No announcement yet.

Hiking with Dogs in the High Peaks - Dog Rescue on Giant Mountain

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Hiking with Dogs in the High Peaks - Dog Rescue on Giant Mountain

    Town of Keene
    Essex County
    Pet Distress Reminder:
    On June 21 at 2:45 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker advising that they were coming down Giant Mountain when their 75-pound Golden Retriever collapsed about one mile from Chapel Pond parking lot. The hiking party had started their trip at approximately 7 a.m. up the Ridge Trail and neglected to bring enough water for their dog. About halfway up the trail, the dog began to struggle and the group turned around to head back down. The dog collapsed from heat exhaustion just above the junction for the Ridge Trail and Giants Nubble. An Assistant Forest Ranger working in the area was notified and quickly found the distressed dog. The dog was carried to the Washbowl waterhole and placed in the water. After cooling the dog and giving it time to rest and rehydrate, the dog was able to make it back down the trail without further assistance.

    Every summer DEC’s Forest Rangers receive calls for dogs in distress on hot summer days. Pet owners sometimes overestimate their pet’s physically fitness and capacity to walk on scalding hot rocks. DEC warns pet owners to avoid bringing dogs hiking with them in the summer. Dogs are at risk of heat exhaustion and death. If a dog collapses from exhaustion, owners are advised to get the animal to a shaded area as quickly as possible and cool their feet, which is the most effective way to help an overheated dog.

    I copied this here not for a session in shaming these people but because when you search on the internet this site often comes up. That could possibly provide people with some good information ahead of time. Maybe some of the members of our forum could provide some positive tips for hiking with dogs.

    I see many happy dogs out there. When I hiked Giant there were two people with a Pug on top. I thought they carried the dog but he hiked it on his own. So much for a lap dog!
    Leave No Trace!

  • #2
    It's getting ridiculous with irresponsible and selfish dog owners pushing their dogs past their limits. A St. Bernard died on Giant last year or the year before and one was just rescued there by a ranger this past week! :(


    • #3
      I climbed Giant + RPR that day. It was pretty hot, full sun, no breeze, and lots of black flies.

      I passed this fellow and his dog as I descended. They were above and on the climb above where the 'Over Bump path' rejoins on the climb. The chocolate color dog was laying down at that moment. I said hope you have enough water and the reply was they ran out. So, I gave the owner water and offered what I had left (which was <1/2 liter because I was drinking a lot too) but he only took enough for the water bowl. I don't think the dog drank much, but that was from overhearing the owner speak since I was on my way.

      They caught up to me in the slab area below the old (see below) Over Bump junction and I let them pass. But when they got to the first little tree that gave shade, the dog immediately stopped and layed down in the shade.

      The owner had said the hope was to make it to the drainage at the jct. to the Nubble. There was a little flow of water there and shaded. While descending I took note of how far they had to descend. And that I didn't get into shade until reaching the switchbacks. Even a (short) connector through the trees between to the two long slab walks seemed to have full sun.


      Incidentally The Over Bump Around Bump sign is gone and the Over Bump brushed in. Not sure when that happened. But from that parallel path at the where you climb back down to the trail from the Bump. That has gotten too beat up by hikers downclimbing and taking down small trees trying to safely downclimb on the ice that builds up there in winter.


      • #4
        Its a shame that many people don't know their own limits or the signs that they are beginning to approach them. Worse still is folks who don't know the limits of their pets and push them beyond what is reasonable. Every breed is different and has differing abilities. Some are good at herding, some at tracking, some at pulling sleds and carts, some are wonderful hunting assistants, but many are simply companion animals that are not well suited to the above mentioned activities.

        I have Malamutes. They are big, smart, and love being outdoors. Ya know what they really dont like? Hot weather. Don't like it at all and will dig pits in the ground to lay in for protection from the heat. So if you ever see anyone's sled dogs laying on their backs in a pit they dug, you can bet its a 90 degree or so day and they'd really prefer to be elsewhere.

        I've met some 46er dogs. A couple from back when the club would still recognize dog finishers, and a couple who have done it since. At least 2 forum members have canine finishers. I've hiked with one of those dogs. Phelps and Tabletop in winter. What a good little hiker!

        The long and short of it is this folks. Know your limits. Know your dogs limits. Don't exceed them. The rest of the family is going to be a bit nonplussed when you kill the family labradoodle in the woods. Probably something best avoided for the sake of all. If you are looking for a canine hiking companion, there is plenty of information relating to which breeds are best suited for such activities and what conditions should be avoided. Talk to a breeder (or ten) and be sure that your choice is the right one if this is your goal. That black Lab you like might be a terrific water dog or bird retriever, but might not like long hikes on a regular basis at all and would much rather ride in the truck to the pond for duck hunting. I even have a lazy Malamute (although he's 9 now) who prefers his couch time to pulling sleds or carts these days. He doesn't hike anymore. He's "retired".

        Be responsible with your pets out there and they will be grateful for it in the end.
        Adopt a natural resource. Give back.


        • #5
          Tho a dog would run more unleashed and that's illegal, I believe many would have a better go of it unleashed rather than leashed. Its difficult being tethered, pulled on, urged up, down, sideways, go here, go there, slow down. Many should be left home. None experience the elation of a summit view.


          • Orono Stewie
            Orono Stewie commented
            Editing a comment
            The Yellow Lab I knew well would lie down and refuse to move if unleashed. He was smarter than I was about his limits and heat was never his thing. And this was in the local conservation area which is mostly flat by Adirondack standards.

          • Commissionpoint
            Commissionpoint commented
            Editing a comment
            Depends on the dog and its training/abilities. Working dogs, like farm horses, wait to be told where to go and what to do. Many wont work outside of their harness.

            Obviously the family pet is a little different.