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Discussion Starter #1
I've been looking into backpacks for Sans.
The only ones that are sold locally are called Outward Hound I believe.
Here's what it look like on some dogs
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/t93x61OSq6A/hqdefault.jpg
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/images/Categoryimages/larger/lg-81107-FS63457C_426-dog.jpg

I tried it, she wore it one time and I put some mail/flyers into either side for her to carry to get a sense of what it would look like, or feel like, full. I didn't like how it fits her at all. Even in those pictures I linked, when the pack is full their elbows will be bumping it with every step. It's too long and set too far forward on their bodies to wear comfortably.

Do any of you have any brands - with links please - that you really like? My only other option is ordering online, but I need to be sure they're a good fit/deal before I do that.
 

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http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MNSL61O/ref=twister_B00N5JKJ4A?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
This is the backpack that I have for Magic. I put a can of pumpkin on each side (because that was what I had, I always have pumpkin LOL). I just wanted something to wear her out a little on her walks. I will say that the MD was a bit large on her, even though based on the measurements it should fit. Otherwise I really like it.
 

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I have an outward hound pack for my fox terrier, a ruffwear approach pack for my borzoi and an ezydog summit pack for my smaller lurcher.
They are all plenty adjustable :)

I think the ezydog one is probably my favourite.
http://store.ezydog.com/summit-backpack/
Gwen wore it when we went camping - she carried spare collars, jumpers for her and Hiccup, tie out cables, poo bags, wipes and some mini pouches of wet food

I believe Julius K9 does saddlebags that attach to their harnesses too
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Yeah that's a different style than what I tried from Outward Hound.
I just find if I were to put something solid in the one I had (frozen water bottle or something) her elbow would be banging against it the entire time.

Ugh, this is going to be impossible. Even on the sites the backpacks fit every dog really differently.
 

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It fits her, she can wear it just fine. I like the way it sits on her and I like where the weight is (on the shoulder vs on the back) but I should have ordered a small because I had to adjust it way down which left a ton of strap hanging and because she is lean the belly strap doesn't fit as well as it could. She is right on the line between sm/md though. I worried the small would be too small. I ran into a similar issue with the ruffwear webmaster, it ran large.
 

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We have the Kurgo Baxter Backpack, I think it's pretty decent but we haven't used it much tbh. Her skin is very sensitive and it does chafe her a little on her stomach sometimes from the straps. I think most dogs would be fine with it but I'm going to maybe wrap fabric around it if I choose to use it for longer outings. It's small enough in the packs to not bump into her elbows and is very adjustable!
 

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I made Sassy's backpack, Max never wore one and Bucky and Ginger each have Ruffwear Approach packs. One thing I dislike about Ruffwear is the neck opening is small if you snug it up to the chest but it sure looks great and fits well. I bought collapsible water bottles to weigh the packs as they are teeny packs, XXS and XS. They fit well over the shoulders, have no idea whether the elbows are hitting or not but the pockets are only sewn to the top. I wish the EZy were small enough but didn't care to get the velcro pockets on the Julius, that just seems ridiculous to me.

The Approach is widely available online, I bought one from sierratradingpost.com and the other from backcountry.com on sale/clearance but if you only see the harnesses all the pack is is a couple of well made pockets attached to the Ruffwear Webmaster harness so if you like the fit of a webmaster then the pack will fit nicely.

The pack should be forward over the shoulders which means the pocket needs to be less deep at the front. Outward Hound does it the other way around which is wrong.
morninghike5.jpg
 

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I have the Ruffwear Approach pack as well and love it. Duke's chest and shoulders make it difficult to find something that fits, so I was thrilled to find something that worked for him. I do agree with Kathyy about the small neck opening. Other than that I really have no complaints. I find that the backpack hardly shifts around at all, even on long walks.

I've also found that the backpack has the added benefit of subduing Duke's reactivity which made the high price completely worth it to me.

Here he is wearing it for the first time, though it was not correctly fitted it yet and has since been adjusted to sit over his shoulders.
 

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I love seeing these cute pics of dogs with their backpacks :)

Wondering about the why of using a backpack for/with a dog? Is it to give them a sense of having a job, or to burn some extra energy while out and about?
 

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I have a Kelty for mine; they don't make it anymore. I think it is good enough... Maybe it's just Sor's build but I've had problems with the padding flipping inward and the bags tilting if they are even slightly weighted differently (which maybe is a backpack thing in general?). But my dog has zero issue with it and has never gotten rashes or irritation. We've been on 4ish day backpacking trips with it and I've never conditioned him to carry 15% of his weight, even in his prime years. Most he's carried was maybe 7-8% over a backpacking trip without conditioning and he frolicked through those mountains.

I think it is a great way for a dog to burn extra energy and build strength. It's also nice for him to carry his own food... and some of mine :)
 

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Julius K9 has some really nice ones. What I like about them that there is lots of support for the bags. Like the harness its self is padded.
 

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Tussah also uses a Ruffwear Approach pack. Since others have linked it, I'm going to be lazy and not look it up. But I will say I have been really happy with it, and it hasn't caused any problems for her so far. If I was going to change one thing about it, I'd open up the area above the shoulders a little bit and change the angle of the shoulder straps just slightly - the chest piece tends to ride a little high on Tuss. But as I said, it hasn't caused any problems with rubbing or caused her any discomfort, and once her shoulders build a little more muscle, it might fit better. The pockets are also a perfect size for her. I think she could safely and comfortably (after working up to and acclimating to the weight) carry about 10 lbs. Conveniently, if I stuff her pack with everything she would need for a weekend backpacking trip in pleasant weather, it weighs about 9 lbs.

That's 9 lbs that I don't have to carry, eventually. Currently she is happy to carry about half that weight - some of her food, her dishes, and a toy or two. I carry the tie-out, the remainder of the food, and her bedroll. Doesn't even slow her down.
 

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Sassy carried up to 20% of her weight for backpacking trips, her food, water and sleeping mat in, mat, water and trash out. She also would carry purchases home. Her favorite burden was rabbit pellets, I used them as treats for being a good packdog.

For Ginger and Max mostly for cute. They are small dogs and the total weight they can carry is all of 2 pounds or so and the pack itself is already 10 ounces. They carry my keys, phone, poop bags and water in collapsible water bottles that could come in handy I guess. I carry the dog treats. At the moment I am not hiking far enough to need to carry water, the water is to balance the packs.
 

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Honestly, I don't have too many uses for Bennie's. I've used it to burn off some extra energy when I couldn't exercise much, and I've also used it so I can wear shorts without pockets when we're jogging. I have her carry water bottles, poop bags, my phone, keys, treats, her long line.

 

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I wish I could get nug to wear one for all the crap I tote on hikes. He just ends up immediately swimming and soaking everything in it :/
Zip lock bags are your best friends.
Both of mine love swimming and I'm going to start Vitae on carrying things in about 6 months.


Manna when hiking carries all her own food and water as well as her first aid kit, long line, collapsible bowls and poop bags. (we use the honest kitchen or K9 Naturals for food to help lighten the load)

Around town she carries; my meds, extra leash and collar, both our water, poop bags, my wallet and cell with instructions for medics should I go down...and the odd/end other things.

Helps tire her out and gives her a job
 

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I wish I could get nug to wear one for all the crap I tote on hikes. He just ends up immediately swimming and soaking everything in it :/
They also make waterproof packs, or you can buy smaller sized dry bags. :)

I'm so happy this thread popped up! I'll be looking into packs for Quill once he's matured and can carry stuff, for all our backpacking adventures next summer! Some useful information here.
 
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