Hiking with dogs

What could be better than a hike in the great outdoors? Right! Hitting the trailing together with your dog. But there are a few things you should bear in mind to ensure that the outing with your beloved companion is a pleasure for everyone. Here are our five tips for a successful tour with your dog.

1. Preparation

If you are going on a hike with your four-legged friend, the trail should be well planned. It is important to pay attention to your dog's needs and to ensure that the walk is manageable in terms of length and altitude. Hikes by the water and through shady forests are particularly suitable when it is very hot.

2. Hiking gear

The good news first: you don't have to pack an extra backpack for your dog. However, there are a few things you should definitely take with you:

  • Well-fitted harness
  • Leash
  • First aid kit including tick tweezers
  • Travel bowl
  • Poop bags

3. Safety

Whether it's ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘stay’, ‘here’ or ‘heel’ – your dog should understand these basic commands. In addition to trust and obedience, it is important on the mountain that your dog is well trained in loose leash walking. If you work well as a team, you can pass danger spots safely and also ensure that other hikers are not bothered.

Pro tip for hiking dogs

In areas where it is difficult to see, it is better if your dog walks behind you. We use the command ‘behind’ for this. This is also quite easy to teach by bringing your dog behind you on a narrow path with a treat, introducing the ‘behind’ command and gently blocking him from passing by with your body. It is also important to use a release command such as ‘finished’, which allows your dog to run ahead again.

4. Energy supply

Take at least 1–2 litres of water with you for your dog – more on hot days. You can also use natural water resources such as streams. Offer your dog something to drink about every 30 minutes. Also pack a few treats for your furry friend to reward him in between or to add a little search game.

5. Trail etiquette

Make sure that your dog does not chase wild animals or damage plants. Find out about local regulations on the use of a leash and muzzle and always comply with them. If you come across grazing animals, take your dog on a leash. Keep your distance and walk calmly past the herd.

Photos: Daniela Rupp