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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
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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

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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

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher & Snacktime View Post
    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.
    I think this is an excellent idea. Owner first, then the dog!
    The older I get, the faster I hiked.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher & Snacktime View Post
    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.
    With my experience and reinforced from what I've read on this thread, leashed dogs are more likely to be dangerous dogs. Free running/roaming dogs are rarely a real threat. This may be because people with more dangerous dogs tend to keep them leashed. This also might be because dogs on leash are more likely to be defensive and/or react in fear while off-leash dogs can maintain what they perceive as a safe distance and/or don't feel the same need to show protection to their leash holder. Either way, I've only ever seen dogs attack people either while they are leashed or when someone walks into what they identify as their home territory (i.e. not loose on a trail).

    And, for these reasons, I find it ironic that in these forums that I read of more people complaining about and condemning people for having their dogs off leash than I do about having potentially aggressive dogs anywhere where they have the remote chance of coming into close(ish) contact with other people either on or off leash. In fact, I read of people condemning others for having their dogs off leash based on being bitten by a dog on a leash!!

    The problem is not dogs being off leash. The problem is aggressive, or potentially aggressive dogs being anywhere they can come in contact with other people. Condemn bad behavior (on or off leash) don't condemn well behaved animals roaming free.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  11. #11
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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.
    If threatened like that it is reasonable to draw a firearm on the dog(s) [not the owner]. Owner attitude might be very different at seeing their precious property in danger.
    Be Prepared

  12. #12
    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 dogís owner. With deductibles, even a Doc-in-a-Box can be expensive.

  13. #13
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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?

  14. #14

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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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  15. #15
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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

  16. #16
    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.

  17. #17

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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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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    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.
    Report the incident in the town the dog resides. maybe locally as well. but definitely to the dog licensing officer in their town of residence.
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  19. #19
    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.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    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.
    Good advice but I really don't want to go "hands on" with an animal. You may win, but unlikely you would escape uninjured. I would prefer defense at a distance, say with bear spray or firearm.
    Be Prepared

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