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Segmenting the MST w/Dog


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Hello all,

I'm looking to start segmenting the MST late this fall with my red heeler, Copper. Training her up for hikes (with booties and potentially a pack) when I get home is my number 1 priority.  Right now the plan is 7 days at around 10 miles a day, but I'm considering bumping it up to around 16 miles a day based on feedback to do 2 segments.  Is this feasible with training or is that too much for a dog?


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Aaron Zagrodnick

Haven't hiked the MST, but from past experience hiking with heelers 10-12 miles a day is usually about right on a multi-day trip. 16 could be doable (I've kept most trips in this range restricted to dayhikes) with training but might be pushing it, it's tough to tell as these dogs will push through nearly anything so I find it's good to play it safe a bit. In my experience, booties aren't really needed as long as you get that training in to toughen up their feet, perhaps situations regarding sharp rocks, thorns, or ice aside.

Training is a great idea though and I'd imagine you'd probably be able to get a better feel for what would work best once you get out there and start working up to those longer mile training hikes. How old is Copper? Never a bad idea to play it safe...you can always finish early!

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I really appreciate the feedback. The trip will be over my post deployment leave so adding days into the hike won't be an issue, I'll watch her train up closely. she's gonna start getting a good baseline of walks soon and once I get home we'll have a month I build her up. She'll be turning a year old on the trail (11NOV) but the vet gave her the okay to start running a few months ago.

really glad to hear about the booties because Copper is super fussy and I don't see those being an easy introduction.


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