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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by doingtime View Post
    OK, I'm needing help with this. I hike with a dog 50% of the time. My dog runs off leash 95% of the time we're hiking. I do keep her leashed in parking lots, campgrounds, high traffic areas, etc.

    I keep a retractable leash attached to my pack at all times and use as needed.

    But, on the trail, I just can't see using a leash. Especially a regular 6 foot lead. Just walking a dog n the neighborhood on a 6 foot leash is no fun, so i sure can't see the fun (for me or her) on a leash out in the wide open spaces.

    I ask, because i have never seen a dog, on the trail, on a 6 foot leash. I see them all of the time off leash and never had a problem.

    My question is, how do you do it? Enjoy being on the trail with a dog on a leash that is?
    So, just because you "can't see" or understand the reasoning behind leash laws - which exist in MANY areas and is a STATEWIDE LAW in many states, that means you're going to make up your own set of laws to abide? WOW, glad that everyone doesn't impose their behavior across the board that way. This is WHY there is animosity towards lack of personal accountability for dog owners and dogs.

    Before anyone labels me as a dog hater I have a dog, love dogs, have hiked LD distances with my own and other dogs, and have chosen to take some of my dogs on trails and not others. AND, I'VE aimed to follow the DOG LEASH LAWS WHEN REQUIRED. FWIW, kinda has sucked for me as a dog owner trying to backpack with a leashed dog that runs off, is disobedient, or confronts/fights other dogs, wildlife or people. So, as said, some of my dogs in the past I could not and would not impose on others or myself on trail.

  2. #102

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    Regardless of what you think
    Dogs get frightened of strangers, and are territorial

    I was talking to someone once when their well behaved dog took off and bit at an approaching hiker, ripping shorts near crotch.

    Two things

    1. Average cost payout for a dogbite is $40,000 dollars
    2. If your dog bites someone, theres a good chance it can be put down. There is a zero tolerance policy toward dogs that bite.

    Unless you have a very well trained, well socialized dog, your a fool not to have it on leash in public. Most dogs I see are not either, they are simply wild pets.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by doingtime View Post
    OK, I'm needing help with this. I hike with a dog 50% of the time. My dog runs off leash 95% of the time we're hiking. I do keep her leashed in parking lots, campgrounds, high traffic areas, etc.

    I keep a retractable leash attached to my pack at all times and use as needed.

    But, on the trail, I just can't see using a leash. Especially a regular 6 foot lead. Just walking a dog n the neighborhood on a 6 foot leash is no fun, so i sure can't see the fun (for me or her) on a leash out in the wide open spaces.

    I ask, because i have never seen a dog, on the trail, on a 6 foot leash. I see them all of the time off leash and never had a problem.

    My question is, how do you do it? Enjoy being on the trail with a dog on a leash that is?
    Our dog, a 90 pound shepherd, stays on a flexi lead at all times except when she's in our tent.
    The restraint is because we know she'd chase every kind of wild animal if she wasn't attached to us.
    It's a matter of not loosing her because she runs off after another animal.

  4. #104

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    When I was in college my neighbor's wife was absolutely terrified of dogs. One day she was walking to the grocery store when a dog ran up toward her. To dodge the dog she veered into the street and was hit by a car and killed. An extreme example too be sure but something one should think about when you allow your dog be off leach. You can not predict how others will react to your dog's approach and what the outcome will be.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  5. #105
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    Mostly i just dont like you afraid of everything. im glad you are flip flopping. increases the chances i dont see you.
    I hike with a dog. Please, tell me why i shouldn't.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by doingtime View Post
    OK, I'm needing help with this. I hike with a dog 50% of the time. My dog runs off leash 95% of the time we're hiking. I do keep her leashed in parking lots, campgrounds, high traffic areas, etc.

    I keep a retractable leash attached to my pack at all times and use as needed.

    But, on the trail, I just can't see using a leash. Especially a regular 6 foot lead. Just walking a dog n the neighborhood on a 6 foot leash is no fun, so i sure can't see the fun (for me or her) on a leash out in the wide open spaces.

    I ask, because i have never seen a dog, on the trail, on a 6 foot leash. I see them all of the time off leash and never had a problem.

    My question is, how do you do it? Enjoy being on the trail with a dog on a leash that is?
    If you're dog runs off you should not have her off leash ...period. Whether obedient or not leash laws are in place to protect everyone, the wildlife that lives there full time, humans, other domesticated pets, purity of water sources and campsites. I did not always have this more considerate attitude.

    If you always have a retractable leash attached to your pack that is NOT acceptable. You need to have you dog leashed when required which is more often than not with some states requiring dogs to ALWAYS be leashed on public property.

    As you relate walking a dog on a 6 ft leash in the neighborhood CAN be no fun particularly when the owner is ignorant about their dog, how to train a dog, and the dog is not well behaved. Backpacking with a dog on a retractable leash was definitely not initially enjoyable...not by a long shot for me. And, it was't just because a dog's behavior or specific dog. MY IGNORANCE was the biggest culprit!

    Later, I have found it exceedingly enjoyable to hike LD with not only my dog but with others.

    Two decades ago I had a larger powerful male German Shepard - Bandit - that was mainly a leashed farm and landscaping yard dog. I got him when he was already about a yr old. He was obedient inside the chain linked enclosure at the yard off leash. He was always friendly to those that accompanied me inside the enclosure. This had me assuming he would be well behaved on trail. WRONG! DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT DIFFERENT DYNAMICS A DIFFERENT ME WITH A DOG ON TRAIL.

    Initially, because I had the attitude I wanted MY DOG with ME(it was about my obstinate selfishness) and wanted him to "enjoy himself in the woods", I tried repeatedly day hiking with him on and off leash legally without wearing a backpack. I eventually realized off leash was not going to work. He'd run off chasing whatever. He'd return an hr later with mud all over him, once with some animals? blood on his face, another time having gotten into it with a skunk, another time with cockleburs stuck all over his coat, one time with a small cut in his side, and one other time arriving back at the truck(after waiting 40 mins for him) limping on three legs with a split bleeding cut in his paw I had to take him to the vet for. That's just what I knew about he did - hence I DID. WHY so many incidences like this? I thought I could teach/train him. Eventually I realized I couldn't teach/train a beloved pet something I did not know how or what to teach/train. 1) Here's where MANY dog owners get into trouble. IMHO, MANY dog owners vastly over estimate their dog training abilities, dog's obedience in untested situations, and dog relationships in unfamiliar trail environments! 2) I needed to be trained more so than the dog! Now, I'm just less dog ignorant.

    Getting back to the leash question. I attempted one overnighter with him myself wearing an UL backpack keeping him always on a retractable leash. IT WAS NOT ENJOYABLE! I was out there for mainly him. On leash, he went after another trail user's dog. He wasn't typically accustomed to being in personal proximity to other dogs. Reigning him in on shorter leash he'd pull like an ox making me lose balance repeatedly sometimes taking me off trail into hazardous for me situations. It was like a tug of war mixed with intermittent LONG stops with him on leash. It affected my ability to establish a rhythm to my backpacking. Later, after contacting a noted dog behaviorists I realized I made a mistake using the collar I did with Bandit. *The right collar can make the difference in how well your dog behaves on leash and as you train your pet! **I now use a pack lead collar initially until the dog and I are in better sync.

    Day hiking with a dog for a few hrs or being accustomed to taking a dog for a walk, especially on level terrain in the local park on sidewalk or paved road, is different than LD backpacking wearing a good size backpack on roller coasting sometimes narrow rocky rolly poly single track. As with some other dogs, when I let the leash lengthen out for him to explore he would not always stay on the trail. He'd get the longer leash wrapped around saplings, boulders, and underbrush repeatedly. IT WAS NOT ENJOYABLE! It was frustrating to the point it affected others and my own trail experiences and the environment.

    I had the same experiences with a German Short Tailed Pointer who was a family and pure bred hunting dog. I got - Gunner - from a breeder/trainer when 4 months old. I went through some professional hunting dog training with him. When not actively bird hunting he'd get antsy without constant stimulation or being left alone for anymore than 2 hrs so would run off to come back an hr later with the pheasant or quail he had run down into probably the next county to get in his mouth. Could not leave him alone for more than 2 hrs or he'd go bizerk. Part of this is the high strung nature of this breed;part of it was my families and my own ignorance concerning dogs and the situation. I tried day hiking with him always on a retractable leash with some success. But doing overnighters or off leash..no. He wouldn't sit still during the night feeling very restless from the sounds of nature. He tore the tent down(and tore the tent) I had him tied to one weekend hike trying to chase a opossum in the night. Don't tie your dog to the tent.

    "I ask, because i have never seen a dog, on the trail, on a 6 foot leash. I see them all of the time off leash and never had a problem."

    Well just because you haven't seen it I have MANY TIMES. Dogs on very short 6 ft leashes are more rare than on 8-10 ft or retractable 20 ft leashes. The dogs on short leashes are overwhelmingly extremely well behaved well trained able to heel dogs with the owner and animal in rhythm or it isn't and the owner knows it so reigns it in...often because of a perceived threatening issue. I've observed more than a dozen occasions authorities giving verbal warnings to dog owners illegally having their animal off leash. 2 or 3 times I've seen angry owners being written up and cited for it. One of those times the one LEO called in assistance having the dog owner and two dogs physically removed from the trail with the two dogs now leashed with the LEOs both threatening to impound the two dogs(one a lab, one an aggressive Rott mutt mix) because the dog owner had been caught twice that day.

    WOW, is all I can say about some dog owners attitudes.

  7. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Regardless of what you think
    Dogs get frightened of strangers, and are territorial

    I was talking to someone once when their well behaved dog took off and bit at an approaching hiker, ripping shorts near crotch.

    Two things

    1. Average cost payout for a dogbite is $40,000 dollars
    2. If your dog bites someone, theres a good chance it can be put down. There is a zero tolerance policy toward dogs that bite.

    Unless you have a very well trained, well socialized dog, your a fool not to have it on leash in public. Most dogs I see are not either, they are simply wild pets.
    Wow! I would definitely let a dog bite me for $40,000 grand...I'd even run a special, two bites for $75,000

  8. #108
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    Something I have not seen mentioned is Poison Ivy... That is the dog will get into it just walking around, then transfer the oils to you and your gear. I recommend not even petting an approaching animal if you are allergic. Don't get me wrong, love animals...just hate the Ivy rash worse! For those who have not discovered Tecnu, it is absolutely outstanding if you wash within an hour of getting affected. If you don't get it off, plan on one to two weeks of fun...

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by clusterone View Post
    Something I have not seen mentioned is Poison Ivy... That is the dog will get into it just walking around, then transfer the oils to you and your gear. I recommend not even petting an approaching animal if you are allergic. Don't get me wrong, love animals...just hate the Ivy rash worse! For those who have not discovered Tecnu, it is absolutely outstanding if you wash within an hour of getting affected. If you don't get it off, plan on one to two weeks of fun...
    This is one big reason my dogs don't come in the woods with me. My fingers web up when I get near poison ivy. It's just not worth it. Plus, my dogs are big, spoiled wimps
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

  10. #110

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    The trail may be 2,180+ miles long, but it's only a few feet wide in most places, sometimes with a sheer drop on one side. More than a few times I've had a dog appear suddenly around a blind corner, well ahead of its owner, and immediately go into a confrontational mode -- fur up and growling. And EVERY TIME, the owner catches up and tells me that the dog is friendly and harmless.

    I had a trio of hikers once in the 100 mile wilderness with 2 large dogs in camp -- they made the evening miserable. They were aggressive and completely unready for the trail: running around, disturbing gear, barking at everything.

    Keep your dog on a leash or keep it at home.

  11. #111
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    My ridgeback puppy is just 8 months. I got him a ruffwear 11ft roamer leash and approach pack. I keep the total pack weight at or below 5lbs right now as he's young. I feel that's ok since he's already 90lbs. I'll just say this, I know why so many people just let there dog off leash...it's easier! My dog is very smart and well behaved for his age in our eyes. We just finished his 3rd 6 week obedience class. But keeping him focused on me while we are In the woods is something else. 3 mile hikes have never exhausted me like this. Constant commands/corrections keeping him close, recall, backing up when the leash is caught.

    I was never put off by dogs off leash before until we got him and are putting so much effort into training him. So far I've only had one person ask me in the woods if ID like them to put THEIR dog on a leash and was very thankful they asked. If my dog wanted to he could be a handful. I like the above....keep them leashed or keep them home.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. #112

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    You asked how, I use a 6 foot store bought lead attached to a harness, one store bought the other I braided and sewed together, that lead is attached through my belt to itself, usually if on trail, or to a belt loop, in town, with a carabinier. If I had on a backpack I would attach the bibnier to my waist belt or to the pack in some shape or form. As for fun, I have a Lab mix, he thinks fun is being with dad therefore if we are out walking in any form he is having fun.

  13. #113

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    I am testing my two -year old dog to see if he has the temperament for a trail dog. He hikes on a six foot leash with a loop handle that is attached to a chest-pressure harness and threaded through his pack. He also has a collar that has no leash. I hold one end of the leash in my left hand, pole in my right. He alerts me to anything coming--hikers, wildlife, at a greater distance than I can tell. We get off trail, he sits, I hold his collar. We wait. Oncoming hikers pass or stop, their choice. Many compliments on his behaviour. I've had dogs greet him or ignore him--I've had to brace myself to hold him when another dog meets him with enthusiasm, but he stays under control and held. In camp, we tent, well-removed from the shelter. At shelter gatherings he is still somewhat territorial until introduced; if someone doesn't want to meet him, we remove ourselves. He is quiet all night, and doesn't get up until I do. He is never off leash--even in the tent (I wear the leash while sleeping--I want to be waked up if he tries to escape of trouble develops.) So far, it is not a hassle for me personally to hold his leash, as a tradeoff for his company. He's 90+ pounds, so I get a little boost uphill, and he is trained to "wait" while going down--I'm not fast, and so far have always had time to plant a pole or grab a tree if he doesn't stop quickly enough. He doesn't want to leave me, so if I did drop the leash because he was moving too fast downhill, he'd return to me. So far, situations with others have always been controlled, and I'll keep it that way. We'll need quite a while before I decide whether he really is up for long-distance travel. As someone else said, fun is where I am, so it's "fun". Want to make sure it's real for him.

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