Thursday, February 16, 2017

Working Dogs Need a Job - Kurgo Big Baxter Backpack

My dogs all have some northern breed or combination of northern breeds in them. I have ran Wisdom Panels on both Neeko and Faolan, and both indicated the presence of Alaskan Malamute. I know Bruce's background, and he is at least half Alaskan Malamute.

Alaskan Malamutes, along with many other breeds, are considered "working dogs." They are built to pull. I work hard to keep my dogs from pulling while on leash. Mushing is not a viable option for us, partly due to their general disregard for my wishes most of the time. However, there are many ways I can keep them mentally stimulated and give them a job to do.

We do trick training and active lured behaviors outdoors. Believe it or not, all of my dogs know several tricks and behaviors. Another good way to put them to work is to have them carry things with a backpack.

I have tried various backpacks in the past. When Neeko was younger, I would load up a backpack with water bottles and take her for a walk. She tired out more quickly with the load. A tired dog is a good dog.

The other backpacks I tried were typically disappointing. They didn't fit well, weren't visually attractive, and seemed to be of poor quality.

We recently received the Kurgo Big Baxter Dog Backpack.

It is very well made. Tough nylon straps with saddlebags, contoured spine support and chest plate made of durable, resistant material. It is also attractive, available in a variety of colors. I chose red, because it is a color that contrasts beautifully with all three of my dogs fur.

The Big Baxter is made for dogs 50-110 lbs. That is a broad size range, but the backpack has eight different points of size adjustment. There is a 30 lb and 4" size difference between Neeko and Faolan, but with adjustments, the backpack fit both of them very well.

It was also comfortable for them, There have been times where my dogs would not sit or lie down wearing various backpacks or harnesses, because they were uncomfortable for them. That is not the case with the Baxter Backpack.

Faolan had no problem being his normal rambunctious self while on a snowy hike wearing the Baxter Backpack.

Other things I love about the Big Baxter Backpack from Kurgo:

  • It has a chest plate that connects by going between the dog's legs as opposed to just a strap across the chest.
  • Their is a handle on the back, for added control.
  • The saddlebags are roomy, plenty of room for other gear and goodies.
  • It has a leash clip on the back, so it can also be used as a harness.
  • Their is a bottle opener on the chest plate!
It has a bottle opener built in!
I love taking both Neeko and Faolan out and about. Sometimes it is a hassle to juggle a leash and a backpack (for myself) or a purse. I can put my dogs to work! They can carry their own stuff (treats, toys, etc) but also carry my stuff for me! Phone, wallet, keys and the like.

I am very happy with this product. It is well made, sharp looking, easy to adjust and apply. It can assist with giving my dogs a "job" to do, but also make my life a bit easier by having them carry my stuff for me!

Have you used a backpack for your dogs?

I was provided with complimentary product. All opinions are my own.


  1. Great post, every dog needs to feel included and like they're working sometimes I think. Even little dogs, although I (I'm a dachshund) could get back problems if I wore a doggy backpack!

  2. Our mom keeps threatening to get me a backpack. I don't know why -- she carries all the stuff she'd put in my pack! No need - right? Besides, I already do plenty around here!
    Yours sincerely,
    Margaret Thatcher

  3. Kurgo is the only company I will purchase backpacks from. Bain's is actually getting a little worn down now, so I'll be purchasing a new one soon. I haven't seen this one before, I love that it features a bottle opener on it! Great photos with this, red is such a striking colour for your pups.

  4. That looks like a very nice backpack. I have Luke wear a backpack sometimes. It is said that giving him a job will help build his confidence, which he needs. It really is a bonus in the summer when I don't have all the pockets to stick MY stuff in that I do in the winter! I like that this looks like it doesn't cover a huge area so wouldn't be bad in the heat. We have a Kurgo harness and the quality is great!

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Thanks for the howls!!