Do your dogs hike? | High Sierra Topix  

Do your dogs hike?

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Re: Do your dogs hike?

Postby Snowtrout » Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:54 am

I think people love the idea of taking their dog into the backcountry but don't fully realize the responsibility that goes with it, creating a nonchalant attitude by the owner. Hearing a dog constantly barking, an owner yelling commands at the dog, and the dog bothering others while running wild is just plain rude behavior by the owner. I do not want my dogs bothering and disturbing other peoples backcountry experience, so why should I have to deal with you and your dog bothering mine?



User avatar
Snowtrout
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:06 pm
Location: Fresno, CA
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: Do your dogs hike?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:17 pm

Our dog (4-year old border collie) hikes with us. She was leashed when a puppy. Now that she is older, well trained, and taken on walks EVERY day off-leash, obeys voice and hand commands at distance, and has specifically been trained not to chase animals, we carry a leash, but seldom use it. She has encountered deer, wild turkeys, geese, chickens, bears, snakes, coyotes and never chased them. She does "herd" flocks of birds in the sky. If another dog and owner approach, we step off the trail and she lies down. If the other owner is OK with it, we let the dogs play. Otherwise, she does not react to other dogs. She stays close to us, never strays, and has only barked a few times in three years. Other hikers actually come up to her and want to pet her and take a photo (she is pretty cute with her doggy pack). Not that we specifically trained her, but she is very fussy about where she poops- will NOT do it on a trail or sidewalk or road.

We just finished a 6-day trip in Sabrina Basin, ran across many dogs, and EVERY one of them were well trained, off-leash, and delightfully behaved. One horse packer had an 11-month old blue healer on his first trip and warned us that his dog was still "in training". No problem with his dog either.

I have had a few experiences with other people's dogs jumping up on me, all full of mud, of course. That did not make me happy. But my experience is that these dogs are a minority. AND, I am not what you would call a "dog person". I do not have patience with ill-behaved dogs. I just think that saying ill-behaved dogs are the norm, is simply one person's experience; not based on any real survey or study. Dogs that actually are backpacking seem to be a bit better trained than the dogs with day-hikers.
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2607
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Do your dogs hike?

Postby Ska-T » Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:15 pm

Responsible dog owners don't need to read these types of threads, but they do. Irresponsible dog owners need to read these types of thread, but they don't, or at least nothing sinks in. (Disclaimer: My family has owned 9 dogs, so I'm not a dog hater.)

Some experiences:
1. A couple of dogs off leash at the southwest end of South Lake surrounded me and my kids and made scary threats (body language and growling) that made me, an experienced dog owner, nervous. The owner was 40 yds away and didn't give a damn.
2. I was bitten a few months ago hiking at the Ice House Canyon saddle (near Mt Baldy in southern CA). The dog was off leash, which for that trail is against the law, and within 10 ft of the owners. They didn't apologize (or say anything). I passed them later hiking in opposite directions and the dog was still off leash.
3. My aunt in her late 80's was hiking at Yellowstone and was knocked down by a big dog off leash. She broke her leg and hip and her health was never the same.
User avatar
Ska-T
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 186
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:59 pm
Location: Huntington Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Do your dogs hike?

Postby freestone » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:54 am

Bad things can happen to unleashed dogs on the trail.


http://www.independent.com/news/2013/ja ... ruz-trail/
User avatar
freestone
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 571
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:42 pm
Location: Santa Barbara
Experience: Level 1 Hiker

User avatar

Re: Do your dogs hike?

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:46 am

I thought about having my dog trained to avoid rattlesnakes but the dude who does that here is kinda creepy....

I wish there were more responsible pet owners. Unfortunately, the majority of the ones I have met seem to think the dog has a right to do what it wants out there. The worst examples have all been people camping at a backcountry site and letting the dogs wander far and wide. I had to use my fishing pole to smack one on the face when it wouldn't stop harassing my dog, who was hiding behind me.
User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1758
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Do your dogs hike?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:27 am

I think the number of dogs on a trial makes a difference. I think dogs should get permits (limit the number of dogs) and also be bound by quotas, just like any person who gets a backcountry permit. People backpacking with dogs should make a point of camping away from others. Not sure how to control the number of dogs with day-hikers.

I too have been bitten by a dog, not in the backcountry, but at Joshua Tree while rock climbing. The dog owner specifically said that the dog was mean and they were trying to "socialize" the dog by bringing it on climbs. Unbelievable! Not to broadly criticize younger people, but I find that a number young singles tend to have dogs and not fully train them. You socialize your dog at home, BEFORE you bring your dog out where it has to mingle with strangers. And then there are the "buba" types, who think themselves as "badass" and actually train their dogs to be mean and ignore all wilderness rules.

Our dog is actually better behaved off leash than on leash. I have also found that having her on a leash results in more wear and tear on her paws. Breed makes a difference too. Our border collie "herds" us and will not stray. She really tries to keep us together and normally prefers to walk between us on the trail. When she does go forward, she only goes a small distance, not to let us out of her sight. Her "job" is always to keep US well behaved on the trail! In fact, if I go on a side-trip by myself, my husband has to go in the tent with her or she tries to herd me back to camp.

On most of my trips, I prefer to concentrate on my route, fishing and photography and do longer mileage days than our dog can do, because of her tender paws. A lot of rough off-trail terrain is not good for her. It is a LOT of work, minute-by-minute, to have a dog with you. It is like having a kid with you- their safety is upmost in your mind. I only take her on shorter weekend trips when I go solo. She is my husband's "baby" and she goes with us when he goes with me. Bottom line- most of the time I prefer NOT to take the dog.

I also see a lot of dogs in the wilderness in Wyoming. There are no restrictions nor trail quotas in the BLM or FS areas. Lots more horse-use and goat packers too. Many backpackers with dogs there are also rural people and their dogs are well trained outdoor working dogs. That said, there is a lot less backpacking pressure on the trails. Meeting only a handful of people during a week's trip is typical. So back to my original premise- not sure dogs are the best thing on very popular over-used trails or backcountry camping areas.
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2607
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Do your dogs hike?

Postby jessegooddog » Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:35 pm

I always hike with Freddog, a shepherd/lab mix. He is off leash but sometimes has a little stubborn streak but wears a shock collar to keep him from chasing after coyotes or other wild animals, bothering people who aren't necessarily dog friendly or getting tangled up with pack trains (he comes with the vibration mode so I haven't had to lightly shock him in months). We often meet many other dogs on the trail (during a recent hike on the Duck Pass trail in Mammoth we met at least 30) and the only ones who give us problems are those who are ON leash because their owners say they don't like other dogs! IMO, unfriendly/dangerous dogs do not belong on any trail. Probably 99% of his encounters with other dogs and people are positive, he loves everyone. This is why I live on the east side rather than the west where so many trails do not allow dogs. Boo hiss to the guy hiking the PCT with his unleashed "service" dog, I am pretty sure I met him in Independence this year.
User avatar
jessegooddog
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 240
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:39 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Do your dogs hike?

Postby notis » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:31 pm

Hazel yields extremely well to our directions--yes, even in the backcountry. Yet last month, someone scolded us going up Piute Pass because she wasn't on leash. (And yet they didn't even yield to us uphill travelers!) Still, I agree very much with what ndpanda said. My anecdotal evidence is anecdotal evidence...It really sucks when some people bend these rules. It ruins it for other people.
User avatar
notis
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:49 pm
Location: SoCal
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: Do your dogs hike?

Postby frizzy » Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:07 am

I almost always hike with my dogs, but we're just day hikers.

My 30 pound old lady dog only goes on hikes of 5 miles or less and is always on leash as she doesn't hear so well anymore.

The chihuahua goes on longer hikes and is almost always off leash. She likes to travel about 3-6 feet behind me and it's just easier that way. She has no interest in meeting other hikers, dog, or animals and never leaves the path. I've never had a bad reaction to her from other hikers, mostly people just laugh when they see her.

On a related note, does anyone know of anyplace that makes dog boots for a tiny dog? She's got about a 3/4 inch paw width and I can't find any boots in her size.
User avatar
frizzy
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:42 am
Experience: Level 1 Hiker

User avatar

Re: Do your dogs hike?

Postby sekihiker » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:38 am

I hiked for several years with a small dog, we called her Beans, and she weighed around six pounds. Beans was a great hiker and even dictated one of my reports at: http://www.sierrahiker.com/IndianLakes/index.html

She hiked off the leash much of the time. She stuck pretty close when off the leash. I remember only one unusual encounter with other people. We were taking a rest stop in Long Meadow when Alan Clyde brought through a pack train. She was startled and started running but I was able to grab her. I'm not sure where she would have ended up if I hadn't caught her. She died this past summer at age 16, pretty old for a Yorkie.

For Beans bio, visit: http://www.sierrahiker.com/IndianLakes/beans.html
User avatar
sekihiker
Founding Member
 
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:47 pm
Location: Fresno
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Do your dogs hike?

Postby dave54 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:00 am

Check with your local community college for classes on canine first aid. Or talk to your vet. Several books on the topic available.
=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~
Log off and get outdoors!
~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=
User avatar
dave54
Founding Member
 
Posts: 775
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 10:24 pm
Location: where the Sierras, Cascades, and Great Basin meet.
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Do your dogs hike?

Postby sparky » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:55 pm

I just got back from a backpacking trip with a dog. While it was cool to have that element there, it wasn't cool when the dog ate my last 3 nights of dinner. I was close to making dog stew!

Even if it does break the rules I could care less if I see a dog in a NP or if it is leashed as long as it is pleasant.
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.
User avatar
sparky
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 880
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:01 am
Experience: N/A

PreviousNext

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Pika, Yahoo [Bot] and 9 guests

cron