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A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
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  1. #1
    Registered User tucker0104's Avatar
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    Default Leashes on trail

    Does everyone keep their dogs on a leash at all times when hiking and camping?

  2. #2
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    AND it begins

  3. #3
    Registered User mister krabs's Avatar
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    Yes when hiking, sometimes in camp, always at night. I've seen too many lost dogs on the trail and my family would never forgive me if I lost one of ours.

  4. #4
    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Rarely while hiking, usu at camp, never at night (sleeps in my tent). My dog never leaves me by more than 50 feet, and is usually at my feet. I can verbal him to me easily when encountering others. He has a training collar and "knows" to stay close. I will leash him at camp while others are eating, I have never broken his begging. Once supper is over he's not an issue. I will leash him at camp if he is wet/muddy too.

    That said, I would NOT bring him on the AT for more than a weekend hike.....too much trouble.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  5. #5
    Formerly thickredhair Gaiter's Avatar
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    thats a question for you and your dog: which will be effected by how well trained you and your dog are, where you are hiking, etc...

    me and my dog: no on low traffic trails, yes when there are other people around, yes near roads, always in town, depends on the campsite/situation, always at night


    and now for everyone who thinks dogs should never be on any trails in the first place:
    Gaiter
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  6. #6
    There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who don't.
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    Nearly never. Didn't have to--listens perfectly, didn't beg, heeled for extended periods of time, sit/stays until released. Loved to hike, and when the dog backpack came out of the closet, there was the happy dog face until we left for the trailhead.

    Sure do miss her.

  7. #7
    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaiter View Post
    and now for everyone who thinks dogs should never be on any trails in the first place:
    I am respectful of others, but I don't fret about those "who think dogs should never be on the trail".
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  8. #8
    Formerly thickredhair Gaiter's Avatar
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    i don't fret either, its just that whenever there is a question about dogs, the replies are 80% anti dog on trail
    Gaiter
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  9. #9

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    I once had a dog decide he would rather hike with me than his owner. I was moving much faster than the owner and after an hour or so I had enough of this dog and tied him to a tree! Yes, the story ends happly, the owner caught up and next time I saw them, the dog was on a leash. He even thanked me for doing what I did, as he had no idea if he'd ever see the dog again.

    So please, if you take your dog hiking, make sure you can keep him by your side at all times!
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  10. #10
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    From the ATC:

    http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site..._with_Dogs.htm
    http://www.appalachiantrail.org/atf/...F1%7D/fido.pdf

    My own quick and dirty take on dogs on the trail:

    1) Leash laws aren't optional. If the signs say DOGS MUST BE ON LEASH the signs really do mean dogs must be on leash.
    (According to the ATC leashes ARE REQUIRED on more than 40 percent of the Trail)

    2) Ditto for NO DOGS ALLOWED

    3) If dogs are allowed off leash, make sure your dog is in your control. If your dog growls, runs up and jumps on people, chases animals, etc..then it is not in your control. Keep the dog on leash.

    4) Consider tenting instead of using a shelter. No conflict that way. Sure, you can ask if anyone minds if you bring Fluffy in a shelter, but most people won't speak up even if asked directly (No one wants to be the bad guy..esp if you put them on the spot). Tenting means your wet dog won't get over everyone, beg for food and general be a nuisance. AND, not everyone likes dogs. Plus it gives you some privacy. Again, the main advantage is NO CONFLICT. Yay!

    Yeah..just some etiquette. Bringing a dog on the trail is your decision. Thinking of the above helps make sure your decision does not effect other people's trail experience.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Mags; 01-15-2009 at 16:35.
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  11. #11
    Registered User SteveJ's Avatar
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    My position is that all dogs on the Appalachian Trail should be leashed. My dog is always leashed if not in my house or in my fenced backyard (Siberian Husky - bred to run, and will run at any time. I have unreliable voice control, and simply don't trust her not to take off after the next bird or squirrel she sees). Every time I've ever been on the AT my dog and I have, at least once, been approached by an off-leash, aggressive dog. Invariably, the dog is followed by an owner that says something like, "It's OK - he won't bite!"

    If your dog is 100% under voice control, and you're on a less travelled trail than the AT, then sure, going off-lead is apropriate. The AT, in my personal opinion, because of the number of people on the trail, is a different matter.

    Steve
    Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.

  12. #12
    Registered User Phreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tucker0104 View Post
    Does everyone keep their dogs on a leash at all times when hiking and camping?
    Very rarely. Only on the more populated sections of trail.

  13. #13
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    Yes. But don't think that means she's on a little 6ft lead. I have a great 20ft lead that is great for letting her frolic but still leashed.

    I'm engineering some lighter weight options and will share once I've tested them.

    Peanut is drawn to water like a moth to a flame leaving any sense of safety behind. One of the few times we had ever let her off lead was when she was about 8-9months old and it was winter. She zipped down an embankment and out onto the dangerously thin ice of the river where she broke through. She almost got pulled under the ice by the current and could have drowned if my husband hadn't acted quickly to sprawl on the ice and grab her scruff. Needless to say - unless it's at the fenced dog park - she doesn't go off lead.

  14. #14
    Geezer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaiter View Post
    i don't fret either, its just that whenever there is a question about dogs, the replies are 80% anti dog on trail
    Dogs are fine. They're just being dogs. It's the owners that are the problem. The owners know their dog won't bite, the other hikers don't. And some people are terrified of dogs.

    If you can imagine how you'd feel if someone was waving a gun in your direction, saying, don't worry, it ain't loaded, you'd understand how some feel feel when faced with strange pooches.

    Being respectful isn't letting your dog loose because you know he is under voice control. That is not respectful of anyone at all. It is basically ignoring their wants, desires and fears. Being respectful if ensuring THEIR feelings and needs are met, not yours.

    I like dogs, I hiked with mine many times and she loved it. I did not keep her on a leash at all times, but I'll not pretend that was being responsible, courteous and respectful, because it isn't.

    Another reason it is so heated is that it only takes one dog walking on your sleeping bag with muddy feet to make most people not like dogs in camp.

    Look at your post, claiming that 80% of responses are anti-dog. Just not true, but you had some bad experiences with anti-dog people and now you assume that everyone is that way.

    The shoe is on the other foot and people who have had bad experiences will act the same way you did.

    Not much tolerance anywhere, when you start dividing people into US and THEM.

    I love dogs. I like guns. I like ATVs. I like loud music. Whether they belong on the trail depends on which finger is used to point to "THEM" folks.
    Frosty

  15. #15

    Default Kanati

    While on the A.T. last year I was bitten on the foot by a hikers small dog on a leash. It didn't hurt but I spoke to its master about it anyway. He just said...."yeah, he's got a thing about boots".

    A second time, last year also, a day hiker had a midsize, strong built mixed breed dog on a 'too long' leash and he was acting very agressive toward me. I had to stick my hand down his throat to convince him to not bite me. After that he settled down. The dogs name was Voodoo. The girl holding the leash acted indifferent about it, but a nasty bite could have taken me off the trail.

    Point is, if you are in absolute control of your dog then it's ok to have him/her on the trail where there are other hikers. If not, you need to leave it at home. Remember that not everyone is as fond of our dogs as we are, and we should be respectful of that. My dog Max, ( a black lab), only hikes with me on our trails thru the woods near home where there are no other people. He is a perfect gentleman but has a bad habit of staring at anyone eating. It doesn't bother me but some people gets upset by it, my wife included.

    Happy hiking.

  16. #16
    Registered User clicker's Avatar
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    Almost always leashed unless she is in my tent with me. I have unleashed her when hiking only occasionally. She stays right by my side or right in front/behind me close enough that I am only an inch or two away from hitting her with my boots as I walk. Off leash she does the same thing, so the leash does not interfere and in case of need(stray dog or stranger showing up) I can reel her in pretty quick. Her leash gets looped to my hip belt, keeps my hands free for my hiking staff and anything else.
    -clicker

  17. #17
    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    Being respectful isn't letting your dog loose because you know he is under voice control. That is not respectful of anyone at all. It is basically ignoring their wants, desires and fears. Being respectful if ensuring THEIR feelings and needs are met, not yours.
    Some folks are afraid of creepy dudes with beards. Should Lone Wolf stay home?

    I'm not buying.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by tucker0104 View Post
    does Everyone Keep Their Dogs On A Leash At All Times When Hiking And Camping?
    Roads Can Pop Up Out Of Nowhere, Always Keep The Dog Close By. I LEASHED MY DOG WHEN WE GOT NEAR ROADS. alot of times you'll hear the traffic on the roads plenty time before you reach the road,but not always!!!

  19. #19

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    I don't hike the AT, but I can say that in the area that I hike, the dog owners:

    1) Never (ever) have their dogs on a leash when I run across them
    2) Are completely unable to control their dogs
    3) Uniformly underestimate both their dogs' obedience and their own authority.

    I've had 3 dogs rush me barking furiously, because I hike with a pack and poles, and they're not familiar with that. I'm sure I look like a bear to them ... but I don't blame the dogs, I blame their owners.

    I had one owner hiking down the trail with 2 dogs, totally unable to control them, talking to someone on his cell phone as his dogs rushed me. I had to fend them off with my hiking poles they were so aggressive and had no idea if I was about to be bitten. About 30 minutes later, heading back to my car, ran into the same guy, still on his phone, still unable to control his dogs. Still unleashed.

    If your dog rushes me angrily barking, I will hurt it if it gets close enough, especially if it is a larger breed. As an owner, you've left me with no choice at that point.

    So, leash your dog, please.

  20. #20

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    Buckwheat, that was very well put.

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