If you like the outdoors and want to get away from it all with your Samoyed, pack hikes are great! Pack hikes, when completed according to the Samoyed Club of America Working Samoyed Program requirements, earn you 10 points for each mile of distance walked. Since 5 miles are required per hike (you can do more), you can earn 50 points per pack hike. It takes a thousand points from one or more types of activities to earn a Working Samoyed (WS) title after your dog’s name.
Do you love what you are doing with you Samoyed and plan to continue your pack hikes and perhaps other activities like therapy dog work, or sheep herding? With another 1,000 points you can earn a Working Dog Excellent (WSX). For eager beavers with multi-talented Samoyeds, you can go for a Master level title if you can complete points in all required activities.
If you just want some fun, buy a pack for your dog and take a walk. Let them carry some water, your camera, and pad the sides with small towels to cushion the water in the pack. If you want to walk two Sams at the same time, and both will wear packs, use separate leashes for each or put them on one leash and use a coupler to allow space between the dogs. Otherwise your dogs will hit each other’s pack and they will ask to go home a lot sooner.
If your first pack hike didn’t go well or your dog refused the pack, here are some tips.
- Let your dog see and sniff the pack on the first day
- Next, have a cookie ready, and just put the pack over their head without tightening straps
- Play with them to distract them so they will forget about the pack, then remove it after a very short period
- After that, put the pack on while empty, cookies ready, and connect the straps and adjust for comfort
- Let them lay around with it for a half hour or so
- If all goes well you are ready for a walk around the block (with an empty pack)
- Advance to some light items in the pack
Now you are ready to do the SCA pack hike. Weigh your dog, then put items into the pack until the pack and items in it weigh one fourth of the weight of your dog. Take a photo of your starting point and destination (or half-way point), you have earned the first points for a Working Samoyed title. Enjoy!