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mtnbrooke7
01-13-2005, 23:45
Hi, I have a dog that I'm probably going to take on my upcoming thru hike...anyone have experience in this area? What do you do with them when you're going through the parts where you can't have dogs on the trail? Anyone have advice about bears, etc? I need to read about bear/dog behaviors. lol
thanks
Brooke

SGT Rock
01-13-2005, 23:46
You probably should have done a search on this one before asking.

PROFILE
01-14-2005, 00:08
I agree with Rock. If you really need advice send me a private message and I will answer any questions.

steve hiker
01-14-2005, 01:30
Don't listen to them, people on this site LOVE to talk about dogs. A thread about Man's Best Friend is always welcome, especially for those up north suffering from winter bordom.

Lone Wolf
01-14-2005, 05:44
Your chances of making it to Maine with TWO dogs are very slim. Bad idea.

Panama Red
01-14-2005, 09:56
i enjoy hiking with dogs but i never take them on a long stretch because some people are just not dog people plus i hike an average of 18-20 mi per day and ive seen their pads turn to ground beef after a month...some good tips i recommend
1. when training the dog commands such as heel and walking on a leash put a pack on him when he is a puppy so he will know ...i have my pack on time to shut up and listen
2.never let the dog sleep in the shelter if crowded, sleep out side with him you don't want him left out hes your hiking partner
3. never plan a trip longer than 3 weeks
4.and lastly bring some toys for him even if he is a dog who likes to fetch he will learn to love a squeaker toy since he wont have to run after a long days walk

Tha Wookie
01-14-2005, 10:36
I would think long and hard about other alternatives. The complications are endless, and I doubt they would be manageable over the long haul. Many hikers are highly annoyed by domesticated dogs in the wilderness. I am when they piss on my pack and jump wet into the shelter.

PLAN B!

rocket04
01-14-2005, 10:45
anyone have experience in this area?
Not much experience, but I saw several dogs on the trail that were in pretty bad shape. So be aware that your dog could cause you some serious headaches.

[QUOTE=mtnbrooke7]What do you do with them when you're going through the parts where you can't have dogs on the trail? You need to find a place to board them while you hike the section and then get them back, more expenses and logistics.


Anyone have advice about bears, etc? I need to read about bear/dog behaviors. Didn't hear any stories about that.

Moose2001
01-14-2005, 10:49
Do your DOGS a favor and leave them at home. They will thank you for it.

Bloodroot
01-14-2005, 11:19
I dont know why there is a post here:rolleyes:

steve hiker
01-14-2005, 11:47
Anyone have advice about bears, etc? I need to read about bear/dog behaviors.
I like dogs generally, but it's a bad idea to mix them up with bears. One thing, they'll piss the dowg off and then run back to your feet for protection as bear comes to kick some ass.

Also there are stories of dogs corrupting under the influence of bears. You don't want a lovable lapdog turning into a woods hoodlum and ganging up with them bruins. It's hard enough for thru-hikers to fight off predatory bears every day, we don't need canines joining in to attack from the rear flank.

gypsy97
01-14-2005, 14:06
2 dogs would probably be too much to handle. If you are sure you can control your dog, plan to tent it when the shelter is crowded, etc., you may be ok with one. You must board your dog while you hike thru the Smokies, keep it on a leash thru the Shenandoah. I only hiked 900 mi. w/my black lab, and I'm sure it shortened his life by at least 2 years, so think about it long & hard before you start off. Advantages are you have a constant companion, and in my experience, I never once had mice come near me or my food (or anyone else in the shelter with me). I think the bears would try to avoid you at all costs. Also, my dog never strayed off the trail when he had his pack on, and didn't bother the wildlife. He learned really quick not to bother other hikers or to beg for food, although he was so polite that many people gave him treats. At the camp site/shelter, he would "do his business", run in circles like a mad dog for a couple of minutes, then crash. You will have to ensure you and he can carry enough food & water for him as well as yourself. There were times I went thirsty so my dog could drink. You have a major responsibility for your pet on the trail, sort of like hiking with a child. To sum up: I loved hiking with my dog and am glad I did, but I would never do it again.

mtnbrooke7
01-14-2005, 16:18
yeah, it's been something i didn't think would be a good idea, but am having some trouble figuring out a plan for my dog while i'm gone. i think i could leave one at my parents' house, but might still take the other one. she is very well behaved and not very large.

steve hiker
01-14-2005, 19:24
We need to get JillJones and a few others on this trail. :banana

mattyg2
01-14-2005, 21:37
There are only two places where you can't take your dog along the AT. The first is the Smokey's, the second is Baxter State Park in Maine. In the smokeys there are several kennels that will pick up your dog right before entering the park (I don't remember the town name) and drop them off when you come out the other side. I believe you will be around $200 lighter when you finally do come out. I know there are also kennels outside Baxter, but I don't know the specifics about them.

As for bears, that one is simple. Keep away at all costs. Keep your dog on a leash, and leave the bears alone.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

matt

grandview
01-14-2005, 22:46
your little dog will make a lot more steps on the trail than you'll have to...much easier on you and the little fella if he stays behind...

Ramble~On
01-15-2005, 05:05
Dog(s).

There are quite a few dog related threads on this site.
Please take some time and read through some of them.
Please consider that your dog doesn't get to have any say in the matter if YOU decide to take it.
Please consider that you will be 100% responsible for your dog 100% of the time. Please consider other people that will be sharing the trail with you and your dog.
Please consider what you will do with the dog regarding towns, hostels, stores, shelters and the occasional run in with bigger, mean dogs.

superman
01-15-2005, 08:51
I've hiked with my dog Winter for many years and on many trails. Winter is a white German Shepard and is an easy dog to hike with and travel with. Having said that I'd suggest you not try to thru hike with two dogs in 05. You haven't said that you've trained your dogs for hiking. You haven't mentioned how socialized your dogs are to people and to wild animals. Some breeds are better suited for hiking but there are always exceptions. While many of the problems that anti-dog people pose are over stated but for the wrong dog any problem is too much. You should sort out the real problems from the bull for your dogs. There are tons of information on this topic and if you're only asking for information now you're very late in being able to act on the information for your 05 hike. Hiking with a dog is not just a walk in the woods...it can be better or worse. You need to KNOW what your dog or dogs will do before you put one paw on the AT.

SGT Rock
01-15-2005, 09:03
I agree with superman (except with the part about thngs being overstated). I'm a dog lover but wouldn't ever take my dog on a thru-hike. It isn't a decision to make a month before you head out and do any hike, if you realy want to be a good hiker with a dog, you have to put in a lot of training time ahead of even short hikes.

mtnbrooke7
01-15-2005, 14:39
well, this definitely isn't the first time i have taken my dog on a backpacking trip, she's gone on lots of section hikes with me on the AT. I do know how she is on the trail, and around people, and around other dogs/wildlife. I wouldn't even consider taking her if I hadn't already figured that part out. Thanks for everyone's input, though, just going through my options right now. I'm not leaving until June (SOBO), so no, I'm not just making a decision about it a month before the trip.
Brooke

stranger
01-16-2005, 00:37
I enjoy dogs on the trail, well trained dogs with responsible owners that is. Your dog should always be on a leash unless he is exceptionally trained and listens to all comands without exception.

I love dogs but would not take one on a thru-hike, I've only done overnight trips with my old pooch and that was a pain sometimes. You will get alot of slack if you hike with a dog...trust me.

I came close to being attacked by a rottie in 2001, thank god his owner grabbed him (no leash) and he only bit my hand. That was my only experience that was negative with dogs on the trail, but it's one I'll always remember.

If you do take your pooch with you I would strongly recommend not staying at shelter areas unless they are vacant.

frieden
09-09-2005, 10:51
Without starting a new thread, I'll post (sort of) the same question here. I plan on starting out in March 2006, with my service dog. I've done research out the wazoo (books, boards, sites), and have found little dog advice (especially on thru hiking), other than "leave your dog at home". Any advice other than that, would be appreciated!

I understand the attitude toward dogs in public areas, and it is obvious what it is like on the trail. I'll leave him home in certain situations, when the risk isn't too high, but I can't be without him for 7 months on the AT. I'm not the first to thru hike with a service dog, but I've only read about one.

He is my main concern, but I also want to be respectful of the other hikers. He was initially trained in search and rescue, and we still train in mountain SAR with the E. TN group, whenever possible. I know his limitations, though. When he's training, or we are sitting quietly, he won't even try to bother the wildlife. When we are just out for a walk around the subdivision, any movement kicks in his prey drive (even a tumbling leaf), and he'll try to run after it to play with it. (He's just a year old) Because of this, I plan on keeping him on a leash at all times. He's used to walking on the trail that way, anyway. We plan on tenting, even though most hikers will stink worse than him in the shelters. ;)

If I've done all this research, why do I need help here? I'm not finding some crucial information:

Town stops: I plan on doing mail drops. I also want to leave the possibility of hostels. US law allows me to take my service dog anywhere humans can go. Great in theory, but I can't tell you how many times I have to threaten legal action for businesses to leave him alone. People take their freedom for granted, and don't care that some people can't enjoy even close to the same freedom without these dogs. I spent years contained in the same four walls of my house, before I got him. I am not doing this to cause problems for other people, but I'm not going to be chased "out back" because I have a dog, either. He isn't a "pet"; he allows me to enjoy the outdoors, like everyone else. We praise the people brave enough to continue/enter a sport with specialized wheelchairs, but shun the people trying to do the same thing with dogs. I need help planning my town stops. Are some towns/hostels/cafes dog friendly or understanding that you know of? Do you know of some that are downright dog hostile that I should avoid?

Shelters: Knowing the attitude of most hikers on dogs, should I tent at the shelter site, or find another site far from a shelter? I want to be respectful of other hikers, but try to follow LNT (as much as possible). I'm sure nature can recover from another animal walking through the woods, more so than human impact (fires, trash, boots, hiking sticks, etc), but I want to be as respectful as possible. We're going out to enjoy nature, not destroy it. I also want to show other disabled people that they don't have to sit in those four walls, so I don't want to destroy goodwill along the trail.

Paws: He's used to (and designed for) being on his feet all day, but not 8-10 hrs of straight hiking, yet. It takes a lot longer to hike 10 miles in the mountains, than it does in the flats of FL. I don't know what concerns I should have for his paws. My sister, who is a mountain SAR instructor, says that boots are out. They get in the way of balance, footing, and could increase injury for dogs who aren't used to them. Way back when in Scotland, cattlemen used to drive the Highland Cattle down to England with dogs. Because this was bad on their paws, the cattlemen would dip the dogs' paws in tar, which wore down over time, but protected the pads. I've heard about people gluing material to the pads (which doesn't sound like a good idea).

I'm creating a vet list along the trail, so if anyone needs that, I'll have it ready by Feb. Let me know if you know of a good vet.

Yes, I am concerned about bears. He's not an agressive dog at all, especially with other animals. He has shown to be protective of me and his property at night of humans, but never with an animal. He won't show any agressive body language, but hopefully a bear won't look at us as prey (especially with all that I'm reading on bears attacking hikers for their packs). All I can do is take the advice I've read about being seen and heard, and to back away slowly, without looking them in the eye. I doubt we'll have any trouble with wildlife, unless they are injured or extremely hungry. Hey, we'll be in their world, and will just have to accept the risks associated with it, but my research shows the risk is low, and things we can do to lower it even more.

Human understanding: Do you think I should write to establishments along the trail, so they have a heads up? We've stayed at hotels that prefer dogs to stay on the first floor, so they like to have advance notice, etc. Unfortunately, I can't plan exact dates, but I can give an approximate heads up.

Trail specifics: Are there any parts on the trail that you know of that would be very hazardous to a dog? Is there a side trail around it? This will really help in planning.

Thanks for all of your help!!!!

TAMBOURINE
09-09-2005, 11:54
Hi, I have a dog that I'm probably going to take on my upcoming thru hike...anyone have experience in this area? What do you do with them when you're going through the parts where you can't have dogs on the trail? Anyone have advice about bears, etc? I need to read about bear/dog behaviors. lol
thanks
Brooke I TAKE MY DOG AND NEVER HAD A BAD TIME WITH ANYONE OR ANYTHING.

frieden
09-09-2005, 21:37
Thanks, Tambourine! Did you tent all the way, or did you stay at hostels/hotels for part of the trip? Any tips?

Chip
09-09-2005, 22:36
I've hiked with my dog Winter for many years and on many trails. Winter is a white German Shepard and is an easy dog to hike with and travel with. Having said that I'd suggest you not try to thru hike with two dogs in 05. You haven't said that you've trained your dogs for hiking. You haven't mentioned how socialized your dogs are to people and to wild animals. Some breeds are better suited for hiking but there are always exceptions. While many of the problems that anti-dog people pose are over stated but for the wrong dog any problem is too much. You should sort out the real problems from the bull for your dogs. There are tons of information on this topic and if you're only asking for information now you're very late in being able to act on the information for your 05 hike. Hiking with a dog is not just a walk in the woods...it can be better or worse. You need to KNOW what your dog or dogs will do before you put one paw on the AT.
I agree with Superman's statement " You need to know what your dog (s) will do on the trail. I section hike with two TRAINED dogs. Don't know if I would do the whole AT with them. That is alot of time and miles. The dogs will handle the hike alot differently than you. Maybe not as well or maybe better?

I would only thru hike with one dog. Might be better for both you and your dog. Which dog can handle the hike better (in your opinion)? Take that dog!
I sleep in a tent or under a tarp with my dogs. NO SHELTERS. Practice LNT too!

Good Luck, Happy Trails,
Chip ;)

Ridge
09-10-2005, 08:23
A very low percentage of hikers with dogs finish the AT, actually I only know of Bill Erwin. I do know of those who had to ship their dog(s) home or who cancelled their trip because of injured/sick animals. It's like taking a child, you have to be responsible for two(or more). I believe there would be all kinds of ranting if a lot of hikers did complete the trail with their dog. I've not seen much of this ranting. I've also have not read much about those who had to cancel their trip or about shipping their dogs back home either. Anyone serious about completing a thru-hike would be wise to leave the animal at home. It's tough enough to take care of yourself.

MOWGLI
09-10-2005, 09:10
Shelters: Knowing the attitude of most hikers on dogs, should I tent at the shelter site, or find another site far from a shelter?


You should tent where you want to. If you follow-through on the things you're taling about (keeping dog leashed and being respectful) you'll have no problems with anybody - expecting the occasional idiot. Yes, they're out there - but thankfully in small numbers.



Paws: He's used to (and designed for) being on his feet all day, but not 8-10 hrs of straight hiking, yet. It takes a lot longer to hike 10 miles in the mountains, than it does in the flats of FL.

You have lots of time between now and next March to do a section hike. Why not head north and hike in the mountains for 4-5 days. This will get you and the dog somewhat familiar with the daily routines. You'll need to check those paws regularly.



Yes, I am concerned about bears. He's not an agressive dog at all, especially with other animals. He has shown to be protective of me and his property at night of humans, but never with an animal. He won't show any agressive body language, but hopefully a bear won't look at us as prey (especially with all that I'm reading on bears attacking hikers for their packs).

With the dog, your chances of encountering a bear are diminished. If you're starting in March, the ridges in the Great Smoky Mountains NP should be mostly devoid of bears. They will more likely be at lower elevations where food is more abundant. Now, I'm assuming you'll be making a case to take your service animal in the park - where dogs are otherwise prohibited. Of course, there is a good chance that you won't even get that far along the trail, so this might be a moot point.

The other areas where you're likely to encounter bears is Shenandoah NP and New Jersey. If you keep the dog leashed (required in the National Park) you'll have no problems. Consider yourself lucky if you see a bear.


Human understanding: Do you think I should write to establishments along the trail, so they have a heads up?

Wouldn't hurt.


Trail specifics: Are there any parts on the trail that you know of that would be very hazardous to a dog?
Some of the ledges in NH and Maine will probably be difficult for man & beast. I recall helping my friend Captain hoist his Yelow Lab (The Kid) up some of the steep ledges in Maine. The Kid was a BIG DOG though.

Another potential hazard is any section of trail that gets HOT and DRY. In 2001 temps on the trail soared to 100 for extended periods. It was really dry too. With a dog, you have to worry about both of you regarding proper hydration and heat stress. If it gets really hot & dry, you might want to think about taking some time of, or re-think hiking - with or without the dog.

Programbo
09-10-2005, 18:20
I think you are all over looking the discomfort you cause people with your dogs..I have been bitten a number of times in my life..One of my earliest memories of childhood is being mauled by a dog..Presently I am on a lot of blood thinner because of my heart so if I get bitten I won`t stop bleeding which makes me even more skittish of dogs..If I`m walking down the trail and see some large dog coming at me I get scared to death regardless of it`s intentions..Just 3 weeks ago I was down on Skyline Drive and parked and here comes some woman with her dog which was on a leash but as they passed me the dog still made a lunging nip at me..Maybe it was a normally well mannered and trained dog but it may have sensed my uneasiness or seen it on my face and felt me a threat to it`s master..But you have to take into account that their are people who are scared of dogs with good reason and even your well trained dog may react badly to that

frieden
09-10-2005, 19:26
Programbo, I understand your fear. Unfortunately, a lot of people feel like you do. They want me to stay at home, getting bed sores, and weaker by the minute, so I don't cause them "discomfort". Yeah, well, I could tell you a thing or two about discomfort. I spent 14 years at death's door, in so much pain I couldn't function. People (including my family) avoided me, because I was sick all the time, and it was just too depressing. God has given me a second chance, and I'm taking it. If that makes people uncomfortable, I don't know what to tell them. I will do what I can to reduce stress on other people, but I will not hide in a hole, because I can't cater to every single fear of every single person.

Of course you have a reason for your fear. Fear typically comes from a bad experience (real or imagined). It is real to you, and it's important, but you have to realize the world cannot revolve around it. You can let it control you, but you can't expect others to be controlled by it.

I know my dog, which is why I keep him on a leash. He will more than likely jump on you. He's getting better, but he still jumps on people when he's real excited, or hasn't been around people in awhile. He just wants to be petted, but a muddy, stinky dog jumping up on you on the trail is not a lot of fun. I have no problem with someone who I meet on the trail that says, "Excuse me, I'm scared of dogs. Could you please step aside, and hold your dog, while I pass?" What's wrong with that?

You judging all dogs and handlers, because of an experience with a bad dog/handler, is like judging all people to be like the bad ones out there. Are all humans murderers? Will all dogs bite you? No, and you know it. How do you get over your fear in a constructive mannar? I don't know, but you don't need to hurt other people in the process.

If I was unaware of people's discomfort with dogs, or didn't care, I never would have submitted my post. I just would have gone out there.

frieden
09-10-2005, 19:31
Thanks, MOGLI16. Those were helpful tips.

Programbo
09-10-2005, 21:45
I`m sorry to seem so uncaring but I`m not understanding how someone who can hike the entire length of the AT with the associated weight on their back etc needs "service dog"?..Perhaps if you were more detailed we..Or maybe just I..Could understand better your specific needs and be more adviceful..I still think a dog on the trail is a bad idea all around

MOWGLI
09-10-2005, 22:00
I`m sorry to seem so uncaring but I`m not understanding how someone who can hike the entire length of the AT with the associated weight on their back etc needs "service dog"?

Programbo, just a thought. Nobody has to justify to you or anybody else why they should take their dog on the trail. Dogs are permitted on most of the AT - period! That doesn't mean that folks shouldn't be encouraged to be responsible with their animals - and that means following rules & regs regarding leash use, and proper etiquitte around shelters and campsites.

IMO, your phobias shouldn't dictate others use of the trail. I too was bitten by a large German Shepard when I was young - and still bear the scar from that incident. I am not paralyzed with fear about it though. I moved beyond that incident. I have encountered aggressive dogs on the trail. I deal with it on a case by case basis. Seriously, if you are that scared of dogs, maybe you should only go where dogs are prohibited. The AT is not one of those places.

Chip
09-10-2005, 22:27
I think you are all over looking the discomfort you cause people with your dogs..I have been bitten a number of times in my life..One of my earliest memories of childhood is being mauled by a dog..Presently I am on a lot of blood thinner because of my heart so if I get bitten I won`t stop bleeding which makes me even more skittish of dogs..If I`m walking down the trail and see some large dog coming at me I get scared to death regardless of it`s intentions..Just 3 weeks ago I was down on Skyline Drive and parked and here comes some woman with her dog which was on a leash but as they passed me the dog still made a lunging nip at me..Maybe it was a normally well mannered and trained dog but it may have sensed my uneasiness or seen it on my face and felt me a threat to it`s master..But you have to take into account that their are people who are scared of dogs with good reason and even your well trained dog may react badly to that
A dog that is lunging at you is not a well trained animal and the owner who let's this take place has not trained the dog or himself / herself enough to be on the trail in the first place. I don't like to read or hear of stories like
yours. It gives people who do have well trained dogs a bad rep ! Very few people who hike with their dogs really know what they are doing. Most people who hike ( daytrippers, weekend warriors etc...) have not really trained their dog for hiking in the woods. These are "neighborhood dogs", not trained for the woods, other hikers or wildlife they will meet along the trail. There is a big difference in a dog that has been trained vs a dog that has not AND a big difference in the owner who has and cares vs the owner who has not trained the dog or him / her self.:)

Moxie00
09-10-2005, 22:40
DON'T< unless your dog is experienced and VERY well trained and socialized. In 2000 the dog that won "best trail dog" at Damascus spent the next 1500 miles begging food, pissing in sleeping bags and farting in shelters.

MOWGLI
09-10-2005, 23:20
DON'T< unless your dog is experienced and VERY well trained and socialized. In 2000 the dog that won "best trail dog" at Damascus spent the next 1500 miles begging food, pissing in sleeping bags and farting in shelters.

I would agree that it takes a special & dedicated owner and its the rare dog that should attempt a thru-hike together. Many dogs are ill prepared for a long distance hike.

Bear in mind that the VAST MAJORITY of dogs on the trail belong to the primary user of the AT - the day hiker.

smokymtnsteve
09-10-2005, 23:27
the dogs I take care of and train can run upwards to 100 miles a day....

Dances with Mice
09-11-2005, 00:45
the dogs I take care of and train can run upwards to 100 miles a day....Ok. Ain't talkin' 'bout huskies running on snow in midwinter Alaska, Sparky. How far would they get on the Pennsylvania AT in mid-August?

saimyoji
09-11-2005, 01:21
...Bear in mind that the VAST MAJORITY of dogs on the trail belong to the primary user of the AT - the day hiker.
And thus the majority of dog encounters lead us to the logical conclusion that dogs should be regulated in some way. Perhaps dog owners should aquire a permit to bring their dog. I hiked up to Sunfish Pond again today and was appalled(sp?) at the number of loser dog owners who let their dogs run unleashed, tell me "s/he won't bite" and have the dog jump up at me. Those of us who are wary for the bite to come don't discriminate between a friendly jump up and a lick to a jump and possibly bite.

If you can't train your dog to follow trail etiquette, leave em at home.

PLEASE.

Whistler
09-11-2005, 01:57
I don't hike with a dog, but I'll share my dog experiences:
-One had lost its owners, a well-behaved and beautiful collie, pitiful thing.
-One got freaked out by water crossings, had to be carried or cajoled. The AT is a wet trail, too.
-One threw its pack down a ravine full of poison oak. Guess who got to chase it?

I never had a really disagreeable experience, but I recognize the effort, love, and extra TLC it requires. Wild animals are best enjoyed in their natural environment, likewise for the domesticated ones.
-Mark

Dances with Mice
09-11-2005, 02:09
My family's canine companion died this time last year. I haven't written much about hiking with her, but she went on a lot of my trips. I've posted this a bunch of times already but....

It's not comfortable sharing a tent with a dog....the smell of wet hair, bad breath, the farting, snoring, the muddy feet, kicking in their sleep, whining or howling at the moon and getting up at all hours of the night to go outside and pee....Well, my dog didn't like it and started sleeping outside the tent.

Yeah, I've camped with a dog. BTDT. Lots.

Anyway, I took my pup Chestatee (named after the river where I found her abandoned, same as the Wilderness Area on the AT at Woody Gap) on lots of weekend hikes. She was just a mutt, about 70 pounds full-grown, spayed female. Had some golden retriever in her, Gawhdonly knows what else. Her hand-made leash of 3/4 inch nylon rope, 12 feet long, was attached to my sternum strap by a mini-caliper. She had her own backpack, carried her food, food and water bowls, tie out line, her own backpacking towel, and our trash, I carried her sleeping blanket, pad, water bottle, and food treats. You'll have to carry more weight when you have a dog, no getting that. She wasn't exceptionally well trained by military K-9 standards but better trained than most other dogs we met on the trail.

She learned the command "SIDE!" which meant to me that we stepped to the side of the trail and let someone pass. To her it meant "Walk a little ways into the woods and get a food treat." She'd go the the right hand side of the trail, sit, and look to me for a snack. This slowed our progress significantly, people I started the day hiking with at the same pace would be far ahead after a couple hours since I was always stopping when we met someone or someone else wanted to pass.

We never stayed in shelters, but I never stay in shelters with or without her, so that was no biggee. I had a floorless tarp tent (Black Diamond Megalight) with over 80 square feet of room, I'd set up a line between two trees outside and caliper her leash onto it. I'd take the back half of the tent, she'd have the front half. I'll download pics if anyone wants to see my setup.

So, anyway, the point of all this is that she LOVED hiking. If I walked outside with my backpack she'd get excited, start running in circles whining in excitement, then she'd run to the van ready to jump in the second I opened the door. Yep, the pup loved hiking. So I took her on my first trip on the GA Loop - AT from Springer to Blood, west on the Duncan Ridge to the Benton Mac, then south back to Springer. 60'ish miles. That was a mistake.

The third day we came to a road crossing with cars parked at the trailhead. She went up to the first car and sat beside it. She was ready to go home. I had to drag her away. To be fair, she was used to overnighters and thought the time had come to get in a vehicle and head home. She wasn't choosy about the vehicle, any of those at the trailhead would have suited her fine.

One irritation to both of us was her sense of smell - once every 30 minutes or so she'd catch a whiff of -something- and would want to follow it. Often it happened as we'd step over a blowdown - she'd hop on top of the log then jump back and with her nose to the ground start heading off the trail. I'd have to jerk her leash to get her back on the trail. She'd get upset by this, as if she were saying "Can't you tell what was happenening here?! We can't pass this by! Come on!"

Another irritation: Her idea of the best way to walk around a tree was often different than mine. Not fun when there's a rope between us. And another - when I'd stop for a ten minute break, she'd want to stop for the day. She'd lie down and be sound asleep within minutes. Once at the end of the day I was trying to outrun a tremendous thunderstorm, racing to get to a gap. It'd already been a long day and she was ready to quit. I stopped for a water break and she was ready to stop for the night but the storm was getting closer and we needed to push another couple miles. No dice, she stretched out and made it clear that this was as far as she was going. I had to drag her down the trail a bit before she got the idea that we had more walking to do.

When the weather got warm she would not walk across a stream. She'd lie down in the water and be ready to spend the rest of the day there. Hard to blame her, really. Still, I had to drag her out and make it clear that we couldn't stop for a soak. I didn't like her laying in streams, never knew who'd be using the water downstream. Kinda violated all my LNT ethics, y'know?

That was our only and last long hike. For her own comfort I left her at home on any hike longer than a weekend. She -hated- when I packed the van and left without her, but it was for her own good.

So. Someone want a pack for a medium-sized dog with collapsable soft water and food bowls? I might have her leash and collar around somewhere too, not sure. I donated her doghouse, blankets, sleeping pad, and food to a lady at work that does animal rescues, but I probably still have most of her camping stuff down in the basement. All free if you'll pay the shipping.

Plus a Black Diamond Mega-mid for the right offer. Google it for the specs, it's a great tent for dog camping. Even has a sewn-in bug netting border. I'm not ready to part with the Mega-Light just yet.

generoll
09-11-2005, 09:26
Good post and good points. I bought a Megamid for exacly the same reason. No floor for the dogs nails to rip up and as a bonus it's roomy and you can cook in it when it's raining. My dog is a better trail companion then a lot of people and while he's not much of a conversationalist, he's an excellent listener. Having said all that, we do live in the society of people and a dog is going to cause you problems if you insist on hiking in heavily traveled areas like the AT.

Hitchiking is the first thing that comes to mind and any activity in a trail town. Perhaps you'd do better to try the BMT instead. It's a lot less heavily traveled and you can get to the southern edge of the Smokies with only an occasional crossing of the AT. By then you should know how well the dogs feet will hold up and reassess your plans at that point.

frieden
09-11-2005, 20:22
Thanks everyone for your tips. Some we are already ok with, but some will really help with my planning.

MOWGLI16 - Thanks for that.

Smokymtnsteve, it doesn't matter if your dogs train in snow or not (he loves cold weather, though). I would be interested in your advice for endurance training. My dog, Ed, loves to go jogging, but we are only up to a few miles per day. I mountain bike 12 miles per day too, but I don't think we're ready for him to be attached to the bike yet.

Ed loves water, and I finally got him over his fear of tall grass. I laid two tracks in the long grass today, and he nailed both of them. I was so proud. :D I'm not worried about obstacles, because his favorite activity is agility, and we've trained with the E. TN SAR group in the mountains as much as possible. He's crate trained, and used to sleeping in there all night. I'm hoping that he will see the tent as his new crate, and won't try to go out in the middle of the night to pee. Unfortunately, that means I can't either, unless I take him. Endurance, heat (which is why I want to leave in March), and pads are still concerns. He knows what it means to "go to work", though.

Dances with Mice, I'm sorry about the loss of your dog. She sounded like a fun companion. We haven't tried tenting, yet. I am concerned about the health of the floor of the tent, with his nails. You had a floorless tent? Has anyone tented with a dog, with a floored tent? Everytime we come inside, he lies down, and I clean his paws with a wet washcloth. He's used to being wiped down, brushed (coat and teeth), getting a daily massage, and generally fussed over, so he probably wouldn't object to being wiped down, before going into the tent. The trick will be finding the energy to do it, after hiking all day! Ed is being weaned from treats as a reward. He became treat dependent. He is currently being broken of tracking animals. I was lectured for letting him track animals from the SAR instructor, so now all my coworkers wear scent articles for a full shift, and I use those. It has really helped in keeping him from following an animal track. He still goes after quick movements, though. If Ed lies down on the trail, refusing to move, I'm in trouble. I couldn't carry him (he's around 70 lbs), which is why we need to focus on endurance. Luckily, when Ed gets worn out, he behaves very, very well! ;)

If all goes as planned (as it almost never does), we will move to TN, and submit ourselves to the daily training and whim of the E. TN SAR group's winter mountain training, two months before we leave. I'm hoping this will whip us into the final shape we'll need to be in. Until then, I'm focusing on planning, obedience training, and endurance training (for both of us). He has a pack, but he doesn't like it (probably a bad fit), and a set of collapsable food and water bowls. I am planning as an ultralighter, so I can carry his stuff, and the tent. I thought about attaching his leash to my waist, but it sounds dangerous.

Thanks, generoll. We joined the FTA, but haven't made it out there, yet. It isn't a heavily used trail in most spots, so we were going to use that for training, especially the spots that require a climb over a ladder that goes over a fence.

Ed is a Belgian Malinois mix (we think with yellow lab). He looks exactly like a Mal, with floppy ears.

frieden
09-11-2005, 20:34
This is "Ed".

MOWGLI
09-11-2005, 20:39
Ed is a Belgian Malinois mix (we think with yellow lab). He looks exactly like a Mal, with floppy ears.

If you go back to the early posts in this thread, you'll see that Profile offered to help someone - by encouraging a PM with any questions. He has trained Belgian Malinois' dogs, and hiked with one in 2000. Sara was the best trained animal I have ever been around.

frieden
09-11-2005, 20:40
Thanks!!!!

smokymtnsteve
09-11-2005, 21:25
we'''re beginning training now and no snow yet ..(just a few flurries) we run the team in front of a ATV.


some use carts, others old car frames,

Seeker
09-12-2005, 00:36
Edles Geschenk vom Gott This is "Ed".
Ed. Gift from God...

nice name.

frieden
09-12-2005, 09:49
Um ... smokymtnsteve ... I don't think I'll be able to run him in front of a vehicle, let alone find a "team". We live in the 'burbs of Tampa, but right next to a trail (paved) that runs right up to Tallahassee, and runs South for many, many miles. I guess my best bet will be to run him along the bike, without ending up in the ER.

frieden
09-12-2005, 09:57
Thanks, Seeker. I got him as a rescue puppy (I rescued him from the rescue organization), when he was 2 mos. old. They lied about his age, just to get rid of him (they fixed him, and gave him his shots around 4 weeks old). He had cherry eye, so no one wanted him, and he was very sick. On the drive home, he sat in the front seat like a statue - head up, and very regal; like nobility. I didn't realize when I named him just how much of a gift he would be. I am very blessed.

jsarrel
09-15-2005, 01:03
I see now why you would want to take him. Beautiful dog (aren't they all). From reading your posts I do not doubt his training nor your concern for others. However, reading some of the other people's post reinforced why I'm not planning to take mine for my thru-hike next summer. He has no say if he can't make it. Also there is the concern for the extra weight...food and water. Personally, I think I would probably die of dehydration before my dog. Toby is only a luxury, someone I will miss dearly, but I can (barely) live without.

You've read all the posts so I won't waste my time saying the same things again. I do have a thought. I don't know your situation or why you need him. If it is possible for you, have you thought about section hiking him? I'm sure there are few other dog lovers on this forum, like me, who would be MORE than willing to meet you one weekend, hike for a couple of days to get a little acquainted with Ed, then take him home for a couple of days or a week or so, then meet you on down the trail. Give him some rest, but not deprive you for too long. Just an idea.

If you need to take him...concerning his pads...I'll probably get some flak for this idea, keep in mind I'm not a vet, just a dog lover. I used to live in Gainsville, my grandparents lived in Tampa for almost 40 years (Dale Mabry and Angeles St.), and I know there are plenty of beaches that have "shell" sand, you know what I'm talking about, the "beach" is nothing but really small fragments of shells that aren't too painful, but it's not sand either. I would think after a while of walks on the beach, he could build up some "callouses" on his pads. As far as getting him used to walking in the mountains...are you? If neither of you are used to walking in the mountains, I would think both of your paces would be the same (respectively).

anyway, just some thoughts and ideas. good luck to the both of you!

j

frieden
09-15-2005, 10:31
j,

Thanks for your post. We aren't planning on being in a massive hurry, and I'm trying to plan for some days off. Without going into too much detail, Ed's most important function is letting me know when I'm pushing too hard. I could hike with someone else, so I would have someone with me if I have problems, but they wouldn't be able to sense that I'm starting to have problems, so I can avoid a major problem.

Oh, goodness sakes. I've been dancing around this issue like crazy. Sorry, I've learned not to trust people too quickly, especially with weaknesses. I have strokes. Ed is a stroke dog (among other things). He lets me know when I'm starting to have a mini-stroke (TIA), so I can get to a safe place. If I keep going until I realize it, I could be stranded somewhere, or have a major stroke.

Thank you for your offer. If we are going through an area that isn't too bad, and someone will hike with me, I wouldn't mind giving him some time off. I won't know how we'll do out there, until we get there.

The beach is a good idea. We haven't been the beach, yet. We haven't been up to the mountains for 2 months. Fuel prices are just too high. I lived in Knoxville for 8 years, and used to take my daughter backcountry camping. It's been awhile, though. I can't claim that I'm "used to" walking in the mountains, like I do it all the time. I know (somewhat) what to expect, but we aren't trained for it.

docllamacoy
09-19-2005, 21:06
Hi. We thru-hiked with our dog, Coy, on the PCT in 2002 (yes, the whole thing) and then the AT in 2003 (all except Baxter; yes, even the Smokies) so we've had a lot of experience long distance hiking with a dog. She did fine on both trails, especially the AT since there was so much water and shade.
We learned from our experience on the PCT, that since there were two of us, it was much easier on Coy to forego the dog pack and split the food between us. I'm not opposed to using dog packs, but I do think it's important to keep the dog's pack weight as low as possible. For us, this meant a compromise in that we typically hiked slower due to heavier packs.
Ed sounds like a really great dog, Frieden, and from what you've written, I don't think you'll have any problems with him on the trail. We believe Coy is a collie/mallanois mix so maybe that particular breed just makes a great hiking dog.
Good luck! PM me if you have other questions.

docllamacoy
09-19-2005, 21:12
Just wanted to add that we never leashed Coy, but she is very well trained. Also, we stayed away from shelters. I only stayed in one shelter with Coy with other people there and that was because Doc and I got separated and I was without a shelter. I made sure Coy didn't bother anyone, though, and all went well. So yeah, I recommend camping away from the shelters as much as possible, and not just for the dog reason. There are so many great campsites along the trail.

smokymtnsteve
09-19-2005, 23:01
a dog easily pack 30% of thier body weight, or pull 2x thier body weight..

Heater
09-20-2005, 04:17
Seriously, if you are that scared of dogs, maybe you should only go where dogs are prohibited.
...or carry a can of pepper spray and have it readily available.

Blue Jay
09-20-2005, 18:34
a dog easily pack 30% of thier body weight, or pull 2x thier body weight..

Yes, but they do not talk and often will over work for their master until they flat out die. I do not believe a dog would ever do that to a human, even if it could.

smokymtnsteve
09-20-2005, 20:14
not sure about a dog not doing that to a human..assuming I'm human...I've worked pretty darn hard today out in a cold rain covering up holes the dogs have dug in the dog yard,,,

and yes dogs do talk,,,U just have to learn thier langauge,

and dogs also sing..I love singing with the dogs on a cold clear night with the Northern lights dancing in the sky.

stargate
10-01-2005, 02:41
Hello,
I am new to this site. And am glad to see this post. I posted a question about hiking with my three children, never really thought about how difficult it would be with my dog as well. So I am glad of all the input that I have learned from this post.

I had been planning to hike the At 2006 with three kids and a dog. I have posted it on other forums and gotten alot of negitive feedback. Just the ideal of three kids is more than most hikers can understand not to mention the feedback on a dog too.
I have taken her on many overnighters and weekend trips. The biggest concern is training her to accept people. She never has a problem with animals always wants to bring them home. Thats how we also have two cats she brought them home as kittens and we couldnt find out from where. She is six years old and it has always been just her the kids and me. Is there any advice to get her to accept people more. She isnt aggresive but neither is she friendly ( in the since I wouldnt walk up to her and try to pet her if she dosent know you) She is an American Eskimo or Spitts as most people know them and fairly small for a hiking dog only weighing 17 pounds. And they are one owner dogs. Not the most friendly. She does carry her own pack for water, bowls, snacks, and a couple of wet packs of dog food.

Don't worry I know how to handle her around other people and I do carry a muzzle just in case. The muzzle is for if she starts in barking or acting aggresive. I figured I would use the muzzle to start out and see how she does. She has never bitten anyone although she sometimes make you think she might. That is why I carry the muzzle. We plan to camp away from shelters. And I always get well off the trail when passing other people and to let other people pass us.

The problem from reading this post is that I had'nt thought of how much more weight I would be packing. I am already carrying the load for my 10 year old. My two teenagers can carry their own weight.
Right now my pack is weighing in at 42 pounds. We are planning to carry food and water for 9 days at a time. Just incase we might have to stay put an extra day or two due to weather or something.

This is a question for the dog owners that have done long distant hikes with dogs. What is the average amount of dog food carried for your dog. I understand that most people that take a dog along has much larger dogs than mine. But the input would be a good estimate to start with.

Is there a way to cut the weight alot more. FOR ME. just to let you know I am 5'7" and weight 145 female. Thanks

Smile
10-01-2005, 08:34
Last year I hiked with Buddy the Brazen Border Collie...he wanted to come along - so the deal was he carried his own food and water ( where necessary, mostly MD and PA).

Packed about 6 appropriately sized baggies for him to eat each day. He also carried his bowl, and packed out our trash, his pack lightened each day of course and we used a high protein dog food (low volume). If he didn't finish the last little bit of food a little splash of olive oil from our stash did the trick - average meals, we don't overfeed our dog and he is an athlete. Not really interested in others peoples food since we only feed him dog food, in his bowl ( and a daily vitamin).

He wanted to come, so he carried his food. We use a Granite Gear Medium size pack which has great large pockets, and shifted the insides around for him to be balanced, keeping the empty ziplock bags in case we had to break up a bag to make it even weight on both sides. He never gave indication that the weight was an issue.

As for water, his bowl is what we used and he would wait for it to be filled - a good habit to get into since dogs shouldn't be drinking out of water sources, especially little trickles where hikers need to fill ( and if we saw a 'don't drink the water' warning in the guidebook, we didn't let Buddy drink from there either.

It wasn't a real problem to have him along.....uh except for the human poop issue, (see post under PRIVY).

frieden
10-01-2005, 11:16
My parents took me into the outdoors, and I've taken my daughter. How they fare at home is how they'll do in the woods. I don't mean if they clean their room, or listen to you. If you know they can push through a difficult situation, without complaint, they'll be fine. I always included my daughter in everything, including planning. Your dog sounds like an excellent babysitter, and extra set of watchful eyes. She might be insecure, and will need some confidence training. Have you heard about a kid wanting to go into martial arts, so he'll be able to kick someone's butt? Instead, he comes out of it calm and in control, because he knows he can defend himself and others, and isn't driven by fear anymore. Dogs have the same problem. Get involved with some sort of training group that requires a lot of activity from the dog. Agility will put her in a lot of uncertain situations that she will be able to overcome, and build confidence in herself. It will also get her around other people, but other dog people, who are going to be more understanding of her. Ed does a lot better (in everything), when we are active in a training group, even if it is just once per week. We do a lot of training on our own, because of finances, but I'm finding some local groups that are free or cheaper. Hope this helps.

frieden
10-01-2005, 11:43
We train with the E. TN SAR group every once in a while, and I've noticed that they share their water with their dogs. The handlers all have a water bladder in their packs, and both the handler and dog drink from the tube. If hiking to a base camp, the dogs will carry packs, but when working, the handlers have to carry a certain list of dog-specific stuff (like first aid, etc). The handlers' packs weigh a ton!

I plan on carrying the water bladder, and Ed's food. I'm hoping he'll carry his first aid stuff, pooh bags, harness, toy, etc. His pack won't weigh over 10 lbs. I want him to have a good time, but he can also pull me up a steep grade if needed, too. He could carry the trash bag. I'll bring his hiking bowls, but will probably have him drink from the hose while we're hiking to save water and time. I can give him water more often that way. I'll have to find out how the SAR group keeps the tubes clean.

Dances with Mice
10-01-2005, 18:53
I have made fairly long distance hikes with a dog. I also owned an American Eskimo, a Spitz, for 15 years. He's buried under an apple tree in my orchard, losing him was as hard as losing a child.

If you love your dog leave him at home. If you take him then forget about completing a thru-hike. It won't happen, he won't make it.

stargate
10-01-2005, 21:13
Losing her is one of my big concerns I have read on alot of forums that hikes like the AT can decrease their life span. She is already 6 years old. But I don't know how she will do for that long of time without us. Every hike that I have been on and didnt take her my mom said all she did was cry and walk the floors all day and night until we got back.

Dances with Mice
10-01-2005, 22:01
Losing her is one of my big concerns I have read on alot of forums that hikes like the AT can decrease their life span. She is already 6 years old. But I don't know how she will do for that long of time without us. Every hike that I have been on and didnt take her my mom said all she did was cry and walk the floors all day and night until we got back.She'll live, that's what she'll do.

You have a long haired, short legged dog bred to be an indoor companion animal. It's not a working dog, it's not a sports dog, it's just a slightly bigger version of a Pomeranian. There is no way she could make it through the summer. She will suffer. Leave her home.

Do you keep her outside now? What did she do this summer? If she was outside she laid in the shade most of the day, just like mine did. Know why? Because she's not stupid.

frieden
10-02-2005, 09:21
Ed is only slightly over 1 yr old. My sister's hardest working dog is over 10 yrs old, but he's always been a working dog. I don't think I would take a dog, who is 6, on a thru hike like the AT, if she's not used to it - only because of the time constraints. In order to make it to Katahdin before October 15th, there will be some days you'll have to push really hard. We're going to try to get in some decent mileage, before summer, and then take it easier. Could a friend keep her, and then bring her to you for certain stretches of trail? That way, she could still see you guys, but will have a break too.

I can't believe that someone would suggest a dog couldn't do an AT thru hike. They can handle it better than we can, and don't have to carry as much weight. Any working-type dog should be fine, as long as they don't have a stupid handler. I've read that dogs who have done thru hikes look like nasty skeletons, and are in rough shape. Um - feed them! From the pictures I've seen, the people don't look all that great, either. Why? Because they don't know squat about nutrition. I'm not worried about Ed walking 10 miles/day, even in rough terrain. He loves running through the mountains. I'm worried about his pads, him getting into something harmful, and being attacked by wildlife or wild dogs. We're going to have a harder time, because of human's opinions of dogs, too. If I do my prepwork right, we'll only stop at dog friendly areas, and stop at others only in an emergency.

stargate, you have an American Eskimo? I agree with Dances with Mice about the long haired, short legged dog breeds not doing a thru hike. If she's really small, you could always get a chest carrier, and carry her through difficult stretches. Definitely, don't bring wet food. It's way, way too heavy. Mix kibble with water for gravy. If you decide to take her in the heat anyway, shave her. I'm trying to design a mylar umbrella for Ed.

frieden
10-02-2005, 09:23
PS - We also plan on doing a lot of morning and evening hiking during the hot days, with resting duing the hottest part of the day.

Blue Jay
10-02-2005, 10:20
PS - We also plan on doing a lot of morning and evening hiking during the hot days, with resting duing the hottest part of the day.

When you get done, it would be wonderful if you could set up some type of Human/Dog training course, if only online. Clearly you are already aware of the problems and have sound plans to prevent them for yourself, your dog and other hikers. I'm willing to bet your hike will only increase your understanding. You might just be a turning point in decreasing by far the largest animal danger on the AT.

java
10-02-2005, 11:06
"...I can't believe that someone would suggest a dog couldn't do an AT thru hike. They can handle it better than we can, and don't have to carry as much weight. Any working-type dog should be fine, as long as they don't have a stupid handler...."

I wasn't going to chime in because frankly this issue has been discussed to death, but I have to say that is one of the most naive, idealistic, and unfounded statements I have ever heard.

You have clearly never hiked the AT. Twelve miles up and down mountains in the rain and snow, day after day, is your dream, not your dog's. At times in NH and ME the trail is so steep you may have to hoist him up the rock faces...and that's just an example. The AT is not a walk in the woods.

Try a few test hikes and see what your dog does the day after...he'll sleep. Dogs are loyal to death, sure he'll follow you forever, but it's not in his best interest to do so.

I've got thousands of miles on the trail, and rarely do I bring my dog (at max he'll go out with me for a couple of days, and I choose where we go based on his abilities). I've seen countless dogs get sent home in the first weeks and months of a thru. Some dogs make it, yes. That is not to say that all, can, will or should.

Programbo
10-02-2005, 17:43
>>>I want him to have a good time, but he can also pull me up a steep grade if needed, too.<<<

Ugh..That sounds like torture..Pulling a full grown man carrying a heavy pack up a several thousand foot rocky climb in the heat while also carrying a pack himself?..I`m sorry but that sounds inhumane...You once wrote, "They want me to stay at home, getting bed sores, and weaker by the minute, so I don't cause them "discomfort".... That`s quite a leap from point A to point Z..There is a LOT of ground between laying in bed dying and hiking a 2,200 mile wilderness trail..Who ever said if you can`t hike the entire AT with a dog your only other option in life is to stay home in bed?..Not me or anyone else..If you want to hike the AT fine..I`m sure you are more physically capable at this moment in time than I am with my congestive heart failure..All of the concern you hear from people in these posts is aimed at your nice dogs well being and not at you personally..True I am not fond of dogs on the trail in any case but that is not my objection to your specific undertaking..Hopefully you will prove us all wrong and complete the trip in a timely and healthy manner..Best of luck

smokymtnsteve
10-02-2005, 22:27
my dogs can run over 100 miles in day...I got dogs that can run 20 mph and run that fast for over an hour. dogs don't even need to eat everyday. dogs are tougher than humans...

KS_Rockstar
10-05-2005, 14:49
errrrr................

my dog and i are international compeditors in the sport of schutzhund. im a national level decoy and track layer. i have trained service dogs, dogs for various police departments, search and rescue dogs, ordinance dogs, narco dogs, kadaver dogs, military dogs, akc agility dogs, compainon dogs, sled dogs, watch dogs, guard dogs, mold detection dogs, name it.......... i have worked with pretty much every bread at the highest level... if there is anybody on this forum that knows more about the k-9 than me, we know each other and ive probably eaten dinner at your house.... my girlfriend is a vet that specializes in working k-9's.

having said that, some of you people are on crack.

could a dog (or dogs) make a through hike, definatly.

would one choose to do so, definatly not.

are they better equiped than people to make the hike, depends on the person and dog.

do your odds of completing the through hike go down a bunch with a dog, hell yea, try about 90% decrease in odds of completion.

if you have ecxellent control of your dog(s) wild life should not be much of a problem unless your just really unlucky... that being said, if you do not have excelent control (and i mean robot like excelent control) of your dog wild life could pose a serious threat to you and your dog.

id suggest booties for your dog's feet. id also suggest using them quite a bit before the hike.

^at above^....... many dogs can out run many humans on level terain. most humans can vastly out climb most dogs. dogs arent built to climb.

if time is not a factor and you are comfortable with your dogs there is no reason that they could not make the hike...... that being said, id argue that in most cases the dog would be better off staying at home. probably happier as well.....

smokymtnsteve
10-05-2005, 15:50
Booties??? in my discussions with Dave Dalton long time YUKON QUEST musher and winner of the Veternarin's Choice award for dog care in 2004

we talked about dogs and hiking the AT as we were sitting around the wood stove on a -25 degreee night sorting dog booties, and one thing that he said and laughed about was you sure wouldn't need any booties on a easy trail like the AT.

now having a set of booties in ur dog's pack just in case would B a good idea..but they certainly @ the few slow miles a hiker would travel in a day not be nescessary.

funny U haven't been by the cabin for dinner...and what did U think of Linda
Forsberg's homemade bread??? remember Linda??? U certainly most know Will?

KS_Rockstar
10-05-2005, 16:14
ah yea, good old linda........lol........ ill clarify by limiting my k-9 knowledge to animal behavior and training.

as for booties, it depends a great deal on the dog, just like the hiker. some are fine with running shoes and some would be a wreck without heavy boots. same applys to the dog. most dogs (and there are really no hard and fast rules, just general guildines), in most cases, would benifit from booties when the trail conditions take a turn to the more extreme.

so if i were to take my dog on a through hike of the at, id definatly use booties. would he wear them all the time, not necissarily. would i recommend taking any dog on a through hike with out some kind of paw protection, definatly not. are there some dogs that would never need any, for sure. would a champion sled dog be better equiped to do a through hike of the at.........ya, i think so.............did our topic starter have a champion sled dog..........nope, i think not.................

so there are really no black and white answers about dogs (about anything really).

bring booties if your gonna bring your dogs.............

ps, tell linda i said hi!

frieden
10-05-2005, 18:15
I retract my comment about any working type dog being ok. I've seen Mals sent to pet homes, because they just couldn't handle heat, and so couldn't do their jobs, while other Mals could. Ed has trained in the heat and cold (and prefers the really cold, despite his short fur). My sister said no booties, and she is a K9 trainer in the mountains. We are not in a race, and I've hiked the mountains before. I learned the value of a lightweight pack, although it won't be too light, carrying most of Ed's food and stuff. His pack will be just heavy enough to stay stable. We've trained all day in the mountains (not day after day, though). We'll take it easy on difficult stretches, and bust tail on "easy" ones. If we need a day off, we'll take a day off. If we don't finish, we don't finish. We are going to plan, prepare, and train out the wazoo. Things happen. Neither one of us has done this before. I'm not going to stress about it, and a "might" will not keep me off the trail. I know what Ed likes. He likes to be with me. He loves agility (and yes he can climb some things I cannot), jogging, SAR (if I can get some other hikers to wear scent articles throughout the day, we could take a day off, and do searches), play ball, and a daily brush and massage. Ed is younger, and in better shape than I am. Gosh, I've read umpteen journals of out of shape people doing the AT. If Bill Bryson can hike as far as he did on the AT, so can we. There are so many pampered, fat pets to go along with all the pampered, fat people that we don't give dogs credit anymore. Just like an athlete, it takes training. I wouldn't take a house pet, and then suddenly make him hike 10-20 miles a day in the mountains. I think the point I'm making is that we are going to try, but try as trained, prepared individuals to the best of our abilities.

Programbo, I understand what you mean, but I am not a full grown male. I'm a 103 lb. female, and Ed is a 78 lb. male. He will be carrying the pack, nylon long line, stuffed tug toy, plastic pooh bags, nail clippers, brush, and possibly a first aid bandage. He won't exactly be loaded down. It probably won't weigh 5 lbs. I'll carry all food, water, and his town vest. If he's doing well, I'll let him carry the plastic bag trash from the dehydrated meals. I'm planning on two months of winter mountain training, before we leave, so I'll be able to see what he can and can't handle.

KS_Rockstar
10-05-2005, 19:53
sounds like you have a pretty good plan and a decent shot (though id still bring some booties).

ps, what kind of food does ed eat? my working dogs use blackwood super premium (7000) and it works very well in my oppinion. how often do you feed him per day and how much? how much do you intend to feed on the trail? (he's a mal and would probably eat a 40 lb bag if you let him)..............

smokymtnsteve
10-05-2005, 20:18
OK I'll tell Linda hi for U..also her husband Will...U know they "wrote the book" for the YUKON QUEST... those two know more about dogs and wilderness travel than most anybody in the world.

Will runs dog tours in Denali national park ....uses some dogs I care for, they do climb some big hills.

check out my gallery and see pics of me with Dan and Matt .. Will Forsberg took that pic right before they headed of for Wonder Lake in DNP last Feb.

and Yeah Linda is nice ...we picked and ate fireweed salad this spring :sun

frieden
10-06-2005, 20:27
I just switched him to adult food. It is Royal Canin for German Shepherds. I got it, because it is a "natural" food, and the first ingredient is "chicken". He seems to use more of it, because I'm not feeding him more than normal (one cup in the morning, and one cup in the evening), but he's gaining weight. We haven't been training as much lately, though, so I'm sure that has something to do with it. I feed him by the way he looks, and his activity level, but it's generally around 2 cups per day. I was thinking I would need to up it a cup or two on the trail? Is that a safe estimate? If he needs more, my sister can just add some more bags to the resupply boxes, and I might have to dump some base weight. He loves veggies too, so sometimes I'll add veggies to his dinner, or give him half of my salad bag after dinner. I never give him veggies in the morning, because I want at least one meal without the added fiber (for nutrient absorbsion). He gets added veggies 1-2 times per week. I've read that he should only eat at night, while on the trail, so he's not exercising after the morning meal. Does anyone have any thoughts on that?

KS_Rockstar
10-06-2005, 22:44
its a perfectly good food but it's not really a "natural food" per say...... it compairs with the high end purina dog food, which is...pretty good... it's a step below something like "eukanuba" and two steps below "best breed" which is a slightly more dense food...

as i mentioned above, i like blackwood dog food: www.blackwoodpetfood.com

ive been feeding my (8.5 year old german shepherd) the 7000 since he was about 4 or 5. The year that we qualified for the Word cup in germany, 4 of the 7 dogs were on on blackwood. it's a high energy food, really dense, takes up much less space than traditional food (as there's less air in it) and it's a health consiously prepaired as any dog food. they use 100% human grade products in the food (which makes it a bit more expensive @50 bucks for a 40lb bag, delivered to your house).........

if he's doing well on royal, it's probably fine. as for feeding times and amounts: my 90 lb GSD eats 2.5 cups of blackwood 7000 per day and he eats that once per day. when he was competing, he had 4 cups (also once per day).... when a working dog is in full tilt training, they work so much that it's impossible time wise to feed more than once per day. now that he's retired (semi retired) he eats the 2.5 cups in the evening (with lots of water mixed into the food) and gets a large biscuit in the am.

id say you will probably have to add at least one cup of food to his current 2 cups but like you said, just watch his weight and adjust accordingly. just like a person, he would do better with more feedings per day ***BUT*** it's totally not safe to feed to close to hiking times... unless you have AT LEAST an hour between his morning feedings and hike time, id go for just a biscute or a half cup in the morning, a few small snacks durring the day, and his main meal in the evening.

im also a huge fan of water mixed with food.

id also probably skip the veggies... while im sure he likes them, i guarintee he likes meat more. he also will need the calories that come from the dog food... the companies that make performance dog food spend lots of money to balance the food just right.

also (i dont want to gross everybody out but..) how's his stool??? one important thing is nice firm (not too firm) stool... it's one of the features that i like about the higher end foods is nice stool.

i forgot, how long till you go and how old is he?

Rockstar.

Blue Jay
10-06-2005, 22:55
dogs don't even need to eat everyday.

You are really starting to worry me. You are now sounding more like the old "Man has been given dominion over the animals" crowd. You are aware Abbey liked animals.

Old Spice
10-07-2005, 00:38
Do people let their dogs hang out and sleep in the shelters?

smokymtnsteve
10-07-2005, 00:59
You are really starting to worry me. You are now sounding more like the old "Man has been given dominion over the animals" crowd. You are aware Abbey liked animals.


PLEASE STAND FOR THE GOSPEL OF ABBEY!

"I find more and more, as I grow older, that I prefer women to men, children to adults, animals to humans.... And rocks to living things? No, I'm not that old yet."

THANKS BE TO ABBEY!

CynJ
10-07-2005, 08:30
I just switched him to adult food. It is Royal Canin for German Shepherds. I got it, because it is a "natural" food, and the first ingredient is "chicken". He seems to use more of it, because I'm not feeding him more than normal (one cup in the morning, and one cup in the evening), but he's gaining weight. We haven't been training as much lately, though, so I'm sure that has something to do with it. I feed him by the way he looks, and his activity level, but it's generally around 2 cups per day. I was thinking I would need to up it a cup or two on the trail? Is that a safe estimate? If he needs more, my sister can just add some more bags to the resupply boxes, and I might have to dump some base weight. He loves veggies too, so sometimes I'll add veggies to his dinner, or give him half of my salad bag after dinner. I never give him veggies in the morning, because I want at least one meal without the added fiber (for nutrient absorbsion). He gets added veggies 1-2 times per week. I've read that he should only eat at night, while on the trail, so he's not exercising after the morning meal. Does anyone have any thoughts on that?
You should never feed your dog just one big meal - this can lead to bloat. Especially in larger dogs where is can be problematic. Two smaller meals a day is better.

Royal Canin is an awesome food - we had Myra on it for a while to try and narrow down some skin allergies (lol the joys of owning a boxer). For hiking you may want to consider going to a really dense food like Wellness - its a smaller, denser dog food that is awesome. It will take up less room in the pack and the dog will get more nutrition from it. If I drop regular dog food into water it will swell up immensely because it is mostly grains & fillers, if I drop
Wellness into water it doesn't swell at all - just softens, because it has little fillers in it.

frieden - I think you mentioned on another thread that you were intending to use collapsible dog bowls - I have not had very good luck with those at all. Maybe its because Myra is boxer with a short chunky muzzle but I find them to be a royal pain in the can. We use a couple of the disposable Gladware bowls - they are very light and fit nicely in her pack or ours. And they clean easily too.

KS_Rockstar
10-07-2005, 10:54
even more dangerous than one big meal is working after eating.

*again, ive spent the better part of the last ten years training some of the top working dogs in the country and im sitting next to a vet that specializes in working dogs*

you dog is going to need anywhere between 3 and 6 cups of high quality dog food per day. eating a whole cup and then running (walking fast, climbing up or down, just being a dog) on a trail is not a good idea unless you plan on giving an hour of rest after each feeding. so, unless you plan to spend a lot of time waiting for your dogs food to digest, id suggest a small snack in the morning (like a med. to large biscute or maybe a 1/2 cup of food with water), an occasional small snack durring the day and the bulk of his food at camp. id wait an hour after we stopped hiking for the day, feed, and then let the dog digest in reletive stillness just lounging around camp.

GDV sucks, ive seen dogs get it and ive assisted in the surgery. it's not pretty and yes, mal's are somewhat pre disposed to getting it. not as much as great danes or gsd's but it's definatly a possiblity. the longer and deeper the dogs stomache/chest cavity is the better chance they have.

the best chance of preventing a gdv is by seperating feed times and work times as much as possible. while your going to be spending as many as ten hours per day actually hiking, your best bet is very small snacks durring the day and one larger meal at camp a full hour after you have stopped hiking for the day.

Smile
10-07-2005, 11:23
Yes, several small meals. We fed our dog this way on hikes, much more comfortable for them, and they can get up and go.....just like it's hard for us to get up on a really full stomach and hike ( imagine eating one meal a day and then hiking).

As for the collapsible dog bowl, we have a Granite Gear one and it was fabulous. Just clipped it to the outside of his pack and it dried that way, and was readily available at water sources so he wasn't drinking directly from them. They dry easily and are very light so it wasn't a big deal to add it to his pack, which of course- he carried his own food as well.

smokymtnsteve
10-07-2005, 15:35
with just a basic understanding of canine physilogy U would know that dogs 'sweat' thru thier feet, so booty use in conditions U will encounter on a AT hike do not lend themselves to booty use, booties would help overheat your animal and overheating will B a major concern with a dog on a AT hike.

KS_Rockstar
10-07-2005, 16:10
hummmmmmm..... i guess no possibility of snow? no possibility of sharp rock?

additionally, dogs sweat through their feet about as much as humans do. their primary cooling method is through panting (using their toung, nose, mouth, et).

so, in 100 degree temperatures on perfectly smooth flat terain, booties would probably not be that usefull (depending on the dog and the condition of their pads at that given moment). can a dog where bootie's all day in hot conditions, yes.

however, are there many other situations that booties can be very usefull, big YES.

do 100% of all dogs on the AT need booties 100% of the time, no.

can some dogs benifit from booties some of the time, big YES.

are they worth bringing (at about 8 oz total weight and 15 bucks total cost)? Hell yea.

obviously each handler has to make their own decision about whats right for their dog and then continue to analyse the situation on a regular basis.

making the blanket statment that booties will cause your dog to overheat is 100% incorrect.

making the blanket statment that booties are of no use and or un-safe for all dogs is also 100% wrong.

would i take my dog on a hike that ranged over many states, thousand's of miles, many months and many weather and terrain conditions without booties??? ABSOLUTLY NOT.

ps, i dont mean to sound arrogant or like im showing off but by argueing with me you are argueing with a national champion working dog trainer/handler and a doctor of veterinary medicine that specializes in working dogs. my only concern is for the safety and health of the dog.

rockstar....

Blue Jay
10-07-2005, 16:51
i dont mean to sound arrogant or like im showing off but by argueing with me you are argueing with a national champion working dog trainer/handler and a doctor of veterinary medicine that specializes in working dogs. my only concern is for the safety and health of the dog.

rockstar....

Clearly this is not true. On another thread you stated you are attempting an under two month thru. The safety and health of your dog is clearly not on the agenda.

KS_Rockstar
10-07-2005, 17:00
lol, im not doing a thru with my dog?!?........ where did i ever say that???

infact, if you read the whole thred, i actually make the point that i dont think doing a through with a dog is a great idea. however, since these people are not asking whether or not they should do it but what are some tips for doing it, i was giving some information about the subject.

and about he arrogance, it's really frusterating when people talk about stuff they dont understand fully and try to pass off the information as fact. especially when that "information" (or lack there of) can cause harm to sombody else (or sombody elses dog in this case).

if you were an auto mecanic and a chef came up to you and told you that you were fixing the transmition incorrectly, would you be a bit dissgruntled?

smokymtnsteve
10-07-2005, 18:48
nope no real possibility of snow of the sort that can damage a dog's foot during a typical AT thru hike...

also U pay way to much for booties.

btw the team I cared for last season placed 4th in the YUKON QUEST.

KS_Rockstar
10-07-2005, 19:04
congrats on the yukon quest.............

it sounds like you know a fair amount about sled dogs.

a one year old half mal / half retriever is not a race trained husky, the AT is not the yukon and the handler is not a sled dog handler. compairing the average dog to a race trained husky is like compairing the average person to an olympic swimmer, "it's only a 15 mile swim, no problem dude".............

ps, link me to a good set of booties for much under 15 bucks.

smokymtnsteve
10-07-2005, 19:11
http://www.dogbooties.com/boprin.html

smokymtnsteve
10-07-2005, 19:13
http://www.cheqnet.net/~narad/sleds/booties.htm

smokymtnsteve
10-07-2005, 19:15
now if U really run dogs a lot U get quanity discount, so booties for a "pro" about 50 cents to 1 dollar.

KS_Rockstar
10-07-2005, 19:23
lol, your links are priced per boot.... so at 2.50 per boot x 4 + tax your at about.....................................15 bucks...........................

smokymtnsteve
10-07-2005, 19:27
lol, your links are priced per boot.... so at 2.50 per boot x 4 + tax your at about.....................................15 bucks...........................

tax??? ...4 x 2.50m= 10.OO and even with 10% tax = 11

KS_Rockstar
10-07-2005, 19:47
yep. so like i said, about 15 bucks. could be a bit more or a bit less depending on where you buy them and what type you buy. dont quite understand this argument though. i thought we were trying to help the topic starter with dog questions, not bicker about the price of booties???

frieden
10-07-2005, 21:48
KS Rockstar, Ed's stool is hard since he's been on this food (I just switched him), and I think he might be having problems with it. He is around 14 mos. old, and we plan on leaving early to mid March.

smokymtnsteve
10-07-2005, 22:01
U could try adding some pro-biotics in his mix,

I mix crumlet (crumbs of kibble) ,pro-biotics, and lake Klamath blue green algae into a "soup", let set to soften and make a broth,,,(this is also known as baited water) to encourage fluid intake,,,pour this over your kibble.

frieden
10-07-2005, 22:05
Thanks for all the great suggestions, and wonderful boot links. They are really expensive here, as in $40 for a set. My sister said that he will need his balance and traction more, which he can't get with boots. He's not used to them, so she said that might cause more problems than they solve. I'll have to think about the plastic bowls. They would be easier to clean, but would be bulky. We'll just have to test out both to see which one works. I'll look into the denser foods. I like the idea of more nutrition, and less bulk! It sounds like a mini breakfast, maybe some snacks, and dinner is a good idea for him. When we are training a lot, I'll feed him breakfast, and put his dinner in the treat bag. I'll use his dinner throughout the training for rewards. I was using treats, and not only did he become treat dependant, but he was blowing up like a balloon. I could do that along the trail. Give him just a wee breakfast, and then when he obeys a command right away on the trail, I'll give him a piece of food from his treat bag. I was just worried about the smell. I've read about bears attacking hikers for their packs, and I don't want to smell like a walking treat. It would keep his energy level steadier, though, I think. Thanks again. I'll look into those other foods.

frieden
10-07-2005, 22:07
Huh, I had never heard of that. Thanks, smokymtnsteve. I'll give it a shot.

smokymtnsteve
10-07-2005, 22:10
I agree with ur sister,

also look at http://www.nationaldogfood.com/welcome.html

SSchroeder
10-07-2005, 23:05
I am planning on hiking with my dog on the AT next year as well. I am taking my dog with me for two reasons: one, I am a Veterinary Technician and my dog is well trained and will be leashed at all times, and two, he is a rescue and he wouldn't do well if left at home. This being said, I will be responsable with him and respectful on both other hikers and the trail itself.

Dogs are allowed everywhere on the trail except for the; Smokies, Bear Mountian St. Park, NY and Baxter State Park. Everywhere else on the AT it is reccomended that you leash your dog.

In the Smokies you can board your dog at Loving Care Kennel (865)453-2028. There are other kennels as well and each charge between $250 and $350 for picking up, dropping off, and boarding your dog while you hike.

In Bear Mt. there is a blue-blaze that you can take dogs on and bypass the park.

In Baxter, you can board your dogs for the day at kennels. North Ridge Boarding Kennel (207)746-9537 charges around $11/day or there are some hotels that allow dogs.

If your taking your dogs I would seriously start conditioning them now. I am only taking my dog because he is under daily care with my veterinarian during training. One other tip is while hiking I will be feeding my dog Purina Pro Plan Preformance dog food. This food is specifically designed for working dogs. It has the highest calories per cup and added glucosamine for is hips. Start training now, consult your vet, and good luck.

Smile
10-07-2005, 23:26
I wonder if service dogs are allowed in any of those "off limit" places?

MOWGLI
10-08-2005, 00:31
Dogs are allowed everywhere on the trail except for the; Smokies, Bear Mountian St. Park, NY and Baxter State Park. Everywhere else on the AT it is reccomended that you leash your dog.



Dogs are allowed in Bear Mountain SP, just not in the zoo. As to service dogs, they would generally be allowed in the Smokies & Baxter. I would suggest walking around the zoo with your dog, if only for the benefit of the zoo critters. There are caged animals (bobcat, fox, etc..) just steps off the "trail", which is a paved walkway through a zoo. They have it tough enough with concrete and steel bars. yes, its an old timey zoo without much in the way of natural habitat type exhibits.

screwysquirrel
10-08-2005, 01:53
Keep your mutts at home. No hiker really wants to see your babies on the AT.

KS_Rockstar
10-08-2005, 07:41
two more thoughts..........................

ive had my service dog in the smokies. a ranger once made me go get his vest (which i had left in the car as we were just doing a short hike) to prove that he was actually a service dog but by law they really cant stop you from bringing a service dog on the trail.

about dog first aid. it would be a good idea to talk to your vet and ask about a small pharmacopia of meds for your dog. if they are cool and you explain what your doing, most will give you like a 2 day supply of: flagel (spelling) as it's great if your dog gets the runs and it's good for gierdia (spelling again). one or two rimidil (supprise, spelling) incase your dogs pulls something and you have to sit until he's better or sombody comes to get him off the trail (its a pain killer for dogs). a small tube of panalog which is good on a bunch of things like foot infections (which is a definate possibility). finally some otomax (sp) which is a perscription ear infection buster.

im not encouraging anybody to become a home made vet but one or two doses of some of those could make your life and your dogs life a lot happier on the trail if and when something comes up..... again, just explain to your vet that you will be in the middle of the woods for 6 months and they should accomidate you.

TAMBOURINE
10-08-2005, 08:00
Hi, I have a dog that I'm probably going to take on my upcoming thru hike...anyone have experience in this area? What do you do with them when you're going through the parts where you can't have dogs on the trail? Anyone have advice about bears, etc? I need to read about bear/dog behaviors. lol
thanks
Brooke WELL I THINK IT IS A BAD IDEA AND I AM A DOG OWNER OF 3 LARGE DOGS IT IS HARD ENOUGH WITH YOU PACKING THAT IS MORE FOOD MORE WATER AND 2 YOU HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT I DO TAKE MY DOG ON DAY HIKES BUT THAT IS IT!!!!AND THE BEAR THING IF THAT WAS TO HAPPEN THE DOG WOULD BARK LIKE CARZY EXCUSE MY FRENCH BUT PISS THE BEAR OFF AND RUN BETWEEN YOUR LEGS AND THEN WANT YOU TO DO THE PROTECTING GET MY POINT.....;)

Lumberjack
10-08-2005, 08:41
As to the service dog take the time to write the park service in the smokies and inform them you will be hiking thru with a service dog and when. See to it that the dog is marked as a service dog with a very promenent harness. This should cut down on a lot of stupid arguements.

Plan on a slow hike at the dogs pace.

frieden
10-08-2005, 09:17
Thanks, KS Rockstar. I'll ask about those. I haven't put together his first aid kit, yet. This will really help. I didn't know about any of those.

Sschroeder, you are in FL? Do you go on the FT at all? Maybe, we could do some training this year together.

Lumberjack, that is a great idea. Thank you. I plan on carrying his vest (for town stops), and it has his picture ID on it. I was also going to carry his vet info - like vac. records, etc. For hiking on the trail, I was going to get him a blaze orange harness (his right now is dark green), and attach his service dog patch to it. It isn't big, but just lets people know he is a service dog. If someone needs "proof", I would have to unpack the vest.

However, by law, they are not allowed to ask for identification, or why you need a service dog. They make business cards, with the ADA law on them, to hand out to people who give the person with the dog a hard time. These businesses should be reported, and they will be fined. Normally, just by threatening legal action, they'll leave you alone, but I hate doing that. I have given up trying to get people to understand what the challenges are for disabled people. There is just no frame of reference. Instead, I ask people to think about a pedestrain in the rain trying to cross the street, and they are in the car, late for work. Who should be given first consideration? Well, the law gives this to the pedestrain, but motorists rarely do this, unless on a college campus, or small towns (like Gatlinburg) where it is enforced. Now, put yourself in the pedestrian's place. If you were out there in the rain, instead of sitting in a dry, warm car, wouldn't you want to get to shelter as fast as possible? That's why I like the idea of karma. It makes you realize that you don't live in a bubble, and should be considerate of others. This way, I don't have to know why the pedestrian should go first. I already know that I have it easier in the car to begin with, so should balance the consideration out by letting them go first. I don't know if I said that very well, but hopefully you get the point. In our convienence-based world, being in-convienenced is the biggest annoyance. Oddly enough, I catch myself doing it too.

Programbo
10-08-2005, 10:17
I understand where you are coming from as 3 of my direct family members were disabled (I`ll spare the details)...But at the same time I can not blame people for asking for "proof" as unfortunately in life there are MANY people who misuse the programs that were developed to help the disabled and it has tainted it for those who truly need it...The worst example is the Handicapped Parking Passes (Not the tags but those little placards you hang from your rearview mirror)..I`m sure there are people using them who truly are mobility impaired but I would say from my observations that the vast majority of people using them are either faking it or have a physical/medical problem that is so minor it doesn`t really limit their mobility to the extent they need a special parking place..It is very easy to find questionable doctors who are willing to sign off on these forms and declare someone mobility impaired (Heck look at all the doctors who side with the ambulance chaser lawyers and sign forms stating someone who was bumped from behind at .5 mph required $25,000 of physical therapy)

So while I can sympathize with your needs you have to understand peoples questioning looks..With someone who is obviously blind or paraplegic (My relatives fall into both these catagories) the reaction isn`t there..But when you see someone who appears perfectly healthy (And you see it everyday at malls. The person with the handicapped parking pass running to their car carrying 2 huge boxes) it is understandable that people will think something is amiss.

I`d have to disagree about the car/pedestrain also (I`m just so contrary :p )
I think it`s unrealistic to have a 4000 pound object going 30 or whatever miles per hour come to a dead stop..The vehicle will pass rather quickly and the pedestrian can then safely cross the street with a delay of a few seconds...Of course if it is a situation where the traffic never stops coming (Then it`s even more unrealistic to expect all the cars to stop) then some sort of crossing (with a redlight) should be built or the person should go to the corner where there is a red light to cross safely..Yes I follow these rules myself when a pedestrian..I don`t expect cars to stop for me unless it`s an area where it is traditionally appropriate to do so and even then if it`s just one car I will let them continue and then will walk across...Something my mother said when I was very young stuck with me..Even if you are in the right of way you are the one who`s going to get run over so it`s wise for you to let them go first.

SGT Rock
10-08-2005, 10:32
However, by law, they are not allowed to ask for identification, or why you need a service dog.
Not a handicapped person, but just a person that gets annoyed by people faking it and taking advantage of a program that is designed to help those that really need it.

I would think that you should be glad that people in these case are asking to ensure that fakers are not abusing the system designed to help you. Just my opinion. I think if I were a business man and saw someone that looked able bodied park in a handicapped spot and bring in their terrier that I would ask for some proof other than their word that they were really handicapped and not an ass.

BTW, I did work a little wiuth the Ft Knox program they had to train service dogs and think it is a great program.

Lumberjack
10-08-2005, 10:39
The Blaze orange is great. You might have "Service Dog" or something sewn into the harness as well. The more "official Looking" the dog is the better. Check the harness out carefully for chaffing points before you leave. Last thing you want is to try and correct a problem with it on trail.

frieden
10-08-2005, 11:33
Thanks, Lumberjack. There's a place that sews names and stuff on items, and I bet they could do it with a dog harness. Does anyone have harness preferences for hiking?

There will always be people trying to take advantage of something, somewhere. In this case, I would give the benefit of the doubt. I had the hardest time, because I didn't look disabled, unless I had an attack. I don't blame people for their sceptic attitudes. Like I said, there is no frame of reference. Even my dad said that it was all imagined, until I moved down here, and he saw for himself - despite all the qualified doctors' reports. Gosh, can you imagine the disruption, if we asked for proof for everything, everytime? Are you a woman/guy? Strip, and prove it. Guys would like that too much! ;)

I do still have a disabled hang tag. Before, I wouldn't have been able to go to the store, without it. Now, I park as far away from the entrance as possible - because I can. I walk that distance with pride, and cherish the gift I was given. People get upset, because the disabled get the "good" parking spots. Let me assure you, the cost of that spot is way too high, and I doubt that you would want to pay it. Granted, there are people who abuse it, and both sides get upset with those people. Luckily, the police are doing something about it here. If you park in a disabled spot, without identification on your vehicle, they will put one of those huge locks on your wheels. That seems to be fixing that problem!

We give a teacher and corporate discount at work. They are only supposed to use the discount on classroom and business materials. I've only seen 2 people actually separate their stuff into "personal" and "classroom/business" piles. They abuse it.

We are having another Educator's Weekend, where we provide snacks and free stuff for all educators. Last time, some people brought their kids, and literally pigged out on all the food. We didn't have enough to last the entire evening. They did that with the free materials, too. They didn't care about the teachers that got off work later. They abused it.

Our library system carries movies that you can check out for a few days for free. This is a great service, and we are fortunate to have it. However, most of the DVDs that I've gotten lately are so scratched up, I can't even play them. People don't care about taking care of the DVDs, because they aren't theirs. This costs the tax payers tons of money, and hurts everyone else. They abuse it.

Abuse is everywhere, and it seems to be ingrained in human nature. It doesn't matter how many laws you pass, or IDs you check, there will always be people who abuse the system, anywhere they can. Yes, it's sad, and it hurts everyone else. I don't have the solution for it.

frieden
10-08-2005, 11:41
P.S. I did use my tag a couple of months ago, when I was having an attack. I was on my way home, and I had to stop at the store. I didn't want to push, and then not be able to make it home, so I used my tag. I had a hard time emotionally with it, because I have such a fear of going back to needing it, but I knew it was the logical thing to do at the time, and I would just have to get over my "emotional issues" with it. It was like, if I parked in that space, and hung up that tag, I would be sick again. I stared at the glove compartment, like there was a snake in there, or something. Hey, fears rarely make sense.

Programbo
10-08-2005, 12:56
>>>Gosh, can you imagine the disruption, if we asked for proof for everything, everytime? Are you a woman/guy? Strip, and prove it.<<<

Hey was that aimed at me???..Cause if it was!...LOL :p

>>>Luckily, the police are doing something about it here. If you park in a disabled spot, without identification on your vehicle, they will put one of those huge locks on your wheels. That seems to be fixing that problem!<<<

Yes but unfortunately the people "abusing" the system have the proper identification..I think lots of government programs have just lost their way and gotten out of control and it`s to late to stop them and go back to the beginning and start over...Like housing..The whole point of the public housing system was that you moved in and lived there a few years til you saved enough money to get your life back on track and you moved out..Now you have people who are having grandchildren and are still in public housing after 40 years because it`s become a lifestyle..Wait..What were we talking about?..Oh..Dogs!..Yes now I remember..I say buy the booties

KS_Rockstar
10-08-2005, 13:10
^^ :d :d :d ^^

SSchroeder
10-08-2005, 13:41
I am about 30 min from Tampa. I haven't been on the FT but I wouldn't mind meeting up there at all. Right now I am just going to the gym and the Pinellas Trail but I would much rather train with someone else.

Alligator
10-08-2005, 20:15
I understand where you are coming from as 3 of my direct family members were disabled (I`ll spare the details)...But at the same time I can not blame people for asking for "proof" as unfortunately in life there are MANY people who misuse the programs that were developed to help the disabled and it has tainted it for those who truly need it...The worst example is the Handicapped Parking Passes (Not the tags but those little placards you hang from your rearview mirror)..I`m sure there are people using them who truly are mobility impaired but I would say from my observations that the vast majority of people using them are either faking it or have a physical/medical problem that is so minor it doesn`t really limit their mobility to the extent they need a special parking place..It is very easy to find questionable doctors who are willing to sign off on these forms and declare someone mobility impaired (Heck look at all the doctors who side with the ambulance chaser lawyers and sign forms stating someone who was bumped from behind at .5 mph required $25,000 of physical therapy)

So while I can sympathize with your needs you have to understand peoples questioning looks..With someone who is obviously blind or paraplegic (My relatives fall into both these catagories) the reaction isn`t there..But when you see someone who appears perfectly healthy (And you see it everyday at malls. The person with the handicapped parking pass running to their car carrying 2 huge boxes) it is understandable that people will think something is amiss.

...Do you realize how small you sound, that you are that worried about whether these folks are actually disabled? What do you use, your X-ray doctor vision to check out their physical condition? And of course, you have a running total of every person who has ever used a handicap spot in your presence so that you know the majority are fakers. How bitter you are that you have to park an extra 20 feet from the entrance.

Alligator
10-08-2005, 20:30
...
I do still have a disabled hang tag. Before, I wouldn't have been able to go to the store, without it. Now, I park as far away from the entrance as possible - because I can. I walk that distance with pride, and cherish the gift I was given. People get upset, because the disabled get the "good" parking spots. Let me assure you, the cost of that spot is way too high, and I doubt that you would want to pay it. Granted, there are people who abuse it, and both sides get upset with those people. Luckily, the police are doing something about it here. If you park in a disabled spot, without identification on your vehicle, they will put one of those huge locks on your wheels. That seems to be fixing that problem!
...KUDOS TO YOU FRIEDEN. Some of us do get it. You park where you need to.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

If you have a disability, you have certain rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990). Don't be afraid to exercise your rights.

Nearly Normal
10-08-2005, 23:23
Recently friends and I hiked a day in Panthertown Valley just outside Cashiers NC. A very good hike was had by all and I highly recommend the area. You need the guide. Goggle it for a start. Schoolhouse falls and the Devil's Elbow are great. Take both paths to the Elbow.
Lots of water falls and a great stone bald overlook to view the valley while having lunch.
On the way out I was in the middle of our spread out group on the long up to the parking lot. I heard the hiker ahead of me say "and the next thing you'll tell me is he never did that before".
A hiker with a unleashed dog was on his way down the valley had told him (as the dog groweled) "he won't bite".
As he and the dog approached me "fido" circled around to my rear groweling and getting pretty close as to get a taste of this hiker.
I was told "he won't bother you".
My response was "I don't care who or what he is"
Of course the owner was offended and as he could see his doggie was about to get a pole treatment. As they continued on a "nice to meet you too" was said in my direction. Nothing came of it but it was a let down after a great day out.
If you just have to take fido with you when you hike, keep him leashed.
pete

KS_Rockstar
10-08-2005, 23:47
i like to try and look at both sides of the situation..... i was a hiker long before i was a "dog guy".

i think the thing to keep in mind is that dogs are just like people in a lot of ways. there are some guys that go into a bar looking for a fight, some that wouldnt fight if you called their mother a whore. the point is not to judge "dogs" as a group based on one, two or any number of experiences... all dogs are different and all handelers are different with different levels of experience....

saying dogs should not be allowed on the trail is like saying that people should not be allowed to drive. there are plenty of (infact probably most) 16 year old boys that really have no business driving. the same could be said for many seinors. but it would be really unfair to prevent all 16 year olds and all seinors from driving just because a fair portion of them really have no place on the road.

also realize that people are for the most part very ignorant about k-9's. thats dog owners as well as non dog owners... almost every dog owner with little or no formal training experience will tell you that, "my little fido would never hurt a fly" well they arent bad people and fido is probably a great dog but they just have no clue how the dogs mind works and how fido will react in every situation, heck, most people dont even have a clue how they personally will react in every situation...

im not saying that ignorance is bliss and we should accept bad dog behavior and write it off to an uneducated handler but we should make every effort to be tolerant...

for every "bad" dog out there there is a "good" dog that has probably saved a life, those life savers dont learn how to do what they do without spending thousands of hours training. part of that training is going quite literally every where their handlers go.

SGT Rock
10-09-2005, 02:21
saying dogs should not be allowed on the trail is like saying that people should not be allowed to drive. there are plenty of (infact probably most) 16 year old boys that really have no business driving.
I disagree. While you may see a relationship (somehow) none exists because dogs have no way to be tested and licensed before they get on a trail and hurt someone, but teenagers do have a way to get licensed before they drive. AND humans are covered with rights in the Constitution as citizens. Dogs are considered property. If they can say you cannot bring your bike on a trail because it has the ability to disturb the ecology of the area or the peace of other hikers, then that can be the rule of the trail, and the same can and has been said about dogs.


also realize that people are for the most part very ignorant about k-9's. thats dog owners as well as non dog owners... almost every dog owner with little or no formal training experience will tell you that, "my little fido would never hurt a fly" well they arent bad people and fido is probably a great dog but they just have no clue how the dogs mind works and how fido will react in every situation, heck, most people dont even have a clue how they personally will react in every situation...
Yes, but enough of them (the human hikers) know that they won't bite another person, pee on another person's stuff, or yell loudly at a person in a threatening manner at first sight and would not expect that sort of aggressive behavior out of another human. Any one that does that sort of thing does not need to be on the trail.

The difference is you never know what to expect from a dog and when they do this, it has been my experience the person being harassed by the dog is the one told to conform to the dog's behavior, not the dog to the humans norm of standard behavior.


im not saying that ignorance is bliss and we should accept bad dog behavior and write it off to an uneducated handler but we should make every effort to be tolerant...
Negative. I should not have to be tolerant when three dogs, off the leash, are circling me and my boys, growling, with hackles raised, while we wait for the owner to come and tell us to be nice to them. The owners of these dogs should not take them on the trail unless they are in total accordance with the norms of HUMAN behavior and and should not let them off the leash and out of his/her control.



for every "bad" dog out there there is a "good" dog that has probably saved a life, those life savers dont learn how to do what they do without spending thousands of hours training. part of that training is going quite literally every where their handlers go.
Great for them.

I don't need that one dog around me that much that I am willing to accept the one good one to the dozen bad ones. The fact is the handler should get the dog used to all those things before he gets out on the trail. The last time I got hassled by dogs on the trail (note, note the first time) I made an absolute decision to not be so tolerant anymore because I am tired of hearing this line of bull**** when I am the one being threatened or my 7 year old son who is doing nothing wrong except trembling in fear from something that shouldn't even be happening and doesn't need to be happening. The fact is I have more threatening from dogs on the trail than I ever had in towns or trails by humans unless you count my time in a war. It is not my need to be tolerant of your dog and it's bad behavior as you train it. It is your need to train and control your dog before you get there or do like I have done and start making the decision to do without your dog on the trail.

If my sons did some of the same stuff that dogs do, I would be locked up, but you think we should all be tolerant. Reevaluate please.

rickb
10-09-2005, 08:19
At least there aren't any free ranging road walk dogs on the AT anymore. Are there?

I ran into a Whiteblazer's dog with a muzzle, once. I thought that was great. For that person and that dog's particular situation.

Programbo
10-09-2005, 08:57
Do you realize how small you sound, that you are that worried about whether these folks are actually disabled? What do you use, your X-ray doctor vision to check out their physical condition? And of course, you have a running total of every person who has ever used a handicap spot in your presence so that you know the majority are fakers. How bitter you are that you have to park an extra 20 feet from the entrance.
If that is what you`ve gotten from my posts then you aren`t understanding what I am saying at all...It`s not about where I park..In fact I purposefully park farther away to get the exercise..It`s about how low society has sunk in general with this sort of thing..road rage..etc etc..Not to mention the huge financial drain on us all from these government assistance programs..One doesn`t need "x-ray doctor vision" to see if someone is mobilty impaired..The program was never intended for anyone with every small physical aliment to get free parking for life which is what it`s become..It`s the welfare mentality moved into the parking field..If someone is truly needy then fine I`m the first to help but that`s almost always NOT the case..I`ll just drop the whole issue here rather than have to go into a ridiculous amount of detail to explain myself

Smile
10-09-2005, 09:26
Sgt. Rock, I have to agree.

Don't expect tolerance from others about your dog if you take him.

I've hiked with my dog before, and I honestly wouldn't take him again any time soon, even though he never 'confronted' anyone and we never ran into any problems with other dogs, no injuries, he is a working dog and well trained..... he was however a "burden". Here are a few cons from someone who has hiked with their dog. All IMO, of course.

1) Cleanliness: You have just hiked miles through mud, weeds and whathaveyou and you're ready to strip down and get warm in your bag in a shelter.....and there are other hikers ready to do the same. Your dog is soaked, cold, muddy and that full size bath towel that comes in handy so well at home is no where to be found. (Even if you brought it, it could become useless/heavy with one use.) Your dog wants to get warm and you or the nearest sleeping bag is the obvious choice in his mind! Now your gear or someone else's gear is wet and muddy which leads to.........

2) Inconvience to others: Read:Cleanliness and now add in the factor of those in the shelter near you who are now being sprayed ( along with their gear) while your dog is shaking, (which I doubt whether you can "train" your dog NOT to do.) Put yourself in others hikers shoes when you're ready to jump in a dry bag after a rough wet hike and someone else's dog walks over your head dripping water and mud. Or worse yet, he's just managed to lick his own butt clean and decides that a fellow hikers face needs a lick too, yuck. You don't sleep in shelters? next item.......................

3) Health: My dog found human excrement in LOTS of amazing places, some right on trail, while on a leash. Washing your dog is not readily available along many places on trail.........don't plan on washing him in the nearest water source that may be a trickle where others have to drink from. You can think about this as he's curled up on your bag smearing it with foul muck.

4) Safety: For your dog.
The list can go on and on about what can happen to your dog. Injurys, snakebite, illness, road crossings, other dogs, etc.

5) Safety: For others.
Nuff said, read other posts about those who have had run ins with other dogs. The last thing you need is your dog acting 'not like himself' on trail towards another hiker....not a great way to make friends - but a sure fire way to make sure you and your dogs name are travelling the 'information highway' amongst other hikers on trail with you.

6) Feeding Time: For Hikers - it has been my experience that most fellow hikers do NOT like to give their precious food supply to ANY sort of animal, and I have found that a well behaved dog who just STARES can be aggravating to others, as well as to yourself.

7) Tents. I used a tent most of the time to be considerate to other hikers, dog slept in the vestibule. Messy, stinky hassle. Your dog wants nothing more than to get in and get cozy and warm with you, again, see "wet dog" comments above. Your will smell even worse, and can get wet inside - time consuming and potentially dangerous in a very cold situation when being dry is crucial.

8) Hassle: This is a long list....Feeding time....carrying food/bowl*..... picking up your dogs poop (assuming your dog is not trained to go on command after you've walked WELL off trail and away from any water sources/shelters)....going into town and then securing the dog while you actually want to go INSIDE a store.....hotel stays almost impossible, stealth stays imminent and possible eviction when you are caught (not to mention inconsideration for others for the next person who comes in the 'no pets' room who is allergic to dogs).......vet/health issues if your dog becomes injured or ill.......the possibility of coming into contact with a rapid animal....IF you do hike a short ways with the dog off leash, you could lose him to a nice deer/bear chase..........losing your dog - other hikers are inconvenienced usually in this case......campgrounds, many don't like or want dogs....heat, summer can be tough....water, it can be tough for hikers in some places where there is a TRICKLE and even tougher if you have your dog.......Nightime/Barking, animals are around and dogs like to bark at them - some hikers prefer to SLEEP at night.....scrambles - so you DEFINATELY would not let your dog off it's leash, but now you're on a serious rock scramble and you need both hands and your dog needs freedom of movement......paying for kennels or arrangeing for someone else to take on the reponsibility of your dog when you go though "no dog" sections......keeping the dog clean and not a complete stink bomb, by the way he will stink more than most hikers you meet...your dogs pack/soreness on back, hair rubbing/matting......Hair getting on everything (all dogs shed to some degree unless you are hiking with a poodle) I could go on, but I think if reading other posts/threads is helpful.

*Note: Yes, I mention this even though I had a really easy time of it, and the dog carried his own food, it was another responsibility and took up time/energy. I did not consider carrying food for my dog ( unless he was injured out there while carrying his own most of the way and it became necessary)

Conclusion: Next time, I do not plan on bringing the dog. TIME was consumed and hassles abounded, and WB has been a big part of opening my eyes to what other hikers think, and for me personally, I do not want to push my love for my dog on anyone. If my best human friend peed on people and begged for food or caused any of the above hassles I wouldn't take her either!

Please note, I do not intend to argue, just share my own experiences with others as a person who enjoys their relationship with their dog. I also really like other peoples dogs on trail when they are clean and well behaved, and not trying to lick me when there is not running water readily available.

RU98A
10-09-2005, 09:54
Those that think that dogs on the trail is just nifty evidently haven't been bitten with no provaction, peed on from behind, pack peed on, pack rummaged through and had your food stolen. I know that you think that your little fluffy foo wouldn't do those things but, it has happened to me several times form several different dogs.:mad:

SGT Rock
10-09-2005, 10:27
Great post Smile. I say this as another person that is a reformed dog hiker. It wasn't WhiteBlaze but another web board that got me to thinking about what I was imposing on others and on my dog friend by making her go out. I've found too many dog owners can't see past their own love for their pooch and often will put up with a lot and expect others to do the same out of the love for their dogs. But sometimes they fail to see the burden that love places on their pet and the simple fact that others do not see the dog's behavior in the same light as they do.

I love good dogs on the trail, but I would banish them all to protect them from the idiot owners and protect the hikers from the idiot dogs (yes I called them idiots, get over it) and the owners that take them out that way. And no, I do not equate that the same to humans for those that think I am being a jerk.

KS_Rockstar
10-09-2005, 10:51
yea, i dont want to argue either but i do want to make a few points.

first, like i said in the other post, i DO NOT think hiking the AT with your dog is a good idea. especially a through hike. i recommend for you and your dog's enjoyment and well being that you leave your dog at home............

when you start to dissagree with what im about to say, please re-read the last paragraph.

i guess i wasnt quite clear enough about my thoughts on this subject, ill try and be more specific... bad dogs, just like bad people have NO PLACE on the trail... the point i was trying to make with the whole driving analogy is that thoes little a** holes that race around in their cars and endanger me and my family should not only not be allowed to drive, they should be in prison...

*and they most likley passed the bad joke of a "driving test" we offer in the united states*

but would it not be wrong to forbid every 16 year old from driving? my point is (ill just use my dog as an example even though there are many dogs as well behaved as mine) that my dog would not pee on, bite, scare, threten or do any of those things you have mentioned above. i would not even try to sleep in a shelter with him and i would be the only one that had to deal with sleeping with a wet, muddy, smelly dog. im so sure that he would not do any of those things no matter what anybody on the trail did, ill sign over my house to you if he does.

there are humans that would not be alive right now if it werent for dogs like mine. there are many, many dogs that behave the way mine does.

again i want to say that in general, if there is any other option than bring your dog on the trail, please take that option... if your dog is not as reliable as mine is, and you have no option, please just dont hike...................

BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT............. If me or any of the people with dogs that do have the training and temperment to be a good citizen on the trail cross your path, please dont just lump us into the catagory with all the other dogs that dont have any place on the trail (which agree is probably most of them).

try arguing with a person whos life has been saved by a dog, that it doesnt have a right to hike the AT, im sure they will dissagree.

my 2 cents.

Lone Wolf
10-09-2005, 10:58
The AT is a footpath for human beings. Period.

CynJ
10-09-2005, 11:09
I don't believe in good dogs and bad dogs - just responsible pet owners and irresponsible pet owners.

A responsible person will

make sure their pet is physically/emotionally able to handle hiking and camping out.
will maintain control of their pet - ie LEASH. This will solve the dog harrasing people problem, the stealing food problem, et cetera.
will clean up after the dog's bowel movement and will control where the dog urinates as well - if the dog is on a lease this will not be hard to do. And learn your dog's habits - mine needs to take a poop 20-30 mins after she eats. Do the math and plan accordingly.
bring their own shelter - solves the problem of dogs in the shelter fairly easily
respect that others do not share your love of your dog. People have had bad experience and it makes them leary - I can't blame them and I will respect their space.
KNOW YOUR DOG - likes, dislikes, fears, et cetera.
KNOW YOURSELF - are you willing to take on all of this additional responsiblity during a hike while also taking care of yourself?
Unfortunately for every 1 owner/dog combination that follows all the above there are 5 that don't and it makes the experience miserable for everyone else.

I have thought long and hard about hiking/camping with my dog - and have come to the conclusion that she would be a great companion for about a weeklong trek - but not anything longer.

SGT Rock
10-09-2005, 11:24
Again, great. I like good dogs. But the problem is practically everyone thinks their dog is good and many fail to see how their dog is really being impacted by being on the trail and also fail to see how the people around them are being impacted by the dogs on the trail. Every jerk with a dog thinks that their dog is fine and finds reasons to justify their dogs place on the trail rather than see the reality. Even if my life was saved by a dog that wouldn't change things. My life has been saved by lots of people, but I don't feel that I should be dragging them up the trail to prove I love them.:datz

Lots of other points about teenagers, prison, etc. Analogy is totally flawed. Here is a better one:

If you want dogs on the trail it would be the same as saying you would like NASCAR racing vehicles to be street legal. Wait a minute... Just because they are dangerous doesn't mean they should be banned, a couple of good drivers out there know what they are doing! Really! Just because the majority of ******** that could buy them would be putting themselves and those around them at risk isn't a bad thing because there are a couple of people out there that know what they are doing and really love their cars and take care of them. We need to be more tolerant of people that want NASCAR racing on our highways.:rolleyes:

See, the difference is the dogs are not people. They have no rights to be there. They cannot be train, tested, and held to a legal and liability standard. A 16 year old can be. So no matter how you shake that analogy it is only your own mental justification. :eek:

Let me put it in some term maybe dog hikers can relate to. They are the same as bringing a machine-gun hiking: personal property that can be dangerous. Now wait a minute, lest you think I stretch it: I am trained to handle machine-guns, I have carried them for 20 years and even continuously for over a year without accidental discharges and have qualified expert with them and even count as a trainer for others to become proficient in the safe handling and use of these firearms. I know that if someone is trained correctly to use them and have them they are absolutely no threat to anyone and anyone around me as I hike could get a chance to learn from me about guns and become less afraid of them. You would be safer around me with my M4 than you would be without me. In fact I could even stretch it a little to say the 4th amendment even gives me the right to carry one if I want (unlike a dog which isn't mentioned in the Constitution). So imagine if every 5th hiker had a Thompson, MP5, or M4. You wouldn't know which one is going to threaten you with it and and who really knows what they are doing out there or has had training, makes it awful uncomfortable for others and unnecessary. Just some hiker fulfilling a personal need and everyone else just needs to be tolerant of the jerks while they learn to use firearms properly. If you get scared that is just because you fail to realize how important guns are to me and others.:cool:

Anyway, yes that too is a stretch, and I would never advocate the right to carry on the trail like that because I know it is horse****. :p

Try to think about dogs in the same way:jump

Smile
10-09-2005, 11:24
It is obvious about the Responsible/Irresponsible dog owner

Friendly Rebuttle:
<i>1) make sure their pet is physically/emotionally able to handle hiking and camping out.</i>

Unfortunately you can't "make" your dog do anything - let alone be sure he is physically or emotionally able, the dog is a dog and has a free will - and you won't know if he's capable until you take the hike itself. You can train a dog to respond to commands, but can't emotionally prepare a dog for anything. Also, to find out if your dog is capable....bad experiences can happen to you, the dog or other hikers while you figure him out. Physically, you may find yourself with a lame dog a long way from town making "sure".

<i>2)will maintain control of their pet - ie LEASH. This will solve the dog harrasing people problem, the stealing food problem, et cetera.</i>

Poop happens and dogs get off leashes, dogs on leashes sometimes lunge at other hikers/dogs/critters on trail, and even a dog staring at food or at the whole group at a shelter is annoying.

<i>3)will clean up after the dog's bowel movement and will control where the dog urinates as well - if the dog is on a lease this will not be hard to do. And learn your dog's habits - mine needs to take a poop 20-30 mins after she eats. Do the math and plan accordingly.</i>

Right on. However this is not the norm on trail and dog poop is heavier than the food itself.

<i>4)bring their own shelter - solves the problem of dogs in the shelter fairly easily
respect that others do not share your love of your dog. People have had bad experience and it makes them leary - I can't blame them and I will respect their space.</i>

Good idea. Now, it's time to go eat at the shelter and you want to sit at the table, you have to tie the dog to a) your tent, which doesnt work well or b) to a tree - most dogs bark and want to join the feast, especially all that wonderfully smelling hot food being cooked by others, yum!

<i>5) KNOW YOUR DOG - likes, dislikes, fears, et cetera.</i>

Good thought, however even the most seasonsed hikers experience new and unforeseen situations...same goes for your dog.


I really love dogs, my dog, other dogs. But I can tell you that I really hope I don't have to be hassled by other hikers dog on my hike next year.

Smile
10-09-2005, 11:28
Hmm, sorry about the html, seems the edit button is gone.

Ridge
10-09-2005, 12:09
....Unfortunately for every 1 owner/dog combination that follows all the above there are 5 that don't and it makes the experience miserable for everyone else....
I think this is being optimistic. The figures probably look more like a ratio of reasons why one would carry a pet versus all the negative ones given by those hikers who oppose a dog on the trail or in a shelter. My husband has said the only time he's seen a dog on a leash was in the GSMNP, where they aren't even allowed. Hikers slugging thru the woods with a dog attached to a leash is just something you rarely see. Unfortunately, people are going to hike with their dog(s) and care less what effect they have on others. Very few experienced hikers would consider taking along their pet, and the ones who do will more than likely have to send it home when attempting a thru-hike. I'd like to know the percentages of completed thru-hikes with dog and owner intact. I don't remember reading anywhere on WB where someone has completed a thru-hike or even a section hike with their dog. Exception: Bill Irwin is the only person I know who did complete a thru hike with his seeing-eye service dog Orient. Non-service Dog's should be banned from the AT. Granted a ban on the entire AT would be impossible to enforce, they can't even keep dogs off the AT in the GSMNP. Posted on the web in various journals you can find dog owners who brag about sneaking their pets thru the GSMNP.

KS_Rockstar
10-09-2005, 13:28
@stg rock......... well, yea, your kindof making my point. add to your machine gun example a federal law that states that you (for whatever reason) are allowed to carry an M4. also add the fact that you personally are a responsible M4 owner. Then you should be allowed to carry your M4. My point is that the two criteria are not mutally exclusive... Just because you are allowed to carry the weapon does not mean you should AND just because you are qualifyed to carry the weapon does not mean you are allowed.

same for the dog.

there are service dogs that by federal law cannot be prevented from hiking the trail. there are service dogs that have no business hiking the trail even though they are permited to do so. furthermore, there are non service dogs that are totally capable of being a perfect trail citizen but are not allowed in certain sections of the trail (ie, smokies).

my point again is that there are some dogs that are allowed to be, should be and have every right to be on that trail. and while the lets say large majority of dogs SHOULD NOT be there, it's wrong to say that ALL dogs should not be.

ill just remind everybody one more time that even though, for example, my dog has both the legal federal right to be on the trail AND would be a perfect trail citizen, i would not take him on a section or thru hike because he would not enjoy it and it would decrease my enjoyment of the experience. i do not think the trail is a good place for a dog but i support 100% the right of the properly trained dog to be on the trail and resent the idea that just because many dogs cause problems all dogs should be forbiden on the trail.

rickb
10-09-2005, 13:36
Non-service Dog's should be banned from the AT

Nope. The Trail does't need any more regulation. Plenty of weekenders and day hikers enjoy their animal responsibly.

I know that, because I make a point of thanking dog walkers that restrain thier animal as I walk by. Perhaps its worse down south.

Rick B

Chip
10-09-2005, 13:45
Rules for Hiking / Backpacking with your Dog.

1. Dog should be well trained to follow owners commands.

2. Always on a leash !!

3. Always camp in a tent or use a tarp. NO Shelters !!!!

4. Feed 2 meals a day (morning and evening). Carry treats and give along
the way.

5. WATER. Carry a water bottle for your dog.

6. LNT. Clean up and carry out or bury dog poop.

7. Take a Pet First Aid course offered by your local Red Cross or Humane
Society.

Only a few dogs (breeds) make good trailhounds. There are only a few owners
who know how to hike with their dog. These people know how to enjoy the backcountry while hiking with their dog, leave no trace, bother no other hikers
and do it safely.

Books to read:

"Hiking with Dogs" by Linda B. Mullally (A Falcon Guide)
"Hiking with your Dog" by Gary Hoffman
"Pet First Aid" by Bobbie Mammato, DVM, MPH (American Red Cross/ The Humane Society of The United States)

There are alot of post on this thread that have alot of emotion, poor analogies and hypothetical blah blah!!!!

It is too bad that so many give so few a bad reputation. There are a few of us who can hike with our dog as if it were another person.
NO SMOKE, NO MIRRORS !!! :datz

Chip
10-09-2005, 13:51
[QUOTE=KS_Rockstar]@stg rock......... well, yea, your kindof making my point. add to your machine gun example a federal law that states that you (for whatever reason) are allowed to carry an M4. also add the fact that you personally are a responsible M4 owner. Then you should be allowed to carry your M4. My point is that the two criteria are not mutally exclusive... Just because you are allowed to carry the weapon does not mean you should AND just because you are qualifyed to carry the weapon does not mean you are allowed.

same for the dog.

there are service dogs that by federal law cannot be prevented from hiking the trail. there are service dogs that have no business hiking the trail even though they are permited to do so. furthermore, there are non service dogs that are totally capable of being a perfect trail citizen but are not allowed in certain sections of the trail (ie, smokies).

my point again is that there are some dogs that are allowed to be, should be and have every right to be on that trail. and while the lets say large majority of dogs SHOULD NOT be there, it's wrong to say that ALL dogs should not be.

ill just remind everybody one more time that even though, for example, my dog has both the legal federal right to be on the trail AND would be a perfect trail citizen, i would not take him on a section or thru hike because he would not enjoy it and it would decrease my enjoyment of the experience. i do not think the trail is a good place for a dog but i support 100% the right of the properly trained dog to be on the trail and resent the idea that just because many dogs cause problems all dogs should be forbiden on the trail.[/QUOTE


Well said !!! Many Thanks,
Chip ;)

SGT Rock
10-09-2005, 14:05
@stg rock......... well, yea, your kindof making my point. add to your machine gun example a federal law that states that you (for whatever reason) are allowed to carry an M4. also add the fact that you personally are a responsible M4 owner. Then you should be allowed to carry your M4. My point is that the two criteria are not mutally exclusive... Just because you are allowed to carry the weapon does not mean you should AND just because you are qualifyed to carry the weapon does not mean you are allowed.
Actually I think you missed my point then.:rolleyes:



there are service dogs that by federal law cannot be prevented from hiking the trail. there are service dogs that have no business hiking the trail even though they are permited to do so. furthermore, there are non service dogs that are totally capable of being a perfect trail citizen but are not allowed in certain sections of the trail (ie, smokies).

my point again is that there are some dogs that are allowed to be, should be and have every right to be on that trail. and while the lets say large majority of dogs SHOULD NOT be there, it's wrong to say that ALL dogs should not be.
Again, dogs have no rights. They are not mentioned in the Constitution anywehre. Too many people seem to say things like this without thinking of what a right actually is.:eek:



ill just remind everybody one more time that even though, for example, my dog has both the legal federal right to be on the trail AND would be a perfect trail citizen, i would not take him on a section or thru hike because he would not enjoy it and it would decrease my enjoyment of the experience. i do not think the trail is a good place for a dog but i support 100% the right of the properly trained dog to be on the trail and resent the idea that just because many dogs cause problems all dogs should be forbiden on the trail.
Again, dogs have no rights. Find in the consitiution what the rights of dogs are and I will stand corrected.:p

You say your dog is a perfect trail citizen, at least in your opinion. The rest of us do not know that when you show up with your dog. And even if you think your dog is a perfect trail citizen, it may not prove to be true in the eyes of others, and that is what a lot of dog owners fail to see. This is the part I have been trying to impart with the gun example that you must have missed. Just because you know you and your dog are safe to others (at least in your own mind) and pose no threat, every other hiker that encounters you has to go through the evaluation when they see your dog and you, and like seeing a guy with an M4 - you cannot assume nor expect someone knows what they are doing. I've self imposed a ban for my dogs because I understand this, many dog owners have not, setting a good example includes deciding not to bring pets on the trail for the sake of others including the dog.

KS_Rockstar
10-09-2005, 14:16
your right about the dogs rights part, the exact law states that the handler has legeal right to bring the dog with them wherever they go, the dog does not infact have the "right" to do what he or she pleases.....

^and clairify something please..... are you saying that even if the dog and handler are for a fact perfect trail citizens (ie if the whole world had a chance to meet them they would all agree that the dog was ok) they should still not be allowed on the trail? are you also saying that service dogs that are needed by their handelers and are properly controled and trained should not be allowed on the trail?

if that is your contention then this disgussion is pointless as we are at an impass...

however, if you agree that some dogs do have a place (or their handlers have the right to bring them) on the trail and that the dog is capable of behaving in such a way as to not offend anybody then i submit we more or less agree.

ps, i appreicate sombody like you that can have a disgussion with sombody that they dont necissarly see eye to eye but can keep it civil and not resort to petty name calling as is so often the case. so thanks. i respect the fact that just because sombody does not agree with me they are not wrong or stupid, they just disagree.

smokymtnsteve
10-09-2005, 14:54
how about a small team of dogs???

Karen and I are considering making a trip to the AT this spring after racing and touring season is over here in AK.

we are trying to decide how many dogs to bring, maybe 2-4 apiece for a total of 4-8 dogs in the team.

course these are well trained , trail experienced dogs, and we'll bring a picket line to put them on a night or when we're not hiking, (we will be doing some night hiking) as we run trails in the dark all the time up here,,

they also sing the song of the wild just beautifully...so will have music along too,

SGT Rock
10-09-2005, 14:56
I originally was a dog owner dead set on taking my pet and training her to be a good trail dog, but reasoned arguments and then opening myself up to notice the situations I have now paid attention to when it comes to dogs has lead me to be an advocate of keeping dogs off the trails whenever possible. I am also not a dog hater and I have been known to help dog hikers out with food, water, and medical treatment for their animals when they are out there. I also love a good trail dog, but in my experience they are way to uncommon for the people that say their dogs are great (on the Internet) to be right. So anyway, maybe you can understand where I am coming from...


your right about the dogs rights part, the exact law states that the handler has legeal right to bring the dog with them wherever they go, the dog does not infact have the "right" to do what he or she pleases.....
Exactly. Dogs are not entitled to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness by the Constitution. They are considered property of the owner and their use can be limited based on proper usage of the majority. It is the owner that either has the right or the PRIVILEGE to bring a dog by proper use and need. Since there isn't a right for the average Joe like me to bring a dog where ever I want, it is a privilege based on the actions of everyone that allows me to have that privilege.

Places like the Smokies have found that privilege to be to big a strain for the average person in their sector and have opted to rescind that privilege. The same could be done for any other park or forest. Dog owners that claim rights while abusing these privileges may find themselves their own worst enemy in the long run.


^and clairify something please..... are you saying that even if the dog and handler are for a fact perfect trail citizens (ie if the whole world had a chance to meet them they would all agree that the dog was ok) they should still not be allowed on the trail? are you also saying that service dogs that are needed by their handelers and are properly controled and trained should not be allowed on the trail?
Honestly I have reached a point after all these years of backpacking where if I were in charge I would ban dogs from trails because the majority (in my experience) do not belong out there because of bad ownership. The ability for someone to bring a pet is a privilege that is honestly being abused. And also in my experience the average pet owner fails to notice the poor behavior and/or expects everyone else to deal with their pet. I have seen it on this board before where the best of intentions to try and disuade a pet owner from bringing their pet falls on deaf ears because of these sorts of attitudes. Sometimes it seems most every pet owner that posts here has already decided their pet can hack the trail, except for guys like Smile and I who are the "Toads in the Road". Also, since this appears to be the attitude, it is no wonder than many hikers end up with the experience of the pet owner saying things like "poochy never did that before" or "You just need to stay calm, he isn't really threatening you". Yes, I feel pet owners have screwed it up and I believe the exceptions of good dogs shouldn't set the rule of allowing pets when it seems the majority are fouled up - just like my example of NASCAR racing on the streets, the general practice is dangerous to everyone else and shouldn't be allowed just to please the few good ones. I think the rule should ban pets for the good of the majority of hikers - people. And people are the ones with the right to be on the trail in the first place. Every time I see a dog I have to go on the offense/defense/passive/aggressive decision because it has been my experience (and that of others) that when you see a dog you are likely to end up being the target of poor behavior or aggressive behavior that you did nothing to provoke.

On the other hand, service dogs IMO are a different set of circumstances. They are often trained WELL beyond the character of even some of the best trained animals in my experience. Since the American's with Disability Act allows them to go where other animals cannot (for the owner), then on a case by case basis I think they should be allowed. But just as a handicapped person in a wheelchair has the right to get to the top of Albert Mountain, it isn't always a good idea for a lot of reasons. The same could be said about the service dog that is the friend of the disabled person: If that animal cannot handle the exertion, cannot handle the weather, cannot handle the norms of hiker life, then they don't belong out their either. Even some of the service animals I have experienced are still to high strung for hiking situations.


if that is your contention then this disgussion is pointless as we are at an impass...

however, if you agree that some dogs do have a place (or their handlers have the right to bring them) on the trail and that the dog is capable of behaving in such a way as to not offend anybody then i submit we more or less agree.

ps, i appreicate sombody like you that can have a disgussion with sombody that they dont necissarly see eye to eye but can keep it civil and not resort to petty name calling as is so often the case. so thanks. i respect the fact that just because sombody does not agree with me they are not wrong or stupid, they just disagree.
Well it is my experience that often when two people disagree there is usually a lot of common ground that gets lost in the argument. I never assume anyone is stupid, I prefer to try and find that common ground and work from there. I also appreciate your reciprocation of civil disagreement. Your opinion is valuable and I might even get you to see where I am coming from and in the process, get others to see what I mean.

smokymtnsteve
10-09-2005, 15:02
I love Ganges...she wouldn't hurt a flea..but how would I know that??no fleas in AK.

http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/6366/sort/1/cat/500/page/2

Smile
10-09-2005, 15:34
gain, dogs have no rights. Find in the consitiution what the rights of dogs are and I will stand corrected.

Thank you Sgt. Rock.

KS_Rockstar
10-09-2005, 15:39
@forum mods........ do you guys from time to time delete stupid posts?

@sgt rock.......... all good points. though im an experienced hiker im not an experienced AT hiker. it sounds like the "dog problem" is more of a problem on the AT than in other places. that being said, i would not be opposed to limiting service dogs or search and rescue dogs to the trail and excluding non service dogs from the trail. however, it seems like it would be more fare (and safe) to license dogs (and handlers) to specifically use the trail. for example (like you pointed out) some service dogs (while they may do their service just fine) have no business on the trail. i would also argue however that a few non-service dogs would be an asset to the trail.... maybe making a mandatory "trail license" for the trail would be a good idea???

for the time being however, as there is not criteria for dogs on the trail, id suggest just leaving your dog at home. if you must (for whatever reason) bring your dog people should have the common curtesy to only bring dogs on the trail that are appropriate.......

KS_Rockstar
10-09-2005, 15:44
@smile........ were not trying to argue here man. your argueing over simantics.

"dogs" do not have rights. handlers of "service dogs" do have rights. so if you want to argue the point, it is federal LAW that service dogs cannot be pervented from going anywhere the public can go. by default the dog has the right to be on the trail (though i agreed with sgt rock that i worded it improperly, the fact still remains true).

Oracle
10-09-2005, 15:54
Just remember, many hikers, including myself, will not be tolerant of your dog. If your dog completely ignores me and my stuff, and makes no noise, we won't have a problem. If your dog doesn't completely ignore me, my stuff, or is loud, then we will. And no dog should be in a shelter at any time ever for any reason.

Smile
10-09-2005, 15:54
No it's cool, whatever folks want to do is fine with me. I just wanted to add my own personal experience from a dog lover who was converted to a no dog hiker after a month on the AT this summer. No argument intended, just some facts IMO.

I had never thought of a dog as not having rights before and appreciate Sgt. Rocks comments, to be honest, most of his posts on this entire forum have been full of usefull and pertinent information that I value highly.

Usually I like to just read these forums, I guess everybody surely has their own opinions on the subject, I just have realized that my dog may have been a trouble for others on my hike, and I don't want to do that to anyone in the future - nor do I relish being on the other end on future hikes.

BTW, my dog is a service dog, but I have no plans on any LD hiking with him in the future, whether I have the right to or not :-)

SGT Rock
10-09-2005, 16:27
@forum mods........ do you guys from time to time delete stupid posts?
Actually I am a moderator :D

Dances with Mice
10-09-2005, 16:38
And no dog should be in a shelter at any time ever for any reason....because the dog might catch fleas.

smokymtnsteve
10-09-2005, 16:42
Just remember, many hikers, including myself, will not be tolerant of your dog. If your dog completely ignores me and my stuff, and makes no noise, we won't have a problem. If your dog doesn't completely ignore me, my stuff, or is loud, then we will. And no dog should be in a shelter at any time ever for any reason.


then we will..

what kind of problem will we have?

AT shelters are on a first come first serve basis,

Lone Wolf
10-09-2005, 16:44
Wrong Steve. First come first served for humans only.

SGT Rock
10-09-2005, 16:48
Geez Steve, I know you are communing with the Godess and all, but your dogs deserve a space in the sheter about as much as someone's guitar, refridgerator, or whatever. Just because you decided to bring a dog doesn't mean everyone else has to be put out. Where are your manners? :D

smokymtnsteve
10-09-2005, 16:54
we going to bring a guitar too. ;)

thanks for reminding me...we need a extra dog to carry it,

SGT Rock
10-09-2005, 16:57
LOL! Steve, sometimes your old hillbilly butt is the biggest ****-stirrer.

smokymtnsteve
10-09-2005, 17:01
LOL! Steve, sometimes your old hillbilly butt is the biggest ****-stirrer.

it's snowing and below frezzing here so the dog poop is all frozen and doesn't stir well...

when RU coming up to go mushing with me???...we'll take us a couple dozen dogs out on a trail.

MOWGLI
10-09-2005, 17:07
then we will..

what kind of problem will we have?



My guess is... he won't share his cheese with you. :eek:

smokymtnsteve
10-09-2005, 17:15
no cheese sharing???

no problem there I don't eat other folks food on the trail anyway,,,


hey,,,who moved my cheese?

frieden
10-09-2005, 20:24
Wow, I've missed a lot.

First of all, anyone who thinks a 16 year old can be trained, has never had a 16 year old.

If dogs couldn't be trained with reliability, there wouldn't be a K9 unit anywhere - including law enforcement, rescue, and drug detection (they have to be around little kids in the airport all day). The legal risk would be too high.

There are a lot of things I don't know about, because I'm not involved with them. I guess it is the same with the people here on the subject of dogs on the trail and camping with them. Every week, there are K9 groups out on the trail with their dogs, and many of them will camp for the weekend or week with the dogs in the tent. It happens every week, all over the country - in fact, all over the world. It is possible, and it happens. It isn't just some fantasy of dog owners that this can happen. Really. If you have taken your dog out, and had so many problems that it was too much of a "hassle", maybe you could ask to go out with one of these groups, and see how they do it. Just like with anything else, if you don't know how to do something, go learn from the people who do it all the time.

From what I see of many dog owners, I can understand the attitude many people have about dogs. However, it is obvious that the blame falls to the owner, and not the dog.

There are some dogs who do have rights. Mainly, police dogs and military dogs. Both hold rank, can move up in rank, retire, and have the same rights as any officer/enlisted. If you shoot a police dog, you will go to prison for shooting a police officer, not for shooting a dog.

Fear and absolutes normally go together.

Alligator
10-09-2005, 20:32
no cheese sharing???

no problem there I don't eat other folks food on the trail anyway,,,


hey,,,who moved my cheese?
Haha you've seen that video?

SGT Rock
10-09-2005, 20:45
There are some dogs who do have rights. Mainly, police dogs and military dogs. Both hold rank, can move up in rank, retire, and have the same rights as any officer/enlisted. If you shoot a police dog, you will go to prison for shooting a police officer, not for shooting a dog. Actually no they do not.

They have a status conferred by their job that makes damaging one without permission the same as a crime - but not the same crime since you cannot get the death penalty for killing a police dog if you shoot the dog during a crime, but shoot a cop in Texas and get your butt ready for the chair. If you were a vet and you put down an injured cop you would be a murderer no matter who told you to do it, but you can put down a wounded worker animal if it is injured when authorized by the appropriate authority. They have privileges conferred on them like rank (which is strictly honorary -they don't have any authority over humans of lower rank), retirement (not a pensioned retirement like a human), but they do not have rights.

They do not have the right to life - they can be put down at the whim of their master, but yes it is a crime for me to shoot a police dog.

They do not have the right to liberty - they are restrained, housed, and controlled by their master.

And they cannot do whatever they want legally in the pursuit of happiness - i.e. they cannot marry, own property, travel at their own will. They didn't choose to go into that line of work and unless they go out of control they cannot chose to leave it either.

They are property of the state.

rickb
10-09-2005, 21:02
Frieden:

Did you check out the ATC site yet? There is a PDF written by a Vet/thruhiker (with dog) you might find of interest.

http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkLXJ8MQKtH/b.795337/k.9784/Hiking_with_Dogs.htm

Rick B

smokymtnsteve
10-09-2005, 21:07
. If you were a vet and you put down an injured cop you would be a murderer no matter who told you to do it, but you can put down a wounded worker animal if it is injured when authorized by the appropriate authority.


so in that case the dog has MORE RIGHTS than a human, as euthanaisa is ILLEGAL for humans even when requestsed by the individual themselves

frieden
10-09-2005, 21:11
Yes, this was the first thing I read. Thanks!




Frieden:

Did you check out the ATC site yet? There is a PDF written by a Vet/thruhiker (with dog) you might find of interest.

http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkLXJ8MQKtH/b.795337/k.9784/Hiking_with_Dogs.htm

Rick B

SGT Rock
10-09-2005, 21:12
Well the dog doesn't get to ask to be put down, but otherwise I would agree with you. When my time comes I don't want to be hooked up with hoses while some group takes my family to court to keep the machines going. I want to go into the mountains and not come back.

rickb
10-09-2005, 21:18
Worked for Guy Waterman ( http://tinyurl.com/9fm6a )

He was pro dogtollerance in his Backwoods Ethics book, BTW.

smokymtnsteve
10-09-2005, 21:21
PLEASE STAND FOR THE GOSPEL OF ABBEY

"The rebel is doomed to a violent death. The rest of us can look forward to sedated expiration in a coma inside an oxygen tent, with tubes inserted in every bodily orifice."

THANKS BE TO ABBEY!

Frosty
10-10-2005, 09:08
And they cannot do whatever they want legally in the pursuit of happiness - i.e. they cannot marryThere are some who might express a conviction that having been denied the right to marry would not have interfered with their happiness at all; they might in fact maintain their overall happiness would likely have been much greater had they been denied this particular avenue of "pursuit of happiness."

SGT Rock
10-10-2005, 10:23
LOL, maybe we should make that a core belief in the constitution.

frieden
10-10-2005, 14:24
Sgt Rock just showed us a classic battle tactic; he didn't disprove that dogs have a right to be on the trail. If you don't have the facts to disprove the argument on the current criteria, just keep changing the criteria. For example, the original criteria stated that dogs have the right to be on the AT for most sections. Sgt Rock changed it to dogs do not have Constitutional rights. I stated that some dogs do have rights, like police dogs, because a criminal would be charged with shooting a police officer, if he shot a police dog. Sgt Rock changed it to a vet putting a police dog down, when a vet couldn't do that to a human police officer. This way, it appears that the original argument has been defeated, but the person using this tactic hasn't said anything incorrect. It's a win, unless someone catches it. He didn't disprove that dogs have rights, or that dogs have a right to be on the trail, he just danced around the issue.

Go Sgt, it's your birthday ... :banana Whooo! Can he dance!

Even in a courtroom, a judge would permit the word "right" to equal "allowed".

The Old Fhart
10-10-2005, 14:39
SGT Rock-"When my time comes I don't want to be hooked up with hoses while some group takes my family to court to keep the machines going. I want to go into the mountains and not come back."Are you telling us you don't believe in carry in-carry out or LNT? :D

frieden
10-10-2005, 14:44
Hahahaha!!!! :D

SGT Rock
10-10-2005, 14:52
Actually here is a classic tactic - take the answer to a question that was given and try to change the intent of the answer without paying attention to what the gronds of the argument. Your example actually had no fact in the initial argument and you recent follow on still gives no fact to support the basis of your contention. So my answer was basically designed to show the falacy of the basis of the entire line you used.

I disagree, I simply stated by my example that dogs cannot have "rights". How can a dog have a right to anything? So to get more in depth to my answer than I really meant to:
Animal rights in law (http://encyclopedia.laborlawtalk.com/Law)

Generally speaking, no legislation recognizes animal rights. Animals are not granted the same rights as human beings and corporations (http://encyclopedia.laborlawtalk.com/Corporation). However, animals are protected under the law (http://encyclopedia.laborlawtalk.com/Law) in many jurisdictions. There are criminal laws (http://encyclopedia.laborlawtalk.com/Criminal_law) against cruelty to animals, laws that regulate the keeping of animals in cities and on farms, transit of animals internationally, as well as quarantine and inspection provisions. These laws are designed to protect animals from unnecessary physical harm and to regulate the use of animals as food. In the common law (http://encyclopedia.laborlawtalk.com/Common_law) it is possible to create a charitable trust (http://encyclopedia.laborlawtalk.com/Charitable_trust) and have the trust empowered to see to the care of a particular animal after the death of the benefactor of the trust. Some wealthy individuals without children create such trusts in their will (http://encyclopedia.laborlawtalk.com/Will_%28law%29). Trusts of this kind can be upheld by the courts (http://encyclopedia.laborlawtalk.com/Court) if properly drafted and the testator was of sound mind. There are also many movements to give animals greater rights and protection under in Parliament (http://encyclopedia.laborlawtalk.com/British_Parliament). The law, if passed, will introduce a duty (http://encyclopedia.laborlawtalk.com/Duty) of care, whereby a keeper of an animal would commit an offence if he or she failed to take reasonable steps to ensure the animal's welfare. This concept of making the animal keeper have a duty to the animal is equivalent to granting the kept animal a right to proper welfare. The draft bill is supported by an RSPCA (http://encyclopedia.laborlawtalk.com/RSPCA) campaign.

"Animal Rights in Law" Retrieved 10 October 2005 from http://encyclopedia.laborlawtalk.com/Animal_rights#Animal_rights_in_law

So I don't havbe to prove that an animal has a right to be on the trail, I simply prove that animals cannot have rights. Perod. They have no rights as codified by government bodies.

So again, I have shown that animals don't have rights. Damaging an MPs animal is actually covered as a seperate article under UCMJ counter to what you posted - it is considered damage to a government animal, not assault or assault with intent to kill which would be the same chage against an MP. I also Googled the assault of police animals, and it is interesting to note that the same charge does not (counter to the myth) apply to assault of a police officer as it does to a dog. In New Mexico (the first one that comes up in a google) it is only a 4th degree felony to assault or kill a police dog, not the same charge as assaulting or killing a police officer. And this doesn't even prove that the UCMJ or the state of NM consider the dog has rights. It is the same as if you damaged property or were cruel to animals. Again, just because there is a law against damaging a fence, doesn't mean the fence has a right, and it doesn't mean a dog has a right.

As to Allowed vs Right, well a dog may be allowed to do something, but allowed does not mean a right to do something, and I would say that in a coutroom if you were to argue you have a right to do something that you are simply allowed to do, when the person or body started un-allowing you to do it, you couldn't come back and claim you should be able to anyway because it is your right. In this case where you say a dog has a right to go wherever it wants, like on the trail, the proof that it doesn't is the fact that dogs are not allowed in the GSMNP and you couldn't restore their right to do so in court because again, there is no right to it in the first place.

I may sound hung up on the term rights, but a right has a specific meaning and it is getting abused. A right is something that is important to us a society for the democratic process to happen. To start ascribing rights that do not exsist is a diservice to the real meaning of a right. I could get preachy on this, but anyway.

frieden
10-10-2005, 15:06
You don't have to "prove" anything ... unless you want to disprove that dogs have a right to be on the trail, which was the original criteria. Nope, my post didn't have anything to do with the original criteria, either. I was caught up in your post, until I realized what you were doing. Neither one of us addressed the original statement, which is a fact: dogs are allowed by law on the AT ... they have a right to be there, because the law allows it. This is what you tried to argue, with a completely different subject. You can argue animal rights until you are blue, but that still doesn't address the initial point you tried to argue.

weary
10-10-2005, 15:19
Sarge

My suggestion is that you become a lawyer after you leave the military.

Weary

frieden
10-10-2005, 15:19
Question: Some people around here are caught up in that animal diet that is simply raw chicken, but a lot of vets seem to cook for their dogs, saying that commercial food can cause all sorts of health problems. If the dog was on a homemade diet (tons of books on the subject to assure a balanced diet), couldn't it be dehydrated for the trail? Would it weigh less than kibble?

frieden
10-10-2005, 15:21
Sarge

My suggestion is that you become a lawyer after you leave the military.

Weary
My gosh, no. A judge would catch that a lot faster than I did!

SGT Rock
10-10-2005, 15:24
You don't have to "prove" anything ... unless you want to disprove that dogs have a right to be on the trail, which was the original criteria. Nope, my post didn't have anything to do with the original criteria, either.
Negative, again, my point is they have a right to nothing. Dogs do not have rights. You keep saying because they are allowed that they have a right, and I say again, they have no rights to that or anything. You want me to prove they have not right to be on the trail and so I prove they have no rights at all. So how am I or anyone supposed to prove the lack of existence of something that doesn't exist? Do I need to post the entire forest service regulation and then a statement that say I cannot find a right for a dog anywhere in there? How about this, you find where a dog has a right to something in theri regulation - not permission for the OWNER to have a dog.


Neither one of us addressed the original statement, which is a fact: dogs are allowed by law on the AT ... they have a right to be there, because the law allows it.
I have never said I believe dogs do not have permission to be on trails. I have said, consistently they have no right to be there and that the permission that dog owners have to bring them along can be taken away at any time.

Lets say that you are allowed to go on a back-country pass in the Smokies. You submit your plan to go out there, get approval, and have your tag in hand. Do you now have a right to do so because someone gave you permission to do it? I say no, you have been given permission by the Park Service based on a set criteria you had to meet. And they don't even have to do it even if you meet the criteria.

The same can be said for dogs on trails. You are allowed to take them (note you are allowed, not the dog is allowed) as long as you abide by the rules of the park. The ability to have an animal can be taken away at any time by the governing body simply based on the fact you don't follow the rules or at their digression based on whatever factor they see fit - which could include impact on the area, impact on other hikers, or they are a nuisance to the place at all. You cannot go to court and get the animal it's right back to be in the park back because the right doesn't exist in the first place.

Stray animals in forest service land are subject to being rounded up and sent to animal control - which by your logic is a violation of their rights except that they do not have rights. But if animals have no rights, or a right to be there, then it makes sense.

So, the initial point I have tried to argue, although you seem to want me to re-define it so you can win some pointless argument, is that there is not a right for dogs to be on the trail. Say the word right all you want and it won't create a right which doesn't exist.

SGT Rock
10-10-2005, 15:29
Sarge

My suggestion is that you become a lawyer after you leave the military.

Weary
Naw, I plan to finish my degree in Computer Science and keep up WhiteBlaze while I become a backpacking bum. I also won't put in any lawyer jokes because The Weasel and RainMan are friends and lawyers. I have too much respect for them to go bashing someone over their profession.

Now as to journalists, they are a whole nother set of people :bse

Smile
10-10-2005, 15:41
Agreed, dogs do not have rights. Just because participation is "allowed" does not translate that it is decreed by existing "law" or that is constiutionally a "right". A cat is allowed on an airplane (until that airline changes it's mind), but it is not the cat's RIGHT, nor any animal at this time in the U.S.

Wow, what a long thread. As long as you can choose to put your dog down, it has no right to anything.....most dog owners/lovers would like this to be so, but it is not the case, nor is it found anywhere in the constitution, which grants American citizens rights.

One more case in point, a dog would be able to expatriate if he indeed were an American citizen, this is not possible. Also if he is an American and has rights under the constitution - I want him to share my tax bill!

By the way, there are unfortunately many cases where service dog owners are questioned - I attend expos every year at major city expo centers, no dogs are allowed unless they are SPECIFICALLY seeing eye dogs, it's in the contract plain as day, and revolves around liability insurance. Several folks I know who have service dogs were not allowed to bring their pet into the building, as recent as last weekend.


(Freiden - Weary was referring to SGT Rock becoming a lawyer )

IMO the bottom line is this - read the posts here on WB which represent a large portion of the hiking community and you can clearly get a feel for how others feel about dogs on the trail. This should be a good litmus for decision making concerning whether to bring/not bring a pet.

SGT Rock
10-10-2005, 15:49
Thanks Smile. BTW, I am a dog owner and love my pets. I hate cruelty to animals so don't take my arguments as an opposition to humane treatment of animals or a hatred of dogs.

There are some good resources out there: http://www.explorerdog.com/parks/parkregs.htm has a list of the general rules of the NPS, the NFS, the State of Washington park service rules, and some city park rules on what is the general policies of these bodies. It is a good read if you plan to bring an animal despite how others may be impacted.

SGT Rock
10-10-2005, 16:09
Are you telling us you don't believe in carry in-carry out or LNT? :D
Well that is a good question. I guess I need to figure out how to resolve those two issues.:datz

The Old Fhart
10-10-2005, 16:18
Despite my disagreeing with SGT Rock, in his final hours, wanting to go die in the woods, as a long time dog owner I agree with his stand on dogs. If your child bites someone, the child will not be put down, but a dog will. Heck, if dogs and humans were treated the same in this regard we’d have one less ear-chomping boxer to worry about!

If someone kills your dog you can’t get pain and suffering, they don’t get convicted of murder or manslaughter, and if you sue for damages, you can only hope to get the value of the animal. A dog is a piece of property just like a car or a house and neither of those pieces of property have any rights guaranteed to humans. Maybe that is why you are referred to as a dog owner and have to license the dog the same as you do your car.

A dog has no right to hike the trail-period. You may be allowed to take your dog on the trail the same as you would be allowed to take your hiking gear but the dog doesn’t have this “right”. The rules, laws, and regulations do differ if you are taking a service dog but you are still taking a piece of your property that aids you on the trail. And actually you have no right to hike thru the Smokies but you can be granted permission by filling out the permit form that all hikers fill out. I have yet to see a dog fill out a permit. :D

Frosty
10-10-2005, 16:33
Not even sure what this whole argument is about? As far as I know, except for SHennandoah and SMoky Mtn Natl Parks and Baxter and maybe one or two other places where they are speciifically disallowed, dogs can be on any part of the AT.

Except for these few places, I could bring my dog on the AT, and no one could legally stop me from hiking with my dog.

Call it allowed, call it a right, call it anything you want. It doesn't change the fact that my dog can be on trail.

I think everyone acknowledges this, so are we just arguing about what words mean?

rickb
10-10-2005, 16:39
Certain rights are endowed by our Creator, not by a judge or legislature.

Right?

If you believe that, I am impressed.

Who are we to judge that the Creator reserved that "endowment" just for Man?

SGT Rock
10-10-2005, 16:40
Well in my case some of my arguments I would say yes - I am arguing about the meaning of a word. In this case it what is a right and who has a right vs permission.

The word right means you have something guaranteed to you by a law. You are not guaranteed the right to hike any part of the trail with your dog since any place that the trail passes through may change the rules for it just as Baxter, SNP, and GSMNP already have. And yes, a ranger in a place other than those could legally stop you from hiking with your dog if you violate the rules. And the body that governs these areas could change their mind at any time and change the rules, which is my point too. If people do not control their animals along the trail, places along the trail can and should take that permission away.

SGT Rock
10-10-2005, 16:46
Certain rights are endowed by our Creator, not by a judge or legislature.

Right?

If you believe that, I am impressed.

Who are we to judge that the Creator reserved that "endowment" just for Man?
Yes, but the exact phrase is

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

So the doggy, kitty, and sloth are not mentioned as part of that right endowed by the creator. And to add to that, these inalienable rights were codified into law to make sure that the government and private organizations know what to follow instead of making up their own like Fido's supposed right to Thu-hike the AT.

Still impressed?

rickb
10-10-2005, 16:57
The point is that rights need not be codified into law to be called rights. Right are rights, whether recognized by man or not. Its a creator thing.

Thankfully, Jefferson recognized & enumerated a few.

I think he reserved the rest for us to talk about.

SGT Rock
10-10-2005, 17:09
The point is that rights need not be codified into law to be called rights. Right are rights, whether recognized by man or not. Its a creator thing.

Thankfully, Jefferson recognized & enumerated a few.

I think he reserved the rest for us to talk about.
Well in any case of how you want to think about it, it is still not a right and saying you feel there is one will not make it so. You cannot get a right you feel that was given to you acknowledged simply because you wish it were so. So my point is you need a right codified in law if you plan to claim that right in this world. The framers of the Constitution figured that one out a long time ago. So even Jefferson was smart enough to make them laws, at least the ones he thought were important.:eek:

I personally feel there is no right to anything but rather the grace of the creator that allows us to experience it. I would guess that a lot of people might actually see this more of the case. So in this case God was nice enough to make me an American where I have the ability to hike the AT and talk about these things on the Internet instead of sending me to Chinese where the fact we even discuss this sort of thing has this website tagged as subversive :D

I would guess someone with their rights really being put down would find this entire discussion of doggy rights very petty and weird.:rolleyes:

saimyoji
10-10-2005, 17:50
Who are we to judge that the Creator reserved that "endowment" just for Man?
Some of us are more well "endowed" than others. :banana

Programbo
10-10-2005, 18:02
Except for these few places, I could bring my dog on the AT, and no one could legally stop me from hiking with my dog.
Call it allowed, call it a right, call it anything you want. It doesn't change the fact that my dog can be on trail.
There`s no law against sitting in a movie theater yakking with the person next to you for the whole movie either..Does that mean you should?

Frosty
10-10-2005, 18:44
There`s no law against sitting in a movie theater yakking with the person next to you for the whole movie either..Does that mean you should?There is no law against posting inane and irrelevant non sequiturs. Does that mean you should have?

Dances with Mice
10-10-2005, 19:12
There is no law against posting inane and irrelevant non sequiturs. Does that mean you should have?Good point. So has this thread gone to the dogs....or away from them?

smokymtnsteve
10-10-2005, 20:55
PLEASE STAND FOR THE GOSPEL OF ABBEY!

"It's a fool's life, a rogue's life, and a good life if you keep laughing all the way to the grave"

THANKS BE TO ABBEY!

Ridge
10-10-2005, 21:22
Why wouldn't the reasons (Parvo, etc) the GSMNP gives for "NO Dogs" also extend to the remander of the AT? If they (Gov NP) can ban then why can't (or why wouldn't they) the USFS and Other Gov controlled parks/lands do the same?

SGT Rock
10-10-2005, 22:17
For you dog owners and lovers that think I and others are overstating the issue, an article from the LA times:

Do Trail Leash Rules Go Too Far?

<LI style="LIST-STYLE-POSITION: inside; LIST-STYLE-TYPE: square">With more dogs on trails, some say leash laws can't protect habitat. But do outright bans go too far?

By Hugo Martín, Times Staff Writer


A dog's nose, of course, is where the trouble all begins.

Homer and Chase are running through Solstice Creek in the Santa Monica Mountains on a warm Sunday afternoon. They are splashing in shin-deep water, darting past salamanders and frogs and jumping over creek-side brush. Inside their long, whiskery snouts, the black Labrador and the Australian shepherd have at least 20 times more scent receptors than a blunt human nose, and the small slits along their nostrils allow them to draw extra air over those sensitive cells.

No wonder, then, the dogs in the creek are experiencing a sensory deluge: the aroma of eucalyptus, the scent of a tree-bound squirrel, a nearby jack rabbit. And then there are the sounds, all the sounds: splashing water, breaking twigs, chirping birds and so much more. A dog has a range of frequency three times that of a human.

Homer and Chase bound through the water, eyes wide, nostrils flared, ears perked. It doesn't get much better than this.

But the fun ends when the soggy pooches dart from the creek and run headlong into Bonnie Clarfield, a National Park Service ranger known as the "dog narc" for her tenacious enforcement of the park's leash laws.

"Where is your owner?" she asks from a nearby trail.

Seconds later, Austin Grady climbs out of the creek, a pair of leashes in his hands, a guilty expression on his face. Clarfield whips out her ticket book and fires off a $50 citation (as of July 1, the fine for violating the leash law in a national park is $75). In the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, all dogs must be on a leash.

"They were just playing in the water," Grady protests, waving the leashes in the air. "It's unfair to keep them on a leash."

Dogs have accompanied their owners into the wilds for centuries. In 1880, John Muir explored the icy regions of southeastern Alaska in the company of a little black dog named Stickeen. At first, the Scotsman objected to the canine's presence, but after the journey ended, he praised the animal's tenacity and intelligence. That stumpy-legged mutt became Muir's most cherished outdoor companion.

Today, Muir might be surprised at how completely dogs have insinuated themselves on trails and off, across beaches, forests and deserts.

On the shelves of most outdoor stores, dog owners can find a swath of dog hiking products, including portable water bowls, dog tents, leather hiking booties and backpacks designed for four-legged packers. In the past two years, sales of such items at REI alone have jumped 40%. Dog hiking clubs have sprouted across the country, from Maryland to Alaska.

Whether they're wallowing in the creeks of the Santa Monica Mountains or scrambling up the White Mountain range in the Eastern Sierra, dogs have become another trail user competing for access, and owners, who take great pains to train trail-savvy dogs, assume their companions have no greater an impact than they do.

But the growing popularity of this pastime is changing the way we think about dogs and the outdoors.

Stickeen is long gone, and the areas where dogs are allowed to scamper are also disappearing, not entirely because of the behavior of the owners but because of what dogs naturally do.

Blame the nose, but an increasing number of park biologists claim that man's best friend is not compatible with plants and animals in the wilds.

Leash law scofflaws

BACK at Solstice Creek, Clarfield tucks her ticket book into her backpack. She can't begin to guess how many tickets she's written for leash-law violations. Too many by her standards.

"We expect people to do what they are supposed to when they get into a park," she says.

For years, the primary rationale for leash laws was to restrain dogs from sniffing, pawing or mauling other park visitors, particularly young children. The leash issue still creates tension among hikers, and one highly publicized case that reverberated through the dog-hiking community is a reminder of how volatile conflicts over dogs can become.

It was late in the afternoon, May 2004. Grant Kuenzli was hiking in the Coconino National Forest in Arizona when his three unleashed dogs — a chow, a Labrador and a German shepherd mix — ran into retired teacher Harold Fish, who, because he says he feared for his safety, fired two warning shots with a pistol he carried. The dogs dispersed, but when Kuenzli allegedly confronted Fish, Fish fatally shot him. Prosecutors are pursuing second-degree murder charges against Fish, who claims self-defense.

The Kuenzli-Fish case isn't a typical confrontation, but online forums for outdoor enthusiasts can't put down the debate. "I will not allow someone's uncontrolled canine to injure me, or mine," a contributor to one forum said in a recent discussion about the case. "I will shoot ANY dog which behaves aggressively toward me."

And then there are those who should know better: veteran hikers who become scofflaws because they can't resist unleashing their dogs on the trails, defending their actions by suggesting that leash laws apply only to the owners of uncontrollable dogs.

On a Wednesday evening in Griffith Park, a group of about 20 or so hikers, including members of the K-9 Committee of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club, meet to hike to Bee Rock, a peak overlooking the lights of nearby Glendale.

"Responsible dog owners keep dogs on a leash," Karen Stewart says as she prepares to trek up a narrow dirt trail, her black poodle, Madison, at the end of a leash. "Unfortunately, one person ruins it for everyone."

The hikers exchange greetings on a paved parking lot while the dogs sniff and eye each other. Among the hikers is Madeline Riepe, and her gold-colored mixed-breed, Heidi. As the group starts up the dirt trail, Riepe reaches down and unhooks Heidi's leash — in violation of a Los Angeles city ordinance. None of the other hikers, including Stewart, complain. Heidi stays close to Riepe, never wandering more than a few feet away.

Not to worry, says Riepe. Heidi is well-trained, she says, and has always stayed by her side on the trail. Well, almost always, Riepe concedes. She recalls an incident a couple of years earlier when a hiker in Griffith Park shot pepper spray at Heidi after the unleashed dog rushed at the hiker.

"I was so mad," she says. "I couldn't believe he did that."

Riepe shouldn't be surprised. According to UC Davis veterinarian and animal behaviorist Lori Gaskin, a dog's instincts to hunt and chase are so ingrained that those instincts often trump any amount of obedience training.

"I don't routinely trust any dog when it's in a new environment, regardless of training," Gaskin says.

Banning dogs entirely

TODAY so many dog owners defy leash laws that park officials are taking the next logical step: banning dogs from specific areas of state and national parks.

Rangers and biologists cite environmental studies that suggest canines, either leashed or unleashed, are a growing threat to habitat and wildlife.

They say the mere scent and sight of a dog can evoke panic among wild animals, much the way a dog's not-so-distant relatives — wolves, coyotes and foxes — do. The studies are not new, but their warnings are increasingly relevant as more visitors frequent parks and as development encroaches parklands. Starting in the late 1960s and early 1970s, biologists produced numerous reports that warned about the impacts of dogs in the wild.

A 1999 study by Carolyn A. Sime, a wildlife biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, summarized the findings of many studies, saying: "Even if the chase instinct is not triggered, dog-presence in and of itself has been shown to disrupt many wildlife species."

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is a 154,000-acre wilderness that stretches from Point Mugu in Ventura County to the Hollywood Hills. Last year, the park had more than half a million visitors, a 21% increase over the previous year.

Nobody keeps track of the four-legged visitors, but the canine presence is so conspicuous in some areas that park officials proposed a 20-year trail management plan that prohibits pets on trails around Circle X Ranch and Zuma, Trancas, Cheeseburo and Palo Comado canyons.

Park officials believe the policy, if adopted, will preserve the remote, interior areas.

By keeping dogs off these trails, national park service planner Melanie Beck hopes to protect newts, deer and California quail, among other wildlife. "Animals are definitely harassed when you have dogs off leash," she says.

State park officials in Northern California had similar motives when they recently banned dogs on all but one trail in the Lake Earl and Mad River wilderness areas near the Oregon border. Rangers there spotted unleashed dogs repeatedly chasing ducks, Canada Aleutian geese and other birds.

In the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument south of Palm Desert, federal authorities recently imposed a temporary dog ban on 42 miles of public trails where untethered dogs have been seen chasing the endangered bighorn sheep that inhabit this 272,000-acre wilderness.

Biologists say the stress caused by the dogs — whether they chase the sheep or merely pass through the breeding habitat — can reduce the sheep's fertility rates. Authorities are now considering making the temporary ban permanent.

"It's logical for sheep to see dogs as predators, whether they are on a leash or not," says Jim Foote, a planner for the Bureau of Land Management.

Wynne Benti offers a slightly different perspective. Benti co-founded the K-9 Committee of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club and wrote a guide book on dog hiking around Los Angeles. She promotes responsible dog hiking and wonders if dogs are being unfairly targeted.

"I have a greater fear of the damage caused by all-terrain vehicles," she says. "If they start to limit those places where I can take my dog, it would be sad."

Urban dogs run amok

AS Clarfield bounds up a narrow dirt path, she fires off the names of blooming wildflowers, describes reconstruction projects at the park and recounts the animals she has encountered.

The dog narc has been a ranger for 24 years. She loves dogs, has two puppies herself, and she does not object to park visitors bringing their dogs into the backcountry. But she is frustrated that so much of her time on the trails is spent citing hikers who let their dogs roam free on the trails.

"People don't understand," Clarfield says. "Dogs are a threat to wildlife."

Her pace slows as she recalls that day nine years ago when her perspective on dogs in the park changed and she began enforcing the leash law so passionately that she earned her nickname.

She was on patrol on a Sunday afternoon when she came across a hiker walking out of Zuma Canyon, carrying a dying German shepherd.

The dog had roamed off leash and had been bitten in the mouth by a rattlesnake. Clarfield tried frantically to call a veterinarian to treat the animal but she couldn't find a clinic or veterinarian's office that was open. The dog died in front of her.

"Most of these dogs are urban dogs," she says. "They are not used to what they encounter on the trail."

Clarfield heads toward the end of the Rising Sun Trail where dog owners make a habit of unleashing their pets near a shady waterfall. She adjusts her backpack and quickens her pace.

*



Hugo Martín can be reached at hugo.martin@latimes.com.


"Do Trail Leash Rules Go Too Far". Retrieved 10 October 2005 from http://www.latimes.com/travel/outdoors/la-os-dogs9aug09,1,6707845.story?coll=la-outdoors-printedition&track=thisoutdoors

SGT Rock
10-10-2005, 22:33
And here is an article about the general results about the effects of a dog in the wilderness. Note that many of the bad effects don't matter if your dog is on or off of the leash.

The Effect of Dogs On Wildlife




Many people enjoy hiking with their dogs in natural areas, since dogs derive a lot of pleasure from sampling all the scents in such areas, as well as getting some great exercise. Some dog owners delight in seeing their dogs roam free off the leash, since the dogs get even more fun from that.

However, due to the disturbance to wildlife caused by dogs, many parks and preserves have banned them. This page lists some of the reasons behind that ban:

Direct Predation. Even though my experience is that dogs are rarely successful in catching the many birds and squirrels they chase, dogs occasionally directly kill wildlife, or injure the wildlife enough to cause their subsequent death.

Packs of dogs are much more efficient hunters, and have been known to kill livestock. This is such a problem that many states have laws authorizing farmers and ranchers to kill any dogs found on their property annoying their livestock.

Dogs roaming off trail can trample vegetation, and if dogs are numerous they can remove the vegetation in popular areas by trampling, scratching and digging. Trampling is the major effect of hikers and their pets to plants.

Indirect Predation. Even when dogs are unsuccessful in catching the object of their chase, the potential prey has had to expend significant energy in order to save their life. Since in many cases animals are just barely surviving, expenditure of extra energy may push them over the edge to malnutrition and allow other predators to kill them. In particular, pregnant wildlife and newborn animals do not have the reserves to repeatedly expend in avoiding dogs. (Effects of Recreation on Rocky Mountain Wildlife: Summary of the September 1999 Review for Montana (http://www.montanatws.org/pages/broch6.html))

If even 10% of the visitors to the Santa Rosa Plateau brought their dogs on the trail, that would mean over 5,000 dogs chasing or harassing the wildlife during a few months of the year, with most of those dogs concentrated on only a few miles of trail. The effect on wildlife would be substantial.

Both types of predation are severely reduced, but not eliminated, if dogs remain leashed. However the simple fact is that a large percentage of dog owners allow their dogs to be off-leash even when the rules state otherwise. For example, the Angeles National Forest rules require dogs to be on-leash, but at least 90% of the dogs I encounter there are off-leash. Encountering a leashed dog is so unusual that I almost always comment on it.

Disease Transmission. It is worth recalling that the primary effect on Native Americans due to European immigration to the Americas was the importation of disease which killed off the majority of the Native Population. Dogs can apparently transmit a number of pathogens to wildlife:

Parvovirus affects other canines, and was the source for wolf pup mortality in Glacier National Park area in the early 1990s.
Muscle cysts (Sarcocystis spp.) can affect ungulates like deer and elk.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects the kidneys and urinary tract of most species of mammals.
Parasites such as ticks, keds, tapeworms, and fleas are well-known problems in dogs that can be passed to other wildlife.
Many of these pathogens are transmitted through the abundant feces that dogs leave on any trail.

Source: Domestic Dogs in Wildlife Habitats: Effects of Recreation on Rocky Mountain Wildlife (http://www.montanatws.org/PDF%20Files/8dogs.pdf).

Competition for Resources. Water is usually the scarcest resource in many places during the summer and fall, especially at the Santa Rosa Plateau. For example, in early October 2001, there are just four small ponds left on the entire Plateau, which are vital to the lives of many of the wildlife species here. Dogs love water, both to cool themselves and to drink, and would therefore be significant consumers of this valuable resource. It would not take many dogs pool visits to deplete these pools of water, thereby killing many individuals that depend on them.

Addition of nitrogen to the soil. Patrick Murphy, a plant ecologist, points out that dog poop adds significant nitrogen to the soil, which encourages the growth of non-native plants at the expense of native plants. (SDUT 12/9/01, E2)

Scent? It has often been said that just the scent left by a dog can affect the behavior of other species. While this certain is plausible, due to the strong importance of scent marking used by animals, apparently this has never been documented. (This does not mean that this is not a problem; simply that it has not been shown to true of false.) See A Review of Mammalian Scent Marking (http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/Entomology/courses/en570/papers_2000/lanier.html).



Allowing dogs on the trails results in hazards to dogs and their owners as well. The biggest threat is due to the extensive stands of poison oak in the Reserve. Dogs are well-known vectors of the poison oak oil that results in the human members of the dog's family getting poison oak.

There are also large number of plant seeds at the Reserve which are harmful or annoying to dogs. Foxtails and other such grass seeds are in enormous abundance in the grasslands of the Reserve, and can result in serious injury or death to dogs. I have personally paid vet bills of over one thousand dollars due to foxtails causing abscesses and infections in my dogs and cats. Cockleburs cause such huge knots of fur that they usually have to be cut out of the dogs fur. Small hitchhikers such as filaree seeds, bur clover, etc. cause much annoyance as well, requiring significant grooming of dogs after traveling in such areas.

Finally, allowing dogs in the Reserve would significantly decrease the quality of the experience for many visitors:

Dogs leave messy, smelly poop on the trail, and it is a simple fact that most people do not clean up after their dogs. Every visitor would be forced to navigate around a large quantity of dog poop, and might be likely to step in it or worse, especially when the trails are slick, as they are much of the time during the peak use period. Patrick Murphy counted 1,492 piles of dog poop on a single trail in Boulder, Colorado in one month, the Sanitas Valley Trail, despite a Boulder ordinance that requires dog owners to pick up after their pets. (SDUT 12/9/01, E2)

Dog poop may seem superficially the same as the fairly large amount of coyote poop that is on the trails at the SRP, but in fact, the coyote poop is much different. Coyote poop is not smelly at all, and most of the time is not messy. Coyote poop is typically either filled with hair, if they have been lucky enough to catch a rabbit or other small mammal, or with berry seeds. Docents have been known to pick up coyote poop to show visitors what the coyote has eaten. Imagine doing this with the black gooey mess caused by the typical dog diet!

Furthermore, coyote poop is naturally present at the SRP, and serves an important scent-marking goal which would be seriously disturbed by dogs attempting to put their own scent on every piece of coyote poop.

Dogs decrease the number and diversity of wildlife near the trail. Many people come to the SRP to see animals, so their enjoyment would be directly diminished.

Many non-dog owners are immensely bothered when a strange dog comes up to them and starts to smell them at close quarters, or worse, jumps up on them or barks at them. Many dog owners may not even be aware of this, since, after all, dog owners consider this close contact with their dog to be a pleasant experience, and may even think that everyone else enjoys this, too.

The presence of dogs would inevitably result in a small number of bad encounters between dogs themselves and between dogs and visitors. Small children are especially in danger from loose dogs, ranging from simply being knocked down by an enthusiastic dog to being bitten or seriously harmed.




In case dog owners reading this feel that the above information is simply the opinion of someone who does not like dogs, it is worth noting that I personally have hiked many miles with my dog in public areas where dogs are allowed. Also, both the Reserve Ranger at the Santa Rosa Plateau and the Director of the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve own dogs that are never allowed on the Reserves themselves due to the prohibitions at both places and the concerns above. So these two people and myself have followed the same restrictions against dogs on Reserves that these Reserves place on everyone.

People and our pets have taken over the vast majority of Southern California. The Santa Rosa Plateau is only 8300 acres where pets are not allowed, compared to millions and millions of acres where pets are allowed. Such small refuges are the only place where animals can live relatively undisturbed by pets.



Other references:

Free-ranging Dogs (http://www.ncal.verio.com/~nsn/page9.html)

Dogs in the San Gabriel Mountains (http://tchester.org/sgm/lists/faq.html#dogs)

Dogged Pursuits (http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/12.07.00/cover/dogs-0049.html)




Go to Field Guide to the Santa Rosa Plateau (http://tchester.org/srp/index.html)



Copyright © 2001-2005 by Tom Chester.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
http://tchester.org/srp/lists/dogs.html
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester (tom@tchester.org)
Updated 22 October 2001 (typo corrected 28 April 2005). "The Effets of Dogs on Wildlife". Retrieved 10 October 2005 from http://tchester.org/srp/lists/dogs.html


So to the real animal lovers (not just the ones that are just dog enthusiasts) maybe the real course of action is to not go with a dog in the first place for the good of the wilderness and its inhabitants. It could be said that in the presence of all this data that someone that wants to bring a dog really doesn't care about the species that are in the wild but to their own self interests.

The Old Fhart
10-10-2005, 22:54
Ridge-“Why wouldn't the reasons (Parvo, etc) the GSMNP gives for "NO Dogs" also extend to the remander of the AT? If they (Gov NP) can ban then why can't (or why wouldn't they) the USFS and Other Gov controlled parks/lands do the same?“The answer is that different government agencies have different directives. The U.S. Dept. of the Interior has the National parks and the Dept. of Agriculture has the National Forests. But they aren’t the only people involved in the patchwork we know as the Appalachian Trail. There are PA Game Lands, South Mountain State Park for the state of MD, Franconia State Park in NH and the list goes on and on. Each of these organizations has different rules and regulations that have developed over the years and I doubt that any one set of rules, laws, and regulations would fit all.

Keep in mind that the trail goes thru many towns and there are many road walks. If dogs were prohibited from the entire A.T. that would mean that people in those towns and along those roads the A.T. uses would not be allowed to own dogs.

There are also different rules that require you to register for GSMNP, SNP, and Baxter but not most other places on the A.T.. Think of the A.T. as the United States comprised of many diverse and different states that have developed different laws and regulations to suit their particular needs.

Nean
10-10-2005, 23:04
I used to be anti doggie but I changed.

Smile
10-11-2005, 05:09
Wow Sgt Rock, you have done some homework - I had no idea about these impacts, great articles. Thanks!

MOWGLI
10-11-2005, 06:45
Keep in mind that the trail goes thru many towns and there are many road walks. If dogs were prohibited from the entire A.T. that would mean that people in those towns and along those roads the A.T. uses would not be allowed to own dogs.



TOF, you're reaching here. The NPS does not own the corridor through downtown Hot Springs, Duncannon, Hanover, or any other town along the AT, except maybe parts of Harpers Ferry.

SGT Rock
10-11-2005, 06:49
My guess is that a total ban has not been implemented because it would be hard too enforce. I mean dog owners now already don't seem to care about the rules no matter how much people try and persuade them to.

Since it is too hard to do that, then a policy that allows each section to allow or ban as it sees a need is probably what we will see for anytime in the future.

The Old Fhart
10-11-2005, 07:01
Mowgli16-"TOF, you're reaching here. The NPS does not own the corridor through downtown Hot Springs, Duncannon, Hanover, or any other town along the AT, except maybe parts of Harpers Ferry."That is my point exactly! There is no way to ban dogs on the entire A.T.. I wasn't "reaching" at all, just pointing out that a ban on dogs, or any consistant policy that applies to the whole trail is impossible. What I said was:
"Each of these organizations has different rules and regulations that have developed over the years and I doubt that any one set of rules, laws, and regulations would fit all."Sorry you misunderstood that post, I thought I made it clear.

Smile
10-11-2005, 08:52
They manage to keep horses off the trails*, except where they are part of other trail systems, and I have heard about problems with hikers/horses/riders on other threads. Many states are trying to ban them from the trails, but let hunters, snowmobiles and Mtn bikers use the same trails - all on public land. They've been very sucessful in fining horse owners. Why? Perhaps because they're easy to catch, not sure. But if they can ban horses, they can ban dogs.

In PA there is a DER road that runs along the Lehigh river approx 16 miles long, it is graded, level and cindered. Snowmobiles and "mtn bikers" can use it - it is swarming each weekend with rental bikes and tourists who get dropped off at one end and take a leisurely continous downhill graded ride of 16 miles......trash is becoming a real problem....but if you take a horse on that road, it's a $150.00 fine, its' easy to get caught by patrolling DER trucks - and they have made some $$ off the fines over the years, the trash fine is even more - but I have not heard of one fine being implemented because there are so many people out there trashing the place.

*I am fully aware that horses could not make it on the A.T. in general, far too steep in many places.

Point being, I think anything is possible when authorities put their mind to it. Even banning dogs. Hopefully, dog owners will become more responsible - at least the hikers here who are now educated on other's feelings about dogs.

The Old Fhart
10-11-2005, 09:53
Just a point of interest. They "allow" cows on many areas of the trail including Mt. Rogers, south of Mount Moosilauke, North of RT-19E, RT-41, etc., in fact they have every "right" to be there (more accurately, the owners have the right to graze them there ;) ). I even doubt they plan to ban the ponies in Grayson Highlands State Park. :-?

For reasons mentioned in previous posts, they will never, or could they, ban dogs from the entire A.T. but I can see it being made much more difficult to hike with a non-service dog as higher trail usage cause more problems between hikers who bring their dogs and those who don't. I agree that most dog owners have to be more responsible. However I can think of at least 4 dogs that were well behaved and properly controlled by their owners that I enjoyed hiking with.

CynJ
10-11-2005, 10:18
A little on topic a little off topic...

in CT in most of the State campgrounds you can't camp with your dog - but yet dogs are allowed in the parks as day guests. I don't know what the specific reasoning is behind that move. But they can't use the environment as an excuse if they allow the dogs in during the day -that would be hypocritical.

I'm afraid that more and more places are becoming "dog free" zones based on the irresponsible behavior of a few. For those of us that consider ourselves to be responsible pet owners it is frustrating to be banned from areas through the actions of others that do not represent all of us.

I think that better monitoring (ie policing) and fining/banning of individuals rather than a blanket ban would be a better way to go. I would also be willing to pay a "dog" fee to use a park/trail if the money was going to pay for additional rangers/LEO's to better monitor the pet situation.

On that thought - how many folks here that have had nasty encounters with dogs have actually reported them to LE or the ATC?

Smile
10-11-2005, 11:49
more and more places are becoming "dog free" zones based on the irresponsible behavior of a few

The point exactly. Just like businesses who have closed their doors to AT hikers. This pretty much the root of the problem, if those with dogs would be more resonsible there would be little discussion on the topic.

Smile
10-11-2005, 14:09
Test............

Ridge
10-11-2005, 16:37
And here is an article about the general results about the effects of a dog in the wilderness. Note that many of the bad effects don't matter if your dog is on or off of the leash.Both types of predation are severely reduced, but not eliminated, if dogs remain leashed........ However the simple fact is that a large percentage of dog owners allow their dogs to be off-leash even when the rules state otherwise. For example, the Angeles National Forest rules require dogs to be on-leash, but at least 90% of the dogs I encounter there are off-leash. Encountering a leashed dog is so unusual that I almost always comment on it......
Excellent article(s)! However, I'm surprised that 10% of dog owners keep their pet leashed.

frieden
10-12-2005, 15:53
Yes, Smile, I know Weary was referring to SGT Rock becoming a lawyer.

frieden
10-12-2005, 15:56
Not even sure what this whole argument is about? As far as I know, except for SHennandoah and SMoky Mtn Natl Parks and Baxter and maybe one or two other places where they are speciifically disallowed, dogs can be on any part of the AT.

Except for these few places, I could bring my dog on the AT, and no one could legally stop me from hiking with my dog.

Call it allowed, call it a right, call it anything you want. It doesn't change the fact that my dog can be on trail.

I think everyone acknowledges this, so are we just arguing about what words mean?
Thank you, Frosty!

frieden
10-12-2005, 16:09
Well, Sgt. Rock, if you go out to the wilderness to die, at least my dog can find you! ... until you start banning all dogs from the wilderness, so they have no where to train. Then, when some yo-yo, gets lost out there, I guess they'll just die, because humans certainly can't find them as fast. Maybe, one of you can tell a little boy's parents that they'll never find their son, because people don't want dogs messing up their perfect world. Oh, rescue dogs are ok? You mean, they will know how to find people in the wilderness, by training in a building - safely away from the dog-hating public. Sorry, I'm a little cranky today, and have no patience for stupidity. BTW, everyone is so excited about arguing something - anything - no one even attempted to answer the last dog question posted.

frieden
10-12-2005, 18:12
I'm sorry for snapping. I got some devastating news today, and sort of lashed out. The points may have been valid, but I didn't need to be so harsh. :( Please, forgive me.

SGT Rock
10-13-2005, 00:49
Frieden,

Take a breath. We all have bad days and I am sure you are having one mother of a bad day. I've read your journal up to the 7th and I am rooting for you. We can disagree and be civil. And we can also disagree and be friends. I hope things get better for you and it doesn't end your chance for your hike next year.

BTW, I am not being stupid. I am being very sane and rational - I have put a bit of thought and investigation into the subject for both sides of the issue and I'm not making up any of this at all. Just because you and I disagree doesn't mean I am a moron. You are way overstating what I have been talking about which is dogs impact on the wilderness and the dog interaction on trails. As you may have read before in this thread I support and have even helped (not much because I don't know much) training programs for service dogs. But I doubt Cooter Brown backpacking with his dogs has anything to do with training them to be service dogs. As I understand it you want to start training them young, consistently, and with some sort of standards as to how they act. You can't possible equate the louse backpacker and their off the leash dogs with the training program of service dogs.

I know you are a dog lover, but try and gain some perspective. If the majority (and that is my experience) of dog hikers are screwing it up, then the rule needs to be no dogs for everyone's protection - including the dogs and the animals of the wilderness. And the others like service dogs can be the exception.

Anyway, sorry again to hear you have had some bad news, I can only guess at what it is. Just know that someone is praying for you, even if he is a dog-hating jerk :D

frieden
10-13-2005, 09:58
Thanks, Sgt Rock. I hope we can be friends.

I don't think you are a moron. Your points were well thought out, supported, and for the most part, right. I was just saying that your argument was off point.

I don't understand our tendancy to ban things outright. It's like we don't want to deal with it, so we just ban it. I think it comes from our disposable society. If it isn't working out just right, get rid of it. Fixing it just takes too much time and energy.

I'm sure that many dog hikers are screwing it up, and they don't worry about training their dogs. Dogs have to be certified to do a number of things. Instead of banning all dogs from the trails/wilderness/parks, couldn't we require that they pass a certification exam? The training and exams are already in place. All that is needed is the requirement, and consideration of cost (some people couldn't afford pay-for training). For example, the current exams allow for self training. This might take some dogs off the trail temporarily, but when they come back on, there won't be the typical problems. It might even weed out the bad people, who have been completely disrespectful of others on the trail.

I agree with leash laws (for the dog's protection), but I don't agree with the 6' leash rule. If we are alone at camp, I don't see why he couldn't be on a long line. From what I've been reading, I may have to let him off leash, in order to scramble over a boulder field.

I'm an animal lover. That didn't sound right. :eek: :D You should love your dog, not love your dog! Hehehehe. Anyway, I'm a cat person, who has a dog. Ever since I got Ed, I've been scrambling around trying to learn as much as I can about dogs. I've worked with dogs, but I haven't had my own dog in almost 10 years. I am weird about animals, though. I could see some guy beating up another guy, and not even blink. If he was beating on an animal, I would give my last breath to protect that animal. My human social skills are pretty much gone. I'll go out of my way to help people, I care about them, but I'm not really happy around them. I don't feel comfortable around people, anymore. I would rather watch a squirrel munch on a seed. In my experience, humans are really neat from a certain distance, but if you get too close, they will attack. Sort of like a grizzly, I suppose. You like them, you want to get close, but know better, so you keep your distance, and live. If I didn't have Ed, I wouldn't be going on a trail with other people on it. I think I have a sign on my forehead that says, "Abusive people only", but I can't seem to scrub it off. I've always liked animals, though. When I was little, I took my hamster with me on a family camping trip through the Rockies. We stopped at Vail, and went into a crystal/glass shop. I had him in his little travel cage (like a medium sized purse), and the shop people said I couldn't have him in there. They didn't sell food, he was in a small plastic tank, and in no way could impact the store. I was so mad, I wouldn't permit any of the family to buy anything from that store. He lived for 13 years, and went everywhere with me. I would put him in his clear exercise ball, and we would go for a walk around the subdivision. He would follow me everywhere. I could let him run loose in the house, he would come to his name, and would ask to be let into his tank to go potty. Animals are so smart, and they understand us very well. Most people don't take the time to understand, or communicate, with them.

Programbo
10-14-2005, 23:28
There is no law against posting inane and irrelevant non sequiturs. Does that mean you should have?
That was perfectly relevant and directly on target but obviously you missed the simple point..You stated it was legal to have dogs on the trail..My reply showed that while certain things may be perfectly legal to do common courtesy and respect for others suggests that they should not be done anyway.

frieden
10-16-2005, 11:56
I'm going to look into some of the dog foods suggested here. Ever since Ed has been on this new food, he's been scratching and biting himself, and now he's losing fur. The poor guy is seriously constipated. I feel so guilty, but I didn't know how he would react. I'm sure it's good food, just not good for him. I might go with something like Pro Plan, because it would be easy to find. Thanks for all of your food suggestions.

Oracle
10-16-2005, 13:01
What "rights" do other hikers have when they are harrassed by other hikers' dogs, though? If your dog is messing with my gear, growling at me, being loud, or otherwise causing me problems, what should I do about it? What should hikers do when someone brings a dangerous animal on the trail and won't or can't properly control it (yes, I realize that the majority of dogs aren't dangerous, but some are, and some people bring those dogs onto the trail)?

Realize, most of the experiences I've had with dogs on the trail have been positive. I don't mind a dog sniffing me or anything like that, and I generally like them (I grew up having dogs as pets and work animals). But I don't want to be harrassed by them, just like I don't want to be harrassed by other hikers. What exactly should we do if we are harrassed by a dog on the trail and the owner won't or can't control it?

Chip
10-16-2005, 14:05
What "rights" do other hikers have when they are harrassed by other hikers' dogs, though? If your dog is messing with my gear, growling at me, being loud, or otherwise causing me problems, what should I do about it? What should hikers do when someone brings a dangerous animal on the trail and won't or can't properly control it (yes, I realize that the majority of dogs aren't dangerous, but some are, and some people bring those dogs onto the trail)?

Realize, most of the experiences I've had with dogs on the trail have been positive. I don't mind a dog sniffing me or anything like that, and I generally like them (I grew up having dogs as pets and work animals). But I don't want to be harrassed by them, just like I don't want to be harrassed by other hikers. What exactly should we do if we are harrassed by a dog on the trail and the owner won't or can't control it?
FIRST and foremost take care of yourself. If the dog is aggressive and/ or you are being harrassed let the owner know you don't appreciated it. If the owner
does nothing I would leave the shelter or campsite asap!! There is no reason to put up with this nonsense!! I know it is wrong, you should not have to leave a shelter or campsite because of a dog that is not trained or is dangerous. If the dog is dangerous the owner is not far behind!!!! The owner is either careless or stupid or just does not give a damn!!! Too bad, once again those who do not know how to hike with dogs give those who do a bad
name. I would feel better to leave the area and find another for peaceful rest at the end of the day than put up with a dumb owner and dog.

I have been reading this thread off and on over the past few weeks. Made some post to it as well. The main point, it is people who use the trail who are and should be held responsible ! I don't care if it is a dog, gun, knife, radio or
whatever.... you must be responsible and not infringe on others. When you do you lose your rights to be on the trail!! Maybe there should be a set of guidelines or law that states that people may take their dog on the trail BUT
must do the following: 1. Stay clear of shelters or campsites 100 yds. 2. Dogs
must be leashed (not to exceed 6') at all times. 3. Always under the owner's
control. There could be other guidelines as well. Maybe a permit is needed to hike with a dog ?? I would be glad to do any or all of these things most of them I do already when I hike with my dog.
My two cents worth again, Thanks!! :)

Ridge
10-16-2005, 20:41
Just as charred metal cans end up in fire-rings so will dogs and their inconsiderate owners end up on the trail. NO END to either. Shame.

Chip
10-16-2005, 20:58
Just as charred metal cans end up in fire-rings so will dogs and their inconsiderate owners end up on the trail. NO END to either. Shame.
As a trail maintainer for Carolina Mtn. Club, my section of the AT is just south of Hot Springs and any charred can I remove from the fire ring at the Deer Park Shelter have been brought in by those who overnight there or hunters in the Fall of the year. Very, very few section or thru hikers carry can goods due to the
weight. Yes it is sad to see these cans or any trash along the AT. Once again people are responsible for this lazy act. People who don't train and act responsible with their dog are lazy too!!! :mad:

hikernc
10-17-2005, 16:28
I agree with Rock as well.

I love my dog, but I find that more often than not, the trail isn't such a great lace for him.

Ridge
10-17-2005, 20:18
As a trail maintainer for Carolina Mtn. Club, my section of the AT is just south of Hot Springs and any charred can I remove from the fire ring at the Deer Park Shelter have been brought in by those who overnight there or hunters in the Fall of the year. Very, very few section or thru hikers carry can goods due to the
weight. Yes it is sad to see these cans or any trash along the AT. Once again people are responsible for this lazy act. People who don't train and act responsible with their dog are lazy too!!! :mad:
My husband (95) tells of "beer runs" made by thru-hikers and the excuse for leaving the cans/bottles is because of the weight. It's a no-win situation with hikers/hunters who litter and who carry dogs on the trail. My husband is also a maintainer who gets very upset at these groups.

SGT Rock
10-17-2005, 20:25
The weight is such an obvious excuse for why to leave trash. IF I were strong enough to bring in a 6 pack of Budweiser, with a weight of about 5 pounds, then I am strong enough to carry out the 6 empties at about 3 ounces.

Simply another group that justifies it's own bad behavior. As a trail maintainer it irks me too.

Seeker
10-18-2005, 01:57
one trail i hike locally is the backbone trail in the kisatchie hills, a designated "wilderness area", with no motorized transport, hang gliders, or anything else allowed in, except horses... i love horses, and most horse people... but i find that many of the local riders who share the trail are a special kind of stupid... they'll pack a saddlebag with beer and ice, and leave their cans and cigarette butts on the trail as they go... as rock mentioned, maybe empties are heavier... i don't know... it's only a few miles, maybe 8 total, but it seems it's too hard to crush the can into the other saddlebag and pack it out.

stargate
10-18-2005, 02:18
As I have posted before I had been planning on taking my dog. I am glad to say that the kids are up to 2.5 miles in just under an hour without their packs at this point. But my dog is not fairing as good. We may have to plan on section hiking for next year instead of Thru-Hike because of leaving my dog for so long. We have decided that she is not up to a 6 month hike. It is either her age or the type of dog not sure. But we will be leaving her at home. I am all for people being able to take their dogs on trails but only if they know how to handle their dog in every situation. This is one reason for leaving my at home. Still having too many problems with the barking. I think to her she is just protecting the kids but it does get annoying. Not to mention that she thinks she is pulling a dog sled in stead of me usually down hill. I would not have her off a leash at any time.
But as stated she won't get to come this round, I don't think I'll be able to break her from her bad habbits before then. She has accumilated them over six years.
I have a muzzle for her but I think it would be better for her not to come on the At at this time. It would not be fair to her if I had to use the muzzle alot.

Chip
10-18-2005, 05:37
As I have posted before I had been planning on taking my dog. I am glad to say that the kids are up to 2.5 miles in just under an hour without their packs at this point. But my dog is not fairing as good. We may have to plan on section hiking for next year instead of Thru-Hike because of leaving my dog for so long. We have decided that she is not up to a 6 month hike. It is either her age or the type of dog not sure. But we will be leaving her at home. I am all for people being able to take their dogs on trails but only if they know how to handle their dog in every situation. This is one reason for leaving my at home. Still having too many problems with the barking. I think to her she is just protecting the kids but it does get annoying. Not to mention that she thinks she is pulling a dog sled in stead of me usually down hill. I would not have her off a leash at any time.
But as stated she won't get to come this round, I don't think I'll be able to break her from her bad habbits before then. She has accumilated them over six years.
I have a muzzle for her but I think it would be better for her not to come on the At at this time. It would not be fair to her if I had to use the muzzle alot.
What type (breed) of dog to you have ? :)

Blue Jay
10-18-2005, 06:45
I don't understand our tendancy to ban things outright. It's like we don't want to deal with it, so we just ban it.

Instead of banning all dogs from the trails/wilderness/parks, couldn't we require that they pass a certification exam? The training and exams are already in place. All that is needed is the requirement, and consideration of cost (some people couldn't afford pay-for training).

I am weird about animals, though. I could see some guy beating up another guy, and not even blink. If he was beating on an animal, I would give my last breath to protect that animal.

You've made several interesting points here. The first is, yes, we don't want to deal with teeth in our legs. This clearly needs to be stopped. Cute fuzzy dogs often attack people, while their owners yell "it's OK he's friendly". Happens all the time. You have a trained dog, that is an extreme minority.
Look at it another way. I ride a motorcycle, most people with motorcycles do not drive them into people. If a significant number of people started to drive them into people, they would NEED to be banned. I would hate it, but you simply cannot allow people to continue to be attacked by dogs or motorcycles.

Why should taxpayers pay to set up the bureaucracy of a dog certification exam, and you know that's who will pay. We already pay to "educate" the yard apes, and it would have the same ineffective result.

Yes, you are weird to respect animals, so am I. You must know this is rare. I hate to see them abused. The place, by far, I see them abused the most is on the trail. Limping dogs that fall asleep instantly at the feet of their abusers when they stop for a few moments, and not because the dog is sooo completely exhasted. I have seen blood on the trail from dog feet that are still walking on them to fuel the owners mile slavery. I even saw the service dog who's slimy owner fell on him several times a day for the entire trail so he could be the first blind guy to hike the trail and then give lectures for the rest of his life. Being an animal lover while hiking the AT is hard, as you, a decent human being are about to find out.

the goat
10-18-2005, 10:32
Yes, you are weird to respect animals, so am I. You must know this is rare. I hate to see them abused. The place, by far, I see them abused the most is on the trail. Limping dogs that fall asleep instantly at the feet of their abusers when they stop for a few moments, and not because the dog is sooo completely exhasted. I have seen blood on the trail from dog feet that are still walking on them to fuel the owners mile slavery. I even saw the service dog who's slimy owner fell on him several times a day for the entire trail so he could be the first blind guy to hike the trail and then give lectures for the rest of his life. Being an animal lover while hiking the AT is hard, as you, a decent human being are about to find out.
let's be rational here, if only for a moment:
1.) it is not "weird" or "rare" to respect animals; many, many people love animals.
2.) not all trail dogs are "abused", what some dogs can't handle, others clearly can. just as the trail would be torture for some people, but not all.
3.) bill irwin is hardly "slimy", that's a pretty unfair statement.
4.) let's all remember the PETA kills more animals every year than any other organization in the world. (forgive me if this is irrelavent, but i thought it noteworthy since you sound like a card-carrying member ;) ).

Alligator
10-18-2005, 11:15
...
4.) let's all remember the PETA kills more animals every year than any other organization in the world. (forgive me if this is irrelavent, but i thought it noteworthy since you sound like a card-carrying member ;) ).Across the US, Humane Societies are estimated to euthanize 9.6 million animals per year.
http://www.americanhumane.org/site/PageServer?pagename=nr_fact_sheets_animal_euthanas ia
Do you have some estimate as to how many animals per year are killed by PETA? While I think that sometimes their actions are just plain stupid, I suspect that the numbers will not reach anywhere near the 9.6 million level.

Approximately 56% of all dogs and 71% of the cats that enter shelters are put down. Before anyone considers taking their pet on the AT, the most responsible thing you can do is to get your pet spade/neutered.

Blue Jay-What is a "yard ape":confused: ?

Alligator
10-18-2005, 11:51
OOps, iIt's not fair to call all animal shelters Humane Societies. Animal shelters are a mix of types, not exactly one organization. Goat, you get a number and I'll see about exceeding it.

the goat
10-18-2005, 12:08
OOps, iIt's not fair to call all animal shelters Humane Societies. Animal shelters are a mix of types, not exactly one organization. Goat, you get a number and I'll see about exceeding it.
As a % of animals killed that are placed under their "care", i know of no other organization that can match their #'s: (also, they take in 29 million a year, so it can't be from lack of funding).

From July 1998 through the end of 2004, PETA killed over 12,400 dogs, cats, and other "companion animals" -- at its Norfolk, Virginia headquarters. That's more than five defenseless animals every day. The group put to death over 85 percent of the animals it took in during 2003 alone. And its angel-of-death pattern shows no sign of changing.

YearReceived†AdoptedKilledTransferred% Killed% Adopted20042,6403612,278186.313.720032,2243121,911 185.914.020022,6803822,298285.714.320012,6857031,9 441472.426.220002,6846242,0292875.623.219991,80538 61,3289173.621.4* 199894313368512572.614.1Total15,6612,90112,4732627 9.618.5
* figures represent the second half of 1998 only
† other than spay/neuter animals

the goat
10-18-2005, 12:15
ok, my chart didn't paste nicely, but here are the totals from july 1998 through 2004 (according to peta themselves):

15,661 animals taken in; 2,901 adopted; 12,471 killed

=79.6% killed; 18.5% adopted; 2% transferred

last year alone they killed a hefty 86.3% of the animals they took in....a number that's steadily grown each year.

as a % of animals taken in, i believe they're tops in the "killing column", i think the 29 million they get each year would be better served someplace else, IMHO.

Alligator
10-18-2005, 12:44
As a % of animals killed that are placed under their "care", i know of no other organization that can match their #'s: (also, they take in 29 million a year, so it can't be from lack of funding).

From July 1998 through the end of 2004, PETA killed over 12,400 dogs, cats, and other "companion animals" -- at its Norfolk, Virginia headquarters. That's more than five defenseless animals every day. The group put to death over 85 percent of the animals it took in during 2003 alone. And its angel-of-death pattern shows no sign of changing.

YearReceived†AdoptedKilledTransferred% Killed% Adopted20042,6403612,278186.313.720032,2243121,911 185.914.020022,6803822,298285.714.320012,6857031,9 441472.426.220002,6846242,0292875.623.219991,80538 61,3289173.621.4* 199894313368512572.614.1Total15,6612,90112,4732627 9.618.5
* figures represent the second half of 1998 only
† other than spay/neuter animalsThe average is 79.6%. The increase is not clearly an upward trend. http://www.petakillsanimals.com/petaKillsAnimals.cfm.

City of San Antonio-nearly 90%. That would be more than 80% or else they would just say 80%. Also, 50,000 animals per year, over 135 per day.
http://www.mysanantonio.com/salife/pets/stories/MYSA111404.1A.poundmainbar.543d8efc.html


It is pretty stupid though for them to not run a no-kill shelter.

the goat
10-18-2005, 17:04
The average is 79.6%. The increase is not clearly an upward trend. http://www.petakillsanimals.com/petaKillsAnimals.cfm.

City of San Antonio-nearly 90%. That would be more than 80% or else they would just say 80%. Also, 50,000 animals per year, over 135 per day.
http://www.mysanantonio.com/salife/pets/stories/MYSA111404.1A.poundmainbar.543d8efc.html


It is pretty stupid though for them to not run a no-kill shelter.
gator- good research man, i stand somewhat corrected. the city of san antonio does kill a higher percentage of animals, compared with PETA. (although i was talking a/b organizations and not municipalities.) :D

this not withstanding, the city of san antonio has never claimed to be a champion of animal rights & didn't collect a cool $29 mil last year, under that guise. you do find it rediculous that PETA kills 80 % of the animals they take in each year, right?

Blue Jay
10-18-2005, 18:23
let's be rational here, if only for a moment:
1.) it is not "weird" or "rare" to respect animals; many, many people love animals.
2.) not all trail dogs are "abused", what some dogs can't handle, others clearly can. just as the trail would be torture for some people, but not all.
3.) bill irwin is hardly "slimy", that's a pretty unfair statement.
4.) let's all remember the PETA kills more animals every year than any other organization in the world. (forgive me if this is irrelavent, but i thought it noteworthy since you sound like a card-carrying member ;) ).

Yes, lets be rational
2) I never said all or even inferred it.
5) You clearly never said %, kind of a huge difference don't you think
I stand by #3, as I saw it happen, over and over and over, even turned him in, but no one cared.

smokymtnsteve
10-18-2005, 18:51
well I spent time yesterday breaking up a dog fight,,,had to used a big shovel to do it as they were really going at each other , then I hooked a team of doggies to a gang line and ran them 40 miles so I could soak in a Hot spring.

One dog named TSAVO got kinda chewed up by a dog named MOOSE, actually ole Moose kicked Tsavos ass pretty good...now I'll have to watch Tsavo for infection, if his head swells up I'll start him on an anti-biotic,

Alligator
10-18-2005, 22:33
gator- good research man, i stand somewhat corrected. the city of san antonio does kill a higher percentage of animals, compared with PETA. (although i was talking a/b organizations and not municipalities.) :D I still think its an organization:D .

Definitions of organization on the Web:

a group of people who work together
administration: the persons (or committees or departments etc.) who make up a body for the purpose of administering something; "he claims that the present administration is corrupt"; "the governance of an association is responsible to its members"; "he quickly became recognized as a member of the establishment"
the activity or result of distributing or disposing persons or things properly or methodically; "his organization of the work force was very efficient"
An organization is a formal group of people with one or more shared goals. This topic is a broad one.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organization (http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&start=7&oi=define&q=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organization)
A unit within a company or other entity (eg, Government agency or branch of service) within which many projects are managed as a whole. All projects within an organization share a common top-level manager and common policies.
sparc.airtime.co.uk/users/wysywig/gloss.htm (http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&start=8&oi=define&q=http://sparc.airtime.co.uk/users/wysywig/gloss.htm)
A company, corporation, firm, enterprise or institution, or part thereof (whether incorporated or not, public or private) that has its own function(s) and administration that supplies products or services to other organizations. See supplier.
www.bizmanualz.com/ISO9000-2000/ISO_definitions.html (http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&start=10&oi=define&q=http://www.bizmanualz.com/ISO9000-2000/ISO_definitions.html)
includes a corporation, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership or association, two or more persons having a joint or common interest, or any other legal entity.
www.dorchestercounty.net/ProbateDef.htm (http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&start=12&oi=define&q=http://www.dorchestercounty.net/ProbateDef.htm)

this not withstanding, the city of san antonio has never claimed to be a champion of animal rights & didn't collect a cool $29 mil last year, under that guise. you do find it rediculous that PETA kills 80 % of the animals they take in each year, right?Yes, it is completely stupid. They should run a no-kill shelter with concurrent programs to encourage spaying/neutering. About the only thing I have seen that works to reduce rates is to have an aggressive campaign to promote public awareness about spaying/neutering.

I'm not a member of PETA nor a contributor, but something to think about is that perhaps people in the local area are preferentially dropping their pets there, instead of the local pound. They might feel that PETA has a better chance to adopt. Obviously, PETA does not. This would inflate PETA's kill rate, while reducing that of the surrounding area. In reality, there are only so many homes willing to take animals, with a huge surplus of animals. If nothing changes in the feral population numbers, constant adoption rates, constant feral mortality, and constant birthrates i.e. a stable wild population, the kill rate is going to remain the same on average. It would be interesting to see if the other shelters in the area experienced a decrease in kill ratio. What was the average across shelters over time? Any change at all? You won't see that analysis though at www.petakillsanimals.com (http://www.petakillsanimals.com/).

CynJ
10-18-2005, 22:40
well I spent time yesterday breaking up a dog fight,,,had to used a big shovel to do it as they were really going at each other , then I hooked a team of doggies to a gang line and ran them 40 miles so I could soak in a Hot spring.

One dog named TSAVO got kinda chewed up by a dog named MOOSE, actually ole Moose kicked Tsavos ass pretty good...now I'll have to watch Tsavo for infection, if his head swells up I'll start him on an anti-biotic,
Should we call you Dr. Steve? Or Doc Smoky? :banana Don't forget to give poor Tsavos a pep talk - his ego took an even bigger beating....lol....

stargate
10-18-2005, 22:54
She's an American Eskimo or Spitts.

smokymtnsteve
10-18-2005, 23:03
last Feb. at 20 below zero F, I had two dogs get into a fight...one's neck got bit,,,of course it become infected,,,it had a lot of swelling ....so I lanced the site open and drained it and then made a soup,(as he couldn't swallow solids)
out of chicken fat and ground meat, then got dressed went out into the dark and cold every 4 hours and put the soup down him with a turkey baster and and gave him an anti-biotic,, the dog lived and is going to run the YUKON QUEST this year.

frieden
10-18-2005, 23:35
I even saw the service dog who's slimy owner fell on him several times a day for the entire trail so he could be the first blind guy to hike the trail and then give lectures for the rest of his life. Being an animal lover while hiking the AT is hard, as you, a decent human being are about to find out.
This is why I'm not going to kick myself, if we can't complete it. I think Ed will be ok, but his safety and health will be one of my top concerns. If it looks like we'll have to push too hard to make it to Katahdin in time, we'll slow down, and we'll hike whatever we don't finish the next year. I'd rather slow down, and enjoy it, than run us both into the ground trying to get to the end in time.

frieden
10-18-2005, 23:54
Still having too many problems with the barking. I think to her she is just protecting the kids but it does get annoying. Not to mention that she thinks she is pulling a dog sled in stead of me usually down hill. I would not have her off a leash at any time.
But as stated she won't get to come this round, I don't think I'll be able to break her from her bad habbits before then. She has accumilated them over six years.
I have a muzzle for her but I think it would be better for her not to come on the At at this time. It would not be fair to her if I had to use the muzzle alot.
I haven't tried it yet, but Ed's kindergarten trainer suggested to break excessive bad habits with the pennies in the can thing. Put 11 pennies in a soda can, and tape the top. Shake it, when she is doing the undesired behavior. Be sure to use a can that you would never normally use, because she'll associate the can with the bad noise.

Ed's main problems are pulling on the leash, running after something that displays quick movement (even a blown leaf), and jumping up on people for attention. He normally only does the latter, if we haven't been around people for awhile, though. With the pulling on the leash, I've been stopping or changing direction when he does it, but the most effective so far has been making him foos. He hates to foos (heal), unless we are in a store or the airport, so he'll normally stop pulling on the leash to avoid having to foos. "Leave it" hasn't been working with the lizards, and Ed hurt one the other day. I thought I was going to kill him. I'm being a little more proactive about this issue, now. We were walking today, and he tried to take off after a cat. I stopped him, and made him sitz. The cat came back (:eek: ), so I made Ed sitz within a few feet of the cat, until he wasn't squirming to get to the cat anymore. See, his kitty at home wrestles with him, so he loves cats. He doesn't mean to hurt anything, but taking off like that could still send me flying. We practice with squirrels, too. I haven't figured it out (and any suggestions would be apprecitated), but he ONLY takes off after something when we are walking. We could be sitting in the yard, a squirrel could run right by him, and he'd just lay there. Weird. The jumping up on people is just socialization. We just have to get back out there, and start training again.

You should read that book (unsure of the title at the moment), "How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend", by the Monks of New Skete. It is excellent. I've also seen people train their dogs to bark on command, so that the dog knows it's ok to bark, but only when they are asked to. I know you'll miss her on the trail, but at least she won't be miserable, and you'll be able to take her on section hikes. Maybe, she'll turn into a trail dog after all! :) Ed loves to play with other dogs, and especially kids, so hope to see you out there.

stargate
10-19-2005, 06:38
Thanks I'll have to read that book. Not sure what to tell you about the cat's got the same problem we have two cats. She still try's to bring home everyone she comes across.
I alway have her on a leash, because she just loves bicycles and motorcycles. I first discovered how much weight she could pull when she took me down a ditch to find out what a horse was, Not Fun.
Thanks for all the information but I think at this time it will be best to leave her at home. Lord knows that with three kids she might not be able to get all the attention she would need on the trail.
But best of luck to you and Ed. Hope to see ya on the trail.

D'Artagnan
10-19-2005, 10:05
I have always liked dogs. I currently care for a two-year-old female Great Dane who is a faithful companion. As much as I enjoy spending time with her, though, I would never consider taking her on the AT. It's just not something I'm interested in trying.

This past Saturday, I was on the AT headed south from NOC to Wesser Bald. Approaching one of the switchbacks, I saw a group of four dayhikers heading north. Since the trail was a bit narrow and I was ready for a breather, I stepped to the side of the trail to let them pass. What I didn't see was their blonde labrador retriever. He was not on a leash -- surprise, surprise -- and as he passed a large poplar tree, he spotted me standing to the side of the trail. I guess he wasn't expecting to see me standing there, but instantly, he began growling and bearing his teeth. I held my ground and instintively moved my trekking poles in front of my legs to shield me from what I believed an imminent attack. He lunged forward from a distance of about five feet just as his owner was able to run forward and grab his collar. Except for an elevated heart rate and a story to relate, I left the encounter unschathed. The extra shot of adrenaline no doubt helped me push on up the hill.

Two things bothered me most about this encounter. First, obviously, was the fact that these folks had a dog in what I have to assume, given his behavior, was a foreign environment sans leash. Second, the fact that after nearly being bitten by their aggressive, uncontrolled dog, they failed to offer me even the slightest apology. I guess the lesson I have learned from this is that you have to anticipate danger in even the most seemingly benign circumstances.

I still like dogs and in general do not fear them. I will be more alert and defensive now when I encounter them though. This was the closest I have ever come to being bitten by a dog and I hate the fact that now when I'm out backpacking, that scene will be playing in my mind. If you must hike with your four-legged friend, please have enough respect for everyone else to keep them on a leash. The lawsuit you prevent may just be your very own.

By the way, the weather and visibility were PERFECT. There were a number of blow-downs on the trail and it was a little tougher than I anticipated but the view from the bald made it more than worth the effort. If you haven't been to the firetower atop Wesser Bald, I highly recommend it.

Rain Man
10-19-2005, 10:22
... The jumping up on people is just socialization.....

No, the jumping up on people is just that, jumping up on people.

Sugar-coating it with euphemisms doesn't change the fact that the dog is jumping up on people. Again, the problem is the owner, not the dog. Call the dog's conduct what it is. Start with the truth, not the spin an owner wants to put on the dog's action to excuse it away.

I've had some very nice experiences meeting nice dogs and courteous dog owners on trails. But none with dogs that "just" jumped up on me.

Rain Man

.

the goat
10-19-2005, 11:43
I've had some very nice experiences meeting nice dogs and courteous dog owners on trails. But none with dogs that "just" jumped up on me.

maybe they thought your leg was a "pink-blaze opportunity":jump :jump :jump

frieden
10-19-2005, 19:01
No, the jumping up on people is just that, jumping up on people.

Sugar-coating it with euphemisms doesn't change the fact that the dog is jumping up on people. Again, the problem is the owner, not the dog. Call the dog's conduct what it is. Start with the truth, not the spin an owner wants to put on the dog's action to excuse it away.

I've had some very nice experiences meeting nice dogs and courteous dog owners on trails. But none with dogs that "just" jumped up on me.

Rain Man

.
No, I mean that if I socialize him (take him to stores, etc) a lot, he doesn't jump up on people. If he's stuck in the house for weeks at a time, he goes nuts everytime he sees a human. I didn't mean, "It's ok, he's just being friendly." He needs to be consistant in learning that being friendly means sitting nicely, while the people pet you. I wish I could train the people to back away, everytime he jumps up, and only pet him when he's sitting nicely. Instead, they say "It's ok". Well, it's not ok. I know they mean well, but it really messes up training. I think he does better with his service vest on, because people leave him alone.

SGT Rock
10-19-2005, 19:03
Well then leave his service vest on him.

frieden
10-19-2005, 19:13
I'm reading a lot about dogs not being on a leash on the trail, and most of it negative. Is that because the uneventful experiences with dogs on a leash are overshadowed with the nasty experiences with dogs off leash? Or, are most of the dogs on the AT off leash? I'm getting a wee bit concerned. It sounds like I'd better keep my bear spray at the ready all the time to keep the loose dogs away from Ed. I'm starting to accept the fact that I'll have to take him off of his leash to get over some obstacles, but what about the dangers of the trail (wild and domestic animals, poison ivy, human/animal feces, etc)? He's going to be meeting up with dangers that he has never experienced before. On a leash, if I watch his body language, I can pull him away instantly. Off leash, I could end up with a dead or stinky dog. I guess the dogs that go off leash are used to the trail, and it's dangers?