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Backpacking dogs

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 Since we hike a lot, we have our own backpacks and we like our dogs to wear them on long hikes too so they can carry their own items such as water, collapsible bowls , poop bags and sometimes even food.   We've had some backpacks for our dogs in the past and my main gripe with them is that no matter how much we tighten the straps and load the backpack evenly on each side the backpack seems to fall off the one side or the other.  Now there are extremely expensive backpacks that probably do work better, but I haven't been inclined to pay upwards of $100 for a backpack when we don't use them all that much. I found some backpacks on Amazon that got some pretty good reviews and were reasonably priced and decided to give them a shot.  We took them for a test run today. These ones were easy to fit onto the dogs and definitely stayed in place way better than ones we have used in the past.   Sisko has previously worn a backpack so he was unfazed when we put it on him, but I thoug

Another milestone

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 Today we headed back to my favorite spot in the world - the beach.  It was around 49 degrees and there was a STIFF wind.  We started off running directly into it.   The wind did not seem to affect Sisko and Booker's running ability but it certainly did mine - I have a much wider wind resistance if ya know what I mean! Booker has been extremely scared of even dipping his toes into the lake when we have gone there previously.  Sisko happily splashes through and gets a drink when he wants to, but Booker avoided that until the last time we were there when he got brave and waded in a bit.  This time he ran right into the water (following Sisko) almost up to his chest! It was a full 2.75 miles to the outlet - where the pond meets Lake Ontario - and we couldn't go any further - unless we wanted to go for a swim!  I was pretty spent by then from battling the wind, but now we'd have the full 16 mile-ish breeze against our backs.  That was a relief and it gave me my second wind - no

More lessons in self control

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 Our new chicks have been home a week.  Each night, I take the dogs down to the basement where the chicks are living until they have their feathers and can live in the coop.  I make sure they have enough food and water and that all are within the fencing and accounted for are are doing well.  The dops get very excited when I tell them it's time to check on the chicks.   Now that they are getting a little bigger, they scurry around when I try to catch them - and those buggers are FAST! While Boxers don't tend to have extremely high prey drives like some other breeds I have found that Boxers really like to chase.  I'm not sure if they would kill something small if they caught it, but they could certainly do some damage even if they are just playing. Sisko has a very strong prey drive.  When off leash he will go after squirrels and chipmunks and even will chase seagulls and geese when we are near the water.  It's has taken quite a but of training to not take off when we ar

New chicks!

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 For the last several years we have raised chickens.  We love having fresh eggs and chickens are pretty fun to have as a hobby.  We don't have that many at a time.  Booker has been around and met are adult chickens who he is not all that interested in, but has never met baby chicks.  We haven't had babies in a while and our hens have been aging and dying off so I knew we wanted to get some chicks this spring.  Yesterday one of our old hens passed away leaving us with on 4 girls.  Fortunately it is chicken season so we headed to Tractor Supply.   Booker was more interested in all the attention that people were giving him in the store as we walked around and then stopped in the area that had checks.  But Sis knew exactly what was going on and was extremely excited. We got 8 little babies and brought them home.  Before taking them to our basement where they will live until feathered and ready to go out to the coop with the big girls, we let the dogs meet them.   Booker is by natur

Run, run, run

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 Booker has very quickly shown me that he was born to run!  He absolutely loves it.  So far we have primarily run when he has to be leashed either on my road or along trails that aren't very busy and he has done well.   Today I decided to bite the bullet and took him over to a local trail to see how he would do with lots of distractions.  It was a cool but nice day and the trail was much busier than it normally is.  Hence there were a ton of distractions. There were people walking and running alone and in groups.  Some had small children and some had dogs.   When we got there, he was extremely excited and wound up.  Some people purposely train their dogs to run out in front of them, however, I have always trained my do9gs to run right at my left side.  As soon as we started running he bolted out front - stretching the bungee of the running leash as far as it would go.  I had them on a double dog connector and poor Sisko was like "What the hell?" as he has run miles with

Great Bear

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There is a place just over an hour from us called Great Bear Recreational Park .  We don't go there as often as I would like because of the drive time, but it's an awesome place to hike.  The multiple acres are surrounded by fencing and dogs are welcome and are even allowed off leash. This was Booker's first time there.  He is now 7 months old and does great off leash - listening well and staying near us. BUT.... today we were reminded that he is still a puppy and is not fully trained yet.  We haven't had a puppy in 7 years AND that puppy was Sisko - who is by far the easiest dog we have ever had to train.  As a puppy (and now) he HATED getting in any sort of trouble and by his very nature always wanted to be right next to us.  It's easy for us to get frustrated with Booker as he still does puppy type things. Great Bear is full of amazing smells and new things to experience.  So Booker was mostly interested in running as fast as he could down the trails and not list

The love of hiking

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 Of everything that we do with our dogs, I think they love hiking the most.  It was still pretty chilly and when we first got to the trail we planned to hike today I wasn't sure we would be able to hike it because the path was covered with uneven and frozen snow.  But they were SO excited and happy we thought we would give it a shot and at least let them have some fun even if we had to turn around.   Happily we were able to walk on the sides of the trail with the fresh snow that wasn't icy and there were even spots of bare ground.  No obstacle could stop these 2!!   View this post on Instagram A post shared by Booker and Sisko (@boxeradventuresny) Just over 5 miles later we had some tired and happy doggos!