Unleashed dogs in wilderness

Dogs, dogs and even some cats
Forum rules
Let's try to keep the topics related to mountaineering, please. Please do not use this forum to advertise, sell photos or other products or promote a commercial website. For more details, please see the Terms of Use you agreed to when joining the forum.
Locked
User avatar
Scott P
Posts: 8310
Joined: 5/4/2005
14ers: 51 16
13ers: 41 13
Trip Reports (16)
Contact:

Re: Unleashed dogs in wilderness

Post by Scott P » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:00 am

oldschoolczar wrote:
Richard Derkase wrote:
Scott P wrote:and if I could do so without putting myself in danger
If, and only if.

I love dogs but a loose aggressive one gets no free pass. Boom! It'll think twice next time, as will it's lame-ass owner.

Dick
Wow! You sound so tough and dangerous. Maybe you should be on a leash?
In his defense, he did say a loose and aggressive dog, not any dog.

If a dog was going to or was attacking me or someone else in the group, I would certainly defend myself or others against the attack.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
User avatar
oldschoolczar
Posts: 597
Joined: 7/18/2011
14ers: 45 1 1
13ers: 6

Re: Unleashed dogs in wilderness

Post by oldschoolczar » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:06 am

Scott P wrote: In his defense, he did say a loose and aggressive dog, not any dog.

If a dog was going to or was attacking me or someone else in the group, I would certainly defend myself or others against the attack.
Well that was a reasonable way to put it, but you certainly don't sound quite as tough!
“what matters most is
how well you
walk through the
fire” -Charles Bukowski
User avatar
oldschoolczar
Posts: 597
Joined: 7/18/2011
14ers: 45 1 1
13ers: 6

Re: Unleashed dogs in wilderness

Post by oldschoolczar » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:12 am

Richard Derkase wrote:
oldschoolczar wrote:Wow! You sound so tough and dangerous.
Have you even been bitten badly by a dog? It does a good bit of damage that usually cannot be stitched closed because if you do it will likely infect. So, they irrigate the hell out of it (read flush out the holes in you) and send you packing with antibiotics and your open wound that may heal properly but will leave a good scar even if it does. And, if you can't catch the dog and it gets away, they give you rabies vaccinations to go with your pleasant wound. Nice.

If an off leash dog becomes aggressive towards me, I can assure you I will be dangerous to said pooch.

Dick
Yes, I have. Took a severe bite to my face from a German Shepherd...

Of course I was 10 years old so I wasn't able to open a can of whoopass on the dog and the lame-ass owners like you would've.
“what matters most is
how well you
walk through the
fire” -Charles Bukowski
User avatar
SurfNTurf
Posts: 1876
Joined: 8/20/2009
14ers: 58 28
13ers: 110 9
Trip Reports (48)
Contact:

Re: Unleashed dogs in wilderness

Post by SurfNTurf » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:29 am

It's an emotional subject. Like most such debates, neither side is wrong. It's a matter of perspective, and mutual respect and common sense go a long way. Everyone digging in and taking a hard line -- "all dogs should be leashed at all times" or "I never leash my dog ever" -- is the reason these threads always devolve into passive-aggressive Internet pissing matches.

I'm a dog owner and prefer to have her off-leash whenever possible. She's OK on a lead, but it's much more enjoyable for both of us for me to maintain my normal pace while she sniffs flowers, runs back and forth, etc. She's always stayed within 20-30 feet of me (as herding breeds are wont to do), but I've also invested hundreds of dollars and more than a year in constant training. She used to bark at strangers. She used to bolt up to other dogs and try to play. She used to chase wildlife and would only listen to recall commands when there wasn't anything more interesting to do. I put in the effort to correct these behaviors, and now she's more respectful on a trail than 99 percent of humans.

Even with my legitimately trained dog, I still keep a leash connected to her pack and bundled in one of the pockets or make her wear a Ruffwear Quickdraw. This makes it easy to call her to me and physically restrain her whenever we approach a person, dog or wild animal. I realize I don't own the backcountry and that her presence could be annoying or even threatening to some trail users, and I try to be cognizant of that. She's free to roam again once we're a safe distance past. If we're on a crowded trail where this would be a never-ending nuisance, she simply stays leashed. I mostly avoid such areas with her.
13344620_10101557885941286_8866565127707000672_n.jpg
Quick-access pack leash.
13344620_10101557885941286_8866565127707000672_n.jpg (189.37 KiB) Viewed 1257 times
13423919_10101579421773306_7445149715436939454_n.jpg
Ruffwear Quickdraw
13423919_10101579421773306_7445149715436939454_n.jpg (165.21 KiB) Viewed 1257 times
Do I ignore leash laws a lot of the time? You bet. I also make an effort to visit areas, such as the Holy Cross Wilderness and the Weminuche Wilderness, where only voice restraint is necessary. These are blanket laws catering to the masses because the authorities don't have the resources to actually police the problem. It's easier to make leashes mandatory and punish good dog owners than it is to develop and maintain a more reasonable system, like the Voice and Sight Tags in Boulder. I can sleep at night knowing I do everything I can to ensure my dog doesn't harass other trail users or leave any more trace than a human visitor. That's good enough for me.

I'm sure I'll got torched for saying anything negative about CFI on this forum, but my experiences with trail crews has been largely negative. Even when the rules are being obeyed, they come across as preachy -- especially about dogs. A recent example occurred on Huron Peak. I was in a large group (yes, less than 15...) that was moving slowly and stopped to take a break right below where the work area. A few parties wanted past, so we moved to the edge of the trail. One of the CFI crew members yelled from 300 feet above, "GET BACK ON THE TRAIL. GET BACK ON THE TRAIL. GET BACK ON THE TRAIL." The same guy said as we approached him later, "Come on, guys. This is what we're here for. It's not that hard to just stay on the trail." He was a total ass about it, especially considering my party consisted largely of first-timers who didn't know any better, but I couldn't really argue with his point. I kept my mouth shut and moved on. The kicker was that about half the trail crew was eating lunch sitting in the tundra 10 feet off the path. ](*,)

On the way down, one of the other crew members patronizingly thanked me for having my dog on a leash. Cool, fine, whatever. Then she asked if I'd been packing out my dog's poop and launched into an unsolicited spiel about how damaging dog feces is to the alpine environment. (Half the reason my dog wears a backpack is so she can carry her own bagged poop.) It took considerable restraint, but I was able to just roll my eyes and walk away. Most of them are volunteers, but if they're already being taught what to lecture hikers about, a little customer-service training wouldn't hurt.
Last edited by SurfNTurf on Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:53 am, edited 5 times in total.
“There are two kinds of climbers: those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” - Alex Lowe

"There have been joys too great to describe in words, and there have been griefs upon which I cannot dare to dwell; and with those in mind I say, 'Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.'" - Edward Whymper
workmanflock
Posts: 113
Joined: 6/7/2010
14ers: 58

Re: Unleashed dogs in wilderness

Post by workmanflock » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:33 am

I run and hike on the order of 1000-2000 miles a year. When I was in my 20s and 30s I had a couple really nasty interactions with bad dog owners and their pets. My take these days? It's not worth it. When I see a potential situation I cut a 90 degree angle to the animal, run around it off trail, and keep going. I have had zero interactions that ended poorly in quite awhile. Should I have to do this? Maybe not but it certainly makes me happier when I'm out and about. In the end, most dog owners do a decent job and it's a small number that leave a lasting impression. The key to conflict is to anticipate it and avoid it.
User avatar
ezabielski
Posts: 731
Joined: 7/13/2012
14ers: 43 1
13ers: 8

Re: Unleashed dogs in wilderness

Post by ezabielski » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:36 am

One solo backpacking trip in LCW I had two bad experiences in one day: I was walking in a meadow near where some people were camping and their big dog started following me very close (without the owner noticing the dog was gone). But I didn't notice until it was right behind me and nearly startled me to death when I turned around. Then because I freaked out, he freaked out too, and then the owner called him back after he barked at me. Then later that day I got rushed and barked at by some dayhiker's dog a short way away from the trailhead. So I was definitely angry about off leash dogs from that trip.

But since then I've hiked a few thousand miles and done a lot of popular mountains that people have dogs on, and never really had a problem. I stopped caring about off leash dogs a long time ago.
User avatar
KeithK
Posts: 1155
Joined: 12/28/2006
14ers: 58 3
13ers: 20
Trip Reports (51)
Contact:

Re: Unleashed dogs in wilderness

Post by KeithK » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:38 am

SurfNTurf wrote:It's an emotional subject. Like most such debates, neither side is wrong. It's a matter of perspective, and mutual respect and common sense go a long way. Everyone digging in and taking hard lines -- "all dogs should be leashed at all times" or "I never leash my dog ever" -- is the reason these threads always devolve into passive-aggressive Internet pissing matches.

I'm a dog owner and prefer to have her off-leash whenever possible. She's OK on a lead, but it's much more enjoyable for both of us for me to maintain my normal pace while she sniffs flowers, runs back and forth, etc. She's always stayed within 20-30 feet of me (as herding breeds are wont to do), but I've also invested hundreds of dollars and more than a year in constant training. She used to bark at strangers. She used to bolt up to other dogs and try to play. She used to chase wildlife and would only listen to recall commands when there wasn't anything more interesting to do. I put in the effort to correct these behaviors, and now she's more respectful on a trail than 99 percent of humans.

Even with my legitimately trained dog, I still keep a leash connected to her pack and bundled in one of the pockets or make her wear a Ruffwear Quickdraw. This makes it easy to call her to me and physically restain her whenever we approach a person, dog or wild animal. I realize I don't own the backcountry and that her presence could be annoying or even threatening to some trail users, and I try to be cognizant of that. She's free to roam again once we're a safe distance past. If we're on a crowded trail where this would be a never-ending nuisance, she simply stays leashed. (I mostly avoid such areas with her.)
13344620_10101557885941286_8866565127707000672_n.jpg
13423919_10101579421773306_7445149715436939454_n.jpg
Do I ignore leash laws a lot of the time? You bet. I also make an effort to visit areas, such as the Holy Cross Wilderness and the Weminuche Wilderness, where only voice restraint is necessary. These are blanket laws catering to the masses because the authorities don't have the resources to actually police the problem. It's easier to make leashes mandatory and punish good dog owners than it is to develop and maintain a more reasonable system, like the Voice and Sight Tags in Boulder. I can sleep at night knowing I do everything I can to ensure my dog doesn't harass other trail users or leave any more trace than a human visitor. That's good enough for me.

I'm sure I'll got torched for saying anything negative about CFI on this forum, but my experiences with trail crews has been largely negative. Even when the rules are being obeyed, they come across as preachy. A recent example occurred on Huron Peak. I was in a large group (yes, less than 15...) that was moving slow and stopped to take a break right below where the work area. A few parties wanted past, so we moved to the edge of the trail. One of the CFI crew members yelled from 300 feet above, "GET BACK ON THE TRAIL. GET BACK ON THE TRAIL. GET BACK ON THE TRAIL." The same guy said as we approached him later, "Come on, guys. This is what we're here for. It's not that hard to just stay on the trail." He was a total ass about it, especially considering my party consisted largely of first-timers who didn't know any better, but I couldn't really argue with his point. I kept my mouth shut and moved on. The kicker was that about half the trail crew was eating lunch sitting in the tundra 10 feet off the path. ](*,)

On the way down, one of the other crew members patronizingly thanked me for having my dog on a leash. Cool, fine, whatever. Then she asked if I'd been packing out her poop and launched into an unsolicited spiel about how damaging dog feces is to the alpine environment. (Half the reason my dog wears a backpack is so she can carry her own bagged poop.) It took considerable restraint, but I was able to just roll my eyes and walk away. Most of them are volunteers, but if they're already being taught what to lecture hikers about, a little customer-service training wouldn't hurt.
Well said.
Snow is dumb.™
Stop cyber bullying!
User avatar
Jon Frohlich
Posts: 2410
Joined: 10/14/2005
14ers: 58
13ers: 148 3
Trip Reports (32)
Contact:

Re: Unleashed dogs in wilderness

Post by Jon Frohlich » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:39 am

As usual Jeff manages to be more articulate and say what I would like to say in a much better way. I should just let Jeff post for me :-D.
User avatar
AlexeyD
Posts: 1284
Joined: 10/28/2013
14ers: 40 3 2
Trip Reports (3)

Re: Unleashed dogs in wilderness

Post by AlexeyD » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:52 am

Richard Derkase wrote:What is black and white is that some dog lovers cannot understand or support the notion that they are responsible for the behavior of their dog.
I'm not sure I'd describe those people as "dog lovers". Actual love (and I'm not being trite here) requires responsibility. I suspect the people you're referring to are the same ones who would bring their dog on all sorts of terrain without any regard to how the dog might feel about it, not considering the fact that the dog doesn't have a choice in the matter. It ultimately boils down to selfishness and concern for one's own feelings, not the animal's.
User avatar
XterraRob
Posts: 853
Joined: 7/20/2015
14ers: 41 7
13ers: 12 1
Trip Reports (4)

Re: Unleashed dogs in wilderness

Post by XterraRob » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:56 am

Love seeing dogs while on the trail. On leash or off leash, I don't mind. There is always the risk of an unpleasant experience. Each owner should be a good judge of what's best for interaction between their dog and the environment it'll be in (large populations on the trail, small populations, adults, children, wild life, etc) but some things can be unpredictable. There will always be the outlier incidents where an aggressive or annoying encounter can occur but the majority of the time I don't believe people mind. Just be responsible and considerate of others. It's about co-habitation.
User avatar
SurfNTurf
Posts: 1876
Joined: 8/20/2009
14ers: 58 28
13ers: 110 9
Trip Reports (48)
Contact:

Re: Unleashed dogs in wilderness

Post by SurfNTurf » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:00 am

Richard Derkase wrote:
surfnturf wrote:"all dogs should be leashed at all times"
I have not stated this, and I know that you are not suggesting I did. I quote it to make the point that in my opinion, this is NOT a black and white knee-jerk issue. What is black and white is that some dog lovers cannot understand or support the notion that they are responsible for the behavior of their dog. You seem to be able. Others certainly are not. Aggressive, off leash dogs will get what they deserve, when me, or mine are in play.

You NEVER know what kind of dog you encounter with an animal you are not familiar with. Case in point: http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2016/08 ... ge-vo.cctv" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Dick
What scares me (and others, I'm sure) about those kind of statements is that "aggression" can be hugely subjective. I don't think anyone is going to fault you for defending yourself from a German Shepherd that ran at you with it's teeth bared and jumped to bite at your neck. The thought, however, of my dog getting kicked or pepper-sprayed because she lifted her head to sniff someone's leg is terrifying. So, no, I don't respond well to blanket threats against dogs. This is also why I leash her when we approach other people, to avoid any kind of ambiguous scenario.
“There are two kinds of climbers: those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” - Alex Lowe

"There have been joys too great to describe in words, and there have been griefs upon which I cannot dare to dwell; and with those in mind I say, 'Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.'" - Edward Whymper
User avatar
SurfNTurf
Posts: 1876
Joined: 8/20/2009
14ers: 58 28
13ers: 110 9
Trip Reports (48)
Contact:

Re: Unleashed dogs in wilderness

Post by SurfNTurf » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:28 am

Richard Derkase wrote:
SurfNTurf wrote:What scares me (and others, I'm sure) about those kind of statements is that "aggression" can be hugely subjective.
Of course it is. That's when judgement has to be applied. It would seem to me that the OP's image suggests an aggressive, unpredictable dog and one that poses a threat. THAT dog meets my criteria for getting thumped. This is not about my personal vitriol towards dogs. I have no time for that. I like dogs.

But I also have no time for suppurating wounds because an irresponsible owner can't or won't control their pet.

Dick
As you said, I didn't even really have you in mind while writing my initial post. Sorry if that was miscontrued. I was mostly thinking of other posters here and comments I've seen elsewhere over the years. I also witnessed a dog get kicked with a mountaineering boot in a trailhead parking lot just because it was running BY someone with its tail wagging to get a drink from a nearby stream. Wasn't even acknowledging its attacker, but got punted anyway. (It was a 30ish-pound dog, too -- that boot could have done some real damage.) On one side of the spectrum are crappy dog owners who let their aggressive uncontrolled dog run rampant. On the other side are people who will reenact the printer scene from Office Space with their trekking pole because a dog looked at them. The blanket online threats are scary, especially when you consider a decent percentage of the hiking community consists of socially maladjusted psychopaths.
“There are two kinds of climbers: those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” - Alex Lowe

"There have been joys too great to describe in words, and there have been griefs upon which I cannot dare to dwell; and with those in mind I say, 'Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.'" - Edward Whymper
Locked