Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

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Thoreau
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Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Thoreau » Dec 19 2009 8:11 pm

I had an 'interesting' experience today while hiking Thompson Peak that I think illustrates at least one reason why leash laws/rules exist.

Let me start out by saying that if something as simple as this got my heart racing the way it did, I can't even imagine what it would be like to be dealing with a human instead of a dog (and Harold Fish had to deal with BOTH)...

Anywho, I was out on the trail to Thompson Peak today. Great hike (holy s&&& it was steep towards the end!) and all went well. Until about a mile or two from the end on my way back out.

I was coming up a hill and looked up to see a pretty good sized dog at the top. I had enough time to notice that it had tags hanging from a collar, so was able to immediately rule out stray and wild animal, which almost set me at ease. Unfortunately, the dog (looked to be a doberman mix of some type) noticed me and began growling/barking. No owner in sight. A few seconds later the dog made some false charges in my direction at which point my hand went to my H&K. JUST as it was about to come out of the holster, the owner appeared at the top of the hill on a mountain bike and managed to get the dog back under voice control and to back off (took 2-3 tries to get the dogs obedience.)

Owner apologized immediately and all was well, but that's probably because he never noticed I was carrying.

In that short time, I was amazed at how something so minor could pump that much adrenaline into the bloodstream. I've never even been charged at by a dog before in my life, but even while armed it was an experience to remember.

Why the hell do some dog owners think it's okay for them to let their dogs off leash in public places? I mean, it's not like every hiking trail, preserve, forest, etc. doesn't have signs up reminding people that dogs must always be on a leash. That's as much for the protection of other people as the dog/owner. That poor dog, through NO fault of its own, was only about 1-2 seconds away from being introduced to a .40 (or 14). All because some owner can't follow simple, basic rules.

For added fun, all that dog's barking got the attention of a nearby pack of coyotes who were then singing away for the remainder of my hike out. As if native wildlife isn't reason enough for a caring dog owner to keep the dog under control at all times...

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Jeffshadows
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Jeffshadows » Feb 20 2010 8:22 pm

Yea, that isn't cool. :(
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pencak
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by pencak » Feb 21 2010 5:02 pm

azbackpackr wrote:That reminds me of something I witnessed at Havasupai several years ago...
I was there last October and saw many of the reservation dogs just wandering around along the trail (loose horses also.) They knew to stay away from the pack trains. Mostly they would give you that Mexican-velvet-painting sad-eye kind of look in hopes you would give them scraps. All of them were friendly (to me at least.) Going up the switchbacks at the end I came across some Japanese tourists (4 or 5 women). They all had an 8oz bottle of water in their hands for the 10mi hike which they were starting at 11:30am. I asked, "Do you have more water?" They pointed to the man in the back who had a pack with 4 - 1 gallon jugs of water in it.

Flash to the last 100yds of the trail at the end of the switchbacks. Being this was the first major hike I had taken in 30 years, I felt like I had hiked across the surface of Mercury with an engine block strapped to my back and was dead tired. I look up and this lady is starting her walk, bouncing down the trail in black leotards, no hat and carrying an 8oz bottle of designer water. In front of her is her little Chihuahua scampering along without a leash wearing a shawl. I had to say something. I said, "Ma'am, do you have enough water?" more than willing to give her the 48oz I had left. She replied sternly pointing to the two extra bottles in her fanny pack, saying "Yessss!" I shut up and kept going.

I thought to myself how this disaster was going to play out. If that unleashed little yapping machine came across a rock-breaking mule train on the switchbacks it would be killed (assuming it could even walk far enough down the switchbacks without giving up.) After the owner got tired of carrying the dog after a few miles and it was let loose anywhere near those reservation dogs, it might become food or a pleasant diversion for them to chase until it died of exhaustion.

In any case, the brief moment I saw that woman, I knew that her story in the next 8 hours would probably have something bad in it. Either her dog would be dead or she would get heat stroke, perhaps both. I would put money on her probably paying the Havasupi $90 to be thrown on one of the back of the mules to bring her in to Supai, either that or $1,500 to be picked up by the helicopter.
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azbackpackr
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by azbackpackr » Feb 21 2010 9:21 pm

AAAARGH! Why do I even want to go back there? I have already been there 4 times, after all. I am pretty sure I will go back there, though, most likely with my granddaughter when she's big enough.

The dogs down there are generally friendly to tourists, but I guess not to strange dogs. I am pretty sure that woman you told about, and/or her dog, had some issues later that day... Did she deserve that? I don't know. Poor poochie sure didn't, though! I want to say "Yes, she deserved it!" because I so intensely dislike that sort of gym-rat type of "hiker."

I think that is the worst thing about Havasupai. It is not the Natives, it is not the trash, it is not the dogs, it is not the overgrazing, it is not the skinny horses and their poor hooves. It is the danged other Anglos who are not hikers. I hate it when they cheer you on, too. Yuck! So condescending. They see a female with a pack, and since they have never carried one before they think it is a new thing for everyone on the trail. And they see you hiking up and they cheer you on. Blech. Go the flip away! Leave me the heck alone!

Yeah, I should stay away from there. Maybe it doesn't bring out the best in me... ;)
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dysfunction
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by dysfunction » Feb 21 2010 9:27 pm

this is why I carry an ipod.. I use it in populated areas... like within 2 miles of the rim on BA, Sabino Canyon etc etc etc idiots be gone! :y:
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azbackpackr
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by azbackpackr » Feb 21 2010 9:34 pm

Yeah, I should get one of those things. Jerry Garcia will keep me company just fine...
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Jeffshadows
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Jeffshadows » Feb 22 2010 8:06 am

Yea, what Larry just described plays out on a daily basis in Sabino and with regularity in the front range hikes in the Catalinas, as well.
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joebartels
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by joebartels » Mar 14 2010 7:06 pm

Saw a record six groups on Squaw today with dogs, eight dogs in all on a trail with a huge 4x6 foot sign posted "no dogs".

Also saw two guys that I suspect graffitied a rock. Didn't see it but heard rock scratching before I came around a corner. Then when I rounded the corner they were flipping a rock that looked like it had a zig zag of sorts on it. About ten other people crossed paths from both directions within the next ten seconds.
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imike
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by imike » Mar 14 2010 7:09 pm

joe bartels wrote:Saw a record six groups on Squaw today with dogs, eight dogs in all on a trail with a huge 4x6 foot sign posted "no dogs".

Also saw two guys that I suspect graffitied a rock. Didn't see it but heard rock scratching before I came around a corner. Then when I rounded the corner they were flipping a rock that looked like it had a zig zag of sorts on it. About ten other people crossed paths from both directions within the next ten seconds.
... four years of hiking here in the Cloudcroft area... have run into four hikers... no dogs... and, the hikers were all German (German Air Force is stationed in Alamogordo)
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Jeffshadows
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Jeffshadows » Mar 14 2010 8:18 pm

It's becoming an epidemic...
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Korben
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Korben » Mar 15 2010 12:26 am

I didnt want to read 5 pages of this but I just wanted to add my 2 cents.

When I am hiking I always have my australian shepherd on a leash until I feel I am pretty secluded. Then I always let him off leash. I never let him get to far ahead and usually make him walk right next to me. If I do see a hiker I put the leash back on him well before we cross paths. I am more worried him running into rattlesnakes than other hikers. I can trust him off leash and he will always listen to my commands. I wouldnt have him off leash if i didnt trust him.

I think the leash law is a good law to have. But I will break that law as I have complete trust in my dog and it was hard work to get him to that point.

The dog owners that just let there dog run free while hiking is not responsible at all and that is why we have these leash laws.

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azbackpackr
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 15 2010 3:02 am

Hey, newbie, exactly my idea as well. I live in a remote area, very seldom see hikers, but I do see them on the South Fork Trail #97 and on Flat Top, or I see horse riders whose dogs are never leashed, for obvious reasons. My dog is close by, I put her on the leash. She's old, and I want to protect her. I used to have a Blue Heeler who hated other dogs, and was also leery of strangers. Having him off leash was not a good idea on a trail but way in the remote backcountry I would take him off and let him run. But way in the backcountry is not hard to find up here, just like for imike in Cloudcroft.

Lately I leave my dog home, though, most of the time. She can't go very far these days.
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by skatchkins » Mar 16 2010 5:20 pm

K, I love dogs and guns.
That out of the way, I never really thought about this subject too much until I went hiking with a 4yr old who was deathly allergic to just about everything (think anaphylactic shock and has to carry EpiPens in his pack at all times) including dogs. On the Parsons Trail this weekend, two different dogs were running unleashed ahead of their master's groups.
I played buffer until they got their smells logged and moved on.
Now if they had been covered in peanut butter or tree nuts, I think I could have legally shot them.
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chumley
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by chumley » Jan 19 2011 9:46 am

I don't think that's for dogs ... it's more powerful than the ones intended for human use. These are for grizzlies and hippos!
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Jim_H
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Jim_H » Jan 19 2011 9:53 am

Hippos on the trail in Arizona?
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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chumley
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by chumley » Jan 19 2011 10:34 am

Yup. When they realize they're not cougars, they hit the trail. Usually just a few times before retreating to the couch and reality tv. :)
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by PaleoRob » Jan 19 2011 10:59 am

chumley wrote:Yup. When they realize they're not cougars, they hit the trail. Usually just a few times before retreating to the couch and reality tv. :)
ZING! Beat me to it.
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by kingsnake » Jan 19 2011 2:58 pm

Am I alone in feeling that dogs seem to react less well to people on bikes than people on feet?

Btw, this might work on dogs as well: http://www.glacier-national-park-travel ... llent.html (Though I don't think I would take on a grizzly with "at least a .22" as they suggest ...)
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by paulhubbard » Jan 19 2011 3:05 pm

Dogs running around loose can pick up and carry poison ivy too. I try to avoid dogs whenever hiking around Sedona/Oak Creek.
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Thoreau
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Re: Dogs on the trail... sans leash...

Post by Thoreau » Jan 19 2011 3:07 pm

kingsnake wrote:Though I don't think I would take on a grizzly with "at least a .22" as they suggest
Haha, so true!

Item #3 on that part of the page is also false stating that "3.Guns are illegal in National Parks". Time for them to play catch up on their website data.

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