Hiking etiquette with dogs

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What's your opinion of off-leash dogs while hiking?

Fine with me. I love dogs!
16
12%
Doesn't matter to me if the dog doesn't bother me or others.
38
29%
Only small dogs that aren't/don't appear threatening.
3
2%
Its OK on low-use trails.
27
21%
Its OK but I will brandish my firearm if I feel threatened.
7
5%
It depends on if the owner picks up the poop or not.
12
9%
Never. There's a law requiring leashes for a reason.
28
21%
 
Total votes: 131

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chumley
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Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by chumley » Mar 24 2009 10:36 am

There was a recent thread about rabid foxes and the threat to unleashed pets which got me to thinking about hiking with my dog. I have a yellow lab, who is by nature, a people-loving dog. His greatest threat to anybody is the ability to possibly lick you to the point of illness due to his bad breath. He's getting old and has always been a little bit lazy, so chasing rabbits, squirrels, skunks, and porcupines only lasts for a few yards before he comes back to me. He is always fascinated (but scared) of larger animals such as elk or cattle.

As a result, I frequently hike with him off-leash. This allows him to stop and sniff things while I continue my pace uninterrupted. I am cognizant of other people however and realize that not everybody loves dogs. If I encounter others, I always try to either put him on his leash or at least give him a "sit" command while people pass. I will always restrain him when we encounter other dogs (especially off-leash) until I've had a chance to talk to the owner and determine the demeanor of the dog.

I love to go somewhere that there's nobody else around for miles and miles ... but its nice to share that solitude with my dog. Often it is impractical to have him restrained, especially on trails that involve climbing or scrambling over obstacles.

So, what do you all think of dogs on the trail? I think part of my responsibility as a dog-owner is to try to understand the feelings of others, and while I have some ideas, it can't hurt to get more input.
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allanalxndr
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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by allanalxndr » Mar 25 2009 11:31 am

Jeff MacE wrote:
joe bartels wrote:In response to Jeff MacE:
Congratulations you've graduated from the rank of "HAZOPELLI" : app :
:guilty:

This calls for a celebration!!
:DANCE: :DANCE: :DANCE: :DANCE: :DANCE:
I'll bring the dogs? (Hebrew National anyone?) :)

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Jeffshadows
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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by Jeffshadows » Mar 25 2009 12:48 pm

allanalxndr wrote:
Jeff MacE wrote:
joe bartels wrote:In response to Jeff MacE:
Congratulations you've graduated from the rank of "HAZOPELLI" : app :
:guilty:

This calls for a celebration!!
:DANCE: :DANCE: :DANCE: :DANCE: :DANCE:
I'll bring the dogs? (Hebrew National anyone?) :)
:sl:
AD-AVGVSTA-PER-ANGVSTA

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Davis2001r6
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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by Davis2001r6 » Mar 25 2009 2:01 pm

chumley wrote:I do know that the Squaw Peak Summit trail is a no-dog trail, as is Echo Canyon. I couldn't care less about these two because there's already too many people on those trails anyway.
As far as I know dogs are allowed on Echo Canyon. I couldn't find anything that says otherwise.

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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by PaleoRob » Mar 25 2009 5:05 pm

chumley wrote:So I have another question about this ... are all federal wilderness areas closed to dogs? I don't think that I've ever seen any no-dogs allowed signs, but I think that only Superstition, Mazatzal, and Hells Gate are ones I can think of at the moment. I do know that the Squaw Peak Summit trail is a no-dog trail, as is Echo Canyon. I couldn't care less about these two because there's already too many people on those trails anyway.

As for the wilderness prohibitions, why is that anyway? I understand the mechanized ban, but a dog is no less unnatural than you are, and you're allowed in there, right?
Grand Gulch WSA allows dogs on leashes (though mine is not coming this weekend). I think it depends on the land management agency. NPS seems much less willing to let dogs anywhere than either USFS or BLM.
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chumley
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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by chumley » Mar 25 2009 6:46 pm

davis2001r6 wrote:As far as I know dogs are allowed on Echo Canyon. I couldn't find anything that says otherwise.
I haven't been up Echo Canyon in years. Back in the late 90s I hiked up Echo Canyon every morning. I know it was ok to bring dogs then, but I know that at some point they closed the Echo side for dogs. Cholla was still ok though. It was a "test" program but was in effect for several years. It's possible that the "test" was allowed to expire and the restrictions have been lifted.
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azbackpackr
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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 25 2009 7:15 pm

In response to all these comments I can't help but think that when I'm out hiking around here, I get annoyed if I even see PEOPLE on the trail I'm hiking. :D
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Jim_H
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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by Jim_H » Mar 26 2009 9:52 am

azbackpackr wrote: I get annoyed if I even see PEOPLE on the trail I'm hiking. :D
Like I said, Dogs should be under full muzzle and choker at all times...
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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kidcop25
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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by kidcop25 » Apr 07 2009 4:05 pm

I reluctanly adopted a dog - a blue heeler or otherwise known as a austraian cattle dog. He has become my hiking companion for several reasons. One is I hike alone on occasion and he is good company. I do hike with him off leash. That being said I will leash him when I approach other hikers to make them feel more comfortable. Because of his breed he really does not want anything to do with other people or their dogs and will not approach them unless i give hime permission. He does want to chase wildlife but I call him off and he obeys. He has been both skunk and snake trained and alerts me when I approach an area where these critters are hiding. Living in Tucson is very frustrating when it comes to dogs because they don't allow them anywhere. I have a home in Colorado and I love the trails there as they allow dogs on and off leash (if they are under voice control) I have never had a problem there in the 10 years I have been hiking there. It is an unfortunate few who make it harder for the rest of us by not taking the time to train their animals. :)

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azbackpackr
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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by azbackpackr » Apr 08 2009 4:55 am

kidcop25 wrote:a blue heeler, otherwise known as an Australian cattle dog.
Blue heelers are unbelievably intelligent, but definitely one-family dogs. I had to put mine down last year due to that, he was just not safe any longer around other people. He was my all-time favorite dog, though. I cried buckets... But most heelers are not as bad as mine was, as far as biting people.

I heard a story about a blue heeler yesterday. My neighbor has one. His sister has some guinea hens, and jokingly told the dog, "Hey, why don't you go get me another guinea hen?" The next day, the dog showed up with a guinea hen on the porch, which he held gently in his mouth without harming her. She checked the hen house, it wasn't one of hers. She asked the neighbors, but none of them was missing one. So she kept it. Funny, too, because it is not a regular chicken, of which there are many in the neighborhood. The dog had to go and pick out a guinea hen from amongst many chickens within several blocks.
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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by writelots » Apr 08 2009 8:51 am

azbackpackr wrote: Blue heelers are unbelievably intelligent, but definitely one-family dogs.
Found this interesting, since it showed up the same day I read your post:
SYDNEY (AFP) – A pet dog that fell overboard in rough seas off Australia has been reunited with its owners after surviving alone on an island for four months, reports said.

Sophie Tucker, apparently named after a late US entertainer, fell overboard as Jan Griffith and her family sailed through choppy waters off the northeast Queensland coast in November.

The dog was believed to have drowned and Griffith said the family was devastated.

But out of sight of the family, Sophie Tucker was swimming doggedly and finally made it to St Bees Island, five nautical miles away, and began the sort of life popularised by the TV reality show "Survivor."

She was returned to her family last week when Griffith contacted rangers who had captured a dog that had been living off feral goats on the largely uninhabited island, in the faint hope it might be their long-lost pet.

When the Griffiths met the rangers' boat bringing the dog to the mainland they found that it was indeed Sophie Tucker on board.

"We called the dog and she started whimpering and banging the cage and they let her out and she just about flattened us," Griffith told the national AAP news agency.

"She wriggled around like a mad thing."

Griffith said that when the dog was first spotted on the island she had been in poor condition.

"And then all of a sudden she started to look good and it was when the rangers had found baby goat carcasses so she'd started eating baby goats," she said.

Sophie Tucker, a member of the Australian cattle dog breed, had been quick to readjust to the comforts of home, complete with airconditioning, Griffiths said.

"She surprised us all. She was a house dog and look what she's done, she's swum over five nautical miles, she's managed to live off the land all on her own," Griffiths said.

"We wish she could talk, we truly do."
-----------------------------------
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Jim_H
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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by Jim_H » Apr 08 2009 9:04 am

writelots wrote: "And then all of a sudden she started to look good and it was when the rangers had found baby goat carcasses so she'd started eating baby goats," she said.
The inevitable question ensues, will the dog be able to readjust to eating dog food instead of tender, juicy goat?
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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chumley
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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by chumley » Apr 08 2009 4:09 pm

jhodlof wrote:
writelots wrote: "And then all of a sudden she started to look good and it was when the rangers had found baby goat carcasses so she'd started eating baby goats," she said.
The inevitable question ensues, will the dog be able to readjust to eating dog food instead of tender, juicy goat?
...had been quick to readjust to the comforts of home, complete with airconditioning
I assume this also means adjusting to eating non-tasty-non-juicy-baby-goat-meat.
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EMWAZ
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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by EMWAZ » Apr 25 2009 10:23 pm

I would love to take my dogs to more trails but unfortunately too many people don't clean up after their dogs and let them run loose.

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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by Carioca43 » Jul 19 2009 5:34 pm

I will admit I am not a domestic animal lover. Managing apartments through College cured me of any desire to have any kind of animal in my house. While there are some very concientious dog owners out there. The ones that don't control or clean up after their dogs make the rest of us really hate dogs. Just hike any of the active trails on South Mountain and instead of worrying about tripping or turning an ankle I have to worry more about whether I am going to be stepping in Dog S#%@. Absolutely disgusting

Here is my experience from a couple of weeks ago. We backpacked Kachina-Weatherford-Humphries- Encountered very few people on Friday. Did run into one couple with a very incredible wolf-husky hybrid. Very pretty dog but what impressed me the most was its behavior. It was on a leash and without direction it stayed healed to its owner. Didn't try to sniff investigate or even say hello. Even though we stopped and talked for a few minutes. While I was heading down to Schultz Tanks to meet backpacking friends after completing Kachina. My boys are very scared of dogs and didn't show any fear of this one because she was so well behaved. Later that day we caught up to the couple and their dog when we made camp Dog was always on a leash. In fact during the night it didn't even stir as a pack of Coyotes passed nearby. I have no problem sharing the Wilderness or trail with such an animal.

However as we proceeded up the trail the next day we ran into several day hikers with dogs. Uncontrollable dogs, Dogs on a 50ft "leash" dogs that nearly ran me off the trail. Dogs that I had to shield my boys from. Dog crap I had to dodge.

Please leave your uncontrollable dogs at home

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azbackpackr
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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by azbackpackr » Jul 19 2009 6:46 pm

I don't take my dog to trails where I think I will see other people, although she is a pretty nice dog. I usually go places where I will probably not see anyone.
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Ckzona
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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by Ckzona » Jul 20 2009 12:15 pm

I personally like dogs a lot. Just don't be stupid and let a crazy 100lb dog loose. Keep on a leash unless your totally sure you can control its behavior

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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by dysfunction » Jul 20 2009 12:20 pm

I don't care if it's a 5lb dog or a 100lb dog.. owners (and I are one) need to keep their dogs controlled... period.. and lemme tell ya.. it's the little dog owners who completely ignore their rampantly out of control dogs really drive me nuts.
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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by azbackpackr » Jul 20 2009 4:54 pm

I think Tucson has solved this problem haven't they? From what I hear there are almost no trails left around there where dogs are allowed.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by gringoantonio » Jul 20 2009 5:57 pm

I love dogs. Especially mine. But I don't think dog owners like myself have many, if any, arguments in our favor when it comes to hiking with an unleashed dog.

It's really simple--when it comes to enjoying a public trail-- people have priority over pets.

Many people, adults and children, are afraid of dogs. And that's all that really matters. This fact will never change, so there's no use trying to fight it. Hikers on public trails deserve dog owners' respect and the courtesy of a leashed pooch.

That said, I think dog owners should only let their dog off leash if nobody is around. And only if you have 100% instant and 100% reliable recall on your dog. Not only for the courtesy of other hikers who may approach or pass, but also for your dog's safety. I've had too many close calls between my very curious pooch and rattlesnakes or poison oak. And you never know when your dog might encounter a trigger-happy dog-murdering rancher:

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Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Post by joebartels » Jul 20 2009 6:02 pm

gringoantonio wrote:only if you have 100% instant and 100% reliable recall on your dog
Unfortunately regardless of what some dog purist might think, I don't think it's ever 100%.
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