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Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 24 2009 10:36 am
by chumley
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.

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 22 2011 11:37 am
by imike
I'll probably report it to the Forest Service... there is a potential for a major problem if that had been a kid, or anyone not moving fast enough to get their chin down. thinking about it, doesn't a dog have to be trained to focus for that specific attack?

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 22 2011 12:46 pm
by chumley
Yup. It's called assault and should be reported to the proper local authority (city police/county sheriff). I hope you at least got a license plate from their car. I tend to disagree with our overly litigious society, but I'd consider suing because people with blatant disregard for pumpkin like this should face consequences. Or at least four flat tires. :oplz:

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 22 2011 12:57 pm
by Jeffshadows
Call both the police and animal control. Cops won't always think to call animal control. Get yourself checked out by a qualified medical professional, as well.

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 22 2011 1:31 pm
by azbackpackr
Oh, yeah. You should. That is just nuts. They will automatically euthanize that dog, also. What are you planning to do? Did you get any info, lic. plate, etc???

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 22 2011 3:56 pm
by Alston_Neal
How freaking nice!
I'm more pissed at those dipstick people than the dog. Not that what the dog did was ok, but jeez.

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 22 2011 7:54 pm
by chumley
Legally I think you could have shot the dog. Probably even the owner. :STP:

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 22 2011 8:21 pm
by kevinweitzel75
Hard to say, but someone or some dog would have met the business end of a .40. Ok, so probably a size 13 boot at least. : rambo :

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 22 2011 9:28 pm
by Tough_Boots
I recommend carrying a weapon less intense than gun. The problem with a gun is that the situation would have to be extreme to use it and everyone around you knows it. You don't just pull your gun out to make a point-- it's too serious of a weapon. On the other hand if I pull out some type of club and wield it at the dog, for all the owner knows I might just smack the crap out of his dog AND him. They'll remember that and keep closer watch of their dog next time-- or carry their dog back to the TH.

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 22 2011 9:47 pm
by big_load
Tough_Boots wrote:I recommend carrying a weapon less intense than gun.
Bear spray is effective and doesn't require much accuracy.

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 23 2011 10:49 am
by Jeffshadows
big_load wrote:
Tough_Boots wrote:I recommend carrying a weapon less intense than gun.
Bear spray is effective and doesn't require much accuracy.
I agree.

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 23 2011 1:28 pm
by Sredfield
I hope you did report this to the police, the FS, the great pumpkin, everyone! Such irresponsible action by the owners is unacceptable, and dangerous. There will be a next time with this animal and if you do nothing . . . .

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 23 2011 1:47 pm
by Alston_Neal
big_load wrote:
Tough_Boots wrote:I recommend carrying a weapon less intense than gun.
Bear spray is effective and doesn't require much accuracy.
I also recommend not wearing a porkchop as a necklace....imho. ;)

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 23 2011 3:16 pm
by hippiepunkpirate
On a positive note, when I was hiking out at Old Caves Crater just now, a lady made her dog stop and sit to the side of the trail while I passed. Maybe unnecessary but definitely more desirable than iMike's incident...

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 23 2011 3:48 pm
by Alston_Neal
We were hiking Spur Cross the Sunday before last and somehow managed to play leapfrog with some horseback riders. We have a red Queensland Heeler that we keep on a leash if we're around other folks especially horses. I'd hate to see a horse buck it's rider since with some, dogs make them nervous. Even more so if you're coming up behind them.
We let her run in areas that we don't expect to see people or livestock, but still I have a leash tucked in my belt just in case.

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 23 2011 3:53 pm
by imike
...yep, I should have taken a more aggressive stance, and I certainly had many thoughts of interesting reactions that I could have done in the moment, but in reality, I don't mind bleeding, and am extremely slow to anger. When mugged by a large group some years ago, lying on the ground I began to laugh (...it was all about some thoughts of the moment) and my laughter scared the entire group... they all ran away. I have trouble imagining a dog really doing any damage, but I guess that thought is probably ill placed. I'll act differently next time around...

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 23 2011 3:55 pm
by Tough_Boots
@Alston Neal

awww come-on! I saw you posted on this thread and was fully expecting a cat recipe joke. I'm totally disappointed. :)

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 23 2011 4:04 pm
by Alston_Neal
Well when I said It's not a good idea to wear a porkchop as a necklace. I also was going to say it's a good idea to carry a spare feral cat to use as a diversion.
But I thought that might be a bit over the top.

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 23 2011 4:10 pm
by kevinweitzel75
I was mostly kidding about pulling out my gun. That's always a last ditch effort. But I wasn't joking about my boot. I would have made a feild goal with the nearest saguaro. :PMIC:

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 23 2011 4:40 pm
by Tough_Boots
Alston Neal wrote:I also was going to say it's a good idea to carry a spare feral cat to use as a diversion.
:sl: You should be able to fit one of those Bonsai kittens in the outside mesh pocket of most packs! That would work splendidly.

Re: Hiking etiquette with dogs

Posted: Mar 23 2011 6:15 pm
by PLC92084
My tongue is sore from biting it so hard. I've decided to just live vicariously through Alston...