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This is a post I recently put up on a tree planting forum asking about bringing my dog out. I want to get as much advice as possible so I'm also going to ask here. Any advice from people with experience, or from people who know enough about dogs to give relevant advice even without having done it themselves(of which there are many on this forum) would be greatly appreciated.

Hey,
I'm bringing a dog with me this year for the first time. As a disclaimer, for the people who will talk about how dogs don't belong in camp, etc, and all the troubles, I made a commitment to this dog when I got it last fall, and I'm not going to leave him for 2 months in his first year, I would sooner not go to work. Telling me why I shouldn't bring him is going to be just irrelevant to me. However, if you have had issues with dogs before in your camp which I could be made aware with ahead of time so I can try to be preventative rather than reactive to issues he could potentially have that would be greatly appreciated. Basically, he's going to be a 9 month old German Shepherd/Lab cross, very well trained, very attentive, and good with people. He's been socialized thoroughly with other dogs and people of various ages including small children since he was 3 months old. However, I realize that bringing him to the bush is going to add a fair amount of responsibility for me, and there are always potential problems that could crop up. So, to that end I would like to get as much pre-emptive advice as possible, thus the creation of this thread.
Here are a couple pictures of Winston, he's grown since these but it gives an idea of the kind of dog.


Preparation: What should I do before bringing him out? Obviously properly preparing for fleas/ticks, and a vet visit to check up on health, but what other kinds of things do I need to do even before taking him out? What kinds of things should I buy to have for him around camp/on the block? Any medicine or anything I should be taking out? Things I've thought of are: multiple doses of flea/tick prevention, likely a bear bell, and a reflective collar for safety, plus all his regular needs (food, dishes, a toy or 2). Anything I'm leaving out?

In Camp: I'm going to bring a bunch of biodegradable bags to pick up after him, in case he defecates around the camp site. I figure this will only be an issue at first, as I will be able to train him to go in the woods fairly quickly. He doesn't beg or steal food, or at least never has before, but if he does I will be prepared to discipline him as necessary. I will be driving so I can keep his food sealed in my truck, I'm going to bring enough for 3 months of his normal eating pattern to make sure I don't get low. He doesn't mark territory, so he shouldn't be peeing on equipment, and I have a fairly solid control on him for starting/stopping barking.
One thing though is that when we're in the tent, he will probably feel as though he should guard our "den" and could possibly bark then if people come near the tent, I don't necessarily want to discourage that as it could amount to protection from wildlife, but at the same time I don't want it to get out of control. Does anyone have experience with naturally protective dogs in that situation? If so, what was your response?
I also plan to introduce him to all the planters/staff ASAP, and make it known that if he bothers anyone they can come to me and breach the issue and I will be open to criticism as long as it is reasonably constructive and will attempt to deal with any issues. Our company does have dogs on camp, many of the bosses have them, and there are usually 1 or 2 with planters, so it shouldn't be unfamiliar or unexpected to anyone.
He's a reasonably larger dog, around 65 lbs now but still growing fairly steadily, so I'm going to have to make sure no one is scared of him. Does anyone have experience with having a dog and a dog phobic person or someone who is uncomfortable with them on camp?
I'm also going to get him a reflective collar/vest to help prevent vehicle-related accidents.

In the bus: Our company uses buses rather than trucks to transport planters, and he should fit safely under the seat, also frequently there are empty seats on our buses so there could be room for us to share a bench. Dogs last year generally roamed free in the vehicles, sitting either on or under the seats, but I would certainly be open to any advice regarding his safe/convenient transport to/from the block.

On the block: He will roam free, as he likes to stay close to me. He comes on command 100% of the time, and is trained to hold a stay/down-stay for 10+ minutes, so I don't think discipline will be an issue for keeping him around me, or making sure he is around at pick up time. My main concerns for the block are
Food/Water: Do most people just feed before/after work, or do people bring food to the block? As for water, how much would a ~70 lb dog drink in a work day? I know I have to bring extra, but I want tog et an idea of how much so I can make sure to have enough containers.
Bears: Should I get him a bear bell for on his collar? Bear problems have been infrequent in our area, but I couldn't stand to have him get hurt because I brought him out. The bell would also help me keep track of him by sound, and if he wandered to another persons land prevent him from scaring/startling them.
Being protective of the cache: This isn't something I foresee being an issue, generally even if he does feel the need to guard me/my house, he will bark a bit and sniff anyone whos coming by and then be fine, and I don't really think the cache would seem to him to be enough "our den" that he would feel the need to protect it, but just in case he does, any points from people who had experience with that and helping deal with it would be appreciated.

That is pretty much all I can think of for questions/scenarios I would like advice on, but if anyone has anything they can add which would help I would certainly be glad to hear it. I want to make this experience as good as possible for Winston, myself, and everyone on my camp, and hopefully avoid the problems some people run into in this situation. Thanks in advance everyone!
 

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I don't have any idea what a tree planting camp entails. Can you give more information on what happens in tree planting camp? I've never heard of it myself. I'm so out of touch.
 

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The main thing I would be concerned with is first aid. Young dogs get into stuff. Ask your vet what items he/she recommends for a "wilderness" first aid kit (if you'll be more than 30 minutes from an e-vet, you might as well be 24 hours--in many cases), and a good hand-book on the subject. A "field guide" type book, or have the pages of the ARC Dog 1st Aid Handbook laminated. You could ask the vet to show you how to suture a wound (crazy glue is your friend), how to remove porcupine quills (cut the ends off first), and how to treat snakebite until you can get the dog to a veterinary emergency room. You should consider getting the dog inoculated against snake bite if there will be poisonous snakes where you're going. I don't have experience with a home remedy for skunk spray, but I would research a good one with people who have had dogs doused. The one I would go with is a mixture of Dawn dishwashing liquid, baking soda, and peroxide. I've never had to use it but would have confidence in the chemistry.

I'd talk my vet into prescribing some tranqs as a "just in case" measure. If the dog is snake bit, or has some broken bones, you'll want to keep him quiet. No matter how much your dog loves you, you can't really count on him letting you treat him if he's hurt and scared. The ability to keep him sedated may prevent an emergency from becoming compounded with a defensive dog bite.
 

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I'm not sure how far in the wilderness you will be, but I would suggest having knowledge of the closest vet in case of emergencies even if it's far. At least when you are in an emergency situation - that's not the time to have to be looking for one.
 

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Bring a stack of pre-printed "LOST DOG" posters, or have one formatted on a disk or thumb drive that you can put on an available computer and print out.

I wouldn't include the dog's name or commands he obeys, because you don't want to make it easier to keep him, if found. You might want to include something about him needing regular medication and/or an unspecified reward.
 
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