Dogs sometimes see things that aren’t there

  • Lesson from Sugi: Dogs don’t have very good vision so sometimes they imagine they’re seeing things.
  • Sugi says,  “Sometimes I think I see another critter in the forest and I bark! but then I realize it’s only a stump…how embarrassing”
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Near Blareview Drive in North Vancouver, there’s an area of forest recently thinned out for forest fire prevention. This left a lot of stumps and logs laying around. This area also has had frequent black bear sitings. Hiking through this area, sometimes Sugi starts barking. I look around and don’t see anyone or any bears (thankfully! )He then realizes that he’s just imagining shapes out of the debris.

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Sugi discovers new trail

  • Lesson from Sugi: Some dogs have a great sense of direction and can be trusted to know which way to go
  • Sugi says, “I’m always looking out for new trails to explore!”
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One day when we were hiking the Tom and Sugi Trail, Sugi stopped and gestured towards a new trail that I hadn’t seen before. I told him that we can’t do that trail right now, but should keep going along the regular route. The next time we were along this way, Sugi again stopped and gestured towards this trail. This time, I agreed to follow him along it. It turned out that this trail was a short cut! It by-passed a difficult portion along the regular trail where we’d have to climb in between fallen trees. It seemed that Sugi knew that this trail connected to the regular one and that it would be a good find!

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Hiking dogs have a great memory for trails

  • Lesson from Tom + Sugi: Hiking dogs can develop a great memory for trails.
  • Sugi says, “I remember the way!”
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I like to go on hikes 3 or 4 times per week with the dogs. We make use of the set of trails at foot of Mount Seymour around Hyannis Drive in North Vancouver. There are many loop trails ranging from 2k to 8k, easy to steep. So you can choose a trail based on how energetic you are. With different starting points and variations we’ve developed a repertoire of 10 or so loops. It only takes one go along these trails and the dogs can remember the individual routes of each loop. I believe they use landmarks of sight and smell. They are usually up ahead enjoying themselves and showing the way!

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