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  1. #1

    Default It finally happened...

    Got bit by a day hiker dog

    Going up the Imp trail for a 2 night hike on the AT. 1/2 mile from the ridge line, I see a couple with a dog coming down. It's a steep and narrow trail at that point. The dog sees me and comes running at me while barking. Owner calls the dog back and after 3-4 tries, it finally returns and gets leashed. I don't know what type it was, on the small size and looked like one of those high strung designer dogs they probably paid a breeder a bundle for.

    I approach and they move off the trail as much as can be, which wasn't much at that point, barely enough room to pass. I stop for a second before going by and the dog sniffs my feet and seems to be okay, but as I pass, it lunges and nips the side of my leg. "OMG she's never done anything like that before, I'm so sorry" Not as sorry as I am. Got a first aid kit and what's your contact info?

    Thankfully, it was just a flesh wound, enough to bruise and bleed a little. It didn't impact my hiking for the rest of the trip, but what a way to start.

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  2. #2
    Is it raining yet?
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    It is a difficult issue, being polite to people and protecting yourself from their unknown animal at the same time.

    What is clear is that it is completely rude to allow your pet to run up on anyone. I have a friend in his 40s who was bitten badly as a kid and is still fearful of dogs.

    I try to put my walking stick between me and the quadrapeds. Since I was bitten by a dog on a leash on the C&O Canal, I am more prepared to swat at it with my stick.

    It is just horrible etiquette, bad for wildlife and usually against park rules to let your animal run wild.
    Be Prepared

  3. #3
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    My son was bitten by a dog also and had to come off the trail.

  4. #4
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    OUCH! That sucks! Years ago I was hiking up from snickers gap up to ravens rocks with my dog and came across the same situation dog was loose people yelling he's ok, they called their dog back and got it on a leash and this also was a tight trail . But as we were passing their dog attacked my dog, it was all I could do to hold him back. A 80 lb pitbull ! If I would have let my dog attack back it would not have ended very good for their dog. At that point I had no problem being rude and telling them like it is.

  5. #5
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    I'm more wary of dogs on the trail than I am of bears or most any other wild animal. I blame owners for not maintaining control. "Oh, my little Fifi loves everyone," as the ******en dog lunges for my throat. I've had more than a few dogs do that while I'm hiking.

  6. #6

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    I think every hiker as a dog story. Mine happened in 2017. I finished a section hike from Newfound Gap to Springer and I started going down the approach trail. Then I see two huge dogs, one pitch black, one kind of brownish slowly approaching towards me. we all stopped when they were about 10-15 feet away from each other. They started growling and I raised my hiking poles expecting an attack. We stayed like this for a long minute, watching each other, until the owner showed up and called the dogs. His attitude was like "what's the big deal" and he nonchalantly continued his way up the trail.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by stephanD View Post
    I think every hiker as a dog story. Mine happened in 2017. I finished a section hike from Newfound Gap to Springer and I started going down the approach trail. Then I see two huge dogs, one pitch black, one kind of brownish slowly approaching towards me. we all stopped when they were about 10-15 feet away from each other. They started growling and I raised my hiking poles expecting an attack. We stayed like this for a long minute, watching each other, until the owner showed up and called the dogs. His attitude was like "what's the big deal" and he nonchalantly continued his way up the trail.

    Yep, and that's why the pepper spray is always on my waist belt. Sucks because the owner, not the dog, is at fault.
    The older I get, the faster I hiked.

  8. #8
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    I have always wondered what I would do to follow up on a situation like that, mostly to insure that my health or the health of my hiking partner was in no way at risk.

    At a minimum, I would want to make sure about how recent my tetanus booster was, and ask for any out of pocket expenses were covered by the dog’s owner. With deductibles, even a Doc-in-a-Box can be expensive.

  9. #9
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    a little girl just recently here in maryland got bit by a pit bull while on a trail.....


    https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/l...b-de0ad65db4db

  10. #10
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    I stop for a second before going by and the dog sniffs my feet and seems to be okay, but as I pass, it lunges and nips the side of my leg. "OMG she's never done anything like that before, I'm so sorry" Not as sorry as I am. Got a first aid kit and what's your contact info?



    did the owner give you their contact info?

  11. #11
    Registered User NY HIKER 50's Avatar
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    This is a big deal that no one mentioned. A dog biting someone should be immediately reported to the local authorities and the owners should be cited.

  12. #12
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Not to come off like a Rambo, macho,tough guy, wanna be but. I had problems with some dogs in my past and had real concerns for my safety. So I got some advice from a highly respected friend of mine in the self protection field. Here was his advice against real threatening dog attack. If you have a stick or hiking pole as the dog advances stick it in his mouth they don't have great vision this way like cross eyed, but let the dog take the stick than jam it straight down their throat and don't stop. If you don't have a stick take your shirt off or jacket wrap it around your forearm and let the attacking dog take your protected arm. Then take your other arm around the back of their neck and snap back breaking the neck. Dogs necks don't go backwards like ours. I offer this advice so it may save someone someday.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    did the owner give you their contact info?
    Yes, I did.

    What I think happened is when I started to walk by, the dog just lunged at the motion. It was sudden and unanticipated. The other problem was the trail was about 3 feet wide at the top of some steep ledge, no where for them to really go. I was half way up the tricky part when they stopped at the top to let me finish the climb. A bad combination of conditions more then anything.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ankle Bone View Post
    Yep, and that's why the pepper spray is always on my waist belt. Sucks because the owner, not the dog, is at fault.
    If you are forced to spray, perhaps you should be sure to get both? Love dogs, hate them on the trail. NOBODY keeps them leashed.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by NY HIKER 50 View Post
    This is a big deal that no one mentioned. A dog biting someone should be immediately reported to the local authorities and the owners should be cited.
    Well, it happened on National Forest land in an unincorporated territory and the owners live in MA, so who does it get reported to? If it had resulted in my needing stiches and a rescue to get off the mountain, that would be a different story and in the news.
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  16. #16

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    Unless its a Covid puppy, the "OMG my dog has never done anything like this" is usually BS. Folks with scared /aggressive dogs usually seem to be blind to their dogs issues. My guess is by the time they got back to the car it was your fault. Just call 911 and let them sort it out on jurisdiction.

  17. #17
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    I understand that there isn't necessarily an authority to which to report bites on a trail, but NY Hiker's advice is very good in general. When I was attacked by a German Shepherd outside my house, I called the police to report it (it was a very serious bite). Afterwards I learned that the same dog had bitten people numerous times before in our neighborhood, but nobody had ever reported it before. Animal Control said their hands were tied because it was the dog's "first reported bite." Eventually the dog was put down but that was more because the owner refused to do what he had to (fencing) to keep the dog under control. I hated to see it, but I have the permanent nerve damage on my thigh to remind me.

  18. #18
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    Ours is always on a leash. She's a cute Aussie that everyone wants to pet. Everyone always ask if they can pet and does she bite. I explain to them that all animals will bite. Most people after that no longer wants to pet her. My poor dog probably feels like a lepper.

  19. #19
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    Well, it happened on National Forest land in an unincorporated territory and the owners live in MA


    doesn't the national forest have rangers up there?

    and what about county sheriff?

    or is it just complete anarchy?

  20. #20

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    Now, dog gone it....

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