We have a 5 month old Entlebucher Mountain Dog we are training to be a trail dog. Right now we have him in obedience phase II training which is all off leash and getting him to respond to commands while he is distracted.
We picked up a Ruff Wear pack on Steep and Cheep for $20 (usually $60) a size smaller than he will need when full grown so we could get him used to it while he is young. We have been walking him with the pack on with nothing in it. Putting the pack on totally changes his demeanor, he puffs his chest out and walks with a purpose. They say working dogs need a job and carrying a pack has become his.
I plan on hanging with him in the woods behind the house a few times and then take him to the MAHHA spring hang as his first trip