Wednesday, October 20

Gone Hiking!

This past weekend, my husband and I took our Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Merlin, and our Old English Sheepdog, Roofus, to Hocking Hills to do some hiking. We've never really taken the dogs hiking before, but we were excited to find a pet-friendly cabin (Good Earth Cabins) and happily spent three days exploring various caves, cliffs, and woods.

I was truly surprised by our corgi. I've always said that they can do anything big dogs can do - but Merlin went above and beyond that. There were plenty of spots where my own short legs had trouble, and as I turned around to tell my husband to grab the corgi by his handle (he wears a backpack like any respectable hiker), there would be a blur of red as Merlin ran past me and on up the trail.

In fact, because Merlin does agility regularly, and Roofus's sport is rally, he was much better suited to all the jumping and strenuous conditions than Roofus. That's not to say Roofus had any trouble - but Roofus was much more tired each day (and is still sleeping soundly, as a matter of fact), than the corgi was. And I would say that Roofus has a higher stamina for exercise than Merlin. That just goes to show how much an active dog sport like agility can condition your dog for activities like hiking. Roofus is no slouch in the exercise department - but being a giant breed dog, I do not do much jumping or climbing with him. However, I believe that some light agility-type of exercise would probably benefit most dogs (always check with your vet first), especially if they do a lot of hiking. The trick is to determine how much is the "right amount," so you don't overdo it, particularly with giant breeds and dwarf breeds.

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