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Anyone ever use dogs to pull?

Old 04-22-22, 08:27 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
FWIW, I tried Skijoring with my two dogs and my XC skis in my residential neighborhood many years ago. It would have been entertaining for any spectators who happened to see us. My skills were poor and the dogs were crazy undisciplined curs, one of them with little desire to please. My current dog would have been awesome at it when she was young. She always seemed to understand what was desired of her whether by voice command, hand signals, or just reading the situation. She was an amazing trail dog, but now in her senior years has slowed way down. Back in the day when my head lamp failed I could say "show me" and she would run 8' in front of me to keep me on the trail all the way back to the truck. If some one else's dogs would run off, I could say "bring them back" and off she'd go to herd them right back. I could send her off to find a visiting friend who got confused and needed to be led back to the trailhead. If I'd get confused of directions on a hike or run she'd lead me back to the truck. She'd follow intricate hand signals.

She'd run 18 miles with me and want to play fetch when we got home. Now she takes slow walks around the block, takes breaks even doing that, and bosses me around. It sucks to get old so she gets her way pretty much all the time now. She remembers her training but figures she is exempt from following most of it now at 13.
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Old 04-22-22, 09:20 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
FWIW, I tried Skijoring with my two dogs and my XC skis in my residential neighborhood many years ago. It would have been entertaining for any spectators who happened to see us. My skills were poor and the dogs were crazy undisciplined curs, one of them with little desire to please. My current dog would have been awesome at it when she was young. She always seemed to understand what was desired of her whether by voice command, hand signals, or just reading the situation. She was an amazing trail dog, but now in her senior years has slowed way down. Back in the day when my head lamp failed I could say "show me" and she would run 8' in front of me to keep me on the trail all the way back to the truck. If some one else's dogs would run off, I could say "bring them back" and off she'd go to herd them right back. I could send her off to find a visiting friend who got confused and needed to be led back to the trailhead. If I'd get confused of directions on a hike or run she'd lead me back to the truck. She'd follow intricate hand signals.

She'd run 18 miles with me and want to play fetch when we got home. Now she takes slow walks around the block, takes breaks even doing that, and bosses me around. It sucks to get old so she gets her way pretty much all the time now. She remembers her training but figures she is exempt from following most of it now at 13.
My Siberian Husky lived 12 years. Had no formal training but I think pulling hard and fast was in her DNA. While walking on leash she kept the leash taught at all times. If I thought to do a little jogging and with the least little slack in said leash something just clicked in her brain and it was full gas full speed ahead. I was the only one in the family that had the strength to hold her back until that switch clicked off, but she could gleefully snap all but the strongest restraints. Everybody else would just let go and without that resistance she would just run circles around us til we got back to the fenced yard.
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Old 04-22-22, 09:24 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Now she takes slow walks around the block, takes breaks even doing that, and bosses me around. It sucks to get old so she gets her way pretty much all the time now. She remembers her training but figures she is exempt from following most of it now at 13.
Now that's another thing to consider Jessy. What will you do when your dogs get too old to pull the sled? You're talking about living on the road and having your dogs pull your gear on a sled. At some point, you'll need younger dogs to pull the sled, yet you'll still have your older dogs to take along. Eventually your dogs will need be be riding in the sled with your gear...
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Old 04-22-22, 09:30 AM
  #29  
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Wolves/dogs can trot all day, but can't run very far. Touring with them will be very slow. If you want to avoid carrying the animals' food, you'll be limited to routes by stores. Camp site selection will probably be very limited due to the animals. Carrying water for the 3 of you might be a big issue given the slow speed - what would be a 4 hour ride between water sources for a single rider will be an 8 hour trip for you and your wolf dogs. You'd need to map out and calculate the water issue very carefully.
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Old 04-22-22, 10:04 AM
  #30  
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Me thinks that the difference between a beast of burden and a beloved pet has a lot to do with how the animal is dealt with when they begin to age out.
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Old 04-22-22, 09:17 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by kstephens View Post
I can't imagine working two dogs that much. Even if large healthy dogs - the daily wear on them combined with keeping up with their caloric needs and caring for health in general would be a big task. Even dogs bred and specificaly trained to pull sleds usually only successfully do so for a portion of their life. I truly get the allure of a nomadic lifestyle - it does sound wonderful. But as a pet owner, dog and all animal lover - I would be looking for a way to pull my animals along to enjoy their company rather than expecting them to pull me along. Really - I have a trailer for my two dogs for training and fun rides. (They aren't 100 pounds each though). Just my thoughts on the well being of the animals. I've never met you or your dogs so I may be way off on yours and their capabilities.
I get what you are saying, but it is illogical in my situation, and highly unnecessary. These dogs are bred for pulling, they are both part Siberian Husky, and Timber Wolves (which is also part of their bloodlines) also have a lot of strength and energy. I'm only 100 pounds, and I've tried pulling my lightest dog (80-85 pounds) with my bike on a wagon (weighs about 50 pounds) and I could not get very far at all. There is no way I could pull them both, even on the lightest bike trailer in the world, let alone also be able to haul all of our survival equipment too. It would be different if I was just taking then for a ride around a neighborhood for fun, but that's not what I'm trying to do here. Also, there are many other people who have done bike tours with their dogs, and many of them let their dog run with them. Sure, those dogs aren't pulling weight, but they are much smaller than my dogs which means then have shorter legs and it's harder for them to put in the miles anyhow; and they also aren't a breed designed for pulling or running (maybe running if it's a hunting or sporting breed of some kind). I don't plan on making very many miles each day, perhaps only 5-8 miles, soon sure we can handle it just fine if I get things setup right.
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Old 04-22-22, 09:21 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Chuck M View Post
I'm sure these are large, strong, and healthy dogs. But what you are asking of them in terms of physical stress and calorie needs I think will be very hard on the dogs. I'm trying to be as tactful as I can because I think you are being sincere, but this could be abusive to the dogs. These dogs will need to be fit for the task. Would you ride a century if you didn't train for it?
My dogs have been trained since they were about 7 months old for pulling, and trained since nearly birth on mushing commands. I haven't always had the time or equipment to mush them often enough, but they are pretty well trained and in good health. Yes they do need to build more muscle, and toning their commands would also benefit, and that's what I've been doing recently to prepare for our journey.
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Old 04-22-22, 09:29 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
First, check out bikejoring for ideas of what your dogs might or might not be able to do, bikejoring involves the dogs pulling bicycles instead of a sled and the people who do this will have a better idea of what your dogs may become capable of.

You say you're light, weak and have health issues but want to tour. Unfortunately this means you need to put some money and attention into your bike and the one you've got is a lousy option. I would tend to think you're the perfect candidate for an electric bike, as much as I hate them. Trying to tour with dogs will be rough on the dogs especially as already mentioned, when it comes to hot pavement; and having them pull you 10 maybe 20 miles on a good day isn't enough to get you to the next campground, or really anywhere. Having an electric bike that can make a 40 mile trip with a modest amount of effort on your part will get you a lot further and much more enjoyably. You can probably pull a very small trailer and make sure to carry an extra battery pack in it in case you get stuck, just make sure you charge up at the campground. Might cost you a lot more money in the short term but in the long term its a lot less stressing over where you and the dogs can stay, much longer tour distances, and even though you're pulling the trailer and pedaling the bike, much less energy input on your part.
I'm homeless already and don't have any money of my own. The only way I've been able to obtain what I have is through my dad helping me. But once I hit the road I won't have any money except whatever my dad and whoever else may give me. I plan on relying solely on God to provide, and I know He will. I also don't plan on going to campgrounds very often, and hopefully hotels/motels more than anything, but only during my time of the month if I can afford it because I have period problems. Other than that I plan on just pitching up basically anywhere we can pull of and need to stop to rest, which is one reason I'm trying to go the bike camper route.

And thanks for the advice about bikejoring. I know about it, and that's what I've mainly been doing to prepare my dogs and me, but I never thought about talking with people that bikejor to see if they have any advice for me about such a topic. Great idea!


Oh yea.... and I really don't want an e-bike, for certain reasons. Mainly end of the world type reasons, and cuz God led me down this path and wants me to have a specific image for this mission. I'm a prophetess, which is the main real reason I even plan on doing this bike tour, so I can meet new people and share God's message with them that He gave to me.
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Old 04-22-22, 09:51 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
To get an idea of what you're thinking, take a look at some maps and plan out a month or so of traveling. I know where I live it can be 30 to 80 miles between towns where you'd be able to buy real groceries. There are some places where it can be over 100 miles between towns. I'd be worried about raw meat spoiling if left out in the summer heat for long. If you're wanting to travel 5 - 10 miles a day on a permanent basis, you'll going to be very limited on your route.

You're going to be at risk of finding yourself without a legal place to camp. Most places won't arrest people for camping illegally, but some towns come down very hard on illegal camping. If you're thinking of traveling 5 miles per day, there will be days there will be no places to camp legally.

If you're thinking about having your dogs pull a trailer, the connections between the dogs and trailer will need to be solid rods. What's going to happen when they're pulling the trailer downhill? They can't be tethered to the trailer by a rope, because they trailer could speed up and run into them or pass them, dragging them along. Even with a solid rod, the trailer could still come along beside them and pass them up. You'll need something like this: ______________

Financially, unexpected expenses can occur at anytime. You need to consider weather events - days of rain, wind, hail storms. What about being in the wrong place at the wrong time during tornado and hurricane season?

I recommend you plan and do an overnight out and back trip to a campground 5 or so miles from your house. Include a bailout plan and find someone willing to come and pick you up if it's not working out for yourself or your dogs. You'll learn tons from a short trip or two before you decided if or how to do an extended trip.
I've been homeless travelling around by car and trailer for 5 years, so I know what it's like to try to sleep overnight somewhere random and what authorities might do. Financial issues have always been a part of my life, and I've learned to rely on God to provide for me, and as long as I trust in Him and keep myself loyal to Him He always comes through. I knew distance from store to store would be difficult for us, but I know God will help us out with that, either with roadkill or someone who can give me something or trade me. As for the camper hitting my dogs, that can't happen, because the camper will be hooked to my bicycle, and then the dogs hooked out in front of my bike like bikejoring. My bike's brakes will hold the camper back from hitting my dogs. And also for bad weather, just as I've done for years now, I trust in God to get me through it and protect me from tornados and such, and He always has. Whatever happens is meant to, and I'll deal with it if it comes.
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Old 04-22-22, 10:04 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
Have you even ridden a bike with the dogs? Generally people teach their dogs to run with them on a bike not to pull them... Its not really safe for a dog to pull you(like for you mostly) pulling a sled across a snow wasteland is way different than dragging a bike down a interstate.

Doesnt sound like you really have a grasp on distance that can be traveled on a bike, you dont need a bike for 10 miles a day, you can do that walking with two dogs and a stolen shopping cart from walmart. Where do you plan on sleeping everynight? under bridges?

Probably should learn a little bit about bikes if you plan to live on one for the rest of your life.
A ebike seems like a terrible Idea. now the poor dogs will have to drag that weight to when in runs out of power...
I've trained my dogs since 7 months old to pull things like me on a pedal gocart or bicycle, so they are well adapted to it by now. There are dog sports like canicross, skijoring, bikejoring, and dog sledding where the dogs do some or most of the work pulling the human, sometimes with a vehicle and other gear. And idk where you assumed I would be going down an interstate with my dogs, but last I knew that's illegal, and it's a danger I wouldn't ever take anyhow, and usually it's out in the baking sun which would kill my dogs. Walking or riding a bike on any road is always a hazard for anyone, regardless of whether dogs are involved or not.

I understand, but my time to prepare may be limited, so I'll just stick with the basic maintenance my dad teaches me (he's a motorcycle mechanic, ect), and then whatever happens I'll trust in God. I know I don't have many more years left to live, and neither does anyone really, so even though this could be for the rest of my life, that's only going to probably be about 2 years.

Don't ask me why I want to uses bike rather than just walk, but I suppose it may be because my dogs can get going at a much faster pace than I can keep up, even when they are towing weight. The hardest part about towing is the launch, after that as long as you keep momentum and you don't have a hill it's really not that hard to keep going at a good pace. Plus the bike can come in handy someday if I need to do a quick run out somewhere for some supplies nearby, and just lock my camper up somewhere and take my dogs with the bike. I tried just walking with my dogs and a wagon, but I ended up doing all the work pulling the wagon and the dogs were yanking on me in the other direction, and it just beat me down fast.

And yea, the e-bike running out of power and then us having to pedal and pull that extra weight is exactly one reason why I'm not going that route.
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Old 04-22-22, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I was thinking more along the lines of a job as a carnival worker to earn money, if you catch my drift.
ah.........as in a carnival....................................barker?
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Old 04-23-22, 12:15 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by JessyMathers View Post
.....will help us out with that, either with roadkill or someone who can give me something or trade me. .....
comedy gold

+100
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Old 04-23-22, 06:08 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
ah.........as in a carnival....................................barker?
BTH. Remember him?
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Old 04-23-22, 07:52 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by JessyMathers View Post
First off, I have 2 large wolfdogs, and I plan on using them to help pull our camper with gear.
I just reread your original post and realized that I had not realized that you said camper. That raised my curiosity. I was thinking you would be just carrying camping gear. Just what kind of rig are we talking about? How big? How heavy? Pictures?
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Old 04-24-22, 10:57 AM
  #40  
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Seen on the trail the other day...
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Old 04-25-22, 07:02 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by JessyMathers View Post
First off, I have 2 large wolfdogs, and I plan on using them to help pull our camper with gear. I'm a 100 pound woman with little muscle and quite a few health issues, but my dogs are young strong healthy males. I figure together we could all do it, but at the same time I'm worried about our weight, because the camper itself empty might end up being around 80-100 pounds once built, and there are 3 of us with a lot of clothing and survival gear.
So many questions!

You planning on pulling the trailer with your bike and the dogs at the same time? (Not sure what that would look like.)

Is the trailer going to have brakes? (Probably, a requirement. Especially, going downhill.)

That's 100 lb for an empty trailer? What's the weight of the other stuff?

Originally Posted by JessyMathers View Post
My bike's brakes will hold the camper back from hitting my dogs.
Crummy brakes on a cheap kid's bike designed for 80 (?) pounds holding back 250 pounds of trailer, possessions, and a person. Sounds like a great plan.

​​​​​​

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Old 04-25-22, 11:04 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by JessyMathers View Post
I plan on relying solely on God to provide, and I know He will.
And if God doesn't provide, you have insurance. You can always eat the dogs.
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Old 04-28-22, 06:12 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Thulsadoom View Post
And if God doesn't provide, you have insurance. You can always eat the dogs.
My money would be the other way around.
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Old 04-28-22, 07:12 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
my money would be the other way around.
+1
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Old 04-28-22, 12:30 PM
  #45  
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At some point the dogs will pull you off balance and you will go down. At some point you will encounter off the leash dogs that will attack your dogs. I can't imagine you or anyone else doing what you are describing other than for penance.
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Old 04-28-22, 03:35 PM
  #46  
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Some internet evidence of dogs pulling carts

First the humorous:



Second historical:
https://www.douglas-self.com/MUSEUM/POWER/dog/dog.htm

Quote from article:"In England, things were different. In 1839, the Dog Cart Nuisance Act prohibited the use of cart dogs within 15 miles of London's Charing Cross rail station. The RSPCA regarded dog-haulage as "cruel servitude", but what about draught horses? There appears to have been a fear that overworked dogs were more susceptible rabies. Dog carts were mainly associated with bakers.Poor households could not afford to keep dogs that couldn't work. Many dogs were abandoned to starve and at least 150,000 were destroyed in the first year of the new legislation. Often children replaced the dogs in pulling the carts. There were no laws against child labour."


Third videos:
​​

Jessy - From the pictures and videos I found, I see dogs can pull some weight. My concern is the weight you are talking about is too much. When you say camper for you and your 2 dogs, I picture an actual enclosed camping trailer that is large enough to fit both you and your 2 dogs. If you were planning to sleep in a tent you are packing along and setting it up each night and taking it down in the morning, you might be able to pull something off. The size of a trailer large enough to fit you and your dogs is going to weigh a lot. Take a look at the video links above and check out the size of the carts the dogs are pulling. Your initial concern seems to be for the size and the weight of a trailer large enough to fit you and your gear. I'd agree with your concern. I'm not so sure it's worth the effort of building this trailer thinking once you get it built you're likely to discover it's too heavy for your dogs to pull even with you helping on the bike.

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Old 04-29-22, 08:56 PM
  #47  
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I have carted with my dog and have real experience with that. The original poster here, Jessy, you're desperate, but that doesn't change the fact you're also nave and foolish. You can't justify yourself by being on a mission from God. We are justified by Christ's work, not our own and we're called to, "walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." (Eph. 5:15-17) I'm not tearing you down, but advising you to know and do God's will. Find out what the mission from God is and do it, and if you do that, you don't have to justify yourself to anyone.

I'll start with the weight issue because your conjecture suggests a lot of it in survival gear and other useless junk that someone who has no experience traveling light is likely to drag along. It would be good if you started traveling on foot because you will be forced to learn to travel without un-needed weight and avoid the extra ordeal of dealing with a machine and harnesses. You have foreseen how the machine and wheels will make things easier, but you have not foreseen how they will complicate travel and make it harder. Again, it would be good if you learned to travel light first, and then add the burden of the machine which might possibly increase your comfort or your daily distance if nothing goes wrong.

Dogs can pull a lot of weight, and they can pull it fairly fast. I've bike-jored with a dog, ski-jored, sledded, pulled a limber and caisson, pulled a ski-trailer, pulled a roller sled. I have a dog that pulled a 100 pound roller sled with three people on it, probably close to 400 pounds, and he would rip down the road at over 20mph. Even single dogs can pull many hundreds of pounds.

Dogs cannot brake much weight. If their harness has a breeching strap and the cart/sled has brake poles, they can brake some weight, but not much. Their legs are not like horses and they don't have the mass. This means any downhill is very dangerous for a dog in harness with weight. If you lose control, the cart or sled will run them over and it will all be over. It wouldn't take a big hill either, just an average steep driveway would be enough to creme your team. This means if you go anywhere that isn't totally flat for the entire route, you will need to be super vigilant and have control of the brakes both downhill and up. The dogs are pretty much helpless in this aspect. They can pull, they cannot push.

If you're really here for advice and not just to tell us about your fantasy, take some advice to begin traveling as soon as possible, and take as little as possible. Only add things after you're sure you cannot go farther without them. That means your first trip should probably include nothing but water. If you make it to three days of travel, bring dog food and water. You can fast yourself but drink water so you don't get dehydrated and lose better judgment. It doesn't sound like any particular distance matters to you, so just keep adding only what you need for an increasing duration of time. This way, you will learn yourself what is really necessary and what is possible and you will know without anyone telling you.

Dogs cannot take heat. They are crepuscular. From an hour after sunrise to dusk, it will probably be too hot for them to go anywhere. Making them work significantly in the heat is cruel. Don't get me wrong. I know about working dogs and I don't mind working a working dog and working them hard. But working them in the heat will destroy them. They don't sweat like horses and they just don't have any mechanism to deal with heat except to rest and work when it's cooler after and before sunrise. If they get hot, they will need water and lots of it. They can only cool by panting and they need water or saliva to evaporate in their mouth to transfer the heat. If they're dehydrated, they'll overheat fast.

If the dogs are really working, they will need to eat a ton of mostly fat. "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn." (Deuteronomy 25:4). How much you work your dogs will depend a lot on the heat and how much you can feed them. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." For your working animals, vice-versa is true: If they don't eat, they don't work. The less you can feed them, the less you can work them. What counts for dog food is mostly fat and protein, so if the raw food you're feeding is more than half carbs and filler, you can only expect to get half the work out of them. Same thing would go for cheap commercial food. Working dogs eat a lot. A single dog on the Iditarod can eat $150 to $200 in food in 10 to 12 days. Food budgets for a single team are several thousand dollars and that's just for a couple weeks' work. A typical working dog eats about $1000 in food a year where the owner is paying a lower price for buying food in bulk (for dozens of dogs). A person paying full retail would have to pay even more. Going day-to-day makes it hard to buy in bulk whether you're buying raw or not. This could make it extraordinarily hard and costly to feed enough fuel to do significant work.

That's how you get started: one day at a time and don't take any weight that you don't need. Work the dogs only before sunrise and after sunset, longer only if it's below 40 deg. F. See what you learn and adjust your plan accordingly. If you try it, you'll get somewhere. Let us know where and what it looks like. Enjoy the tour. Take care of your partners.
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Old 05-02-22, 11:51 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by JessyMathers View Post
I get what you are saying, but it is illogical in my situation, and highly unnecessary. These dogs are bred for pulling, they are both part Siberian Husky, and Timber Wolves (which is also part of their bloodlines) also have a lot of strength and energy. I'm only 100 pounds, and I've tried pulling my lightest dog (80-85 pounds) with my bike on a wagon (weighs about 50 pounds) and I could not get very far at all. There is no way I could pull them both, even on the lightest bike trailer in the world, let alone also be able to haul all of our survival equipment too. It would be different if I was just taking then for a ride around a neighborhood for fun, but that's not what I'm trying to do here. Also, there are many other people who have done bike tours with their dogs, and many of them let their dog run with them. Sure, those dogs aren't pulling weight, but they are much smaller than my dogs which means then have shorter legs and it's harder for them to put in the miles anyhow; and they also aren't a breed designed for pulling or running (maybe running if it's a hunting or sporting breed of some kind). I don't plan on making very many miles each day, perhaps only 5-8 miles, soon sure we can handle it just fine if I get things setup right.
As the keeper of a Husky/Wolf, I have to ask, why are you hoping there will be no snow? Yes, these dogs are bred for pulling but IN SNOW! With their double coat, pulling heavy weight for long distances will over heat them!

Why are you even considering taking them? If you cannot pull things yourself, please consider another means because this is straight up forcing them to go beyond their physical limitations and considering the rescues that I am involved with, is cruelty and mistreatment.
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Old 05-18-22, 11:58 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by greatbasin View Post
I have carted with my dog and have real experience with that. The original poster here, Jessy, you're desperate, but that doesn't change the fact you're also nave and foolish. You can't justify yourself by being on a mission from God. We are justified by Christ's work, not our own and we're called to, "walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." (Eph. 5:15-17) I'm not tearing you down, but advising you to know and do God's will. Find out what the mission from God is and do it, and if you do that, you don't have to justify yourself to anyone.

I'll start with the weight issue because your conjecture suggests a lot of it in survival gear and other useless junk that someone who has no experience traveling light is likely to drag along. It would be good if you started traveling on foot because you will be forced to learn to travel without un-needed weight and avoid the extra ordeal of dealing with a machine and harnesses. You have foreseen how the machine and wheels will make things easier, but you have not foreseen how they will complicate travel and make it harder. Again, it would be good if you learned to travel light first, and then add the burden of the machine which might possibly increase your comfort or your daily distance if nothing goes wrong.

Dogs can pull a lot of weight, and they can pull it fairly fast. I've bike-jored with a dog, ski-jored, sledded, pulled a limber and caisson, pulled a ski-trailer, pulled a roller sled. I have a dog that pulled a 100 pound roller sled with three people on it, probably close to 400 pounds, and he would rip down the road at over 20mph. Even single dogs can pull many hundreds of pounds.

Dogs cannot brake much weight. If their harness has a breeching strap and the cart/sled has brake poles, they can brake some weight, but not much. Their legs are not like horses and they don't have the mass. This means any downhill is very dangerous for a dog in harness with weight. If you lose control, the cart or sled will run them over and it will all be over. It wouldn't take a big hill either, just an average steep driveway would be enough to creme your team. This means if you go anywhere that isn't totally flat for the entire route, you will need to be super vigilant and have control of the brakes both downhill and up. The dogs are pretty much helpless in this aspect. They can pull, they cannot push.

If you're really here for advice and not just to tell us about your fantasy, take some advice to begin traveling as soon as possible, and take as little as possible. Only add things after you're sure you cannot go farther without them. That means your first trip should probably include nothing but water. If you make it to three days of travel, bring dog food and water. You can fast yourself but drink water so you don't get dehydrated and lose better judgment. It doesn't sound like any particular distance matters to you, so just keep adding only what you need for an increasing duration of time. This way, you will learn yourself what is really necessary and what is possible and you will know without anyone telling you.

Dogs cannot take heat. They are crepuscular. From an hour after sunrise to dusk, it will probably be too hot for them to go anywhere. Making them work significantly in the heat is cruel. Don't get me wrong. I know about working dogs and I don't mind working a working dog and working them hard. But working them in the heat will destroy them. They don't sweat like horses and they just don't have any mechanism to deal with heat except to rest and work when it's cooler after and before sunrise. If they get hot, they will need water and lots of it. They can only cool by panting and they need water or saliva to evaporate in their mouth to transfer the heat. If they're dehydrated, they'll overheat fast.

If the dogs are really working, they will need to eat a ton of mostly fat. "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn." (Deuteronomy 25:4). How much you work your dogs will depend a lot on the heat and how much you can feed them. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." For your working animals, vice-versa is true: If they don't eat, they don't work. The less you can feed them, the less you can work them. What counts for dog food is mostly fat and protein, so if the raw food you're feeding is more than half carbs and filler, you can only expect to get half the work out of them. Same thing would go for cheap commercial food. Working dogs eat a lot. A single dog on the Iditarod can eat $150 to $200 in food in 10 to 12 days. Food budgets for a single team are several thousand dollars and that's just for a couple weeks' work. A typical working dog eats about $1000 in food a year where the owner is paying a lower price for buying food in bulk (for dozens of dogs). A person paying full retail would have to pay even more. Going day-to-day makes it hard to buy in bulk whether you're buying raw or not. This could make it extraordinarily hard and costly to feed enough fuel to do significant work.

That's how you get started: one day at a time and don't take any weight that you don't need. Work the dogs only before sunrise and after sunset, longer only if it's below 40 deg. F. See what you learn and adjust your plan accordingly. If you try it, you'll get somewhere. Let us know where and what it looks like. Enjoy the tour. Take care of your partners.


Firstly, you don't know me or my experience or wisdom. So to call me naive and foolish is rude. I shouldn't have to give my entire life story just to try to get some advice and maybe someone to talk to who's done something like this before. I do plan on using the dogs only in the early hours before sunset. Also, just fyi dogs do sweat through their pads of their feet and a little on the insides of their ears, not just through their mouths when they pant. They eat a fully raw meat diet with an occasional veggie ect meal. I am fully aware of what dogs are capable of and also that they will require much more food and water on the road than they are consuming currently. I've studied wolves and canines nearly my entire life, owned dogs since I was about 7 years old, grew up with dogs, went to school for Animal Management and also took Zoology for 2 years, got 10th place for Animal Health at Skill Competition in Ohio in 2007 (against cheating teams), and worked at a wolfdog sanctuary for 7 months. I've owned my current wolfdog for their whole lives - 6 1/2 years. And I already did a test run, or walk rather as you mentioned, and because I was towing probably around 200 pounds on a ****** wagon with tiny wheels, and doing all the work myself with my body not prepared for such a task and with the health issues, and also with my dogs yanking on me the entire time it devastated my body, quickly. Perhaps if I had a lighter wagon with larger wheels, and maybe a way to allow the dogs to help me pull it walking would work; but I have high arched feet, a bad back, heart is indeed on by my ribs because of a chest deformity, ect you get the point that walking is brutal on my body. This is why I think the bike is our best choice, because I cannot keep up with my dogs' pace, they're much healthier and stronger than I am, and God gave them to me for this purpose because I need their help. I know the Bible pretty well too, thanks though. God is calling me out to do this, and has been for over a year, and it's my own fault why I'm delaying this. I'm trying to make sure I'm as prepared as possible, that's one reason it's taking me so long. So I am not a fool or naive, I'm trying my best to do this as smart as possible and keep us all safe and healthy. But you're acting as if you know what God wants of me, but you don't. I said from the start this is something God wants me to do, so should I now rebuke His plan and say it is impossible and foolish? I know the bike and camper with 2 dogs will be difficult travel, but with God all things are possible. In this day and age, regardless of the roads that are now built ect, I have no other option. I wish there were sidewalks everywhere, but there aren't. I'll just have to try my best and trust in God for the rest. The camper will not be very large. It will be roughly 5' long and 3' wide, and it pops out when in use so it will fit all of us inside. I have no idea yet how heavy it will be because my dad and I are still working on it, but our guess is empty it will be about 80-100 pounds, which yes, is heavier than I wanted. But with the larger wheels than the wagon I currently have, and only 2 wheels instead of 4, it should roll much easier. And of course I'm trying to keep our supplies to a minimum weight, but with changing weather and me being used to using natural remedies for health issues and benefits, the weight builds up quickly. I'm trying to figure out what I have to have and what can go, and I've been doing that for many months, and I'm at a point where I'm worried I still have too much weight and there isn't much else I can get rid of. Like I said, this is a mission I believe I'll be on for the rest of my life, so I'd like to have everything good for long term right out the gate, since I'm in a situation right now where it's fairly easy for me to buy things and do something like that. I'd just do a test run right now if I could, but the camper is not ready enough yet. Carrying enough water alone get heavy. But I trust that God will provide us with food and water along the way when we need it. Also, as for the braking system, I understand the danger o downhills and I don't like it. I'm not sure exactly what to do about them yet, and I might just have to trial and error when the time comes. If the dogs stop pulling on downhills, I will have my bike brakes, and my dad plans on installing automatic brakes into the camper as well. Thanks for the advice, and I'll try to make updates of any test runs and eventually the actual tour if I can. God bless! ✝️🙏💗
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Old 05-19-22, 12:12 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
As the keeper of a Husky/Wolf, I have to ask, why are you hoping there will be no snow? Yes, these dogs are bred for pulling but IN SNOW! With their double coat, pulling heavy weight for long distances will over heat them!

Why are you even considering taking them? If you cannot pull things yourself, please consider another means because this is straight up forcing them to go beyond their physical limitations and considering the rescues that I am involved with, is cruelty and mistreatment.

Think whatever you want, I've also studied and worked with dogs and wolfdogs throughout most of my life. I know the risks involved, but God gave me the authority above animals to use them as I need, as long as I care for them as best I can, just as He also uses us for His will and cares for us. God gave me these dogs for this reason.

Also, I live in southern Alabama, there isn't any snow here, and I plan on avoiding the north during the cold seasons because it's too risk for me as a human to try to survive in, and also using a bike and pulling a camper on wheels through snow and one ice would just be totally foolish.

Also, to say these dogs were bred for pulling but only in the snow is as if you don't realize wolves are closely related to huskies and run and tackle down big game at roughly 40 mph through deep snow or in the summer heat, either way you look at it the wolves are working their bodies extensively to do it and will overheat sometimes if they aren't careful. This is no different really, except we will go slow with minimum weight, in the coolest hours of the day, and have plenty of food and water as much as we can carry and obtain, and can take breaks to rest.

Also, I never said I can't pull the camper myself. What I said in my post title is "Has anyone ever used dogs to HELP pull?" The whole purpose for me having a bicycle is so we can pull the camper as a team together. I can't keep up with their pace if I just walk, and I also can't do all the pulling myself and I shouldn't have to when the dogs are stronger and healthier than I am, and so far I haven't found a way that they can help me pull while walking. Plus walking is super hard on my body, one reason is cuz I have high arched in my feet.

Lastly, I'm taking them because I have to, but also because God gave them to me for this more than for any other reason really. These dogs are pack animals and would get severe separation anxiety if I gave them to someone else. That's already happened before when I got carjacked in Detroit a few years ago and I was hospitalized, and they were taken to an animal shelter for 3 days. My one husky barely survived, because he never ate anything there and was skin and bones when I got him back. My other one was chewing on fencing and God only knows what else. I am planning to do this bike tour for the rest of my life unless God tells me otherwise at some point, which really shouldn't be more than roughly 2 more years I'm pretty sure; so the dogs have to come with me, this isn't just some 1-2 week getaway vacation thing for me, this is a mission for God.
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