***Please note, if you chose to put a pack on your dog, no matter what- after every single run/hike with that pack make sure after you take it off you do a thorough pat down and check your dog for any signs of rubbing or sores. The pack may adjust during the run and rub your dog under his armpit or elsewhere and cause open sores. It is your job to check each and every time of use to make sure you aren't causing harm to your pup. It may be a simple thing of adjusting the fleece sheath, choosing a smaller or larger size pack, or putting some balm on their skin. Also do not overload the pack and hurt your dog's hips and back! Do not ignore this responsibility, your pup will thank you for it and be more eager to wear a pack if you make it comfortable for him.***
So, here it goes (in Argos's own words):
I wear an old model Approach Pack from Ruff Wear. I highly recommend this company and especially their packs for these reasons:
Yeah, I'd say I'm a dog on the go.
The bag has reflective piping making me look really badass at night, and helps momma find me.
Also, the bag's zippers are rough and tough with a well-thought out flap that folds over the zipper to prevent crud from boogering it up.
3. Able to carry just enough stuff without weighing me down. Momma puts two Gulpy bottles in my pack (one in each bag) so that I can carry my own stuff.
I also carry my own poop bags. Occasionally Momma will stick her jacket in there or winter spikes. I don't mind helping out. Also, when I was just little, Momma waited til I was at least 6 months old (when my growth plates were fused) to put the pack on me, completely empty at first of course. That way I got used to it and ran around the yard with it on whenever we were out. Now it comes second nature and I know when Momma grabs that pack it's time to play!!! I love my pack!
4. Has a soft sturdy handle on my upper back for Momma to grab ahold of in emergencies or to help me scramble big boulders. Momma uses this quite a bit. Sometimes we climb over big stuff and her legs are a lot longer than mine so when I'm scared and whine she'll grab ahold of my handle and help boost me over difficult obstacles. Then I will yip sharply to tell her how happy and excited I am! Other times, when I am off leash and another dog or person comes into our view unexpectedly, she'll hold me with this handle to keep me still without grabbing my collar. I have been trained that when she holds onto my thick leather collar, that is giving me permission to pull on it. It is part of my protection training- she has control over me but I can bark and snarl ferociously at bad people without fear of being reprimanded. Finally, she'll sometimes take off my pack after a very long hard run to give me a break. She uses a beaner to snap onto that handle (or there is also a light D-ring above the handle) to attach it to her own pack.
So there it is straight from Argos's mouth (I typed since that whole lack of opposable thumb thing). I really like the new packs Ruff Wear has come up with and even like the Palisades pack for long distance hiking, allowing you to carry food and water. The Approach pack serves our needs the best for it's slim line, small bag size, especially for running. The Singletrack looks great, but I would have to try it on him to see if the Gulpy bottles would fit. I don't like the idea of the platypus bladders since I would also need to carry a collapsable bowl.
One thing about Gulpy: I love these bottles. They are super convenient and just handy-dandy. Love them. However, I have had a few issues with them. They are not very durable, especially if you drop them on hard surfaces. Even just one time...
I eventually had to throw out one of the reservoirs because it became so cracked.
I contacted Gulpy about this issue and they responded that they have since revamped their product to be more sturdy. I was promised two new bottles to replace my damaged products, however I have yet to get them. I am not a fan of people/companies that promise you things and then don't deliver. They also said they are also working on a third upgrade to these bottles to make them even better, again promised a proto-type but haven't heard from them in months. I was really hoping to do a blog on their new product so I could gush about them even more. I'll send them a final "poke" and we'll see what happens.
Any other questions? Feel free to ask me or Argos!