Monday, February 21, 2011

Dog Etiquette on the Trails...


Ever since before my memories I have always had a dog. To me a dog IS man's best friend. They are loyal, they give comfort, they don't judge and so on. I could spend a day blogging about how great dogs are. I love them. But, they are animals and need to be cared for, watched after and most of all, they need attention. I consider myself a responsible dog owner. I make sure they are healthy and are up to date with inoculations, that they are registered with my city. I obey leash laws, pick up after nature does its job etc. I don't need to ramble on about my dog raising techniques. 

Dogs also make great trail companions but not all people on the trail appreciate dogs. Some folks are just generally afraid of dogs. Some dog owners should not have a dog because of their lack of responsibility or dog raising know how. Some just do not care. I read of stories about horrible incidents on different forums all the time. It's a common problem. My family and I have all experienced a few bad incidents ourselves. Just last month my son was attacked by an unleashed dog while day hiking "Storm", his white shepherd, in a local wooded park that has leash laws. The owner was not able to call off his Great Dane. The trailhead is clearly marked with "Keep your dog leashed" signs in a few areas. A blatant disregard..I have seen dog crap in the middle of the trail many times in my life, on all types of trails be it a deep woods secluded trail to high traffic trails. Leave No Trace principles apply to dogs as well. Do they not? I have had large dogs, although friendly and their owners knew that, charge me not knowing what it's intentions were. If you can't control your dog or your dog behaves poorly, put on a leash or leave it home where its safe. It will save a lot of problems for you, your dog and others.

Here are a few links for proper dog etiquette:

And a recent incident:

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