There is nothing better for you and your dog than going for regular walks. It's a great time for the two of you to get plenty of exercise and to create an unbreakable bond. But, when the weather gets hot and you have to carry water and a bowl for your dog, the fun tends to diminish a little. What if you could train your dog to carry a backpack? Better yet, what if you could teach him to carry a backpack that contains water for him and a collapsible bowl? Imagine the places the two of you could go and the hikes you could go on.
One of the biggest reasons many people give for not doing this is they just don't want to be loaded down with their own backpack as well as everything their dog needs for the trip. By training your dog to carry a backpack with some of his own needs in it, you not only make the walks more pleasant but at the same time, you are giving your dog a job to do. This is something most dogs are more than happy to do.
Man has been asking his canine friends to carry things for them for millennia. From carrying packs to pulling carts and sleds, most dogs love to have a job and to help out their human companions. Teaching your dog to carry a pack can help put an end to overexcitement during walks and keep him focused on the task at hand.
There are many things you can teach your pup to carry in his backpack, like water, a bowl, food, a frisbee, a few small items you might need, poop bags, even a spare pair of shoes for you. How much your furry friend can carry will depend on the breed. Smaller dogs obviously have a lower carrying capacity than larger breeds.
For most breeds, learning to carry a backpack should only take a couple of weeks, the rest of the time will be spent working up to his maximum load. One important thing to remember is that the weight of the backpack and anything in it should never exceed 25 percent of your dog's body weight. In fact, ideally, your dog's pack should not weigh more than 10 to 12 percent of his body weight, but you can adjust this amount as your dog becomes more comfortable with the pack.
To train your dog to carry a backpack, you will need a few things, including:
Treats: To reward him when he gets things right.
A dog backpack: Be sure you buy a doggy backpack that is designed to fit your specific size of dog.
A load: Select a few items you can use to slowly build up the load your pup will be carrying so that he can build up his load carrying ability.
Patience: While it won't take long for your dog to get used to carrying a backpack, you do need to be patient while he is getting used to it.