Riley, hiking dog

Derek and Riley in the Gorge

Derek and Riley in the Gorge

Joni and I got a pack for Riley a few weeks ago and finally used it last weekend.  We got it both so that we’d go hiking more often and to give him a job to do when we’re on the trail.  Carrying weight gives dogs a responsibility and also slows him down a bit so that if he is off-leash he doesn’t wander off too far.  Like anything else new, the key to getting a dog to do something is to associate that thing with “good times.”  First car rides should lead to the dog park, not the vet.  Harness leash = long walk.  Dog booties = playing fetch.

We’re happy to report that Riley is a true sporting dog.  He was awesome on the trail just wearing the pack last weekend with no weight, to get used to it.  Today, Joni took him for their long walk with the pack on and water in the Camelback-like holders in the saddle bags.  Joni said he liked drinking water straight from the tubes.  Way to go, Riley!

Riley on Willamette Greenway Trail

(photos by Joni Photo from her iPhone)

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