Thursday, November 27, 2008

Lupine now Available in Solid Colors

All Lupine® collars, leads, and harnesses are now available in solid colors including red, black, blue, green, and purple.

Just like all the patterns, Lupine is GUARANTEED (Even if Chewed)®!

Get Lupine for your dog at Backcountry K-9

New at Backcountry K-9 - The Nite Ize Meteorlight L.E.D. Dog Ball

Now at Backcountry K-9 you'll find the new Nite Ize Meteorlight L.E.D. dog ball.  The Meteorlight is a soft yet durable ball with an L.E.D. light making it a perfect evening dog toy.  Its soft glow is easy to see in the dark and it also floats!

The Meteorlight has no wires or circuit boards to break, fits in a ChuckIt! launcher, and runs on two coin batteries that are included.

Get the Meteorlight at Backcountry K-9 for only $8.99.

More Ruff Wear Gourdos!

Backcountry K-9 now has the Ruff Wear Gourdo dog toy in both small and large to fit big and small dogs!  Small comes in Sunset Orange and the eco-friendly Obsidian Black.  Large continues to come in Blue Spring and is also now available in Obsidian Black as well.

So, what make the Obsidian Black eco-friendly?  Well, they're 30% maximum reclaimed-rubber content, meaning rubber scraps are reblended to make more Gourdos!

Check out the Gourdo at Backcountry K-9

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy

The AKC recently unveiled a new level of the Canine Good Citizen program geared specifically toward puppies.  AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy is designed to reward owners who have taken the time to take their puppies to a puppy or basic training class at least 6 weeks long.

"STAR" is an acronym for Socialization, Training, Activity, and a Responsible owner.

What can be bad about that?

Read the AKC Announcement

Post Thanksgiving Day Sale at Backcountry K-9

Get ready for our post Thanksgiving Day Sale!  All items from Ruff Wear, Granite Gear, Lupine and others will be on sale starting Thursday night through Monday.

Here's a sneak Peak of some of the items:

Ruff Wear Palisades Pack

List Price: $99.95
Our Price: $94.99
Sale Price: $81.99

Free Shipping!

Ruff Wear K-9 Overcoat

List Price: $49.95
Our Price: $46.99
Sale Price: $39.99

Ruff Wear Bark'n Boots Skyliner

List Price: $49.95
Our Price: $47.99
Sale Price: $42.99


All Lupine products will be 10% off our below-retail prices!

Granite Gear

Save 10% or more on all Granite Gear for you dog!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fitting a Ruff Wear Approach Pack

I was recently asked for help in fitting  a Ruff Wear Approach pack.  I thought I would post my advice to help others out.

These details also apply to the Palisades pack and, to a lesser degree, the Web Master Harness.

First, unclip both of the fleece covered straps on the bottom of the pack.  They will be fleece on one side and the color of the pack on the other.   If fitting a Palisades pack, it is easiest to first remove the pack from the harness until the harness is on the dog.

Looking at the top of the pack, the front is the end with the square Ruff Wear Logo - the back is the end with the handle.

Stand over the top of your dog so your heads are both facing the same way.  The front strap that you unclipped will now have created a "Y" shape with the other non-covered strap that has the triangle shaped padding.  Your dog's head will go through the loop created by the pack and that triangle pad.

Pick up your dog's right foot and put it through the other loop.  The front fleece covered strap can now be brought behind your dog's left front leg and re-clipped to the left side of the pack.  The triangle padding should now be centered on your dogs chest.

If the triangle pad is higher and on the neck at all, adjust the uncovered straps to bring the triangle padding down a little.  That strap has two adjustments on top and one on the bottom.  You don't want it interfering with your dog's wind pipe.

The fleece covered strap itself can also be adjusted.  You want it slightly snug across the bottom of the dog's chest - not so much that is will constrict breathing but enough that it doesn't allow the pack to slip to your dog's side.  This is an adjustment that is best perfected after walking a short distance and making some minor adjustments along the way.

The back fleece strap will obviously go under the belly and should be adjusted with the same snug fit.  Again, I would walk a little and then check this one too.

A well fitted pack will have the majority of the pack around the shoulder blades and not in the middle of the back or on the butt.  This will obviously vary a little depending on how long your dog is.  As long as about a third of the pack is up on the shoulders you are fine.  Those same straps that control the triangle pad can all be tightened to pull the pack forward.

Be sure to balance the weight of the pack's bags.  Even a very little difference will cause the pack to shift to one side while on a hike.

If your dog is not conditioned to carry a pack, work up to carrying weight just like you might do with yourself to get into hiking shape.  Start with an empty pack and gradually increase the load to 10% - 20% of the dog's weight.  This percentage will vary with breed and physical conditioning.  A well conditioned working dog can carry 20%.  A less conditioned dog should carry less.  Also, young dogs under 1 year should carry minimum weight as their bones finish developing.

If your dog doesn't respond well to having the things in the pack, try stuffing it with newspaper.  This won't add any weight but will help the dog get used to carrying something on their back that sticks out.  My dog can't ever grasp the concept that she is wider than normal - she constantly runs into trees. She kind of gives a look like the tree jumped out at her!

Have questions?  Just ask!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Acclimatize Your Dog??? recently published a piece in their "Ask the Expert" section regarding the need to acclimatize your dog for high altitude hiking.

Unfortunately, the answer is that no ones knows if it's needed due to a lack of research.  Like us, dogs' heart and respiration rates increase but we don't know for sure if they get mountain sickness.

The piece reminds us of one thing we know for sure - dogs can dehydrate just like us, so give plenty of water on those hikes.

The Backpacker piece is a quick read.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama Family Doesn't have to get a Mutt

Regardless of your political views you can appreciate that Barack Obama plans to adopt a dog from a shelter to be out next "first dog".  Someone should clue him in though that a rescue doesn't have to be a mutt.  There are also plenty of pure breed rescues out there...

Read the story.

Save 5% and Feel Good Doing It

Backcountry K-9 has teamed up with Michigan's Marquette County Humane Society ( to help fund the great work they do.

Any time you order from Backcountry K-9 using coupon code 5MCHS, you'll save 5% off your order and we'll donate another 5% to the Marquette County Humane Society at not cost to you!

Are you affiliate with a pet related non-profit that might also benefit from a program like this?  Let us know!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Police Dog Fail!

Video's like this make me laugh and remind me that nearly all dogs love to run around and have fun - even those that are trained chase down and tackle criminals!