Poll: Should dogs be allowed on the AT

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  1. #1

    Default The dog question.

    I'm new to the AT, and this site. I started hiking because I got a dog. I was surprised to find the dog question so controversial. I never realized how many people had negative dog encounters on the trail. All of the complaints I read seemed like they would be non-issues if handlers used common sense - evidently it's not as common as I thought. The sticky at the top of the dog forum suggests posting here if you want to discuss the issue of dogs on the trail, but I didn't find a single poll with the word 'dog' in the title. I found the 'debates' I read seemed evenly split one way or the other, but I wanted to see a poll - so I made one.

  2. #2
    Hike smarter, not harder.
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    I like dogs, but I'd sure hate to have to mess with the care and feeding and gear for one of the trail.
    Con men understand that their job is not to use facts to convince skeptics but to use words to help the gullible to believe what they want to believe - Thomas Sowell

  3. #3
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    In March of 1999, I set out with my Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Sagan, on an attempt to thru hike the AT. It was a very interesting experience. Sagan was an extremely good hiker but not such a good camper.

    I made several mistakes. First of all, I think I should have carried a tent instead of just a tarp. When I was trying to get Sagan to lie down and go to sleep, he would not relax and go to sleep because he was trying to look out into the woods and would not relax. I feel like if we would have been inside a tent, he would have relaxed.

    The second big mistake I made was I cut the ends off of the belly strap that is on the dog backpack. I cut the strap shorter so that it would not flop around underneath him when he was walking. This turned out to be a stupid mistake because the nylon strap came unraveled during the first day of our hike.

    I was amazed at how good of a hiker Sagan was. He would walk out in front of me for about 20 yards and always stay on the trail. Sometimes he would hike up to the top of a hill and then just sit there and wait for me to catch up with him.

    We hiked from Amicola Falls to Suches, Georgia. It was a great learning experience.

    I am planning on picking up where I left off in May of next year. (2010).

    I am hoping to hike from Suches, Ga. to Hanover, NH.

    This time I am not going to take a dog. But I am sure I will miss him.

    Michael

  4. #4

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    i rarely hike without both my girls. i don't think dogs are such a problem on the trail. i think that just like real life, you hear more negative than good because people like to bitch, but rarely take the time to praise.

  5. #5

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    It's obvious when you meet a 'bad dog' on the trail where the blame lies, ALWAYS with the owner. . . . .

  6. #6
    Registered User Yukon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warraghiyagey View Post
    It's obvious when you meet a 'bad dog' on the trail where the blame lies, ALWAYS with the owner. . . . .
    I'll second that...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by warraghiyagey View Post
    It's obvious when you meet a 'bad dog' on the trail where the blame lies, ALWAYS with the owner. . . . .
    Agreed.


    I don't mind dogs on the trail, and often have mine with me.

  8. #8

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    It's actually one of the nice surprises on a hiking day when you meet up with one of the 'good' owners and their dog. . . . . . fuzz therapy. . .

  9. #9
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by warraghiyagey View Post
    It's obvious when you meet a 'bad dog' on the trail where the blame lies, ALWAYS with the owner. . . . .
    I"ll third that.

    The worst is "it's OK... he's friendly." I don't effin care if he's friendly if he's jumping on me, pissing on my stuff, barking at me, etc. It's not OK.

  10. #10
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    My only problem with dogs on the trail is the owners who refuse to use leashes. If the rules of the trail say dogs must be on a leash, then keep them on a leash. Simple enough but there are always those who can't seem to follow this simple procedure.

    I don't like dogs in general but can certainly understand why one would be a great companion on a hike.

  11. #11
    Registered User SmokyMtn Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warraghiyagey View Post
    It's obvious when you meet a 'bad dog' on the trail where the blame lies, ALWAYS with the owner. . . . .
    Well said !

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    The worst is "it's OK... he's friendly." I don't effin care if he's friendly if he's jumping on me, pissing on my stuff, barking at me, etc. It's not OK.
    Makes you wonder what the hell the owner is missing. . . a particular lobe perhaps. . .

  13. #13
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    Hiking with a dog is not just walking. You should get the information you need to do it better. WB has some articles and there are other sources availble. http://www.whiteblaze.net/index.php?page=dogs

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    Quote Originally Posted by warraghiyagey View Post
    It's obvious when you meet a 'bad dog' on the trail where the blame lies, ALWAYS with the owner. . . . .
    not my dog



    he's just evil

    If you find yourself in a fair fight; your tactics suck.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by sheepdog View Post
    not my dog



    he's just evil

    Yeah, but I bet he's alot of fun. . . . looks like trouble. . .

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    definately trouble
    If you find yourself in a fair fight; your tactics suck.

  17. #17

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    Stupid pets are the best, there's an extra layer of innocence to them. . .

    Naughty pets are funny too, in moderation. . .

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    smart dogs are the toughests

    they always want to know why

    and

    can you really make me do it
    If you find yourself in a fair fight; your tactics suck.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by sheepdog View Post
    smart dogs are the toughests

    they always want to know why

    and

    can you really make me do it
    Smart dogs can be harder to train, but done properly the results are usually better. My dog, Hurley the-half-breed-border-collie, herds sheep for a living (literally). Believe me when I say squirels and thru-hikers are little temptation for him.

  20. #20
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Okay - someone post the pic of the can of worms again...

    (I need to get that pic in my arsenal)



    Anyway, I refuse to comment further. Esp after an encounter with one nasty barking dog almost made me fall inot a raging river in ME and I yelled at the owner.







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