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Pack Hikes with the Dog Lady

Dogs run and play with a trusted pack in the beautiful landscape of the Pacific Northwest. These hikes will leave your dog happy, tired, and well trained!

  • FAQ
    • What is a Pack Hike?

      A pack hike is an alternative way to exercise and socialize your dog. Pack Hikes give your dog a chance to have a change in scenery once or twice a week, have a group of friends that only consists of five to seven dogs, and the ability to play and run in a way few daycare facilities can provide.

      Training throughout the whole hike is an important part of the Pack Hike, it provides mental stimulation and teaches critical skills like; recall, proper ways to meet new dogs, manners for meeting strangers, and appropriate play amongst the pack members.

      With the freedom to run and play with a trusted pack in the beautiful landscape of the Pacific Northwest, these hikes will leave your dog happy, tired, and well trained!


    • What are the benefits of a Pack Hike?

      Pack hikes give dogs an opportunity to be themselves in a positive and organized way.

      Some dogs may find the Pack Hike fits their needs or provides that critical break from routine that can make all the difference in their behavior and energy levels.

      Not every dog thrives in a daycare facility. Even those excellent facilities that provide socialization, exercise and stimulation may not be quite right for some dogs. Dogs who tend to seclude themselves, act out aggressively if they feel overwhelmed, or simply “get bored” after months of the same routine are ideal candidates for the Pack Hike.

      The Pack Hike is a great outlet for dogs to burn off extra energy and an easier place to socialize and make friends in an intimate, small group setting.


    • How do you handle all those dogs?

      To ensure that everyone has a fun, positive experience on the Pack Hike, we make sure to follow a few simple (but critical) rules and procedures:

        Before the Hike:
      • All dogs prepare for their first pack hike by completing 4 consecutive training sessions. These Pack Hike Prep sessions cover recall, leash handling, clicker training, and establishing a bond between your dog and Erin.
      • During the Hike:
      • Pack hikes always include Erin and at least one other person so that the ratio of dogs to humans does not exceed 4:1.
      • We always carry a backpack with safety gear that includes a first aid kit for dogs (and humans), extra water, water bowls, treats, and spare dog gear.
      • During each Pack hike, we adhere to a well-structured, predictable routine that the dogs get to know and help each other reinforce along the way. Examples of this include: Coming back when they hear the whistle, walking calmly together during on-leash portions of the hike, and focusing on the Pack Hike trainers when passing other hikers.

    • Can my dog join a Hike if she/he has reactivity issues?

      Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate dogs with dog aggression issues on the Pack Hikes, but they are very welcome for private sessions. Please contact Erin if you have any questions about this.


    • Where do you go on Pack Hikes?

      Locations vary. We take very low-traffic, quiet trails in surrounding parks outside of Portland. Erin is very familiar with the area - she has hiked many beautiful hidden gems and is skilled at finding the perfect trail for each Pack Hike.


    • What happens when weather is bad?

      We do not hike in weather conditions above 100°F or any extreme ice, snow or cold conditions.

      We will be in communication with all pack hike participants’ humans prior to the hike - ideally the night before - if it looks like we may have any limiting or extreme weather conditions


    • What safety precautions do you take?

      We take Pack Hike safety and preparation very seriously. To ensure that everyone has a fun, positive experience on the Pack Hike, we adhere to the following safety procedures:

      • 4:1 Dog to Human Ratio: Pack hikes always include Erin and at least one other person. We do not hike with more than 4 dogs per human
      • Safety Gear: We always carry a backpack with safety gear that includes a first aid kit for dogs (and humans), extra water, water bowls, treats, and spare dog gear
      • Trail Safety: We hike with dogs on trails we know very well. We take care to ensure the trails we use are low-traffic, quiet trails. Erin is very familiar with the area - she has hiked many beautiful hidden gems and is skilled at finding the perfect trail for each Pack Hike.
      • Weather conditions: We do not hike in weather conditions above 100°F or when there are any extreme ice, snow or cold conditions. We will be in communication with all pack hike participants’ humans prior to the hike - ideally the night before - if it looks like we may have any limiting or extreme weather conditions

    • What does a typical pack hike schedule look like?

      A pack hike includes pickup, a drive to a specific well-known Mount Hood trail, an group hike lasting about 1-2 hour(s), and a ride home for drop off. Most hikes include some on leash and some off leash time, however, this can vary depending on the pack, trail conditions, and the number of other hikers on the trail.

        A typical pack hike schedule:
      • 7:00 - 8:00am: Pickup
      • 9:00am: arrive at the trail
      • 11:30 - 12:30pm: drop off back home (return time can vary depending on traffic, location, and weather)

    • Do I have to schedule a pack hike for every single week?

      Pack Hikes can be scheduled on a weekly or bi-weekly basis

      We have found that scheduling Pack Hikes less frequently than twice/month doesn’t work well. This is because dogs tend to forget the training work we put in to ensure a safe, cohesive pack and a positive experience for all involved.


    • How do you minimize the ecological impact of a Hike?

      We take protecting the environment seriously and always hike responsibly. To keep Oregon’s trails beautiful for future generations, we keep dogs on the trail and adhere to “leave no trace” practices.

      This is not only good for the environment, but great impulse-control practice for all the dogs!


  • Schedule

    A Typical Pack Hike Schedule:
    The entire Pack Hike adventure starts around 7:00 AM and ends around 12:30 PM.

    • 7:00 AM: We begin our pick-up route. Pick-up times may vary depending on where you live. Each dog is properly secured in the car for safety.
    • 9:00 AM: We arrive at one of our Pack Hike locations.
    • 9:00 - 11:00 AM: (times may vary depending on the day - weather, traffic, etc.) We do our on-leash portion of the Pack Hike.
    • 12:00 - 12:30 PM: Dogs are dropped off back home. Drop off times may vary depending on traffic and weather.
  • Join

    How to Join a Pack Hike:

    • You must complete a Pack Hike Prep training package with me before joining a pack hike.
      Pack Hike Prep lessons occur once a week for 4 consecutive weeks
      Pack Hike Prep lessons cover recall, leash handling, clicker training, and establishing a bond between your dog and I.
    • A waiver must be signed before any dog participates in a Pack Hike.
    • Once I feel your dog is ready, I will determine which pack is right for him/her to join.

    Getting ready to go out on a Pack Hike:

    • Treats: I provide treats, however, if your dog has a particular food allergy you will need to provide proper treats.
    • Gear: You may want to send your dog with a rain coat or jacket if it is especially wet or cold and if your dog has a thin or very short coat.
    • Safety: I carry extra water, bowls, treats, and first aid gear at all times on every Pack Hike. If your dog has any special needs, please discuss these with me prior to the first Pack Hike.
  • Pricing

    Pack Hike Pricing:

    • $50/Pack Hike *Pack Hikes can be purchased in packages of 4 or 6 and can be used weekly weekly or bi-weekly
    • $280 for a Pack Hike Prep package consisting of 4 lessons *Get a discount off the $75/lesson price when you purchase a package.

    Please Note:

    • A waiver must be signed before any dog participates in a Pack Hike
    • Pack Hikes must be scheduled one week in advance
    • Payment is required in advance of each Pack Hike
    • You must have completed 4 consecutive prep lessons prior to scheduling your first Pack Hike