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  1. #81
    Crazy Larry #1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doingtime View Post
    OK, I'm needing help with this. I hike with a dog 50% of the time. My dog runs off leash 95% of the time we're hiking. I do keep her leashed in parking lots, campgrounds, high traffic areas, etc.

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

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

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

    My question is, how do you do it? Enjoy being on the trail with a dog on a leash that is?
    Sally is off leash at all times when I am out in the woods because she listens to me, she will do as I wish and listens to my commands. Unless she is chasing rocks I throw for her then she won't listen to ****......

  2. #82
    Registered User doingtime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondlil View Post
    I've read most all of the responses on this thread. I am not afraid of dogs, I grew up with dogs in and around my home most all my life. Some on leash some not. I lived on a farm.
    While hiking the AT for the past 3 weeks I saw quite a few dogs, and I can say that maybe one was on leash. While they were hiking with their owners they were well behaved, and pretty much on task, like me, breathing heavy and concentrating on making it up the damn hill!
    However, it was quite another story at shelters and campsites. The dogs (not always the same dogs) were either taking up space in the shelters or nosing around other hikers tent sites uninvited, with their owners unconcerned with their foraging or intrusion into others tent space. And on one occasion, an irresponsible owner sat by and watched as her young black lab growled, barked and bit a fellow hiker in the shelter. Not once did she apologize for the dogs behavior or show concern for the fellow hiker.
    By all means, bring your lifelong companions with you on your hike, but be responsible for their behavior and actions. I like dogs, cats, marmots and any other four legged creature you feel the need to accompany you on your hike in the woods, I just ask that you use the same courtesy when exposing them to strangers as I would exposing you to my pet Python, ask first, keep him/her under control, and no assumptions please. There is a leash law, I can only assume if you ignore this law, you have and are ignoring other, possibly more dire laws?



    Great response and I appreciate your sharing this experience. I have had the same experience on the trail meeting dogs, except for the on pit bull previously mentioned. Mine is the same way, she is huffing and puffing up the trail.

    Now the shelter/campsite experience is a whole different story all together. I love dogs, but i would say something to an owner that let their dogs rummage around in people's personal space. i would not like that at all, not would I allow my dog to do that.

    And yes, you are "breaking a rule" by running them off-leash, as we all do when we go 5 mph over the speed limit or pull of a beautiful rolling stop while leaving the neighborhood.

    That's why mine is always on a leash when we're in populated areas like parking lots, campgrounds and trail heads. Mine only comes off leash when there is room to run and play safely.

  3. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondlil View Post
    The dogs (not always the same dogs) were either taking up space in the shelters or nosing around other hikers tent sites uninvited, with their owners unconcerned with their foraging or intrusion into others tent space....
    There is a leash law, I can only assume if you ignore this law, you have and are ignoring other, possibly more dire laws?
    This is part of the reason I don't take my dog to other people's homes. I also do not take her camping when there will be anyone other than my immediate family. I have been a dog owner for my entire life. I have had great dogs and my current 3 year old dog is possibly the best dog I have ever been around. I can allow her to go without a leash, without even a small worry of her running off. She reacts to voice commands well and she does well on a leash. She loves the outdoors and she loves people.
    However....... I can't guarantee that I can control her 100% of the time and while she loves people and most people love her, she may lick someone's hand or rub up against them or even put her front legs on someone (she never does that to me or my family but somehow knows who will allow it). While 90% of the encounters may be fine, it is my responsibility to ensure that me wanting to have my dog around doesn't effect anyone else around me. No one should have to change their eating habits, sleeping habits or worry about any domesticated animal bothering their stuff or their person.

    I love dogs and I love my dog but I do not like your dog or want it in my face, at my feet or by me when I sleep. I am fairly certain that everyone else who decided not to bring their dog feels the same way. Maybe not always but often times. Even the sweet person that pets your dog and says how cute it is doesn't want it jumping on them or rummaging through their pack.

    In my opinion, taking a dog on an overnight hike where others will be around, is simply selfish. There is much more bad that can come from it than good. Just my $0.02

  4. #84
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    I am going to place my two cents.

    As a dog lover, and owned by two very loving dogs, I still believe in leashing dogs on the trail UNLESS the dog is well behaved, wont chase people/critters, and will not go more than a few yards from you at all times. The dog must also know their commands. If the dog can't function on a leash, than it sure as hell shouldn't be off the leash.

    That being said; I do hike with my dogs off leash unless I am in a well-used trail, high volume, dangerous conditions, etc. I also hike with one dog off, and one dog on because while my oldest dog is like the dog described, my youngest doesn't follow all her commands just yet.

    As far as what the op questioned, get a hands free leash with a stretch leash. It doesn't have to be long. The longer the leash, the more pull the dog will have against your body. It is also better to have controll over your dog in towns, busy trails so a 6 ft long leash seems overkill to me unless you can shorten it.

  5. #85
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    A good example of a good dog gone bad day for me:

    I was hiking at a local park in the back part of the trail system with my two dogs. I had a freind, and I wasnt paying attention. (it can happen even to the best of hikers) I made the mistake of having my youngest off leash for a good training session since I thought we were the only people on the trail. (No cars at the trail head)

    We came around a corner, and boom...people. I acted quickly and comanded the oldest to sit/stay where he was off the trail. Lettie on the other hand was a spitfire. She decided she wasnt going to listen. It took me a good few minuets to catch her as she avoided me while keeping eye contact on the other people.

    I should of been paying more attention. What usualy happens is, I see the people way up the trail and use that moment to step aside the trail in respect for the other group. Luckily, the group we ran into was completely cool and understanding. They understood that lettie was still being trained, etc.

    But still, for now on, I am going to refrain from her being off leash in public parks untill I can get her to listen fully like simba. Imagine if the other group had a dog that was on or off leash, and was aggressive, Lettie could of gotten into some serious problems. Or, if she ran across a big snake.

  6. #86
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    My son lives near the AT in PA. He has a little twenty pound mix dog that is "well behaved". So rounding the corner a gentleman surprised us coming the other way. So happens the guy was carrying openly. Nothing happened but my son was upset that the gentleman reached for his gun. So I have mixed feelings of dogs off the leash.

  7. #87
    Registered User Sandy of PA's Avatar
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    In PA loose dogs harassing wildlife in the game lands can be shot legally. No dog is permitted off leash unless it is dog training season and you have a hunting license displayed. PA has a State leash law, best keep them on leash in PA.

  8. #88
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    Are all breeds and sizes allowed on the AT?

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by DuneElliot View Post
    Went on a short hike today with the dogs. As always they were well-behaved and of course wearing their e-collars, but as we returned to the TH we were approached by three dogs, all off-leash and all out of control. As always, seeing dogs and people ahead I stepped off the trail and put both dogs in a down-stay position...when the other dogs came bounding up they behaved as expected (stayed with me, but couldn't ignore the dogs that were now in their space) but I still grabbed collars because I didn't know the other dogs. The people apologized and used the "just a puppy" excuse for one dog...well IMO, that dog shouldn't be off-leash, and running it off-leash without any control is just teaching it bad manners and how much it can get away with. Most dogs off-leash around here have been impecably behaved, especially those carrying packs and who obviously have a lot of trail experience, but there are the small percentage here that give the rest of us a bad name...and that's frustrating
    Very much. Modern dog culture encourages bad behavior.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by doingtime View Post
    I realize you exist (non dog owners/lovers), I just don't understand you, and certainly don't understand the fear. I also think you could handle 30 second encounter on the trail, and be prepared to defend yourself if necessary.
    First, I'm a dog owner and love dogs, as is my wife, but my wife was mauled by a Rottweiler mix as a child, and she gets afraid around dogs she doesn't know. IMHO, it's EXTREMELY rude to allow your dog to roam at will in public without a leash. It's just inconsiderate to those that have good reasons to be afraid of dogs. It's also very inconsiderate to think that they should be ready to defend themselves. If your dog is so out of control as to be a risk to people, where they would have to worry about self defense, you need to keep them home.
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  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by doingtime View Post
    Any animal or human. Be it a bear, snake or other animal. When I am out on the trail alone, I am prepared for any adversary.

    I don't understand anyone that is not.

    I am just not scared of dogs. Any dogs.
    Then you are foolish. There are dogs you should be afraid of.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
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  12. #92
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    "The leash thing" is incredibly easy. Keep your dog leashed where the law requires you to do so. Pretty f'ing simple. Know the law and obey it. Is this really that difficult to comprehend?

  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    "The leash thing" is incredibly easy. Keep your dog leashed where the law requires you to do so. Pretty f'ing simple. Know the law and obey it. Is this really that difficult to comprehend?
    I am with you on this issue. Some people aren't dog people for one reason or another, it shouldn't matter how well your dog is trained. By the way I am a dog person and dog owner all of my life. I have had mutts to pure breeds and everything in between. But I also made sure that my dogs would obey me and not jump on other people or pull at a leash because other dogs are around. I have been told by many professional trainers that dogs that misbehave usually have lazy owners, in the fact they won't take the time to work with their dogs and teach them to obey. The "puppy" excuse doesn't work either. That's when you should start working with them the most, so they don't know any other way other than to behave. Finally, dogs are not stupid animals either. They can sense when someone is a dog person. For people out there, here is a rule for you, never approach of pet another dog, especially service dogs without getting permission first.
    Blackheart

  14. #94
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    Should read never approach or pet another dog....
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  15. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    "The leash thing" is incredibly easy. Keep your dog leashed where the law requires you to do so. Pretty f'ing simple. Know the law and obey it. Is this really that difficult to comprehend?
    +1 - to which I add know when manners/etiquette should be employed in common areas where others are or are likely to walk into like camping areas. Keeping a dog leashed protects it and others and most hikers I know appreciate the owner who recognizes their responsibility to their dog to keep them out of trouble. I wish I would see more of these folks than I do currently.

  16. #96
    Registered User doingtime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by perdidochas View Post
    Then you are foolish. There are dogs you should be afraid of.
    I originally said "Any animal or human. Be it a bear, snake or other animal. When I am out on the trail alone, I am prepared for any adversary."

    I am not scared of dogs, bears, snakes, humans, etc. I am prepared for any adversary (as everyone should be).

  17. #97

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    I have "rescued" more than one dog that ran off (no doubt chasing something) from the owner & got lost. Nothing sadder than a dog that is hungry, lost, and frantic in the woods unless it's the frantic owner who can't find the dog.

  18. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trailweaver View Post
    I have "rescued" more than one dog that ran off (no doubt chasing something) from the owner & got lost. Nothing sadder than a dog that is hungry, lost, and frantic in the woods unless it's the frantic owner who can't find the dog.
    That's the risk you take with an unleashed dog. It seems every year someone looses a dog on the AT. Nearing dusk, I meet a woman frantically calling for her dog about a good mile or more in from a trail head. She asked if I has seen it, and I said "You mean that big dog sitting next to your car back at the parking lot wondering where the heck you are?" The dog had more sense then she did.
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  19. #99
    Registered User kestral's Avatar
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    My dog is mostly on a 15ft flexi leash looped through my hip belt, but..... when going down a steep section or very slippery section (like coming off blood mountain with wet/sleet) I always take her off because it is too easy for her to pull me off balance resulting in a serious crash.

    I actually had a park ranger from mount Mitchell tell me to "always use a leash that you can drop immediately or keep your dog off leash for steep ascent, descents". I have a feeling he had to rescue someone who didn't follow this simple rule who took a nasty fall.

    That being said, the only times my dog ever growled at anyone was. 1) I tripped and she wasn't going to let a stranger near me until I could stand again 2) a beagle tried to sleep in her tent and 3) another dog was going for her food dish. these growls were "back off" holding her ground, not attack or threat.

    However I do understand the other side of the equation-
    I was very afraid of a man who had 2 pit bulls on cinch collars that I ran into at hawk mountain a few years ago when thru hikers were starting up. He said these dogs were rescued from fighting. Now I'm all for pit bull rescue, but this idiot was begging food from me - he brought no dog food! And the 2 dogs would have killed mine if they got loose. I asked which way he was going, watered up and backtracked away from them. Better to change itinerary than risk attack. I later ran into him at Hiawassi, the dogs had attacked each other and both had stitches to their heads, ears and shoulders. Only time I felt I needed a gun for protection over 40 years camping and hiking. That man should have been arrested for his behavior, but being an idiot maybe isn't an arrest able crime. Just glad no people were hurt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doingtime View Post
    I originally said "Any animal or human. Be it a bear, snake or other animal. When I am out on the trail alone, I am prepared for any adversary."

    I am not scared of dogs, bears, snakes, humans, etc. I am prepared for any adversary (as everyone should be).
    What are you packing? Only someone who is armed is prepared for "any adversary".
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

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