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What we’re about

Welcome to The Original Hiking with Dogs. 
Hiking With Dogs is free and open to every dog-lover, but it runs on donations. You are required to read this page from here thru to the Disclaimer. This group is for anyone who wants to be outdoors in the company of friendly dogs Hiking and Camping even if you do not have one. Hikes will be setup in the Eastern part of CT. It's a fun group, like anything it is what You Make Of It. If you do not agree with the disclaimer, please leave the group or you will be stating full agreement. 
*Required - Post a Picture of you and/or your dog. Please put You and Your Hikers Name in Your Description. -Bringing a Leash is required also-
We hike every Sunday at 9:45, if you do not receive an invite in your mail. Check the site. 
Hiking with Dawgs is about the betterment of dawgs. Like Minded People and Dawgs, Socializing, Your Dawg having Friends and Training Your Dawg To Become a Great Off-Leash Afficicondo - whatever that is! Picnics and refreshments from beer to tea to ice cream after some functions. If you Are All About The Miles, you will be thoroughly disappointed, we are not interested in wearing a canine out of its life. Hiking as a group start to finish. About making your dog into something to be proud of, proud of off-leash. Letting puppies be puppies, to a point. Hikes are usually 4 - 6 miles long at 2 1/2 hrs. None of them are flat! Hikes are Hikes and Not - dawg walks and you will live thru your first one to make it to another. 
Anyone who would like to organize a hike/gathering at a favorite location or at a special time is welcome to send us a request. There should be parking for 20, if its a Sunday hike. Less if its another day.
Anybody taking their ‘Hiker’ on a vacation or day trip, etc and wanting to post pictures feel free. Post them to the latest hike!
*Hike Description's: As some guy used to say “HWD - it ain't shopping with dogs". All the hikes have hills, most have stream crossings without - bridges - its CT not VT, but peoples interpretations vary with all the variables. The Hikes have a stated start and stop time, and different trail characteristics. So To Help You, we've got a very vague system that tells you what the ‘Hikers’ (the dawgs) will be doing after the hike, so you can compare and measure it all:) Most hikes are 2-2.5 hrs long. Here is the Vague ‘Hike Description’ in ‘Nappers’....
Half Napper-Full Napper- Definite Sleeper! Respectively - 1/2 the hikers will be napping, all the hikers will be napping and everybody will be sleeping!
*If you have a medical condition and you need a better description - definitely contact any organizer and we will tell you our interpretation. But we are all in agreement that we don't want to scare anybody away by saying a hike is hard. This is CT and all Hikes are all basically the same easy deal just different in length or scenery which is reflected in the time allotted. 
*Operating Principles - please read. We really want to keep this group loose and fun and lightly structured. Most dogs know what to do after there first hike, and that is to stick around Hike/Swim and Carry On as a Friendly Bunch. We ask that you just keep them leashed up in the parking area, keep an eye on your buddy thru out the hike, do not let him/her get too far ahead of the Hike Leader, and its best that people stay behind the Hike Leader. Show your buddy acceptable behavior your first few hikes and he/she will most likely figure it all out quickly. We hike as a group from start to stop so people in the front keep it slow, people in the back please keep up! Get your dogs attention every time he/she comes back looking for you, or you may have to go looking for your buddy. Keep your dawgs 30 feet at most in front of you hiking day 1 thru day 6 and under control, because we Hike on day 7! 
Camping: You usually have to Hike with us to get an invite. Maybe we notice your a camper when you join and add you to the ‘invite list’... Campgrounds/Trails are hard to locate - sorry not everyone gets an invite but all are welcome to go... we just don’t blab our stuff on the internet. 
Cape Cod: HWD is the kinda group to put on a Cape Cod bumper sticker and then run in the opposite direction. If you get a crazy invite, pay deeper attention. 
Donations: HWD is free. But the web site is not free and to put on functions is not free either. All members are asked to make a yearly suggested donation of $20 per household, organizers included, to keep the group running. This will cover the expense of the site, plus money for chips dips and bones, no alcohol (byob) at a few small picnics. After operating expenses ALL remaining monies when accumulated do get donated. HWD is not for profit.
HWD's Donated on 6/27/17 $500 to Our Companions Animal Rescue. 1/26/19 $682 to Scout Troop 44 Beaver Ledges Bridge. 
***Disclaimer: "Hiking with Dogs" is not for everyone. Please use your discretion. Hills/uneven terrain/dogs on/off leash/trip and slip hazards/snakes/broken glass etc. Orgr's and attendees are not trained in any way, though we may carry bandages and some things to help with problems. Meetup regards us all solely as a number, we cannot vet anyone. HWD's has no control over who attends, may not even know persons real names, has dogs from puppies to old timers as hazards. Guests Are More Than Welcome to Attend - but it is the responsibility of the member who brings them to inform guests of this disclaimer before attending! By being a member you agree to this disclaimer and to have your guests read, that "all injuries to them, you, your dog are all accidental and the injured's responsibility and applies to all functions. All of the above is just the nature of a person and pet Meetup, which exists for the betterment of our canine friends. This disclaimer works to protect us all, Participate at your own risk. 
*Tuning Your Own Dawg:
There are basically ‘no’ bad dawgs, just ‘faulty owners’ is usually how it works. Figure out what you own - and what his/her needs are, buy a book and learn how your buddy is programed - and physically work with him/her.
It is 100% wrong to establish the preferred positive canine training - without first establishing NO! using Negative Dawg Training. Every puppy/dawg personality is very different in many varied degrees... You ‘may need’ to loudly/harshly instill NO! There is no harm chasing your beloved dawg around swinging a noisy scary newspaper and screaming No! in the air. Do not think that you are an idiot. Earn the respect your dawg craves, hold up the chow line for an hour as you outwardly fume.... Then start with the Good Puppy happy praise and treats when you get what you want. Canines thrive for Love, Guidance and Boundaries. 
-Canines understand - Voice Tone first, understand Words/meanings second- 
Guidance: Never assume that your new buddy speaks English. Show him exactly what you want - go take a leak with him, feather lite touch petting - saying ‘Go Gentle’, use a 30feet clothesline as a leash and call him back when they reach the end if it, Showing is the key to a quick understanding and it sure cuts out the guesswork. If you need ideas for training, please ask. 
Boundaries: Enforce boundaries and use the words NO! Bad Dawg! In a negative tone. Using the ‘canine submissive position’ helps very quickly to get ‘themguys’ to understand. 
Be Aware of what you are training out of - or into your friend and if that is what you want or really need. Happy fun loving Dawgs who respect their Boundaries is the goal. 
Love: Nothing Like Showing Your Buddy a good time and all that he/she means to you - After You Establish NO! Dawgnabit!!! I said No!
What Dawgs Do 6 Days a Week, they will repeat on the 7th. We Hike on the Seventh!!!
Arthritis Awareness: It is much better to work to prevent this horrible disease, than to deal with it solely if it arrives. ‘Think Joint Care, Everyday, In Every Way’ - from the day that you bring your puppy home.
An overworked joint that is inflamed gives the disease a foothold, because using an inflamed (swollen) joint is very damaging. But you can not tell its inflamed, until your dog tells you, After the Hike.
Hiking Dawgs are athletes. Feed your athlete well. Real - healthy - food is a good extra in the bowl. Some dogs actually like vegetables. They all like meat. I like to add the "anti-inflammatory foods" to their bowl. See Google for a list
10% less food and treats, keeps the joints - work load down.
Glucosamine/Chondroitin, Fish Oil, Less Weight, Low Impact and Being Active equals good joint health.
Help a healthy dog out of the car. (That is a very impacting thing to do!!!)
A coated aspirin with food, used as an anti-inflammatory before hiking really works. Though some vets may have reservations do to stomach problems and need to sell their pricier drugs. I give my 90# buddy 325mg Ecotrin brand aspirin. Ask your vet and/or research the mg dosage for your pup yourself. My previous dog took one for nearly 8 years as he got this dreaded plague at 4 years old. He lived to be an active 12-1/4 under vet care. Jones did and Grizz does takes an aspirin as prevention on game days. If he were to get arthritis, he would receive what ever works to help him at that point in time. 
Stay limber and active and Off the Concrete. (All hard surfaces are no good.)
Take care of your buddy, especially the ones prone to arthritis. (if your dog can't hike-you probably won't.)
Dog Chiropractor: Ask the Orgr's.
Canine Massage: No one recommended at this time
Good Reading: The Whole Dog Journal, This article on big pet medicine 
The Monks of New Skete book titled ‘How To Be Your Dawgs Best friend’
Learning what your dawg ‘is’ and getting a book on how he/she thinks. 
Advice for the Trail: Things to look out for:
* Dogs run ahead to the front and then come back looking for their master.- Always acknowledge your hiker when they come back looking for you or they will get nervous and really go looking for their master! - NEVER ASSUME THAT HE/SHE SAW YOU!  Pet them on their head. That seals the deal. Or your dog will go hiking the trail in reverse and both you and them will be upset, including the host!!! lol :)
*Anybody New To The Area: Take The Ticks and Lyme Disease Seriously.
* Ticks, Lyme Disease etc.  Get your dog vaccinated for Lyme Disease, use advantix ,a Sorento Collar, or something similar. Lightly use a spray in the spring/fall. Spring and fall are the worst times. Check your self and your dog a couple times. A little Tick will mess up your life big time. Frontline is Not Recommended.
*Snakes: If you think that your dog has been bitten by a poisonous snake, stay calm and try to get a picture of the snake, that snake picture is very important, it determines if thousands of dollars of anti-venom is actually needed and what kind. The Rocky Hill Vet Has Emergency Hrs and have stated they can get snake anti-venom. Help your dog back to the car. You do have time to get back to your car and drive fast. Call 860 563 1027 wait for the answering service to switch you to the hospital. We have only come across two 8" long copperheads But a bite by one of them is enough to do you or your dog in! And it may only feel like a bee sting. Think if you see a possible injury...What could of just happened? Copperheads and Timber Rattlers are in our area, Black snakes too but they supposedly eat the poisonous ones....
* Bees in summer. Especially ground dwelling bees.
* Hurt or cut paws from sharp rocks, ice and terrain - broken glass too.  
* Keep your dog off the ‘thin’ ice in winter.
Paw Awareness: 
Canine Pads should be very tough but pliable. They walk on everything in all weather. Most pads don't need much work, but you should check them from time to time, especially in the winter when they tend to dry out. If your Hikers paws feel like 40 grit sand paper, rock hard and dry...that's not ideal, they may be getting ready to split and put him out of commission for a bit. Try rubbing in some Bag Balm or similar. I use Vaseline, its cheap, easy, does the job and helps your hands, putting it on his. Don't over do it, soft paws are just as bad. Vaseline Is Also Good Protection Against Road Salt and Ice Build Up Between The Toes.

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