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Thread: Hiking Dogs

  1. #1
    Rogue Hiker Rain's Avatar
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    Default Hiking Dogs

    Hello, Class of 2007! Just wanted to see everyone's thoughts on hiking dogs on the AT. I rescued a black lab over the holiday season and have been busy bonding and training with the him, preparing him for a future hike. If you have experience hiking with a dog over long distances I'd love to hear pointers. What does everyone here think of dogs on the trail? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Registered User Pacific Tortuga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain
    Hello, Class of 2007! Just wanted to see everyone's thoughts on hiking dogs on the AT. I rescued a black lab over the holiday season and have been busy bonding and training with the him, preparing him for a future hike. If you have experience hiking with a dog over long distances I'd love to hear pointers. What does everyone here think of dogs on the trail? Thanks.

    You might want to go on search for 'Dogs' I think a few people have expressed their feelings on the subject. Good hiking in 2007,Rain.

  3. #3
    Rogue Hiker Rain's Avatar
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    So I see. Sorry, I'm knew to this forum. But that doesn't mean that the '07ers can't put their thoughts down, I'd appreciate it.

  4. #4
    Registered User Chomp09's Avatar
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    You had to go and stir up a hornet's nest, huh? Just couldn't leave well enough alone, could you?

    Although my personal opinion is that well behaved Dog's are, and should be welcome on ANY trails, not sure that's the opinion of this crowd.

    Good luck, hope you've got your head down... =]

  5. #5
    Registered User general's Avatar
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    dogs are great companions on long distance hikes. be sure to play some fetch on rough surfaces to toughen the pads on his feet. it's a little harder to find accomodations in town but an extra 20 at the desk goes a long way. you should train him to immediately bite anyone that swings their hiking stick at him for no reason.
    don't like logging? try wiping with a pine cone.

  6. #6
    Rogue Hiker Rain's Avatar
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    Default Dogs and Towns

    Thanks, General, for the tip. I've been conditioning him for the trail for some time now, but there is still much more to do. The town problem isn't entirely bad. It will force me to keep my town stays short.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain
    ... What does everyone here think of dogs on the trail?
    Any debate is likely to be about dog owners, not dogs.

    I have spent one night in a shelter with a dog, and it was great. Here's the link to his photo in my gallery--
    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/...65&userid=1293

    Bee Bop was a sweet little pup out on his first hike, with a good owner.
    For instance, when we met on the AT, Bee Bop was on a lease, not running loose. And in the shelter, owner Bob made sure to maintain attentive control of Bee Bop and to be very respectful of his shelter mates.

    Bee Bop stayed close and even slept in the sleeping bag with Bob!

    A good experience was had by all, due to a wise, friendly, respectful, attentive owner!

    RainMan

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    [I]ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit....[/I]. Numbers 35

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  8. #8
    Registered User Phreak's Avatar
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    I hike about 7-8 days per month with my two dogs and can't imagine going back to hiking without 'em. You'll find the majority of people on the trail are accepting of the dogs... as long as they are well-behaved.

    I own a dog obedience/training business, so feel free to drop me an email if you have any specific training questions and/or issues.

    B~

  9. #9
    ECHO ed bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmy

    Although my personal opinion is that well behaved Dog's are, and should be welcome on ANY trails, not sure that's the opinion of this crowd.
    With 8,844 members here I'd reword that statement. Maybe, say "I'm not sure about this crowd at all"
    That's my dog, Echo. He's a fine young dog.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain
    Hello, Class of 2007! Just wanted to see everyone's thoughts on hiking dogs on the AT. I rescued a black lab over the holiday season and have been busy bonding and training with the him, preparing him for a future hike. If you have experience hiking with a dog over long distances I'd love to hear pointers. What does everyone here think of dogs on the trail? Thanks.
    IF you thrued in 05, you know exactly how people feel about dogs. If it's possible, stop being a jerk.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain
    Hello, Class of 2007! Just wanted to see everyone's thoughts on hiking dogs on the AT. I rescued a black lab over the holiday season and have been busy bonding and training with the him, preparing him for a future hike. If you have experience hiking with a dog over long distances I'd love to hear pointers. What does everyone here think of dogs on the trail? Thanks.
    IF you thrued in 05, you know exactly how people feel about dogs. If it's possible, stop being a jerk.

  12. #12
    Twisted Walkingstick Chip's Avatar
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    Hello Rain,

    I section hike with one or two dogs at different times during the year and of course sometimes without them. When I do hike with my dogs I follow a few rules:

    1. Always keep your dog on a leash. A well trained dog will keep the same pace as you walk. I use a 6' leash / belt system that keeps my hands free.

    2. LNT. Clean up after your dog. Bury waste just like you would dig a cat hole for yourself.

    3. TENT or Tarp 50 to 100 yards away from any shelter or campsite. Dogs and shelters do not mix ! The smell of other hikers food, mice at night and other distractions can be a problem. ALSO some hikers don't like dogs.
    By keeping some distance from a shelter or campsite where other hikers are camping makes good sense and there should be no trouble.

    4. Don't let your dog near a water source. Get the water to your dog.

    5. Take your dog off trail at least 10 yards when the dog needs to pee or take a dump. (NO deposits on the trail!!)

    6. Always remember to keep your dog under control when passing other hikers. Step off the trail a few yards to let them pass or if you pass them.
    Even if your dog is friendly, some folks don't want to be bothered by your dog.

    I have found that these few rules work best for me and my dogs.

    Best of luck, Happy Trails,
    Chip
    If we look at the path, we do not see the sky. We are earth people on a spiritual journey to the stars. Our quest, our earth walk is to look within, to know who we are, to see that we are connected to all things, that there is no separation, only in the mind.
    - Native American, source unknown

  13. #13
    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
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    My wife and I have an 80 pound shephard that we hike with. The longest we've been out with him is 8 days. That being said it can be a lot of extra work to hike with a dog and do it right. We pretty much follow the guide lines that Chip mentioned with one exception. The leash we keep our dog on is called a flexilead. It can be adjusted and locked to any length up to it's total length. Ours is 15 feet but they come longer and shorter. We purposely bought a 3 person tent so there is room in our tent to be comfortable when he's with us. Enjoy your dog's company but be considerate of other hikers even more.

  14. #14
    Mom of Future Thru-Hiker docllamacoy's Avatar
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    We've taken our dog, Coy, on two thru-hikes, one AT and one PCT. For those here who know Coy, do I hear any complaints? Probably not. A well-trained dog is a must. I disagree on the leash. Voice control is where it's at. Leashes can be dangerous for you and your dog, IMO. And I can't think of one thru-hiking dog that I knew that stayed leashed up the whole hike. Maybe started out at the beginning, but by Hot Springs, the dogs had usually caught on to the hiking thing.
    Try to stay away from shelters at night, unless everyone there knows your dog and is cool with him. Or just set up your tent. Don't leave poo on the trail. We let Coy drink out of water sources, but way downstream.
    We never had problems hitchhiking or finding a place to stay. Sometimes we were limited on places to stay, but we always found one if we wanted to.
    If your dog is good, you shouldn't have any problems. We didn't run into many, if any, who didn't like our dog being on the trail.
    Llama, of Doc, Llama & Coy

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by docllamacoy
    Voice control is where it's at. Leashes can be dangerous for you and your dog, IMO......We didn't run into many, if any, who didn't like our dog being on the trail.
    You ran into them alright you were just waaaay to thick to notice.

  16. #16
    Mom of Future Thru-Hiker docllamacoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay
    You ran into them alright you were just waaaay to thick to notice.
    Hence, why I said "many". Didn't know you. Were you out there in '03? And what about OUR dog, in particular, bothered you? Please let me know, so we can correct it. Or was it just the general idea of a dog that bothered you?
    Llama, of Doc, Llama & Coy

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by docllamacoy
    ......I disagree on the leash. Voice control is where it's at. Leashes can be dangerous for you and your dog, IMO......
    Everyone else who takes a dog on the trail believes the same thing. Thats why hikers, like me, deplore dogs on the trail, in streams, and in shelters!!!

  18. #18
    Mom of Future Thru-Hiker docllamacoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridge
    Everyone else who takes a dog on the trail believes the same thing. Thats why hikers, like me, deplore dogs on the trail, in streams, and in shelters!!!
    What's the difference between a dog under complete voice control and a dog on leash? I've lived in places where off-leash dogs are the norm, and they happen to be very well-trained when grown accustomed to being guided by voice rather than pull on a leash. I used to a dog walker and would have 6 or 7 dogs all off-leash (at an off-leash park) and under good voice control. Put those same dogs on a leash, and they're out of control.
    I guess I should add to my original post that if your dog is not under strict voice control, then it does belong on a leash or not on the trail. I do know one real *****bag of a dog that was on the trail in '03, and the owner's had no clue as to how to train it. Even on leash, it was terrible. Definitely a trail dog that gives others a bad name. It should not have been out there.
    We only stayed in shelters 3 times on the trail; two of those times, we had the shelter to ourselves. The 3rd time was under crazy circumstances that happened unexpectedly where I was without other shelter for the night, and made sure Coy didn't bother anyone. That didn't and never will happen again.
    I won't deny your feelings about dogs on the trail; you have every right to feel the way you do. But since dogs ARE allowed on the trail, I think it's important for those who do not like dogs to let the owners know and to be clear about it. A truly responsible dog owner will take every action necessary to either remove the dog from your presence or keep the dog away from you for the moment while they are there (you may already do this and that's great). But if you sit there and stew without saying anything, then you have contributed to the problem. Since some of us are so "thick" (as I was called earlier by someone who doesn't even know my dog), we may need a little help from you to know that you're not okay with our dog. Not saying that's how it should be since we should be able to recognize a person's dislike of our dog, but sometimes, we just might not be paying attention to the quiet hiker over in the corner.
    It's hard to step in someone else's shoes on this issue. Only those who've thru-hiked with a dog know the pure joy it is for both owner and dog. It just brings so much happiness to have your dog with you on the trail; it really does. And when you see your dog getting to live outdoors every day and loving it, you know you've done the right thing in bringing him/her with you. Dogs are animals; most animals want to be outside with the ability to roam. With all the dog rules in this country, we've really denied that to them, and I think it's so sad (although justified). Coy is ecstatic every time we go for a walk. She LOVES it. And once again, we live in a place where she doesn't have to be leashed. She's so well-trained that I can point my finger and she goes in that direction. Yeah, this is just me, but I know there are other dog owners out there who have brought their dogs on a thru-hike and have seen them become better and happier dogs for it. Okay, so yeah, I'm a little obsessed with my dog, I'll admit it.
    As I said, though, it's really hard for me to step into your shoes and know how you feel. I can try to understand it, but as someone who really enjoys taking her dog on the trail, it is hard.
    I just wish there was a way for us all to get along, but on a trail like the AT, that just isn't going to happen. Too many people with too many conflicting ideas. And dogs are just one of many issues.
    I do apologize if my dog has offended you in anyway. I would appreciate it if you (general "you") would just speak up if I run into you on the trail. I won't get offended. And, just so you know, we did always have a leash with us in case we needed it.
    For now, and I hope forever, dogs are a part of life on the trail. Let's try to stop being so bitter about it and work together to make our trail life more enjoyable.
    Llama, of Doc, Llama & Coy

  19. #19
    Mom of Future Thru-Hiker docllamacoy's Avatar
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    Sorry for the typos, I have a nursing baby in my lap, and sometimes it's hard to type. Guess, I should read it over before I hit send, huh?
    Llama, of Doc, Llama & Coy

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by docllamacoy
    ... We didn't run into many, if any, who didn't like our dog being on the trail.
    Llama,

    I hear such self-serving, self-laudatory general proclamations from dog owners all the time and they strike me as incredibly lame.

    Did you have some independent research group do anonymous polls after you passed through? How do you know what goes on in anyone's mind? You a mind-reader?

    Do you really expect us to believe hikers are going to say to your face "I don't like your dog" or "I don't like something your dog did"?!

    This is the sort of tunnel vision from owners gets "obivous" and old fast.

    And "voice control"??? I've yet to see a pet dog completely and reliably subject to voice control. I think the concept is like unicorns, a fantasy one only hears about.

    Rain Man

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    Last edited by Rain Man; 05-12-2006 at 15:10.
    [I]ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit....[/I]. Numbers 35

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