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Embrace the Adventure: Join the 'Working Pack Dog' Hike with Your Lappies!🌲

Every year, we look forward to the 'Working Pack Dog' hike with our Lappies. This isn't just any hike—it's a 16km journey where each Lappie wears a backpack carrying weight, testing their fitness and endurance. Held multiple times during the cooler months, this formal ANKC event, organised by the Alaskan Malamute Club of NSW, culminates in the 'Working Pack Dog' title for dogs that successfully complete four hikes. Think of it as a doggie PhD!





The Purpose of the Hikes

While the primary purpose of these hikes is to test and verify a dog's fitness, the benefits go far beyond that. Personally, I cherish the experience of hiking in nature, reminiscent of a Finnish forest, and the camaraderie it fosters. For breeders like ourselves, there's a special joy in seeing dogs we've bred earn official titles that certify their fitness and capability. While spending quality time together in the forest.









Eligibility and Rules

To participate, dogs must meet the following criteria set by the ANKC:

  • Age: 18 months or older

  • Registration: Must be an ANKC registered dog

  • Weight: Minimum of 10kg

  • Handlers: Must be at least 16 years old (younger participants are welcome but cannot walk a dog)

  • Membership: Handlers must be Dogs NSW members for insurance purposes. Membership details can be found here.







Titles and Recognition

Dogs can earn two levels of titles:

  • Working Novice Pack Dog (WNPD): After completing 4 hikes carrying 15% of their body weight.

  • Working Pack Dog (WPD): After completing 4 hikes carrying 30% of their body weight.



It's recommended to start with the novice level and progress to the WPD level the subsequent year. Each successful hike earns the dog a certificate and ribbon, which can be submitted to Dogs NSW to receive the official title.


Location and Experience

The hikes take place in the picturesque Belanglo State Forest in Sutton Forest, Southern Highlands. The 16km hike is conducted on a dirt/gravel road, mostly shaded by pine trees. It's a serene environment, perfect for a leisurely and social hike. Despite its infamous history, it's a beautiful and peaceful forest.


The Hike Itself

Our day begins early with weighing the dogs and their packs in front of the judge, aiming to set off by 8:30am. The hike is well-marked, allowing for a relaxed pace with ample opportunities for breaks and even a picnic! There's no rush to the finish line. The backpacks remain on the dogs throughout the hike, with their weights monitored throughout the hike to ensure they meet the required standards.


Equipment Checklist

For Your Lappie:

  • Backpack (Ruffwear Singletrack or a suitable alternative)

  • Weights (fishing sinkers or water bladders)

  • Leash (Ruffwear Roamer recommended)

  • Collar

  • Water and bowl

  • Poo bags

  • Optional: Crate, coupler for multiple dogs

For Yourself:

  • Appropriate shoes

  • Water and snacks

  • Layered clothing for 0-10°C temperatures

  • Backpack for personal items

  • Hat and AirPods (optional)

  • Lunch and a camping chair if staying post-hike



Camping Details

Camping is available on-site for $5 per night, featuring compost toilets, a hot shower, and running water. Campers need to bring their own equipment and be self-sufficient. A communal campfire adds to the camaraderie, but be prepared for temperatures dropping below zero overnight.


2024 Event Dates


6th and 7th of July


3rd and 4th of August









How to Enter

To participate an official entry form needs to be completed. Contact Katrina for assistance.


We look forward to another fantastic Lappie weekend, immersing ourselves in nature and enjoying the company of fellow hikers. Remember, while 16km might sound daunting, the journey flies by when shared with others!







Why Backpack with Your Lappie?

Simply put, it's a fun and inclusive event where you can enjoy a day outdoors with other dog lovers, taking in the beautiful sights of mother nature. Join us and make memories that will last a lifetime!


All of the wonderful photos on this post were taken by Emily Garnett, she takes absolutely beautiful photos that she posts on Almas instagram follow them here!

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