Author Topic: Should/could I take my dog on the Great Divide Route?  (Read 6756 times)

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Offline ghh@me.com

Should/could I take my dog on the Great Divide Route?
« on: October 26, 2017, 01:43:50 pm »
I have a dog that could easily run the 50-75 miles Im planning on riding a day for the Great Divide route. 

Two questions:

Could I? 


Should I?


Im thinking that the wilderness parts would be fine.  The dog is well trained and obedient.

 Off the top of my head the following issues come to mind
 - traffic in towns that are on the route
- are dogs allowed in the National Parks along the route?

(Any advice from people who have done it would be greatly appreciated.)

Thanks

Greg


Offline jamawani

Re: Should/could I take my dog on the Great Divide Route?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2017, 03:15:42 pm »
No.

First, mountain bikes are not permitted in wilderness areas.
So, it appears that you are not aware of wilderness areas or regulations.

Second, although dogs are not prohibited in wilderness areas, they can be problematic.
Spooking horses, chasing wildlife that have a very short summer feeding season.
And they can attract bears, wolves, and mountain lions who see them as dinner.

http://missoulian.com/news/local/mountain-lion-reportedly-kills-dog-in-grant-creek-area-fwp/article_add3439c-bce7-5f46-943d-0f7b375c9015.html

Third, most national parks and wildlife areas have strict leash requirements.
You may be ticketed and removed from the premises if riding with an unleashed dog.
Some wildlife areas ban dogs altogether except for service animals.

Fourth, ranchers shoot dogs that chase their livestock. No questions asked.
Dogs that separate calves from cows and chase livestock are seen as pests.
The law is on the ranchers' side.

I've lived, hiked, biked Wyoming & Montana for 30 years.

Most dogs can't run 50 to 75 miles per day. 25 is the experience of one couple with their dogs.
If you did bring your dog, you would need a dog trailer for the downhills and the flats.
I've ridden the backcountry with folks who have dogs. Cut your mileage 25%.

Just leave Fido with Aunt Sarah.

PS - 75 miles is really pushing it on the GDMBR even without a dog.

Offline ghh@me.com

Re: Should/could I take my dog on the Great Divide Route?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2017, 05:50:19 pm »
No.

First, mountain bikes are not permitted in wilderness areas.
So, it appears that you are not aware of wilderness areas or regulations.


----------------------------Not sure I understand this response - Im planning on riding the Great Divide Route which I assume has been ridden many times

Second, although dogs are not prohibited in wilderness areas, they can be problematic.
Spooking horses, chasing wildlife that have a very short summer feeding season.
And they can attract bears, wolves, and mountain lions who see them as dinner.

http://missoulian.com/news/local/mountain-lion-reportedly-kills-dog-in-grant-creek-area-fwp/article_add3439c-bce7-5f46-943d-0f7b375c9015.html


---------------------------This point makes perfect sense.

Third, most national parks and wildlife areas have strict leash requirements.
You may be ticketed and removed from the premises if riding with an unleashed dog.
Some wildlife areas ban dogs altogether except for service animals.


--------------------------As does this point

Fourth, ranchers shoot dogs that chase their livestock. No questions asked.
Dogs that separate calves from cows and chase livestock are seen as pests.
The law is on the ranchers' side.

--------------------------------------I hadnt thought of this at all - which is a great point.


I've lived, hiked, biked Wyoming & Montana for 30 years.

Most dogs can't run 50 to 75 miles per day. 25 is the experience of one couple with their dogs.
If you did bring your dog, you would need a dog trailer for the downhills and the flats.
I've ridden the backcountry with folks who have dogs. Cut your mileage 25%.

------------------------------------She is a Blue Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog).  She has gone (according to the Garmin Alpha 100 that I put around her neck) 104 miles in 8 hours. And still wanted more.

Just leave Fido with Aunt Sarah.

-------------------------------------I probably will - I would hate for her to get killed by a rancher or a bear.

PS - 75 miles is really pushing it on the GDMBR even without a dog.


------------------------------------I know - I like challenges.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Should/could I take my dog on the Great Divide Route?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2017, 06:53:50 am »
Taking her sounds like a bad idea to me, but it might be doable you are willing to make some allowances in your pace.  That may mean less daily mileage than you think.  IME dogs are MUCH slower on the downhills and probably able to go faster on the steeper up hills.  It would seem that would make it a lot harder for both you and your canine friend to manage the kind of miles you are planning.  Given that there will be long climbs and descents that seems like a serious challenge to me.

Also does well trained and obedient mean that she can be trusted to not chase wildlife or cattle?  If not John's points on those issues become super important.

I met a guy on the ST who was living on the road full time with a greyhound mix.  His pooch rode in a trailer on the descents and he said that worked well to even out the difference in their relative paces over varying terrain.

Full disclosure... while I have done a lot of trail running, a little mountain biking, and some backpacking with my dog I have not taken her on any tours.

Your dog may be better suited to longer days, but I found that 20 miles was a long day for mine when she was young and fit and that was at my running pace (I am 66 and was never very fast).  You need to be careful because dogs are often so driven to please that they won't use reasonable restraint.

I have not ridden the GDMBR, but places where I crossed it on my tours I got the impression that it had a good bit of road miles and required riding through towns.

Offline CMajernik

Re: Should/could I take my dog on the Great Divide Route?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2017, 12:01:25 pm »
I understand wanting to take your dog for companionship (I have 2 dogs) but whatever breed your dog is can she continue that sustained pace for days on end? Even if you can do 75 mi./day that's still over a month's worth of riding and what wear and tear would be done to her body and joints, etc. And paws! I think she'd need to wear booties to protect from thorns, sharp rocks, etc. When you think about cattle dogs and border collies (working breeds) they have bouts of high energy but it's not sustained for 8 hours/day. Can she get up and do it day after day after day? And are you prepared to carry her if she gets hurt?

I think it's a good idea to leave her at home.
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline DarrenBnYYC

Re: Should/could I take my dog on the Great Divide Route?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2017, 01:29:46 pm »
Also, are you taking a trailer? If not, do you have a way to carry your dog if it became injured? The route takes you into some very remote areas, which could be a real concern if there were no way to easily pack out an injured pet.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Should/could I take my dog on the Great Divide Route?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2017, 07:58:18 am »

I have not ridden the GDMBR, but places where I crossed it on my tours I got the impression that it had a good bit of road miles and required riding through towns.

I know of one stretch (Wise River, MT to the turnoff for Bannack S.P.) that is well over 40 miles of paved roads/highway. And the climb from Wise River to the summit in the Pioneer Mountains is about 26 miles and mostly up to one degree or another. And yes, the route goes through some larger towns, at least in MT.

Offline ghh@me.com

Re: Should/could I take my dog on the Great Divide Route?
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2017, 11:44:52 am »
Thanks for everyone's input.  It certainly seems like the yay's are outweighed by the nay's. 


Greg



jittery

  • Guest
Re: Should/could I take my dog on the Great Divide Route?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2021, 05:04:59 pm »
If you have an obedient dog, then of course you can. Simply, in protected areas there are many animals which might be scared by dogs barking or playful behavior. I used to think that there are no prohibitions about the dog. When the guards saw that my dog was without a collar and was playing around, they kicked me and my out of the territory. I didn't put a collar on my dog because I knew he wouldn't run away. I was advised to buy a leader head collar, which allows you to control the actions of the dog. You can Go here and read more about this collar. Maybe you should buy the same one?
« Last Edit: March 22, 2021, 12:16:46 pm by jittery »

Offline CMajernik

Re: Should/could I take my dog on the Great Divide Route?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2021, 05:26:10 pm »
Re: Jamawani's response. The GDMBR (at least in the U.S.) does NOT go through any wilderness areas. We specifically designed the route to stay out of wilderness areas, since bicycles are not allowed in any. I'm not sure about the Canadian portion, but we weren't thinking about dogs then.
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline ray b

Re: Should/could I take my dog on the Great Divide Route?
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2021, 06:12:27 pm »
So, I should ask - what prompted resuscitation of this old and dead thread?

I leave an average of 3 dgs at home having found  none even w2mildly interested in trailer travel.

...and if not mentioned, I assume the dog is big wnought to not become mountain lion or coyote bait. And if the dog is that big, is it going to ride in a trailer or cargo bike? Are you a strong enough rider to make it up a .ore than 10% grade with the extra weight?

Travelling on a bike can be tough for dogs who didn't ride with you as a puppy, but there are breeds that seem born to it....

Paw and pad inspections are important.

If not done, discuss tick prevention with your vet.

Consider training to goggles for the downhills.

Training sessions, preparatory rides and camping will tell you if it will work for the two of you.

The big question - are you willing to take 25% to 50% longer to do the trip?

Have fun thinking about it and more fun if you can pull it off.

« Last Edit: March 19, 2021, 06:16:46 pm by ray b »
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline ides1056

Re: Should/could I take my dog on the Great Divide Route?
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2021, 10:57:13 am »
Dogs are Bear magnets.

You will have a terrible time if something goes wrong.

Offline MrBent

Re: Should/could I take my dog on the Great Divide Route?
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2021, 01:28:07 pm »
A number of folks have succeeded on the GDMBR with dogs, but the tour must be tailored around the dog's realities.  You MUST have a way to carry the dog in order to make miles.  A good, solid border collie/cattle dog/etc. should only be run about ten miles or so--and that after much training and practice.  Always you must consider the pooche's abilities and disposition.  The two main methods of carrying the dog are with a trailer (Burley Coho seems to be the best option at present) and in a crate on the back of the bike.  This seems to be best handled with a bike like the Surly Black Barrow--extra long wheel base and a beefy rack.  Big dogs, I think, would be a no-go.  We are thinking of doing the Divide with our hound--30 lbs, ultra high energy cattle dog.  Expect daily mileage to be moderate--we figure in the 30's to low 40's most days.  That means hauling the dog for 20 or 30 miles.  Burley Coho plus our hound means 50 extra pounds--BEFORE camping gear, food, water, etc.  On climbs of any significance the hound walks/trots/runs.  Most downhills and flats, he's in the trailer.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Should/could I take my dog on the Great Divide Route?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2021, 02:09:08 pm »
It looks like this thread was reactivated by a troll trying to push a product. Take a look at the date of the last response before you get sucked in. I have been sucked in myself and try to remember to check the date of the last relevant post now.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline MrBent

Re: Should/could I take my dog on the Great Divide Route?
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2021, 03:05:24 pm »
Yeah, I think you're right.  Sales troll.  Worthy discussion, however. 

Carry on.