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  1. #1

    Default PA> Guns near Caldonia SP?

    My 5 yo Golden Retriever is an awesome trail companion, but he is still a city dog at heart. Loud bangs (thunder, fireworks, gunshots near game lands) freak him out. I've almost lost him a few times when there shots or bangs during day hikes and over nighters. I once hiked out 3 miles in the dark after he panicked (apparently we were near a gun club, and I didn't know it until it was too late). To my question...

    I'm doing a quick gear shake down this weekend near Caldonia SP and I'd love to take him with me. Is anyone familiar with the area? Any hunting, gun clubs, fireworks depots nearby?


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  2. #2
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    None that I know of there but if you hike further north around Swartara gap then you will want to check to see if Fort Indiantown Gap is doing training. We can hear the howlitzers all the way in Hershey.

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    Parts of Caledonia SP are open to hunting. Also all of nearby Michaux State Forest, which the AT also passes through is open for hunting.
    http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/statepar...ark/caledonia/

    Expect shooting during the various hunting seasons.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  4. #4
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    Probably further north than you're going, but there is a gun club in the middle of the Cumberland Valley, just south of PA 641. Definitely close enough to the Trail to startle.

  5. #5
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Your leash doesn't work?

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    Your brain doesn't work? If you can't help the guy just be silent..

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by adamkrz View Post
    Your brain doesn't work? If you can't help the guy just be silent..
    And your suggestion of what could be done to prevent a dog from bolting at the sound of thunder, gunfire, or fireworks would be....? Sometimes the best solutions are also the most obvious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    Your leash doesn't work?
    If I had a dog that was easily scared by loud noises I would certainly keep it on a leash for its own safety.
    The OP says his dog is a "city dog" so I'd also be concerned about the dogs actions when it sees a deer or bear. Obviously a dog chasing after wildlife can easily get lost since its in an an unfamiliar area.

    And for the record I love dogs and enjoy meeting well behaved dogs on the trail.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    And your suggestion of what could be done to prevent a dog from bolting at the sound of thunder, gunfire, or fireworks would be....? Sometimes the best solutions are also the most obvious.
    Easy, folks. No need to get hostile. I appreciate everyone's input. I do keep him on a leash, and in camp I tether him to a longer lead. However, when the "bangs" happen, he goes into such a panic, that he frees himself. He also wears a harness. So, the leash gets clipped to his harness AND collar. He panics so much that he wriggles out.

    I took him for a day hike with my kids. When we hiked, he was fine. Once we stopped at Pulpit Rock (on the AT in PA), he got restless and started to panic. No bangs. He just didn't want to relax.

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    There were a lot of shooting as i when the 40 miles north of Caldonia SP. I think though it was on my 3rd day hiking north of pine grove furnace SP. Too many shots to be hunters i think. more like a range or a farmer shooting a few miles away.

  11. #11
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    Yeah, I've had more than one over the years that was skittish - consider a choker-collar as a back-up to the main collar and harness (clip all three on to the leash). Also, consider any combination of calming wafers/drops and a ThunderShirt (r), which may help to keep the dog from reaching his "freak-out threshold". Good luck.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saint Francis View Post
    Easy, folks. No need to get hostile. I appreciate everyone's input. I do keep him on a leash, and in camp I tether him to a longer lead. However, when the "bangs" happen, he goes into such a panic, that he frees himself. He also wears a harness. So, the leash gets clipped to his harness AND collar. He panics so much that he wriggles out.

    I took him for a day hike with my kids. When we hiked, he was fine. Once we stopped at Pulpit Rock (on the AT in PA), he got restless and started to panic. No bangs. He just didn't want to relax.
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning how to dance in the rain!

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    As a professional dog trainer that fixes this problem for a living I can tell you that if the dog wriggles out of its equipment then that equipment is not fitted properly. Fitting the collar too loosely is a common mistake handlers make and is far more dangerous than a properly fitted collar.

    I cant really provide any information on the possibility of gunfire in this area, but the possibility of a sudden loud noise anywhere is very real. Inevitable even. I recommend being prepared for it when it happens. Being ready for it could save your dogs life.

    Happy hiking

  13. #13

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    You sure don't want to hike with that dog on the Long Trial near Mt Mansfield. The trail passes by a National Guard training camp and when I hiked through there it should like a war was going on the other side of the ridge with machine gun fire and occasional booms from 50 caliber guns which I could hear pretty much all day.
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  14. #14

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    We live in that area and rarely hear any gunfire near the trail. I would check to see when spring turkey season begins, but otherwise you should be okay.

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    If I had almost lost a dog just once.......I would take better precautions.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 03-28-2016 at 14:24.

  16. #16
    Registered User Toolshed's Avatar
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    Wow.. Guns and Dogs in one thread.... (Gator... Are you listening???)
    As an avid owner of both (Guns and hunting dogs) , I think I'll just sit back and watch this one develop.... City dogs huh???
    .....Someday, like many others who joined WB in the early years, I may dry up and dissapear....

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint Francis View Post
    Easy, folks. No need to get hostile. I appreciate everyone's input. I do keep him on a leash, and in camp I tether him to a longer lead. However, when the "bangs" happen, he goes into such a panic, that he frees himself. He also wears a harness. So, the leash gets clipped to his harness AND collar. He panics so much that he wriggles out.

    I took him for a day hike with my kids. When we hiked, he was fine. Once we stopped at Pulpit Rock (on the AT in
    PA), he got restless and started to panic. No bangs. He just didn't want to relax.
    I like you for this post. It really had a quieting effect on people's fears--in a kindly way.
    You never know just what you can do until you realize you absolutely have to do it.
    --Salaun

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by adamkrz View Post
    Your brain doesn't work? If you can't help the guy just be silent..
    The stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me. The comment replied to couldn't have been any clearer on point and any simpler as a solution to the situation presented. But apparently it was too complicated for some on this board.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint Francis View Post
    Easy, folks. No need to get hostile. I appreciate everyone's input. I do keep him on a leash, and in camp I tether him to a longer lead. However, when the "bangs" happen, he goes into such a panic, that he frees himself. He also wears a harness. So, the leash gets clipped to his harness AND collar. He panics so much that he wriggles out.

    I took him for a day hike with my kids. When we hiked, he was fine. Once we stopped at Pulpit Rock (on the AT in PA), he got restless and started to panic. No bangs. He just didn't want to relax.
    I think you quoted the wrong reply as "hostile". It should have been the one mentioning "a brain", clearly.

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    I am getting a puppy next week, just getting weaned. I hope to make a trail dog out of him, as well as an occasional squirrel hunting partner. I hope that I can get him accustomed to loud noises (not too loud) but the advice on here about making sure any harness or collar is fitted properly, is pure gold. It's been twenty years or more since I had a dog, and I wouldn't have immediately thought of that.

    And in case it gets asked, half Jack Russel, half chihuahua.

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