Revisiting Post – Burn Off Pent-Up Energy With a Backpack


Bella and Alex (L to R)

Bella and Alex (L to R)

When I first posted about using a backpack to drain my dog’s excessive energy, I received a question from a fellow blogger about how often to use a backpack and how much weight to put as “cargo.”

Let me start by saying that every dog is an individual, and as such you need to figure out how often and how heavy the backpack should be.  This is what I do with Bella, my 3-year-old pit mix, that has an overabundance of energy:

  • When we got Bella, Jan. 2014, she wore a backpack only during our morning walks because the walks had to be short, due to the weather, and she had a huge amount of energy.  She carried 2 lbs. in her backpack
  • As time went by, and the weather improved, Bella wore her backpack every other day, mornings only.
  • Later on, she used the backpack only on Mon., Wed., and Fri.
  • Nowadays, she only wears it when I see that she has way too much energy.  Maybe once a week.

20140201_083842If you are unsure about how to use a backpack, please talk to a trainer so he/she can help you figure it out.  Do not make your dog run with a backpack.  Bella carries 2 lbs. but let’s remember that she weighs 52 lbs.  After a walk of 1 – 1 1/2 hr. with a backpack holding 2 lbs. even my energetic Bella is tired.

8 responses to “Revisiting Post – Burn Off Pent-Up Energy With a Backpack

  1. Sounds like a good idea for Kita (and I can stop carrying bags). Can I still use a choke collar, or is the backpack more of a harness?

    • The backpack is only to carry items or weights, like in Bella’s case. I use a choke collar for Alex, but I make very few corrections with it since she does wonderful on her walks. Alex, my other pit mix, wears a Gentle Leader. The best thing to do is try different collars on your dog and see what best suits your dog. My favorite one is the Gentle Leader, but I try different collars until I find the right one for that particular dog. Trainers, depending on whom you speak to, will tell you that they only use a harness while others use only choke and prong collars. In my experience, it really depends on the dog. Just remember that:-)

  2. What a great idea to drain excess energy! We haven’t gotten a backpack for Millie yet (she’s only 3.5 months and growing like a weed), but once she’s a little bigger I think I’ll be investing in one too. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Which bag did you use? I’m looking into one for Eko and I know there are tons of options.

    • The one I use is from Outward Hound. The bag I have is good for light weight and tall dogs like Eko and Alex. Bella does fine with it, but I don’t make her wear it while going up/down the stairs because she is short and the weights I put in it touch the floor. Look around and let me know what you get. I’ll probably get a new one for Bella next year since I am not using the one I have a lot. I’ll be looking for something stronger and more durable than the one I have. Let me know when you get yours:-)

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