Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trail Etiquette For Dog Owner's

Dijukno hiking and backpacking with your dog can be fun and exciting, or miserable depending upon how much planning and preparation you have done?  You can't just show up at a hiking spot and expect to be welcomed.

You need to know things like:

Leave No Trace Principles for bringing your pet on a hike.  In many states it is perfectly legal to shoot a dog merely for being in the same pasture as livestock, or for running after wildlife (game animals).  Every state allows a landowner to shoot a dog found chasing livestock.

Make sure your recreation doesn't spoil other people's recreation. 

Before you go, make sure you can control how and when your dog approaches people.  

Not everyone loves dogs and they should be able to enjoy the same space as you without having to deal with your dog. It doesn't matter that your dog is friendly.  

For many people merely being approached by a dog is frightening.  Would you run up to a person and give them a big hug if you didn't know them?  Would you expect that behavior would make a person uncomfortable?  Well plenty of people never grew up around dogs, and it makes them uncomfortable to have dogs approach them.  It shouldn't be too much to ask that your dog abide by normal social rules such as asking for an invitation before getting in touching range.  Asking before approaching isn't just a human thing, it is correct canine social behavior.  Other dogs will also react badly if your dog fails to exchange signals and wait for permission before approaching.  There is no reason your dog has to meet everyone and everything for both of you to have a good time.

Leave No Trace principles and trail etiquette indicate hikers who take their dogs on the trails should have their dogs on a leash, or under very strict voice command at all times.  Strict voice command means the dog immediately heels when told, stays at heel and refrains from barking.  
When dog owners meet any other trail users, dog and owner must yield the right-of-way, stepping well clear of the trail to allow the other users to pass without worrying about “getting sniffed.”  

Just remember not everyone loves your dog like you do, and some people are afraid of it.

Finally, before you go, make sure your dog is healthy, and fit enough to enjoy your planned activities.  Practice ahead of time, and make some shorter excursions from home.

Hiking With A Group

1 comment :

  1. Very interesting post Robyn, comments I wholeheartedly agree with.But this is not just about us,it's also about the animal.
    Back home, many dogs are left-behind when they go hiking with their owner and, because the owner can't be bothered to search for the dog,it is abandoned. This raises many issues - the dog becoming wild and killing native animals,left to defend for itself, after being domesticated ++++.


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