Camping and hiking is one of our favorite past times with our dogs! We have taken the dogs to many locations, but always go back to Drummond Island. We have property up there and spend as much time as possible enjoying the simple life, with dogs and tents. The dogs and I will travel miles together, in the woods, beach or rocks they are my shadows. I trust my safety to them, since I have had more than my share of “mishaps” while hiking and can honestly say these dogs are special. As we hike they tend to stay close and circle me, I rarely have to use any leashes. I find that naturally mastiffs prefer to stay close when well exercised and will wait if I am not keeping up. Most pick up hand signals quickly and I tend to use “this way” every time I decide to turn down another path.
I feel that hiking with dogs is a primal experience that brings me closer to my animals. It is natural for dogs to travel distances and this not only brings us together, but the dogs as a pack. Typically I will not leash them and allow them to create (for lack of a better term) a bubble around me. The pack keeps within eye sight at all times and will flush out birds and animals during our walk, but always look to me previous to giving chase. I have yet to have a dog that did not like the water and most swim very well.
I use the lakes to cool off the dogs and also to give them another form of exercise. Sand is a great way to condition your dog without as much impact on the joints. Dogs love a change of venue and when your dog is active during the day, they tend to sleep at night. Added Bonus!