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What's the Best Climber's Dog ?
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By Kati T.
From Western Oregon
May 18, 2011
My husband and I want to get a dog to bring along on our adventurous trips to the crag -- which involve a lot of bushwhacking, and wilderness hiking. We want a crag dog that is tough enough to withstand the approach and loyal enough to guard our gear as we climb. Said crag dog should also be savvy enough to ward off (or warn us of) any beasts of nature that may pose a danger to his/her owners. Pictures encouraged.

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By Rick Blair
From Denver
May 18, 2011
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I thi...
Great Pyrenees are bred to do this work but honestly, leave the dog at home.

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By jarthur
From Westminster, CO
May 18, 2011
My dogs got ups yo!
Oh man I know where this thread is going, but here's the best crag dog ever! She's a Catahoula leopard dog and is super agile, friendly, but I got watch her around the sandwiches!

Madori
Madori

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By Jonathan D.
From Portland, OR
May 18, 2011
Buds
What are those dogs that like Parkour? Those dogs are soooooo rad, because parkour is soooooo rad.

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By mattm
From TX
May 18, 2011
Grande Grotto
Rick Blair wrote:
Great Pyrenees are bred to do this work but honestly, leave the dog at home.

+1

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
May 18, 2011
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
His name is Chaxi and it looks like he's a black lab or something similar:

dpmclimbing.com/articles/view/...

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By J. Broussard
From CordryCorner
May 18, 2011
Young Good Free Face, 11b
Chows are terrible dogs but great about protecting your shit while you're up and away. In lieu of protecting you, they'll settle for protecting your pack. I have mutt that apparently has some chow in him. His aggressive nature is annoying accept when it comes to squirrels and people getting too close to my shit!

For the most part he stays at home. But on those remote trips where the only folks you'll run into are sketch balls dodging the crowds for all of the wrong reasons, he really becomes handy.

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By Dustin B
From Steamboat
May 18, 2011
Shucka Bra.
Get a rescue dog. There's so many great dogs out there that are mix breed and need a home and are just as capable as any pure breed dog.

Fred
Fred


Fred's a border collie mix who I adopted when he was 1. He can go for days, Isn't scared of any wild animals (I've seen him herd massive pigs with mean streaks) and he's a great climber. I once had to order him down off the rock when he showed up at the P2 belay on a moderate slab route.

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By Bryan Gall
From New Castle, CO
May 18, 2011
My labs have been great. They're loyal, can carry a pack, are always friendly, and keep away the varmits. They're great pack animals. I've had them carry a fifth of liquor for mountaineering trips. They can handle back country skiing with ease. They also deal with being ridden like horses by my two and three year old daughters. Ignore the haters; plenty of crags are great with dogs. I'd rather have my dogs than most other people.

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By ZachS00
From Denver, CO
May 18, 2011
Ruckus, Rifle
none.

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By Tom Fralich
From Fort Collins, CO
May 18, 2011
ZachS00 wrote:
none.



Agreed. The best dog for climbers is NO DOG.

Everyone I know who climbs and has gotten a dog says that they climb less as a result. Firstly, dogs aren't allowed in certain areas. Secondly, it's kind of cruel to let your dog sitting at the base of a route while you climb for 10 hours. Most people with dogs realize this and focus more on single-pitch cragging.

If you get a dog, it should be because having a dog is more important than climbing. If climbing is still your first priority, forget it.

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By Roots
From Tustin, CA
May 18, 2011
indiandogs.com

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By Chris Duca
From Havertown, PA
May 18, 2011
Finishing up Elusive Dream at the King Wall.  Adir...
The kind that stays home.

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By Mark Roth
From Boulder
May 18, 2011
not climbing
Kati T. wrote:
My husband and I want to get a dog to bring along on our adventurous trips to the crag -- which involve a lot of bushwhacking, and wilderness hiking. We want a crag dog that is tough enough to withstand the approach and loyal enough to guard our gear as we climb. Said crag dog should also be savvy enough to ward off (or warn us of) any beasts of nature that may pose a danger to his/her owners. Pictures encouraged.



NO DOG is way better. And I AM a dog person... I would do anything for my dog, but it really puts a strain on my "adventures".

A dog that will "guard your gear" will be threatening to others and wear out your welcome pretty quick.

I leave my dog home if I know there will be "bushwhacking" since he always gets hurt. Snake bites or cactus thorns...

And if there are animals that pose a threat to you, the dog will probably be eaten. My dog has been half eaten by coyotes.

It is illegal to leave your dog unattended almost everywhere, and dogs are not allowed in lots of wilderness areas and national parks.

And don't even get me started with flying with a dog. It costs more than a human ticket and is a pain in the ass...

Basically, if you want to travel or actually get any climbing done, a dog is a bad idea.



If this is more the idea you had for this thread, GO here...
Best Dog Photo ?

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By Andrew Vojslavek
May 18, 2011
checking out the Maverick boulder in Clear Creek
I love dogs, and you should get one. They can add so much to your family. However, you should leave the pup at home.

To me dogs at the crag, is the same thing as playing music at the crag. Even though you or I may by some odd chance enjoy the selection, it simply does not belong out at the rocks.

Congrats on the pup!

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By Cindy
From Golden, CO
May 18, 2011
The smart abandoned stray that finds you during your adventures. He went everywhere with ease, was nicknamed Buddha dog, doubt he would have "guarded" anything but he kept the critters out of my lunch at the crag, kept me warm on long solo adventures, and understood that some outings he was better off staying home with a good friend and a bone to chew.

Just keep getting out there, you'll find each other.

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By Br'er Rabbit
From The Briar Patch
May 19, 2011
'Bred en bawn in a brier-patch, Brer Fox--bred en ...
Chris Duca wrote:
The kind that stays home.



Yep.

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By Ben Walburn
May 19, 2011
"This definitely beats lying in a pile of saw...
There are very few cases where a dog is just a good dog. It's all what effort you put into it. Dogs are a pain in the ass at the crag, I know I take mine regularly.

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By fossana
From Bishop, CA
May 19, 2011
West Overhang
ZachS00 wrote:
none.


+1

They are far too limiting for climbing, plus I have plenty of friends that are happy to let me borrow their dog for the day if I want a temporary 4-legged trail companion.

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By Colonel Mustard
From Reno, NV
May 19, 2011
Colonel Mustard
The one having the most fun.

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By Evan1984
May 19, 2011
No dog is best, but I wouldn't trade my rescue terrier mixes for the world.

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By Mattberr
From utah
May 19, 2011
uintas
Tom Fralich wrote:
If you get a dog, it should be because having a dog is more important than climbing. If climbing is still your first priority, forget it.


While I agree that dogs should be left at home while cragging most of the time. If you do end up getting a dog it should in no way be related to how much you climb. I have a dog and it has not affected how much I climb at all. Sure It might be more of a challenge sometimes but its been worth it for sure! Oh ya and as far as a kind of dog to get I recommend a australian shepherd/border collie. great dogs and super smart. good luck!

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By pooler
From Albany, NY
May 19, 2011
Don't listen to the haters. If you train him right he'll be fine. Not a good idea on multi-pitch climbs, but for single pitch and bouldering they can be awsome. I have a lab pup and he's never been a problem. Stayes off the pads and doesen't bark when he'd tied up. It's allll about the master not so much the dog. Just my 2 cents

Pooler

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By DEF
From CT
May 19, 2011
Zeke wrote:
The one having the most fun.



+ 100

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By Alex Washburne
May 19, 2011
I eat crack for breakfast.
Get a friendly dog that doesn't bark (i.e. that won't "guard your gear" - if you're worried about that then you can carry your gear with you). Also, it might be wise to test a dog's guts by a quick trip to the talus slopes - I've seen dogs that are a pain because they can't make simple obstacles, and I've seen dogs on the opposite side of the spectrum that go absolutely flippin' crazy and get themselves cliffed out.

Here's my dog, Jack, who makes life more enjoyable for all passing dog lovers (though he stays tied up so those who don't like dogs won't be forced to put up with his unsolicited love and affection). He was a rescue dog (looks like a husky/shepherd mix) who comes with me on all my class 2+ or less hikes and backpacking trips (except those on national parks). I'm hearing impaired and he does a really good job letting me know when something's up - he even woke me up to give me a heads up one night when a bear was checking out the camp.

crag dog chillin
crag dog chillin


Unlike the haters out there, I'll give you guys the benefit of the doubt for being responsible dog owners. You'll make the wise decisions for when to take the dog and when to leave it at home. You'll train your dog to come when called, and train it to fear snakes (get a garter snake, show it to your dog and make angry commotion/pull the choke chain - repeat until dog is sufficiently freaked). You'll meet friends and neighbors who love your dog and care for it when you're away (after all, you chose a calm, friendly dog that doesn't bark - so who wouldn't want to watch it?).

Long and short of it, pick a dog with the right temperment, raise it right, have the courage to leave it behind, and enjoy the bottomless basket of fruits for being a responsible dog owner.

These are the kinds of awesome dogs just waiting t...
These are the kinds of awesome dogs just waiting to be rescued!

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By Captain Fastrousers
From Pasadena, CA
May 19, 2011
Alex Washburne wrote:
Unlike the haters out there, I'll give you guys the benefit of the doubt for being responsible dog owners.


Haven't seen any haters on this thread, just some who question the compatibility of climbing and dog ownership. Is a 'hater' someone who disagrees with you on any point, or just on the subject of dogs?

Personally, I love dogs. Always had dogs around when I was a kid, never had any problems with them. But in all honesty, I think the 'crag-dog' question is one of geography, as well as the obvious points about canine and human behaviour. Here in California, many (poss. even most) good areas are in National Parks where dogs can't run free, so it's a bit limiting if you want to take Fido out. In other areas (I'm thinking of the Front Range) there are plenty of dog-friendly crags, but (and remember I write this as a dog-lover) there are just too many damn dogs.

In other areas with less land-management/demographic issues, then taking a well-behaved dog to the crag may indeed be a pleasant addition for all.

BTW Alex, that's a good looking and well-behaved dog you've got there. Does he/she know what to do when she hears 'rock!' or 'below!'? And chained like that at the base of the crag, would he/she be able to get out of the way? No need to answer, as long as you've though about those questions to yourself.

FLAG


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