My wife and I are thinking about getting a travel trailer and doing some camping/fishing/boating/hiking/whatever other trouble we can get into this Summer! We want to include Kirby and Cricket in what we are doing and I'm wondering if anyone else camps with their corgis? I've heard they like to swim, but ours haven't had the opportunity yet. How about boating? Ever take them in a canoe or rowboat? How about hiking? I would assume they need to be in decent shape and we obviously wouldn't take them where they have to step over large obstacles or climb up really difficult terrain, but they do have little legs, so not so sure about endurance of the little guys. Any advice would be appreciated!

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Sweet :) We are hoping to puchase an Airstream Basecamp in year or so, we went as far as seeing one in person and drool over it for 3 hours at the dealership. We plan to use it for fun in the weekends and double it as our mobile office while we're filming on the road.

Corgis can have quite a stamina, if trained properly, they can technically run 45 mins non stop in a herding situation. So it really does take time to walk and build them up. We purchased some saddle bags for both of ours, we put 2 water bottles filled with water to train them to carry their own luggage :)

I know that Mary takes hers out in a canoe and John takes his backpacking. I'm sure they'll have lots to share :)
Just returned from a long weekend at the beach. Ours love our 5th wheel and the thing that we have noticed is that alot of campgrounds or state parks are very pet friendly. They get alot of outside time and we do a good bit of hiking. We attemt to limit our time in the woods during summer do to snakes...yuck! We steer clear of water here because of alligators in the fresh water and my two think that the salt water is a bit strange.
We love to camp, and in summer 2007 we tried camping with our dogs Chester and Bruce. Sidney was just so much intergalactic fluff back then.

Everything was pretty manageable while we were out and about. We had to keep the dogs on leashes or tie-outs, per campground rules. Plus, Bruce, in true corgi fashion (though he is only half corgi) is prone to roaming and going where chance or whim will take him. The problem we encountered was the the dogs kept wrapping their tie-outs around table legs, trees, my kids, you name it. We were always untangling them.

Our plan (ha ha) was to have them tied out, just outside the test, at night.

Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, Bruce came scratching at the door of the tent. He had managed to squirm out of his harness and had been roaming free! I was terrified at what could have happened to him...did he get out on the road? We could hear coyotes close has he come to them? I dragged him into the tent and could tell he must have had a grand adventure because he was exhausted. I was too busy thanking God he was safe and found his was to us to be mad at Bruce. Bruce slept in the tent with us the rest of the night. Chester? He's too dumb to figure out how to escape. He's a sweet dog but dumber than a pile of rocks.

We have not attempted camping since. I would love to, but I'd need to figure out the best way to keep them safe while sleeping. I look forward to hearing the suggestions posted in this thread!

Oh, and hiking? We go on small day hikes in our county. In summer when it gets to approaching 100 degrees the little guys seek out shade and want to take their time. In cooler weather they do great! You need John W to chime in here, he, Al and Gwynnie are champion hikers!
OK, I know you were frightened by Bruce on the loose (haha!), but because he came safely back to the tent all pooped from romping who knows where, it's a pretty amusing story! Maybe you could keep him in a crate at night?
A crate is a great idea. We have always kept our dogs in our vehicle at night when camping. We crate trained our second one so we brought the crate along. Not only are porcupines a problem, I once saw a skunk on the way to the john in a campground. A couple of camp grounds we have been to in the West have been visited by cougars and bears. There were buffalo next to the bathroom when we camped in Yellowstone, though we left the dog home for that trip, geysers aren't so great for dogs either. Even a raccoon could be a problem for a city dog who isn't used to wildlife. The dogs can hurt wildlife, too.
We put our dogs in the car too. The first time we camped with Brody we tried putting him in the kennel, but all the night sounds... he "woofed" all ngith long!. Lilly sleeps really well in the tent next to me. We're planning on camping the last week of Sept. in Wis, so we may want both of them in the tent for heat if nothing else!
I took Kota camping. He liked it a lot. They have a lot of energy and can usually go quite a ways when hiking etc. I don't know about boating. Kota liked to go in the river. Not deep, but enough to get wet, He was very little when I took him camping though. He was 12 weeks old when we went. Have not gone since and he is now 8 months. I am planning on doing all kinds of camping and hiking with him when I get settled in NY and get him back.
1st suggestion: have your cell phone # on the collar. We found two run-off dogs in a remote area once and promptly reunited them with their people that way.

Dan Nelson, "Best Hikes with Dogs in Western Washington" (Mountaineers Books) has good info on etiquette, safety, first aid, hazards.

Al & Gwynnie do wilderness backpacking and hiking with me in the Washington Cascades. We've encountered no problems, but I do worry about them getting into unexpected situations in unfamiliar surroundings. Generally they keep within a fairly close radius. I do need to train them in a much more reliable voice recall. I want them to pass the Porcupine Test on the first try. I do let them off-leash but always have the leash at the ready and I try to leash them as soon as I hear other people nearby (which is not often). I'm particularly concerned that they behave well around horses -- Gwynnie's OK with them, but Al has not seen a horse yet, and you don't want your dog to spook a horse! Gwynn has been known to panic at loud noises like thunder and gunshots.

Gwynn -- the older, smaller, and weaker of the two -- once went 23 miles in 14 hours with over 8,000' of elevation gain. They handle steep, brushy terrain and steep snow. The only terrain they don't handle well is deep snow, coarse talus and boulder fields (the most corgi-unfriendly terrain), and some kinds of very thick brush. I occasionally carry them for brief periods (one of them usually stays at home with my wife). There *is* this maneuver called the "Corgi Toss" where they are lifted over an obstacle, but they continue to amaze me by leaping blithely over challenges I'd assumed they'd need help with. They do learn skills with practice, like crossing streams and finding their way around windfalls that they cannot see over. The only times I've had to wait for them are above timberline in hot summer sun; they quickly overheat and seek any shade they can find. I try to find snow and make a corgicicle. Heat is a real problem where water is scarce. Dogs can get heatstroke. To wet a corgi, lay it upside-down between your legs and pour copious amounts of water; else it's like trying to wet a duck. Encourage them to drink often.

I have a dog's shoulder harness that is the equivalent of a climbing harness. I use this to belay them on dangerous log crossings over streams or on steep snow (I've never seen them slip on snow, but it is dangerous). We use a light but strong 12' nylon leash clipped in with light carabiners; this is clipped to my pack or a rock climber's runner looped over my shoulder, keeping my hands free. I've gained a lot of confidence in their sureness-of-foot but don't quite trust them to understand the dangers of heights.
Dogs are stupid about rockfall! (dog-induced rockfall accident at Artist's Point on Mt. Baker).
I keep the collar weight to a bare minimum -- they have to lug it around all day.
I keep them leashed at night.
I don't allow them to bark or chase wildlife.
They have their own foam ground pad and polar fleece blanket.
Dog food is excellent bear bait -- I keep it in tough, airtight, screw-top O-ring sealed plastic cans -- face it, you just can't contain dog food odors as well as you'd want to in bear country.
We do not venture into rattlesnake, scorpion, or Cheat Grass country. Foxtail grass seeds can actually be life-threatening to dogs -- they can get into their throats and noses, and burrow deep in their skin -- learn to recognize and avoid such plants. I'd love my dogs' company in the desert of SE Utah, but the plant life alone is too dog-unfriendly, never mind the snakes and scorpions.
I keep the collar festooned with shocking-pink day-glow survey/safety ribbons (I trust 99% of hunters).
I carry good forceps (porcupine quills) and baby socks for emergency footbandages.
We use Advantix in tick season (there aren't really ticks on the west side of the Cascade crest).
I don't ask them to carry anything, and any baggage would hamper them in brushy or difficult terrain.
I was carefully cautioned not to take a dog under 1 year old on strenuous hikes -- their bones' growth plates should be fused.
If the dog shows reluctance to continue, look for troubles. Check the pads for injury often, especially on snow. My first such encounter was a bad sore worn by the harness -- I did not spot this problem until the 2nd trip -- the dog finally simply refused to continue, but didn't whine or verbally complain.
We keep them trim and I try to give them plenty of aerobic exercise chasing what's left of their soccer ball.

I met a hunter once who knew someone who used to hunt BEAR with 4 corgis back when that was legal in Washington -- "... good noses, not afraid, but smart enough to know when to back off..." (!!)

Have a look at our photos. You might be surprised at what these sturdy animals can do! We've done over 50 miles in three days. They fall into energy-conservation mode after awhile, and they'll follow at your heels as far as you're willing to walk yourself. We've climbed many fairly big mountains together -- many peaks out here have summit trails that once served USFS fire lookouts, so it's not as hard as one might think.

It is so cozy, curling up under the stars or inside my tiny solo tent with my furry footwarmer. With a dog, you can have the freedom of solitude and companionship, too, and they never say, "maybe we should turn back soon... I don't want to get home too late...."
Awesome post John! Thank you so much for your valuable tips :)
Our family and Marty love to camp. We have a 26ft Fleetwood Prowler and we take 5-6 camping trips every summer. Marty did great in the camper this past summer despite being young (5-7 months old during the camping season). He did not want to go swimming but we are hoping to get him interested in the water this year. We took him hiking (fairly easy trails). In September, he hiked his first mountain. The trail was an easy climb, somewhat steep near the top. Marty trotted right up and down without missing a step! Corgis really have a great deal of stamina. Marty did not mind being tied out or being on a leash which all campgrounds require. He loved meeting other dogs and people. The only downside was that on occasion, if Marty heard someone walking by our camper at night, he would bark. The upside was he would stop if we asked him to. Good luck!
Thanks for all the great info! That is a big concern is the barking. They are such great watchdogs (too good sometimes, barking at the littlest noise outside), that I think it could be a problem at night. Not sure about leaving them in the trailer by themselves either if we wanted to go somewhere they couldn't go (biking, hang gliding (ha!), or maybe fishing). I would assume the camper could get pretty hot during a summer day. Do they have auto cooling like a thermostat?? Yup, total camping newbie here!
We have a 5th wheel and take our dogs camping with us all the time. They especially love going to the beach!!!
If you are at a state park - they require that all dogs are controlled. We walking them on leashes, but we bought those play pens (we use 2 or 3 and hook them together). The pens work really nice - you don't have to worry about their leashes getting twisted around trees or camp stools. :-)
We take our dogs hiking as well. We just always make sure that we have adequate water for them. If we are out long enough that we pack a lunch, we make sure we have some goodies for them as well.


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