Tips for Bringing Your Dog into the Wilderness

Dogs are awesome. Dogs that can hang in the mountains are somehow even more awesome. Behind each of our favorite mountain pups is a loving and supportive owner making sure their quadrapedal compadre is happy and healthy.

Unfortunately, so many outdoorsy dog owners don’t take the time to properly prepare and train their animal, resulting in campsite chaos, unnecessary impact on the natural lands, or worse. This behavior gives our beloved mountain pups a bad rap in the outdoor community, and can actually be harmful to the animal and the environment. But, with a little education and preparation, your dog can thrive in the wilderness and become a shining example of mountain puppy stewardship.

Always be familiar with land/campground/property guidelines. Just because you’re out in the open and think you’re alone, does not mean rules don’t exist. There are pet regulations in almost all parks and open spaces. All US National Forest campgrounds allow pets, but they MUST be leashed and under control in campgrounds or on trails.

It is important to “train” your dog in much the same way you train for whatever outdoor activity you’re trying to do. This means starting out with easier day hikes to get your dog in hiking shape. Work up to your goals to make sure your animal can handle it.

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