Most people enjoy hiking especially with a dog for company. We enjoyed all the hikes we took in the Mojave high desert when stationed at 29 Palms, Ca. We went through dry river beds and over many large rock formations (some bigger than houses). The dogs (we had a lab / husky mix and a cocker spaniel) just adored to run ahead of us and wait on top of a large rock until we caught up (maybe they thought they were lookouts???). 

This packing section will include packing, backpacking, pulk and travois.


Of course, backpacking refers to the person with a backpack and packing refers to the dog being used as a pack animal. This is great for those long hikes where you want to carry a meal or a tent for overnight. The pet can carry his own food plus some camping gear relieving you of some of the burden making the hike more enjoyable. The weight of the pack is determined by you, but consult with your vet or trainer on how much weight is safe for your dog. Generally a dog can carry 25% of it's body weight all day. Anything more than that should be shorter intervals. Believe it or not, this is not in any way considered animal abuse (unless you give him too much weight and force him to carry it). Mals were bred to pull and carry weight for their human families.


A pulk is basically a small one dog sled designed to carry cargo and used on the snow or grass. We use the small plastic toboggan style child's toy sled. Our dogs have worked in the yard with us pulling a pulk with branches, sod, gravel, dirt, bricks and anything else we need moved. A pulk (from Finnish pulkka) is a Nordic short, low-slung small toboggan used in sport or for transport, pulled by a dog or a skier, or in Lapland pulled by reindeer. The name of the sport is pulka. The sled can be used to carry supplies such as a tent or food, or transport a child or other person. In Norway, pulks are often used by families with small children on skiing trips (small children being pulled by the parents). In Sweden, pulks are often used, mostly by children, as a winter toy for going downhill. Pulks are nowadays made of plastic, which makes them cheap to buy. A larger pulk, designed for transporting larger amounts of goods, is called ahkio in Finnish. This word is also used by the US Army for a human-drawn snow sled.

Of course a travois is a wooden triangular (off center "x") pole drag with a platform or basket fastened to the poles behind the dog to keep the cargo off the ground. With minimal weight on the ground, the drag is reduced allowing the canine to pull more weight than he can normally carry.

A travois (Canadian French, from French travail, a frame for restraining horses; also obsolete travoy or travoise) is a historical frame structure that was used by indigenous peoples, notably the Plains Indians of North America, to drag loads over land. A pulk is used most often in the winter over snow and the travois is used the rest of the year. Neither is limited to those seasons and both are limited to open terrain.

​​​Bluerose Alaskan Malamutes