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Wise Old Owl

Is there really so much animosity towards dogs/their owners on the AT?

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Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
I believe all the replies to this thread have been sincere.

You are correct that the reality on the Trail is that most people keep their opinions and feelings to themselves regarding dogs.

I disagree with you if you are suggesting at the opinions expressed in this thread are not real, however.

I am not sure it is so bad that people feel comfortable sharing them on WB, who would otherwise keep these opinion to themselves in the woods. I definitely think dogs have a place on the AT, but just as people need to understand that, so to should dog owners understand the depth and breadth of some peoples issue with them. I just wish this thread illuminated the root causes for those feelings better. My guess is that far more people have been bitten or seriously challenged by an aggressive dog than most good dog owners realize.

Some of you all would have had fun hiking back when there were fare more road walks, and people routinely let their dogs outside to run around unsupervised, now that was fun! At least hikers walking with their own dogs need not deal with that so much anymore.
Rick, in response to the comment in bold above, Yes I do believe that it is a bad thing that many people who would never call out a bad dog owner on the trail are willing to vent about dog problems on this site.

Consider the following:

1)If you have a problem with someone's dog on the trail, then tell them. Odds are they don't realize that they are pissing people off and I can assure you that those folks aren't on this site reading about how to hike with their dog responsibly. It is because of this that:

2) Complaining to dog owners who are on WB is basically preaching to the choir. Those of us who are active on the site are the ones that do care and who have taken the time to properly prepare and train our dogs and keep them under control. You might not realize it but:

3) Good dog owners hate bad dog owners far more than most hikers will understand. It is hard enough to hike with my own well behaved dog. The last thing i want to deal with on the trail is some idiot's untrained and unleashed dog that wants to play with or attack my leashed and under control dog. I put a lot of time and effort into having a dog that is bombproof on the trail and who nearly every hiker I speak to is happy to meet (largely because my dog doesn't walk up to people unless she has been given permission) All this is why:

4) I am tired of dealing with certain percentage of internet tough guys (Not to be confused with the people who post Actual constructive criticism and useful suggestions/advice) that think that every thread about backpacking with a dog is their invitation to list out every real or imagined grievance they have about dogs on the trail and the then try assign blame to all dog owners. Sadly this results in:

5) Many, many, new hikers who come to this site looking for help as they start to hike with their dogs quickly get disgusted with the kind of unhelpful and adversarial replies they receive from some non dog owners, and very often these new members quickly leave because if it. I know several people personally that refuse to use the site because of this, i have also received PMs from departing members over the years and have met many people on the trail who have said that the dog forum is why they left WB.
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