EP 3: Off-Leash Hiking on the Wasatch Front- Interview with Kimber Barrus

Kimber Barrus and dogs on the trail

What you’ll learn about off-leash Free Range Dog hiking with a group of dogs:

  • Dogs who run together on a trail and/or who live together become a pack
  • Dog packs learn to respond to commands, such as “Pull Over” on a trail, as a group
  • Dogs communicate with and learn from each other
  • Hiking with dogs is possible to do all year long
  • Senior dogs and dogs who are deaf or blind also love to hike

Welcome to another episode of Free Range Dogs Podcast

In this episode, Web is speaking with Kimber Barrus, owner of a dog walking/hiking company in Salt Lake City, UT.  Kimber hikes with groups of 3-5 dogs in the Wasatch Front and discusses everything from adding a new dog to the pack to dangers encountered on the trail.

Kimber’s own alpha dog, Ace, is a poodle mix who changed her life and got her started hiking. She describes an alpha dog as stopping trouble and keeping the pack of dogs in line. Web and Kimber describe their experiences with bringing a new dog into the group and the importance and effectiveness of allowing dogs to work things out with each other rather than humans, aka Upper Management, intervening.

Kimber and Web discuss training techniques they use to keep dogs safe on the trail, such as whistle recall and voice commands and utilizing a GPS collar and an e-collar, and the importance of dogs responding to a command that is given only once.

Various dangerous animals have been encountered on the trail, such as coyotes, mountain lions, and moose. Both Kimber and Web agree that the most threatening encounters for a dog are coyotes, who hunt in a pack and can be super aggressive.

Every Wednesday, Kimber has a Senior Dog Pack hike with her older dogs ranging in age from 9-14 years old. She also hikes with dogs who are deaf or blind and discusses how they adapt and are able to enjoy a hike just like other dogs.

As important as it is for the dogs to bond with each other as a pack, it is essential that they bond with the leader of the pack, who is the human taking them on hikes. Their leader is who they check in with while running the trail and whose commands they respond to for their safety and well-being.

You’ll enjoy this episode about hiking adventures with Free Range Dogs on the Wasatch Front in Utah. Learn from two experienced dog trainers who understand and love dogs and believe that dogs are the best things in the world!

Featured in this episode

The person being interviewed:  Kimber Barrus

Facebook Page:  dawgonehikin’