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frieden
07-21-2006, 09:39
I posted this on the other thread, but it really belongs on a training thread.

What kinds of training are you doing with your dog to prepare for the trail? Fitness? Obedience? Camp behavior? Town behavior?

I've read a lot about rock scrambling. I was curious if anyone was doing agility training with their dog to prepare for this. On the FT, you have to teach the dogs to climb over a wooden fence ladder, built for hikers to safely cross a barbed wire fence. Is there anything like that on the AT?

Lone Wolf
07-21-2006, 09:40
Stiles. Lotsa stiles on the AT.

SGT Rock
07-21-2006, 09:40
There are in places.

the goat
07-21-2006, 10:26
I posted this on the other thread, but it really belongs on a training thread.

What kinds of training are you doing with your dog to prepare for the trail? Fitness? Obedience? Camp behavior? Town behavior?

I've read a lot about rock scrambling. I was curious if anyone was doing agility training with their dog to prepare for this. On the FT, you have to teach the dogs to climb over a wooden fence ladder, built for hikers to safely cross a barbed wire fence. Is there anything like that on the AT?

there are a coupla wooded ladders up north that are used to ascend and descend rock faces. these will be tricky if your dog isn't extremely agile. at one of these i thought i'd have to try to carry moose up, instead, when i took off his pack he took a running start, and leaped, springing off the middle rung of the ladder and propoelling himself up and over. i was pissed off that there wasn't anyone else there to see it.
the spots where the trail goes over barbed wire should be a little less tricky, it's sometimes easier for a dog to crawl and scoot underneath the wire too.

Phreak
07-21-2006, 14:18
I did extensive basic obedience training on both of my dogs before we ventured out on the trail. If your dog isn't well-behaved in it's home environment, it's going to be even worse out on the trail. I started off with short day hikes to work on their trail training, etiquette, etc. Once I was comfortable with days hikes, we moved up to overnights, and I've completed several 6-7 days trips with my dogs. Our last trip was on the Foothills Trail and they had a blast.


As far as exercise, my dogs log 35-40 miles for running per week, 1-3 hours of swimming and as much backpacking as possible (typically 8-10 days per month).

Phreak
07-21-2006, 14:26
What kinds of training are you doing with your dog to prepare for the trail? Fitness? Obedience? Camp behavior? Town behavior?

All of the above. It's very important to build up your dog's endurance and stamina before hitting the trail. I had a structured exercise plan for my dogs for 60 days leading up to their first backpacking trip. Also, allow your dog to get acclimated to wearing a dog pack. Start off with a roll of TP in each side and add .5-1 pound of weight every few days. A dog can carry up to 1/3 of their body weight, tho I typically try to keep the weight at no more than 1/4 for my dogs.

I own & operate a dog training business, so feel free to ask any questions in regards to training your dog(s) for the trail or dog training in general.

B~

general
07-21-2006, 21:08
books on dog training are very useful. my dog was 2 years old when i started the trail in 2000. at that point, i had worked with him at least an hour a day (most days, more than 2hrs) just about every day of his life. i also took him to work with me every single day and everyone there loved him, so he was very comfortable around people. he never did take to my boss however, but, niether did i. he never has been much into chasing animals, so it was never an issue. i can see how that would be the worst habit to break, and very good voice control would be the answer there. if you give a command to have the dog stop what they are doing, and they don't 100% of the time, put the dog on a leash. most all dogs aim to please, so if you can connect with them, they will do anything you ask them to.

Uncle Silly
07-22-2006, 03:19
Stiles are troublesome. Some were sloped enough that Katy had no trouble at all (she's a limber, skilled rock-climber); others were a bit steep and she couldn't deal. The one where she slipped down between two rungs scared the bejeezus out of me and convinced me to look for alternate crossings before coaxing her over a stile.

However, you have to watch out for the electric fences. Katy got a D-ring on her pack caught on one wire of a fence in northern NY (just north of the AT train stop). It shocked both of us, as I was grabbing the wire to try and free the tangle.

I've found that my wooden hiking staff is very handy in widening the opening between two strands of a barbed-wire or electric fence. Step on the lowest strand to force it to the ground, and use a staff or branch to "pry" up the next-higher strand to give your canine that extra room.

Uncle Silly
07-22-2006, 03:23
I also trained Katy to hike behind, beside, and ahead of me, and she took to 'em like a champ. Once she got them down, the training stuck even while she was off-leash. She likes to roam ahead, so I reserve that as a treat (or for uphills, where she can help pull me up:); but most of the time I'll have her hike behind me. This helps keep her and her leash out of my sight so they won't block my view of where my feet are going, and the beneficial side-effect of making it a bit easier to get her off-trail when we pass hikers going the opposite direction.

frieden
07-22-2006, 08:22
Stiles are troublesome. Some were sloped enough that Katy had no trouble at all (she's a limber, skilled rock-climber); others were a bit steep and she couldn't deal. The one where she slipped down between two rungs scared the bejeezus out of me and convinced me to look for alternate crossings before coaxing her over a stile.

However, you have to watch out for the electric fences. Katy got a D-ring on her pack caught on one wire of a fence in northern NY (just north of the AT train stop). It shocked both of us, as I was grabbing the wire to try and free the tangle.

We haven't trained with stiles, yet. That was part of the required SAR training that we didn't get to. I don't see that happening, either, unless we have time to train right before March. Ed hasn't done agility since he was a puppy, but he loved it, and his favorite was the A-frame. I've tried to attach a picture of his very first time. I don't think we can train for stiles, without training with stiles. This is an issue.

She got snagged on her pack? Wouldn't you take the pack off first? :-? It looks like, since we probably won't have access to this kind of training before the trail, I'll have to budget some time for training on the trail, like a day or two at the first couple of stiles we come to.

Ed may be treat-dependent, but luckily he is also stick-dependent (that's why you see a stick in most of his beginning photos; he's doing the task, in order to get the stick). There's no shortage of sticks out there!

We work a lot, so we don't have time for much trail training. However, I do what I can at work. I'll set up some stools between isles, so he has to jump them to get through (I step on and over). Also, we'll go in the stock room, before they take the trash out, and scramble over the piles of cardboard and display boxes. There is a wide strip of wooded area behind the store, with roots growing out of the ground, and slippery leaves. It goes for about a block, so we take our breaks there.

general
07-22-2006, 17:31
roughware makes a pack that velcros to the harness. if the pack gets snagged on anything, it rips away from the harness. it also helps to position the pack onto the harness at it's perfect balance point.

frieden
07-28-2006, 11:38
On the dog equipment thread, there was an issue starting about finicky dogs, with regards to food. I suggested the Behavioral Issues and Rehabilitation (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=16401) thread, but it brings up a good point on training. Thinking of long distance hikes, I think that food and nutrition rank highly. How does this fall into a training issue? ....because your dog doesn't understand this on a list-planning-level. We need to train our dogs for every situation that we can think of ahead of time, including eating, drinking, and waste elimination, so they can have a good time on the trail too.

What have you done, or are doing, to handle the food/water/pooh issues on the trail?

Ed eats twice per day. He knows that is when he eats, and no other time, so he eats fast, without hesitation. If the dog can't finish it in a few minutes, take it away, and wait for dinner/breakfast. He won't die from missing one meal. At first, I was over-feeding him, and he would play with his food. It took me awhile to adjust the amount to what he really needed. I put him in a "sitz", before I even start with the food. He has to stay right where I put him, until I release him. That way, he's not jumping all over me, trying to get at the food. When I was first training him on this, he would try to go after the food, as soon as I was starting to set it down. I would say "eh-eh", set the bowl on the counter, and step back. If he even acted like he was going to get up, I would do that. He learned really fast that he would get his food sooner, if he just waited.

With his water, I will say "get your water". I started this with him on a leash. He knows that if he doesn't at least touch the water with his muzzle, and create ripples in the water, we aren't going anywhere until he does. Sometimes he takes a drink, and sometimes he just drops his nose in there, but at least I know he'll get water on the trail. He gets a "good boy!", when he does it. We still have to train with the bladder hose (because we'll be sharing the platy), though. Now that we are secure in the water training, every once in a while, I will say "do you want your water?", when we are at work, because he is attached to me, and can't go on his own like he can at home. He now knows the difference between "get your water" and "do you want..." One is a command, and one is "I will allow you to ...." This is very tricky. If your dog isn't getting it, eliminate the do-you-wanna part, and stick with the command. You don't want your dog refusing water out there. Both you and your dog should drink small amounts of water throughout the day, regardless of thirst.

We've been working on the food-begging issue. If I could hear Ed's thoughts, they would be: Food, food, food, food, you gonna eat that?, food, food, oh a butterfly!, food, food, food...... It seemed like a brick wall we just couldn't get past. I've come to a happy medium. Ed gets the last piece of everything I eat (that he could have - no chocolate, onions, etc). This is very, very bad. Don't do this, unless you have to. He knows he gets the last, so he'll wait, instead of jumping all over the place trying to get at it. Get this - he will only beg from people he knows, even though they don't give him any; he doesn't do this to strangers in the cafe. Weird dog. Eventually, I hope, we will get to the point where he isn't begging at all.

Of course, some of what goes in, must come out - somewhere. Ed isn't fully trained on "go potty" (our command for pooh), but he knows what it means, and I approach it almost the same way as the water. I know the conditions he likes to pooh in, so I'll wait for those conditions or take him to them, before I give the command. Ed likes to go on a pile of leaves, or near a bush. I worry about trappers and leaf piles, so I test them first in uncertain areas. It isn't a sitz command; it isn't like I say "go potty", and he drops right there. We'll get to an area, I'll stand still, and give the command. He's got 6 feet of dancing room. He'll dance and pace around, until he finds the perfect spot. I do this, because when he's done, I have him come to my left side and sitz, then I go get the pooh. It isn't easy trying to stretch fully extended from the leash, while extending out with the bag, etc. I need a little slack on the leash, because I hold the bag open with one hand, and use a plastic glove on the other (the box of food grade gloves from Sam's Club). Why do I use a glove? Picking up pooh with just a bag, unless the pooh is hard as a rock, can leave residue. With a glove, I can gently pick up every piece, without smearing it everywhere for the next being to step/roll/lie in.

The one thing I don't like about written dog training tips, is that they don't convey tone. Some people think that "command" means yelling or scolding. Both with result in a sulky, out of control dog. Try the deep throat military command voice. It doesn't have to be loud. Ed reacts differently, if he knows I'm angry, even if I think I have my tone the same. They just know.

Rain
07-29-2006, 19:47
Frieden, sounds like you've got some really good ideas on the food/water/pooh training. How do you teach a dog to tell you if they do or do not want water? How would you go about teaching that? I'm afraid Loki's food/water manners aren't the best but we are working on it. Key word, "working". He has to work for practically everything these days. Food. Water. Play. Walk. Car Ride. You name it, he works for it. This has helped him. The 'pooh' or #2 training has hardly begun. Since Loki has no preference where he goes, I'm thinking of training him to tell me when he feels the urge.

To be honest, my focus in regards to nutrition training has been all in another form of training. Its not really training for him, its for me. I needed to know how Loki responds to certain stresses, trail related stresses. I've been studying, observing my dog.

What are his strengths? Weaknesses?
When he is hurt, would he let me know?
If he becomes dehydrated, does he continue to push on or does he flop down and quit?
If he overheats, would he automatically seek shelter under a cool tree or would he continue to plod ahead under the cruel sun?
What signs does he give when he is uncomfortable? Comfortable?
Does he eat enough food to sustain the level of activity?
Does he handle the food that he eats out there well or not?
Is he in tune with his own needs or would he drive himself into a grave if allowed?

The questions go on. Many I've already found answers for while others have yet to pop up.

frieden
07-29-2006, 22:54
How do you teach a dog to tell you if they do or do not want water? How would you go about teaching that? The 'pooh' or #2 training has hardly begun. Since Loki has no preference where he goes, I'm thinking of training him to tell me when he feels the urge.

I sort of did reverse training with Ed, with the water and pooh. When I give him a command, and he does it, his confirmation word is "Yes". So when we started training for plotz, for example, I would give the command, and after he did it say, "Yes, good plotz!" Well, you can make a dog lie down, but you can't make him pooh. When he did pooh on his own, I would say, "Yes, good potty!", so he would connect the action with the word "potty". After we established that connection, he knew what I was asking for, when I said "go potty". The same with the water. Everytime he would take a drink, I would say "Yes, good water!" Once he learned what the word "water" meant, I could turn it into a command.


What are his strengths? Weaknesses?
When he is hurt, would he let me know?
If he becomes dehydrated, does he continue to push on or does he flop down and quit?
If he overheats, would he automatically seek shelter under a cool tree or would he continue to plod ahead under the cruel sun?
What signs does he give when he is uncomfortable? Comfortable?
Does he eat enough food to sustain the level of activity?
Does he handle the food that he eats out there well or not?
Is he in tune with his own needs or would he drive himself into a grave if allowed?

Yeah, these questions are definitely dog specific. Ed is moody. He'll decide that he doesn't want to work anymore, and he'll start walking slower and slower, like he's too exhausted to take another step. If I take out a treat, or act like we are getting our stuff to go home, he'll bounce all over the place with tons of energy. This is normally because he's bored. Most Malinois would drive themselves into the ground. He did get injured on the trail one time, and he kept going in order to get home. I didn't notice he was favoring one paw, until we only had 2 miles left. There was nothing to do, but to keep going. I'll have to watch him closer on the trail.

docllamacoy
07-30-2006, 13:31
If you have somewhere close, rock scrambling is good training. And just taking long walks every day in the woods somewhere is good prep.

2009ThruHiker
08-04-2006, 12:27
On our 2009 thru-hike, we will be hiking with our Akita, who will be 8 wks. old at the end of the month. I would love to know of other hikers training regimens for their dogs before they hit the trail, from puppyhood on until finally beginning the thru-hike. I understand the obvious of always on a leash, train them to hike short distances and overnights first...other ideas of training would be helpful though. Also, diet that dogs have been fed on the trail and how their bodies responded to it over the course of a thru-hike. Thanks for your thoughts!

minnesotasmith
08-04-2006, 15:55
1) Being muzzled 100% of the time he is not eating.

2) Being on a short (like under 3') leash, where he should be 100% of the time he is not tied to a tree well off the Trail.

3) Sleeping either outside during all weather with no shelter, or inside your tent with you (since dogs don't ever belong in any AT shelters, not for one second).

4) Being trained to bark as little as possible when hiking with you, and to stop barking immediately upon command/being slapped.

IMO, if a dog can't handle those, it's not ready to go hiking on public land.

ed bell
08-04-2006, 16:19
1) Being muzzled 100% of the time he is not eating.

2) Being on a short (like under 3') leash, where he should be 100% of the time he is not tied to a tree well off the Trail.

3) Sleeping either outside during all weather with no shelter, or inside your tent with you (since dogs don't ever belong in any AT shelters, not for one second).

4) Being trained to bark as little as possible when hiking with you, and to stop barking immediately upon command/being slapped.

IMO, if a dog can't handle those, it's not ready to go hiking on public land. Oh Minnesota how soon we remember why we missed you so much.:rolleyes: Since you have been away for a while, I'm willing to cut you some slack, but please brush up on this particular forum's rules. http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=16259
Muzzles, short leashes and slapping sound like debate fodder.:) Just trying to help a brother out.:sun

Alligator
08-04-2006, 16:29
...

4) Being trained to bark as little as possible when hiking with you, and to stop barking immediately upon command/being slapped.

IMO, if a dog can't handle those, it's not ready to go hiking on public land. Dogs, like people, are prone to excessive verbiage. Keeping this level down is certainly of benefit to all parties. However, slapping a dog around is widely considered by experts to be bad training behavior.

general
08-04-2006, 18:22
i fed my 2 year old dog science diet puppy chow. after 1200mi, he looked like he was on steroids.

minnesotasmith
08-04-2006, 19:36
Dogs, like people, are prone to excessive verbiage. Keeping this level down is certainly of benefit to all parties. However, slapping a dog around is widely considered by experts to be bad training behavior.

Alligator, most dog owners are blatantly obviously incapable of training their dogs to a level of obedience where their animals will reliably become silent at the first clear verbal reprimand. Neither their personal failings as animal trainers nor their preferences on how to train the animals they own don't justify any delay in their obligation to silence their dog when it is inappropriately barking by the fastest practical manner. Like a child who won't stop walking with a plugged-in hair dryer towards a bathtub full of water at the first command, a direct physical response is all that the adult human has left, and he is duty-bound to apply it immediately.

I wasn't kidding one bit about believing in requiring dogs be muzzled when off their owner's property, either. Since at least two leashed dogs on the Trail have come within a hair's breadth of biting me during my current thruhike attempt, obviously just being leashed isn't enough protection for other hikers from dogs taken onto a hiker trail.

ed bell
08-04-2006, 19:54
Oh Minnesota how soon we remember why we missed you so much.:rolleyes: Since you have been away for a while, I'm willing to cut you some slack, but please brush up on this particular forum's rules. http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=16259
Muzzles, short leashes and slapping sound like debate fodder.:) Just trying to help a brother out.:sun Ignore the post if you like.;)

minnesotasmith
08-04-2006, 20:17
Oh Minnesota how soon we remember why we missed you so much.:rolleyes: Since you have been away for a while, I'm willing to cut you some slack, but please brush up on this particular forum's rules. http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=16259
Muzzles, short leashes and slapping sound like debate fodder.:) Just trying to help a brother out.:sun

I believe I did just that, following the rules for this subforum. I started with the premise that someone could reasonably take a dog onto the AT, but that certain highly doable precautions are required. I gave constructively-intended advice of an honest nature.

ed bell
08-04-2006, 21:23
Thanks for sharing.:)

Alligator
08-04-2006, 21:53
Alligator, most dog owners are blatantly obviously incapable of training their dogs to a level of obedience where their animals will reliably become silent at the first clear verbal reprimand....

This forum is operating under the premise of exactly that--there are bad dog owners.

That said, if you disagree with dogs on the trail, it is probably because of unaware or irresponsible owners. The purpose of this forum was to try to fix that. The hope is dog hikers can pass on to each other the things that make the rare, good trail dogs a good trail dog. If more trail dogs benefit from good owners, then maybe there will be less problems in the long run.
The aim here is to go from negative to positive behavior. Telling them to smack the dog is not going to make them a good owner, nor will the dog improve. Certainly nobody is going to follow that advice anyway. If you'd like to have a better experience with dogs on the trail, wouldn't your energies be better spent improving dog owners, rather than spewing vitriol? Nobody takes Ridge seriously here. Nobody will take your advice if all it is always negative and extreme. It may satisfy you, but that's about all it will accomplish.


...
Neither their personal failings as animal trainers nor their preferences on how to train the animals they own don't justify any delay in their obligation to silence their dog when it is inappropriately barking by the fastest practical manner. Like a child who won't stop walking with a plugged-in hair dryer towards a bathtub full of water at the first command, a direct physical response is all that the adult human has left, and he is duty-bound to apply it immediately.
Telling somone to smack their dog because it barks barks more than once is bad training behavior. Corrective action should be taken, but hitting the dog is not the way to handle it. Taking the dog down would probably be the last resort, but I'm not saying that is the appropriate response either. The barking dog in no way is comparable to the child about to electrocute herself. Extreme physical action is certainly called for to prevent death, but not for noise.


...
I wasn't kidding one bit about believing in requiring dogs be muzzled when off their owner's property, either. Since at least two leashed dogs on the Trail have come within a hair's breadth of biting me during my current thruhike attempt, obviously just being leashed isn't enough protection for other hikers from dogs taken onto a hiker trail.
I've had several dogs leashed and unleased try to get a piece of me too. But I think your suggestion is a bit extreme. Rather than muzzle the dog, suggesting that the owner step off the trail and physically control the dog, hand on the collar/harness, locked leash, may be a more reasonable approach.

minnesotasmith
08-05-2006, 07:11
Telling somone to smack their dog because it barks barks more than once is bad training behavior. Corrective action should be taken, but hitting the dog is not the way to handle it.

Uh, if someone has a dog on public land being allowed to trespass on other people's rights (damaging their wilderness experience by noncrisis barking certainly qualifies), they don't get to choose how to stop that unacceptable behavior. They are duty-bound to instantly stop that behavior by the most reliable method, which for most dogs will be a physical intervention. Telepathy or whispering "Shusie-poo" aren't reliable enough to stop a riled-up dog from running its mouth or worse.

I've had several dogs leashed and unleased try to get a piece of me too. But I think your suggestion is a bit extreme. Rather than muzzle the dog, suggesting that the owner step off the trail and physically control the dog, hand on the collar/harness, locked leash, may be a more reasonable approach.

Those are already approaches that many dog owners currently refuse to use when they take a dog onto the Trail. I believe a muzzle is the appropriate next step, since relying upon dog owners to engage in the steps you outlined (adequate if they would actually do them) is unreliable in both your and my repeated first-hand experience. If you have an idea for a step intermediate to relying upon the (already tried and failed) dog-owner guidelines you described and muzzles, I'd like to hear it. I don't see what reasonable objection there can be to muzzling dogs in any event; there's no "right to recreational stranger threatening/biting" for dogs that I'm aware of. I would have thought that surely the issue isn't that dog owners who object to their animals being muzzled enjoy their dogs intimidating other hikers, but I'm starting to wonder.

frieden
08-05-2006, 09:11
Thank you, minnesotasmith, for bringing up the kinds of people's attitude that we may find on the trail. Watch his posts, people. Understand that we will meet illogical fears out there, and must prepare for this.


Uh, if someone has a dog on public land being allowed to trespass on other people's rights (damaging their wilderness experience by noncrisis barking certainly qualifies), they don't get to choose how to stop that unacceptable behavior.

First of all, we are discussing preparing your dog and yourself for the trail, where dogs are allowed. Please, do not tresspass. As far as "rights", we live in a world with other people, who have different values, expectations, etc. People infringe on eachother's lives every second of every day. We do not live in a bubble, and we shouldn't act like it. This forum is to promote responsible dog ownership and training, so everyone can enjoy the trail. Some people just hate dogs on the trail, or in general. Other than compassion, and having a well-trained dog, we can do nothing for them. Hopefully, by being responsible, and having a well-trained dog, they will gradually get over their fears, but that needs to be a side-effect, not our goal.

We can choose how to stop undesired behavior in our dogs - it's called training. I know first hand what it will cost you to buckle to someone else's fear. At work, they've put me under a lot of pressure with regards to Ed. They are just looking for him to mess up, so they can boot us out of there (in a couple of cases, they made stuff up). I need this job right now, regardless of how pathetic the pay is, so I can't have him making any mistakes. Instead of being patient with him, there have been a few times that I've come down really hard on him. It only takes one time. Now, I have a sullen, "I don't wanna work anymore" dog, and we are starting over with treats. I let someone else's fear override what I knew was best for him, and it cost me dearly, both in training time, and trust from my dog.

If you have friends, use 'em. Friends with kids? Even better! Train in every situation you can think of, with understanding people. Dogs are typically allowed in outside cafes. This is a great place to train your dog to leave other people's food alone. Dogs do very well with visual cues. Ed knows to behave in a certain way, when I put his vest on. A harness isn't put on a SAR dog, until he is about to be deployed. Can you put together a lightweight vest, T-shirt, or bandana? A special lead, collar, or harness that is only used to go into town? I have a problem with people petting Ed, despite the huge sign on his back that states, "Working Dog Do Not Pet". Right now, we are going through training to solve this. When someone goes to pet him, I want him to back away, and lay down next to me. We discussed barking in an earlier thread.


I believe a muzzle is the appropriate next step, since relying upon dog owners to engage in the steps you outlined (adequate if they would actually do them) is unreliable in both your and my repeated first-hand experience. If you have an idea for a step intermediate to relying upon the (already tried and failed) dog-owner guidelines you described and muzzles, I'd like to hear it.

I tried to train Ed initially with a Gentle Leader. It looks like a muzzle, and it made people afraid of him. They thought that if a dog needed to be muzzled, then he must be dangerous. We aren't out there to create fear! I mentioned in another thread that I train Ed to be approachable. He loves people so much, it's difficult to keep them apart. As a service dog, he takes a lot of abuse (I step on his ears all the time at the register, he is attacked by kids' slobber-kisses, etc). I don't want to confuse him by training him to be a guard dog. In fact, I go out of my way to get him to understand that he is backup, in case of emergency. Dog aggression typically stems from a fear of something. Work on your dog's trust in you, and let him know that you are the alpha dog in the pack. Don't let him defend your tent, food, etc.

On the flip side, there is a "guard" command that we have not mastered. This is excellent for having your dog guard your luggage at the airport, or your pack while you run into the store. The dog lies right next to the pack/luggage. People can walk within inches of the stuff and dog, and the dog won't react at all, until someone tries to take the bag. Then, they do a bark and hold. It isn't really a "hold", because they aren't holding the criminal, but they never move from the bags. As soon as the criminal moves away, the dog lays down again.

Remember, this training is a game for your dog. When he does it right, give him his toy for a minute. If you ever go to a club where they are doing bite work, you'll see the dog playing with the same guy he just brought down a couple of minutes ago. The action isn't connected to the person, it's connected to the command. To the dog, it's a game, and he doesn't hold any anger for the "criminal".

Good luck!

Alligator
08-05-2006, 14:10
Uh, if someone has a dog on public land being allowed to trespass on other people's rights (damaging their wilderness experience by noncrisis barking certainly qualifies), they don't get to choose how to stop that unacceptable behavior. They are duty-bound to instantly stop that behavior by the most reliable method, which for most dogs will be a physical intervention...
The most reliable method is not to smack the animal. The most reliable method, is to train the animal appropriately so the behavior doesn't present itself. Should that fail, the next most reliable method may be to grab the dogs muzzle. It's certainly not smacking the dog.
But here are some recommendations from the ASPCA.
http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pets_barking

People aren't duty bound to beat their animals for your noise free environment. You do not have a legal right to immediate silence without noise ordinances, which may exist sporadically. But I doubt they are as draconian as you present as your right.

This is an excellent point.

...As far as "rights", we live in a world with other people, who have different values, expectations, etc. People infringe on eachother's lives every second of every day....

This is silly rhetoric.
Telepathy or whispering "Shusie-poo" aren't reliable enough to stop a riled-up dog from running its mouth or worse....The purpose of this forum is to effect change. This does not help and is, as you say, generally ineffective. As a demonstration, "Shusie-poo" MS:D .


Those are already approaches that many dog owners currently refuse to use when they take a dog onto the Trail. I believe a muzzle is the appropriate next step, since relying upon dog owners to engage in the steps you outlined (adequate if they would actually do them) is unreliable in both your and my repeated first-hand experience. If you have an idea for a step intermediate to relying upon the (already tried and failed) dog-owner guidelines you described and muzzles, I'd like to hear it. I don't see what reasonable objection there can be to muzzling dogs in any event; there's no "right to recreational stranger threatening/biting" for dogs that I'm aware of. I would have thought that surely the issue isn't that dog owners who object to their animals being muzzled enjoy their dogs intimidating other hikers, but I'm starting to wonder.
Start small and work your way up. If you are recognizing failure at the leash/step off the trail level, there ain't a snowball's chance in hell you're going to get bad owners to muzzle their animal. You can't take the next step without the first step, and first step would work. So, my recommendation to you is that when you encounter someone with a dog, that you politely ask them to step off the trail and maintain physical control of the dog. Then thank them. Do it in a snotty way, people will think you're an a**h***.

A dog cannot, eat, drink, nor cool itself while muzzled. Dogs pant to release heat right? No need to have the dog overheat, rather a win-win situation is to have the owner and dog step off the trail. It's a much more winnable battle than getting everyone to muzzle their dog.

plydem
08-05-2006, 21:18
A dog cannot, eat, drink, nor cool itself while muzzled. Dogs pant to release heat right? No need to have the dog overheat, rather a win-win situation is to have the owner and dog step off the trail. It's a much more winnable battle than getting everyone to muzzle their dog.

This is the only point where I dis-agree, at least partially. Don't get me wrong, MS is close to being one of those who should be banned from this forum. However, if you use a wire basket muzzle that is correctly sized for the dog, they can drink and cool themselves properly. My German Shepherd has been using one when necessary for several years and he has no problem panting and drinking. Eating is another story so you have to remove the muzzle for this. Of course, I also step way off of the trail or whatever I am walking on and put him in a sit-stay.

frieden
08-05-2006, 21:26
A wire basket muzzle might not be a lot of fun in the extreme heat or cold, though. Getting caught on something might be a danger too. I'm not sure muzzles are really designed for the backcountry. I had to stop using the Gentle Leader, because Ed was actually injuring his face, trying to get it off.

plydem
08-05-2006, 21:35
A wire basket muzzle might not be a lot of fun in the extreme heat or cold, though. Getting caught on something might be a danger too. I'm not sure muzzles are really designed for the backcountry. I had to stop using the Gentle Leader, because Ed was actually injuring his face, trying to get it off.

Yes, that could be a problem. We don't do alot of hiking and not usually in the "backcountry". We haven't had any problems to date and for us it's a safety thing. Our shepherd is horribly fear agressive so we prefer the visual cue of the muzzle (makes people stop and say that while he is a beautiful dog, he may not be friendly) plus it usually subdues the behavior to some extent. Mainly it is used when we go on vacation at Cape Cod and for some hikes. Many times we end up going way off-trail to get away from people and then take it off anyway.

We do sometimes have the same problem with the gentle leader, more so with our lab than our shepherd. The lab just hates it and is always rubbing on the ground. That's a tough one and we just do our best to keep her off the ground. She's almost un-manageable without it.

Sly
08-05-2006, 21:39
Do it in a snotty way, people will think you're an a**h***.

So will dogs. I'm not surprisd that he's had repeated first hand experiences.

Alligator
08-05-2006, 21:52
This is the only point where I dis-agree, at least partially. Don't get me wrong, MS is close to being one of those who should be banned from this forum. However, if you use a wire basket muzzle that is correctly sized for the dog, they can drink and cool themselves properly. My German Shepherd has been using one when necessary for several years and he has no problem panting and drinking. Eating is another story so you have to remove the muzzle for this. Of course, I also step way off of the trail or whatever I am walking on and put him in a sit-stay.It's OK, your honesty is more important. I was trying to find some information on muzzles, but didn't find anything solid. So I went with the what the ASPCA site said, which was the part about not cooling, etc. I'll take your word for it that there are ones that allow drinking and panting.

However, I still think it's too extreme and an easier, very workable solution is available as I detailed.

plydem
08-05-2006, 22:10
It's OK, your honesty is more important. I was trying to find some information on muzzles, but didn't find anything solid. So I went with the what the ASPCA site said, which was the part about not cooling, etc. I'll take your word for it that there are ones that allow drinking and panting.

However, I still think it's too extreme and an easier, very workable solution is available as I detailed.

That is certainly true with most dogs, just not with mine (unfortunately). You just never know when someone won't take a hint and will try to reach for my dog. I can't afford to have him bite anyone. Anyway, I think your suggestions are the right ones for 99% of the dog-owners out there.

Alligator
08-05-2006, 22:27
That is, it's too extreme that all dogs be trained for and use a muzzle. Particular conditions may dictate the use of the muzzle, such as yours. I suppose a dung eating dog:eek: would be another.

Lugnut
08-06-2006, 00:22
You could always call Cesar Millan. It looks easy on TV. YRMV

frieden
08-06-2006, 07:44
Once you get the art of training down, it is that easy. The hard part is to get the art of training down. Part of the art of training is to never screw up. Never. That's something they don't explain on TV. A trainer can come in, work with your dog, and leave. You are there 24/7. Who has a better chance of making a mistake? Mistakes are costly. It takes twice as long to train out a mistake, than it does to keep it right. <sigh> If you have an intelligent dog, it's even harder.

Ed was 2 months old, when I took him to his initial trainer. After two minutes, she looked at me and said, "He's scarey smart; he needs a job." She had fear in her eyes. I was confused. I thought being smart was a good thing......and then the roller coaster stopped going up, and came down. There have been a few slow times, but mostly straight down drops, with a lot of loops.

Nean
08-06-2006, 11:47
Does anyone else watch the Dog Whisperer on cable? Ol' Ceaser has never met a dog he can't whisper to. Every dog owner should watch and learn. Because of a recent fire in the family we now have 9 dogs and 4 cats, used to be 6 cats:eek: ..... just kidding. :D

Nean
08-06-2006, 13:31
The Dog Whisperer is on the National Geographic channel. For those w/o access to the show you can go to cesarmillaninc.com . BTW, it's Dog Whisperer Week!!! Great show and the funny thing is, he trains owners just as much, if not more than the dogs!;) :-? :) Another link I just caught was ngchdogwhisperer.com

ed bell
08-06-2006, 14:10
Does anyone else watch the Dog Whisperer on cable? Ol' Ceaser has never met a dog he can't whisper to. Every dog owner should watch and learn. Because of a recent fire in the family we now have 9 dogs and 4 cats, used to be 6 cats:eek: ..... just kidding. :D Great show, and an eye opener for dog owners with problem pets. Usually it's not the dog, it's the owner empowering the dog's negative behavior. Good stuff.:sun

Lugnut
08-06-2006, 20:08
Does anyone else watch the Dog Whisperer on cable? Ol' Ceaser has never met a dog he can't whisper to. Every dog owner should watch and learn. Because of a recent fire in the family we now have 9 dogs and 4 cats, used to be 6 cats:eek: ..... just kidding. :D

That's the guy I was talking about in post #36. I watch it a lot and I don't even have a dog. I think I may go next door and straighten out the neighbor's dog after I get a few more episodes under my belt. ;)

Nean
08-06-2006, 21:21
That's the guy I was talking about in post #36. I watch it a lot and I don't even have a dog. I think I may go next door and straighten out the neighbor's dog after I get a few more episodes under my belt. ;)

I didn't read the whole thread Lugnut, and you're right, good veiwing regardless of pet ownership. I started using his "shhh" and finger point and it really works. That guy is amazing to watch.

frieden
08-07-2006, 08:34
I took some time out this morning, and ran through some of the pictures on WB. I learned a lot:
1. There are a lot of stiles on the trail. Maybe, we can start training with the step ladder.
2. We are going to get lost - improve navigation skills.
3. There are more areas than I thought that will require off-leash passage - improve recall training.
4. I knew we should have done more balance beam training! Doggone it!
5. Ed is used to cows, so I hope he'll not try to play with the wild horses. If you see a big pack being drug along the ground by a dog, it's just Ed trying to play with the horses. Please, stop him, because I'll be under the pack!
6. The beauty in those pictures makes me want to head out now! :D

Allyson
08-08-2006, 17:36
4) Being trained to bark as little as possible when hiking with you, and to stop barking immediately upon command/being slapped.


Great idea, Minnesota. Do you slap your wife and your children when they talk too much? Or do you live by yourself because you require complete and total silence at all times?

Gaiter
08-09-2006, 15:16
the best command i taught my dog coco was 'stay back'
she would walk behind me or if the trail was wide enough she could be to my side but her head couldn't go past my legs. she used this command both on and off the leash.

'slow' was another good command, great for the end of the day when i started getting tired.

drinking out of the bite valve was another great trick she learned, I couldn't get her to do it untill she saw ms. janet's dog 'fabion' do it. (i don't think i spelled his name right) before that i would have to get out the bowl.
also concerning water, she wouldn't drink out of a water souce untill i gave her the okay, and i wouldn't pump out of a source that she wouldn't drink out of.
i would point further downstream for a place that she could drink at and she would go there.

minnesotasmith
08-19-2006, 19:14
4) Being trained to bark as little as possible when hiking with you, and to stop barking immediately upon command/being slapped.


Great idea, Minnesota. Do you slap your wife and your children when they talk too much? Or do you live by yourself because you require complete and total silence at all times?

I don't confuse animals with humans. They don't have the same rights. (They have some rights, but not the same ones.)

If your dog is barking while on public land, you have an obligation to silence it right away, a duty that comes above whatever your preferences are for animal training methods. If you don't want to smack it, then grab its muzzle (making it impossible for and hold it until the animal no longer wishes to bark. Sighs and thinking deeply about how you wish, just this time, that your mutt would bark at the moon/wind/leaves for less than 2 hours do not qualify as immediate physical action guaranteed to end its noisemaking.

minnesotasmith
08-19-2006, 19:15
I took some time out this morning, and ran through some of the pictures on WB. I learned a lot:
.
3. There are more areas than I thought that will require off-leash passage - improve recall training.


All of those areas are somewhere other than the AT. On the AT, have your dog on a leash, or have him at home.

ed bell
08-19-2006, 19:27
All of those areas are somewhere other than the AT. On the AT, have your dog on a leash, or have him at home. Anytime terrain endangers the leashed dog and the owner, taking the dog off the leash is the right thing to do. A dogs agility level and size has a lot to do with their safety during tricky portions of trail.

Rain
08-19-2006, 19:34
What is it with you, Minnesotasmith? Why do you come onto this forum just to get under people's skin? You've not a single constuctive thing to say. You know nothing about dog training. Everything that you spit out invites retaliation, and you know it. You know that much.
I've fallen into the same trap as Allyson did...

Frieden, sorry for dirtying the thread further. My patience has been spread too thin.

minnesotasmith
08-19-2006, 19:34
Anytime terrain endangers the leashed dog and the owner, taking the dog off the leash is the right thing to do. A dogs agility level and size has a lot to do with their safety during tricky portions of trail.

Anywhere your dog is going to be in danger, or at the least will only be relatively safe at the (unacceptable to any responsible pet owner, I hope) cost of endangering other hikers (who did not agree to such risk) is arguably a place you should not be taking your dog into. As described previously, "training" has not proved in 99.999% of cases to be an adequate substitute for physical restraint of animals taken onto the Trail.

The ATC's own site also mentions something like 442 miles of the AT where it is unlawful to have a dog off-leash for ANY reason. Are you advocating unlawful behavior on the AT here?

ed bell
08-19-2006, 20:29
Have you struggled to get yourself past ANY point so far during your hike? If so being tied to a dog doesn't make it any safer for anyone. I am talking about quick obstacles here. As for the 442 miles you speak of, I do not advocate disregarding the law, but if remaining leashed to a dog creates a temporary safety issue, then I would change my method of restraint. No big deal. I wouldn't let one tough scramble turn me back. As for the other 1700+ miles, sounds like you have created your own rules. Thats fine by me. I adhere to my personal rules of responsible behavior and I recieve the same considerations that I expect. In the RARE case that I do not, I have a quick remedy. Walk on.:sun

ed bell
08-19-2006, 20:32
As described previously, "training" has not proved in 99.999% of cases to be an adequate substitute for physical restraint of animals taken onto the Trail. BTW your arguements would be 9,000,000,000,000,000X more persuasive if you didn't make up your statistics.:D

frieden
08-20-2006, 22:57
I think we all agree that safety comes first. There is no reason to break animal cruelty laws, in order to hold fast to a leash law. If we come to a log bridge, it is safer for both of us if Ed is off lead. If another hiker is trying to cross at the same time, then we'll just wait. I'm not talking about hiking off lead, I mean taking the dog off lead in order to cross an obstacle. No law can force me to put my life in danger.

minnesotasmith
08-21-2006, 22:49
As for the 442 miles you speak of, I do not advocate disregarding the law, but if remaining leashed to a dog creates a temporary safety issue, then I would change my method of restraint. :sun

That would presumably mean either holding your dog by the collar or picking it up, NOT letting it run loose (to get into trouble or to cause it).

ed bell
08-21-2006, 22:54
That would presumably mean either holding your dog by the collar or picking it up, NOT letting it run loose (to get into trouble or to cause it).No and no and yes.

trailangelmary
08-21-2006, 23:01
So, MS, maybe the hiker whose face you farted in when you pissed at the shelter entrance in NJ should have slapped you around for inappropriate behavior!

Nean
08-21-2006, 23:59
So, MS, maybe the hiker whose face you farted in when you pissed at the shelter entrance in NJ should have slapped you around for inappropriate behavior!

:eek: !!....................... :eek: !!!......................... :eek: !!!! :D

frieden
08-22-2006, 09:13
I'll tell you what, m, thru hike the entire AT chained to someone else (no more than a 6' leash) the entire time - and I mean the ENTIRE time - river crossings, log crossings, fence crossings, road crossings, getting in and out of vehicles, bathroom, shower, rock scrambling.....the ENTIRE time! Then, you come back on this thread, and tell us all about safety. Contact NOLS, and ask them if it is safe for you to cross a river tied to someone else with a 6' leash. We all know it isn't.

Read the rules for this forum again, or for the first time. Since this forum was created, it has been a wonderful resource for trail dog information. People come here and post here, in their desire to be responsible trail dog hikers. They care about their dogs, and other hikers. This is what we need out there, and they will not be run off here. Harassment and intentional goading will not occur on this forum.

There is a huge difference between your opinion, and saying things to make someone feel like they are an evil human being, because they don't share your views. If you have honestly thought through every situation on the AT, and can see that it would be safe and practical to be tied to someone else the entire time, then you might want to approach it like this instead: "Even though I have never tried it, it is my opinion that a dog should be leashed at all times, regardless of the situation." We may not agree with you, and would probably say so, but would respect that everyone has an opinion. If you want to ignore what is hiker common sense, like it is NOT safe to be leashed to someone else during a river crossing, then realize you've said your piece, and move on. We are trying to promote good and safe hiking practices here. Absoultes with no solutions don't help anyone.

Negative comments here can be constructive, if made the right way. We need to be aware of the attitudes about dogs out there, and how we can train to avoid it. I had every intention of leashing Ed the entire time. Because Ed is attached to me almost all the time, his recall is terrible, and he would chase wildlife if he had the chance. He thinks everyone and everything wants to play with him. When I looked through the pictures of the AT, I was in a panic. He has to be unleashed for some crossings. I don't want him chasing wildlife, licking other hikers, or pulling me off a log crossing, so we'll need to train, train, train! We don't have time to waste arguing illogical thoughts, with no solutions attached to them.

the goat
08-22-2006, 09:47
All of those areas are somewhere other than the AT. On the AT, have your dog on a leash, or have him at home.

spoken by a man who has yet to hit the whites & southern maine:D :D

enjoy, ms!

Rouen
08-22-2006, 10:01
2) Being on a short (like under 3') leash, where he should be 100% of the time he is not tied to a tree well off the Trail.




thru hike the entire AT chained to someone else (no more than a 6' leash) the entire time

:D I think you mean under 3' Frienden..

frieden
08-22-2006, 10:02
:D I think you mean under 3' Frieden..

Oooppps! You're right! I missed that, thanks!

Pennsylvania Rose
08-28-2006, 19:33
I recently got a 5 month old lab/shepard/golden retriever mix. She is used to running free on a farm, and has gotten no training. She's really sweet and smart - it only took a few days to crate train and house train her. She HATES leashes, though, and thinks going for a walk means dragging me down the street. She also jumps all over everyone. I can't wait to take her hiking, but at this point I'd be one of those irritating owners with a badly behaved dog. I've looked up info on dog training on the net, but can anyone recommend some good dog training books?

frieden
08-29-2006, 08:21
I recently got a 5 month old lab/shepard/golden retriever mix. She is used to running free on a farm, and has gotten no training. She's really sweet and smart - it only took a few days to crate train and house train her. She HATES leashes, though, and thinks going for a walk means dragging me down the street. She also jumps all over everyone. I can't wait to take her hiking, but at this point I'd be one of those irritating owners with a badly behaved dog. I've looked up info on dog training on the net, but can anyone recommend some good dog training books?

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0316610003.01._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_AA240_SH20_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg (http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0316610003/ref=sib_dp_pt/002-4066316-2705630#reader-link)


How to be Your Dog's Best Friend
by the Monks of New Skete
ISBN: 0316610003

Their puppy book is good too, but this book was a life-saver with Ed.

Tamarack
09-17-2006, 05:39
1. There are a lot of stiles on the trail. Maybe, we can start training with the step ladder.
2. We are going to get lost - improve navigation skills.
3. There are more areas than I thought that will require off-leash passage - improve recall training.
4. I knew we should have done more balance beam training! Doggone it!

Another thought about all of this. This might work for you it might not. When my dog was younger and I was working nights. On my nights off I would take her for a walk just as the sun was rising. We'd walk a loop around the neighbourhood. Stop at both public playgrounds and practice different things. Stairs that have no backs on them, 45 degree ladder climbs, balance beams, big jumps up, slides, oh how she loves the slides. She liked the straight down slides, the down slides with the bumps in the middle, covered tunnel straight slides. She'd go down the slides off leash all on her own once we got close enough to her favourite slide. I got her do to the spiral open slide a few times she didnt like that. I think it made her dizzy. Going down the slides she'd lock her legs and when her front paws were a few inches from the end of the slide she'd take a big jump and land on the ground. Then run like a wild savage around and around and around in circles and figure 8's. You know that happy wild run that they do, tail tucked under, bum down head straight forward, legs close together with tight turns kinda wild run. Silly dog :rolleyes: She doesnt run like that too much these days. I liked doing this with her. I'd bring a zip lock bag full of her cookies (dry dog biscuits) and we worked up from no people wide open space to people near by in a big open space. Now she's pretty good off leash but if there's any frail old folks or kids I've always got her on a leash. After both playgrounds we'd walk along the creek trail and maybe see a few deer, ducks or Canada geese. Then get home, we'd both be soaked from the dew.

superman
12-02-2006, 18:17
Winter is a white german shepard who was 3 years old when we hiked the AT. I completely socialized her to animals and people by walking her through down town Brattleboro, Vt. It has more strange people per inch than any other place I know of. The year before the AT she and I hiked the LT. She's been about nose to nose with bear, dear, skunk and porcupine. She has walked over snakes sunning themselves on the trail. She never reacted to the other animals so they never saw her as a threat. She learned to go off the trail to go to the bathroom by example. I know of too many humans who never learned that. She easily learned to wait until I gave her the command to drink.
On the AT she figured out the stiles and climbed a 10 foot log ladder and came down dragon tooth mountain on her own with her pack on. She made everything look easy. On town stops she liked to watch animal planet while I did the errands. She's been extremely easy to travel with. When we hitched rides people stopped to pick her up. One time in VT an elderly couple picked us up and Winter sat in the front seat with them and I sat in the back. The old couple talked to Winter in such a way that I had to answer from the back as if Winter was speaking. It was sick but it got us to resupply. LOL
Unfortunately my very best hiking partner won't be doing any more long hikes. Age is taking it's toll.
Dumb dogs don't get smart from hiking. Untrained dogs don't get trained just by being on a trail. Unacceptable behavior by your dog isn't dealt with by saying "well that's the way dogs are." You know the rest.

Jan LiteShoe
12-02-2006, 19:10
Winter is a white german shepard who was 3 years old when we hiked the AT. I completely socialized her to animals and people by walking her through down town Brattleboro, Vt. It has more strange people per inch than any other place I know of. The year before the AT she and I hiked the LT. She's been about nose to nose with bear, dear, skunk and porcupine. She has walked over snakes sunning themselves on the trail. She never reacted to the other animals so they never saw her as a threat. She learned to go off the trail to go to the bathroom by example. I know of too many humans who never learned that. She easily learned to wait until I gave her the command to drink.

Hey Superman, now I've placed you! I met you and Winter on my very first solo backpacking trip. I was walking to Damascus for Trail Days in 2001, and met you and the beutiful Winter-dog at that road crossing with a spring, I'd have to dig my guide book out to see exactly the name. You were sitting at the picnic table and gave Winter water out of a Stand N' Zip plastic bag, which I thought was extremely clever (and lightweight). You talked to me a bit about thruhiking. And in 2002, I hiked the Long Trail, and 2003 I came back to Trail Days as a thruhiker-in-progress. :)

Just one of those casual encounters you probably didn't think twice about but meant alot to me as a prospective thru. And I was very impressed with your dog partner.

I'll second your comments about Winter - very alert, smart, centered, friendly and tuned to you even when playing with me. You have done a fine job of helping her live peacably in any world she finds herself in.

superman
12-02-2006, 20:45
Jan LiteShoe you've come far

smokymtnsteve
12-02-2006, 23:50
2) Being on a short (like under 3') leash, where he should be 100% of the time he is not tied to a tree well off the Trail.



actually MS dogs and other animals SHOULDN'T be tied directly to trees..U can harm the tree like that,

plydem
12-12-2006, 17:04
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0316610003.01._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_AA240_SH20_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg (http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0316610003/ref=sib_dp_pt/002-4066316-2705630#reader-link)


How to be Your Dog's Best Friend
by the Monks of New Skete
ISBN: 0316610003

Their puppy book is good too, but this book was a life-saver with Ed.

I hate to contradict you Frieden, but people should be careful about the information provided in some of the books by the Monks of New Skete. Even the authors have said not to use all of it. Now, this may be for others of their books besides this one (I can't remember what is in this book). Specifically, the methods they suggest for asserting dominance can be dangerous (alpha rolls and scruff shakes, for instance). People have been bitten using these methods.

I tend to like positive training books, like those by Pat Miller and Jean Donaldson. A really good one is "The Power of Positive Dog Training" by the both of them. Also, clicker training is great and it is amazing how fast dogs can pick up behaviors using this and the shaping techniques detailed in some of the books I have read. Karen Pryor has written a few - "Clicking With Your Dog: Step-By-Step in Pictures" is a good one.

The Solemates
12-13-2006, 12:29
So will dogs. I'm not surprisd that he's had repeated first hand experiences.

No kidding. 95% of the dogs I have ever encountered in my life can detect the attitude of the next person. Act like an idiot (ie, MS), and of course dogs will get offensive. I would too.

superman
01-05-2007, 15:31
Training for the trail

As the supposed brains of the duo you have to think of what behavior you want from your dog on the AT. If you can plant that in your head the repetition of the daily trail activities will go a long way to getting that behavior. The thing about training a dog is that you don't have to be right....but you have to be consistent. It doesn't matter if you train your dog to shake hands with the right or the left paw or if it walks on your left or your right but it does matter to the dog to do it the same way every time. It took me three days to teach Winter how to role over. Once she realized what I wanted she was glad to do it. Dogs want to please their master. Although it's a little disturbing when you realize your dog is smarter than you are and it has four paw drive. Early in my AT hike there were people who were afraid to step off the trail so they went to the bathroom on it. Others washed their pan in some of the water sources. Fortunately I don't think those people lasted. If your dog sees that you leave the trail to do your business the dog will also. It was easy to train Winter to wait until I gave her the ok to drink by pointing with my hiking stick and saying drink. Between the daily repetitions of your daily activities and being consistent in the behavior you want it is easy to train your dog. There was a dog on the AT that snapped at other hikers and all the owner would say was "that's the way dogs are." No, that's the way un-socialized dogs are. If you only do one thing before going out to the trail make absolutely sure that your dog is socialized to all kinds of weird people and all kinds of animals. Then train your dog to stay out of shelters.
None of this is hard. It does require some thought. You'll have plenty of time to think on the AT. You and your dog will become very attuned to each other...that will make your control of your dog pretty automatic. Donít try to race up the trail in 3 or 4 months. Relax and enjoy the journey

Small Steps
03-23-2007, 14:37
So I would love to take my bog hiking with me, but I want to be sure she is ready before we do this. I want to make sure she is good and ready before I take her out for a long section hike. I am going on a hike this spring and I know she will not be ready for this one, but I would like to start working with her for future hikes.


So here are my questions.

How much and what type of training do you do? I know people are going to say take her on walks. Ya ok, How long? How often? How quickly do they adapt?

It is odious her food intake will need to increase. Is there a set rule of thumb?

What other things should I know and be aware of?
Any information you can give me would be appreciated.

The Weasel
03-23-2007, 14:47
So I would love to take my bog hiking with me, but I want to be sure she is ready before we do this. I want to make sure she is good and ready before I take her out for a long section hike. I am going on a hike this spring and I know she will not be ready for this one, but I would like to start working with her for future hikes.


So here are my questions.

How much and what type of training do you do? I know people are going to say take her on walks. Ya ok, How long? How often? How quickly do they adapt?
It is odious her food intake will need to increase. Is there a set rule of thumb?
What other things should I know and be aware of?Any information you can give me would be appreciated.

I'll take a swing at some of it ---

First, walking a dog is different than hiking with a dog. You should get a retractable leash - 24 feet if possible - and get her used to walking on park trails with you. Try to make it a park that doesn't have a large dog population (and make sure it's allowed) so she doesn't need to stop and sniff at every marker. Get her used to continuous walking that way. The walks don't need to be long. This will also get her used to the "new odor" syndrome, where dogs get hyperexcited at new smells if they aren't used to it. Try to do this 2-3 times a week.

Second, watch how much food you give your dog. Most people overfeed their dog. Weigh her, and give her the LEAST for her weight class. If her ribs are SLIGHTLY visible under her coat, or if you can't pinch more than an inch, she is OK. Dogs are like people; if they are carrying extra weight, it is harder to hike. Keep in mind that a dog who SHOULD weigh 50 lbs who weights 60 is technically obese.

Third, get a good travel bowl (nylon fabric) and get her used to using it for water and food, and feed her a little along trails. Don't minimize water; dogs don't sweat, and panting/drooling is their primary body cooling method. Water her even more often than yourself to keep her body temp good.

Fourth, if you're serious about this, get a pack for her, and let her get used to it without weight for a week or so. Then add small amounts of weight. Keep in mind that while dogs have been pack animals, the same percentage rules should apply to them; don't load her with more than 30% of her body weight.

Others will know more things. Hope this helps.

The Weasel

frieden
03-23-2007, 14:55
Laruble, Weasel, I've moved your posts into the Training thread to keep all of it together.

frieden
04-02-2007, 11:50
Ed has started pulling again, so while he was getting groomed yesterday, I went shopping. I picked up the Sporn Training Halter: "Stops Pulling Instantly!" ...and on the side of the package: "Dear Dog Lover: Make no bones about it this product works. If you don't think so, I'll eat my hat. Then, I'll refund your money. Sincerely, Joseph S. Sporn, Inventor/President, The Sporn Company, Inc."

Well, I sure hope his hat tastes good. Ed did nothing but pull with this thing! I would not recommend the Sporn Training Halter to anyone, to put it lightly. Because it was a harness-type device, Ed thought he was supposed to pull. We were meeting friends at the mall, and like an idiot, I didn't bring his other collar to switch him to. I asked to borrow Amanda's stroller, because Ed will walk alongside any cart, but it only made Ed think that he was supposed to pull the stroller! Poor thing. I had to hang on to the handle on his service vest to get him to understand that he could walk next to me. When we got home, he passed right out. I tried to play with him this morning, but he used his toy for a pillow instead. I just feel horrible. He must have been in pain, but he hung in there without complaint.

I was unsure about getting it, because a harness is what dogs use to pull things, but the packaging sounded really convincing. I should have listened to my common sense.

The Mayor
06-13-2007, 09:27
I'm lucky, my dog is better behaved than I am.

I'm wouldn't consider doing any trail hiking with a dog unless I was already confident that my dog was under my control. I've hiked with my GShepard and my BCollie with no problems. We've met bears and mean dogs, and passed safely on. Scrambled across rocks and ridges. Hitchhiked many miles.

My biggest concern is voice control of my dog. I rarely leash her. When we get surprised by a bear around the bend, I have to know my dog will obey my commands. When another dog tries to get her into a fight, she must obey me, and not engage.

I've been blessed with a dog that doesn't seem to know she can bark. She sleeps under the shleters, which seems to keep the mice from being too active.

Adam B
09-16-2007, 12:00
To Frieden and anyone else who cares to read it.

I love that I am not the only one with a service dog on the trail. I was looking at those agility pictures and Ed looks a lot like Timber. It sounds like we do a lot of similar training. Do you ever put him in your hammock with you? I just finished making a hammock for me and Timber made from 1.9oz nylon. He is still a little shy about getting in but with more training he should be fine.

I noticed that you use a glove and bag to pick up after Ed and I thought I would toss this out there. I used to do the same thing until I almost fell into a fresh pile (I can't bend over easily) and got fed up. I know in my area we are exempt for poop and scoop but I prefer to. So what I did was to take a coat hanger and undo it. On the hook end I bent it in a loop. At first I just wrapped a bag around the loop so that I had a pocket and whenever Timer went to the bathroom I stuck it under him. His first reaction was one of shock but after a few times he took to it and now has no problems. Now I don't have to bend over to pick up and no mess is left behind even in the worst case of stomach upset.

I modified my design and added a reusable silinylon bag that I wash everynight before bed. Now I just carry his bag with me and when I have a chance I wash it out. I empty it when I dig a hole for myself. In town I just flush it and wash it in the sink. You can also use a pop bottle to train the dog to pee in if you need to. I use that trick whenever I fly, so he doesn't have to hold for too long. He can but if it isn't fun for me, why would I make him.

Adam B
09-16-2007, 12:34
Minnesotasmith; Frankly your training advice leaves much to be desired.

1) A dog should be muzzled at all times is dangerous and foolish advice. If your dog needs to be muzzled in such a manner, train it properly, give it to someone so they can train it properly or put it to sleep humanely. Any dog who needs to be muzzle like that is not happy being muzzled and not happy if it is that aggressive. A dog lives its life through its mouth. Dogs will often behave more aggressively because they are muzzled and know that they aren't safe.

2) Leash training begins on a 6' leash that allows you to keep the dog at your side and step away periodically. Eventually leash training progresses to 30- 50' long lines. A 3' leash won't help the vast majority of dogs. If you tie a dog to a tree etc you can encourage aggression. There is a reason schutzhund trainers tie a dog to a tree or pole before doing aggitation training.

3) While the dog should be trained to sleep where you sleep and as such will encounter whatever weather you choose to encounter the dog must be properly outfitted and trained to handle said weather. As for shelters I have a service dog, if I have an urge to (which I haven't yet) sleep in shelter, he will be joining me. If someone has a problem with this I suggest they sleep outside because it will be their choice. If you stay my dog will ignore you like he ignores everyone else but me.

4) A dog should bark once to indictate something to you and then wait for further instruction to ignore or continue barking. I do not slap my dog and if anyone was foolish enough to do so you would discover why he is a level 2, shortly level 3 schutzhund protection dog. On the other hand he would have to get in line behind me because I don't take kindly to anyone abusing my dog. Unless you want a dog who at best spends their days terrified and at worst biting then you don't ever hit yours or anyone elses dog.

Please think about what I have said. This isn't meant as a personal attack but the advice you gave is dangerous and ill informed. If you would like to learn more about dog training I would recommend anything by Ian Dunbar, Karen Pryor or Jean Donaldson, particularly "Don't Shoot the Dog" and "Culture Clash".


Rain, if you want to teach your dog to indictate to you they need to go, then here is how. Start by putting a bell beside the door you take him out through. Then whenever he goes out to the bathroom get him to do something that makes it ring. Pawing and mouthing both work, mine prefers to mouth because if I don't respond he can bring it to me ringing all the way. As soon as you here the sound put the leash on and take her out. Remember this is never for play because otherwise the dog will ring when they want to play outside. Take the dog outside and give the command and then wait don't move until she goes. Once she goes you can give a play, food or walk reward. Best of luck with the training and remember to always reward, even if it is just a harty good dog and pat on the head.

Adam

Adam B
09-16-2007, 13:24
Sorry to post yet again but when is someone going to tell "M" that the higher law in the states is federal and the American's with Disability act is clear that no equipment is required. In other words leash laws don't apply to service dogs especially if it interferes with the dogs safety or ability to work. The law for Canada is the charter of rights and freedoms and the relevant provinical human rights act which also prohibits anything that interferes with a person with a disability ability to function in society whether directly or indirectly.

M it sounds like you have serious phobias related to dogs that may be justified in your mind but I would recommend seeking a therapist to work through these issues. Not all dogs are poorly trained and handled. All of my dogs have been angels that most people fall in love with. Yes bad dogs exsist and I have met them before I trained service dogs I worked with aggressive dogs in rehab. I have been threatened and bit by large and small dogs.

If you want a dog to stop barking or being aggressive require them to lie down and stand on the leash so they can't get up. Otherwise do basic training is more effective in distracting a dog. So if they know how to sit, shake a paw and lie down, ask them to do this repeatedly i.e. sit, down, stand, shake, sit, down, stand, shake. This is called puppy push-ups and will distract most dogs from anything but I want that treat, see I can do everything I know for that treat, oh please give me that treat. Do you understand this. Everything is motivation, so from now on carry a couple of cookies when you hike, if a dog runs to you then take the treat and hold it in front of you, raise it above their head and slowly backwards, say sit. The dog will sit and you won't be in danger. Then you can calmly tell the owner that you don't like dogs and would rather they control their dog.

Just like I said before a dog who is afraid or aggressive isn't happy, people who are afraid or aggressive aren't happy either. Both need help to get over their fears and anger. Both are physically and emotionally unhealthy and endangering themself until they get over it.

Deb
09-16-2007, 15:52
Everything is motivation, so from now on carry a couple of cookies when you hike, if a dog runs to you then take the treat and hold it in front of you, raise it above their head and slowly backwards, say sit. The dog will sit and you won't be in danger. Then you can calmly tell the owner that you don't like dogs and would rather they control their dog.

I don't think I'll rely on this.

Adam B
09-17-2007, 13:44
Hello Deb,
You are welcome to do however you choose. The reason I said this is there is three reasons a dog might run towards you a) to say hi, b) to scare you and c) to hurt you.

If it is just to say hi, a distraction like a piece of food generally works. Also dogs are generally food motivated and therefore whereever food goes the nose/ head will follow. If the head moves up and back at the same time a dog's body will either go back or more likely they will sit in an attempt to track the food. Sometimes a dog will still jump up and in that case if you raise your knee (foot for smaller dogs) and wait the dog will instead of jumping on you, ram their chest into your knee/ foot. I am NOT saying kick or knee the dog; I am saying allow the dog to run whatever speed it chooses into a hard part of your body, they will think twice about jumping a second time. If the dog doesn't jump you don't have contact with the dog. You and the dog aren't likely to be injured but the dog will get the wind knocked out of them. Feel free to use a loud, deep and scary growl and say no. The vast amount of friendly dogs will be stopped quickly and effectively.

The other two reason are a bit more serious and you need to understand motivation before reacting properly. If a dog is trying to scare you it is because it views you as a threat and is trying to scare you before you get him. Staying calm and doing the above things may stop it but it also might not. You could back away but do not run or turn your back to the animal ever. If the dog stops odds are it is trying to scare you. Do not approach instead tilt your head sideways and watch the dog from the corner of your eye. Tilt your shoulders down and away from the dog. This will tell the dog that you are not trying to threaten it. It also minimizing where the dog can bite if things get worse.

If the dog doesn't stop and fully intends to hurt you, then things ramp up. Protect your neck, stomach and vital organs but allow the dog to bite your arm. Once the dog has the bite push towards the back of the mouth with whatever is in the mouth this will encourage a release to re-adjust the bite and minimize damage. Never pull straight out because you will increase the damage to you. At the base of skull, between the ears grab the scruff with both hands and push forwards, away from you. At the same time straddle it's hips and pin them tightly between your legs. Don't let go of the hips or scruff at all until the dog is restrained by the owner. Never scream or make high pitched noises, you must make noise but keep it as deep and loud as possible. You must pin the hips to keep the dog from spinning around on you and the head must be kept tightly forward to prevent the dog from biting you to release the body.

The biggest problem I have seen in dog attacks has been lack of significant aggression on the person's part and not accepting that if a dog wants to hurt you they can, you can only limit the damage. If you allow a bite you can control where the bite happens and avoid more serious bites. If you assume the dog is friendly and have your arm outstretched then the dog is going for the arm and you can rapidly react to the bite properly.


What I said about motivation means that the value of what is interesting a dog i.e. saying hi to you must be lower then the value of what you have in enchange for not doing it. So if you are at home with no distractions a simple good dog will be enough more times then not. There is nothing competing in the dogs mind. Now if the situation changes and there is two people without other distractions then you might need to offer piece of dry dog food for the dog to listen. If you are out for a walk and a squirrel run by you might need a piece of liver. Basically the dog will pay attention to what it values most, you always want the upper hand. So really good cookies can often do it. You could also use freeze dried liver or whatever energy bar you have in your pocket.

Anyhow do whatever you want but after being threatened and attacked many time by many dogs in my former line of work. I have learned to do these things and I have never been seriously hurt.


Adam

shelterbuilder
09-17-2007, 18:26
Most people don't realize that the dog does not think like a person - it thinks like a dog! (DUH!) In order to interact with a strange dog, YOU have to think like a dog. With a strange dog, you don't know how much training it has, so until you can size up the dog and estimate the training that it's had, you have to assume NO TRAINING - just instinct.

Many well-behaved dogs get scared when they see a hiker with a backpack - the shape is foreign to them, and they can act scared or hostile. And a scared dog will bite faster than a mean dog! Sometimes, just talking to the dog will be enough to let the dog know that you are a PERSON, not a monster. Most of the time, just talking in a low, soothing voice - not shouting - will calm down the dog. And, some sort of doggie treat - used in the manner that Adam described - can't hurt. Hold the treat in the palm of your hand - NOT with your fingers - so the dog can see where the treat ends and your hand begins; it's harder to bite the flat of your hand than it is to bite extended fingers. Also, if the dog wants to jump up and you don't want it to, extend your hands palms down over the dog's head - to create a barrier - and say "no" or "down" if the dog attempts to jump. If the dog bumps into your hands, gently push it down, and say "no" or "down". Dogs don't like to ram their heads into things - it'll stop jumping if your hands don't move up.

If the worst does happen and you get bit, DON'T pull away - push forward and most dogs will release momentarily to try to readjust their bite. I know that the first reaction to a bite is to pull back, but that's when YOU turn a simple bite into a bite-wound with tearing, and this is harder to fix in the hospital. You can use your free hand (thumb and forefinger on either side of the dog's mouth) to push the dog's lips into the space between its back teeth and pry the dog's mouth open this way. It will cause the dog some pain, but if done correctly, it will open the dog's mouth quickly.

And, yes, I've been bitten - but only by other people's dogs! My own dogs recognize me as the "Alpha-male", and I've never been challenged by my own dogs.

Appalachian Tater
09-17-2007, 19:20
If you take a dog out on the trail, remember that some hikers carry carbon-tipped hiking poles and if attacked by a dog, are fully prepared to kill it and then press charges against the owner in criminal court and then sue them in civil court. Best to keep it on a leash.

shelterbuilder
09-17-2007, 19:23
If you take a dog out on the trail, remember that some hikers carry carbon-tipped hiking poles and if attacked by a dog, are fully prepared to kill it and then press charges against the owner in criminal court and then sue them in civil court. Best to keep it on a leash.

If everybody kept their dog on a leash - and made sure they cleaned up after it - I think that their would be a more dog-friendly atmosphere on the trail!:cool:

Appalachian Tater
09-17-2007, 19:27
If everybody kept their dog on a leash - and made sure they cleaned up after it - I think that their would be a more dog-friendly atmosphere on the trail!:cool:

My experience is that the idiot owners with aggressive, poorly-behaved animals let them run wild killing small wildlife and threatening people while the conscientious owners have friendly, well-behaved, non-threatening dogs--on leashes. Go figure. The former are the scourge of the trail and the latter a joy to be around.

shelterbuilder
09-17-2007, 19:35
My experience is that the idiot owners with aggressive, poorly-behaved animals let them run wild killing small wildlife and threatening people while the conscientious owners have friendly, well-behaved, non-threatening dogs--on leashes. Go figure. The former are the scourge of the trail and the latter a joy to be around.

When I take any of my dogs hiking (Siberian Huskies), I have to keep them on a leash or else I'll find them 5 counties over - killing some poor farmer's chickens for sport!:eek:

Appalachian Tater
09-17-2007, 19:44
When I take any of my dogs hiking (Siberian Huskies), I have to keep them on a leash or else I'll find them 5 counties over - killing some poor farmer's chickens for sport!:eek:

There was a dog that killed a beaver in Vermont or New Hampshire last year.

Honestly, if I were a dog loose in the woods, I would probably kill some chickens and beavers and squirrels, too!

shelterbuilder
09-17-2007, 20:06
There was a dog that killed a beaver in Vermont or New Hampshire last year.

Honestly, if I were a dog loose in the woods, I would probably kill some chickens and beavers and squirrels, too!

My first husky liked toads!:eek: He'd find one, and carry it in his mouth for miles - long after he'd drowned it in dog slobber!:eek: :eek: He wouldn't eat it - just carry it.

Appalachian Tater
09-17-2007, 21:01
Must have had a nice flavor. :eek: :eek: :eek:

Jan LiteShoe
09-17-2007, 21:59
If you take a dog out on the trail, remember that some hikers carry carbon-tipped hiking poles and if attacked by a dog, are fully prepared to kill it and then press charges against the owner in criminal court and then sue them in civil court. Best to keep it on a leash.

I don't disagree. I know that there are folks willing to kill a charging dog, and that dogs should be fully under the control of the owner. And that hikers have every right to defend theirself and property.

I just wanted to toss out a comment. After being charged by aggressive dogs a number of times while hiking (the dogs on the road in the vicinity of Kincorra come immediately to mind), I'm not sure I understand the need for aggression in return.

When a snarling, barking dog comes running with it's hackles up, it's a scary situation. The adrenaline definitley goes up. But I've always held my poles out as a barrier between me and the dogs. They go for that, and bite and worry the tip. Meanwhile, I walk backward until I am out of their territory. No need for violence.

I'm not saying aggressive, loose dogs aren't a problem needing solving. I'm just saying that, for me, stabbing an animal with a pole would be the absolute last resort, a problem of survival.

SteveJ
09-17-2007, 22:37
When I take any of my dogs hiking (Siberian Huskies), I have to keep them on a leash or else I'll find them 5 counties over - killing some poor farmer's chickens for sport!:eek:

my dog resembles that remark! I learned early that she has to be on leash at all times. the few times I've let her off leash in campsites in the back country (with other dogs in our group, to let her romp with them), I've been a nervous wreck until I could get her back on lead!

Nightwalker
09-17-2007, 23:11
i fed my 2 year old dog science diet puppy chow. after 1200mi, he looked like he was on steroids.

I feed mine Purina One Lamb and Rice or Beef and Rice. Very excellent food. The ground corn is way down at number 7 on the ingredients list. I think it's number 5 on Iams and Eukanuba; no idea on Science Diet.

Anyway, one good reason for a super-quality food is that you feed about half as much therefore half as much weight and volume. They also poo about half as much, which is an excellent thing as well. :)

rainmaker
09-17-2007, 23:23
If you take a dog out on the trail, remember that some hikers carry carbon-tipped hiking poles and if attacked by a dog, are fully prepared to kill it and then press charges against the owner in criminal court and then sue them in civil court. Best to keep it on a leash.

Amen!!!!!!

FatMan
09-17-2007, 23:48
If you take a dog out on the trail, remember that some hikers carry carbon-tipped hiking poles and if attacked by a dog, are fully prepared to kill it and then press charges against the owner in criminal court and then sue them in civil court. Best to keep it on a leash.
Amen!!!!!!I'm glad to see that another thread designed to help dog owners with training dogs has deteriorated into a dog killing thread. So much for a Dog Friendly Forum where dog owners can communicate without interference.

Appalachian Tater
09-18-2007, 00:03
Well, when people give several paragraphs of advice on how to behave while a dog is attacking you, what do you expect? Keep the dog on a leash, and a firm grip on the other end, and it won't be an issue. There are too many irresponsible dog owners out hiking the trail.

Lone Wolf
09-18-2007, 00:08
Well, when people give several paragraphs of advice on how to behave while a dog is attacking you, what do you expect? Keep the dog on a leash, and a firm grip on the other end, and it won't be an issue. There are too many irresponsible dog owners out hiking the trail.

3 different times in vermont this year i came upon dogs unleashed. they stopped, did the growl/bark thing, i ran toward them and along comes biff and buffy the vermont yuppies saying, "oh, he won't bite!" i gave them the evil eye, farted and walked on. dogs on the trail suck

Appalachian Tater
09-18-2007, 00:13
L. Wolf, I'm surprised that you feel that way. After all, wolves are canines, too.

Appalachian Tater
09-18-2007, 00:15
I don't disagree. I know that there are folks willing to kill a charging dog, and that dogs should be fully under the control of the owner. And that hikers have every right to defend theirself and property.

I just wanted to toss out a comment. After being charged by aggressive dogs a number of times while hiking (the dogs on the road in the vicinity of Kincorra come immediately to mind), I'm not sure I understand the need for aggression in return.

When a snarling, barking dog comes running with it's hackles up, it's a scary situation. The adrenaline definitley goes up. But I've always held my poles out as a barrier between me and the dogs. They go for that, and bite and worry the tip. Meanwhile, I walk backward until I am out of their territory. No need for violence.

I'm not saying aggressive, loose dogs aren't a problem needing solving. I'm just saying that, for me, stabbing an animal with a pole would be the absolute last resort, a problem of survival.

There's no choice in this situation. If you attacked the real culprit, the dog's owner, you would end up in jail.

Gaiter
09-18-2007, 00:56
soooo anyways can we go back to the subject of this thread, training dogs/ their owners, not killing them.

FatMan
09-18-2007, 01:03
Well, when people give several paragraphs of advice on how to behave while a dog is attacking you, what do you expect? Keep the dog on a leash, and a firm grip on the other end, and it won't be an issue. There are too many irresponsible dog owners out hiking the trail.As for dogs attacking people, then do whatever you feel is appropriate. I certainly will do the same if attacked by a dog. That is innapropriate behavior and those dogs most likely do not belong on the trail, and if taken on the trail should be leashed at all times. But having a dog on leash at all times is not always necessary. As long as the dog is properly trained dog under voice control this situation will never arise.

I see way more irresponsible hikers on the trail than irresponsible dog owners on the trail. Maybe it is just that the trail area bordering my property has easy access, but I get to see all the morons who wreck the place and I find myself picking up more garbage every year. I see plants / trees ripped from the ground, and fire pits smoldering with no hikers nearby. But I do not make blanket statements about all hikers based upon their actions as I know most are very conscientious in their behavior. With that thought in mind, I can assure you that when our paths meet on the trail, my dog Cooper will be at my side sitting as you walk by. He will not be charging you. He does not need to be leashed unless the local regulations require it. Many dogs? yes, but not all. Please refrain from such blanket statements as the one you made above.

BTW, most dog problems that I have encountered have been with local dogs and not those belonging to hikers. Either that, or day hikers that bring their untrained dogs to the trail thinking it is a good place to let them run. It makes no sense to direct comments about these two catogories here on the forum because their owners ain't reading it. The people posting to this forum have a genuine interest in having properly behaved dogs out on the trail. So complaining about irresponsible dog owners on the trail on this forum is simply preaching to wrong choir. The hikers posting in this forum are here because they are responsible.

With that said I will wait another six months before I involve myself with the dog bashers. I had hopes that this forum would allow general discussion without the negativeness, but alas, I was wrong. Carry on!

Appalachian Tater
09-18-2007, 02:19
I'm glad your dog is so well-behaved, but be assured that all of the dog owners say "Oh don't worry, he's friendly, he won't bite" and then they growl and snap. If I encounter you and your unleashed dog I will ask you to leash him.

Remember, other hikers don't know your dog and they don't know you so they can't trust either one of you at the risk of being attacked and bitten. As far as they're concerned, your voice control is B.S. because of the other two dozen dogs they encountered in the previous weeks.

And you're right, there are tons of irresponsible hikers, but they don't try to rip me open to the bone with their sharp, flesh-tearing teeth. If they do, they can eat my carbon-tipped poles just as well as a dog can.

So please be thoughtful of others who don't know you and Cooper and remember that they have good reason to be afraid.

And again, my experience is that the "good" dog owners either had their dog on a leash or leashed them as soon as they saw another hiker coming down the trail, out of courtesy. It was the "bad" owners who didn't.

And I'm not a "dog basher". I was probably 10 before I understood that my dog was different from my other sibling.

superman
09-18-2007, 07:26
I remember all the anti-dog threads on Wing Foots site before I hiked with Winter. I got the impression that there were all these hikers seething with hatred toward dogs. When Winter and I began hiking together we just went about our own hike and didn't see any of this anti-dog stuff. In fact the biggest problem I had was young guys who wanted to play too rough with Winter and hikers who wanted to feed Winter without consulting with me. In literally thousands of miles of hiking Winter and I never had a single incident of hostility toward dogs. Based on the experiences that Winter and I have had hiking I would say that dog problems are more on computers than in the real world.

Gray Blazer
09-18-2007, 07:32
Good thread, good info from both the dog owners and the non-dog hikers. Someone get MS a puppy. Don't slap him or you'll get bitten one day. I think my new puppy will be a good hiker one day. I wish I had trained my former shepard to hike. She would have stayed right with me and she was an excellent judge of human character. Believe it or not she would have only bitten the ones who had intent to harm me. I can only hope my chocolate lab will be the same. She is an incredibly strong puppy with Tigger-like characteristics. One of the best pieces of advice came from a non-dog hiker. At least leash your dog when you see another hiker. I don't know about you, but, I cannot afford to be sued.

shelterbuilder
09-18-2007, 08:23
As I said yesterday, most people honestly believe that their dog thinks like a human, which is a ridiculous notion. The dog thinks like a dog, and needs to be treated like a dog. Dogs are creatures that need a strong social structure; the dog MUST be your subordinate, NOT your equal,and certainly NOT your boss! Most unruly dogs that I have encountered on the trail have either been local dogs (usually running in a pack - and THAT'S dangerous as heck), or have been treated by their owners as equals.

A dog that lives in a "social vacuum" learns to become an unruly dog because it is allowed to do, for the most part, what it wants to do. It learns - through the absence of the owner's will - that IT and not the owner is the dominant member of the family (substitute "pack" for family if you want). And this behavior will tend to carry over into all of the dog's life - including the time it spends on the trail.

This doesn't mean that, as a hiker facing an unruly dog, you have to use excessive force when dealing with a loose dog. Injuring or killing a dog teaches nothing - to either the dog OR the owner. If more owners took the time to take their puppies to "puppy kindergarden", many trail problems could be avoided, because the dogs would be socialized to strange people and dogs, and would have a basic understanding of what was expected of them. Owners would also begin to understand that the key to a well-behaved dog is reminding the dog what is expected of it. (For some owners, this is too much like work!)

I'll get off my soapbox now.:o

dixicritter
09-18-2007, 09:21
Well said Shelterbuilder! :)

Appalachian Tater
09-18-2007, 10:28
I remember all the anti-dog threads on Wing Foots site before I hiked with Winter. I got the impression that there were all these hikers seething with hatred toward dogs. When Winter and I began hiking together we just went about our own hike and didn't see any of this anti-dog stuff. In fact the biggest problem I had was young guys who wanted to play too rough with Winter and hikers who wanted to feed Winter without consulting with me. In literally thousands of miles of hiking Winter and I never had a single incident of hostility toward dogs. Based on the experiences that Winter and I have had hiking I would say that dog problems are more on computers than in the real world.

To think that "dog problems are more on computers than in the real world" and promoting that viewpoint here is doing a real disservice to other hikers and other dogs. I am glad that you and Winter had such a good experience, but I can assure you that it was atypical.

It would be nice if everyone else had such a good experience with dogs on the trail. Unfortunately, even nice, well behaved dogs managed to have problems on a long hike. One really wonderful dog, Bailey, had to go home from Kincora in 2006 because she started misbehaving and tore up someone's tent. Another one, Soren, an equal joy to be around, and who could do amazing tricks, got lost for a couple of days near Rangely. The owner was the most distraught person I had seen in several years. Another dog killed a beaver and, if I remember correctly, some squirrels and a chipmunk.

The suffering by dogs on the trail is immense. I got a ride into town by a vet who said he treats a lot of dehydrated hiker dogs, sometimes several a day, and sees all kinds of other injuries with bleeding feet, pack chaffing, and joints as well as excessive weight loss. And yes, dogs get sick from bad water and food and get tick-borne diseases and arthritis and a slew of other ailments and diseases. Can you protect your dog from Lyme disease? Really? I wonder what the dog would say if it could understand the disease and it had a choice about going out into the woods, unable to pick the ticks off. Would it take the risk?

Then there were plenty of the growling, snarling dogs (who did indeed belong mostly to day hikers). There was the really viscious dog left tied up right on the trail to "guard" packs while the middle-aged couple went blue blazing, so that you had to walk off the trail to get by, and they were proud that the dog was "doing its job" when confronted with it. There was the pack of three dogs snarling and snapping on a boardwalk while the three owners, bedecked in all sorts of A.T. bandanas and patches, blythely ignored the "dogs must be on a leash at all times" sign and were not in a hurry to leash their "pets". The dogs attacked some neighborhood children a few minutes after they attacked me. Those three fools should have been drowned in the marsh.

There were the dogs whose owners allowed them to drink directly from the only water source. There was the dog who woke me up several hours before sunrise tugging on my tent before high-tailing it back to his owner's tent. There were the wet dogs shaking themselves off in shelters all over everybody's stuff.

Oh, and when your unleashed dog snarls and snaps at a hiker, at least have the courtesy to apologize and restrain it instead of acting smug and justified, like the hiker deserves it because he is a suspicious character and you need the protection.

Overall, I think that if you talk to thru-hikers about dogs on the trail, they would say leave the dog at home, and if you have to take your dog, keep it on a leash for its own protection and out of courtesy to others. Unfortunately, the well-behaved dogs who can handle a long hike are by far outnumbered by those who shouldn't be out in the woods at all.

Adam B
09-18-2007, 14:19
Wow, I really stirred up a hornets nest. My apologizes to anyone who was upset by my post, it wasn't intended that way. I was trying offer a way to people like minnesotasmith who were say they felt they had no way but violence to resolve encounters with unknown dogs. All of the methods suggested don't involve injury or killing the dog. I don't support killing anything and I know that my dog won't be on the end of someone pole because he stays on the other side of me and others. I am sorry that people feel the need to escalate a situation that can often be resolved calmly and simply. Again I am sorry to have upset people so much.

Shelter builder, your dog sounds very funny. I have mental image of a husky showing everyone his prize toad. My last dog did that once with a vole. I didn't want to be near her but she was so proud.

Adam B

Lone Wolf
09-18-2007, 14:24
Wow, I really stirred up a hornets nest. My apologizes to anyone who was upset by my post, it wasn't intended that way. I was trying offer a way to people like minnesotasmith who were say they felt they had no way but violence to resolve encounters with unknown dogs. All of the methods suggested don't involve injury or killing the dog. I don't support killing anything and I know that my dog won't be on the end of someone pole because he stays on the other side of me and others. I am sorry that people feel the need to escalate a situation that can often be resolved calmly and simply. Again I am sorry to have upset people so much.

Shelter builder, your dog sounds very funny. I have mental image of a husky showing everyone his prize toad. My last dog did that once with a vole. I didn't want to be near her but she was so proud.

Adam B

a person shouldn't have to learn methods to fend off a dog on the trail. they should be leashed at all times. period

superman
09-18-2007, 14:36
To think that "dog problems are more on computers than in the real world" and promoting that viewpoint here is doing a real disservice to other hikers and other dogs. I am glad that you and Winter had such a good experience, but I can assure you that it was atypical.

It would be nice if everyone else had such a good experience with dogs on the trail. Unfortunately, even nice, well behaved dogs managed to have problems on a long hike. One really wonderful dog, Bailey, had to go home from Kincora in 2006 because she started misbehaving and tore up someone's tent. Another one, Soren, an equal joy to be around, and who could do amazing tricks, got lost for a couple of days near Rangely. The owner was the most distraught person I had seen in several years. Another dog killed a beaver and, if I remember correctly, some squirrels and a chipmunk.

The suffering by dogs on the trail is immense. I got a ride into town by a vet who said he treats a lot of dehydrated hiker dogs, sometimes several a day, and sees all kinds of other injuries with bleeding feet, pack chaffing, and joints as well as excessive weight loss. And yes, dogs get sick from bad water and food and get tick-borne diseases and arthritis and a slew of other ailments and diseases. Can you protect your dog from Lyme disease? Really? I wonder what the dog would say if it could understand the disease and it had a choice about going out into the woods, unable to pick the ticks off. Would it take the risk?

Then there were plenty of the growling, snarling dogs (who did indeed belong mostly to day hikers). There was the really viscious dog left tied up right on the trail to "guard" packs while the middle-aged couple went blue blazing, so that you had to walk off the trail to get by, and they were proud that the dog was "doing its job" when confronted with it. There was the pack of three dogs snarling and snapping on a boardwalk while the three owners, bedecked in all sorts of A.T. bandanas and patches, blythely ignored the "dogs must be on a leash at all times" sign and were not in a hurry to leash their "pets". The dogs attacked some neighborhood children a few minutes after they attacked me. Those three fools should have been drowned in the marsh.

There were the dogs whose owners allowed them to drink directly from the only water source. There was the dog who woke me up several hours before sunrise tugging on my tent before high-tailing it back to his owner's tent. There were the wet dogs shaking themselves off in shelters all over everybody's stuff.

Oh, and when your unleashed dog snarls and snaps at a hiker, at least have the courtesy to apologize and restrain it instead of acting smug and justified, like the hiker deserves it because he is a suspicious character and you need the protection.

Overall, I think that if you talk to thru-hikers about dogs on the trail, they would say leave the dog at home, and if you have to take your dog, keep it on a leash for its own protection and out of courtesy to others. Unfortunately, the well-behaved dogs who can handle a long hike are by far outnumbered by those who shouldn't be out in the woods at all.

Actually that includes many different trails and years of hiking. What are you doing to those poor dogs?

Appalachian Tater
09-18-2007, 15:09
Actually that includes many different trails and years of hiking. What are you doing to those poor dogs?

Just asking people not to take their dogs on long hikes and to keep them leashed on short ones. For the dogs' sake--I'm speaking for those who can't speak English.

I will tell you, I met a 18 or so year-old dog who was crippled with arthritis and almost completely blind. Its humans were taking her on a series of day hikes for her birthday because she loved hiking so much, the idea being that she probably wouldn't have another birthday. They had picked gentle slopes for the hikes because the dog was in so much pain with each step. That was one hiking fool of a dog.

superman
09-18-2007, 15:34
Just asking people not to take their dogs on long hikes and to keep them leashed on short ones. For the dogs' sake--I'm speaking for those who can't speak English.

I will tell you, I met a 18 or so year-old dog who was crippled with arthritis and almost completely blind. Its humans were taking her on a series of day hikes for her birthday because she loved hiking so much, the idea being that she probably wouldn't have another birthday. They had picked gentle slopes for the hikes because the dog was in so much pain with each step. That was one hiking fool of a dog.

Si....nice anecdote.

shelterbuilder
09-18-2007, 17:38
a person shouldn't have to learn methods to fend off a dog on the trail. they should be leashed at all times. period

No, a person shouldn't - welcome to my not-so-perfect world. Adam and I were trying to pass along some info that might save you a bite, and might save a dog's life. But there will always be folks who choose to use an elephant gun to swat a fly....

Adam B
09-18-2007, 17:41
Lwolf- I hate to say this but no matter where you are there is always a danger from dogs that may be wild, poorly trained, poorly handled and aggressive. My dog is generally on leash and I hate when I see people walking their dogs off leash because I know how quickly a dog can move when they get it in their heads to do so. Reality is even if everyone but one keeps their dog on leash and is responsible, there will always be some who are irresponsible. You can complain about it but it is true.

I have a service dog who is leashed and that leash is tied to me. No matter what we are tied to each other, so if something threatens me they threaten my dog or vis versa. Unfortunately I encounter dogs in public, on the trail and even on my own property that threaten us and are aggressive towards us. Rarely are these dogs leashed and a few times these dogs have injured my dog or I. The tricks I talked about are ones that limited the damage and danger to myself and my dog.

I would rather know how to defend myself and my dog in the event that something happens rather then be seriously injured. I encounter more dogs then most mainly because I have a dog with me at all times and most of these dogs don't pose a danger and are leashed but every so often I have seen a dog that wants to hurt us and I deal with it. Once the incident is over the police are notified and the authorities deal with it but in the mean time I will keep me and Timber safe.

You are right in an ideal world you shouldn't need to learn how to stop an aggressive dog; but then women wouldn't need to learn to protect themselves from rape, children wouldn't need to learn to say no to an adult offering candy, humane societies wouldn't need to exist, etc... we would all live happily ever after. I would like to live in that world but until it exists I will be prepared to take care of those around me.

On that note if you want to continue discussing this I suggest we start a different thread or PM me because we have taken this discussion way off of the initial training thread. Ok? I don't want to upset this group anymore, I just came here to learn some tips because shortly my dog and I will be thru hiking in Africa.