Other Corgi Hikers?!

Discussion in 'Other Activities' started by ZeldaTheCorgi, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. ZeldaTheCorgi

    ZeldaTheCorgi Member

    Hey Everyone,

    Since we moved closer to the Sierra Nevada's we are looking forward to getting out in the backcountry this summer with Zelda. We have done a lot of hiking trips with her, but no backpacking trips. We are starting to plan a 3 day trip into Desolation Wilderness. The terrain is high alpine, which is basically just a lot of granite and boulders. On the hike we will pass about 7 lakes before reaching our destination, Lake of the Woods, a large glacial lake between Pyramid Peak and Lake Tahoe.

    Since the terrain is basically just rock, we will be hammock camping with Zelda and she will sleep with one of us. We also purchased new booties for her due to the rough granite. She has a reflective hiking vest and a harness so we can easily keep track of her and leash her at any time. She loves to swim so we will also be taking her life jacket. We will likely have her off leash the majority of the trip since she is well trained and stays very close (even though we know we are supposed to have her on a leash). We will both have leashes easily accessible and she will be wearing a vest at all times. She hardly ever barks and never chases animals.

    We get a lot of comments even on short hikes about her short legs and ability to keep up. It seems so many people don't understand that corgi's are a working breed! Zelda's adult weight is 24 lbs and she also gets a lot of attention for being so small (erm, normal) but her build is very athletic and she doesn't have extra weight slowing her down. Most hikes are a breeze for her and we have a harder time keeping up with her. The first portion of this hike will be over many large boulders and tough obstacles. Luckily for us, she can jump about 3 feet in the air and is much easier to lift than a lab (we have seen people struggle with that, it's not pretty). On this trip we will be adjusting her food to match her exercise, which will likely be 2-3 times her regular intake. The lakes in this region are very clean, cold, and oxygen poor so we are not worried about her drinking directly from streams and lakes as they are not good conditions for bacteria or parasites to thrive.

    Has anyone else on the forum done much hiking with their corgi? At what point, if ever, did your dog start to tire out? Do you have any tips for us or things you pack for your dog? We will be taking uncoated aspirin, compression bandages, gauze, antibacterial ointment, paw moisturizing cream, ear cleaner, eye wash, nail clippers, sunscreen, and bug spray for her. We have noticed that Zelda will tire out after 6+ miles, but with a short rest she is ready to go again. We will not be using a dog backpack since it is not good for her and she would be more at risk for overheating.

    We are also planning on adding another dog to our family later this year. Does anyone hike with a male corgi? What is the experience like? Preferably, does anyone hike with both a male and female corgi? How do they differ? I know that males can be less energized than females and I am slightly concerned about a male corgi's ability to keep up.

    One of our main concerns for this trip is that this is bear and lion country. With the close proximity to popular campgrounds and Lake Tahoe, I don't think they will spend much of their time in desolation. We will have a gun just in case. Last summer my dad was camping at a lake not too far away and unfortunately he had to shoot a bear when it came into camp 6 times in the span of only a few hours and it started to show aggression toward his dog.

  2. ZeldaTheCorgi

    ZeldaTheCorgi Member

    Some photos of Zelda on other excursions, please share your pics!
  3. Michael Romanos

    Michael Romanos Active Member Staff Member Moderator

    I have been on several overnight hikes in taking my Pem Corgi Taylor along but in NZ there is only the danger of a wild pig (boar) and they are unlikely to be around or to actually attack. The tramps/hikes have been of a four-six hour modest-paced hike each way (to a from the hut/lodge. In May I plan to take my Corgis for a four-hour each way overnight hike on an easy bush/forest and largely shaded track. The pup will be around 10 months of age.

    If you are concerned about wild life, keep your Corgi on a leash. With the pup I am concerned about poison bait which is put down in strategic places to kill imported pests in NZ such as possums, stoats and weasels - but mainly possums as we have millions and millions of the Australian-type here in NZ.

    Male Corgis are more physically stronger than females so that I cannot agree with your saying that females are more energised than are the male. I run a Corgi walking club and it is usually more than one male Corgi ahead of the rest of us. They tend to like to lead and stop or backtrack every so often to check on their owner/s or the bulk of the group.

    Never take an overweight/obese Corgi on a overnight hike. Get them fit and ideally weighted beforehand.

    Off-leash, a Corgi will usually cover much more ground than if kept leashed because so often they run ahead and fall back as a previously alluded to.
  4. ZeldaTheCorgi

    ZeldaTheCorgi Member

    We are concerned about wildlife but mostly just at night. The forest is not as dense in the area we will be traveling, so I would like to think we would easily spot a large predator during the day. There are many bears in these areas although they tend to move toward campgrounds with heavy traffic during the summer months. Zelda will likely not need a leash except for the first portion of the hike where there is heavy foot traffic. After that she will be off leash with a reflective vest so she can easily be spotted/identified as a pet by other hikers if they see her (an easily spotted by us should we look away). She usually doesn't stray more than 20 ft from us, she likes hiking and thinks of it as her "job" and is very serious, lol. She always comes when called and is very disciplined with commands like "leave it" which will be handy should we see something like a skunk. We prefer to have her off leash simply because it makes it easier for us to climb and use our hands freely while allowing her a bit of freedom to adventure.

    While make corgis are physically stronger I have heard that they aren't as driven as the females? The females have stronger herding instinct, are more willing to work, etc. I am not if this is true since I have not owned a male. Zelda behaves like the males you described in your walking group. I have noticed however that Zelda's small frame makes her very agile and almost nothing slows her down on the trail. I have heard that since males are not much taller than the females but are heavier they have a more difficult time on rough terrain. I don't know if any of these things are true and I also am not sure if the people who claim them have overweight dogs, which would be more of a determining factor than sex. I am glad to hear that this may not be the case.

    I actually weighed her today, she is 21 lbs. So my estimate of 24 lbs was quite off. I can't imagine having a much larger dog than a corgi for hiking. How do people fit large dogs in small backpacking tents or hammocks? What do they do if their dog gets injured? They can't carry a 90 lb dog out! That's my biggest concern, that Zelda would injure herself. But I take a lot of comfort in knowing we would easily carry her out.
  5. Michael Romanos

    Michael Romanos Active Member Staff Member Moderator

    My six month old Pem pup weighs 22 ibs right now and he is rangy due to his excellent length and it is likely he will look the part of a show dog at 27-28 pounds. If you take backpacks and be unfortunate for your Corgi to be so injured for he/she needing to be carried, there is the backpack that can easily hold a Corgi. Females are typically more compliant but typically males are quicker and faster and do not flag any sooner in endurance., That males should be a little heavier, means very little as this is a proportionate aspect - but being overweight/obese does in either sex and being undersized and/or underweighted does make a difference with nimbleness.

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