Tom + Sugi Trail

  • Lesson from Tom: Hiking dogs can have a great memory for trails.
  • Sugi says,  “I remember!”

One day we were discussing hiking trails around Hyannis Drive with our dog walker Judy Lopes. We told her that we like to go up the Baden Powell Trail, but the walk back down under the power lines was not very interesting. She told us about the route she takes with the dogs which runs parallel to the Baden Powell coming back down to the starting point.  She suggested we just ask Tom and Sugi to show us the trail the next time we’re there and they will be able to lead us. Sure enough, the next time we took the trail up, they gestured towards a steep trail heading down and they guided the way back to the starting point (around 1.5-2km). From then on, we called this trail “The Tom + Sugi Trail”.

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!”

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!

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!”

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!