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kriley_76
Guest Paddler
 
03/13/2019 09:42PM
Hello y'all,

I've been to the BWCA once prior, but I am new to the whole trip planning idea. I have chosen to use Voyageur Canoe as my outfitter. I'll set off for a six day solo trip May 29- June 4th.

My question is pretty simple: do I bring my dog or not? He is very used to the outdoors as he has been my hiking buddy for a few years. He is also a decent swimmer. He has never been in a canoe before though. Does anyone have any advice or tips or this? I am completely on the fence.

K.
 
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Cooldude
Guest Paddler
 
03/13/2019 10:09PM
Do it!
03/14/2019 05:52AM
Will he chase wildlife or bark a lot? Does he travel well in the canoe or get all antsy? If you bring him it could go great or terrible. I would go somewhere on a test paddle and camp somewhere with him first. See how he does when there's a squirrel or deer nearby. I had an Aussie who chased a deer through the woods and I finally found him 15 minutes later. Now I bring my Border Collie and she's literally had 2 squirrels chasing each other go right by her and she just laid there. Yeah, weird dog but she's perfect in the BW.

03/14/2019 06:15AM
Practice with him in a canoe. Unless he's got good voice command skills keep him on a leash while portaging. Some people on the portage may not be dog people. Take him
cyclones30
distinguished member(1606)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/14/2019 06:37AM
Get some canoe practice around home to see how the dog does. Camp in the backyard or somewhere nearby to see if the dog isn't good with sleeping in tents.

We've got a 2 yr old GSP with a ton of energy. She sleeps well in tent but never had her in a canoe. She hates deep water but can swim. Not sure how the canoe would go and not going to think about taking her till we have a lot of practice
Oldtown13
senior member (80)senior membersenior member
 
03/14/2019 07:38AM
I'd echo others and say get him in a canoe before you go and see how he does. The water will be cold that time of year and you don't want the dog causing you to flip. If he's good in the canoe, then I would absolutely take him! I love having my lab with me, however, it took some time before he was calm enough for me to feel safe with him in a canoe.
bobbernumber3
distinguished member(1050)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/14/2019 07:47AM
Nothing like the bark of a dog to ruin my wilderness experience. Or a dog sniffing my butt on a portage. I don't think many dog owners have control of their animals at home or at BW/Q. My vote is to leave the dog at home.
tumblehome
distinguished member(1435)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/14/2019 08:26AM
And sadly -every year- we get to read stories about dogs that ran off (thunder, chasing animals, stupidity) and the owner forced to abandon their dog in the wilderness.

And then there is the time I saw a 'lost dog' poster made of birch bark and written with wood carbon at a portage landing.

I am not opposed to dogs in the BWCA provided that the dog and owner understand each other. And that the dog shit isn't left in camp.

Tom
IndyCanoe
member (33)member
 
03/14/2019 08:51AM
Took our dog for the first time last year. She is a 6 year old black lab and is pretty relaxed. She loved the week and did very well in the canoe. That said i will second what others said and know your dog. I would have never considered taking our first lab on a canoe trip. Wonderful dog but he was just not calm or well behaved enough for canoe tripping.

Couple of things that we did that seemed to help.
-We tested her at home in our canoe just to make sure. At 70 lbs she is big enough that when she moves from side to side it is noticeable. It was good for us to know how the canoe felt when she would move around.
-We took a cheap closed cell foam pad cut it half. Used it on the bottom of the canoe for her to lay on and also as a sleeping pad in the tent.
-We picked up one of the Niteize LED dog collar for the evening. She never went far but it was nice peace of mind for us to quickly locate her in the evening.
-We took a normal leash for the portages but i also made a 20 foot long leash out of 1/2 inch Kevlar webbing from Dutchware. We would use if we would take an afternoon nap just to make sure she didn't get curious and wonder too far. it's a little expensive for a leash but rolls up to almost nothing. It's something i always throw in our bag as a tie out when she goes along for any adventure.
bombinbrian
distinguished member (101)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/14/2019 10:51AM
I've taken dogs on 2 trips. I echo a test run before you go. Mine were very good with voice commands, but our Golden liked to move in the canoe once in a while. My heeler hated being in the canoe and just laid still until we reached a portage. I never hung food when I had the dogs and had no problems.
03/14/2019 10:51AM
Interestingly enough my Golden Retriever was a big flight risk at home. Got out once and was found the next county over in a barn. In the BW he stayed in camp the entire time. Great in the canoe btw
ManAndDog
member (19)member
 
03/14/2019 11:47AM
In addition to the advice about testing in a canoe first...

It depends on the dog. I have brought my dog (120 lb, 4 years old, male rottweiler) for the last two years and now I can't imagine going without him. BUT, he would never even consider running away or even leaving my side. If I had to worry about him, or keep him on a leash while we are camp, I probably wouldn't bring him.

For example, my sister has a 4 year old chocolate lab who likes to run around, doesn't mind wondering off, loves chasing squirrels, is not trained off leash etc. I would NOT bring this type of dog because it would add stress the whole time.

My dog also wears his own pack and carries all of his own food on the portages. He adds no extra weight to what we have to carry. He also adds peace of mind at night while sleeping. I know he will wake up at the slightest noise and be ready to scare off any bears or animals that try to intrude in our camp.
bobbernumber3
distinguished member(1050)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/14/2019 11:55AM
tumblehome: "I am not opposed to dogs in the BWCA provided that the dog and owner understand each other. And that the dog shit isn't left in camp. Tom"

You would need to stay at a site with a USFS approved doggie crapper when bringing your dog and pay the extra doggie fee per day.
kriley_76
Guest Paddler
 
03/14/2019 12:12PM
My dog has hiked and camped with me plenty of times. He is actually a completely mute dog. Literally have never heard him bark before. He also has never run after wildlife. When we got on hikes he does not need a leash as he always stays near.
Jaywalker
distinguished member(1741)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/14/2019 01:40PM
I couldn't imagine going without my dog, but he is well trained, quiet, and I pick up his poop. A dog can be a great joy in the BWCA, but if they don't have the right temperament and behavior can be a problem for you and others, and a danger for themselves. A lot of good advice listed above. One more thing I'd toss out there is lightening - how does your dog respond? It can make some dogs miserable in a tent, and has cause some to bolt into the woods.

If you decide to bring your dog along, there's a whole private group forum here that deals canoeing with dogs called Doggie Paddle. Lots of questions you may have have been discussed, and some issues you may not have thought about. Have a look.
jwartman59
distinguished member(3020)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/14/2019 02:04PM
Depends on the dog. Remember that solo canoes feel much more lively than tandem canoes. I have a chihuahua and an eighty five pound lab. I prefer the chihuahua in a canoe. My lab is an excellent camping dog, he gets confused by people with huge packs on or people carrying canoes. He’s a dog and not the brightest bulb. A guy under a canoe on a portage doesn’t look quite right. It’s his job, he thinks, to warn me of this danger. His last trip he barked at cliff Jacobson, he’s done with bwca trips. Still take him on river trips where we don’t see as many people.


Then there is this. This was a dog that I thought was bombproof. Turns out a big smelly moose was too much for his self control, that and the fact he was a wolf mix. I was young and stupid. Never get a wolf mix dog.

Jaywalker
distinguished member(1741)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/14/2019 02:07PM
Just realized you are not a registered member. You will have to register to get into the Dog Forum.
bobbernumber3
distinguished member(1050)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/14/2019 02:27PM
Best BWCA dog... a little heavy on the portage, but you don't have to carry dog food!

Duckman
distinguished member (302)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/14/2019 03:51PM
If you take him, get a life jacket for him that has a handle on it. It will make life easier than you can imagine.
I-Hawk
distinguished member (214)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/15/2019 08:22AM
You mention you have been to the Boundary Waters once before. Solo trips means you have to do everything including carrying dog food. Solo canoes are less stable and flipping in cold water is deadly. I've come through portages with dogs covered in mosquitoes . Looked miserable for the dog. I have wanted to bring one of my dogs for years but just didn't think it was safe for either of us. Traveling in a downpour or rough water is to be considered.
BearMandolin
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
03/15/2019 11:05AM
Good advice above. Having my dog with me just adds to the fun! Bonnie loved her first trip with my brother and me.

3Ball
distinguished member(673)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/15/2019 04:13PM






I love having my dog. In my opinion, it is easier to have a dog on a solo because they have less room to move around. In a tandem, I use a net, or rod case, or spare paddle to restrict her somewhat to the middle center so that she does not rock the canoe.

On portages, I have trained her to lend a hand -- she carries her stuff and pulls on the hills.

A bit of advice: try to keep the dog out of the water for a couple hours before bedtime in the tent.
03/16/2019 10:19AM
Find out how he is in a canoe... if that goes well it sounds like you have a great tripping partner.

Echo is a great tripping partner..... my old dogs Bruno and Jackson would never have gone on a trip with me however... Just like it goes with humans... some dogs are great bwca trippers and some are not.

Echo doesn't bark... even when other dogs are barking at him. doesn't chase wildlife... including the 3 moose that ran by us at a campsite. stays close on portages and around camp.. he doesn't go to other people but I do put him on a leash when they are around on portages because it makes them more comfortable around a dog they don't know.... he only gets in and out of the canoe on command..... and rides well in the canoe. He makes my solo trips and daddy/daughter trips with one of the ducklings more enjoyable.

He gets more excited about the trip than I do.... somehow he knows when I get up in the morning to leave on a bwca trip..... each time he runs around the house a few times and then goes and sits by the door waiting to leave. I don't think he would let me leave without him.

03/17/2019 11:51AM
I have far more issues with loud campers then dogs barking. I’ve actually never really heard anything outrageous out there with that being a problem. My dogs have never had barking issues. I don’t like poop on portages or campsites. But it’s pretty rare to see it. I enjoy seeing dogs being able to get out and experience the outdoors. People have been very respectful with them in my experience. I’ve mentioned before the only bad thing was one night on Ogish a guy all evening long at a campsite around a corner kept saying bad dog so much ol’ Bernice looked at me like we should go rescue that poor thing. Butt sniffing concerns? I had an answer I best not say... haha!
Canoearoo
distinguished member(2142)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/22/2019 11:24AM
bring your dog, but also a leash. Our dog is 12 years old and has been in the BWCA since she was a puppy
Z4K
member (35)member
 
03/22/2019 05:28PM
If you cannot verbally control your dog, please leave it at home. If your dog barks at all sorts of things, please leave it at home. If your dog wants to 'meet' every person crossing a portage trail going the other way, please leave it at home. If your dog is not accustomed to being off of a leash in a non-fenced area, please leave it at home. If your dog will chase animals uncontrollably, please leave it at home. If your dog likes to dig holes, please leave it at home. If your dog is going to detract from another person's wilderness experience in any way, please leave it at home.

I have been bothered by dogs in places like the BWCA. Nobody wants to hear a dog barking from a nearby campsite throughout the night, as many house-dogs are prone to do when introduced to the wilderness or even drive-up campgrounds.

If there are too many reports of dogs bothering other campers in the BWCA it might induce policy changes. As someone that almost always brings my dog, this would make me very upset.
03/22/2019 05:40PM
Depends on the dog.

My Sadie (JRT) is good at hiking, and lays down in the canoe and naps all day. If she does jump out we have a life jacket on which is just more convenient for us because they have handles on their back so its super easy to pick up and put back in the canoe.

My (GSP) pulls too hard on the leash and is a true hunting dog, so we often spend time chasing him down. Not relaxing at all. He's also tall and doesn't like laying down in the canoe, so it feels tippy.

03/22/2019 07:45PM
Here's why my dog doesn't go anywhere in a canoe with me. He's not well trained, sometimes he'll do what I say and sometimes he won't. He doesn't like water over 6 inches deep. He weighs 165 pounds and he's somewhat aggressive. I'm positive he would attack anything up to and including a bear if he saw one. If any of that applies I'd leave him at home.
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2354)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/23/2019 04:34AM
Blatz: "Practice with him in a canoe. Unless he's got good voice command skills keep him on a leash while portaging. Some people on the portage may not be dog people. Take him "
+1
Lightning would be an issue that's a hard call. Heck, humans tremble due to it being too close. Advise to keep him in the tent while you sleep--on dog towel you'll pack. You didn't mention the breed so it might matter in these responses. Treat canine for Flea & Ticks with FRONTLINE for Dogs--at least a week before the trip to allow the meds to travel thru the skin. I hate to see dogs suffer due to mosquitos and ticks. It's not 100% effective in all environments but pert' near.


mjmkjun
distinguished member(2354)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/24/2019 04:11AM
Z4K: "If you cannot verbally control your dog, please leave it at home. If your dog barks at all sorts of things, please leave it at home. If your dog wants to 'meet' every person crossing a portage trail going the other way, please leave it at home. If your dog is not accustomed to being off of a leash in a non-fenced area, please leave it at home. If your dog will chase animals uncontrollably, please leave it at home. If your dog likes to dig holes, please leave it at home. If your dog is going to detract from another person's wilderness experience in any way, please leave it at home.


I have been bothered by dogs in places like the BWCA. Nobody wants to hear a dog barking from a nearby campsite throughout the night, as many house-dogs are prone to do when introduced to the wilderness or even drive-up campgrounds.


If there are too many reports of dogs bothering other campers in the BWCA it might induce policy changes. As someone that almost always brings my dog, this would make me very upset."


We could say this about some people. Just saying........
 
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