a little to much now.


    Our new dog is much lighter and faster and she hasn't needed booties so far, but I carry them just in cast on longer rides. She had not problems on Porcupine last thanksgiving but conditions were perfect dog conditions.
    IMG_2796.jpg
    Last edited by zzsean; 03-19-2009 at 08:33 PM.

  19. #19
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    I limit my dogs to about 10 miles. I've been told that much longer and you're asking for shoulder and hip problems as they age.
    I'd also keep the booties ON slickrock as it's very close to sandpaper and tough on feet. Slickrock is only slick to metal weels of covered wagons of the 1800s. Anything else gets superb traction.
    The MORE technical the trail the EASIER it is on dogs as you ride slower. They don't get to go on fast trails. Also if it's much above 70 degrees they don't get to go far unless there's water on the trail, careful dogs can get sick from bad water, too.
    All I have to do is say Gooseberry (Mesa) and my pointer gets exciting. As it's very tech a perfect place to bring the dogs. And if the cattle are there she loves the job of keeping them out of camp.
    agmtb

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