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Dog hiking refers to a form of hiking in which dogs travel alongside their owners. It is most commonly done by dogs' owners when they go hiking to enjoy the companionship of their pet, to avoid having to leave their pet home, for added safety, and also to help provide some extra haulage capacity.
Like dog walking, dog hiking can also refer to a service offered by a dog-care company. The service is provided to urban dog-dwellers whose owners send them on day-long excursions to the countryside with an experienced dog hiker.
Several companies manufacture packs (often similar in appearance to mule or donkey side bags) in various sizes, so that the dogs may carry their own food and/or bowls. If the dog is employed to carry food or supplies belonging to the human hikers, it is referred to as a storage dog, (not to be confused with a guide dog or service dog). Dog backpacking is best done by medium or larger dogs; small dogs simply cannot haul enough in most cases to make dog backpacks worthwhile.
Sometimes, when owners go skiing, they will bring a sled for their dog to pull. However, this tactic only works on relatively level ground that's not too uneven; uneven ground can cause the sled to tip, and steep hills can cause the sled to run over the dog on downhill sections. The sport of racing in a sled pulled by dogs is called sled dog racing.
Inuit dogsleds are much larger; they are usually meant to be hauled by multiple dogs, and can be braked by their owners.
- Wheeler, Jennifer. "No Such Thing as a City Dog", New York, 25 July 2011. Retrieved on 29 April 2012.
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