How To Train A Dog To Wear A Backpack In 5 Easy Steps

In this article, we will be looking at how to train a dog to wear a backpack. 

But first, why would you want to teach a dog to wear backpacks? Well, if you are the kind of person that likes to go hiking or likes to take your dog on walks, then you should get your pet a dog backpack.

How To Train A Dog To Wear A Backpack
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While walking, camping, or hiking could be a lot of fun, there is always a lot of stuff you need to carry along like water bottles, snacks, etc. You could easily carry these in a backpack but, do you know your pet can help too? Yes, he can.

However, you will need to know how to make him ready first. So, here are tips on how to teach a dog to wear backpacks. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Please note as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However all the information provided on this site are my own honest opinions.

1. Get The Things You Need

To begin, you’ll need to buy a backpack for dogs to wear and some treats. What’s most important is good quality and comfortable backpack. When purchasing a rucksack for dogs or a dog backpack, you should put your dogs’ size into consideration.

You shouldn’t get a pack that’s bigger than him; else, it’ll be impossible to carry. Also, consider the bag material and design if it’s one that will be comfortable to carry.

Here are some excellent backpacks you may wish to purchase if you don’t have one already:

  1. OneTigris Dog Pack Hound Travel Camping Hiking Backpack Saddle Bag Rucksack for Medium & Large Dog Large
  2. Dog Pack, K9 Backpack Durable Small Medium Dog Pack with Litter Bag Exit for Camping Hiking Daily Walking.
  3. Wellver Adjustable Dog Saddle Bag Backpack, Hound Travel Saddle Bag Packs Hiking Walking Camping for Small & Medium & Large & Extra Large Dogs Various designs

The treats are important as rewards. When you train your dog, make sure you give a treat or two once your dog gets anything right.

You can begin training with an empty bag and then add some stuff into it as the training progresses.


2. Introduce Your Pet To The Backpack 

Whenever you want to get your pet to like something new, start by introducing it to him. Get the backpack and place it near your dog for him to play with.

As he smells it, paws, and tries to bite it, he’ll come to like it and learn that it is a harmless item. As he plays with the backpack, give him treats so he’ll know you are in support.

Next, attempt to join the play with the backpack. In the process, fasten the backpack with the buckles. If your dog seems uncomfortable, remove the backpack and try again. If he doesn’t bother, give more treats as encouragement.


3. Let Your Dog Walk Around With The Backpack At Home

With the backpack strapped on his back, allow your pet to walk and go around the house as usual. If he wants to step outside, let him do that as well. He should move and play until you see he’s not bothered about the backpack he’s carrying.

Take note this is important, there shouldn’t be any load in the bag. It should be as light as possible, so your dog doesn’t feel like there’s an extra weight on his back.

how to teach a dog to wear a backpack
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You can try this for a couple of hours daily for a few days, ideally 4 to 5 hours before taking it off. As usual, reward your dog with treats after each successful day. Training treats should always be small, and you should give your dog in small quantities at a time. You don’t want to overfeed him and end up with an overweight dog.


4. Walk Your Dog Within The Compound 

Once your dog is comfortable wearing a backpack and moving around on his own, it’s time for a little exposure.

Talk your dog outside and walk him within the compound, backyards, staircases, etc. These should be places he’s familiar with.

If you do use a leash or harness on your dog while walking, put it on him as well. He needs to get a similar experience as walking outdoors with a backpack on.

After the first and second walks, start adding some more items to the dog backpack. Gradually increase the weight with each day until it’s moderate. As you increase the weight, also increase walking distances and walk for more minutes.


5. Take Your Dog Outside 

At this point, your pet is ready to wear a backpack and walk outdoors. Before stepping out, ensure the backpack is well balanced, all the straps and buckles are in place to prevent it from falling off.

Also, while outdoors, it’s important to hit only safe paths. Make sure to check on your pet from time to time to ensure that the backpack isn’t straining your dog. This is most important if you own a puppy or any tender breed.

If he shows any sign of fatigue, take the backpack off him and carry it yourself.


How Does A Backpack Help A Dog

Unless you’re just purchasing a backpack for your pet as fashion (and some packs are quite great to look at), a dog backpack will help you more than your dog. This is because your dog will be helping you carry stuff, most especially when it’s time for hiking and camping.

Nevertheless, it still helps your dog in a few ways.

Some dog breeds love helping and working, and by getting a backpack for them to carry, you are making them do just that.

how to teach a dog to wear backpacks
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You could use it to store vital information and documents about your pet if you become separated during your walks.

Finally, some dogs would see the backpack as a companion, just like their toys. With time, they will get very used to it and come to love it.

If you still need more tips on dogbackpacks see the video below.



If you’ve been wondering how to train a dog to wear a backpack, I believe you can make use of the tips discussed in this post. We have covered the various steps involved on how to teach a dog to wear backpacks quickly and easily in this post.

As with every dog training task, being patient is essential as it would take some time for your pet to be perfect. Before you go check out some other posts you may find useful (1) How to train a dog to swim and (2) How to calm a restless dog. Don’t forget to share this post on dog training to wear backpacks on all your favorite networks.

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