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  1. #41
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    Here we go again - been hiking the A.T. for 30+ years and never had a bad encounter with a dog, I even took dog treats with me when I didn't own a dog, But don't let me start with with the human pigs I have met.

    My best advice is to train your dog - it's very easy, My dog hikes about 5 feet in front of me and when we see a hiker coming I have my dog stop and I ask the hiker if the he/she is ok with dogs, My dog will only approach the hiker if the hiker asks him.

    Just came off the trail after 5 days and as usual not a single issue - met about 30 thru hikers and many day hikers.

    Lets start a thread on the some of the bad people we have met on the trail.

  2. #42

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    Most people are cowards and won't say anything about it while you are there. But they will piss and moan and complain about you and your dog after you leave.

  3. #43
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    I work in a vet hospital as a LVT. I am very much against retractable leashes. Especially while hiking. I use a 6 foot leash while hiking and backpacking with my dog. I have him trained to walk on my left side, that way he doesn't wind the leash around me. I attach the leash to my pack. I do allow him off leash in certain areas. But if I see people coming I whistle and he comes back and I hook him back up until they pass. But when he is off leash he doesn't venture off of the trail and he stays close. But if I know I am in big bear country I do keep on leash at all times. If we are on an extended back packing trip if we come across a field or a pond/stream I allow him off leash (if there are not people around) to play fetch or let him swim to cool off. But it's all about using judgement and instinct. I never know how other's feel about dogs, so I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable. Plus if someone comes around the bend with a dog that isn't nice I don't want him getting hurt. Once we have been hiking for quite a while and he's getting tired, that's usually the best time to keep him off leash because he stays behind me, right at my heels. That way I can see what's up ahead first to keep him safe.

  4. #44
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    There shouldn't be any question on this topic. Dogs should be on a leash while on the trail or in voice control. But, I'm like Muddy. I have yet to see anyone that has had voice control over their dog to the extent that many are claiming to have (Dune I didn't actually see your dogs on trail so...). I just make life simpler while hiking. If I see some clown coming down the trail (or more likely see the dog first) with an unleashed dog, I step off the trail and yield to them. I'm not approaching said person or dog so my thoughts are there is less likelihood that a defense mechanism will be triggered in the dog. I have had success with this strategy. But, even then I have had a few dogs that get a bit defensive. Have yet to be bit but am always ready to smack a nose with a trekking pole. I make it a point to compliment people that have their dog leashed or leash upon seeing an approaching hiker. Those that refuse to leash dog are simply disrespectful individuals.
    Lonehiker

  5. #45
    Registered User DavidNH's Avatar
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    If you can't or won't keep your dog on a leash than leave your dog at home. You are being very disrespectful to the rest of us who don't appreciate dogs running all over the place, chasing wildlife away and barking incessantly at shelters.

  6. #46

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    I didn't experience any issues with dogs off leash on my hike. I had some fun playing fetch with a few of them. The further north I got the fewer dogs I saw.
    I can see both sides of this issue, but I love the idea of dog being leash free if they are trained properly and in areas where it is safe for them to be off the leash. I felt like I was off my leash on the trail and I liked it.

  7. #47
    Registered User doingtime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BonBon View Post
    I didn't experience any issues with dogs off leash on my hike. I had some fun playing fetch with a few of them. The further north I got the fewer dogs I saw.
    I can see both sides of this issue, but I love the idea of dog being leash free if they are trained properly and in areas where it is safe for them to be off the leash. I felt like I was off my leash on the trail and I liked it.
    You are the kind of person my dog and I love to meet! Good for you!

  8. #48
    Registered User doingtime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlitterHiker View Post
    I'm so happy to read this discussion here. I'm another one terribly anxious around dogs & have been bitten. I just don't get the culture that's developing that it's perfectly ok to have a dog run around off leash. I was terribly disappointed last weekend to encounter two dogs off leash in a MD section of the AT. Each dog bounded up to me. Besides my fear of getting bitten, I don't particularly care for an animal jumping up on me. For each encounter, I asked the owner to call his dog. Each one acted perturbed. One said: "He's just getting to know you". Why do I have to be subjected to that?? I'm glad to hear that the general consensus is to be prepared to defend myself. From now on, I will certainly do so.
    I understand how you feel and and I do not let my dog go to a stranger unless I am 100% sure they want to pet her. And good for you realizing that yes,you need to be prepared to defend yourself. I suggest a fix blade knife. I carry a LARGE fixed blade on my pack strap. I call it the intimidator.

  9. #49
    Registered User doingtime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamkrz View Post
    Here we go again - been hiking the A.T. for 30+ years and never had a bad encounter with a dog, I even took dog treats with me when I didn't own a dog, But don't let me start with with the human pigs I have met.

    My best advice is to train your dog - it's very easy, My dog hikes about 5 feet in front of me and when we see a hiker coming I have my dog stop and I ask the hiker if the he/she is ok with dogs, My dog will only approach the hiker if the hiker asks him.

    Just came off the trail after 5 days and as usual not a single issue - met about 30 thru hikers and many day hikers.

    Lets start a thread on the some of the bad people we have met on the trail.

    We must be related! These are my thoughts and experience as well. I'd much rather see/meet/interact with dogs on the trails then most of the idiots I see.

  10. #50
    Registered User doingtime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidNH View Post
    If you can't or won't keep your dog on a leash than leave your dog at home. You are being very disrespectful to the rest of us who don't appreciate dogs running all over the place, chasing wildlife away and barking incessantly at shelters.
    Wow. My dog does not run all over the place, chase wildlife or bark incessantly, but thanks for sharing your pent up frustration. Buy a dog and relax.

  11. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    Most people are cowards and won't say anything about it while you are there. But they will piss and moan and complain about you and your dog after you leave.
    I go on hikes to escape real world strife. Want to start a fight, all you have to do is comment on someone's poor parenting, or poor care for their dog. I've told plenty of people during local day hikes that the trail rules require a leash. On my AT hike, I didn't want to be the trail police and be "that guy" constantly complaining about noise, litter, pets, etc. If I didn't like a certain behavior, I hiked faster, or slower and simply removed myself from the annoyance. It's not a matter of cowardice, it's a matter of realizing that most dog owners just don't want to hear that they're being crappy dog owners. They just won't change, so why should I even bother pointing it out to them. That said, I did calmly talk to a few dog owners on the AT, and offered to teach them how to train their dogs how not to aggressively bark at oncoming hikers. Because they seemed like decent people who were just clueless on how to train their dog. One man started practicing right away and his dog responded really well and really quickly. One woman told me she knew of the method, but it didn't work on her dog, "because she tried it before." Her dog got more and more unruly as the weeks passed until I finally got away from them.

  12. #52
    Registered User doingtime's Avatar
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    I did a 2.5 hour training hike today at a local park with my dog. I have listened to the comments here and made sure I was more aware of other people and their feelings. I let her off leash when we were alone (and we were a lot as I hiked some horse trails). Only encountered a few people and I leashed her up immediately upon seeing them. Saw a few horses and did the same thing.

    Long story short we had a fabulous hike and being cognizant of others helped me make sure we did not bother anyone. I think this is the perfect balance. My dog is a great trail dog, and she had a blast!

  13. #53
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    I hope to train my little buddy to be a hiking companion, and that will include being leashed at all times, for our safety and the safety of others. He won't be a big dog, but that's no reason not to be responsible and courteous. I am going to work with a trainer to instill some basic commands that would be useful everyday, as well as on the trail.

  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by doingtime View Post
    I did a 2.5 hour training hike today at a local park with my dog. I have listened to the comments here and made sure I was more aware of other people and their feelings. I let her off leash when we were alone (and we were a lot as I hiked some horse trails). Only encountered a few people and I leashed her up immediately upon seeing them. Saw a few horses and did the same thing.

    Long story short we had a fabulous hike and being cognizant of others helped me make sure we did not bother anyone. I think this is the perfect balance. My dog is a great trail dog, and she had a blast!
    yur absolved go forth and sin no more.

  15. #55
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    Just to add some more, just remembering a former g/f who had a dog we took on trail, always leashed, which sometimes I ran with, dog never felt restrained by the leash, as she went I went, but with some control - but not restriction, and could stop her and curb her as others approached always. Perhaps instead of training dogs we need to train owners, instead of leashing dogs to owners we need to leash owners to dogs and have them keep up, or hit the gym so they can. All else is unfair to the dog or all others who use the trail.

  16. #56
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    Just to add some more, just remembering a former g/f who had a dog we took on trail, always leashed, which sometimes I ran with, dog never felt restrained by the leash, as she went I went, but with some control - but not restriction, and could stop her and curb her as others approached always. Perhaps instead of training dogs we need to train owners, instead of leashing dogs to owners we need to leash owners to dogs and have them keep up, or hit the gym so they can. All else is unfair to the dog or all others who use the trail.
    +1

    saw one dog this weekend off leash. Under nominal voice control by the owner. Dog didn't listen too well. I can see how someone frightened of dogs may get concerned. Dogs need to own better people.

  17. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    Most people are cowards and won't say anything about it while you are there. But they will piss and moan and complain about you and your dog after you leave.
    Ever thought of not giving them something to piss and moan and complain about? Of course you didn't...

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Average payout in dog bite case is $37,000.
    That alone should be enough reason for anyone with dog over 20 lb to take care.
    Wow...I should've pushed for more in my case

    I'm completely for the leash because I had the nasty experience of being told by the owner that her unleashed dog was friendly then having it take a nice bite out of my calf. That was a few years ago and I still have the bite scars but more important the bad memories of that experience ruining my hiking vacation out west.
    Happy Lifetime Sectioner!

  19. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore View Post
    Ever thought of not giving them something to piss and moan and complain about? Of course you didn't...
    Ever read the thread and think about it for a few seconds before you respond? Of course you didn't.

  20. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    Ever read the thread and think about it for a few seconds before you respond? Of course you didn't.
    There you go again, moaning and complaining.

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